She's no longer night weaned. In fact, her nursing at night has increased dramatically. She's been teething and on the verge of walking. She's saying all kinds of words and understanding things we didn't know a one year-old could. Perhaps it's these things that keep her up at night. I know when my mind is full of things it's difficult for me to sleep. Thankfully, I don't need a boob every hour to help me go back to sleep.
For almost the past three weeks it's been not-so-good. She's eating like a newborn again. And some days it's round the clock. Honestly, there were some days where I dreaded hearing her ask for milk. "Tisk, tisk" is what she says and I could feel my boobs wince in pain. Yes, I am being serious. They hurt so very, very much. But there was no way of consoling her at night other than nursing.
Let me tell you, it's affected our sleeping tremendously. I don't think either of us has had any deep sleep for a long time. Our nights have been something like: sleep for an hour, wake up crying/wake up to her crying, find binkie/refuse binkie, "tisk, tisk, tisk!", nurse, repeat cycle. And Harper has been going to bed between 9 and 10, some nights as early as 830. I've been placing her in her room in her crib so that most of the noise of the house is blocked. One night she slept for 5 straight hours in there.
That was a fluke.
She averages 30 minutes to 2 hours in there. Enough time for me to relax, or clean up something, do some laundry, talk to Wade, and get ready for bed. If she wakes, I try not to nurse her unless she's upset and won't resume sleeping any other way.
After about a week of her constant night waking/night nursing I was (I hate to admit it!) ready for her to be weaned. We are opposed to her crying-it-out so that was never an option. I was just done. On top of being exhausted, having sore/swollen/ridiculously tender breasts, I have been feeling just a wee bit guilty. I have felt guilt for thinking nursing is a chore. For dreading our nursing sessions. For trying to distract her for just five minutes more so she will stop asking for milk. For selfishly wanting her to wean so we could sleep for maybe a few straight hours. For losing my patience with her more than once. I have felt like a terrible Momma daily.
I know this won't last forever. I know there are phases and cycles she must go through and that I must endure. I know I am hard on myself for everything everyday and that I must try to be nicer to myself. Afterall, I am only human, right? And while having her latch on or having a let down is super painful right now and I don't look down at her and relish the moment, I have so very many other moments throughout the day to look at her, to kiss her, to hold her, to play with her, to tell her just how much I love her. And if that's all I can do on just a few hours sleep, well then, I think I'm doing pretty darn well.