You guys… I’m barely keeping it together. I’m melancholy and… I don’t know… nostalgic? Generally weepy? More or less: WOE WHERE IZ MA BABEE????
This afternoon, just after breaking in a brand-new, gorgeous diaper with a splendid poop, Emmie decided she didn’t want to wear any diapers. OK. Naked butt time is always a good time. I figured we’d give potty training the kind of half-assed effort we’ve been doing around here ever since Emmie appeared to show some interest.
Apparently, Emmie is an overachiever and decided to practically potty train herself this afternoon. She told me she needed to potty and then ACTUALLY PEED in the potty at least 5 times this afternoon over the course of 4+ hours. She had one accident (which was really my fault because she might have been trying to tell me, but I was distracted getting dinner on the table). Immediately after she peed, she said “Peepee!” and pointed to the puddle on the floor, then got very distressed about it. Since I was very neutral in my reaction, I know she was upset about peeing on the floor. Poor thing, but I think that’s a good sign for potty training. I know one afternoon is not forever, but I was very impressed at how well she did.
So hooray! Potty training! No more diaper laundry!
Bedtime has always included nursing right before bed. This was our biggest “no-no” of sleep training, but she never fell asleep during it, so technically she always went to bed awake. Plus, it WORKED and once you find something that works, you try like hell not to change it. I realized I needed to start transitioning away from that though, especially since it means she is really hard to put down to sleep without Mama (which means Mama is hostage to bedtime and all plans must revolve around it, babysitter or no). So we introduced toothbrushing after nursing with the lights on, which actually went fine (and was probably something we SHOULD have been doing earlier… hello cavities!). In fact, the first night we did this was her first night of sleeping through the night in a long, long, long time, but that could have been pure coincidence.
Then tonight, she did all the early bedtime routine stuff with bath, pajamas and books all with Daddy, then I came in for the end of books/beginning of milk. Normally, as soon as I walk in the door, she is signing “milk” and signaling that she is ready to go to sleep. Tonight, she not only gave no indication of wanting milk, but actively TURNED IT DOWN multiple times. She asked to brush her teeth instead. Then, when offered milk again, she got up, walked to the fridge and got herself her own glass of cow milk from the fridge. I had to fight back tears knowing what this all meant…
It was bittersweet when she finally did decide to nurse tonight. I tried to soak it in as best I could, knowing that this will probably end soon, for good this time (I’ve been fooled in the past). Will I know it when it’s truly the last time? How will I not cry?
We fought so, so hard for the time that we’ve had, which I know is longer than many have. I honestly thought we would be done nursing after that dark, brutal night in the ER with mastitis when I thought I would die, when she was just 3 weeks old. I didn’t know how I would make it through 5 weeks of pumping and dumping all that precious milk down the bathroom sink in the chemo room. I didn’t know if she would ever take to the breast again after being away for almost all of that time the nursing books call the “critical period.” I didn’t know if my supply could ever catch up to her. Once we were able to restart nursing after my treatment, I didn’t know how long she would want to do this… of how long I would, for that matter. I didn’t know how many more clogged ducts and mastitis scares I could endure. I didn’t know how it would be going back to work. I didn’t know how much more pumping I could handle.
There’ve been times when nursing was an incredible bonding moment between us, but if I’m honest, many more when it was simply a way to feed my baby. I’ve nursed lying down, sitting, standing, and reclined. I’ve nursed in chairs, beds, bedrooms, bathrooms, living rooms, outdoors, and in rooms full of dozens and dozens of people. I’ve nursed in planes and cars, but I think the most exotic location by far was in a ski gondola above the Colorado Rockies.
I’m proud of what we’ve done, but I’m also a
little lot sad about this ending. I can’t really lay any more claims to her being a baby without diapers or Mama milk. (Not that she even remotely resembles a baby in any way anymore, this all just cements it). I don’t know if we’ll have any more babies. I don’t know if my body will ever get to do this again.
I’m so, so excited for everything tomorrow holds for our bright, spunky, and inquisitive little girl. But today, this mama is going to cry a little bit for the sweet little baby we have to leave behind in exchange.