Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Changes

There are big changes coming my way very soon and I've been feeling very anxious about them. I always try to keep my writing concise but this is probably going to be too long...

To start with, I go back to work in August. Truth be told, I like my job. I think I would feel a lot worse about leaving Paloma if I was dreading having to be around the people I work with, doing something I dislike, but since I have a positive work environment it's not so bad. But when I think about being away from my little girl for the vast majority of her waking hours, I feel absolutely gutted. It's not that I would want to be a stay at home Mom forever, I just don't feel like I'm ready to leave her yet. People keep telling me that the socialization aspect of daycare will be good for her and while I do agree, it's not like she doesn't have the opportunity to socialize when she's home with me. We are out doing activities and play groups at least 3 days a week. Plus, sooner than later she'd be in school and sports which would provide all the socialization she needs. I'll admit there will be aspects of daycare that will be beneficial for her. I'm sure she will enjoy it overall. But if I had a choice and money were no object, I wouldn't be sending her. We had to start paying in June to secure our spot for August, so we are taking full advantage of the $800/month we are paying and will be taking her over the next two months so she can slowly get used to it before she has to spend a full day. We've already spent a couple hours there together and she's been doing great. She loves to play with the other kids and all the new toys. She joined in the snack time and ate marshmallows for the first time. I'll start leaving her for half an hour or an hour starting next week. I have been feeling so anxious about leaving her that I've been struggling to be in the moment when we are home. I don't want to waste these last weeks together worrying about the future and will certainly do my best to enjoy them to the maximum. 

I should also say that I'm sure going back to work will be good for me in some ways. To get ready and dressed for work and go into my office and do adult things and have more me-time will be nice. I've always been the kind of person who gets a lot of personal fulfillment from my work and I need to nurture that part of me. That being said, I am spending as much time as I can running my non-profit so I don't feel desperate to get out of the house and go back to work so I can feel like I'm doing something other than parenting because I already get that fulfillment from mamas 4 mamas.

The other big change going on here is weaning. For the past few months I've been thinking about night weaning, and attempted it a few times, but I always gave in when the crying went on for too long. Paloma went through a phase from 8-10 months where she was often refusing food and was getting most of her calories from breastfeeding, so I didn't feel comfortable night weaning her when she was obviously hungry. Now, she eats like a champ and I know she can make it through the night without eating. When she was born, I had a goal to nurse her for a year minimum, but I was kind of hoping to make it to 2 years because that's what my midwife suggested. Breastfeeding is going so well for us, it makes me sad to stop. For some women, they want to wean because they've just had enough for one reason or another, but that's just not the case for me. Really, the only reason I am weaning her is to bring back my fertility/menstrual cycles so I can try again for another baby. I have a couple friends who said it took around 6 months for their periods to come back regularly after weaning. Since I'm hoping to start treatments again in the winter, I feel like the time is ticking to bring back my cycles. 

My plan of attack is to start with the night weaning. I always put her down for the night in the crib and then bring her into my bed on the first wake up. When she was not eating many solids she was up and down, up and down all night long until I couldn't take it anymore and brought her into my bed and I found myself reluctantly bed sharing. Now, I have come to like sleeping next to her, Or at least, I've gotten used to it and I don't feel motivated to change it right now. I like starting her out in her crib though, so Andino and I can do things around the house and I don't have to worry about her falling. Usually, I'd nurse her when I brought her into my bed and then at least twice more before morning. To get her off the boob at night, I decided to offer her pumped milk in a cup instead. I figured if she really was hungry, she'd take the milk. The first night we started the weaning process, she woke up around midnight and when I brought her into my bed, I snuggled her, patted her back, rolled over and ignored her. I tried all my usual tricks but she wasn't falling for them and was quite upset that I wasn't nursing her. I kept offering her the cup of milk but she was pushing it away. She cried for about an hour and it was really tough but I held onto my guns because I knew the first night would be the hardest. She kept crawling on top of me and grabbing my boobs. Eventually, she accepted the cup of milk and took about 10 gulps and fell asleep with her head on my stomach. She slept through until morning (6ish) Nights 2 & 3 went much better. She woke at the same time as usual (between midnight and 1 a.m.) I brought her into my bed and she whined a bit but accepted the cup of milk fairly easily and then fell asleep. Both nights she woke once before morning for a few sips of milk. Soon, I'll offer her water in the cup instead of milk. 

Once we have accomplished night weaning, I'll take on the day. I don't think that will be as hard because she is easily distracted. The hardest nursing session to stop will be when I nurse her to sleep at night. That will be the last nursing session to go and I'm sure I'll be more emotional when I attempt to end that. I will try to wean her completely as quickly as possible without making it super difficult on her. I feel like it would be easier on me that way to just get it over with instead of dragging it out. 

Despite these things that are making me feel anxious and emotional, I am determined to do my best to enjoy every last minute of my summer with Paloma.

6 comments:

  1. Lots of changes on the horizon. I remember all too well how difficult those first days of daycare were. After all, we had our routine. But seeing the Beats now, I know they've benefitted and they have their first set of friends where the relationship is due to them initiating it (and I'm having to learn how to make friends with the parents). So it's been a growing experience.

    Good luck with the weaning. It sucks that you have to do it for fertility.

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  2. At first I had a difficult time nursing as well, but came to love it, and I didn't want stop until 18 or 24 months as WHO recommends. It's a tough thing emotionally, because it feels like your baby doesn't need you anymore. Truth be told, they'll always need their Mamas in one way or another, just as much as we need them. It brings smiles, and tears to watch your little one grow. :)

    I know you'll enjoy your summer!

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  3. I've been touring a few daycares during the last week or two, and just found one that we really like where we can pre-register Q and not have to worry about a waiting list for next spring. But now I have to decide if I want to start him there a month before I go back to work just to get him used to it, or go cold turkey in April. I can only imagine how stressed you are with this issue looming so soon! But try not to let it ruin your summer...you still have lots of time with Paloma. (Also, crazy jealous how affordable your daycare is...our cost will be almost double that in Toronto!)

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  4. Big changes are so stressful even when you know there are positive aspects to them. Sounds like you have a good work environment to return to and Paloma is liking daycare. Although, thinking about spending most of the waking hours apart is absolutely heart wrenching no matter what. We also recently dove into night weaning at least partially. That first night of almost an hour of crying was so tough. I forgot all about the option of offering a cup, good idea. One book I read recommended night weaning at only 6 weeks. I can't even imagine!

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  5. So far we only use daycare once a week, but even that was hard. I was so glad it was my husband dropping them off those first few times because I would have had such a hard time leaving. Now I'm so used to it, it's not a big deal. They are so excited to play, they don't even look back when we leave. I think once you know they enjoy it and are being taken care of, it gets easier. I think easing into it is a good idea, too. I know for me, sending them full time is going to be sooo much easier since we have been doing the part time thing for so long.
    On another note, when I stopped pumping at about 8 months, my period came back within a few weeks and was totally regular from then on. I expected it to take longer to get back to normal. So, you never know.

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  6. I've been reading. Usually with my left hand holding the phone while re baby swipes at it behind his head while he nurses. So commenting has been quite a challenge. 😉 change is always so tough. Good, bad - doesn't matter. You've got a good head on your shoulders. You'll be great. So will Paloma. Who, by the way, is what!!!! One!!??? Oh I remember yesterday you were sitting on a beach in Mexico trying to find your way to her. Time flies. What a blessing.

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