Monday, March 24, 2014

One day at a time

That's definitely how we're proceeding here. 

We are over 72 hours into our new life of no nursing, and I am happy to report we have all survived thus far.

But that's about the extent of the good news. We're surviving. Our thriving has been put on hold.

To say world-shattering sadness has ruled our house these past three days just doesn't even begin to describe our reality. Having my children beg for the most integral part of their lives thus far, the part only I can give them, yet the part they will now forever have to do without, is like nothing I've ever experienced. It's tragic. It's literally the worst thing ever.

Hyperbole, much? Yes. But? ALSO, YES.

I've chosen to be completely honest with them. I've explained that mama has an owie and has to take medicine that makes my milk yucky, so we can't nurse anymore. The first time I told them this, they really seemed to stop and attempt to process it, especially The Goblin Queen. And for a large chunk of that day, she would go to ask to nurse but actually stop herself as she remembered that she couldn't. It was pretty amazing. But as the day wore on into night, the surprisingly mature self-control waned, and that night, I experienced her scream and throw a fit--arching her little back and throwing herself around--like I have never witnessed before. 

It fucking SUCKED.

King Toad Agooga, on the other hand, is mostly just sad. So very, very sad. And his brand of sad is just heartbreaking. We always joked when they were super tiny that when he was unhappy, his cries just sounded SO sad and his little face just looked SO sad. It crushed your very soul to look at him and hear that pathetic sound. Yet TGQ just looked and sounded angry. Like an angry cat. Exactly like an angry cat, in fact. Doting parents that we are, we even called her that and frequently asked her why in the world she was just. so. angry. In these moments she's always reminded me of quite possibly my favourite Little Critter book (and I was a big fan), I Was So Mad. Funny that that was my favourite one. Hmmm. (Apparently her and I have a lot in common. I don't see it, of course, but this is what they tell me.)

These temperaments have remained the same and obviously affect the way they're dealing with this ultimate disruption in our lives. The very angry goblin screams. A lot. She screams at me specifically. Often when I hold her, she just sits in my lap facing me and screams at me. I let her. It's horrible. But I let her. I get it. I would scream at me, too. And the very sad toad cries and cries. He prefers The Barbarian to hold and cuddle him and put him to sleep. When he does let me hold him, he asks to nurse with a face full of hopefulness tinged with a knowing, a knowing that I'll say no. And when I do, he shakes his head violently, scrunches up his adorable face, turns his little body away from me, and utters his "engh, engh, engh" noise that signifies disagreement and disappointment. This happens a couple more times before he finally either gets down to find The Barbarian or, on rare occasions, actually lets me cuddle him. I always offer the cuddles. I tell him we can't nurse, but Mama will always cuddle him. ALWAYS.

I'm so happy when he lets me. I miss cuddling with them. I miss it SO much. It dawned on me yesterday how much we haven't cuddled these past few days. I mostly have to seek out the closeness now, and it's often, understandably, not good enough for them to just cuddle. It's too close to what they really want without being anywhere NEAR what they really want. It's almost offensive to them in some ways. And not taking it personally is an enormous struggle for me. I literally feel like they don't like me much of the time. Of course that's ridiculousness itself. But knowing that doesn't help that feeling go away. At all.

But I will say that things are getting easier as the days pass. They don't ask to nurse very much at all during the day now, and TGQ especially continues to go to ask and then stop herself. And KTA does look at the boobies sometimes and then force himself to look away without asking. I'm truly in awe of them.

Bedtime is hard, but not nearly as hard as mornings. Mornings are the absolute worst part of our day. They're sleeping impressively well overnight, but by about 6:30, they wake up for good and are immediately reminded that their nightmare is real. There's no nursing to wake up to. There will be no nursing all day. Ever again. So they cry and scream. A lot. 

And because this is the absolute most tragic part of their lives to date, I find myself wanting to spoil them and do things we don't normally do. They're allowed to watch shows or a movie when they get up now. It calms them down and helps take their minds off the sheer disappointment of waking up yet again to this stupid, unfair reality. Also, not having ever found a milk they like, I caved and bought some vanilla soy milk and was super stoked when they drank some. TGQ likes it much more than KTA, but we'll keep trying. And we started giving them bottles in the morning. No, I don't want them to get attached to bottles at 19 months, but in the midst of this upheaval, they can have some godsdamn bottles if they want. As I've mentioned, though, they've never been fans and KTA mostly wants nothing to do with it. TGQ, however, has taken to it a bit, and when I ask her if she wants milk, she nods and proceeds to play around with it and drink at least some. It makes me happy. It makes me feel better if she can find something to replace nursing. Even if it's the equivalent of being served a single shaving of chocolate in a plastic bottle cap when you were really in the mood for an entire fancy, layered chocolate cake on a sparkly platter. Because...clearly...boobs are like sparkly platters and breastmilk tastes like...chocolate? Whatever.  


Today is our first day without the constant presence and support of The Barbarian, and my small triumph thus far is the fact that I got them both to sleep on my own without nursing. Yay. We're, of course, now all stuck together in the glider because there's no way I can even attempt to get up and transfer them without them waking and crying. But you know what? 

I'll fucking take it.

One day at a time, folks.

One. Day. At. A. Time.  

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