We weren't sure we were gonna make it there for a while, but we do still, in fact, reside in the land of the living.
My gods, what an ordeal, though. I see it's been over three weeks since I posted. Three weeks! Last I checked in, the babies were sick and I was still on antibiotics and we weren't nursing and everything was basically one huge clusterfuck. That horrendous virus they had ended up lingering for over two weeks... Their fevers just kept coming back day after day and they were a mess. To top it off, The Barbarian was out of town the entirety of that second work week, so for four nights, it was just me and two incredibly sick babies. I'll give you just a moment to imagine how amazingly fantastic that was. No, no. Take your time. I'll wait.
SO. Now that you've imagined what that might have been like for us, you will probably maybe completely (or at least somewhat) understand my decision to restart nursing just for sleeps again. When I made the decision to wean them completely when faced with a necessary antibiotics course, I never imagined they'd get sick days later. I never then imagined they'd STILL be sick once I was done with the antibiotics. And I also didn't think my boobs would just apparently NOT get the memo after 10 days. Assholes. So still painfully engorged with two sick and miserable children and no partner, we fucking nursed. I'm pretty sure we would not have survived that week without it. We barely made it through even with the nursing. The sight The Barbarian came home to was not pretty. Poor bastard was still sick as well and had been miserable himself all week. He was so extraordinarily busy and we were so extraordinarily pathetic that, combined with the time change, we didn't even get a chance to FaceTime AT ALL while he was gone. Basically, the week was shit. Plain and simple. And stinky.
It wasn't until midweek last week that they really, truly were feeling better, and they've been working on making up for lost sleep (and definitely going through a growth spurt, as they are constantly eating) since then. Oh, and nursing. Just for sleeps, yes. But for the entirety of sleeps. Which had still been the case for naps before the weaning, but we had them mostly night-weaned at that point and, well, yeah. What I feared might happen if we restarted nursing absolutely happened--we were back to nursing ALL NIGHT. Ummmmmm, and it SUCKED. Nursing a cute, little, squishy baby all night is one thing. Nursing a still cute, yet large and impolite toddler is quite another. Double that, so that you're hemmed in and can't move or get comfortable because you either have one or more toddlers attached to your person, or you're afraid to move and jostle them when they do finally unlatch for fear they'll wake up and go right back to nursing...and, well... Let's just say it's even worse than it sounds. And I mean that.
So we made the decision to bite the bullet and not only night-wean them again, as well as wean them off nursing for the entirety of nap, but wean them from actually falling asleep while nursing at all. Ever. Because Mama is DONE. I am happy to continue nursing them. I am actually really happy (we all are, The Barbarian included) we started nursing again and can now wean for good on our own terms. But I am absolutely ready to start setting some boundaries when it comes to this ultimately still phenomenal relationship we have going. I love my babies and I love nursing them. But I do NOT love nursing them all night. Nor do I love having to set aside so many hours of my time every day to get them to nap. It's just not tenable at this point. Like, AT ALL.
But finding a time to actually set this new plan in motion was complicated. We preferably needed to start it on a weekend, as the first few nights would undoubtedly be the worst, and we wouldn't want The Barbarian to be a zombie at work. (Seriously, who wants to work with a barbarian zombie? Run-of-the-mill zombie, sure. But barbarian zombie? My gods, people. The horror!) But in order to have him available to help sort of seal the deal, we needed a free weekend followed by a week when he wasn't out of town--and those stars don't align till next month, unfortunately. At first, I was totally willing to just wait till the time seemed right. But it didn't take long before I realized I just. couldn't. do. it. any. more.
So even though The Barbarian was out of town this past week, I said, fuck it. Let's go bowling.
Wait. No. That wasn't it.
What I actually said was, fuck it, let's make a kind of crap week solo with the wee folk even more awesome by refusing to nurse them to sleep anymore. That was it.
And you know what? We survived. Are they (we?) going to sleep easily and sleeping through the night and waking up happy and napping like champs and all that? Fuck no. Do I still have to lie down with them for the entirety of nap and nighttime and get pummeled for my efforts as they flop around like leaden fish while trying to fall asleep? Yes. Do I have the bruises to prove it? Yes. Yes, I do. The one just below my right eyebrow that narrowly missed being an awesome shiner is especially...awesome. Did I resort to offering them pacifiers at 20 months old in an attempt to help them fall asleep while sucking on something like they're used to? You fucking betcha. And they take them sometimes, too. They even fall asleep with them in their mouths sometimes. And you know what? Future battles be damned. I think they look adorable. There. I said it.
So there you have it. My most sincere apologies for not posting sooner, but now you have a brief glimpse into what our lives have been like these past few weeks. No less awesome than usual, because seriously, one could do worse than our collective life. Just much more not awesome than usual.
There's a difference.
One involves just basic toddler shenanigans--and one involves things like massive poopy blowouts after being fed lots of pears to make up for the sickie banana diet demanded by tiny humans who don't know any better, facilitated by adults who should know better, and putting in ear plugs so that the toddler screaming right next to you in bed while you refuse to nurse him to sleep is surprisingly much more tolerable to listen to while you "ignore" him and pretend to go to sleep yourself.
So, basically... I'll take the basic toddler shenanigans for $500.
Please and thank you.