Oh how rough it has been nursing Rita! Everything that I read assured me that the third trimester would be easier, but it has become exponentially harder.
So last Thursday night I threw in the towel. I told Tyler that it wasn't worth it for both me and Rita to be miserable. On Friday morning when my sweet little Rita climbed in bed and began signing for milk (as usual) I quickly offered to get her some yogurt. I tried to use yogurt, her most favorite food next to cheese, as the "supplement" to nursing. After Thursday, I did not consent to nursing her. I couldn't take it anymore. Since about six or eight weeks pregnant I have had this strange feeling of repulsion when she nurses, horrid pain that makes me want to remove my nursing anatomy among other strange and extremely strong emotions. Never have I felt so primal before. Of course, there have been stretches of time (3-5 days) where suddenly all is well, but it has most consistently been so very difficult.
On Tuesday night, we started our bedtime routine and Rita was in the crankiest mood and totally anti-sleep. She would ask for Tyler if I was rocking her and vice versa. She was begging to have books read to her. When we would hold the book she would throw it on the floor or refuse to hear the story once we started reading - it was a torrent of emotions coming from a 20 pound toddler. None of these behaviors were in her character.
As I rocked her in my lap she wailed and wailed, pushing herself away from lying on my chest. It was then I realized why her nap schedule has gone out the window, why she is suddenly attached to the sippy-cup that most resembles a breast, among other "sudden" clingy behaviors. I had forced Rita to wean because it hurt me and because it frustrated me and because it was hard for me. Yes, I had considered her feelings, but ultimately I am an adult who is able to express myself in writing and speech. Rita is able to sign and speaks well, but she is not able to have a conversation with me about why she feels like she should be able to keep nursing. I can't explain to her that she is nursing too strongly. I can't explain that my milk is gone but only temporarily. I can tell her and yes she may understand some, but we can't openly communicate about whether to wean or not to wean.
So after talking it over with Tyler, amidst Rita's wailing, flipping, kicking and flailing, we decided to continue nursing. Now I know the grass isn't greener on the other side. Now I know even after five days of not nursing, my Rita still knows how to latch on.
The same emotions and problems that have accompanied this pregnancy from the beginning are still there, but I'm willing to try again every day. Making the sacrifice to nurse my sweet girl is a hard one, but I pray that I will be refined and molded into a better mother.
Have you nursed through pregnancy? Did you experience the soreness, tenderness and extreme emotions? Do you find yourself considering nursing through pregnancy as well as tandem nursing?
Today's post makes the 100th post on jambalaya (formerly Cajun Newlyweds)!