Peeper has a stuffy nose, so last night, she had me turn on the humidifier, then got the prop-up pillow and sat up while I read, and when it was time to go to sleep, she stayed propped up on the pillow and let me sing to her (which I rarely) instead of snuggling up and nursing.
I’m sure she would’ve nursed if I’d suggested it, but I was waiting to see if she asked. It took quite a serenade worth of summer camp songs, but by the time I got to Kumbaya, she was snoring.
After I took her to pee (and change jammies and bedding) she went right back to sleep (usually does). She woke and whimpered and coughed and sniffled a few times, but never enough for me to have to go get in bed with her. At 6:58 this morning (weekday clock goes off at 7 am) she called out, and when I went in, she asked me, “What’s that noise?!” I told her it was the humidifier, being louder because it was out of water. She said, “Oh. I thought it was a fan,” and hopped out of bed. I asked if she wanted me to lie down with her, “No, I’m getting up.”
Shrike got up with her and let me sleep in (thanks Honey!) and says that she nonchalantly mentioned, “I went to sleep without goody last night.”
And woke up without it this morning, too!
She nursed for about two minutes this afternoon, when we were all snugging in bed (probably wouldn’t have thought of it, otherwise). I had decided to just go with whatever she wanted, but man, when she got up and left just as I was letting down, I was very tempted to tell her to finish – and get the other side!
Then tonight, again with the prop-up pillow, and again she asked me to sing to her. I think I went through the songs in about the same order, and she fell asleep at pretty much the same point in the concert. Again without nursing.
So, that’s about two minutes worth of nursing in the past, oh, thirty-six hours or so?
That’s very different for her.
Usually, she always nurses to sleep, and I typically find myself in her bed well before morning, with her nursing off and on and for sure at wake-up time. Daytime is hit-or-miss, depending on what we’re up to that day.
A couple of times she’s gone twenty-four hours if she missed the morning session for some reason, or if I was away at bedtime, and she happened to sleep through until morning, but she has never gone to sleep without nursing if I was home – maybe once accidentally while Shrike was reading to her, but certainly not when I was in bed with her. And she has hasn’t gone longer than that since she was NPO for her open-heart surgery almost five years ago – and that really doesn’t count now, does it?
So, I don’t know if this is just a fluke, or if it’s the start of something – or, I suppose I should say, the end of something – or what.
For a while now, I’ve been doing, well, not exactly “don’t offer / don’t refuse” but let’s say “rarely offer, but sometimes assume and often delay if inconvenient.”
Lately, I’ve tried to wait at bedtime, to see if she asks – but she always does. Last night, though, when she didn’t seem to be asking, I thought I’d just see what happened if I didn’t bring it up. Tonight, when we turned off the light, I asked if she wanted my arm or what (usually she’s on my arm to nurse) and she lay on it for a bit then said, “I don’t want your arm,” and sat up on the prop-up pillow.
I don’t know what to think, and I’m really not sure how I feel about it. I’m pretty sure that if I offered, she wouldn’t say “No thanks,” but at this point – after all, she is well over five – it seems to make the most sense to just see what happens, I suppose. (That “child-led” thing, you know.)
But as much as I have been think (for a year or so now), “Seriously, is this child ever going to wean?!” the possibility of her actually doing it in the foreseeable future is a whole different thing, and rather a disturbing prospect, to be honest.
I do know that if she doesn’t want to nurse by the time I get in the shower in the morning, I’m going to need to do some hand expression. I’m not uncomfortable really, since she doesn’t usually nurse that often anyway, but I certainly don’t want to take a chance on a plugged duct or mastitis – or on impacting my supply, such as it is at this point, if this is just a weird fluke and she’s back on board tomorrow or the next day. But mostly that mastitis thing.
Of course, I do know that since I actually put this all down in pixels, that means that she’ll be waking up any minute now, crying for “goody” and nursing non-stop until morning.
Oh, that thing I said about not being uncomfortable? I’m definitely not engorged or anything like that, but I really need to stop talking, thinking, typing about it, because now my boobs are like, “What? Did someone say goody? Where’s that kid?!”
Which is kind of funny, because usually I don’t actually feel it when I let down – I haven’t in ages, either when she’s actually nursing or at random times. But you know when I do feel it? When I cuddle someone else’s newborn. Or eight-month-old, actually. I think I let down for Baby N pretty much every time I hold him.