Wednesday, October 10, 2012


I had a weekend in Santa Fe planned with my college besties in late October that I cancelled.  I had been looking forward to it for a year when the idea that our 16 years of friendship needed celebration, and I anticipated a year ago that I would be ready for my first nights away from Marguerite.  And here we are, October, and I couldn't follow through.  I didn't feel ready.  I couldn't picture my little family without me for three nights.  My night shifts had become almost as intensive in caring for my daughters as our waking hours - which made me feel indispensable.  "How would they make it through a night without me?" was the question that kept repeating itself.  The question that I listened to less was, "how will I make it through another night of limited sleep?  How will I ever get this so-called baby to stop night nursing the shit out of me?" 

I flipped through my Dr. Sear's book in the sleepless early morning hours only to find unrealistic advice akin to "honor the father by allowing him to comfort the baby back to sleep" that left Drew and I making endless jokes about how we could better honor him. 

The thing to do is leave for a weekend.  But still, I couldn't do it.  24 hours ago I reached my breaking point on the heals of the previous night where she woke constantly and I slept little.  I told her that I didn't have any more milk and that she needed to go to sleep.  She wailed, hit me, stomped her feet, beat her head against the door, threw things.  She flipped her shit like I didn't know was possible.  She finally let me come to her, crumpled in a corner of her room, huffing for air.  A pathetic heap.  I gathered her up in my flannel robe.  We went downstairs and I sang to her and paced with her.  She held her arms tight around me and pressed her face into mine.  She asked to lay on the couch.  We laid together for an hour.  She was still, eyes wide open.  Thinking hard and taking it all in.  At 2:30 a.m. she finally looked at me.  She said, "it's okay mama.  I okay" and closed her eyes into sleep.

We did it.  It's done now.  What I know now is that she and I had to go through that together.   She could have done it without me, but I learned how to be there in a different way which is something I couldn't glean from a book or from the experience of others.  It came from her breath, her eyes, her words, our tears. 

1 comment:

  1. a friend steered me your way after reading this post and being reminded of me and my recent decision to (start) night weaning my daughter of 2 1/2+ years. still no nights away yet for me, but we are getting closer to it, I think. I enjoyed reading your story.