Thursday, August 4, 2016

On turning two.


Theo is officially two years old. For his birthday, we went with my sister and her husband up to a cabin on Lake Roosevelt. We played on the beach and rode in the boat and saw wild horses and deer and little tiny baby frogs. Theo loved seeing a waterfall from the boat. Now that he is two, he is really not my baby anymore! His baby years went by far too quickly and now my mind is on overdrive with questions. When will we begin weaning? Should I transition his crib to be a toddler bed? Should we have another baby?

Weaning has been on my mind for a few months. With Coco, I never had to wean her. I got pregnant with Theo, and once I had entered the second trimester, my milk stopped producing and that was that. She was not happy about it and complained "milk's not working!" but got over it really quickly and stopped trying. I was secretly relieved because I had no desire to tandem nurse and the process of weaning completely freaked me out.

Now, here I am. Weaning still completely freaks me out. How on earth do I do this? How long does it normally take? I'm so exhausted. I really think it's time.


Another terrifying development of late is that Theo is very close to being able to climb out of his crib. Obviously we have to change his bed into a toddler bed before that happens. But, obviously we also want to keep him in a crib as long as possible. Sleepy toddlers should not have access to roam freely about the house in the dark. So, when do we do it? And is it going to make bedtime even more difficult? (Don't answer that;)


The baby question is the hardest one of all. We are so lucky to have one boy and one girl, and they're both ridiculously beautiful and healthy. My pelvic floor is still intact! Sometimes I think I couldn't possibly have the energy for another one. And it is certainly a huge expense. But then I think about how much I loved being pregnant, and the incredible wonder of giving birth, the magic of those newborn days and how awesome it is to breastfeed a tiny baby. I remember the little noises they make and the quiet moments nursing in the middle of the night. Swaddling, wearing the baby in a wrap, chubby thighs! Life is short. We get one shot at this crazy, beautiful experience. Why on earth would I forgo the experience of having another baby when I want one? Still, it's a tough call. We will just have to wait and see on that one. I have no desire to get pregnant right now, and this upcoming year is going to be busy and hectic. Plus, I'm almost feeling fit and strong again, but my body needs just a bit more time to recover fully from 9 lbs, 10 oz Theo! However, after that, in the intervening years before 40, I'll have a little window of time left. How on earth did it all go by so quickly? I'm not sure I'm ready for this time to be over. So here is my promise to myself: If I find myself desperate to have a baby before that window of opportunity closes, then we will. We totally will. But, no fretting for the moment. We'll just have to wait and see how we feel when we get there.

How do you handle the transitions your baby goes through? Are you excited with each new phase and passing milestone, or are you searching for the pause button like me?

13 comments:

  1. I swap between anticipating the sleep and freedom that comes with school-aged children and savouring the deliciousness of these years with littles.

    In regards to your queries... one advantage of weaning a toddler is that you can explain. If they are down to just one or two habit nurses (as opposed to nutritional or functional.. like a full meal or nursing to sleep), you can choose a day not too far away and say that the "mama milk" will be all done then. For us,it was a total non issue with this approach, but different temperament kids will probably have very different responses.

    As for the bed, it may be that he will still call if you have a crib that converts into a bed. That happened for months with our first, perhaps out of habit. But what we did just in case was put a baby gate on the bedroom doorway, figuring that even if it could be climbed over, it would take enough time and make enough noise that we would hear on the monitor.

    Best wishes with these big transitions!

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    1. I love this! Fingers crossed that he will stay in there and call for me instead of climbing out. I think a really strong gate on their bedroom door might solve a lot of our nighttime woes. Thanks for the pep talk!!! :) And I couldn't agree more on the freedom vs savoring. It's a process of change, always.

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  2. I have 15 month old twins, and I, too, feel like I'm juuuust getting back to feeling strong, normal, healthy. But my husband really wants more kids, and while I'm on the fence about it, I'm also 36, so I feel like we don't have a whooooole lot of time for me to decide. On one hand, I would love to have another 10 month old, but the other hand is getting there, and I don't know about that. I hated being pregnant, hated breast feeding, had terrible post-partum depression, and have just now started almost somewhat regularly sleeping through the night (which stopped when I was about 3 months pregnant). All of that? Well, I am not so sure about doing that again! I think I would happily rush through all of that with another child to get to where we are now! I do feel, though, that whatever we decide will be the right choice for our family, just as your decision will be the right choice for yours!

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    1. Just remember that every pregnancy, birth, postpartum experience and child are different... It's hard to believe, but it's true. You could have a really great time of it! :) I definitely loved being pregnant with Coco more than Theo. His was a harder pregnancy. But, it was still magical to have that gigantic belly and feel those kicks. Oh man!

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  3. I have so many thoughts lately about a #3. I always imagined 3 would be my number. Like you, I have a healthy boy and girl. I'm "only" 32 but it still feels like a risk to me. Also our son is extremely strong willed--I can't imagine throwing a newborn into the mix. But, he's also the notorious age 3 so maybe at 4 that would ease up. I don't know!

    I have a very difficult time the whole first year. I struggle to breastfeed and have enormous guilt about that and the lack of sleep and hormones just level me.

    I also think in terms of an eventual return to Switzerland and how that would be with a larger family and all that extra expense. Yet...I find myself tearing up looking at how big they both are and closing the chapter on these baby years...I can't bring myself to say it!

    I'm envious you made it breastfeeding two years. I only ever had 9 and 4 months with my two and it was fraught with many challenges. So, kudos!

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    1. Hi, Kristin! For what it's worth...I'm 36 and my husband is 41. We went to see a genetic counselor since we're considering more, and we were told that, at our age, the risk of genetic defects isn't any higher than the norm!

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    2. I feel like three is our number, too. It's really silly, but I had two different psychics tell me that - one was a palm reader on the street in Brooklyn, and one was a guy I had a call with after a friend had an awesome experience. I mostly did it for fun, but a lot of what he said has happened. That could purely be the power of suggestion! I told you it was silly!! ;)

      Don't feel bad about the breastfeeding. Any amount of breastfeeding beyond two weeks is a huge success if you ask me! I'm still sad and disappointed I didn't manage to have a drug-free birth. It's ridiculous to focus on our shortcomings, but we all seem to do it. You did great! You're doing great! Bravo, Kristin!!! xo

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  4. Such adorable pics of your little bear! :)

    I find it so incredible how we all experience motherhood in such vastly different ways. It just boggles my mind that we can be so different, when in some ways I feel we are quite similar. If I could give birth to a two year old, I'd be doing it again and again! You say, that you loved being pregnant, the 'magic of those newborn days and how awesome it is to breastfeed a tiny baby. I remember the little noises they make and the quiet moments nursing in the middle of the night.' GOD how different our experiences are! I remember repeatedly saying to my husband when I was pregnant with my second that there is NO WAY this is ever happening again. My body hated it, though theoretically everything was fine... but it was just soooo hard. And then the newborn-ness?? I wonder how different things would be if my feeding problems weren't there,though. Maybe I'd also feel all this, and not anxiety that every whimper was hunger, etc. I just adore this time now when they are coming into themselves and I'm really getting to discover who my little baby actually is... :D

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  5. I find this really amazing, too. Now that Theo is flexing his muscles and using the word NO often, climbing on the table, and pitching fits when he doesn't get his way, I'm sad. We are entering toddlerdom, and it's trying. I am in awe that you would rather give birth to a two year old. It's incredible!!! It is truly vastly different as you say. ;)

    It may have been the feeding difficulties, or not. I wouldn't read too much into it. For me, caring for a newborn was one of the first things I felt totally confident and good at. I was reflecting early this morning (when Theo woke me up to nurse!) that I really haven't had a career, and I feel really insufficient for that. I love Montessori and I love children and all of the theory and development stuff. But, I never felt like it was my true calling. It was a job I was good at and enjoyed, but still just a job. With being a mom to a newborn, I felt really fulfilled and competent and skilled and it's been awesome. Toddlers confuse me to tears, though! HA! They're great, of course, but that newborn time, it really is my favorite.

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  6. I LOVE the idea of THREE babies, but honestly, our little family feels so complete with the 4 of us that I am so content with two. I think you are going to have a third, Lindsey. I just feel it and I don't even know you!

    As for weaning, I also LOVE the idea of a child weaning him or herself. But that takes same major sacrifice. I weaned my first when he was 21 months old after I started my Montessori training. The summer before I started school, he was only nursing to go to bed at night and a couple of times in the middle of the night. I knew I wouldn't be able to deal with that anymore once school started so I cut out the night feedings cold turkey. He fussed a bit, but I would rub his back and he would fall back asleep. Then a month into school, I told him "Tonight is the last night for milkies." I nursed him to sleep and that was that. I was afraid the next night he would ask for milkies, but nope. He didn't seem to care and never asked again. Part of me wondered if he was just doing it for me! haha! All together it probably took about 6 months of gradually weaning him because I started out by cutting out his "nursing snacks", then nursing to afternoon nap, then night nursing, and finally the bedtime nursing. I never experiences any engorgement or pain weaning so gradually. I guess my advice is to do it gradually. Good luck to you!

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    1. Oh that is the most lovely weaning story I've ever heard! How slow and gradual and painless for you both. It sounds like you did it just perfectly. I'm definitely going to take your advice on the gradual cutting out. Thank you so much! And - we'll see about the third baby. Still seems nice to have a newborn babe to love and hold...time will tell! ;)

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