I Thought the Baby Years Would Never End, but We Made It

Image Source: Thinkstock
Image Source: Thinkstock

One night I remember nursing my baby while I was in excruciating pain. I was starting the weaning process, but did not properly schedule it to ease back from nursing. Pumping didn’t help because I also developed a blockage along the way, so I became horribly engorged and I thought I was going to die.

I seriously would rather have given birth all over again instead of feeling the pain I was going through. Even wearing a shirt was painful and too much pressure to bear on my tender chest. On the advice from my nurse, I even filled two new baby diapers with warm water and taped them around my chest as a hot compress to help ease the pain.

I was so miserable. The only thing that relieved all of the pressure was letting my baby nurse through it. But he had a vigorous suction and often turned his head quickly to unlatch, and it hurt so bad I wanted to scream.

I remember sitting in my living room recliner with my baby laying on the nursing pillow as I continued to nurse and try to heal several days later. I loved him with all my heart and I loved hearing his little coos, but at the same time I was wondering, Will this stage of life ever end?

But we made it.

Three years have flown by since then and now I find myself looking back. It seems like a lifetime ago, but I remember it well. All of the beauty of it, and all of the hard times …

I remember everything it took just to leave the house back then. I would plan around his nursing and nap schedule, pack up the enormous diaper bag and enormous stroller and carry him around in his carseat. He was a hefty baby, 9 lbs. 6 oz. when he was born, so he was a nice big bundle. But now? He’s potty trained and doesn’t need a bag anymore. He walks and climbs up to his carseat by himself and can get his own seatbelt fastened. I didn’t think we’d ever get here.

But we made it.

I was up every night at least twice until he was 2 years old. He wouldn’t take a pacifier — it was breast, bottle, or bust for this baby. I wondered, Is he ever going to sleep through the night?

But we made it.

Soon after he turned 2, he was climbing out of his crib and sneaking into bed with us. And it was the same after he got a big boy bed. I wondered, Is he ever going to stay and sleep in his own bed?

But we made it.

Before I discovered the amazing laundry-basket trick for bath time, I would crouch over the edge of the tub, straining my back to hold him and make sure he didn’t go under in the bath. I thought, Is he ever going to be able to hold his own in the bath tub?

But we made it.

When he was 2, he tantrumed every single time I took him to the dentist, to get a haircut, to the church nursery, or to a Mother’s Day Out program. After the first several times we went, I felt like a terrible mother. I wondered, Is he ever going to be okay with these things and will this mom guilt ever end?

I’m still working on the mom guilt, but we made it.

I used to cringe every time I watched my precious toddler climb the ladder up to the treehouse. I was so worried he would fall and get hurt and it was hard to watch. I thought to myself, Am I ever going to let him be a kid and explore?

I’m slowly learning to give him some guided freedom without hovering. We made it.

He no longer speaks in a language only mom understands. His words gradually became more clear with context and meaning and I no longer have to translate words like “ceeyo” or “kween” (cereal and clean).

We made it.

I’m not saying that I don’t miss my boys’ babyhoods. I will always remember their sweet baby noises and coos as I rocked them to sleep. Their first smiles, their first laughs, the first time they rolled over, and their first steps. I miss dressing them in cute baby clothes and being able to carry them easily.

And I’m not saying I don’t coo myself as I see brand new babies in grocery stores and school events. I cherished so much about them as they laid softly in my arms and I nursed them and helped them learn to crawl and walk.

But I’m also really gunning for the next stage. We are headed straight for the big kid stage and I am excited for what that brings. Where everyone walks, talks, and pees in the potty.

I hear this is the stage where things kick into overdrive and seem to go a lot faster as they head to school, so I will keep my eyes and my heart open.

So hang in there, parents. The tides will turn. Painful engorgements pass. Weaning passes. Teething passes. Up-all-night passes, tantrums and potty training too. I never thought we’d get here.

But we made it.

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Article Posted 3 years Ago

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