Sleepy. Have not been sleeping well for the past few nights. I was feeling unwell. Stomach was bloated. Phlegm was building. Body was achy. Head was giddy.
I dragged myself to work for the past two days due to attend a big bang meeting which I coordinated and to finish some reports which were long overdue. No fun when these symptoms coincide with PMS.
I have been wanted to document how I weaned No 4 off his night feeds. On 17 Mar 2015, the doctor at KK finally discharged the little boy. He was under observation since 6 month due to his bigger than normal head and slower development, especially in the area of speech.
His head circumference has been in the 95th percentile since 6 mo. The latest check at 3yo was still the same and his weight was in the 25th percentile. Small boy he is.
A year ago, the doctor suspected mild autism due to his intense interest in numbers and alphabets. 6 months ago, the autism concern was dispelled after the boy started to be able to respond to more questions, but the doctor ordered a hearing test just to be sure. We resisted the speech therapy suggested as we believed that he is really just slower in speech.
The boy really progressed in the last six months. He is now able to tell me what he wants quite clearly although he still ignores questions that he does not fancy answering. Very one kind.
The doctor asked him to draw a straight line. The boy looked at her unsurely. Of course la, I have not trained him to draw straight lines before! Anyway, so I wrote an A and a B on the paper and asked him to write a C. The boy obliged eagerly – at last some thing familar!
The doctor was startled and said No No cannot! That is for a 5 yo. 3 yo draws straight line. The man and I looked at each other with a “Why is she like dat?” look.
Anyway to cut the story short, the doctor was happy with the hearing test result and his speech development. A letter of discharge was issued. No more KK visits! Yeah!
I digress. Back to the weaning process.
On 20 April 2015, exactly 3 years and 10 days after the little boy was born, I embarked on my fifth attempt to wean him. Up to that day, the little boy demanded to be nursed to sleep each night, and waking up at various intervals during the nights to nurse, treating his mother like an on-demand pacifier. Hell would be let loose whenever I denied the auto access to his nay nay.
He would scream the house down in the middle of the night and that was not pleasant at all when I have to handle a sleep deprive spouse who has to wake up at 5am each morning to make breakfast and send the elder boy to the bus stop to take his morning bus to school. I took the easy way out for the longest period- give in.
I tried lime juice, bitter gourd juice and medicated oil. The first two had no effect. The boy just winced and continued nursing. The medicated oil was a repellant….
Yeah… for a good 5 mins. He did not take long to learn that the medicated oil would be less spicy after a while. Oh well, at least he learns fast.
That fateful day on 20 April 2015, a Monday. The little boy was cranky before he slept. He cried at the slightest irritation. Since he cried for some time, I thought he would be tired enough to fall asleep quickly. Maybe I can now reason with him that he needs to stop nursing, thought the naive me.
As expected, the little boy screamed and cried.
What was not expected was that he maintained at high gear from 11pm to 12.30am. He was so frustrated and angry that he was hammering me when I was laying down, alternating between screaming into my ears and kissing me with tears streaming down his cheeks. He fell asleep exhausted after making no progress with his pacifier. I was so tired and upset. I felt so sorry for myself that I allowed myself to be abused. The boy woke up at 2.30am and wanted to lift up my shirt. When told no, he screamed.
He proceeded to shower me with punches mercilessly. Suddenly he paused, and whimpered,”Ouch! Painful!” He then extended his hand to be and expected me to sayang his hands which just hammered me. Sigh. This boy ah.
This round was shorter and he fell asleep in 15mins after realising his mum meant business.
At 4.15am he jolted me up with his blood curling cries once more. He vented his fruatration for 15 mins and quietened down. He finally asked for water. Good sign.
He was pushing away the bottle away before that. He sipped and flipped over into sleep almost immediately.
I was so zombified in the morning. No sleep and mentally tortured by the pint size human being. I went to work and was so worried that I have to go through the same process that night. I was torn between giving in to his wants and persisting with the weaning. If I give in, my next attempt to wean will be many times this hellish night. If I persist, I am not sure I can last.
Luckily, that night, he was sort of cued in that he would not get his pacifier and stopped crying very soon. He only climbed on me to hug me possessively for a long while before sleep overcome him. He woke up a few times crying but all very short episodes. It only became better after that. Phew!
The boy who adapted and grew up! I am a slave mum to him.
No 3 who co-sleeps with us was such a sweetie pie during this torturing session. He could not sleep for obvious reason. “Didi wants to drink milk.” He said softly after observing his bawling brother quietly for a long time.
He laid quietly next to me when I had to hold the crying baby for a long time.
He finally fell asleep by himself without a complaint after I told him that I was “a bit” held up by his brother.
I just want to hold him tightly for being so supportive.
45 months of nursing since Rae’s birth. Tandam nursinh some more. I am amazed at the length. I have never thought I could last this long. I only did 18 months for the girl.
Did I mention that I strategically still offer both No 3 and No 4 milk during weekend naps? No choice, I needed them to sleep faster as they need to wake up before night fall for dinner. At least this will be it until my milk stop or my breasts lose their appeal.