Okay, I recently wrote a post about still breastfeeding my two year old. And.. the fact that I am still nursing him despite being deep into my second trimester of pregnancy. I'm coming up on 24 weeks right now. Breastfeeding during pregnancy has been hard and not always what I expected.
The most difficult time for me was about a month ago when my son's two year molars were coming in. Wow! These molars were a beast. I am sure every child is different because I don't even recall when my daughters came in. It was pretty much a non issue so I suppose she handled it well. My son on the other hand started waking up every single night, multiple times a night, screaming and crying and refusing to settle down. During the day he was miserable and tired and generally not himself at all. This started at the end of November and lasted a month! Yes a month.
My son has been sleeping through the night in his own bed for over a year so imagine my dismay when nightly wakeups started occurring. And all he wanted to do was nurse. For hours. This also coincided with my most painful point breastfeeding during my pregnancy. So on top of being exhausted from being up half the night, breastfeeding was painful and the whole experience was a bit torturous.
I tried nursing him back to sleep in his room, I tried cosleeping, I did a combination of both. I was not sure if this was a sleep regression or something else. Despite always trusting my instincts and not believing in sleep training at all, I tried letting him cry some. I second guessed myself and wondered if I somehow screwed up his sleep (even though I advise women all the time that this is not possible and that babies outgrow the need to nurse to sleep).
In addition to the wakeups, he suddenly wanted to nurse to sleep every night and freaked out if I left while he was still awake. Before this I had been nursing him a few minutes and leaving him awake to fall asleep on his own for about a year. So what gives?
I wasn't sure what the issue could be until it occurred to me to look for molars. He had all of of his teeth except for that last set of molars. Two on top and two on the bottom. And sure enough when I checked I could see his bottom molars coming in. It's hard to get a good view but I found a way to pry his mouth open. By the time I checked we had been dealing with disrupted sleep for two weeks or so. I could see one molar completely out and another one poking through. Woohoo, I had an answer to my disrupted sleep. Even if it's torturous getting up all night, knowing the reason why is kind of a relief right? But then I wondered how long is this going to last?
It ended up being a full month. Yep, a whole month of two year molar torture. As I said above, my daughter did not have this experience, and according to my pediatrician and random articles on the internet the pain should only last a few days. Ha. Well I know better now. I checked that second molar every day and I could see it making it's way slowly through the gum. It was slow and for my son it was painful.
So I did what I needed to do to get through it. I put my son to bed in his room and I let him sleep with me when he woke. It was the best way to get the most sleep. I nursed him as much as I could stand it. It seemed comforting to him during teething. He was barely nursing anymore before this incident and it seemed almost like cluster feeding again. Nursing was painful for me while pregnant, so I had to limit it when it became too much. It was a phase and we moved on through it. The tooth finally emerged. He went back to sleeping through the night in his room. He still wakes occasionally, he has been sick a couple of times since then and I am sure that is why, but for the most part he is back to normal.
He has not gotten his top molars yet though. I wonder when they will come and figure it's right around the corner. I admit, I am scared. Super scared. At least these are the last ones right?