Thank you all for your support, commiseration, and advice! I think I may have hit upon a solution to my nighttime nursing sleeplessness.
Ellen sent me an article about co-sleeping that turned out to be very helpful, though not because of the advice in offered in ending night nursing.
The doctor in the article reinforced my belief that co-sleeping and night nursing is good. He also used a phrase that inspired me; “I love the family bed, child-led weaning and cuddling all through the first, second, third year or more if it’s working well and if the family is doing well.”
It was the word cuddling. Every night, Otter has been trying to get closer and closer to me, and I have been pushing him back to the middle of the bed so I can get some sleep.
Last night, I tried cuddling. When I came into bed, Otter woke up and began to protest as usual. Instead of nursing him and pushing him over, I simply snuggled him up to me and closed my eyes. He talked a little, wiggled a bit, and then fell asleep.
All night long, whenever he woke to nurse, I would nurse him, and then cuddle up to him to sleep.
We slept a lot. In fact, we slept an hour later than normal. Instead of being patted and petted and smacked and yanked on all night, I was cuddled around a soft fuzzy baby head, and sleeping. He was warm and cozy, and apparently contented with the new arrangement.
I feel great! Not only did I get to sleep last night, but it was painless, and snuggly, and fun. The article helped me remember that I love co-sleeping because it’s warm and cuddly, not because it’s the best sleep of my life. I had forgotten to snuggle the baby. I hope my pro active approach to nighttime snuggles will continue to sooth the wakeful baby, and increase the amount of time I get to sleep.