Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The other side

All last week as my body was gently reminding me that it COULD still breastfeed, if I wanted to.  I resisted mightily, and now am officially on the other side!  I feel sad and excited at the same time.  Sam is such a big boy lately, eating and talking.  Just last week, he began to say "I like it" and "No like it," taking a new level of control over his own diet.

So what will  become of babyfood, the blog?  Looking back, there seems to have been a trajectory of shock, desperate search for answers, tons of research read, realization of the higher level of barriers (not just physical) I was caught in, and then finally, a sense of calm.   Last week, I went back and tagged my posts by baby's age so those mothering infants can find posts relevant to them.  I will continue to post about toddler feeding, especially as we enter the potentially picky-eating phase, and also reflect on my year and a half of baby feeding. 

I'm also thinking of two close friends who embarked on their own babyfeeding journey nearly the same day that I ended mine, sending them good luck and best wishes.

On to the next phase!  Thank you for sticking with me.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Letting go

I have just expressed the last breast milk for Samuel.  I feel the mix of pride and heartache that I now know is exclusive to mothers letting go of their children.  I felt it when he was born and his umbilical cord was cut, and I'm feeling it now for the second time, since once again he is no longer dependent on my body for survival.  I am sure I will feel it again and again throughout his life as he makes leaps toward independence, each one seeming to arrive too quickly and each one bigger than the last.  We're only just getting started.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Time to Retire

Samuel will be 20 months this Sunday, May 15.  It’s time to retire from pumping milk.

When he was two weeks old, I gave up nursing despite never having wanted anything more in my life, thinking formula would be it for us.  Then, I had some luck: the pump worked.  The first few months were difficult, seven or more sessions a day, literally hours stuck in a chair hooked up to a machine.  But it worked, and Sam got breast milk.

Then I got lucky again, in that I was able to donate extra milk to one adopted baby and again to a milk bank for premature and sick babies.

Even better, pumping got easier and I cut back to four, then three times a day, two.

Then, just last month, Sam stared eating some serious solid food.  I kept it to one pump for the past few weeks, getting a tiny bit of milk.  Sam kept eating, and he sprouted his eye teeth.  And last night, he ate a huge plate of food--fish, vegetables, cous cous--just ate like a champ.  This is the message I’ve been waiting for. 

 So, on May 15, I’ll call it quits.  My baby is a little boy now, healthy and smart, and I can only take a deep breath and appreciate how lucky I am. 

Sunday, May 8, 2011

One ounce of milk; Happy Mothers' Day

A few weeks ago, I reduced to one milk pumping session a day and saw a big decrease in supply--down to less than two ounces total.  I was a little sad, since I'd hoped to continue at once a day for a little while, but it just didn't seem worth it for so little.  But then, of course, I found myself reading about the benefits of even a tiny bit of breast milk per day.

From  "Even 50 ml of breastmilk per day (or less - there is little research on this) will help to keep your baby healthier than if he received none at all."  So, an ounce a day it is, for a little while longer! 

A second topic: today is Mothers' day.  My guys made today very special for me, and I've been thinking about how each of the people who are "moms" in my life have given me something very special--and how lucky I am to have THREE of these.