Heads-up: this post isn't about autism. It isn't much about Moe at all, but it is what I'm feeling today, so I'm going with it. It is about breastfeeding, so if you don't want to read about that, I suggest you stop here.
When Moe was born, he wasn't a good nurser. He wasn't quite full term and was a very sleepy guy. Plus, I had no idea what I was doing. So breastfeeding was stressful, though I put a lot of pressure on myself to keep going. The plus side to this, however, was that he took a bottle right from the start. We started with one bottle at night of pumped milk. As time went on, that bottle became formula. Then I added a second bottle of formula during the day. With each bottle I added, I felt a sense of freedom and relief. I loved watching those ounces drain away, not having to guess how much my little guy was taking in. I stopped breastfeeding at about 4 1/2 months.
Jelly Belly, on the other hand, nursed like a champ. From the first time we tried, she latched right on. There were a few days where it was a little painful getting started, but after that, it was the easiest and most natural thing in the world. And this time I had the benefit of experience. So I planned two things. First, I would not pump. Second, we would introduce a bottle right away so Jeff could help feed her at night. Well, you know what they say about plans. I didn't ever pump. But Jelly would not take a bottle. We tried and tried, but she just didn't want it. Occasionally, she would take an ounce, but never more.
This hasn't been that much of a problem, but I'm going out of town for a weekend in October without the kids, and Jeff needs to be able to feed the baby. So last week, I decided I would start bottle feeding Jelly during the day. I figured if she was hungry enough, she would eventually eat. My plan was to feed her with a bottle during the day and then nurse for the night time feedings. (She's a really good sleeper and I didn't want to mess with bed time!) It worked like a charm. Unfortunately, it seems to be all or nothing with this girl. Now she doesn't want to nurse at all anymore.
I'm feeling a little bad about this. I tried to have one last time with her, to say goodbye to the experience. But she wouldn't take it. So I guess we're done. Although it is a little sooner than I had planned (there's that "p" word again), I'm okay with this, but a little sad. We aren't going to have any more kids, so this phase of my life is over. While I was pregnant, and then breastfeeding, I had this sense that my body was doing the thing that it was actually created to do. I am happy to be gaining back some independence, but it is hard to give up the one thing that only I could provide to Jelly.
As Jelly outgrows her clothes, I am happy to have the garage space back, but sad to see those cute little outfits go. As she learns to sleep through the night, I am ecstatic to know I'll be getting sleep again (most nights), but missing our quiet moonlight strolls down the hall. It's going by so much faster this time. I'm less nervous, but more distracted. I have to remind myself to take it all every day because as challenging as these early days can be, it is the last time I get to have them.