Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Harder on me...

First it was nursing. Babies don't come in to the world knowing how to nurse (and neither do mommies) so we had to learn together and work through that first transition. Then it was learning to take a bottle so Daddy could help with feedings and bedtimes. Before I knew it, nursing led way to biting and we were transitioning to just bottles. Then came a sinus infection and some other health concerns that depleted my milk supply no matter how much I pumped. And so, we transitioned from all breast milk to mostly formula. Once we hit the 1 year milestone, it was another switch from formula to organic whole milk. Finally, we moved from bottles before naps and bedtime to sippy cups at meals. 

Our last bottle at bedtime was last week. I had agonized about the transition, even going so far as to attempt to bargain with my pediatrician to put off weaning a little longer. She assured me that it would be much harder to get away from the bottle if we waited too long. So we took it slow, gradually decreasing the bottle amount over the course of several days from 10 ounces all the way down to 4. The day we stopped the bottle had been stressful. There was a less than stellar nap coupled with a bumped nose to make me feel like maybe we should wait a little longer before making yet another change. But, I also knew that the next day, I would have another reason for keeping the bottle. And the day after that. So, I went through the bedtime routine, dreading the moment when the book was over and no bottle was offered. My husband came in to kiss our son good night and said "You're thinking about it more than he is." 

Ben laid his head on me and we rocked for a few minutes while he relaxed. I put him in the crib and crept downstairs, all the while waiting to hear fussing or crying that never came. The next night was the same. And the next and the next. Each time, I was holding my breath when the book ended and the music started. But, no protests ever came. In fact, there was never a reaction to indicate that he even realized what he was missing. But I missed it. The soft baby hair on my chin, the sucking sound that becomes rhythmic and eventually gives way to the deep, relaxed breathing. This last transition was the hardest one. 

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