Saturday, May 23, 2009

A long time coming

I've been meaning to write this since the end of April, but, as usual, have not had any time. It's over! No more breastfeeding. It has been very bittersweet.

Let me take you back about a month...

Monday, April 20th: one week and a day before Alessia's first birthday. I do my usual morning routine: shower, strap on the pump while I brush my teeth and get ready. But... no milk!! So I was forced to send her a bottle of cow's milk (which I luckily bought the night before just so she could try a little before I switched over) At least I had a bottle from Friday for her morning bottle. It was traumatic, as silly as it may sound. I just wasn't expecting to be forced into it. To make matters worse, she wouldn't even drink it at first. I really didn't want to give her milk in a bottle and was planning on introducing it slowly with her sippy cup. My mom quickly gave in and put it in a bottle and had to water it down (gross). I continued to nurse her at 3, bedtime and when she woke at night.

Tuesday, April 21st: This is what went through my head as I woke up and got ready for work:

Just imagine my pump in place of the fax machine. I was really happy to be free of that thing and washing all the parts every freakin night.

We kept up the PM nursing, then literally right after she had her birthday, she started sleeping through the night. (I have not had a full night's sleep since I was pregnant. Can you believe I'm more tired now when my alarm goes off then when I had to get up several times?)

Fast forward to this past weekend: we took our first roadtrip down to VA for my little brother's graduation. I nursed her at a gas station in the afternoon on the way down, but substituted bottles on Sat and Sun because it was just too difficult to do while we were out and about, especially in a college town. Breastfeeding a one year old is nothing like breastfeeding an infant. It's impossible to do it discreetly – she despises the hooter-hider and pulls it off, and tends to fool around a bit. Then I tried again on the ride home, but she just didn't want it. Instead she thought it would be funny to bite me, blow raspberries, etc. Then she did the same at bedtime. On Tuesday, I decided to prepare a bottle before I brought her up, just in case. After signing milk, I tried to offer her breast, but she just fooled around. I showed her the bottle and asked which she wanted; though she came back to me for a second, she proceeded to point to the bottle, then went for it with a huge grin on her face. Last night I asked her again which she wanted, and she eagerly went for the bottle again :o( I knew it would happen eventually, and although I'm grateful she decided when to end it, I'm sad. We had a rough start, but overall I really enjoyed nursing her and the special bond we had. I especially miss our bedtime routine. But I guess I can't complain – we made it just over a year, and she never had formula (well except for the first couple days when we had issues). And I'm assuming that's how I shed all the baby weight and then some. Although I do wonder if all my weightloss contributed to the low milk supply towards the end or if it was 8 months of not pumping enough each day. On the upside, I can now enjoy adult beverages without worrying about it affecting her!

Anyway...just more proof my little baby's growing up.