Sunday, February 20, 2011

Growing Up

Dear Susannah,

I love you, my little girl! It is hard to believe that you are already 11 months old, and not a teeny baby anymore. You have finally figured out how to scoot yourself forward, and you are quite happy being able to get around on the floor better. You still get around the best in your walker - cruising around the small space we have here, going down the hallway, turning around and coming back, going over to the piano and stretching as tall as you can so you can reach the keys, digging all of my dishcloths and hot-mats out of "your" drawer in my kitchen, and then carting them off to other areas of the house leaving me with an empty drawer! You also like to steal the hand towel from the stove handle :)

The most recent milestone for you is that you are now weaned. To borrow a line from my friend, Rachel C., I was committed to nursing you to one year old. I didn't mind nursing you and gladly did so for you to eat and grow, but it wasn't something I longed and desired for. For the first couple months of your life you were such a sloooow eater, I was eager for the day to come when I wouldn't have to spend 1/2 of every day feeding you. You took a long time to eat - usually up to 1 hour. It was wonderful when you started finishing in 45 minutes... then you got it down to about 1/2 an hour when you were 6 months and that was even better :) Around 9 months you had it down to about 10 or 15 minutes, you were fast.

About the time you turned 10 months old you started not wanting to eat a meal some days, usually either the supper feeding or bedtime feeding. But when offered a drink from your sippy cup you would drink quite a bit. By 10 1/2 months it was normal for you to not want the bed-time feeding, and sometimes even either the lunch or supper-time feeding. I suspected that you were starting to self-wean and confided with a friend who said that was most likely the case. That's when I started offering you cows milk :) Oh boy, you didn't like it one bit. It took about a week of trying different things - warm, cold, very warm, sippy cup, bottle... and finally you would drink very warm cows milk from a bottle. I was still committed to nursing you as much as you would until your first birthday, but I wondered if you would keep going that long.

I knew my milk supply was quickly dropping because the times you would still nurse - always breakfast and lunch - it wasn't taking very long at all and you were still thirsty afterwards. You finally gave up the lunch feeding about a week before you turned 11 months. You hung on to the breakfast feeding until February 12th. I was guessing that any day would be the last time I would nurse you. Sure enough, that morning you were only half-heartedly interested and after a minute you were done and didn't want any more.

It was bittersweet. It didn't bother me so much that I wasn't ever going to nurse you again as much as it was confirmation that you are growing and changing. I still cuddle you and snuggle you. And rock you in the same rocking chair. I hope that you will love to rock as much as I do. Rocking is therapy for the soul, I believe.

You are growing up. Before I know it you will be crawling and then walking one day. One thing I promise for sure, I will love you all the way. Forever. And always.



Adam said... [Reply to comment]

Awwww what a bittersweet story! She's getting so big! Thank goodness for those rocking chairs, right? ;-)

Miriam said... [Reply to comment]

Just for other readers, "Adam" is really Maria from Downright Domestic, who was logged in as her husband when she commented :)

Sally said... [Reply to comment]

Now, how about this. You have me crying over here. I know the frustrations of nursing, and how time consuming it is, but having my 3rd little baby who is over 6mo. old, I know my days of nursing her are numbered. Congratulations to you and Susannah for making it as far as you did (which was just right, I'm sure, even if she is not quite 1 year old). I always thought my milk supply dried up for Paul because I got pregnant with Hannah. I had no more milk for him when he was about 7 mo. old. Now, with Marie, my milk is rapidly decreasing, and I'm not pregnant. I'm wondering if that's just all my body is going to do for her. Sigh. I was hoping this wouldn't happen. We just pull out the formula after nearly all the feeding sessions now.