Sunday, January 02, 2005

Weaning My Baby

I’ve decided that blogs are just another way to procrastinate. I sit down to work on my novel and I find many other things to do, including writing this blog.

Yesterday I decided it was time to completely wean the baby. I’ve been weaning him little by little every month since I went back to work five months ago and he was down to 1-2 feedings per day since I’ve been home on vacation. I didn’t even plan to breastfeed this long. I only nursed Miranda until she was 5 months old so I went 3 months longer with the baby at eight months.

It’s funny how I always knew I would nurse my children. There was never any doubt in my mind about it. I’m sure it was because my mother nursed all of us and my two sisters who have children nursed their kids too, but I don’t think either one of them nursed as long as I did. I remember taking a picture under a painting in Spain of a mother sitting naked and cross legged on the floor nursing her naked baby. I thought it was such a beautiful sight.

I know that technology has given man the ability to recreate some of the same nutrients in formula and I’m not saying that if women choose to bottle feed there’s something wrong with it. I introduced formula to the baby early on at the hospital because I wanted him to be able to go between the two easily. Some women just can’t nurse. Some can only nurse for two weeks and that’s still good. I believe that some nursing is better than none.

I just personally believe that breastfeeding is one of the best gifts I could give my children. Not only are breastfed children healthier and smarter, but it gave me the opportunity to bond with my child. Bottle feeding doesn’t give me the same bond that nursing a baby does. Yes, I could still create a bond, but it’s not the same one I have with nursing. There’s something about a sweet baby nursing from my breast and tugging at me with one free hand while looking up at me adoringly.

Our bodies are so amazing too. Did you know that while you are nursing if you get a cold or any type of sickness your breast milk creates the exact antibodies needed so that your baby doesn’t get sick too? Can formula do that? Amazing!

With Miranda my goal was to nurse her for 6 months and I was one month shy of that goal. With Seth my goal was also 6 months but I left it open ended. Since Seth has been more of a baby it was easier to nurse him this long. At eight months Miranda had been crawling for 3 months already and was starting to talk. Seth just started really crawling these past 2 weeks and he still can’t push himself up into a sitting position or hold that position for very long. He’s definitely not talking but I didn’t expect him to. I’ve often heard that boys develop very differently from girls.

He’ll be okay. I’ve been truly weaning him by taking the breast away little by little and more each time. When I only bottle fed him yesterday I don’t even think he noticed. It was time to wean him. I wanted to stop before he starts walking and another thing he's started to do now is to pull himself up to standing position while holding on to something, like the coffee table, so it was time.

I know now why the baby of the family is more spoiled. As I rocked him to sleep last night I thought to myself how these moments are fleeting and how he will be Miranda’s age before I know it. I want to hold time still. I wish I could video tape this very moment so I can capture it and never forget it.

I cupped his little foot in one hand and felt the softness of it against my palm. I felt his little head sweating on my shoulder and his damp hair against my neck. I patted and rubbed his little back and sang him Cri Cri lullabies as he drifted off to sleep.

I thought about how this is the last time I’ll do this and that’s probably the main reason I continued to nurse him. I know this is the last time that I will nurs a baby and the thought makes me kind of sad.

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