Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Weaning Begins

At nine months and one day, Finny had his first taste of formula. I must say, he seems to have enjoyed it QUITE A BIT. First I mixed it with breastmilk, thinking I might have to ease him in. He devoured the combo, then housed two additional bottles of straight formula. As you can see, he also appreciates the independence and portability the bottle affords him.

The backstory is: after a goal of six weeks, then twelve weeks, then four, five and six months, I found myself nursing-goal-less. The one-year mark was still a full six months away, which was as long as I'd already been breastfeeding. I have D-MER, which makes every feeding a bit of a mindgame. Still I wondered--can I make it to a year? Go straight from breastmilk to cow's milk? 

Finn had started with solids, and I thought about weaning, but I liked that I was still breastfeeding. I didn't particularly like breastfeeding itself, mind you--Finn was getting more and more mobile and antsy, and fighting both him AND the hormones while trying to keep him from biting me--that part wasn't fun. And he's been such a snacker, never much of a bonder; it wasn't as if I was going to miss having him reliant on me for his nutritional needs, right? Or for comfort? Did he even get comfort from nursing?

These questions jockeyed for space in my brain while I Just Kept Going. Day by day, feeding by feeding. 

On Sunday, Finn's nine-month birthday exactly, I bit the proverbial bullet and bought a can of formula. I told Ceci I felt self-conscious doing it, like it was contraband. "Remaining symptoms of PTSD," I explained to her. I got home with it and read the label: USE WITHIN 30 DAYS OF OPENING. Well, I thought, I'll never use all that powder in a month. What a waste of money. I eyed it cagily. You again. I left it in the cabinet.

The next day, a few hours after his first-thing morning feeding, Finn was scrounging for more. We were in the playroom with our sitter Maggie, and I thought of that canister in the cupboard. "I'm going to try it," I said to Maggie. And I did. And it was such a relief, to have done it, no matter what happens in the next few months.

It reminds me of the argument that feminism isn't about forcing women to keep their maiden names or to work outside the home when they have children; instead it's supposed to allow for options and opportunities. I am so, so happy that I was able to battle the obstacles for nine full months, and that I can still nurse Finn when it works for us--I'm also so, so happy that I have alternatives.

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