Posts tagged ‘Nursing’

October 7, 2011

Operation: Fatten That Child

Ah, allergies. How you have changed our lives in a few short months.

This week, Jacob went for his twelve-month check up with the pediatrician. He is healthy, except for his blotchy skin and the fact that he put on a whopping three ounces in three months.  A kid that started at or above the ninety-fifth percentile for weight is now between the tenth and twentieth percentiles. The other day on the playground, for the first time, he looked small compared to the kids around him. And it kind of broke my heart.


The doctor’s orders are to give him more healthy fats. I’m taking on the role of the witch in “Hansel and Gretel” and declaring Operation: Fatten That Child. The good news is that he’s happy to eat half an avocado at lunch each day. The bad news is that I can’t figure out what else to do, short of pouring olive oil into his sippy cup. John and I are both amazed that we’ve raised a child that is, in a way, too healthy.

Our doctor suggested trying eggs to see if he’s still allergic to them. If not, that could be a good addition to his diet. So we tried it, and to spare you the details, he is definitely still allergic. This weekend we might try bread, as that could get some good calories in him, too. Here’s hoping! Either way, we head to the allergist next week, so I’m praying for some helpful guidance!

In the meantime, the little man is officially weaned, and he really didn’t seem to mind at all. He’s still making faces like this:


and now I get to eat real cupcakes.

Crumbs, here I come!

You may have challenged us, food allergies, intolerances, and sensitivities, but you will not prevail!

October 5, 2011

Dear Jacob XIII

Dear Jacob,


I just weaned you, and I think you knew it. Tonight you nursed a little longer than you have lately and you let out just one cry a few minutes after I left your room. This was a really tough thing for me to do, even though your daddy and I both believe it’s the right thing for us.


My dear Jacob, a year ago I didn’t know what it meant to love you. That haziness was heavily influenced by extreme sleep deprivation, but the other part of it was simply lack of experience. Now, as I end almost two years of regulating my body to serve you—first while pregnant and then while nursing—I realize in a profound way what it means to be your mom. For your entire existence up until tonight, you have been physically linked to me, and I to you. Tonight the physical piece ends, but what we built in that rocking chair is marked on our hearts. I know it is on mine.


If you heard my voice waver during the third verse of “Amazing Grace” tonight, that’s because I was crying, both for what I’m losing and what I’m gaining. My dad says that the sign of a good manager is when those he or she manages can do the job independently. And that’s what you’re embarking on tonight, my dear, whether or not you know it. You’re not totally on your own, of course—and you never will be—but I think you know what I mean.


Somehow tonight reminded me of the last night of college, when my whole class stayed up all night to watch the sun rise over the parking garage (it’s classier than it sounds). After I went back to my dorm, knowing I’d only get a few hours’ sleep before commencement, I cried for just a few minutes. I knew that my time at school was complete, that I’d done what I’d come to do, and that exciting things lay ahead (like marrying your daddy). But still, something was ending, and it was okay to be sad about that. Oh, Jacob, don’t be surprised by how many hugs you get tomorrow.


Thank goodness for cell phones, email, and most of all, mommy friends who have offered encouragement to me today. These ladies you’ll know as your aunts have made tonight a little easier on me, and for that I am so grateful. I pray you’ll have such dear friends to help you through the tough transitions in your life, too. And you know your daddy and I will always be there for you. We love you so much.


Thank you for being our little boy and for making us into a family. Tonight we are all taking one giant step together, and with faith, hope, and love, I know we are only on to bigger and better things.


Oh, and more soymilk, but some things can’t be helped.


As always, my little boy, I write with all my heart,

September 23, 2011

Been There, Done That

Like most things in life, the weaning process has not turned out to be as easy as it seemed at first glance.  Frustrated with a very clingy child, and concerned that I wasn’t making the right decisions, I did what I always do when I need a practical answer to a question:  I went online.


We’re all very aware that the Internet can be either a very helpful or a very dangerous place.  Anyone can post information online, and while it’s great that such a variety of perspectives is available at the click of a mouse, it can be tough to pick through and find the good stuff.


The thing about parenting is that in most cases there aren’t “right” answers that unequivocally apply to everyone.  Nursing and weaning are certainly not in the cut-and-dry category.  And yet, I turned to what I knew to be a pro-breastfeeding website to get what I hoped would be some perspective.


I did get some perspective.  Unfortunately, not one that jives with my own.  The good thing is that I recognized the weaning process was maybe going a little too quickly for Jacob.  His clinginess might have been because he was used to a little more physical contact in his day.  That was useful.  What was not useful was the veiled message that really, the only good way to go about weaning a child was to let him/her do it him/herself, even if it takes until the child is two or three (or seven) years old.  This works for some people, but not for us.  John and I both feel that in our family, as far as nursing goes, once you can ask for it, you’re done.  Again, that’s just us.


Essentially, I had to decide what answer I wanted, and then I could find someone to validate it for me. In the great search for an answer, it was discouraging to be met with such a one-sided view—even if I did unintentionally seek it. On the other hand, I could have sought a site with a perspective on the other side of the spectrum, and ended up in the same place. The whole point was I wasn’t sure what I wanted to hear.


So then I did what I should have done in the first place:  I turned to a couple of women who have kids about Jacob’s age or older, whose perspectives on marriage, parenting, and family life I appreciate, and some of whose stories of weaning I was already somewhat familiar with.  By the next morning, I had a couple of emails in my inbox that gave me the encouragement I needed.


They reminded me that, as parents, John and I need to make the best decisions we can for our family and stick by them even when it gets tough.  The offered some practical tips from their experiences as well, but mostly, they let me know that I was doing an okay job.  That if I knew the path we were on was right for us, then we needed to stay on it.


For the record, Jacob threw up/spit up—I’m not sure which—the next morning, and then was back to his old self.  Still a little clingy, but nothing I can’t handle.  All of that and the problem effectively handled itself.


Maybe this parenting stuff isn’t so hard after all.

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