It’s officially started. The beginning of the end. Though I don’t plan to fully wean Anna anytime soon, I know that the time is near. Not like before when it seemed so far away as to be almost impossible.
Anna is now drinking 2 bottles of cow’s milk a day (touch wood and anti jinx and kaala teeka). I’d been trying on and off for the past 2 months or so to make her drink the milk but she’d just refuse. She’d have maybe a couple of spoonfuls now and then but would refuse to drink it from the bottle, sippy cup or any normal cup. I was desperate because she was almost a year old and everyone knows that after a year mother’s milk is just not enough for baby. Plus I was pumping one bottle for her every evening (which she drank the next day afternoon), and it was getting to be too much of a strain. I’d always worry about not having ‘enough’, Anna would get upset when after not seeing me for the whole day, she’d have to wait a further fifteen minutes while I pumped, we always had to return home by evening no matter what because I had to pump. God I really hate pumping. So all in all I was really desperate for her to start drinking atleast one bottle of milk everyday so I could stop pumping. What did the trick was Bournvita. I’d not wanted to add any flavour to the milk because the doc had advised against it. But in the end it turned out to be the only way. Now she happily drinks her bottle of Bournvita flavoured milk (touch wood again).
I’m really thrilled she’s drinking the milk and the satisfaction I get when she finishes the bottle is really something. I worry less now when she eats less. I worry less about my ‘supply’. There is not so much of a burden on me now that she has another source of nourishment.
When Anna was born and I started breast-feeding it was hell. My nipples were sore and cracked and every feeding for the first 4-5 weeks was torture. I couldn’t get her to latch on properly and needed Mummy’s help each time. She wanted to feed all the time. On the doc’s advice we regulated it to a minimum of 1.5 hours between feeds and sometimes getting her to wait those 1.5 hours was heart-breaking. She would cry and cry and nuzzle me and I would cry with her. I would dream of bottle-feeding her, of not having the awesome and scary responsibility of being the sole source of nourishment of another human being. Then, getting through the 6 months of exclusive feeding seemed impossible and I couldn’t ever see how I’d feed her for the recommended one year. Because ofcourse there was no chance of my feeding her for beyond a year.
This feeling got further strengthened when she was about 3 months old. I’d started pumping once a day and giving it to her in a bottle since she was about 2 months old. It was a struggle but she accepted the bottle in around 3-4 days. About a month later she decided she wanted nothing to do with the breast and only wanted the bottle. We’d try all sorts of things to make her feed. I really don’t want to remember those horrible 2 months. Every feed was a struggle. I came so very close to giving up breast-feeding and giving her formula. Thankfully she outgrew that stage and went back to feeding properly. But I was more than certain that I’d wean her at a year.
Once I started working we gave her formula a couple of times when I wasn’t able to pump. She threw it up both times. A couple on months later when we tried again, she flat-out refused it. In my mind this put a huge burden on me. I had to perform (pump/feed) or my baby would go hungry.
I don’t know how and when it changed but now I’m in no hurry to wean her. Maybe the fact that I don’t have to feed her ALL the time helped. Or that there is no longer any performance pressure. I’m extremely thankful that she’s drinking whole milk now and I no longer have to pump. But I plan to feed her otherwise (night and morning) for atleast another 6 months. She still wakes 2-3 times a night for a short feed. I’m following my instinct with this one and will continue to feed her at night. I don’t feed her in the daytime in any case so no problems there.
Sometimes I can’t believe that we made it so far. That I’ve successfully fed my baby for a year. Feels good :).