Monday, March 22, 2010

The Great Cereal Debate

My baby boy is growing up. His doctor says he's ready for solid foods, starting with rice cereal... we can introduce one new food at a time, try it out for five days, and if there are no adverse reactions, we can chalk that one up as "good", then give him another new food. Food. For my baby.

I didn't know how hard this was going to be for me.

It's for the best, really, because I haven't been able to keep up with him as far as pumping at work what he'll need for the next day. I am tired of stressing myself out about it, but at the same time, it's the beginning of a process that will eventually wean him. I'm not saying that solid foods are going to kill our nursing relationship, but eventually he'll want more food and less milk. In my hormone-riddled mind, this means he'll want more independence and less mommy. The time is just flying by, getting away from me even, and I'm upset about it.

It's frustrating because he'll eat the cereal when he's at home (at least at first) when I'm right there and able to feed him.  It's when we're apart that I feel like I'm having the trouble... *sigh*... it's all so unfair.

So then there comes the logistics. We feed him cereal in the evening, which we'll have to use some breast milk to thin out. After that I'll nurse him to make sure he's full. Then after that I'll have to pump at home to make sure my supply doesn't compeletely tank. Cause, ya know, supply and demand. The upside of this is that the extra pumping session should make up for what I didn't produce during the work day. The downside is that once he gets used to and proficient at eating solids I'll get one less nursing session with my baby. Cue the beginning of the end waterworks.

It feels like he's growing up so fast that I must have missed something. I know it's silly, I haven't missed anything, I see my little guy every day and really try to cherish every moment... but still. 4 and 1/2 short months ago he was a teeny tiny newborn and now he's sitting up and laughing and ready to eat with a spoon.

Not to be all doom and gloom and WAH WAH mah wittle BAYBEE... it is exciting too. I mean, yay! Food! Nick is so excited to be reaching this milestone and taking part in the cuteness that is sure to be coming our way (stay tuned for the video) and I will get to feed him this way too, but it's a big change for me. And I'm not so good with change. It was SO HARD for me to come back to work and start pumping every day (which I will still have to do, of course) and I feel like I just got a handle on that routine (minus the supply issues) and now out of nowhere he's growing up, turning into a little boy and he's ready for something more and different.

To be completely honest, part of me feels like I'm being left behind. I flash forward to first steps, going off to school, girlfriends, driving, and I'll-listen-to-rap-music-if-I-want-to-MOM! It makes me sad.

Nick tells me not to worry. He says that all that stuff is forever away. He says right now we nurture him and teach him and watch him grow into the cutest little man the world has ever known. Of course I see his logic, but I still feel so conflicted... excited for the future, yet already nostalgic. I guess that's parenthood?