Bittersweet Changes

Dear Sweet Matthew,

When Katie was a baby, I delayed solids until I felt increasing  pressure from others to introduce her to cereal.  I held my ground until she was 8 months old, when I caved because her pediatrician suggested that I have her iron levels tested.  The thought of a blood draw was enough for me to cringe and immediately introduce her to cereal. 

Though she liked eating and did well, I have always second guessed that decision and wondered if I should have held out a bit longer.  Before you were born, I decided that I would wait until you were 12 months old to begin solids. 

For the past couple of weeks, you have been wanting to nurse every two hours and have seemed truly unsettled after nursing.  You have also begun waking up at 5:30 every morning to nurse.  You’ve been crying so often and lunging for me, hoping to eat.

So, after a great deal of internal debate, we did this:

And you absolutely loved it. 

You get so excited when we place you in your high chair.  You smile between every bite and you are happier throughout the entire day.  You were hungry and it breaks my heart that my determination to make it to a certain date kept me from doing what was right for you earlier than I did. 

As much as I know that you were ready for solids, I can’t express how sad it makes me.  You are quite possibly our last baby and with each milestone that you reach, you are less my baby. 

Nursing is such an emotional experience, one that unites us in such an amazing way.  And if I’m honest, I have to admit that I like that I have been giving you something that no one else could.  We never gave you a bottle, so every single bit of your nourishment up to this point has come directly from me. 

You were 8 months and 12 days old when you first had cereal. 

And for 8 months and 12 days, I could look at you and know that it was my milk that helped you to grow and to thrive.

I love you, Matthew, and I am so grateful for the connection that we have.  I promise to always do what is best for you, even if it isn’t the easy choice for me.

With love and snuggles,

Mommy

21 comments

  1. Lyndsey Bustos

    I love how you can tell he's really thinking about this new experience! So adorable! Good job Nichole! He's still your baby! How did his tummy do?

  2. he has the prettiest eyes!

  3. I've never heard of waiting until 12 months to introduce solids. But I've been out of the baby feeding loop for a few years. It's a hard thing to set a goal for b/c it really has to go by the baby's hunger level. As I guess you've learned.

  4. Jen @ Lita's Wo litasworld.com

    awww how beautiful he is!! :)

  5. Maryline francoamericandream.com

    Your son is so stinkin' cute :)
    I know exactly how you feel about "just your milk" helping him grow, it was all you!
    The good news is nursing will continue for a while, for as long as you both want it.
    Take care and enjoy your baby… solids are also a great source of fun and discovery… until they become a pain in the butt and totally messy!
    One thing at a time!

  6. Jamie allmylooseends.com

    I understand how you feel about those milestones. They've always been bittersweet for me, too. But, you did a great thing for your babies. <3

  7. kris prettyalltrue.com

    I am still not watching the video, but I can well remember the feeling of letting go. Of watching my babies move away from me.

    They will always be my babies, but being their mother?

    Has turned out to be a long series of "letting go" moments. And that is lovely and beautiful and as it should be.

    And also a little poignant for me. Mom.

    Every time.

  8. my word he is adorable! I love how he is tasting each bite! I am learning that even with my first? Letting go each time he has a first is very difficult. And I am learning from these blogs of momma's who are possibly done that it just gets harder and harder.

  9. Allison @ Alli n Son alli-n-son.com

    This broke my heart and made me long doe those baby days and nursing. I only breastfed for 3 months and continues to pump for another 5 months. We had to supplement with formula because I just couldn't keep up after going back to work. It broke my heart, I can totally relate to what you are going through.

  10. Meredith insockmonkeyslippers.com

    He's a pro! That's so wonderful that you were able to breastfeed and give him everything you could and still can! I think the fact that I could not breastfeed Mia makes me obsessed with making her baby food and blogging about it (my apologies). Did you know in Europe they don't start solids until 8 to 9 months? The first 3 months are mainly just practice. trust me I have worn out the ear of three gastroenterologists and a library of books. He is healthy and happy and that's just flippin fantastic! Congrats on your new adventure!

  11. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    Yes, he is still my baby. I need to keep reminding myself of that.

    His tummy was fine. He acted like he'd been eating his whole life.

  12. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    Thank you. They are very melty.

  13. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    If there is one thing that I keep learning over and over again in parenting it's that you can't speak in absolutes.
    You really just have to roll with the punches and do your best, don't you?
    Sigh. Lesson learned. Again.

  14. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    Thank you. I certainly think so. :)

  15. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    Thank you for coming by — I truly appreciate your kind words of support.

    Yes, nursing will continue for quite some time, if I have my way about it. I nursed Katie until she was 21 months old. I would have continued, but she was done, so I had to respect that.

    Solids are a complete pain. Messy going in and messy coming out. Ick.

  16. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    Thank you.
    Milestones break my heart every time.
    I have to keep reminding myself to consider what is healthiest for them…physically and emotionally.

    Parenting is tough!

  17. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    Letting go isn't in my skill set.
    I'm truly working on it, but it doesn't come easily to me.

    But, I know that I owe it to them to let go…a little at a time. Because, you're absolutely right…that is as it should be.

  18. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    Thank you. His look was so serious, wasn't it?

    It seems that with each milestone he reaches, I want another baby even more.

  19. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    You were truly a champ to continue pumping for so long. I pump at night now so that I'll have milk for his oatmeal and I hate each and every minute of it.

    Parenting is heartbreaking business, isn't it?

  20. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    You have no idea how excited that I have your blog to read this time around as I begin making his food.

    When Katie first started eating solids, there were only a few resources for homemade organic babyfood making and none of them were as lovely as your site!

    Expect to see lots of me.

  21. Cheryl @ Mommypants mommypants.com

    My eldest was SO excited when we started solids. The boy could eat one of those big jars of baby food. He'd eat an entire avocado. I think b/c he had to be on that icky prescription-only formula that he was probably extra stoked to have stuff that tasted good!

    I know exactly what you mean about being focused on a certain date or time frame that you lose sight for a moment of what your baby needs. And then you beat yourself up a bit before you get on with it.

    Have I mentioned how adorable your kids are???

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