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,