I recall sitting in my rocker, boobs attached to the breast pump that echoed “breast pump” at paced intervals, fantasizing over the day my Warrior Princess would be ready to eat solids and I’d have my breasts back. No more pumping. No more squeezing every last ounce out. No more feeling disappointed in my body when I had to supplement with formula.
Then she was four months old and her pediatrician said she was ready for solids. I waited until she was five months old. Then she was six months old and her pediatrician said she could start eating meat at 7 months and eating solids 3 times a day. Then I didn’t want her eating solids anymore.
Because see, motherhood is irrational, and while I was so happy for her first meal (avocado) and more than happy to help her learn to coordinate her tongue and lips to eat, I still want her to need me like she did when I first brought her home. What would happen to my milk supply (that was in surplus) if she just kept eating solids? Already our afternoons were different and with the impending addition of a morning solids meal, what would happen to our milk time?
Feeding her solids is different. She sits across from me, with a tray in the way, a silicone bib on and my lap is empty. With milk, her whole body is pressed against me, her head rests in the crook of my arm and her hand wacks me in the face and sternum as she eats (sometimes). Or she falls asleep with suckling and I gaze down at her little face that isn’t as little as it used to be but will always be the face of mommy’s baby. That can’t happen if she’s eating solids.
I am so happy that she has learned to open her mouth wide for a spoon full of the food I steam, puree and portion out for her. I am so sad that with every spoonful, our milk time lessens.
Our routine will continue to evolve and change, I know this. I am sure my days will be filled with so happy|so sad moments over and over again. It means she’s growing, thriving, happy and healthy.
But right now, tonight, I relish her night cap of milk time with me. As she drifts off to sleep, I prop her up and burp her, knowing these days, too, are numbered. I’m so happy|I’m so sad.