Then and Now

October 20, 2017

I think because it’s October, I’ve been running those mental comparisons lately of where I was last year. For instance, last week, on Tuesday, I knew that I had gone in for my ECV. I’ve thought about how I agonized over the decision and wondered whether we were doing the right thing. I thought about my disappointment in the unsuccessful procedure, but also how I let go, so to speak, to just enjoy the last few days of my pregnancy. I’ve thought about how excited – and terrified – we were.

This time, last year, I was walking out of work for the last time. I had worked feverishly all week to wrap things up, get things ready, and it felt liberating to exit the lobby of my building – heading towards the unknown. I’ve thought about how my mom came in early (she would be here this Sunday, if this were last year). I’ve thought about how the reality of having a baby really didn’t hit Luffy and I until this weekend. Since I had binge watched Bob’s Burgers while upside down on my ironing board, our weekend’s motto had been Tina Belcher’s patented panic attack noise.

I’ve thought about my c-section and how even having this tiny baby outside of my body didn’t really bring about a mom-epiphany. There’s a video we have, that my dad recorded. It has to be just hours after my surgery. My mom is holding the dumpling (who is so tiny and red!) and I’m laying in the hospital bed. The dumpling is crying, this weak little newborn bleating, and I’m just making small talk with the nurse. Every fiber of my being (now) screams at the girl in the bed to SOOTHE THAT BABY!!! but, of course, the video shows me that I didn’t. To be fair to myself, it would be a long time before my presence alone could soothe the dumpling.

There are a lot of things, in looking back through the archives, that I didn’t mention, things I’d like to remember. Rocking the dumpling after his middle of the night nursing sessions is one. I had read that infants took twenty minutes to fall into a deep sleep, so I took that as the gospel truth and almost superstitiously refused to do anything else. I remember standing in my dark living room at 11pm and 1am and 3am and 5am and furiously rocking the dumpling (he liked some speed behind his rocking) as the clock in my kitchen counted down the minutes. Afterwards I would ever so carefully transfer him to his rock ‘n’ play, still in our bedroom at that time, and practically hold my breathe as I climbed back into bed myself.

Another moment: just days after the dumpling’s arrival, Luffy had to take a quick business trip. My mom was still helping us at that point and I had just taken over for her after she had looked after the dumpling all night. It would have been about 4 or 5 in the morning. I had just changed the dumpling’s diaper in our bedroom and re-swaddled him. Importantly, he wasn’t wearing anything beneath the swaddle and I think the swaddle had snagged the velcro on his diaper somehow. Anyway, a few minutes after I had changed him, I was holding him against me and felt something warm seep down me. Horrified, I realized that he was basically peeing all over himself and me. Of course, he started crying as I laid him on the floor to clean him up and change him, again. Meanwhile, I’m trying to clean myself and the floor, all one-handed and in the dark. A hilarious, though quiet, introduction to motherhood.

As I’ve been looking back so much this month, I also can’t help but stay in the present, to compare/contrast the then and now. The dumpling seems so solid now, as he hurtles towards toddlerhood. He’s confident standing now and pulls up even when he doesn’t really have anything to pull up on (the shower door and my leg are good examples). He’s standing on his own for brief moments and I know he’s so close to walking. He loves to eat, except when he doesn’t. He loves ice-cold water out of his straw-sippy cup. I have cow’s milk in my fridge for the first time ever and he’s taken a few sips here and there. He plays well by himself, except when he decides you haven’t paid enough attention to him lately. He crawls and scoots and rolls and does this adorable 360 turn on his butt. He’s figuring out how to manipulate his world and all the times he can’t (floor versus baby head, for example).

I can’t believe it’s almost been a year, just like I couldn’t believe it was almost time and I couldn’t believe those two little lines. Happy almost-birthday, my sweet dumpling.


Madness lies that way

Oh internet, I cannot tell a lie….

I’ve got babies on the brain. Specifically, little dumpling v2.


I know! That’s insane! But there it is.

I think it’s because the dumpling is about to have his very first birthday. We’re in this wonderful place right now where we’re just so freaking happy. The dumpling is adorable and learning new things at a ridiculous pace*. Our routine is becoming smoother and smoother. We still have bedtime struggles and random meltdowns, but I guess Luffy and I are just better at handling them? Or at least accepting that they are part of parenting an infant OMG toddler. And so I’ve been looking back at the early, early pictures of the dumpling. When he was mere days old instead of months. And all I can see is how tiny he was and how much he needed us (as opposed to the round-the-clock nursing and twenty diaper changes a day and how even getting him dressed for the day was a challenge because he hated being naked — good job, self, compartmentalizing all this!).

Plus, it doesn’t help that I am once again surrounded (in the social media-sense) by babies. My cousin is due with her first baby early next week. A friend from high school went into labor over the weekend (too soon, baby was born weighing a little over three pounds – omg she’s so tiny!!!!). Another friend from my first job is pregnant and living it up glamorously while travelling. Another friend from my exercise gig is also pregnant – and with a boy! One of Luffy’s best friends is expecting. So many babies!!

So then I start to do the math of if we start trying now and if I get pregnant then and the dumpling will be x age when his sibling arrives and that’s just no good self! Madness lies that way. Having a newborn was hard and I can only imagine that having two children – one newborn and one fully-fledged toddler – would be even harder. But then I think about cute little photos of the dumpling with his sibling. And even cuter images arise because his daycare teachers keep telling me that he likes to help them with the babies in his class – he pats their backs to help them sleep and helps the teachers tilt their bottles. And – STOP IT SELF. 

While on the one hand, I’d sort of love to just do it. Get it over with, in a sense, and by “it” I mean the newborn days. There was a cloud over the dumpling’s newborn days of OMG I will have to do all of this again, nooooooooooo!!! that would be lifted for his sibling’s newborn days. We’re pretty sure that we only want two children, so if we do it now, then we’ll be done with the newborn days forever! I mean, it can only go up from here right?! (lolz, please don’t answer that)

On the other hand though, there are plenty of things that I want to savor right now. The dumpling’s rapid fire milestones, for one. My body and how it’s pretty much back to being all mine for the first time since January 2016 actually even before that since we started trying so long ago. It’s nice not to be worried about ovulation tests and pregnancy tests and other ways my body was/is failing. I’m really working on losing the last couple of pounds, although I feel fairly comfortable with how I look and feel now. Also, [TMI alert:] I’m enjoying a sex life with Luffy again that doesn’t revolve around procreation – woot woot! I forgot how fun this actually is when it’s not scheduled or timed or honey take your pants off because I just peed and this stick says I’m ovulating.

Luffy’s plan is for us to wait until the dumpling is closer to three years old. Not to start trying, but to actually have a sibling, so we’d start trying about this time next year. And really, that seems like a good plan. Calm yoself, self. 

*Seriously! With the ridiculous pace! So I’ve had three types of sippy cups since the dumpling was about 6mo old. One with a spout, one with a straw, and one of those nifty 360 cups. I quickly decided against introducing the spout one because of recommendations from the AAP (short story: spouts are bad for mouth and oral development). So! The straw and 360 cups! No big thang. Except that the dumpling had no idea how to drink from a straw. He did catch on to the 360 cup and he loooooves drinking water from a regular cup (with me holding it, of course), but he’s never caught on to the straw. I’d try to show him how and then hand it to him, but he’d always just play with it.

Then, yesterday, I was looking for advice on how to teach your baby how to drink from a straw. One mom said she wasn’t going to be any help because she always used a straw for her cup and her baby was just naturally curious. Hmmm! I don’t use straws around the dumpling, so I thought that might be better than me showing him on his cup. After all, that’s how he learned to drink from a regular cup – by watching me. So last night during his dinner, I used a straw to drink from my cup. I didn’t make a big show of it or anything, just pointedly took several big sips from my cup + straw. After dinner, when we sat down to play, what do you think the dumpling wanted to do? That’s right, drink from my cup + straw. So I let him, and he sucked some water right down! So I passed him his own sippy + straw and off he went! He’s now a certified straw user! I’m printing up his certificate now!

And wow, that was a lot of words to basically say my kid finally figured out how to use a straw. Woo!

Nighttime Moments

I remember – to the day – when the dumpling’s sleep started to get better, when we started to leave the newborn days of rocking and swaying and nursing behind. Quite literally, it was all thanks to a hefty round of vaccines at his 2mo check-up. They made him drowsy enough that he conked out on his own and we’ve been encouraging that ever since. That’s not to say it’s been a bed of roses ever since. I would say that the dumpling has been on an average track for night-nursing (he woke up three times a night for the longest time, then gradually moved to two, then to one, which is where we’re hovering most nights). Beyond that, we still have regressions and the occasion when something goes wonky and the night brings howling and crying and hours of awake time. We had one of those nights this week.

First off, whenever the dumpling makes noise around 10pm (usually when Luffy and I are headed to bed), I mentally prepare for the worst. Even if he manages to get back to sleep initially, muffled grunts at such an early hour inevitably herald an early wake-up. On those nights, I’m usually getting back out of bed to attend to the dumpling sometime between 11pm and midnight. So when we heard muffled cries at touch after 10 Wednesday evening, I prayed that tonight would be different. Unfortunately, he worked himself up into such a state that I didn’t even get an hour’s reprieve.

When I went to check on him, I found an inconsolable baby. I’ve probably mentioned this before, but the dumpling is not a cuddler. He doesn’t really like to be held close; in fact, the only time he ever puts his head on my shoulder is when he’s exhausted. Otherwise, he must be up! and engaged! and looking at all the things! So trying to comfort him can be a challenge. I tried to nurse, but he wanted nothing to do with that. I tried to pat him or rock him; that was a no-go. I tried Luffy’s technique of sitting beside the crib, shushing him. Nada. Luffy and I took turns, shushing and patting and wondering what on earth had riled him up to this point.

Finally, around 11pm, I cried uncle. I turned off our monitor, told Luffy that he should get some sleep, and headed back to the dumpling’s room. I grabbed a pillow and blanket from the spare bedroom and made a little pallet on the floor. I pulled a still howling dumpling out of his crib and placed him on the floor with me, hoping that we could co-sleep in a safe manner. HAHAHAHA, oh Belle. Not only did he not stop screaming, he also decided that since he was on the floor, crawling around was a much better option. Sigh.

So back in the crib he went, still wailing at the top of his lungs. I had made my little pallet right in front of his crib and thought I would spend the night there, but I couldn’t get the dumpling to even begin to calm down. He was wound to 11 and I had no idea why or how to ease him down. Finally, in a moment of desperation, I crawled into his crib with him. The crib creaked and groaned under my weight, but thankfully held tight. I laid down on my side, curled up around the dumpling. Amazingly, he pretty much immediately quieted down. Not all the way, but definitely better. I rubbed his back a little bit as he tossed and turned and kicked me, lovingly I feel sure. And then, more than an hour after it all began, he was back asleep with me beside him.

They tell you to enjoy it all. You say you haven’t slept for more than three hours in weeks and they say enjoy it. You say your baby refuses to go more than two hours without nursing and they say savor it. You say my house is a mess and my infant won’t nap and I haven’t eaten a hot meal in days and they say cherish it. And that used to drive me crazy because how could anyone enjoy a screaming banshee? I realize now, of course, what they meant. They don’t literally mean enjoy the screaming and the crying and the random meltdowns. They mean savor the moments in between because your baby is already catapulting towards independence and these days – yes of diapers and bottles and tedium – will be gone in a flash. And you will miss them.

So when I found myself curled up beside my dumpling just before midnight, futilely trying to ignore my cramping neck and shoulder and praying to the furniture gods that his crib would hold us both, I did the only thing I really could at the moment. I watched him in the dim light. Watched his chest rise and fall, his eyes tightly shut. Watched his body shift in his Zippadee Zip. Since he was on his back most of the time, I followed his profile – his round forehead and adorable button nose. But most of all, I watched him physically relax next to me, my mere presence enough to snap him out of whatever caused his funk and lull him back to sleep.

I breathed and watched and waited for almost half an hour before deciding he was fine without me (he had rolled as far away from me as he could get by that point) and climbing back out of his crib. I still curled up on the floor next to him, just in case, before heading back to my own bed around two in the morning. Was it an Instagram-worthy moment? No, of course not (especially the next morning when my sleep-deprived eyes could have carried our groceries home with those deep bags). Was it a moment I savored? Yes, in a quiet way. I hope to never forget his tiny body next to mine, finally sleeping soundly after so much agitation.

Somewhat sleepless in Seattle

Hello again! Luffy and I made it back and the dumpling did wonderfully, sans parents.

We went to Washington (Seattle area), primarily for a concert Saturday night. It was a whirlwind weekend of eating and drinking and driving (but definitely not in that order). We arrived Friday around noon and promptly dove headfirst into soup dumplings at Din Tai Fung a restaurant I feel positive I’ve mentioned before. Since it was our first vacation since having a child, we ordered a bottle of champagne to celebrate VACATION!!! It was real good. We spent the afternoon doing touristy things and traipsing up and down the downtown area enough to (hopefully) burn off all those soup dumplings.

On Saturday, we got waffles (WAFFLES!!!) and crepes, killing time until our noon check out. We then drove about two hours east of Seattle, to a tiny town in which we were staying. The concert was being held at a venue that is literally in the middle of nowhere (the Gorge Amphitheater). Our little town was only about 40 minutes from the amphitheater, so once we checked in and freshened up, we headed back out. The amphitheater itself is gorgeous, overlooking the Columbia river. The weather was cool, getting downright cold once the sun went down. I quickly realized that we only really know how to do outdoor festivals in Texas. Between three of us, we brought three 20oz bottles of water, as well as one refillable Camelbak. We were supposed to have two, but our friend forgot his. We also bought sunscreen and dressed in layers that we could “take off” as needed. …… Yeah. I was ridiculously cold by the end of the night even though I thought I’d dressed warmly. I realized that I should have brought a blanket after watching very nearly every other festival-goer huddling under a blanket at different points in the evening. We only finished two of those bottles of water and, though we filled it as soon as we got there, we didn’t even touch the Camelbak (probably because it wasn’t a thousand degrees out and thus we weren’t losing water through sweat as fast as we could replace it). And I completely forgot the sunscreen that we purchased expressly for the concert. Eh, we didn’t need it.

The concert itself was incredible. Just beyond words. And over too quickly, as wonderful things tend to do. We made it back to our hotel around 1 in the morning, which is when we discovered that my driver’s license (which I’d needed to get into the concert) was missing. Sigh

So this is where our story devolves into my usual absurdness.

Luffy realized Saturday night in the wee hours of Sunday morning that my ID wasn’t in his pocket anymore. Being one in the morning, we decided to search more thoroughly after some sleep, but found nothing the next morning. As I was about to try to get on a plane, I managed to dig out a copy of my passport from my email. TSA was actually really nice about the whole thing. I provided the copy of my passport, along with a debit card and my health insurance card, and essentially got an expedited though thorough passage through security. They went through my bags and gave me a pat-down, but they let me on the plane! Woohoo!

Monday I went to the DPS. That was rather uneventful, even fortuitous in a way. I happened to lose my license close enough to its expiration date (this November) that they just renewed it at the same time. So helpful! Plus, I’ve hated the picture on that license since I got it four years ago and got to take a new one. Double yay!

But then – on my way to lunch with Luffy I picked up two nails in my tire. I went out to the garage Tuesday morning to discover a pancake for a tire, completely derailing my plans of having Luffy pick me up from our mechanic after I dropped it off for patching. We were unsuccessful in pulling the flat tire off to replace it with the spare (the lug nuts were practically cemented on there) and had to cash in a free AAA tow. In more not-so-great news, the leak couldn’t be patched because the nails were too close together. We had to replace the tire. Now, I’ve honestly gotten nails in my tires maybe a handful of times before 2017. Right before the dumpling arrived last year, we replaced all four tires on my vehicle because they were due and we figured we might as well knock that task out before the baby arrived. Since then I’ve managed to have two, TWO, unfixable flats necessitating the replacement of a practically new tire. I’m sort of wondering if the driving gods are mad at me or something.

So that was fun. We picked it up yesterday and handed over the keys to Luffy’s car because he had three mechanical issues pop up yesterday. THREE. Like he’s trying to one-up me or something. Sheesh. Sit back down, this here’s my blog.

So yeah, that’s been us over the past few days. Lots of tedious adulting. Today is picture day at the dumpling’s daycare and I can’t wait to view the proofs. Last time he had picture day, we got several gems back including one alarmingly (or hilariously??) similar to this meme:

Good work son! You’ve got a knack for expressing your disregard for the whole school picture thing. Already getting a head start on years of this fool business.

A last aside – the dumpling is sporting a new tooth! One of his top center erupted while we were gone! He’s now enamored with grinding the top and bottom together, but I’m hoping he gets over it.

The Game

Before I had a child, I remember wondering what the allure of all of those baby games was. You know: peekaboo, nursery rhymes, so big – all of those. I mean, sure babies laughed and smiled, I suppose that’s cute. But what’s the fun in them? How could parents repeat them over and over and over and seemingly be just as delighted as their babies?

And then I had a child. And now I know.

To be fair, I’ve always just assumed it would be different with your own child and that’s exactly right. The dumpling looooooooves for us to sing to him. His favorites are Itsy-bitsy Spider and Open, Shut Them, but he’ll also take Disney songs or any other song you happen to be singing. If he’s in a good mood, he positively lights up when you start singing. If he’s in a bad mood, he’ll give you a teary little smile and put a pause on his cries (until the moment you stop singing, of course). He also loves to play peekaboo and he’s recently leveled up his abilities: he can now pull the cloth we’re playing with off of his own head. Score one for the dumpling! His little laughs and big smiles are infectious and Luffy and I will endlessly repeat whatever currently has him giggling in pursuit of MOAR giggles.

However, he’s got a new game now that he’s positively thrilled over and Luffy and I…. well we can’t get enough of it either:

So the dumpling has figured out that when either of us are holding him, he can throw his arms out to the other parent and be passed off. I’m not really sure why he’s so enchanted with this – perhaps it’s his first realization that he can communicate what he wants and get it*. Luffy and I love the little game though because the dumpling gives the best hugs and when he’s passed, he’ll sometimes turn around to you and give this little look like omg mom YOU’RE here too, that’s just amazing! i am so excited to see you!! and then throw his little arms towards you. Sigh. It’s the sweetest.

Last night, something threw the dumpling for a loop in the bath (we’re thinking maybe the water was too warm for his liking???) and he started crying. Big tears, long sobs. He did it the night before too and we were at a loss as to what to do. Nursing didn’t help. His zippy didn’t help. Pats and hugs and bedtime stories didn’t help. Eventually, he settled down, but it took him a while. Last night though, we brought him back to his room and played our little game again. Soon, he was giggling and smiling and all was right with the world.

Luffy and I would happily play that game with him for hours, especially with the knowledge that it won’t be long before he’ll have no patience for being held – he’ll want to GO and DO and RUN and SEE! So yes, right now we’ll pass him back and forth and back and forth and be delighted each time he throws his arms out to us.

*We’re working on some simple signs right now, mainly for milk and more. He hasn’t yet signed anything yet, but he definitely knows the one for milk. All I have to do is ask him if he wants milk (with the sign), and he goes ballistic with the hammy grins and the arm flapping. Yes! Milk! I love milk! I am so excited for the milk!!

Baby needs your blood

Or, at least, your iron enriched supplement.

I got a call last Thursday afternoon from our pediatrician’s office. The finger-prick blood test they had done at his nine-month check up came back positive for anemia. They prescribed an iron supplement, to be given at double the dosage, and told me to bring him back in the following week for a re-check.

Sounds easy enough right? Just give him 1mL of supplement, twice a day, no biggie. The thing is, have you ever tasted one of those supplements? The original one I had straight up tastes like blood. Back when the dumpling was six months old, I bought a multi-vitamin supplement for him because I knew infants’ iron reserves start dropping around then. I shopped around and bought one of those all-natural, no artificial-blah-blah-blah ones – in grape! – and figured it would be a simple matter of getting the dumpling to take it. After all, it was grape flavored. HAHAHA. Yeah no. I tried for a week and then gave up on the whole business. It tasted like blood, it smelled like blood, it stained his clothes, it took two of us to wrangle him. So yeah, I put it in the medicine cabinet and never looked back.*

*Cue mom guilt of epic proportions when I realized that MAH BABY IS ANEMIC and I NEGLECTED to give him an iron supplement from the start because it was icky and hard to do and, I dunno, I had other things to do.

So the good news is that the prescribed supplement, which is actually still apparently OTC although harder to find as evidenced by the fact that our pharmacy didn’t have it in stock, is slightly better tasting. It’s clear at least and doesn’t really taste like blood (or smell like blood for that matter). It does still have a metallic twang to it, which makes hiding it in food a little bit of a challenge. Luffy thinks I’m being ridiculous, but let me outline my issues for you, if I may:

  • Issue #1: Calcium hinders the absorption of iron. Therefore, the supplement shouldn’t be given alongside dairy. They do recognize that this is more of a challenge for infants and still suggest to put it in bottles of formula (although not cow’s milk), but it means his morning yogurt is out as a vehicle for iron.
  • Issue #2: We’re in the midst of our transition from breastmilk to formula. Today, in fact, is his first day with bottles that are more formula than breastmilk – woot woot! But, I don’t want to jeopardize this transition by throwing the supplement in there, especially as my supply has seriously tanked in the past couple of days (is it my period? night weaning? am I pregnant? WHO KNOWS!). So bottles are out.
  • Issue #3: We’re supposed to give this supplement for at least 30 days. So twice a day for 30 days – I want this to be as painless as possible. Therefore, straight up squirting it into his mouth via a syringe is out as the dumpling LOATHES this method. LOATHES IT GOOD SIR. I SAID GOOD-DAY TO YOU.
  • Issue #4: I had really hoped that he would drink it mixed with a little orange juice (I know! juice is terrible for them! it’s just water and sugar! if it means the dumpling happily drinks his own supplement you can bite me). Alas, he is onto me and wants nothing to do with that either, thankyouverymuch.
  • Issue #5: I thought about putting the OJ/iron mixture into a cup because the dumpling loves cups. The only problem is that he’s still not that great with them and he’d probably only get 1/4 of it down. I’m keeping this as a last resort on the days that we have problems giving his other doses to him.
  • Issue #6: Recall that we’re giving this for 30 days, twice a day. I really hate to put it into all of his food because then everything he eats would have a metallic taste and that just makes me sad. He’s supposed to be discovering flavors right now and it bums me out that everything would have that icky aftertaste.
  • Issue #7: Re: Issue #6 – and further, even if I did mix it in with all of his food, I’d have to ensure that he eats most of that food each time. It’s required baby. Prescribed food, now open up.
  • Issue #8: (And this is where Luffy thinks I am being the most ridiculous) We have successfully hidden it in his oatmeal on several occasions, but I just can’t bring myself to do it all of the time because ….  it turns his oatmeal gray. Gray oatmeal you guys. On the one hand, it looks completely unappetizing. The dumpling doesn’t care, but I do. Small confession though – he does look hilarious when he eats the gray oatmeal. It gets on and around his lips and he looks like he’s got black lipstick on like some tiny goth baby. Emo infants around the world will likely request gray oatmeal now to fulfill their tiny emo-baby dreams.
  • Issue #9: So again with the 30 days, twice a day thing. I’d really like to find something that’s a one-and-done sort of thing, like the OJ/iron thing would have been. Something that I can just have prepared and grab, mix with the supplement and feed to the dumpling. I really don’t want to have to be doing mental math each day to think ok, so he’s having yogurt this morning, which means that I can’t mix it into that, which means that I need to add it somewhere else, but I want to give him sandwiches today, so scratch that, maybe a veggie puree in the afternoon and then we’ll just see when he gets home  and then tomorrow will be totally different. I’m sorry, but I already have a million and one things to do/remember/attend to, I would like to have one set way to administer this thing for the next month.
  • Issue #10: [There isn’t another issue, but I can’t leave this list here without rounding it out to a nice even ten. So let’s just chat about other things real quick – how’s the weather there? We’ve got rainy and a high of 85 degrees in freaking August! Someone pinch me! Also, I could have used this last year, but whatever.]
  • Issue #11: Wait! I thought of another issue! The supplement is best absorbed on an empty stomach, but could cause stomach upset. Adults are supposed to take it with food, but only if it causes upset. Obviously an infant can’t tell you if his stomach is upset by what you just gave him, so they suggest administering it immediately following a meal. BUT. Infants don’t eat unless they’re hungry. So you see the catch-22 right? He needs to eat it after a meal to avoid upset stomach but infants don’t eat unless they’re hungry which means he’s not gonna eat it after a meal. Wah wah.
  • Issue #12: Re: Issue #10 – well crap, now what I have done? Let’s just leave it here and pretend this is like #15 or something.

So, that’s a lot of issues. You see my dilemma, yes? Today, we’re trying a new method. Another mom suggested a smoothie of sorts. I blended mango, banana, carrots, orange juice, and apple juice together to make a sweet puree. We never give the dumpling fruit purees, so I’m hoping he’ll be excited by this enough to eat it each day. I’m also hoping the sweet combats the metallic and that the small size (I’m keeping each serving at an ounce) means that he finishes it all. I was able to prepare about 24 portions, which means we’d have at least 12 days covered already. Plus, they’re already prepared and in the fridge which means it’s just grab, mix, and go. Basically, all of my hopes and dreams are resting on this! Don’t fail me smoothie! You’re my last hope!


So yeah, wish us luck! Between that and the formula (iron-fortified) and the oatmeal (iron-fortified), I really hope to pull his numbers up soon.

Milks lady

Luffy, ever the analytical thinker, did the math.

Daily consumed ounces – current daily pump output = required supplement from freezer (RSfF).

Current freezer stash divided by the daily RSfF equals twenty-five days. Give or take.

Twenty-five days and the milk runs out.

I knew it was coming. My pumped output has basically been declining since I started pumping back in January. Slowly but surely, I’ve gotten less and less over the weeks. Fifteen ounces a day, then thirteen, then twelve, then ten, and now seven. In my head, my fuzzy non-math figured we could make it to twelve months when we could switch over to cow’s milk. Luffy’s 25 days fall short of my twelve month non-math.

In a way, I’m happy about this. I’m not sure if I mentioned this (a quick perusal through the archives tells me I did not): I had made up my mind to transition to formula during the days about two months ago. I was ready. I had researched formulas. Bought new bottles. Bought formula. Told daycare. And then, the day came, and I changed my mind. I just couldn’t. I thought about the freedom not having to pump would bring me and the relief I would likely feel at not being the dumpling’s sole source of food. I thought about the added benefit of iron in the formula (no iron supplements for the breastfed baby!). I thought about not having to drag my pump and all of its accouterments to work with me. I thought about how I’d never have to feel that unique brand of discouragement after pumping for almost a half hour and getting such a small amount. All of these thoughts – all of the decisive pros – and I couldn’t. I put away the bottles (which I had already sanitized) and tucked the formula into our pantry and kept lugging my breast pump to work.

So in a way, I’m pleased that the decision has been taken out of my hands. No more waffling about my supply is definitely decreasing and but I’ll miss the weekend nursing sessions. It just makes sense to get the dumpling acclimated to formula before the stash runs dry. I want to make sure that he does well with the formula I’ve chosen. Plus it gives me time to wean off the pump. I think it’s a good decision for both of us.

True, I’m sad about the timing. We’re so close to making it all the way. I never set goals for myself regarding breastfeeding (as was such a popular topic on my birth board) because I figured it took two to tango, so to speak. Both the dumpling and I had a say in how long we nursed. But since we’re so close to a year (the fabled year! when we make the switch!) I started thinking we could go all the way.

But then again, not being the dumpling’s sole source of nutrition means that I can really get aggressive with my diet now, which will do wonders for my self-esteem. It means that I can stop timing my meals and when I have caffeine. It means I can stop fretting over my output. It means I don’t necessarily have to be around when the dumpling needs his next meal.

But also, my baby! It’s irrational, but I’ll miss being his sole source of nutrition. His rolls, his length, his baby chub – all of it thanks to me. Literally his entire body thanks to me. Plus, I’ll miss the ultimate excuse when I want some baby snuggles – oh, I’m sorry, it’s time for him to nurse. Handy for whenever I want to regain control or when I just flat out miss that little cutie pie.

So, this is it. The countdown is on. His first bottle of formula is prepped and in the fridge for tomorrow. We’ll still nurse for breakfast, right before bed, and during the night, which, saying that, makes this whole post seem superfluous. Still though – don’t argue with my irrational momma brain! Mah baby!! Don’t forget me – don’t forget when it was just you and me and the milks.

Love, the milks lady.