Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Gimme a break

5 is the new 2. 3 is the new 1. Lemme 'slpain (warning, parental minutia ahead. deal.):

You see, Jacob has never been a championship eater. If we could get him to eat 2 ounces plus a little time at the breast, we considered ourselves lucky. Of course, this meant he ate frequently, sometimes (too often) every hour and a half, even overnight (oh, those were dark days). However, one day recently, this all changed. Jacob decided eating was fundamental and pounded a four ounce bottle while we were out at a friend's graduation party. Shocked, I made another four ouncer and he ate half, the most he'd ever eaten in one sitting in his whole short life. I decided this was an anomaly, brought on by overstimulation (which should really be his middle name, so bad are his parents) and timing issues. However, I was wrong, and I started having to make 5 or 6 ounce bottles regularly, especially for his first feeding after he went to sleep for his longest stretch. And now, he eats all the time, lots and lots. Just now he ate 5 ounces at 11:30am and then woke up crying at 1:00pm. I couldn't imagine he was hungry but all other attempts to calm him failed so I made him a 3 ounce "snack." And then, after he scarfed it down, I made him another. And he was finally satiated after finishing that bottle as well. I stand all amazed.

Remarkably, this newfound love of eating did not correspond directly with my stopping breast feeding. Though I did stop shortly after he discovered his appetite, the timing was coincidental. You see, we made it through four months nursing, Jacob and I, but we just couldn't go any longer. You know that you are no longer producing milk enough to feed a bird a very small snack when A, your son actually rejects your breasts for 24 hours in a row, even in his sleep, and B, you stop breast feeding for four days...and nothing happens. No clogged ducts, no pain, no infection, no flu-like symptoms, nothing. The well has officially run dry, and we're both coming to terms with that. Jacob still likes to nuzzle around my chest when he's hungry but will take a bottle 100% of the time when he realizes there's nothing else on the menu. We fought the good fight, we finished our course, we did all we could do but going any longer just isn't in the cards for us. So, we hope he's gotten all the antibodies he's going to need and we hope the new research that shows that children who were breast fed have higher IQ's is really a lot of hype.

Oh, and finally, in the "boy will be embarrassed about this later" vein, all this eating has resulted in the baby going from one dirty diaper a day to three. One was really very convenient for me: I knew he would never mess us both up once he'd gone for the day; I didn't have to pack so much in the diaper bag; and we really didn't have to buy that many diapers. But, oh well, I'm glad to exchange poor eating habits for more mess any day!

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