Gone Coastal

Monday, October 20, 2008

The beginning of the end

Some of you know I'm heading back to work in a couple of weeks. So, I knew I had some work to do to get Eli ready for full time daycare. Firstly, he'd eaten nothing but me to that point, which has been great. But really, there's only so much you can ask your daycare provider to do. I started by getting a breast pump so I could introduce him to a bottle. I figured I'd pump whatever was manageable at work, and supplement with formula. Thankfully, he took to the bottle fairly well. I was working on pumping enough to give him one or two bottles each day. But the problem was he was almost always demanding my attention, mostly to feed, so the only time I'd get to pump was at the end of the day. By the start of October he was averaging an hour to an hour and a half between feedings through the day, including nap times, and up two or three times in the night (he had been sleeping beautifully through most of the night earlier in the summer).
One night he was up even later than he had been, and I was getting worn out. He was literally tugging on me to get more as I tried to nurse him to sleep. The Bear was beside me on the couch. "I'm really gonna have to introduce some formula soon," I said. He eagerly rose to the occasion. This was a job he knew well from Tweetie's formula days, and frankly, I think he was hoping to get a bit of my time back for himself. My little Titan sucked back the whole bottle like nobody's business and I ordered up another round. He nodded off about an ounce into the second bottle and slept soundly.
I sighed. It was pretty clear at that point that even if I wasn't going back to work I'd probably have a hard time keeping up with his needs. It probably also didn't help that I hardly had time to feed myself properly through the day, so my milk was perhaps not so rich as it once was. My breastfeeding days were numbered, and I spent part of the next day mourning.

Well, as so often happens around here, that was already a couple of weeks ago. When I had been pumping, I had also started to introduce him to just a little bit of rice cereal, thinking it would be easier for me to do the early introduction while I was still at home with him, and if it worked out it might be simpler in the long run with daycare. As it became clear that I wouldn't come remotely close to being able to pump enough for him without basically giving up working anyway, I resigned myself to the idea of just pumping as needed to keep myself comfortable and if possible keep enough milk to handle any night feeds. If I don't have to go down to the kitchen and prep a bottle at 3 in the morning, I'll be much happier at work.
I also decided to start trying a few other foods, since he was eating so well and so much. Since the Bear was off stalking a moose (which he got!) I went to my mom's with the kids for the Thanksgiving weekend. When I went with her to get the last groceries, I picked up a couple of jars of food, figuring that would do me for the weekend. In Tweety's early days of solid food, I often didn't finish the jar before having to dispose of it, so two jars should easily last three days in his first week.
We got home and I spooned out a little of the carrots into a dish and offered it up. He ate it, I dished out some more. He at that, too, and I dumped the rest of the jar. Within about twenty minute he ate the whole thing! I was astonished. Then he had a nice nap ;) A little before supper was served, he was clearly hungry again, so I cracked open the peas and brown rice. It didn't take him long to polish that off either. Oh, and did I mention he also had mashed bananas, rice cereal, several bottles of formula and servings of mom the same day?
Unfortunately for him, his system had a little trouble getting all that solid food through, and he was a little backed up by the time we got home. Oh well, that was probably appropriate for an election day.
He continues to eat steadily, and I'm getting better at finding the right balance of foods for his constitution. He continues to grow. I weighed him last week after his shots and he was 18 lbs. That's half a pound more than the week before and he's probably another half pound by now. A titan he is, and strong.
He holds his head straight and steady, lifts his chest up on the floor, rolls over from tummy to back, and babbles happily when he's not crying about hunger or gas or mama knows not what. "da-da-da-da" is a popular refrain currently.
But right at this moment, he's looking for a clean, fresh bum, so I'll sign off and hope to catch you all again before working life takes over again. I'll try for some pictures, too.

2 Comments:

  • I love reading your blog!

    By Anonymous Tex, at 10:50 AM  

  • Thanks, Tex. I'm glad you're still dropping by now and then even though the posts have been a little slower to come out.

    By Blogger Coastal, at 10:57 AM  

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