Monday, April 29, 2013

Baby will accept no substitutes, and certainly not a lousy bottle full of cow's milk

I've been waiting to pare down on the breastfeeding until Terza turned a year old, because then, I knew, she could start drinking cow's milk. I don't precisely know why this made a difference to me -- I could just have supplemented with formula, like I did with my other two. I think it was a combination of laziness (didn't want to deal with picking out a formula) and frugality (even the fancy organic milk is cheaper than formula). Either way, I had in stuck in my mind that when she turned a year, that'd be a good time to get around to giving her the bottle.

Terza, however, has different plans. Her plans are more along the lines of. "Obtain all my calories directly from my mother until her dugs dry up from old age." Kind of inconvenient for me.

We introduced the bottle to Terza when she was about 3 weeks old, just so she'd get into the habit of drinking from it, so I could have -- pause here while I chortle - freedom. It might have even worked, too, had we kept up with the bottle. Every few weeks, I'd remember that we should offer her a bottle soon so she'd be accustomed to the idea and I would do it, eventually, maybe once a month or every six weeks. I'd pump and hand over the milk to Nonnie and the baby would take the milk, usually, and the whole system seemed to be working decently. It was just such a pain to pump though, so much more time-consuming than just tossing her on the teat, seeing as she was always nearby and all. So I had someone feed her the bottle when absolutely necessary and besides that, I let her nurse, which was easier for everyone.

Except now, she won't take the bottle. Which is not easier for everyone. Namely, for me.

Seconda did the same exact thing when she turned a year, and we tried soy milk and rice milk and almost milk and every kind of bottle out there but the answer was always the same, some version of "Fuck, no." It would be useful if I retained any memory of those years because then I might recall how it all worked out but having the kids two years apart wiped out all my recall so its anybody's guess how we got from her never imbibing a sip of milk to gorging on it now, as a big kid. The one thing I know is she never took the bottle, yet she survived.

Which is why I know it will be fine. Except it means I can't really leave the baby for long periods of time, at least without feeling guilt-ridden and worried that she'll starve.

So, I'm back to pumping, in the hopes that if its Mommy's hard-won breastmilk she tastes coming through the bottle, she'll agree to drink it, and then maybe I can sneak in little bits of cow's milk at a time, gradually increasing the quantity until she's drinking regular milk like all the other babies around me do.

At which point, I will have to wean her off the bottle.