Breastfeeding: The End

BerlinPool103

For the past nineteen months Berlin and I have enjoyed the same routine every night; bath, nurse, books, then bed. But early last week our routine suddenly changed. As I prepared to nurse Berlin, I lifted my blouse, and without hesitation she instantly pulled it back down. She then stuck the pacifier in her mouth, turned the opposite direction and cuddled up to me to read a book; and just like that we were done nursing.

In all honesty I was hoping it would happen this way, and I was wishing the time would come soon. For months I had battled the weaning process; reading books and blogs on how to wean and discussing it with my fellow nursing mothers, but despite my best efforts there was little weaning done.

There were times when it seemed I was having success, we would drop down from six to four nursings a day, sometimes even as low as three, but then just like that, we were back up to six plus times a day. Admittedly so I wasn’t as strict about the process as maybe I should have been (I mean obviously or her feedings wouldn’t keep increasing as they did), but due to her slow weight gain I felt tremendous guilt not giving her the added nutrition she needed. So I continued on, allowing her to nurse as often as she liked, whether it be two or even eight times a day. This roller coaster of feedings went on for several months (you can only imagine how sore my boobs were from this constant flux of supply), until nearly two months ago when I successfully got her down to three times a day; morning, noon and night. At that point I was perfectly satisfied with the number of daily feedings and felt less pressure to wean her. I began to trust in the natural weaning process and was more than confident that she would begin to wean herself as she was ready.

Admittedly I was yearning for my independence and the feeling of owning my total body again, but it was still a shock that she weaned so suddenly. I’m thrilled she did so on her own terms, without any pressure from me, but I still feel a sense of sadness knowing I will never nurse her again. But alas, I’m sure this holds true for all nursing mothers and I’m confident that down the road I’ll be nursing another.

For now I’m so proud of both Berlin and I for having made it through a year and a half plus and I’m beyond grateful for the beautiful end to our journey; a self-weaned, satisfied baby with little pain and no depression on my behalf. I have to say, it was a perfect ending.

 


 

 

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Nineteen Months

Growing / She seems much taller these days, however it might be that she is standing more often (rather than scooting on her bum all the time). She finally weighted in at 20 lbs our last checkup-but feels much heavier on achy back.

Eating / Still a great eater. Her favs lately consist of all things Thai; pad thai, fried rice, coconut noodle soup…and she’s still loving the Mexican food, can’t get enough of the burrito action. Ryan accidentally (well he says so at least) bought some peanut butter cereal puffs that she is in love with, but who doesn’t love some sugar filled puffs?!

Speaking / The girl can talk! She talks and talks, saying sentence like structures (not sure what she is saying), but she is definitely  carrying on a conversation. Although her sentences are not understandable, her single words are very clear and well spoken. Her words of the moment include; why, outside, car, bus, park and still loves to say “uh-oh.” Then there is her new recent word, her first curse word; “puck. Mama has to watch her language.

Learning / She is slowly but surely learning how to take her first steps. She is so close, but lacking the confidence to just let go and go for it. Soon I tell ya, soon!

Mastering / Temper tantrums. She is generally a happy, easy going child, but suddenly she throws herself on the floor in a fit of rage over the smallest thing (like me given her a broken cracker, she always wants a full cracker, and one for each hand).

Loving / For all of those that follow my Instagram, you know she is obsessed with her stuffed animals. She has four different ones that are in the rotation (bunny, lion, kitty and a cow), however kitty is always in the mix, he’s her number one. She is still loving her toddler chair, however she now enjoys pushing her animals around the house in the chair, more than sitting in it. She loves mimicking me do housework (no complaints here!), her favorite is helping me sweep with her mini broom.

Loathing / She hates sleeping lately, especially napping. She has always been great at going to bed (not so much staying asleep) but never fussed when we put her down and always took great naps-never had a problem with naps. Suddenly she fights us every step of the way. She knows her sleep routine, so even bath time (her fav) erupts in a fight as she knows the end result is bedtime. It can take me up to 2 hours to get her down for a nap these days (total waste of a good day), but I keep trying as I know the consequences if she doesn’t sleep. Then she will often scream for an hour or two at night then eventually pass out from exhaustion. Overall its a real hoot of a time.

Laughing / She’s a total goof, always laughing or mock laughing at everything (she loves to pretend laugh and throw her head back with this silly, toothy laugh).

Playing / In the past few weeks she has not been into so much of “play” but things that involve deep concentration or observation. Where as she would normally be climbing up and down the gym at the playground, she now is content to sit back and observe the other kids for long periods of time. At home, rather than play with her toys she would rather read book after book or carefully line up all her stuffed animals one by one then move again to another location and start all over again.

 


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Eighteen Months

Growing / Berlin appears to be much taller, however I won’t officially know until her 18 month visit next week. Its pretty safe to say she is most likely still very underweight however (what can you do?!). She is still wearing mostly 12 month clothing (so tiny I tell you!) and we just recently fit her for size 4 shoes-at least the feet are growing!

Eating / She is still a pretty hearty eater for the most part. Not loving a lot of veggies still, but if you catch her in the right mood, she will eat pretty much anything. She still loves yogurt, oatmeal, string cheese, broccoli, raspberries and bananas. Recently she has been really into rice and crackers (when I allow them).

Speaking / She is still an extraordinary communicator. Her vocabulary expands daily, but sadly I’m not always able to understand her. We discovered recently that she was saying “shoes” and it took me awhile to realize that “mit” meant milk. She has stopped using sign language for the most part and has replaced her signs with words-its just taking me awhile to catch on…Her favorite word however is still “uh-oh!”

Learning / She is still learning to use a fork and spoon-without spilling her meal. Learning how to get around the house on her walker, she is very good at walking with it, but not so much when it comes to maneuvering around obstacles, then she just whines until we come to her rescue. She is currently learning to swim. We have her in weekly swim classes and she is the star pupil, a natural (just like her dad).

Mastering / She is sadly a master at the iPad. She knows how to navigate the apps, taking her to Netflix to watch a video or YouTube to watch Baby Einstein. Recently we updated my phone and cleared all the pictures on it, let me tell you, that didn’t make her very happy. She was beyond frustrated when she discovered there were no longer videos to watch of herself on my phone! Much to our dismay, she has mastered the art of getting us out of bed in the middle of the night. She used to just fuss for a bit in the wee hours of the night, but now she hangs onto the edge of her crib screaming until we go in the room, then instantly stops crying when we enter and points to her books-like its story time. We have attempted letting her scream it out, but she always wins.

Loving / She’s in love with this little toddler chair we got her recently. She just sits in the chair and reads and reads (its quite nice actually). She has found a new affinity towards all her old baby toys lately. She drags these old toys around with her everywhere she goes, I often find them stuffed in my purse when we leave the house (she is quite sneaky-and funny). She is also absolutely obsessed with the running shower pounding her in the face, she thinks its hilarious.

Loathing / She loathes any pre-made food. Anytime I try to sneak in a food packet or pre-made toddler meal, she shoves it away (so much for ever getting a break from cooking!).

Laughing / She gets incredibly excited every time the door bell rings, laughing and squealing with joy. She finds pure joy in being tossed up in the air, especially while in the pool.

Playing / She is still really into her Legos.  We recently bought her farm animal Legos which has deepened her love for them further. She is loving her walker, alway collecting things along the way and filling it up until things are spilling over as she walks. She is also still very content playing in the cupboards or the fridge, loves removing all the condiments from the fridge-and sometimes putting them back (probably not helping our electric bill much).




 

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Seventeen Months

Growing / While she is growing taller, surprisingly she is not growing heavier. I swore she had gained several lbs, but our trip to the pediatrician told us otherwise. She is still far below the average charts in weight, but close to fifty percent for height. Its crazy because I swear the kid never stops eating-only to sleep. Well I guess its a great problem to have, hopefully she will never have to watch what she eats as an adult (lucky her!).

Eating / She is still a fantastic eater, although moody. She loves a meal one day and totally poo poos it the next. She is very strong minded about what she does and doesn’t like-and will definitely let you know about it. She is very accustomed to eating what we eat, spicy and all. As you can see, she can take down on a burrito (like the true quarter Mexican she is), and loves her some hot ass spicy Thai food.

Speaking / She is pretty much a parrot at this point, repeating every word we say. I can no longer count the number of words she has in her vocabulary as she learns a new one daily. Her favorite words at the moment include several silly expressions like; “uh-oh,” “ohh” and “yay!”

Learning / How to pick out her own clothes. Each morning she grabs an outfit from her bins that she wants to wear (and gets very upset if we don’t put them on her). How to eat properly with a spoon. Still learning how to cruise and walk on her own. She sadly has little to no desire to walk. We have started to see a new physical therapist recently so we hope she will walk soon.

Mastering / Communication. She is very proud of herself for communicating her needs and so happy we understand. She has become very skilled at stacking and sorting shapes.

Loving / Her Legos, she loves building things and pushing them all over the floor. Cleaning, she loves sweeping, mopping and cleaning with a rag. Making silly faces, she loves getting a laugh out of us by giving us all her absurd facial expressions. Still loves reading and loves, loves the playground. She is also is really enjoying hearing others sing. We attend baby rhyme time at the library and she squeals in delight when the class sings.

Loathing / Still hates sitting still; carseat, stroller, highchair…has a mini meltdown when we leave the playground (but she gets over it quickly). Doesn’t enjoy putting on her socks or shoes-runs away if the she even sees me get out her shoes. She is completely frightened of this motorized dog her auntie got her for Christmas (sorry Aunt Kelsey!). And sadly, she really hates walking.

Laughing / She is really darling lately. I’m enjoying all our time together as she is so happy and joyful. It takes very little to make her laugh, just a silly word or funny face. She finds smelling socks hilarious-and enjoys us smelling her dirty socks. She is become ticklish lately and giggles when tickled her arms.

Playing / She is obsessed with her Legos (as I mentioned) and sorting toys. She loves playing in the dishwasher (taking each dish out as I put them in). She likes the swings and reading my fashion magazines.




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Sixteen Months

Growing / She’s finally filling out (a wee bit). She has a tiny little pot belly and absolutely is getting taller. I would bet she must weigh 20 lbs now-finally! She has outgrown her infant car seat, but we have been too lazy to buy a new one, so in the meantime we keep taking off her layers and stuffing her in the seat (sounds safe huh?).

Eating / She’s still a great eater. She will eat almost anything, minus some veggies (sadly). She loves yogurt, or “baby” as she calls it for Yo Baby yogurt. She is obsessed with eating my cereal. I can’t even pull out the box without her having a total panic attack. She’s also in love with bread, we try not to have it around or she won’t eat anything else. She has multiple melt downs in the grocery store because she wants everything she sees, especially when we reach the hot meal section of Whole Foods, she goes ballistic pointing to everything in sight.

Speaking / She impresses me daily with her language and comprehension skills. It utterly amazes me that she understands everything I’m saying. If I ask her to “please share,” she picks up a toy and hands it to another child and if I ask her for a specific book she retrieves it. She communicates very well to me, letting me know when she is hungry, thirsty, needs her diaper changed…if she doesn’t have a word for it (or I don’t understand) she will use sign language instead.

Learning / To get herself dressed. She is getting better at putting on her own jacket (and trying to put on her shoes and socks). She is learning how to cruise-this has been an incredibly slow experience, mainly to do with confidence.

Mastering / Climbing all over everything. Her new favorite is to climb on top of the coffee table when I leave the room. She is mastering the art of humor. She knows what to say and how to perform to make a room burst out in constant laughter.

Loving / Loves making funny faces (usually to get a chuckle), loves banging on the keyboard-sending nonsensical emails from my laptop, loves destroying everything in her path (I swear I spend half the day cleaning up after her!) and still loves to nurse-much to my disamay.

Loathing / Not much has changed in this category; still hates being in the car, hates getting dressed and despises diaper time-including going number deuce. Also hates sitting still; stroller or high chair time are always challenging. Recently she does not like elevators, she breaks out in tears if someone joins us on the elevator. Then sadly for me, she no longer enjoys going to the gym daycare-big, huge bummer!

Laughing / She is a bowl full of laughs lately. As I said earlier she loves entertaining and making herself and others laugh. She bursts into laughter each time she touches my mouth, nose or belly and each time we toss her in the air or chase her across the room. She also finds the words “potty” or “poopy” very comical (guess you are never too young to find joys in these words).

Playing / Recently she loves playing on the furniture. She constantly wants to be sitting either on the couch, chair or coffee table. As of late we have been removing all the cushions and building a fort type of environment for her so she can safely crawl around the furniture. She enjoys playing with her flashcards and books (always) and is recently obsessed with the Christmas ornaments.

Above is Berlin’s first time on the Merry-go-Round the other week. Its out of this world to hear my little girl saying “mama, mama” to me, still pulls at my heart strings!

 




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Fifteen Months

Berlinnachos

Sorry for the crickets around here. As I’m sure you can imagine our move has been keeping me very busy -it has been one big adventure around here, but I will save that for another post…In the midst of all this chaos our little nugget hit fifteen months, and is growing and changing on a daily basis (or so it feels), so before I forget all her monumental changes here it goes:

Growing / She seems to be growing taller, her pants are suddenly getting shorter while still being big in the waist.  Her hair is growing quickly (and quite scraggly) while turning more and more blonde.

Eating / She is a BIG eater lately, however quite moody regarding food. In the early morning she rejects almost all food, except for maybe eggs. Then by the evening she will stuff her face (literally) with almost anything in her grasp. She loves sitting in the shopping cart at the grocery store, grabbing produce from the aisles and scarfing it down (she bit into a whole avocado the other day-skin and all).

Speaking / Her communication improves daily, I swear every day she learns a new word and loves to mimic everything we say. Her latest words are agua and ojos (nana was here last week teaching her Spanish) and yay. Her comprehension of language is amazing. She seems to understand everything I say and will point or look to the person or object I’m speaking of.

Learning / To stand independently, drink out of a cup (no sippy) and put on her shoes.

Mastering / Climbing stairs and playsets, opening and closing cupboards and doors and using the iPhone (sadly).

Loving / Still loves to read, wants to read the same books over and over. Fully concentrates on each page looking over the images before turning each page. Loves viewing murals/artwork, studies each design as if she was an art critic. Loves pushing around her toy box filling it up with stuff around the house as she goes.

Loathing / She still despises being in her carseat, car rides are a stressful nightmare! She intensely hates putting on a shirt, has a screaming fit when I attempt to dress her, and she hates getting her diaper changed.

Laughing / Laughs every time I turn off the car (she knows that means she will no longer have to be in her carseat). Laughs whenever she sees her cookie monster. Laughs if I stick out my tongue or say “belly.”

Playing / She still enjoys purses, kitchen tools (or anything from a cabinet) and scattering her clothes around the house. Now she also loves brushing her teeth and her hair and playing with any electronics; computer, stereo, phone…




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