Monday, April 22, 2013

Decisions & Turmoil

Dear Sweet Barrow,
Oh my little man! Oh my big boy! How I love you!
You are five months old already. How does this happen so quickly? You have big, beautiful eyes - bright, steely blue, a color that is here to stay. You look like neither your father or me, but I often see your Uncle Henry. You've got a dimple on your left check. Genetic jackpot --- blue eyes and a lopsided dimple. You'll be irresistible. You already are.
You love your bouncy chair. You jump and screech and make happy sounds.
We're trying to make decisions about what to feed you, my little man. I want to keep breastfeeding, but it seems like you might be slightly allergic to something in my diet. Something that isn't milk or eggs or soy. We might keep heading down elimination diet alley, but the next steps seem very hard. No dairy, no eggs, no soy, no gluten. What's left?
But to switch to formula marks the end of something meaningful -- though, if I'm honest with myself -- something meaningful to me and not to you. Because we don't know if we will have another baby, if we stop breastfeeding now, it may mean my body is no longer meant to help my family grow. It may never have the chance to grow and feed a child again. And I'm surprised by how much that rocks me.
And the joy breastfeeding brings now... well, it's pretty big. I didn't love it at first, but now that it is not the one and only way you eat, now that I only nurse when I'm around -- it's a special time for you and me, when we get to be together.
But I don't want you to be uncomfortable or to suffer if there is something I can do to help you feel better. If formula will keep your tummy happier, shouldn't I just let it go?
We love you, sweet boy. Tonight, while I was cooking dinner, your sister was making crazy faces at you. She gives you big, silly smiles and ridiculous laughs. And you were laughing at her!! It was the first time that you've been driven to giggles without tickles. It felt like a family forming. Such joy.
I love you and your sister and your father more than anything ever.
Love you, my sweet Bear-Bear!

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