I read so many of my mom friends say how sad they are that their baby is growing up or getting bigger. Honestly, I haven't had many of those moments yet. I enjoy each day as he gets more and more interactive. And he's still wearing 3 month clothes and will *sometimes* fall asleep on my shoulder. But we've got some upcoming changes that are really giving me pause.
Last school year, I only went back for the last 6 weeks...and he was just 4 months adjusted at the time so he was still asleep often and not nearly on a schedule.
Now I go back on Wednesday and he's 7 months adjusted (nearly 11 months actual!!). He's slept in our room since the day he got home and I love having him there. But he wakes up around 6:30 and that's basically when I need to leave in the morning. I don't want to worry about waking him up earlier, so he needs to start sleeping in his room. And I am sad about it. His nursery is downstairs on the other side of the house. I'd probably still be able to hear him and we have a great monitor, but it's a big step! He already goes to sleep in his crib at night (I move him after the dreamfeed) and takes all naps in his crib, so I'm pretty positive he'll be fine. But it's definitely a step away from baby-hood.
The second issue is pumping...or weaning I guess. Dylan had 100% breast milk for the first 4 months of his life. But he really liked the thickness of Enfamil AR and it got us out of the NICU, so he's been eating 50% BM, 50% formula since then. I say this just to show that I have no issue with formula (except the cost...geesh!). But despite that, I wanted to be able to give Dylan breastmilk through a year adjusted which will come in January. I have a healthy freezer stash, so I figured I could stop pumping when I went back to school and make it until January. And I can.
BUT...my number one concern right now is flu season. We hired a nanny for Dylan so that he would be away from other kids and their germs since his lungs are much more vulnerable to infection. But I'm terrified that I will be the one to bring sickness into our household from one of the 150 dirty teenagers whom I spend my day with. I almost never get sick. And I've always felt that it's because of the immunity I've built up from my students. I hand sanitize occasionally, but also realize that some exposure is good. But not this year!
I'm seriously considering having all students sanitize before entering the classroom (like they do at the hospital) and having all desks wiped down with Lysol at the end of the day. Then when I get home I'll change my clothes and shower. It feels a little crazy, but I don't think I could sleep if I don't do it.
So back to the breastmilk...I wonder how much protection I could give Dylan by continuing to give him fresh milk? Does it really work that fast? How much milk would he need? Is four ounces enough?
Because I do not want to pump at work. I would actually be totally happy to still pump twice a day. But it's not feasible to pump for a half an hour and have a half an hour commute in the morning. School starts at 7:30. (And car pumping just does not cut it. I get almost nothing and then have to "unhook" and such near a school with teenagers walking by. Two times of that was enough to want to die.) I could pump during my prep period, but honestly I just really don't want to. I need to use that time to really get things done so that I can get home to spend time with Dylan. (I can't really get things done while pumping since I need to do compressions for most of the time and need to hand express after.)
So I dropped to just one pump a day last Friday and I'm hoping that my milk will not dry up before January, but I've taken a severe hit with each dropped session since 4 and I'm only making 4-5 ounces now. If I can sustain that amount, I'll keep at it. But if it drops below 4 (with about 40 minutes of pumping, then hand-expressing), then I'll throw in the towel.
I think weaning is hard for every mom, whether you make the the decision immediately, after 6 months, or even at two years. And I'm mourning it before it's even happened, even though he's only been getting 5 or so fresh ounces a day. (And I know that I'm lucky that I've had a supply both fresh and frozen that has gotten us this far.) When do parenting decisions become easier? When they're 20?
He can hold the bottle now!