Yesterday I burst into a real cascade of crying after I spilt about 3 oz of my milk (thank God I caught it before the rest fell down!). I was disconsolate for a few minutes and then I realized my deluge of tears was noticed by my two sons, who were both increasingly concerned about me. My toddler said, "mama crying" and "mama sad" and came to give me a hug and my younger son, who continued to attack his chew-toy (the lesser known tenth circle of hell is being transformed into a chew toy for a teething toddler on a rampage to soothe his aching gums) was nevertheless attune to my mood change with frenzied flickers of his eye contact that seemed to implore me to mitigate my morose mood... which did the trick. However upset you may be - and only a nursing mother can relate to how viscerally it hurts when you lose the milk you were about to give your child - when you see your own pain reflected in the eyes of your children, it rouses you to recovery. Even if you have to masquerade a mood change, the very act of amplifying your smile and joining in a chorus of one of your child's favourite songs - the act of seeming to change your mind to mollify their concern changes your mood. So it seems that when you are crestfallen (whether or not children are involved), if you can somehow make yourself smile, you trick your mind into thinking that you are happier so it directs a stop-work order to all the chemicals that assault our senses when we get depressed and enmesh us in a downward spiral.
I have been pumping milk and adding it to my store in order to have enough milk for my six month old as well as my toddler, who has been unwittingly drinking my milk some weeks now as I hope that the ingestion of my milk will fortify his stomach and aid with probiotics in populating his gut with good bacteria. We have just taken him off antibiotics, which he had to be on for his entire life to prevent kidney infections due to a high stage of reflux, as he is now fully potty trained and we are praying he does not get an infection (if he does, we will have to consider surgery). While the antibiotics were narrow spectrum, we remain concerned both as to any issues it may have caused with respect to developing resistance as well as the probable obliteration of his gut bacteria. Unfortunately he is not such a paramour of fermented foods as me, albeit he did have a few bites of kim chee once (oh, how I adore thee!), but thankfully he does share my addiction to yoghurt. My husband jokes that for all the yoghurt and cheese we eat in this house it would be cheaper if we simply bought a cow. Despite being able to bombard his system with probiotics, I think my milk will be helpful (and possibly I must admit since I can now produce for two I may also be compensating by giving him milk now as I had to supplement his nursing with formula, unlike his exclusively breastfed brother, which fact still causes me some guilt).
Meanwhile, it was becoming evident that my 6 month old had patent food envy. For the past several weeks, every time we would eat, he would try his best to take our food and his eyes bulged so much out of his head following the direction of the meals, that we would not have been surprised if they simply popped out and walked on over to a plate. Last week we gave him his first taste of oatmeal. As expected, 99% went on his clothes and 1% was digested, but it was not for failure of trying. He loved the taste of oatmeal! He simply didn't understand how to proceed and kept sticking his tongue out. This week we are going to try green beans. His brother started food before him, at 4 months, but that was mainly because I had to supplement with formula (or so I thought) and the more food we gave him as he grew, the less formula he received.
Life is an interesting script. With my first, everything went wrong initially with nursing and my supply dwindled so that I had to supplement and now with my second, I produce more than he could eat. With my first I was determined to exclusively nurse and then woe after woe wore me down to a final capitulation to admit the practical (after all, it consoled me that he was nevertheless nursed for 16 months) and with my second, already having accepted this previous predicament and realizing it was not so pernicious, I didn't expect nor did I harbour the same desire for exclusive nursing and it was achieved. Poor little M (if my ever growing giant can be termed that), I nursed L while I was pregnant with him in the second trimester and now he has to share his milk too - oh, the woe of younger siblings! He continues however to hold dominion over our bed and he is assured of his continued reign.