Oh what a month it has been. After your stomach bug that landed you in the hospital we found out you were anaemic. The doctors words were: "His iron level is very low, not low enough that he would need a transfusion, but low." So, we made an appointment with our family doctor to talk about your low iron levels. I was confused because you eat a lot of red meat, and have been since you were about 6 months. At least 2 ice cubes of red meat a day, sometimes more.
Apparently, babies store iron in their bodies in utero and live off those stores for the first part of their live until its supplemented in the food they eat. Well, i didn't take into account the two months you were early you weren't able to store iron... So, you've been low on iron all this time and i didn't even know. Looking back, now that i know the signs of low iron, it's very clear - yellowish pale skin, dark circles around the eyes, low energy, low weight. And because i was making all your baby food and nursing you, you weren't getting iron from formula or pablum.
So we continued with the red meat, but added iron-fortified cereal in the morning, iron-fortified formula, and 1ml of Iron Supplement 3 x a day (as per doctor's orders). After a day or so of super increased iron we could see the results. Almost immediately you were happier, more playful, and you began to really pack on the pounds getting rolls on your thighs and a big round tummy... a fat little baby, just like you're supposed to be.
Once we had that all figured out, i really started pushing the formula and after i just decided that today is the day - you took it after a minor struggle. It seems that's the way it's gone with a lot of our big steps... the day i decided we'd move from the nipple shield to the breast, the day i decided i wasn't getting up in the night anymore, the day i decided you were going to learn to drink juice from a bottle... all those things were not easy, but after one day of fighting you figured out whatever new skill i needed you to learn.
The sad thing about moving you to the formula was that after you were getting it fast and with minimal work, you were no longer interested in nursing. It took too long, and to be honest, there just wasn't enough in there to satisfy you. So one day, just before you hit the eleven month mark, i offered you the breast 3 or 4 times that day and each time you refused. And just like that, you were weaned. You haven't looked back, but i have. I never thought i would miss nursing you, but i do. I miss the cuddle time, the bonding time, the way you would reach up and pat my cheek while i was feeding you... and the way you'd look up at me and smile with a big milky grin.
I'll tell you what i don't miss though; sore nipples, biting, let-down, having to nurse you in the 'family bathroom' at the mall... i do enjoy the freedom to continue doing what i'm doing by just giving you a bottle.
In the mobility department you have really taken off. The little scoot is getting better and better all the time and as proud as i am, i'm beginning to miss the time when i could put you down on the floor, run upstairs and get something and come back to see you where i left you.... but those days are GONE. I'm beginning to realize just how NON-BABY PROOFED my house is. Thank you.
You are growing so fast now, and i find myself being trapped between wanting to keep you a tiny little baby forever and being so excited at every new stage of development. My year with you is drawing ever more to a close, and as sad as it is, i'm starting to believe that you'll be fine, but it will be me who will have the hard time adjusting.
You are amazing.
I love you.