Disclaimer: Please read no further if you would rather not hear about breast feeding. :)
It has been a troublesome week for me and Heidi. She is still the adorable, fun-loving, chilled lil' booger we all know and love, but the poor thing welcomed four teeth at once and had a whole day (that's a lot for her) of crankiness and fatigue because of it. All four across the top. Ouch. That's gotta sting.
And that "ouch" is not only for her...but for me. She has been nursing only in the mornings, as her attempts at nursing in public and during the day have been a little...dramatic. She flails all over the place and our "hooter hider" is just a challenge to her. She has better things to do and look at than my armpit, it seems. (Don't we all?)
So she was nursing once in the morning, then drinking formula the rest of the day, in addition to her solids. But in the quiet of the morning, we would snuggle and she would suckle mama milk - my only link to the newness and preciousness of those early newborn days.
But with teeth comes biting. And with biting comes yelping/screaming. In Heidi's ear. Which is pretty traumatizing, I would imagine. It has happened more than a few times in the past few weeks, but more frequently lately. And the other morning, before even getting out of bed, I actually, solemnly prayed to God and "told" Him that if and when Heidi bites me again, that would be it for breast feeding.
I guess God got up early that day to take prayer requests because the first thing Heidi did when we sat down on the couch was latch on, look me in the eye, and CHOMP!
This normally hurts with one row of teeth (the bottom). But now that she has the top row to use as a little vice, the pain was EXCRUCIATING. I mean, so painful that I screamed, "Aaagghhh! No biting!!!!" in her ear, then lost it in a fit of tears. And the tears came not only from being used as a human chew toy (no blood, thankfully), but also because of the look on her face when I yelled at her (so hurt), and the knowledge that our last nursing experience together came to such a screeching, and unpleasant, halt.
I know she's at the age where some babies do wean themselves, but it really is a grieving process to endure. My little girl is getting so big. She's definitely not an infant anymore. She's becoming a toddler. Time is now closer to her first birthday than it is to her actual BIRTH day, which makes me shake my head and wonder where the past 8 months have gone.
It has been a wild, eye-opening, life-changing ride. I have never known such elation and LOVE as I know in my daughter. But even through all the pain, lack of sleep, confusion, frustration and uncertainty that babies bring to our lives, now I get it. I understand why women still can't get enough of these darlings and have baby after baby. They are addictive little creatures and the baby stage really doesn't last long enough.
NO, I'M NOT PREGNANT. (Just clearing that up.) But for someone who wanted to wait for specific times to procreate (type A, much?), I have to admit, I'm much more open to welcoming #2 into our family if and when the good Lord deems appropriate.
Heidi has done well with the formula/solids diet and doesn't seem to miss nursing at all. It took me a couple of days to get over it, but she is healthy and happy - what more could a mother ask for?