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Wednesday, January 24, 2007Last week I wrote a post that I called Nursing - The Physical Bond. The more I think about it, the more I realize that I should have titled it Nursing - The Emotional Bond. When I think about it, everything that I described was emotional.
The reason I realize that I mistitled it is because tonight I planned to sit down and write about the physical bond and I realized I'd already used that post title. Oh well, live and learn.
So I've called this one...part two.
One of the biggest differences in my relationship with Emmitt over my relationship with Elnora is the actual physical attachment that I have to him. I don't just mean in terms of how often I nurse, I mean in terms of our physical proximity to each other...day, night, weekends...all the time.
You see, with Elnora I had the benefit that many bottle feeding mothers talk about. I didn't have to be the one to feed her. Yes, I was "tied down" in that I had to pump on such a tight schedule, but the reality was that outside of those four times a day pumping sessions, I was "free." As such, I took two business trips during that time period, both a week long, while she stayed with my mother. My husband and I also enjoyed several weekends all to ourselves as my mother-in-law kept her for the weekend once a month from the time she was 8 months old until right before Emmitt was born.
Even while I was home, there wasn't the same physical closeness. She moved from our room to her crib when she was a week old. She spent far more time in her bouncy chair or playing in her gyminy than she did in my arms.
None of this was because I didn't love her every bit as much as I love Emmitt...it's just because things were...different.
Emmitt was a baby that required physical closeness from the start. For the first three days of his life, he rarely left my arms. He fussed if we put him down for more than a few seconds and of course there was the nursing. The constant, ALL THE TIME nursing.
Because of that, he not only started off in the pack-n-play just a foot or two from our bed, but he has stayed there. He's nearly four months old and I don't see the need to move him to his room anytime soon. In fact, as we debate switching rooms around, I'm considering just putting his crib in our room. He's going to outgrow the pack-n-play soon.
Emmitt spends a good 2-4 hours a day sitting in my lap (not counting when he's nursing.) He just doesn't like to be on his own. He'll go from fussy and unhappy to laughing and smiling the second I pick him up. I don't even have to be talking to him, he just wants to feel a warm body next to him and I'm happy to oblige.
But it goes beyond that.
I had a business trip this past December. Emmitt was just ten weeks old. I simply could not leave him. My "excuse" was that I was afraid if I left him for two days with just a bottle that he wouldn't want to nurse when I returned. Deep down, I know that I couldn't leave him because...well...I COULDN'T leave him. We've had a few dates now...while I'm glad to go on them, I can't be gone more than three or four hours. He'll take a bottle, but I don't want him to. I want to be there for him. Last week I went out of town with my best friend for her birthday. I could have left Emmitt with Greg and some bottles of milk.
Emmitt went with me.
In April, I have a 6 day trip to New York for work. He'll be almost seven months old. I could pump enough milk to leave with him and he could stay with Elnora at my mother's.
Emmitt is going with me.
Once again, I'm terrified that if I leave him for that long...he will refuse to nurse when I come home. So, I've talked my best friend into taking a week off work and I'm taking her to NYC with me to play nanny during my sessions. The rest of the time, we'll have some fun doing whatever it is you do with children in New York City.
In August, I have a 5 day trip to San Jose. He'll be nearly a year old. I don't know yet if he's going with me or not, but right now I'm leaning toward "yes" if I can find someone to go with me.
It's interesting really. I don't know if this is something that all moms feel, something that nursing moms feel, or what the deal is. Again, I love both my kids more than I could imagine, but for some reason I'm ok with leaving Elnora and I just can't be away from Emmitt.
I have two theories on this.
1.) Emmitt is my last child (unless God surprises us) and I wonder if deep down I'm just trying to cherish every last second of babyhood. I'll never have another cuddly, wiggly little one of my own, so I don't want to miss any chance to get some baby loving in. They grow so fast...and Elnora isn't much for snuggling up.
2.) I hated pumping more than I ever realized. I did it because that's what it took to get that milk into Elnora, but I hated it. I never realized that I resented having to pump and that I was sad about having to give bottles. I really never got it until I got to experience the other side of things. As such, I think that deep down I'm still terrified of being rejected by him. I think it's why I held off on bottles so long, I think it's why I don't want to be gone long enough that he'll have to take a bottle. I think it's why I'm afraid to leave for more than a few hours.
So what is it ladies? Anyone else bottle feed one and nurse one? Did you feel physically closer to the breastfed baby than the other baby? Or do you think it's more likely that I've got some weird abandonment issues going on here and I'm simply afraid of being "rejected" by Emmitt?