Wednesday, May 6, 2015


I have been meaning to write this post for months. My word for the year came to me early, I just knew what it was. It is already May and I haven't stopped running. But a time to pause and reflect is much needed. Last year my word (verb) was "to Marvel",  the year before that it was "Joy", and before that "Patience". This year my word is Grow.

There has been so much happening. I started January  happy and surprised with 4 cake assignments, one per weekend (well one of them was the one for Yu's birthday). Then we went to Mexico and I made a couple of cakes over there and another one when I just came back. Last weekend I had 3 cake orders for the same day.

I have a feeling that things are moving and changing this year, that I am evolving into something new, that slowly pieces of the puzzle that is life are starting to come together, by themselves.

There are challenges, the major one right now is weaning. I had originally planned to breastfeed baby Y. for 6 months so that I would be ready for our next round of  IVF soon after. Our breastfeeding start was not easy and by the time we hit 6 months we were so comfortable in our routine and she was growing so well that I postponed letting her go off the bewb until she could have cow milk. I have nothing against formula, I know it is a life and sanity saver in many, many cases and that there are many reasons, some simple, some complex to choose not to breastfeed. Sometimes it is not a choice. But, I was lucky that it was working really well for us, it was convenient, easy and pretty much free. And yes, I had my own personal boycott against the companies that make formula. It is silly, maybe, but I applied several times to work with them, I knew well I had the knowledge and expertise required for such positions and I was not even called for an interview. (That and the controversial ways these companies promote formula feeding in countries in development, where there is no access to clean water). So they were not getting our money if I could avoid it.

Fast forward to the beginning of this year, when we started the weaning process, we discovered that our kid would NOT take a bottle. After trying several nipples she takes them every now and then, mostly though she likes to play with them, she may drink 100 mL before bed time, but a bottle is not substituting me. We give her cheese and yoghurt, sometimes all-natural fruit milkshakes. During the day she is pretty much weaned, she does not ask for it anymore and since March I stopped offering as she is well into her solid food meals (I would still give it when she asked). Feeding her in public was getting difficult because she is so curious and distractable that she would not concentrate on eating and would much rather wave at strangers or play peekaboo with the swaddling blanket I used as a cover. So that part is going well, but, she is still waking up in the middle of the night and nothing but me, or more precisely, my bewbs, will make her settle down. We've read the theories, we know what we are supposed to do (either make her wait gradually longer and longer between feeds or reduce the amount of time she spends breastfeeding until it is not worth the wake up). It is not working and she will not tolerate being soothed by dad. She screams murder and we should probably be firmer, but I just can't handle her sad, helpless crying and I have a feeling neither can the neighborhood. In my gut I feel she is not ready, I kind of thought/hoped she would outgrow it and start sleeping longer and demanding less comfort from us but it does not seem to be happening any time soon. I get angry when I read about how babies are supposed to be able to self soothe (by 6 months none the less)*, about how rocking them, comforting them, breastfeeding them is all wrong and sleep be doomed forever if you do these things and why did you continue to do them when the book said it was time to stop. We have tried all kinds of things, like me sleeping in a different room so she can't smell me. She still wakes up.

 On the other hand, I am going to be 35 this June. That means I am going to reach the dreaded label of 'advanced maternal age' and our chances at being succesful for a second sibling statistically plummet. I am silly, delusional, hoping for that miracle pregnancy that happens to infertile couples once they had a first pregnancy. I know I should not count on it, but I am hopelessly optimistic and the “unexpectedly pregnant after infertility/adoption” thing is apparently not an urban legend. It does happen, even to Amanda's.  It is so hard, it feels so cruel to force-wean Yulia when she still appears to need me. But I don't want to be breastfeeding a 4, or 3 or 2 year old so we are going to have to do this if we want our family to grow, and I know this is absolutely not in our hands, and I feel greedy for wanting more when we have already been so blessed, but there it is, our deepest wish thrown out to the universe.

So that's where we're at. Late to this party, it is almost mid-year, but do you have any words, plans, projects, wishes for this year?

*that sounds to me like corporate productivity standards applied to infants. Baby should do this now, and should do that then, otherwise you are doing things wrong.


  1. I love your word for the year idea and I love the word you chose. I just turned 30 and I want my 30th year to be the year I finally stop caring what other people think (especially in regards to how I raise Paloma) but in other ways too. Maybe my word should be confidence... I'll have to keep thinking about it.

    We are in exactly the same place with weaning as you are. I could write a whole post about it (maybe I should/will) but I know it's not easy. There are so many emotions involved in weaning, I think. For me, it's a sign that she is really growing up and away from me. I've been hoping that once I cut out all the day time feeds (after she turns 1) and rock her to sleep at the beginning of the night and only nurse her during night wake ups when I absolutely have to, that maybe my period will come back since the amount of nursing will be so minimal. I have a friend who tried that though and it didn't work. She didn't return to regular cycles until a few months after she had completely weaned her daughter.

    I wish you all the best as you take on this challenge :)

    1. Please write about weaning ! What is working and what is not and what you have tried (I thought you had succeeded, from an update I read the other day). And yes, it is so, so emotional.

      My periods came back already a year ago ( I think last April was the first real one, in March I also had one but it was very light staining). I did some over the counter ovulation tests and according to those I am ovulating (did some tests last August and they were all negative then, sad, sad month)but back then we were still nursing a lot. I do need to have her fully weaned before attempting treatment (because of the hormonal stimulation and because even if / when there are fertile cycles while breastfeeding they tend to be wacky). I really hope this will work soon.

      And confidence is a great word. Not caring about what people say is the best thing you can do for your child, in the end it is your family and you do not really need the opinologists...

    2. Oh I guess my update wasn't clear, sorry! She's definitely not weaned but there's a big improvement in the # of times she nurses. I will definitely write about it soon :)

    3. I'm right there with you girls, but we're at 18 months!!! I swore I wouldn't go past a year. Then I adjusted it to 18 mths. Here we are and the idea of weaning breaks my heart. Plus, it's just so easy. He nurses for a few minutes before bed, and one long, off and on nursing early in the morning in bed with us (aka I sleep through it!). So I really don't know. I wish he would wean himself but I don't think that's happening. Really six months?!? I wonder about those stories....

    4. Yeah... hard stuff. Wish more people talked about this. Other breastfeeding friends with 18 month olds are definitely there and it gets harder.
      I am not sure , somehow I still expect the baby to wean herself, the alternative feels so harsh. But we do seem to be making progress, slowly.

  2. I'm not breastfeeding, but at 9 months old, Baby Tide has already started weaning himself off the bottle. It's been a huge surprise, and one I don't feel ready for (he's still a baby!!) but it's got to be him who leads it. He now only has morning, evening and one small one in the night, although the middle of the night feed only started when we returned to the UK. I've never thought about making the amount of feed smaller in the night as a way of slowing weaning him off so I might give that a go. During the day he drinks from a free flow cup (water, with a smidge of orange juice to combat some recent constipation). I make sure he has lots of cheese and yoghurt so I know he's getting all he needs. Have you tried a Doidy cup for Yu? A friend of mine swears by them for breastfed babies - no teat so nothing to get confused by.

    I know it probably doesn't feel like it at the moment, but it will all fall into place with Yu's feeding and your IVF. Trust in it, because although it feels like a battle now, it will just happen.

    1. We do have a doidy cup... sometimes it works and sometimes she just likes to turn it upside down and watch the liquids spill.
      We also give her lots of cheese and yoghurt

      Thanks for the encouragement :) I really hope you are right.

  3. Alactar es la experiencia mas sorprendente que puede vivir una mujer. creo que soy afortunada a que edoardo desde el primer dia cogio bien el seno y hasta ahora ha sido asi, no he sufrido de mastitis ni de grietas, de nada nada! abrazarlo mientras come es la conexión mas intima que podamos tener y cuando lo veo con sus piernas rollizas me doy cuenta del poder que tiene la leche, Si tengo la oportunidad quiero ir hasta cuando el me lo pida, aunque mas adelante no sera una conexion fisica se que el de alguna u otra forma se acordara cuando busque un abrazo mio o simplemente de las caricias. Es dificil verlos crecer.
    Lactar es algo de instinto y lo que digan los demas que mas da! todo el mundo opina, que si lo alzas, que si esto que si lo hay nada mas sabio que el isntinto de mama y el amor.

    Por cierto que lindas tortas haces!
    Y por ultimo quiero desearte un muy feliz dia de la madre!

    Un abrazo Fernanda

    1. Si, la leche es mágica. La lactancia tiene sus momentos difíciles, pero es de verdad especial. Y si que crecen rapidismo, solo ver las fotos de hace unos meses y se ve una diferencia enorme.

      Gracias! Y aunque tarde, tarde , tarde, feliz dia de la madre a ti tambien !
      Disfruta mucho tu viaje! Y por ahi vi que tienes una KitchenAid, un sueño cumplido , ahora si haras mil cosas deliciosas!


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