Last night, on the eve of Emma's half-birthday, I got all teary-eyed and said it out loud: "Emma's growing up tomorrow." Matt laughed, and then said the best thing he could have said, ever. "She will still need you for other things."
We've waited to introduce solids until today. And what I was mourning yesterday - what I'm mourning today - is the fact that she will no longer get all of her sustenance from me and me alone. Of course, we'll still nurse. We'll nurse as long as she wants to - or as long as I can stand it. (I know that it'll be impossible for me to let her nurse while I'm pregnant because I'm so sensitive about pressure on my pregnant belly.) But introducing solids seems like such a big step for me. She's no longer an infant - she hasn't been an infant for a long time. Today that hits me hard.
Ever since I started thinking about babies, nursing, and feeding, I knew we were going to wait to introduce solids until the baby was 6 months old. For the most part this has worked (except for the vanilla wafer Matt let her suck on and the green bean my mom tried to give her). But when she turned five months old, I wanted to prolong baby-hood for as long as possible. So I asked Matt if we could wait until she's older - much older. He humored me, knowing I'd come to my senses sooner or later.
And I did. Emma is so interested in our food, in us eating, in playing with spoons and sitting at the dining room table with us. And this last week, she has transformed from an every 2-3 hour nurser to an every 45 minutes nurser. So I was ready for today. For the most part.
On Wednesday I made Emma her first baby food. Following the directions of who-knows-how-many baby food recipe books that I own, the advice of one or two good breastfeeding books, and my instincts, we started basic. I steamed and pureed the carrots I found last week at the farmers' market. I froze everything using the two containers we have (going to figure out which I like best and buy more of that one). And then I went out and bought her some good spoons and a splat mat for the floor. We were ready.
And boy, was Matt ready. He was excited - got the carrots out of the freezer, defrosted them, put them in her bowl.
I made sure he took a picture of the last official breastfeeding-only session. (I did my best to savor it, even though she wasn’t that hungry and Daddy was distracting her by taking pictures.)
And then I got out a bib and brought her downstairs to the dining room.
It was fun. Emma was not impressed. She wanted to play with the spoon and the bowl and the mushed carrots that ended up on the highchair tray.
She spit more out than she kept in. She learned to push the spoon away and turn her head. She made an absolute mess, including somehow getting carrots on my jeans.
And I survived.
My baby is still a baby. She didn't sprout into a toddler, despite my fears. She barely ate anything, which is exactly what I knew would happen. I'm ready to try again... tomorrow.
Too bad Matt can't be around when the diaper happens. I'll let you know how much I love my BG3.0s now that they contain more than water-soluble breastmilk.
I cannot believe she's already six months old. I cannot believe how quickly this happens, even though I knew it would happen oh-so-quickly.
Happy half-birthday, Emma Jayne. I love you.
Don't grow up too fast.