But this week also heralded a far bigger transition - from breast to formula. Whilst the plan was always to make the change around the six month mark, it's happened slightly sooner and it's left me with a bittersweet feeling that I'm finding a little hard to articulate. You are my last little one. There will be no more babies in the Dobson household - we are categorically done. And whilst that decision is one that I am absolutely 110% behind (BELIEVE me!), the fact that you are my last means that with everything you stop, or move on from, comes the realisation that it will be my last time too. When you started sleeping through I was ETERNALLY grateful, but at the same time a little sad that I was losing those moments of calm stillness, just the two of us, when at 2am all you wanted, all you needed was me and what my body could provide for you. When it came time to move on from all those "newborn" sized baby grows to the bigger sizes, I knew that I would never see another of my children in these tiny little garments that have been bought, or saved or made with such love and anticipation. And now, now you are no longer nursing, well that's another milestone passed. One which I won't pass again. And whilst I am captivated on a daily basis by your growth and development and achievements, a small part of me aches just a little for that tiny baby that needed me and my body for both nourishment and comfort.
The transition happened faster than your brother's did - just another way to demonstrate that every child, every developmental curve, is indeed different. My milk supply (which had from the start been clearly and evidently less abundant this time around) took clear umbrage to the introduction of formula in to the equation. I'd hoped to continue with a combination feed for a month or so, but my body had different ideas. It truly felt as though I woke up one morning and it was gone. The last feed you had didn't even fill you up. You screamed bloody murder an hour later and demolished 7oz of formula. And that was that. At five months and a week you are fully transitioned and guzzling like pro.
You still nuzzle me on occasion though. When you are sleepy, when you are sad. When I went in last night to give you your dream feed, it was me you lent in to, not the hard plastic of the bottle. It was my finger that you eventually grasped when searching in your drowsy state for something warm and familiar. It made me catch my breath. It made me hold you just that little bit longer before I put you back in your cot. It made me wonder all the things that mothers the world over wonder from the moment they start on the parenting journey
"Am I doing the right thing?"
"Will you be ok with this?"
"How have we reached this stage already?"
But then, the universe has a way of telling you that things will, of course, be ok. This morning, as I snatched five minutes to dress before the chaos of the day started, I heard your murmurings over the monitor, Not quite ready, I called out to you. Then out of the corner of my eye I saw your brother headed in to your room. "Where are you off to?" I said. He turned and looked at me. "I'll do it" he replied, clutching your bottle of formula and toddling off in to your bedroom.
Yep, I reckon you might be just fine with a big brother like that to look out for you.