He did, however, still fight me when it came time to nurse him, so I decided to try again to test my theory that it is hunger and frustration that are causing our recent feeding troubles. I made a bottle for him with some soy-based formula that I had Tom pick up this morning. I've had a few people, including my sister-in-law, suggest to me that Michael might be more amenable to it, as it is sweeter-tasting (like breast milk). When he first tasted it, he gave me a look as if to say, "I know this isn't the real thing, Mom," but he humored me anyway. While he didn't make a face and start gnawing on the nipple, he didn't seem terribly interested either. So I put the bottle aside.
We tried again, perhaps a half-hour later, and that time, he gulped the whole thing down. About three hours later, when I tried to nurse him again and had the same reaction as earlier, I offered a bottle again. Once again, he took it. He had a third just before bedtime. I had initially toyed with the idea of pumping to replace each missed feeding and attempting to continue breastfeeding along with supplementation. In an ideal world, I'd still like to continue to nurse him. But the state of my breasts after hours without a real feeding is indicating to me that my instincts were right about my diminishing supply, after all. I wonder if it will simply vanish overnight, as it did when Abby weaned. Perhaps the stress of the past six months, combined with Michael's (until recently) rather poor appetite, has caught up to me, in the end.
I am saddened by the prospect, but relieved at the same time. I know that changing over to formula will not be an instant solution to Michael's other problems, which we are still trying to find the best solution for, but at the very least I do not have to worry that amongst his other discomforts, he is suffering extreme hunger as well. It will certainly make the additional chores of bottle-washing and preparation, that come with formula-feeding, worth the inconvenience. At least, that's what I will remind myself as I stumble around in the dark to prepare his midnight snack in the future. Ah, well. There are pros and cons to everything, I suppose.
And now, to put off the inevitable and wrap up this post so that I can dive head-first into some last-minute packing and laundry. But first, some pictures of Michael and Abby's first bath together at home. (That's Mei Mei's arm holding him up- he sits up quite well now, but the movement of the water and slippery-ness of the tub were throwing off his balance quite a bit.)
He had a pretty good time, until Abby made a huge splash and frightened him so badly that he took a good twenty minutes to calm down. Perhaps we need to wait a little bit longer before trying that again.