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Our breastfeeding journey.

Dear baby girl,

If someone would have asked me nine months ago (a month in as a new momma) what I thought about breastfeeding, I would have told that person it was incredibly rewarding, but that I didn’t know how much longer I would last.

You hear about all the amazing benefits of breastfeeding, but no one tells you about and nothing fully prepares you for the challenging parts of the experience. From getting you to latch on both sides to dealing with clogged ducts and oversupply issues, the first few months were pretty rough. The hardest part was seeing how my oversupply was affecting you, as you would gag and spit up every time you ate.

I felt like the worst mom and that I couldn’t fix it.

Thanks to some good advice from leaders in our local La Leche Leage group, I was able to figure out the steps to correct my issues. By the time you were three months old, we were finally starting to figure things out, and pretty soon, the hardest days were behind us.

Once we got into a groove, I really started to enjoy our time together. You would snuggle up into me and settle in for a good 30 minutes. I began to look forward to our time just the two of us, just enjoying the peace and quiet of the moment, a time for both of us to rest and just be still together.

Around month five, you began to discover that there was more to your world than just that which was near to you. There was more out there to explore, and you wanted to discover it. This made nursing a little more challenging, as you would get distracted easily. This got especially hard at bedtime, when all you would want to do is play instead of eat and settle down for bed.

It was frustrating, but I am so thankful that I didn’t give up.

It took a couple months, but we got through the hardest part of distracted, short nursing sessions. It took a lot of patience on my part, as well as realizing this was all new to you and that I am your comfort and guide through this entire journey.

At month ten, we are farther than I ever thought we would be when we started. You still get distracted, but we’ve figured out how to make it work for us. And now, my favorite part of the day is bedtime. Most nights lately you have been falling asleep while nursing. While some may say this isn’t a great habit to get into, I am okay with it. I know it will be hard to break you of, but I’m okay with that, too. I know that this time we share is limited, and I want to enjoy it while we can.

One of my favorite things is watching you slowly fall asleep, your long eyelashes kissing the tops of your cheeks. I love it when you take your hand and run it through your hair, or you lay it softly on my chest. Sometimes you grab onto my finger or you cover your face with your hand. A week ago you did something you haven’t done since you were a small baby and you let out several small coos and sighs as you fell asleep. My heart pretty much melted onto the floor. Then you began to snore softly. It was pretty much the cutest thing ever.

I love being able to watch you in those peaceful, quiet moments, when everything else in the world melts away. We sit in the dark, quiet nursery, your nightlight casting a soft glow in the room so I can see the features of your face. Your mouth purses open, as though you are softly kissing the air. You sigh your soft breaths as you slowly drift off to sleep, and I whisper to you just how much I love you.

I am embracing this time that we have together, and I am thankful that I am able to share it with you. Know that no matter where your journey leads you as a mother someday, there is no right or wrong decision, but whatever you feel is best to do for your children. I hope you know that my heart is filled with nothing but love as I care for and nurture you.

With love,

Momma

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Nap-time snuggles.

Dear baby girl,

There was a moment the other day where time stood still as I held you, as we swayed in the kitchen staring out the back window. It has become a part of our routine to either go for a walk, step outside or stare out the window before I put you down for a nap. It helps you calm down, as you stare into the distance, watching the trees sway as the leaves softly blow in the breeze.

I wanted to remember this as one of my favorite things, not to forget this simple thing as something special we share. As I hold you close, you slowly calm down, resting your head now and then on my shoulder or chest. You lift your head again, looking around and softly talking to yourself (and me, possibly), usually a soft “Suh suh suh” noise. I whisper in your ear what we see, like trees, birds, houses (if we’re out walking) and more.

When I hold you close, I nuzzle my head into yours, my nose and mouth inhaling your soft baby scent. Your hair is getting longer, and it presses against my nose and lightly tickles it. I love the soft space on the back of your head, rubbing your hair with my hand, calming you slowly, watching your eyes get heavy.

We go upstairs for nap time, which sometimes goes well and sometimes takes a while or a couple tries. We always read at least one book together. Our recent favorites are Goodnight Moon and The Little Red Caboose. I like to rub your belly as I read, continuing to calm you and get you ready for nap. Sometimes you seem to be into the story, other times you’ll look around the room, and sometimes you’ll be over-tired and hyper, reaching out to grab the book. My favorite is when you are leaning back against me, listening as I read, and you occasionally tilt your head up to me and smile.

Before I put you down for nap we stand and snuggle together again for a couple moments, as I turn on your noisemaker and we sway to the swishing of the ocean waves. I hold you close, my face against yours, slowly running my hand through your hair and up and down your back. I whisper in your ear how much I love you and how excited I will be to see you when you wake up. I give you a lot of kisses before putting you down for your nap.

I treasure these simple moments, wanting to hold onto them in my heart and my memory forever.

With love,

Momma