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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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New mom nursing.

Dear baby girl,

One of my favorite times of the day is the quiet stillness of the night when I am alone with you, feeding you and putting you to sleep.

Whether it is at the end of the day or even in the wee hours of the morning, I find so much peace in the moments when you are wrapped perfectly in my arms. Even if I have a lot on my mind, or even if I am completely exhausted, I just look down at you and my heart smiles. With you I find rest and peace; the cares of the world float away for a few moments as my heart is filled with thankfulness for you.

Nursing is not something you can really prepare for when you are pregnant, and no one tells you how hard it is. It takes time, patience and the support and knowledge of others to get you through. My biggest support has been our local La Leche League group, as they have been able to answer my tough questions and provide support when I needed it.

It took a couple months to really figure things out, but I am so glad I stuck with it. Even currently, when things are difficult – whether you are teething or distracted by the world around you – I know it is just a phase and we’ll get through it. These harder times are far outweighed by the others we share, the moments when you and I are the only two people in the world.

The moments when all I hear are your soft breaths as you eat.

The moments when you reach up towards me, wanting to touch my neck and face, as though you are memorizing the details of your momma.

The moments when you pause, stop eating, slowly look up at me and smile. Though it can be frustrating (and painful), I can’t help but smile back at you.

The moments when your hands draw near to your face, your tiny fingers covering your eyes. I slowly study your wrist rolls, where your hand and arm meet together in a small roll and don’t quite form a wrist yet. It is literally the most adorable thing ever.

The moments when you close your eyes and I study your perfect little features: your long eyelashes resting against the tops of your cheeks, your tiny nose pressed against me, your chin slowly drawing up and down.

The moments when you hum softly as you eat, making your own music.

The moments when you fall asleep in my arms, your pursed lips still sucking the air after you’ve stopped eating. I watch you as you fall asleep, your beautiful face completely at rest; your small frame pressed against me. I could watch you and hold you like this forever.

There is something beautiful about these moments, and I will forever cherish them. I know that these days are numbered, and I am thankful to be able to share these moments with you.

I treasure what you and I share together and will carry these moments with me always.

With love,

Momma