A Meditation on Nursing.

You’re nearly five months old, dear boy, which means that it’s been nearly five months since I first was blessed with the ability to provide for your every need, wholly and completely. I can’t believe that just five months ago, I didn’t even know you yet. But mostly, my thoughts lately have centered around the fact that just five months ago, I didn’t know what an unbelievably challenging (at first) and rewarding experience that breastfeeding would be.

Nursing-Photo

Before you were born, I read countless accounts of new mamas who were astounded by the way that their little newborn knew exactly how the nursing relationship was supposed to work, even before the mamas knew themselves. I remember wondering if that would be me and you, little boy. And I remember worrying that this wouldn’t be you and me as soon as I heard the words “c-section,” because I had read so much about how the way in which a baby enters this amazing world can determine the success of the nursing relationship. But you, sweet boy, must not have listened to those so-called “experts,” because from the moment that we first locked eyes, from the instant that I first held you close for your very first feeding, you showed me the importance of throwing each and every book off to the side in favor of trusting you, of trusting us to figure this out together. In fact, that’s how the first few weeks of your wonderful, big life worked – you and me (and your Daddy, who was so, so helpful and supportive from the start), figuring out how to do this thing called breastfeeding together.

While I was pregnant, and after you were born, I made sure to keep in mind that breastfeeding can be difficult, and is sometimes impossible for some mamas, despite their best intentions. I didn’t want to set up unrealistic expectations for myself or for you, little L, but you showed me, from that first feeding, that our nursing relationship would not only be sustainable, but would also be so, so special.

I feel extremely blessed to have watched you grow and grow as the weeks and months have passed, and from the start, I have taken your growth and your development so personally, knowing that all of your nourishment is coming from me. When you were first placed in my arms, I was terrified of this responsibility, dear boy. I won’t lie: those first two weeks of your life, I wondered if I was doing anything right – I wondered if I would be pumping forever, if your jaundice would ever go away, if I would ever feel a bond develop between you and I. Your birth experience was so exhausting, so frustrating at times, and I was so anxious to feel that lasting bond develop between the two of us. I held you skin to skin for hours in the hospital, just waiting and wishing for that love that I first felt for you, when I learned that you were in my belly, so tiny and growing, to expand and grow.

And then, just like that, after a short time, every one of my worries evaporated. Your jaundice was so much better after just one day of pumping and bottle-feeding, and we got the go-ahead to start nursing at the breast. And on one night, when you and I were cuddled together in the rocking chair in your nursery, I felt my heart grow and expand in depth and breadth as you nursed, and I fell in love with you all over again. And since that moment, I’ve fallen in love with you countless times: each and every time your little green eyes crinkle and wrinkle as your lips turn upwards into that smile that melts me into a pool of love; playing “Pat-a-Cake” with your feet and watching you watch me sing, waiting for me to get to your favorite part (“THROW ’em in the oven for L and me!”), just so you can giggle and smile; the way that your little head finds that perfect spot in my neck at nap time, bed time, all the time; the new nickname that you’ve earned this past week, Mr. Twisty, for the twists and turns you attempt during diaper changes. Nursing you has been such a blessing, dear boy – I will forever be so grateful to you and to God for such a wonderful opportunity to be everything you need.

{Photo by Larissa Lynn Photography}

xo, Sara

About Sara

Sara works in higher education, but she's most proud of her role as a Mama to two precocious boys, Lionel Conner, age 4, and Quincy August, age 2. In honor of turning 30 in 2016, she pierced her nose to "keep her young." She loves watching guilty-pleasure television, writing about motherhood, decorating her first home, sipping red wine with her husband Jordan, and chasing after her sons.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. On Weaning. | Our Family Roost - September 5, 2013

    […] I wrote in my letter to L when he was just five months old, it was – and still is, looking back on the nearly sixteen […]