I am proud to say I have breast fed all 3 of my children. It can be so much work, but I believe it is totally worth the hours, the stained shirts, the occasional pain, the sacrifice and the great rack I get for the duration. After watching friends struggle to make it work, I know how blessed I am that it came easy for me. Here is a reflection of my nursing relationship with my girls.
30 minutes of feeding a newborn
Baby is screaming. Try to calm down squirming bundle and convince her that her hand is not your boob. Take deep breath and cringe as baby finally latches on. Realize it is a bad latch, unlatch and try again. More screaming. Get baby successfully latched. Kick yourself for not noticing earlier hunger signs. Take deep breaths until it doesn't hurt. Notice baby is falling asleep instead of eating. Rub her back. Tickle her head. Bounce. Thump baby's feet. Unlatch and burp a totally comatose baby. Poke her until she wakes up enough to latch on to other side. Flinch. Watch baby eat in peace until she dozes off and totally unlatches herself. Wipe off milk drool from baby's half smiling face. Sniff the sweet smell of tiny baby. Repeat in 1 hour and 20 minutes
30 minutes of feeding a 3 month old
Lift up shirt. Latch on baby. Drink coffee and read People magazine. Smile at baby, enjoy baby smiling back. Burp baby and listen to sweet coos. Repeat every 3 hours
30 minutes of feeding a 10 month old
Pick up baby who is hanging on your leg screaming bloody murder. Try to keep baby from lifting up your shirt or reaching down the front to help herself while you walk to the couch. Lift up shirt as baby hoovers on target. Baby unlatches to talk to cat. Resumes eating. Baby unlatches to watch sisters playing. Resumes eating. Mama gives up nursing in the living room and moves to nursery, all while baby eats. Mama tries to read, baby steals magazine. Mama tries to take a drink while baby swats at cup. Remove baby foot from mouth. Encourage baby to do more eating and less nose poking. Try to convince baby to stop pulling on your ear. Watch baby try to nurse while up side down. Hold baby firmly as she tries to roll away while still latched on. Baby bounces while eating. Baby bites, mama gives up. Baby howls indignantly as mama pulls her shirt back down. Repeat every 2-4 hours.
There is a part of me that is sad that this part of my life is coming to an end. I will miss the cuddle time, the sweet babies and the way my chest so nicely fills out my shirt. Here is to all the mama's who sacrifice to do what there babies need, be it breast or bottle. Enjoy it while it lasts, they grow so quickly.