As I sit in my living room with the lights dimmed trying to nurse Christian back to sleep, a thought hits me. I love breastfeeding!
Now, this should not come as a surprise to me. I have always known that I wanted to breastfeed when I had children. When I got pregnant with Christian, I read books about it and tried to imagine what it would be like. When Christian was born, he latched on like a champ and I felt relieved that it was not going to be as difficult a transition as I thought it would be. That is not to say that it was without difficulties though. I had an oversupply issue that left me with a gassy and fussy baby until I learned how to manage it, and learning how to do something for the first time is never without it’s bumps. All in all however, it has been fairly uneventful.
What took me by surprise tonight and has before, is how much I get out of it. Everyone talks about the benefits to the baby and for that reason alone I originally wanted to nurse. Now I have more reasons to add to it.
I love the way that it feels when he nurses and I know that I am providing him with sustenance to grow. I love the connection that I feel with him, a special connection that is his and mine alone. He is 6 1/2 months old now and everyday I see him growing in independence and confidence in his new skills, from sitting up by himself to taking those first few crawling steps. I see him growing up in the blink of an eye, yet when he snuggles up to me for a meal at my breast, I am reminded to slow down and enjoy these fleeting moments of babyhood for a child that I longed and prayed for many years for. There are so many things throughout the day that demand my attention, but for those moments when I am nursing him, they all have to take a back seat. I get to feed my child.
I have no use for politics or judgement in this area. I understand that there are some women who cannot or choose not to feed their babies this way, and there are different ways to get that connection with them that are as equally satisfying. I also know that one day he will no longer need me in this special way. However, I just sit here tonight with a prayer of thanks in my heart for the unexpected blessing that breastfeeding has become to me.