Should I do it? Is it the right thing to do?….What if she doesn’t get enough from me? What if she’s still hungry? How will I know how much she’s getting? Will I be able to handle it? Will it hurt? What can I eat while I do it?…Will my boobs get saggy?
Just a few of the thousands of questions I asked myself before making the decision to nurse my daughter…
It wasn’t an easy decision, as Remi is my first child and I was (and still am) new to everything.
I researched, probably more than any sane person…and I talked to friends and family who had nursed their little ones and also to those who opted for bottle feeding.
In the end, I decided to give it a go.
The moment my little girl was born, her instincts kicked in and she headed towards my breast. So, within the first ten minutes of her life, she was nursing. Because of that, I can’t take all the credit. My girl has been a rockstar since birth.
That first moment was foreign and uncomfortable and incredibly awkward. Yet, at the same time…felt completely natural.
I felt empowered and strong.
I, built, carried, birthed and was now nourishing my child with my own body. What a beautiful thing.
But, while all of that is true…it was also hard, tiring and even very painful at times.
The first four months, I don’t know that I gained more than three hours of sleep at any given time. It felt as though one day just ran into the next and my entire life was focused on feeding little girl.
When I wasn’t nursing, I was pumping to try and prepare for going back to work.
What if I don’t have enough milk stored? Am I a bad mom if I have to turn to formula because my body sucks and isn’t getting my child enough to eat? Will formula mess up her tummy, sleeping schedule, personality?!!!
And my poor significant other. Yes, he deserves a little pity as I was not the easiest person to love in those moments.
I felt like the weight of the world was on my chest. Literally, it was up to me to essentially keep our daughter alive. I was her food…her water…
Those things, that once represented a symbol of my sexuality now were only meant to fulfill breakfast, lunch and dinner needs for my daughter.
My poor man wasn’t even allowed to get near those things for nearly the entire 13 months I was nursing. Poor guy.
During the stress, the tears (yes, at times there were tears), the long nursing sessions and even longer pumping sessions, I did at times question if I could do it. Am I cut out for this?
I was also wrapping up my Bachelor’s Degree at the time and so Remi would be subject to college-level reading while being rocked and nursed each and every day and night.
It was a lot…
Then it would happen…
During a regularly scheduled feeding, I would sit down and it would just hit me. This sense of serenity.
It may have been the tenth time that day that I’d put baby to breast, but this time I was reminded…
I kick ass.
Those moments, although stressful and scary at times, I will forever cherish like so many other memories with Remi.
The peace and comfort both of us found, nourished more than her body.
It nourished my soul, my motherhood, my spirit…and even my ego 😉
In each latch, I felt the bond between myself and my daughter become stronger. In each latch, I felt the tether that would forever tie us thicken.
There was a moment when Remi was just roughly four days old. The days had been long and the nights longer…
My brand new baby, tiny, fragile with flakey skin…looked up after a feeding and looked into my eyes with her deep baby blues.
And then she closed them again and smiled so big, I felt my heart would explode.
Sure, that’s probably exactly about what her diaper was about to do, but regardless it is a moment I will never forget.
She was satisfied.
And as a mother, that is more rewarding than words could ever describe. I was doing something right.
Nursing Remi was by far the best decision of my life, next to deciding to have a baby of course. =)
But, I want to remind all the mommas out there that didn’t want to or couldn’t nurse your tiny human…do NOT beat yourself up.
Every mother shares an unbreakable bond with their child. This just happens to be where mine began with my daughter.
Stay strong. Stay confident. Motherhood isn’t easy…
It’s actually probably one of the hardest things we’ll ever go through. But, it is undoubtedly the MOST rewarding, beautiful and strongest thing we’ll ever experience.
No matter how you became or are a mother…always remember, you kick ass.
And a shout out to our Newsymom readers who have volunteered to share these beautiful moments caught on camera. Thank you!
Happy World Breastfeeding Week