Friday, April 11, 2008

Letter to my Nursling

Molly,

You (and Remy- yay!) are so close to two it's unbelievable. I'm proud of us for being so close to my breastfeeding goal. After your birthday, we can feel things out together, see where our relationship takes us in this next year. Some days I wish that day would somehow be a magic switch, and you'd decide you've had enough. I'm still so worn out with your night-time routine, although it's livable. Other days I can't imagine not nursing, and I feel a little twinge of worry about how we'll interact when you are no longer breastfeeding.

I think the biggest benefit for me has been the confidence it's given me as a mama. I "own" my role of motherhood in a palpable, primal way because of our connection through nursing. It solidly establishes that you and I have a singular, unique bond, and more than anything else that has helped me with the separation from you when I'm working. One time our friend V., a LLL leader, told me she uses our reverse cycling story as a tool to help other working moms who want to nurse, and the pride made the breaks in my sleep seem very worthwhile.

Tonight we ate out at a steakhouse with your grandies and we nursed at the table- something we haven't done in a while. Your Mamaw was visibly embarrassed but smiling, and she made me smile. I got nostalgic, remembering when I used to get anxious about nursing you in public. I thought of how new we were to it- and all the challenges we had. I saw my pump, with the first pea sized drops of colostrum I carefully stirred into your formula and remembered your NP weighing you at two weeks old and happily announcing that you were gaining weight and we could stop the supplements. I remember tapering off the Reglan prescription and the relief at still feeling full and heavy a little while after your feedings.

Two years of wild, radical changes in us both, my Birdy. I celebrate every bit of growth and newness and wonder. I loved newborn mothering so much with its dreamy, constant newness, but the daily amazement we have now is even more fun. I see your personality materialize and grow in depth and breadth with every new word and new game. You're teaching me to live in the here and now. I know I have to be aware of every sweet day, because you change so quickly.

Thanks for all of this, little Pea. We think so much about the benefits of breastfeeding for our children, but so much that has been the physical thread that weaves the tapestry of our little family.

3 comments:

TTHBTK said...

You are such a peaceful mother. I envy that...but would never want you to stop. Congratulations Zen Mama :-)

TTHBTK said...

Okay...I'm not sure what I meant by "would never want you to stop"...and it wasn't even late at night! Oh, well. I guess my point was sort of understandable. (I hope!)

heidi said...

LOL, as long as you're not suggesting that I never stop nursing. And I'm a reflective mother, but if you spend a day in our house you'd never call me peaceful again. I have gotten over a lot of anxieties (I probably had post-partum anxiety but since I've had plain old anxiety for ages I was able to recognize & live through it more or less OK.)

Thanks for the comment- I've been trolling your posts;)