To my little baby,
You are 6 weeks old and I can’t imagine you ever being any different than you are right now. You are magical and I love you unconditionally.
But honestly? I’m exhausted.
Breastfeeding is exhausting – you seem to want to feed in clusters all the weather. You don’t like being put down – sometimes you fall asleep on my arm only to wake up with a start when I try to move you or pass you to someone else.
But I’m a second-time mom and a seasoned breast-feeder — a veteran nurse, if you will — and I know this time is fleeting. I know that one day I will miss all this and I wonder how I could want even a second of this time spent together.
I will miss being able to fix anything and everything with milk. When you received your shots, you barely squinted because I was able to heal you right after and it comforted you. When your tongue was cut when you were a month old, you let out a huge scream that was instantly drowned out as I pulled you to me to relearn your nursing skills.
I will miss you for being so portable. I can take you anywhere and never have to worry about your hunger, thirst or sadness, because we have everything we need with us: my breasts for breast milk.
I’m gonna miss having an excuse to cuddle with you all the time. Ignore the chaos of the house around me as you become calm in my arms while you nurse. I will miss the rush of euphoria I feel when I successfully help you relax and fall asleep.
I will miss feeling your little body against mine. Your warm, flawless, spotless skin against my palm as I hug you to my chest. I will miss the feel of your little hand on my chest, rather than scratching my face, pulling my hair or tearing my jewelry – all that joy comes later! 😂
But soon, I will also miss it. I will miss my facial nails while you are nursing. Experimental but excruciating snacking as your teeth erupt.
Someday you’ll need more than breastmilk for comfort. One day I will have to carry snacks and water everywhere we go. One day you will toss and turn at night and for some reason falling asleep won’t do its magic like it does now.
One day you’ll have your last drink and I won’t realize it’s the last. Maybe I’ll cut the breastfeeding session short because it’s late and I have to get ready for work. Maybe I’ll be impatient or frustrated with you biting me or pulling my hair. Maybe it will just be a normal, uneventful time. But the next day, I’ll offer you my breast, and you’ll say no. The next day, you will say no again.
And just like that, our nursing journey will be over.
More simple solutions. More immediate comfort when you do your vaccinations. I took your 18 month old sister to the doctor yesterday and felt helpless as she cried against my chest, the chest she had weaned herself the day before you were born. I wanted her to continue breastfeeding so that I could take her pain and stress away from her.
No more breastfeeding to sleep, breastfeeding with a stuffy nose, breastfeeding on an airplane during takeoff and landing.
I’ll be glad you grow up, just like I do with your sister. I will be happy that you were able to breastfeed for as long as you wanted and that together we shared this bond between us. But for now, let me remember to love every time you move your head up and down on Dad’s chest until he has to hand me over.
Let me savor the weight of your sleeping body in the crook of my arm, after feeding. Let me find joy in the hours and hours I spend trapped under your squirming body, soaked in sweat and milk as you toss about in the rags. Let me notice the beauty in all the mess, boredom and exhaustion that comes with breastfeeding.
‘Cause one day it’ll all be gone and I’ll wonder how I ever felt for a moment.
feeding baby, trials, breastfeeding, breastfeeding, Positive Parenting