It’s World Breastfeeding Week, another excellent opportunity to reflect on reaching one year (and one month) of motherhood.
I always knew I wanted to nurse my babies, but I also knew that things are not always as simple as they sound. I have friends who had difficulty nursing (for a variety of reasons) and others that had absolutely no support from their family. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but set my intention and hoped that fate would be kind.
Turns out, I am a lucky lady. Fox and I both had to learn what the hell we were doing, of course, but I feel our bumps were normal ones. Nothing extreme happened while we were learning how this would work. (Although he did have a lot of tummy issues which led to me having him on a bit of a schedule for a couple of months while it straightened itself out. Trust me, we were not without drama! Just a mild case, in my opinion.)
Fox has always been an eager eater. He knew right where to go. With a little guidance from my amazing doula and our rockstar of an L&D nurse, he was latched on in seconds. (The learning curve set in over the following days and weeks!)
Perhaps more important still – I have had incredible support. SteveKam has backed me all the way and given me anything I needed, physically and emotionally, to help me stay the course. My parents and sisters have all been an incredible source of love and support. The friends I have made since bringing Fox into this world – get out of town. They are amazing. These mamas have shared with me their ups and downs, been my cheerleaders when I felt I wasn’t doing all I could and have shown me that I am not alone on this journey. What a gift. The community I have stumbled into here in Austin is incredible and I am so grateful to have connected with each one of these women.
I’ve had my share of negative comments and resistance. If not for the support system I just bragged about, my choices may have been different. It’s hard to stay strong if the people you count on are beating you down. If you have someone in your life – wife, sister, friend – who is a new mom, PLEASE show her love. Offer your support – or even just your ear or shoulder! She needs to hear that she’s doing a great job and that the people around her appreciate all her hard work and understand how difficult it can be.
Sometimes I downplay that we made it past the year mark. I’m learning not to do that. It’s an accomplishment and something I can feel proud of. I don’t plan on stopping until we start trying for baby #2 (and I may or may not stop then… I might just see what my body does.) Breastfeeding has bonded me to my child, but I feel a larger connection. It sounds bonkers bananapants, but it makes me feel connected to nature. It’s the ultimate reminder that we are, in fact, mammals. 🙂 I dig that.
I always knew I wanted to nurse my babies. I never knew how much I would love doing it or how much I would appreciate being able to. 🙂