Thursday, February 18, 2010

In college, it was Thirsty Thursday.

And it is Thirsty Thursday here with Gabe today. My little one has been very demanding the past two days with nursing. We had a very busy day yesterday (for us, anyway-- we usually have a very predictable stay-home-in-the-morning schedule that was disrupted by my desire to go to church and then my bloodwork appointment for new employment). He was miserable while I got everything done at the doctor's office-- it was my first experience being THAT Mom with THAT crying baby.

And when we got home, he wanted to nurse, nurse, nurse, and then snuggle. I think it was as comforting to me as it was to him for some quiet time together after his fury (and my tb skin test-- seriously, that was not a pleasant experience).

It might sound par for the course that baby and mommy would snuggle, but Gabe is a very on-the-go little man. He prefers to attempt standing with the help of furniture (yes, he really does this) to being cradled, and thus, I cherish every second I nurse him. I sat on our futon yesterday afternoon with Gabe on the boppy, snuggled into me warmly, and I smiled teary-eyed as I looked down upon him and stroked his (almost non existent) hair. (It's possible this emotional moment has to do with me realizing I am going to start working 12 hours per week, and I will be losing some of this precious snuggle time.)

I'm not writing this entry as a political statement to Moms who choose not to breastfeed, but to those gals out there who think it's gross, please consider that nursing will be the calm solace after a nightmare, the warmth and relaxation after a stressful day, a chance for both you and baby to regroup. I wanted to breastfeed originally because I felt it was nutritionally best (and much less expensive), but now it is so much more. I feel connected to my son in such a special way all of the time, but in moments like yesterday afternoon, it is to a whole different level. I am his and he is mine. I'd never condemn or judge someone who chooses otherwise, and I especially have no issues with women who tried and could not get it to work (sometimes it doesn't work), but please ladies who think it's awful, give it a try.

And get your husbands-- or whoever your main support person is-- on board to support you. I could never have gotten through the early days of breastfeeding if I was surrounded by dissent. Just last night, when I was feeding Gabe, my husband turned to me and smiled, saying, "Thank you for breastfeeding." I'm the first one to answer, "Don't thank me for just doing what I'm supposed to do," but it felt good to be thanked, and I felt appreciated as a wife and mother in a way I don't know I could otherwise. So you see, for me, nursing isn't just a bond between me and my baby-- it is a special closeness for the whole family.

Breastfeeding is one of the best choices I have ever made.

(and now my warm, fuzzy breastfeeding soapbox post... is done.)

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