Thursday, June 7, 2012

Mommy Likes It: Breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding has been a recent topic of great debate because of the very controversial cover on Time magazine's May 21st issue...if you have no idea what I am talking about, welcome back to earth from that rock you've been living under and here is a link for you to check it out: Are You Mom Enough? While you are at it, also check out the web exclusive articles and pictures which have some great additional information, pictures, and a much better idea of exactly what Breastfeeding and Attachment Parenting are all about.

OK, moving along now...

Of course, this article had to come out 4 months into my first breastfeeding journey. I've had to deal with so much crap about breastfeeding already that I knew this article would cause me even more issues with my friends/family.  I live in a community which is not very pro-breastfeeding and am the first to do it in my family (can you believe that?). I am also a first time mom, and although it seems like the most "natural" of things, breastfeeding has not been easy for me, which has only added fuel to the fire. 

I've gone through most of the typical first-timer worries such as low milk supply and non-stop, no-time-to-shower-or-eat-properly-for-days months-while-baby-cries-for-more nursing marathons.  Even though I felt very prepared after spending hundreds of hours on the online breastfeeding boards (love these) and reading countless, redundant books on the subject of breastfeeding, I really wasn't ready for what was in store for me...and I'm not just talking about the bad stuff, because trust me, you will forget that stuff quicker than you think but also about the unexpected things that I have experienced while breastfeeding that none of those 'Breastfeeding for Dummies' books ever told me I would experience.

These things are what have made breastfeeding my daughter the thing I currently like the most in the world:

1. What I like to call "The boobie sigh".  It's that wonderful moment when your hungry little monster finally gets latched on, stops crying, and takes his/her first huge gulp and lets out the most satisfying little sigh ever.  I melt every single time, especially when she looks up at me while doing it.  It's like she is saying "mmm, thank you mommy"...and it makes every pain I've felt worthwhile.

2. "The Milky Smile".  It's that magical moment where you will say something to your baby, smile at your baby, or maybe just look at your baby at the perfect moment and they will give you a huge smile while your nipple is still in their mouth and a trickle of milk pours out of the side.  It might seem so mundane to most people, but once you experience it for the first time you will remember it forever.  It's made every moment where I've cried worrying about my supply completely worthwhile.

3. "The Boobie Pull".  That cute moment when your baby starts to realize how exactly this whole drinking "milky" from mommy thing happens and realizes that your bra/shirt/dress/whatever is containing their "milky" (that's what we call it around here).  For us, it started at around 3 months. Her eyes would light up as she would notice I was about to unhook my nursing bra to nurse her, and she would immediately start pulling on my clothing and either squeal in excitement or give me a huge smile.  It's made every single time I've felt nervous or someone has made me feel bad about nursing in public worthwhile.

4. "The Midnight Boobie Dance".  As a bed-sharing mommy, I've had my fair share of cute late-night moments.  My favorite is what I like to call the "Boobie Dance", which my daughter loves to do when she sees me coming back from a midnight run to the restroom or from grabbing a clean diaper.  It's that adorable moment when she will flip to her side and start to wiggle and squirm her way to where she knows I am going to lay down and nurse her, all while having a huge smile across her face...or if she's really hungry grunting and squealling the whole time.  It's made every negative comment I've received about co-sleeping worthwhile.

These are just some of the things that have made breastfeeding such an amazing experience for me.  I don't see an end in sight for us although I know there has to be one (*insert sad face here*).  Right now, I'm not thinking about that. I'm just going to continue enjoying this journey while it lasts and continue to take in every single sigh, smile, pull, and dance for as long as I can.