Do you have a favorite memory of breastfeeding?
About seven rotations around the sun ago, I was a new mom to a new baby. My new little son was beautiful and perfect, but not at all what I expected. He was a grouchy little fellow, and we had an absolutely wretched time initiating breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding was a norm in my family, so, when I was pregnant with Jack I thought, “How hard could it be?” I did buy a book and read it through. This book (which I would not recommend to my worst enemy) had a mantra that went something like, “If it hurts, you’re doing it wrong.” I remember actually chuckling (obnoxiously) at someone who shared with me their memories of the toe-curling pain of early nursing days. Is it possible I actually told them “if it hurts, you’re doing it wrong”? Ugh.
The question wasn’t “how hard could it be,” but, “how naive could I have been?”
Anyhoo, after a consult with a sincere and empathetic lactation consultant (seriously, I will NEVER forget how awesome she was), Jack and I were on the path to success. He was diagnosed with a tongue tie, which we had snipped, and nursing instantly became pain free and enjoyable.
Flash forward 14 weeks. . .
. . . I took Jack to some nearby outlets to do some shopping. After a bit, I noticed his hunger cues, so we nipped back to the car for some nipple time. As I was latching him on to my breast, he looked up at me and laughed. While my grumpy and colicky little boy had started smiling some weeks prior, this was the first time I’d ever heard him laugh.
It is one of my favorite memories of breastfeeding.
Jack weaned shortly before he turned two. His little sister, Emily, is still nursing at 33 months old. This week is World Breastfeeding Week. I realize that next year at this time, I probably won’t be a nursing mom anymore, and since Em is my last baby, this holiday will be seen from a different perspective. These thoughts make me kind of sad, but also really grateful for all of the family, friends, and professionals who have supported my breastfeeding journey.
So, in honor of World Breastfeeding Week, please share your favorite nursing memory in the comments below. If you have weaned, what do you miss the most about nursing? If you had challenges with nursing, what were they, and what advice would you give to new nursing moms who are struggling?