The whole breastfeeding subject has been circling around in my head. For one obvious reason- because I’m breastfeeding Brianna and because of a post on the October mom’s board that I frequent. It’s been weeks, but one of the moms posted that someone (I think it was her MIL) said that breastfeeding is disgusting. Wow. I know some people are very uncomfortable with breastfeeding but disgusting seems like an very strong, incredibly negative word to use.
When I found out I was pregnant with Brianna, for me it was no question that I was going to try breastfeeding. I never even thought about alternatives. I think it’s because I grew up surrounded by women who breastfed- I saw my aunts breastfeed my cousins and my mom breastfeed my baby brother, it seemed like that was just how babies were fed. While I knew there were options, I think subconsciously I believed that for me, there really wasn’t any way to go but breastfeeding. And I thought it would come naturally and be no problem. Both the baby and I would instinctivally no what to do. HA! One of my most vivid memories of the days after I brought Brianna home is on Tuesday night (she was born on Friday night). It was the middle of the night and I was sitting in bed, holding the baby and trying to nurse. And bawling. Josh was sleeping beside me and I just sat there, tears running down my face and silently crying, desperate not to wake him up because I felt like such a failure. It was painful, it hurt, my nipples were already cracked and bleeding, I was frustrated, the baby seemed frustrated and I didn’t know what to do. I was ready to pack it in. And those thoughts stung because I felt like a mommy failure and I’d only been a mom for 5 days!
But in the morning, I got up and called the Lactation Consultant. And got an appointment for that afternoon. I called Josh, still pretty weepy, and told him my plans. He immediately said he’d be taking off work and he’d drive us and attend the appt with us. That LC saved my sanity, I swear she did. She was kind and understanding and so encouraging–and with a few simple fixes, suddenly breastfeeding didn’t hurt anymore. And more than that, it changed from something I dreaded to something I was giving my daughter.
Breastfeeding is one of the most bonding activities I have ever done. There is an absolute connection between Brianna and I when we breastfeed. Whether wide awake or half-asleep, there is a love, strength and bond that flows between us during those moments. Some of her most precious smiles have been bestowed on me when she pulls away, mouth milky and wet, and grins into my eyes. The love at that moment is so pure, it takes my breath away. Those are the memories I try desperately to imprint on my memory- the sounds of her breaths and baby suckling noises, her sweet baby breath and half closed eyes, little hands kneading my breasts and her occasionaly moaning sounds. Being able to stroke her silky fine hair and run a finger down her cheek and have her smile at me with her mouth around the nipple. There are so many details, how will I ever remember them all?
Because breastfeeding has been such a positive experience for me, I don’t understand how people can say it’s disgusting? There are times it’s not convenient, and it does create a demand for me that sometimes can get wearing, but as a whole, I view it in a beautiful and special light. For someone to say it’s disgusting is not only puzzling, it’s unthinkable. I can’t even imagihe what someone thinks is disgusting about it?
I have said that I don’t have the ‘baby bug’- that lust that seems to be hitting the mom’s on my board to have another baby (four or five already pregnant and more to come!)but I can admit, that once Brianna starts weaning and we have less of those quiet nursing moments, that being able to experience that with another beloved baby might induce me to have another. It’s been that joyful for me and for Brianna as well, I believe. And no one can ever belittle that or take away this time from us.