Yes, tonight I am remininscing about my breastfeeding journey. A journey that spans two dear little ones, a journey with many highs and lows along the way, its very painful struggles and yet its very joyous triumphs.
Thinking back to the begining after I decided to exclusively pump for my dear son…the time when I was pumping 10+ times a day and getting used to a brand new baby…., I never thought I would learn to love my pump and eventually be sad to telll it goodbye when my big little transitioned to soy milk. I had over my 10 month journey come a long way, and grew a very fond appreciation for my pump. It had allowed me to provide precious liquid gold to my baby boy.
This time, the path although bumpy especially at the beginning was easier to follow. And yet funny, I have to admit that I found myself clinging to the familiar afraid to sway too far from my comfort zone of pumping.
Of course I am hesitant to say that nursing is better than pumping, but I will say it is very different. I will also say that nursing is easier in the long run. And by no means did I ever nurse exclusively as I work full time and definitely had to rely on my pump when apart from my dear little one.
I hope it is evident that mama milk is important to me…and I thoroughly enjoyed being able to provide the very best liquid gold for my little ones no matter the way. I appreciate that it is the natural way to feed a baby even though I had to utilize a machine to make it work for us! I also firmly believe it is one of the most valueable gifts you can give your baby! Its benefits are proven and more reasons to breastfeed are uncovered each year! It is also beneficial for Mama and Mother Earth too! I also feel that it is a sacrifice, whether it comes easy or not so easy for mama and baby…it is a huge commitment (of both time and effort) especially at the beginning!
Ok now that all that is said, let me get off my soap box and just reminisce. Reminisce that the good far outweighed the bad and the good times far exceeded the hard ones! Reminisce that I was able to come off my birth high and immediately nurse my baby girl this time! Reminisce the special time I was able to share with my sweet girl over the many hours of nursing her the last 16 months! Reminisce the magic comfort nursing provided her when she was sick, hurt, tired or teething. Reminisce the sweet milk smiles and the laughter shared.
Yes this time was very different! My sweet baby was a ninny baby. I did not have to set my alarm clock at night to remind me to pump because I was lucky enough to have a baby that wanted to eat throughout the night. I did not worry as much about losing my milk supply but at the same time I never had more than a day’s worth of milk in my fridge and never had to make space for milk in the freezer whereas in my eping days I was so diligent about never missing a pumping session that we always had an abundant supply of milk waiting in the fridge. Of course I pumped enough milk for her while I was working, but she really only ever needed a couple bottles a day while we were apart. I spent many of my lunch hours nursing instead of pumping! I didn’t have to clean as many bottles. I never had to pump while driving although I admit that I did nurse her once or twice in the backseat while she was strapped in her carseat…proba bly not the safest but the memory brings a smile thinking about the twisted ackward position I was in And while last time I was really sad to hang up my pumping horns. This time, when she turned a year…I was super excited to leave those behind! This time I find myself attached to my nursing cover. My Mom of course made it for me making it extra special, it is super cute having little birdies on it, but it is also a huge symbol of our accomplishment! And as we pass over this bittersweet milestone of weaning at 16 months, I can’t bring myself to pack it away or worse yet sell it used as my mom recently suggested.
And of course this all means that my baby is growing up and really isn’t a baby anymore which is bittersweet in itself! But tonight…I am just reminiscing…I can not believe that it has been 16 months since I first nursed my sweet girl and just over a month short of 3 years since I welcomed my firstborn and this entire jorney began. Life is full of milestones…and it is important to take some time every once and awhile and just reminisce.