Ah, breastfeeding. It’s an amazing bonding experience that connects you to your children in a way you will never connect with anyone. Truly. I was scared to death of it at first. I read. A LOT. The CDC website is a great resource for this. It’s a lot of pressure, you know. This human being is wholly dependent upon you for his/her total nourishment. I will never forget the first time I went through it with my daughter. The “first-time mom” is such a unique and complex creature. No one can prepare for it. But, I must say, I think breastfeeding was the scariest part.
I was extremely lucky because I did not have any major problems breastfeeding. I had several friends who went through excruciating breastfeeding experiences. The baby wouldn’t suckle properly, their breasts were suckled raw, the baby was never full… ever. Breastfeeding can truly torment a mother. And as a mother of three, I feared it every time. Each child is different in every way, so breastfeeding can be different every time. It’s an anxiety I can certainly live without.
However, when my 9-month old daughter turned her nose up at me when I brought her into my bed as usual for her morning feeding, I felt my heart drop and smash into a thousand pieces. She had rejected me. Was something wrong? Did something change? Why wasn’t I good enough anymore? I had flashes of my past dating life and I was not happy about it. But I was free, right? I remember going through a torrent of emotions.
Breastfeeding, especially when you’re young and have lots of friends, is a strange thing to maneuver. I can’t count how many times we were hanging with friends, showing off our beautiful baby, then babies, and I had to excuse myself to a private room for feeding time. It’s a lonely existence. Rarely does anyone say, “Hey, want any breastfeeding company?” I guess they assumed that since I didn’t want to whip em out in front of a room full of people, I was against any companionship. It’s a strange scenario, especially for your first time. After a couple of kids, it does get easier to just breastfeed wherever in front of whomever, but it’s not always entirely comfortable.
My youngest son is only 6 months old and is already showing signs of boob-departure. I guess I will be happy when it’s all said and done, but there is a little lingering hesitation because of that amazing closeness you feel to your child. But, at the same time, I don’t think you have to breastfeed to feel close to your children. They look at you the same way when you’re giving them a bottle or even just cuddling. So, will I miss it? Hmm… yes no.