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Latch On! When Breastfeeding is Poetic (and when it’s not!)

Breastfeeding is the most natural thing in the world. Our bodies are designed to feed our babies. Yet, sometimes our bodies (and said babies) rebel against nature, creating a painful and soon-to-be forgotten experience out of what should be lovely and nurturing.

Prior to giving birth, I read books on breastfeeding and they made it sound easy, peaceful. Poetic, even. Let me tell you, the first twelve to fifteen weeks that I breastfed were not at ALL poetic! If you had told me two weeks after Asher was born that I’d still BE breastfeeding at six months, and that I’d WANT to keep breastfeeding until at least one year… well, I might have bit your head off.

Even though my plan had been to breastfeed for at least a year, by the time I’d been breastfeeding for five weeks, I felt like my toes would remain permanently in the curled position! I think I actually told my husband he should wear clothspins on his chest for an entire day so he could understand the pain I was in. I probably didn’t really mean that.

After six weeks of struggling with Asher’s poor latch and my soreness, on Easter Sunday night, I became very ill. Yes, the dreaded mastitis was upon me. The only thing poetic about this was the death-bed scenes I recreated all the next day.

Fast forward six months:
So last night, Asher woke at his customary 1 a.m. for a feeding (I won’t even get INTO the fact that he’s not sleeping through the night yet!). I settled into the rocker, Asher latched on in his sleep and I actually ENJOYED watching him close his eyes, snuggle into me and nurse. The house and peace settled around me and my baby. And a tear escaped as I realized, six months has passed in a twinkling. The next six probably will too. It won’t be much longer before I won’t be able to hold Asher in the soft shade of night, watch him sigh with contentment, feel his soft fingers brushing my chin, and then carry him warm, limp and mouth slightly open back to bed when he is done.

Sometimes, breastfeeding IS poetic, after all.


T Rex Mom

Tuesday 17th of August 2010

With my first, I kept setting small goals for myself. 2 weeks, then 2 months, then 4 months, then 6, then a full year. We stopped close to 19 months since I was pregnant and extremely sick/dehydrated. And with both the kids, the first 2 to 4 weeks was the toughest, but I knew if I could push through that, we'd be set. And we are. I'm grateful for a very supportive husband that kept encouraging me. And that I've been fortunate enough to have adequate milk supply and little difficulties. Sometimes I do feel a bit like a milk machine but I know it is truly what's best for my child. And that makes is so worth it. Along with those snuggles you speak of.