Breastfeeding: A Love Story
Posted By: Mona Hickey
I went back to work at eight weeks. The biggest fear I have is that my milk is going to dry up. I can't stress out because it zaps milk supply! How do I keep zen about something I have become obsessed with?
Does it make me a weirdo to say that I love breastfeeding? Well, even with that risk, I would walk in a I Love Breastfeeding parade, raise a flag in front of my house and get a forehead tattoo, declaring that I love nursing. Okay, maybe not a forehead tattoo. I'd be afraid that the tattoo artist would misspell my request and I'd be stuck with, "I love to beastfeed." (That would be hard to explain at family gatherings and would also make first impressions very awkward.)
I am a woman who loves to breastfeed her baby. After the first initial painful feedings and boob-related brambles, breastfeeding my son became natural, easy even. I worked hard and powered through for my son.
Breastfeeding has become a routine I truly enjoy. When I get home from my full-time job, I change out of my work clothes and into my supermom wear, mainly yoga pants and my alma mater t-shirt. Then I nurse right away. I nurse through dinner, nurse through discussions with my older son on how his day went, through talks with my husband about our schedule. I nurse through phone calls and bill sorting. When it's time to go to bed, I nurse my baby while we both sleep.
During the night, I love the closeness I have with him. I will admit that when he wakes up in the early hours, I will try to feed him while my eyes are closed, only to find out that I've been shoving my nipple into his chin or his forehead, which explains why he hadn't been able to latch on.
Babies grow so quickly. Before long he'll be too heavy for my arms and will be asking for the car keys or requesting that I drop him off at school two blocks away so no one sees that his mom is behind the wheel. But for now, I have these moments when he's at my chest, our skin pressed against each other. He calms down immediately, his eyes grow heavy. Then after he's been eating for a while, I take my fingertip and trace a line from his forehead to the bridge of his nose and he falls fast asleep.
The act of breastfeeding itself is one that I feel I have championed. Despite other concerns of mine like milk supply, it doesn't sully what has become my favorite way to bond with my moon-faced baby. I was never an athlete in school. I have poor coordination for football and no aptitude for smacking a volleyball over a net, but with breastfeeding, I could place gold at the Olympics. I would proudly perch upon the medals stand for breastfeeding while the crowd cheered, "U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!"10:09am on Monday September 13