Letting Go While Still Holding On

Sarah Strapp

Posted By: Sarah Strapp

I am eager, anxious, nervous, and exciting to get this baby to my breast.

A friend of mine described motherhood as a series of separations. First your child separates from your body, then from your breast, then off to school, college, etc. While I will admit that this is the natural course of things, it is hard for me to let Sammy go. Before Sammy came along my husband and I used to spend a lot of time going to see movies and dining out. Now, we savor a night when we have enough energy to rent a movie and order in dinner. While we enjoy the opportunity to have a date night, it is hard for me to trust anyone else but my husband to watch our son. That is why the holidays are so nice. Visiting my parents or my husband's parents is a nice time for us to go out as a couple because we can leave Sammy with his grandparents.

Sammy will turn four months old tomorrow and I am pleased to say that he is a bubbly, drooly, happy, friendly and well-rested little boy. Sammy loves meeting new people -- he is happy to be placed in a new friend's arms. It seems that he is the most engaged when lively conversation is going on; he looks a little like he's enjoying a live tennis match from center court. Being around people is perhaps Sammy's favorite activity. He is able to stay awake for longer periods of time and he sleeps better after a nice social time. Every time we come home after a playgroup or some time with his cousins and I put Sammy down for a nap, I realize how important this socialization is for him. In my heart of hearts I want to imagine that all Sammy would ever need would be his father, and myself but I know that is the farthest thing from the truth.

However, Sammy does still need me in order to eat. The drive home had two of the most exciting and intimate feeds that Sammy and I have ever shared. Rest stops along I-80 are not the most elegant settings, but somehow at 3 am the light from the lamp posts made those moments some I will never forget.

We had decided to drive home from Thanksgiving weekend overnight to avoid the post-holiday traffic. Well, it was a great idea and we avoided the traffic, but traveling overnight is tough. Sammy had quite a night, and just needed to be assured a couple times that his father and I were by his side. When the time rolled around for him to eat, my husband pulled over into an abandoned rest stop. My first thought was that we would be murdered there, but when I saw that no one was there and that no one else was pulling over, I thought, how intimate, just our family in this secluded spot sharing a precious and beautiful moment together. With my husband gazing lovingly at his son, Sammy ate to his heart's content. Did you know that the front seat of the car is actually a very comfortable nursing seat? The recline is perfect and the floor of the car got my lap to just the right angle.

For as much as I was dreading the drive, both there and back, it proved to be some of the best hours that we have spent as a family since Sammy's arrival. Being around grandparents and cousins for the holiday really reminded us how special the beginning of our firstborn's life is, how these moments are really fleeting. In the moments that we are most unsure and nervous about what lies ahead it is amazing how nursing can bring us all together to remind us how love, family and togetherness are really the core of what matters, especially around the holidays.

Happy holidays to all mothers!

12:00pm on Thursday February 3
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