As the Jewish New Year comes around I realize that I have to be grateful for. The New Year is a time for reflection. Do I have someone special in my life, am I happy in my career, am I giving enough to the world around me? This year, the holidays are all a blur. Sammy is in my life now so everything else has fallen away. One reason I was nervous to breastfeed was feeling isolated. Would I always have to excuse myself? Would my husband be embarrassed of me? What I have found is the exact opposite. I have never felt more connected to those around me than I do as a mother.
I'm sure that mothers everywhere have been exchanging knowing glances for as long as mothers have been around. I try to get out everyday, mostly to preserve my sanity, and every time I leave the house passersby stop me with questions about Sammy. As a new mother there is nothing I would rather talk about than my newborn son. People want to know how old he is, how much he weighs and if he keeps me up at night. (He's 7 weeks old, I'm not sure how much he weighs, but at four weeks he was 11.7 lbs, and yes, he keeps me up at night.) My favorite moment is when people ask if I am breastfeeding. When asked, I immediately beam and proudly answer, "yes, I am."
Last year at this time I remember wondering how my life would change from one year to the next. Never have I been happier about everything in my life as I am beginning this New Year. On the first night of Rosh Hashana this past Wednesday (the Jewish New Year) we dined at our friend's house. As I sat nursing Sammy at the table I looked around at my husband and my friends I saw my fears of isolation melt away. Everyone has been not only supportive but also encouraging. With each passing day I feel more connected to every woman. I want to hear every story.
Regarding pregnancy, labor and delivery and having a newborn I am infinitely smarter now than I was last year, but I want to know more. How was your pregnancy? Were you happy with your delivery? Where did you deliver, at home, in a hospital? Is your baby fussy? Do you have to wake him/her up to feed him? How is breastfeeding going? As I write this all down I realize that I haven't even made a resolution, that's what you're supposed to do at New Year's, right? Well, I resolve to learn more. I want to hear all of your stories. Imagine how much we can all learn from each other's experiences!
At times breastfeeding can be an uphill battle. Sammy and I are still figuring each other out. At those times, it is easy to forget that this has all been done before. I am not reinventing the wheel here. Women have been challenged by breastfeeding for generations, but as a community we can help each other. In ancient times family units lived together for generations, now us new moms are often times on our own. I live thousands of miles away from family so I find my support here.
I'd love to hear from you with any stories you'd like to share from pregnancy all the way through parenting grown children. Let us make this a year of health, happiness, family, love and dreams coming true.