I love breastfeeding! I never thought I would say those words. I never thought I'd be able to keep going as strong for as long as we have. Noah's 8 weeks old now & we've surpassed my effort w/Sophie and in 2 weeks we'll be past where I was with Maddy. I have a feeling we'll make it that long--barring any severe unforeseen circumstances.
I love how happy it makes Noah to nurse and snuggle skin to skin every time I feed him. I've bonded with him so much quicker & easier than w/the other girls (I attribute this to also to my successful delivery & cherishing my pregnancy so much) & love how I make enough milk to nurse Noah back to sleep in the middle of the night (since he typically doesn't eat an entire feeding in the middle of the night). I love how he has a preference for it & makes it known too and how big and strong it is making him. And with the cold I'm getting today, I love how he's getting antibodies to help him stay healthy & fight this illness traveling around our household.
I was a little intimidated to NIP (Nurse In Public), but seeing as we live w/my inlaws, I had to let go of my insecurities and just do it. I now feel comfortable nursing here, but was scared about doing it elsewhere for a long time. When we traveled to Indiana, I feared it would be the end of our nursing relationship, but I felt very comfortable with our friends and they even supported it by offering comfortable places for us to nurse. I gained so much confidence out there, so when it was time to come home, I knew I could do it!
We nursed at a family BBQ (my mom's side: ex-Amish/Mennonite side, so breastfeeding is viewed as normal) & then the true test: around my dad's family. My grandma didn't nurse her kids in the 50's since it was "dirty & gross" and neither of her daughters nursed their babies either. My mom was the odd ball out for trying to nurse us & never did it in front of them. In fact, when Maddy was born and I pumped my milk for her in the NICU, my Aunt Dolores took me in a few times and was under the misconception that you have to have a horribly restrictive diet when you nurse a baby. She shared the moment of me nursing Maddy in the NICU & she didn't seem as weirded out as the rest of the family did when they visited me in my hospital room while I was pumping milk for Maddy. I felt intimidated, but knew breast is best even if they didn't understand that. Heck, when my cousin's son was born 2 years ago, his wife (the girl who ostracized me for cloth diapering) was actually PROUD of the fact that she wasn't going to nurse and brought a sports bra in her hospital bag to discourage her milk from coming in while her son was passed around with a formula bottle shoved in his brand new baby mouth. SO sad!!!
So a bit over a week ago, we had a bday party for Sophia at my dad's house where they would all join us. They snuggled Noah and passed him around. Even commented at how cute his cloth diapers were (they've come a LONG way here too btw--but that's another post). Sophie came into the living room with her shirt lifted and baby Ariel "latched" and talked to us while she "fed" her. I was SO proud of Sophie for feeding her baby in public! She gave me the final boost to not be scared to do it either.
Not long after, Noah started fussing and wanted to eat. They asked me if I needed help making a bottle and I said I think he'd rather nurse. And within 1 minute of me very discretely pulling my top open and latching him on, he was quiet and content again. Never that content with a bottle shoved into his mouth, that's for sure! You could tell they were weirded out & I secretly LOVED every minute of it! Noah happily nursed and my grandma couldn't maintain eye contact w/me, my aunts stopped talking and my cousins looked uncomfortable. My dad & step-mom were there and they don't care how I feed my baby so they kept the conversation going. I unlatched him and burped him and he was happy again. When I had to supplement him, I let my grandma and Aunt feed him, but they were most certainly aware that I was still nursing my sweet baby boy.
I feel that all of this hard work I've put into making nursing work has definitely been worth it! All of the herbs, drugs and pumping have paid off. I am cherishing this time that I am making milk and will do my best to keep it going as long as I can! And I am officially addicted to nursing & can't wait to discover my next place to nurse in public! ;o)
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