As breastfeeding my daughter comes to an end, I was rocking in our favorite chair, thinking about how still and calm I was at that very moment. I have always been a person who, at the chance of free time, will run around the house like a wild woman trying to get everything done. Sitting and enjoying the moment, whatever moment it may be, was always a difficult task for me.
Breastfeeding has been one of the most difficult experiences of my life. Delilah was born "tongue tied" and had trouble latching at the hospital. At five days old, we decided to do the procedure, a frenulectomy, to correct it. It literally took five minutes and after a quick nursing session she was calm again. Once she was able to properly latch, my milk came in! Thank the gods! I literally remember the exact moment it happened. What a relief that was….until I felt as though I had been hit my a truck, a very very big truck. I thought your boobs were supposed to be as hard as rocks and warm, WRONG! I went into the doctor with a 103 degree fever and a case of mastitis. What in the hell was mastitis?
After about a million clogged ducts, white nipples, and a few heads of cabbage, we have made it to 8 months! Also thanks to the never-ending support of my husband, family, and the great lactation consultant. We were out of the woods…..WRONG! My lovely daughter has four teeth now, four small razor-like teeth. I have made it through just about everything that can go wrong, through sheer persistence made it through sleepless nights, on demand nursing, not being able to leave my daughter for more than 2 hours at a time, and now biting? It happens about twice a week, but let me tell you, that is two times too many!
I believe how I have made it this far is setting small, realistic goals for myself. Make it through the night, then the week, then to 8 weeks, then 3 months, and so on. I now have the goal to make it a year and have started the emotional process of weaning. She has cut out the morning feed and thanks to two weeks at a job I eventually quit, she learned to take a bottle and I learned how to pump efficiently. I thought that all babies needed 8 ounces each bottle, but I soon learned that was not the case. My little bitty only likes to drink 3 ounce bottles, something I could provide her through pumping. So, she now gets 3 bottles during the day, leaving her nighttime feed and the occasional midnight feed. We have had a minor setback since a recent ear infection, her first one, but we are picking up where we left off. I pump 3 times a day and she drinks 3 bottles a day.
Getting to the point, I was nursing her the other night and just
sitting rocking away, when I realized how calm and relaxed I was. I could care less that a small baby tornado went through the living room, that my lovely husband emptied all of the contents from his pockets on the dining room table, and that my kitchen could have had a guest spot on the TV show, Hoarders Buried Alive. I was feeding my baby, she was in control and I had no where else in the world to be, except right there, with her. My world had slowed down to a gentle but swift rocking motion, the distant noise of The Voice was muffled by the buzz of her white noise machine and a sweet humming of a lullaby, and the only thing that mattered at that very moment was my baby, my sweet sweet baby. These are the moments that make the nipple biting and swollen boobs worth it.
Needless to say, I started getting rather teary eyed thinking that in a few short months I was no longer going to have these moments with Delilah. I would soon be overwhelmed with the daily tasks and obligations that seem to creep up no matter how hard you try to stay on top of things. I would no longer have the opportunity to be made to stop and slow down and be present in the moment. This realization worries me and has given me a new goal once I have achieved the others I have placed, make time to just sit. Just sit and look and take in the present time. Don't think about the dishes, bills, or the load of laundry that has been washed about 3 times now because I keep forgetting to throw it in the dryer. I will be present for my daughter and my husband and we will just sit and enjoy.