This mama is drying up

For nearly 8 of the 9 months I was pregnant, I prayed daily and multiple times a day, that our baby would be a great nursling.  She’d latch from the get-go and be successful at nursing.  God answered that wish.  Our daughter was so great at nursing that from the first latch she didn’t want to be away from Mama for nearly 10 1/2 months after!

My nursing relationship with our daughter has been very special.  It allowed me to get to know her every need, every movement, every desire; in fact if she cried and I placed her to my chest, she’d latch and quiet immediately.  She nursed well in public, she nursed well at home, and she nursed well in the car.  She learned to nurse while I would lay down in the middle of the night because I just couldn’t sit up any longer.  We were quite the duo as we went everywhere together and I even wasn’t able to go some places because I knew it wasn’t appropriate to bring my nursling along.

Although that nursing relationship was quite special, it also came with many downfalls that other successful nursing mothers don’t tell you about.  Or at least they didn’t let me in on it!  First, because my daughter and I got to know one another so well and our bodies were in sync with one another, I was the ONLY one able to console her.  She refused anyone else for comfort.  Our daughter nursed just so well that she refused the bottle.  We asked our pediatrician for help and took all the advice we could–she refused it all and made the person watching her, usually Daddy, miserable with the inconsolable crying.  That crying that could only be hushed at the very presence of Mommy and then the baby calmed completely because Mommy had the comforting item attached to her.

I missed many girls nights that I usually find refreshing and fulfilling to my spirit.  I missed out on a Bible study because she was inconsolable in the church nursery and I couldn’t bring her into the room for fear of distraction of the other ladies.  I was exhausted often because I’d forget to eat, or eat too much, or just have baby girl pressed onto me nearly all day that it seemed she sucked my energy away along with the milk.  I wasn’t able to go to the gym because if I went in the early morning before she woke up, I’d have breasts full of milk and I’m not sure about you, but even the best sports bra out there wasn’t going to handle my early morning load.  By the time my husband got home from work, we had dinner, got the kids to bed, got my own shower, I was too exhausted to go to the gym.  I went straight to bed.

As I sit here writing with cabbage leaves on my boobs, a tight sports bra, and a tight nursing top to keep me in place and help me dry up, I wax nostalgia because the first 10 1/2 months of my baby’s life, I was able to provide her sole nourishment and it was what was best for her and for me.  My body sustained her body.  We have a bond that will never be matched because this relationship is so personal and unique.  My relationship with my son is profound, yet different because I pumped for him.  He always had a bottle and I could turn to others for help nourishing him while I pumped.

Sitting here drying up is bittersweet.  It means my baby girl is growing, she’s becoming independent, I’m no longer needed in this area of her life and our nursing relationship will grow into something more.  I’m excited to see how our relationship grows, changes, and ultimately matures from here on out.

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hey, i’m Danielle

I love Jesus. I love my family. And I get joy from having a front row view of people growing toward their goals because of what I’ve taught.

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