Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Joy of Breastfeeding

A post about breastfeeding my first child and my experience.

Looking back over the years, some of my best memories include breastfeeding. To breastfeed or not was a “no brain er” to me. I had read all of the material and I had made the decision to breastfeed.

I can remember filling up a very large glass of water, picking up my crying daughter, and heading for my “breastfeeding chair.”

Once Jo and I arrived at the chair, I would settle myself in, make sure my glass of water was in reach, and begin to reveal the “bottle”. She knew what I was doing a would “root’ around until I was ready.

Since I lived with my parents, a voice would ask if I was breastfeeding. It was my father sitting in the kitchen waiting for the process to begin. After I responded that I was breastfeeding, Dad gave me time to cover myself, and then head into the living room over to Jo and me.

As soon as he entered the room, he heard wonderful, endearing sounds. They weren’t coming from me...but from Jo. This always made my Dad smile and chuckle softly. He would gently touch her blonde head and say, “Are you enjoying yourself little lady?’

Apparently she was! Oh how she loved a good meal. Her tiny little hand would be placed at the top of my breast, and she would be making these wonderful beautiful sounds. That is what my Dad came to see and hear. In his own way, he was watching over her. Jo unknowingly had given both Dad and I a memory. One we could always share and smile about with each other. I know she and I were bonding but somehow it also created a bond between my Dad and Jo. Little did she know how she impacted his life.

I could always gage where she was at in the feeding process by her sounds. At first, when she was hungry and ready to go, her nursing sound was yummm...yummmm...yummmm. It then would transfer to soft cooing. When she was finished, there would be a sigh and the sound of mmmmmmmmmmmm.

When I removed my breast, she would be sound asleep and happy. I would then take that experience and file it in my mind and heart. I can never express my gratitude to Jo for the memories she was making, nor the memories I now have of my Dad.

Nerveless the story continues. There were a lot of benefits for me, and my decision to breastfeed. Jo was receiving my immune system, so she was NEVER sick. Jo was a happy and alert baby who appreciated a good melody. (Often times I would hum or sing to her while she ate.) Other people could hold and play with her. I never had the feeling of being cheated or jealous, wanting that time for myself.

No, I could let others have their time and enjoy Jo as much as they wanted. I knew she and I would have our time very soon. My attitude was play, hold; enjoy time with her as much as you want. She will let me know when she needs me.

Jo and I had a bond. A bond that connected so tightly, only a mother could have with her child. In those precious quite moments, memories were being made. She and I had a connection. I knew that no one else could have this same unique connection. How could they? Only I could feed her.

At the risk of sounding “mean”, I listened very close for her hunger cry. Others were playing with her, and I looked forward to “our time.” I craved the sounds. The sounds she made etched their way into not only my heart and mind but also those that were around at breastfeeding time.

To this day, my family and I will talk about the sounds Jo made. We laugh and we sometimes cry; now that Dad isn’t here to help share his memories.

How much do I owe to one tiny person? How do I express the emotion when I remember back? How do I say thank you for the memories? Most of all, how do I say thank you for the Joy of feeding you? You, my little one, are a blessing!

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