It went to fast. These years of nurturing and embrace through breastfeeding. It’s a bit ironic because there were days when I just wanted it to end. Desperate for my body to be mine again and I now I would pay to turn back the time and do it all over.
What I remember most and hold onto is as this chapter closes is their tiny mouths routing for the milk that my body labored to create. Their delicate hands resting softly on mine as they drank.
The first few months of life and the early mornings getting to know each of my babies as they ate and so did I. The basket of snacks by my bedside to fuel my body so it could give them a steady flow of milk.
Those mundane nights weren’t so ordinary to me. It was our time. A sacred moment in the dead of night that brought forth love and life and a bond I will tether to my heart. Gently stroking hair out of their face as I watched the sunrise. Pure bliss.
Not Always Easy
It wasn’t always easy, breastfeeding my babies. With my first, Abigail I was blindsided by how hard it actually was. The confidence I built up while still pregnant came crashing down within the first 24hours of her life. Her latch was shallow, and my nipples cracked and bled. I tried everything I was “supposed” to do. No YouTube video or book prepared me for the emotional rollercoaster I embarked on with her.
One night after we had been trying our best for two weeks I screamed, “GET THIS PARASITE OFF OF ME!” and I wept. Guilt came flooding in, and the lie that I was a failure soaked through me for weeks following.
But those nights were sacred too. I do not dismiss them as a failure. They were beautiful and raw and honest. Beauty doesn’t always mimic a blissful moment. It can be hot salty tears flowing. Or a desperate mother pleading to God to her through just one more feed.
As I close this chapter of my motherhood, I hold close all the late night feeds. All the struggling under a cover when I was a young, first-time mama ashamed to bare myself in that way. The milk stained sheets and stinky bras. Thier fingers twirling my hair. The pain and the bliss of it all.
Dear Lord, please let me never forget. Today, this is my plea.
Make room for the rawness of motherhood and declare it beautiful my friends.