I was chatting with my friend Kim the other day, another young mom in our ward who shares a lot of the same thoughts and philosophies I do. Truth be told, Kim is kind of one of my heroes. Natural-eating, co-sleeping, home birth mama with a beautiful bond and attachment to her baby girl. She shared with me some of her struggles with breastfeeding in the early months of her baby's life. As she told me some of the things that she had to do to continue breastfeeding I thought, "Goodness, I wonder if I would have gone through all of the trouble."
I absolutely love breastfeeding. I love how Hyrum will snuggle in. I love how it calms him when he's upset. I love how he gets so excited for our nursing sessions. I even love how rambunctious he's getting when he nurses. It just reminds me of how the breastfeeding relationship is constantly developing, constantly changing. In the early days you wonder if you'll ever move from the chair and then suddenly one day your nursing sessions are down to 5-10 minutes. They go from being cuddly to kicky, from lying to sitting. I just think it's amazing to watch the relationship mirror the baby's learning and growing.
And yet I think back to my early days of Hyrum's life. I'm pretty sure if it had been much of a struggle I would have thrown in the towel. I just wasn't committed enough. Truth be told, I was terrified of breastfeeding. Not on a philosophical level, just terrified that I wouldn't be able to figure it out. Thankfully, breastfeeding was not one of those things that came with difficulty for Hyrum and me. I thank Heavenly Father for that blessing because honestly, breastfeeding has changed my life.
Because I loved breastfeeding so much and it felt so natural, I began questioning some of the things I had read/learned/heard/thought about infant care. Because breastfeeding came easily, I transitioned from wanting to schedule feed to demand feed. Because I started feeding on demand, I found breastfeeding to be more than just food but also a time of comfort and cuddles for both my baby and mommy. Because breastfeeding was established, I desired to learn about other natural ways of living, including birthing. Because I breastfed and wanted to make my life a little easier, I moved our baby from the crib to our bed. Because I moved him to our bed, my husband and I have had some wonderful bonding moments as a whole family. Because I wanted my breastfed baby to grow up healthy and strong, I started taking better care of my own body. Because I wanted to take better care of my body I started eating healthy foods and exercising. Because I eat healthy foods and exercise, I have more energy and find greater enjoyment in my life. Because I love breastfeeding so much, I joined a La Leche League and met many wonderful mothers who live in my city. Because I met other moms, Calgary is starting to feel more and more like home. Because it feels more and more like home, I feel happy. '
And so now I realize that Heavenly Father provided me with a beautiful gift. If, for me, breastfeeding had been quite difficult in the beginning, I probably would have given up. But, if I had given up, I wonder how different my life would be today. I really like my life just as it is now. A number of things have changed, a lot have stayed the same, but I like the changes. I like how breastfeeding has changed my life.
How has breastfeeding affected your life?