When I was a brand new mom I was given some breastfeeding advice. I was told to switch positions with every feeding (didn’t happen), to keep my newborn awake long enough to feed for 30-ish minutes (didn’t happen), and to distinguish daytime feedings from nighttime feedings.
I was told to make sure the baby was well aware that it was still bedtime when he nursed at night. Keep the lights off/very dim, don’t talk or sing to him, don’t linger to snuggle or play, just nurse and put him back into bed.
I basically did, and I basically do with his baby sister too.
But every once in a while, when I am or was awake enough to sit and think, I recognize the beauty of that moment. This tiny little person getting all of his or her nourishment and comfort from me. Such a brilliant system our God developed.
Last night was one of those nights. I just couldn’t rush through a feeding and get us both back to sleep without acknowledging how much I love her and doing a little extra to let her know it. I stroked her hair and I held her hand, and then when she was done eating I kissed her cheek and sang her a quiet bedtime song.
I used to get really sad when I thought about my little guy being all done nursing. In the end it didn’t hurt as much as I thought it would, but I strongly suspect that’s in part because I had another nursing baby on the way.
I’m in that place again now, where I can’t think too much about the end of this baby’s time nursing or I get a little flustered and tearful.
I am her mother. The whole world can tickle her tummy, read her a story, shake a rattle for her. But I and I alone can provide her with this particular source of nourishment. Every mother and baby have that emotional bond, of course, but I love having this physical bond on top of that.
Just something I was thinking about. =]