By Sara Regan
There isn’t anything in the world like these moments. Truly nothing can compare to the feeling of this tiny human, curled up in my arms dreaming, breathing just simply being. I am food. I am comfortable. I am home. Right now I am a soft place to lay. I am a mama.
The struggle and frustrations require patience like no other. To be forced to simply stop and sit, no guarantee or when or how long it will be. Exclusively Breastfeeding is a huge commitment but also a huge achievement. (And anyway you feed a baby is HARD). Even more so than being pregnant, breastfeeding is a full time job and commitment. It is one of the most demanding jobs anyone could have. Teething? More boob, please. Going through a leap? More boob, please. Have a cold? More boob, please. Sleep regression? More boob, please.
I couldn’t know what it was like to keep a human alive with my body before I had a baby. The responsibility that comes with making sure you are getting enough milk into your baby or taking the right precautions to supplement if you need to, is heavy. That my diet would need to change because my baby couldn’t handle certain things I would eat or drink. That I still had to be aware of any medications I might need to take. In a sense, we are still one.
I didn’t fully realize that I’d have to consider whether my boobs would be easily accessible or not in an outfit I’d put on because I would need to nurse my baby in it. I didn’t realize I’d live in nursing bras and tanks, all day every day. I didn’t realize that nursing covers would just not be any of my three children’s cup of tea. And I also didn’t realize that after a while, I wouldn’t even care anyway. If you have an issue with a mom feeding her baby, you should be the one to leave. I am not ashamed. I am proud.
No matter what it has done to the look of my breasts, no matter how it has affected my social calendar, and no matter how much effort I have had to put into it to make it work—I have loved breastfeeding each of my three babies. It has brought me joy, pride, and comfort. Our journey hasn’t been perfect. And breastfeeding is not always the answer for everyone. Both of these things are okay.
It takes 3 kids to say all this…and A LOT of sitting around doing just this…but these moments, these memories are so worth it. I need to remind myself of that daily! It is a sacrifice I am truly blessed to make and now a part of my story. It is something that has taught me so much and given my children so much. It is a step on my motherhood path that I will honor and cherish for the rest of my days.