In less than a month, I won’t be nursing a 1-year-old anymore. But the only thing that will change about our nursing relationship will be her age.
Next month, I’ll be nursing a caring and gentle, 2-year-old little human.
This journey has by no means been easy–after a long labor we had a rough start to nursing, as is the case for many a mother-child dyad. We had to learn the ropes. We’ve dealt with blebs, bites that bled and left scars, engorgement, teething, lumps, plugged ducts, and nipple aversion. It took eight weeks to settle into a latch that was comfortable, and then eight more after that to learn how to do it all over again without a nipple shield. We’ve wrestled with nursing covers and blankets while we learned the art of nursing in public, and eventually threw modesty out, all together.
But we’ve also enjoyed giggles, snuggles, the satisfying feeling of let-down, and the most delightful eye contact. I have pumped everyday she was away from me, and have sent breast milk to school with my child everyday. I have nursed through half-marathons and while teaching 60+ undergraduates about research methods. Our family has enjoyed baked goods and scrambled eggs with breast milk when the carton in the fridge was empty. I have shared our milk with other babies around the Puget Sound. I have been amazed with the frequent changes in volume, consistency, smell, and color of my milk.
Everyone’s nursing journey looks a little different. This just happens to be ours. An adventure that surprises me everyday with a deep sense of accomplishment and satisfaction, one of great learning, and one that will continue to influence our whole family as we move forward. And most certainly a journey that our family looks forward to continuing.