Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Thankful Project: An Experience

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Today's (well, yesterday's because I took the day off) prompt is an experience.

One of the more recent experiences I am thankful for is being able to breastfeed Aria. It was something I really wanted to do, but knew it was also really out of my control. I wanted to breastfeed Aria because of all the amazing benefits it gives her, and because it is natural and free (apart from accessories). Those were my pre-baby reasons. But, something I never took into consideration was how amazing breastfeeding itself would turn out to be.

Aria and I have been breastfeeding for a little over 11 months now with no real end goal in sight. And, it has proven to be one of the most rewarding experiences as a mother so far. For one, we made it past the first month or so. There is a lot of work that you put into breastfeeding up front. It hurts, it is stressful, it is confusing, it is frustrating. Aria needed a nipple shield at first that we eventually weaned off of, and I had a crazy oversupply from all the pumping I did to feed Aria while she was in the NICU. But, after everything was figured out and settled down it turned into such a simple way to feed her. 

It is also one of the few moments that I can sit down and one of the even fewer moments that I can cuddle Aria. The world slows down and life gets quiet when Aria nurses. It is just me and her, usually in her darkened nursery. I absolutely love just watching her and listening to the soft noises she makes. I always heard and shrugged it off when people said that breastfeeding is an incredibly bonding experience. But, you don't know how incredibly sweet those moments that you can connect and nourish your baby are until you are right there in them.

I am thankful that breastfeeding is something I could experience. And, I am glad that I was encouraged to stick to it in those early days of sleep deprived frustration.
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6 comments:

  1. Love this post! I breastfed McKenzie for a year or so and was so happy that I toughed it out! No one tells you how hard it's going to be early on. It's one of my best accomplishments to date!

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    1. That is amazing that you were able to breastfeed for a year! Way to rock mama =)

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  2. I LOVE this post! I agree...breastfeeding is one of the most difficult and most rewarding (hey, cliché!) experiences there is. Kudos to you for doing it!

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    1. Thank you, there were definitely many moments of wanting to quit, thinking that it would be easier, but so glad we stuck it out!

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  3. Love this! BF is such an experience -- and it changes so much over that first year - well as do the babes! Great job making it so far keep up the good work! You'll know when it's right to stop. Trust me. It's another one of those mom gut instinct things :)

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    1. Oh thank you for your perspective! It seems like a year is the acceptable public limit to BFing - oh, are you going to stop around a year, etcetc. But, I'd rather find that combo of my limit and Aria's readiness. I'm glad you said it is just something you will know when it is right. You've calmed my inner worries (at least for now, ha)!

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