Anyone who knows me well, knows I'm pretty passionate about breastfeeding.
I happily and with relative ease fed my firstborn for 16 months. And felt pretty proud about it to be honest. Without too much thought and no regret or hesitation, I weaned him when I was about 6 months pregnant, truly believing he and I had had enough.
In the coming months I did an awful lot of reading(about breastfeeding by the way!). Anecdotal mostly, and most often incidental. And I continue to do so. I find it interesting and I am always keen to know more. I am fascinated by the sheer perfectness of it. Makes sense, I know.....human milk being perfect for human babies....doesn't cease to make it any less miraculous.....to me anyway.
Number two came along and again we breastfed easily and I loved and cherished every minute. Got Scott to take photos this time! And I had knowledge. And my god, that is by far the most empowering thing you can do for yourself. In any pursuit.....arm yourself with knowledge.....as much as your little being can soak up!
And he fed and fed and fed. And fed all (by all, I mean continuously) through the night right up to 22 months. At which point, pregnant again, I could do it no longer. I was starting to feel resentful towards my own baby - not a place I wanted to be. I so desperately wanted to make it to 2 years, but in the light of day realised that doing so wouldn't be much of an achievement if our breastfeeding relationship was in turmoil. So, reluctantly, I put band aids over my nipples and told him they were sore. And as I should have known, my laid back little person just accepted that, snuggled in and went to sleep.....and I quietly rejoiced that it had been so easy and put my guilt aside.
Number three comes along and breastfeeding just is. No fanfare, no drama. Just normal and natural and perfect like it should be.
Then the bombshell that has become the crazy normality of our life was dropped. And I freaked out. I had images of them(medical staff in general) telling me I would have to stop feeding her. Completely irrational really, but that's what was happening in my head nonetheless. And of course, nothing of the sort happened. The opposite in fact. Our fantastic Nurse Coordinator reinforced to me how wonderful it is and is the very best thing I can be doing for her while she goes through this. I breathed a sigh of relief and let my chest puff with pride once again.
Then we come to today. And the whole reason I started this post in the first place. My dear sweet little baby girl is in pain. Her little throat is a war zone. And she's had precisely two breastfeeds in two days. Minutes before I wrote this it was one. I was in tears. Devastated. Scared. Helpless. I bundled her in my arms, sat in this chair, tears streaming down my face, longing to be sitting on my own couch in my own home, and put her to the breast. And she latched. And had a long feed. And now sleeps in my arms as I type. My faith in our breastfeeding relationship is restored. But I'm still a little bit scared.
But I smile......because as I am about to hit 'publish post' she rummages and stuffs the boob in her mouth again.