For over five years I have been pregnant or breastfeeding (no pity please!), it has been such an inspiring time of self growth. Nourishing and bonding with my boys provided more than purpose for me - it changed my perspective, my pre-conceived notions, forced my needs aside in a very positive way. I didn't expect to love breastfeeding, though I was determined to do it. I knew it was best for my baby. Turns out, I had NO IDEA how necessary it would be for my firstborn.
I suppose in an odd way I can thank food allergies for the closeness that breastfeeding brought to our family. Sleepless nights combined with the early stages of nursing may have had me cracking open that canister of formula. The thing was, that formula would have sent my baby to the ER. Fortunately, being the brand new mama bear that I was, I was happy to live on chicken and rice if it meant my little Jack was comfortable and healthy. I catch myself from time to time thinking "what happens to the babies who are adopted and have these kinds of allergies?" "what would have happened to Jack?"....he probably would have been labeled failure to thrive...or worse.
Allergies also brought out the fighter in me. You see, when I went to our pediatrician (at age 3 weeks) with our list of concerns (screaming in pain, chronic bloody diarrhea, eczema), I was told he had GERD and cradle
just in case. Then I had a RAST done and all was negative! He was a champion feeder from the start and is a foodie like his mama. Last week I snapped a few photos of Harvey nursing. I wasn't sure it would be the last time but I had a feeling it might be. After ending night feedings I was having to initiate daytime sessions. Although I know he was ready and I feel peaceful about the transition, I'll treasure that time for the rest of my life....and the photos will help to keep my sweet memories alive.
And so the chapter closes. It's goodbye to sweet baby milk breathe, bras with trap doors, and demands for "BOOBIE" in line at the grocery store. No more middle of the night whispers of "mama, dis boobie is all gone, I need da udder one". But we are equally as bonded, as snuggly, lovey, and nurturing as we have always been. I know this bond will continue to change in form but I'm confident it will be there always.