Monday, April 20, 2009
The Food Source
As I am getting used to this whole motherhood thing, there are a handful of things that I wasn't prepared for. Or maybe a million things. I have told several people that I had worked to be ready to never fit into my favorite pair of jeans again (I wore them for the first time two weeks ago), but I wasn't ready for all but two of my shirts to be too small in the "bust area." (I also wasn't ready for the frustration of trying to get ready for an event such as Palm Sunday church and knowing that I have boxes of clothing that are appropriate for the occasion, they just are all either ill-fitting or not nursing-friendly. You can't breast-feed while wearing a dress.) I have been pleasantly surprised by Robin's and my ability to get out of the house and do little things that bring both of us joy, but I was not ready for the frequency that I would need to pause and oh-so-subtly shove Lydia under my shirt or a blanket for her to eat. On a more emotional note, I never expected that the first thing that would bring out an undeniable excitement and expression of happiness in Lydia would be nursing. Not just eating, but specifically nursing.
I think that most nursing women have a love-hate relationship with breast-feeding. I often find myself sitting there thinking, "Here I am again." I have come up with all sorts of techniques to make that time feel a little less limiting. I have books stashed all over the house. Animal Vegetable Miracle is in the living room. Twilight is in the nursery. The Milk Memos is in our bedroom. I have solitaire on my phone. I take advantage of the side-lying nursing position and watch Oprah. Here comes the surprise: as Lydia has grown, she has started showing such distinct signs of contentment while nursing, sometimes I forget to pick up my book, my solitaire game, or even turn on Oprah. She is just so happy! She makes little noises, plays with her hands, and kicks her feet. It is so cute and even more rewarding. I just don't want to miss it!
I am very fortunate that breastfeeding has worked out for me. I haven't had the hurdles to jump that so many women do. Moreso, I am lucky to have a handful of women around me that have been excellent models of combining motherhood with lives that keep moving ahead, specifically when it comes to nursing. I know of two women, one is an administrator at my school and the other works full-time at Dell, who successfully nursed for a year. That's right, a year! And our friend Jessica is creeping up on that mark while working on her doctorate. These women deserve a shout-out, because seriously, that's dedication. It's so fantastic to know that it's possible to continue having those great moments with Lydia that only I can have, even when I go back to work.