On the eleventh month

It has been eleven glorious months of breastfeeding. The beginning was stressful, but isn’t everything new always stressful? Once we found our groove, Z Nugg and I just took off. Nursing became a part of our normal life. I pushed my comfort boundaries, something I would have never dared to do with Little Nugget. I nursed in restaurants, parks, while hiking, shopping, in cars, and in stores, and I only received words of wisdom, affirmation, and support. But, as with every relationship, there is a point of evolution. A point of growth, if you will.

There was a four-day streak where Z Nugg did not nurse due to teething. I lied to myself by thinking short and dry things like, “That was fun while it lasted,” or “That was a good run”; however, I would offer her my breast while thinking this. (Hey, I saw a window of opportunity and did something about it. Can you blame me?) Finally, when she nursed again, my guard came down. I was able to acknowledge that I would have been sad had it ended “so soon,” which made me question, well, when will it be long enough? It’s not that I want it to end—just the opposite actually—but I also don’t want to feel as sad as I did with Little Nugget or sad at all, so this is me attempting to be proactive.

Being conscious—and grateful—of how long Z Nugg has nursed, and seeing how seldom her nursing happens now, I want to acknowledge the relationship and make peace with the fact that it can soon be over. I guess you can say, I want there to be closure before the relationship ends. I think this will allow me to feel that we—Z Nugg and I—mutually decided to part ways instead of Z Nugg “breaking up” with me. (Hmmm…I see how this may sound a little dramatic. Another win for the reflection that comes when writing.)

My baby girl,

You just nursed. I laid you back down and am now writing you this letter to express my gratitude for our breastfeeding relationship.

As I cradled you and fed you in my arms tonight, I felt the oxytocin exhilarate my body. I miss that feeling, and am happy I got to feel it once again. The rush helped me acknowledge how blessed I am to still have the ability to feed you with my bosom, and even more blessed to be able to cradle you in my arms as we rock back and forth. 

I could easily just hand you your bottle so you can put yourself to bed, and for the most part, you do now, but you continue to bless my mama heart with one to two nursing sessions a night. For this, I thank you. 

It’s been a beautiful eleven months. 

My favorite time to nurse you is right before I go to bed. I don’t always get to because you’re trying to find your new routine, but when I do, I soak it up as much as my busy brain allows me to. The darkness of the room and the way our environment has quieted makes me feel safe, especially with you in my arms.

I never want to forget your breathing pattern while you nurse, your loud breathing affirms my ability to mother you over and over again. I never want to forget the way you squirm when I caress your head, I like feeling the shape of your head because it reminds me of your birth. I never want to forget the way my nipple hangs on the tip of your bottom lip when you’ve fallen asleep while nursing, it’s still one of my favorite and most satisfying sights to see. 

All of these little details, I want you to know, are what is important to me. Regardless of what I may stress out about, the only thing that I truly need from you is your healthy self. You are enough just as your are. 

Thank you, baby girl, for existing in my life. You were perfectly made by God, and entrusted to me. There’s no greater honor than to be your and your brother’s mom. 

With a grateful heart,

Mom

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Day 2 – This one was another belt that I’ve also had for over a decade. I came to appreciate ribbons/bows after I decided to donate my hair for the first time. Ribbons have been the “easy way out” of doing my hair.

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