There are long nights and early mornings. There are days and nights that never end and become one. There are moments when your partner hands you a crying, hungry baby and you start to cry, too. You know the pain that is about to come and all you want to do is curl up in a ball and not be touched. But you choose to breastfeed because that is what you want and what is best for you and your babe.
Maybe you go back to work. And you strap a pump to your body so you can keep feeding your sweet babe while you’re away. You stare longing at pictures and videos wishing you were with her, but knowing you have emails waiting for you upstairs. And you choose to pump because that is what you want and what is best for you and your babe.
You start with a simple goal – I’ll feed her for 3-months. Then it gets extended to 6-months, 9-months, 1-year. And one day you realize your supply has dropped and you may not be able to feed her like you planned. You sit and you cry. You feel like you’ve failed. Like somehow your body has betrayed you both. All of those hours spent nursing suddenly seem so important and you don’t want to give them up. Not yet, not like this. You had a plan and a goal, how could you have let this happen? So you do everything you can to bring it back up. And you choose to keep trying because that is what you want and what is best for you and your babe.
Each time you think “I’m done” or “I’m going to wean her” or “I quit” you remember those hours rocking and feeding her in the chair. Those sweet sighs. The smiles and big blinking eyes. The countless times you fell asleep nursing and woke up with her snuggled in your arms. Those little fingers grabbing your clothes, hair and hands and not letting go. And somehow all the hard things disappear and what you are left with is love. So you choose to keep going because that is what you want and what is best for you and your babe.
So to all my breastfeeding mamas out there, y’all are rockstars. And to all my formula mamas out there, you have your own struggles and joys I’ll never know, but y’all are rockstars.
Being a mama has been my hardest struggle and biggest blessing.