We hear all the time about the benefits of nursing; things like “human milk for human babies”, “breast is beast”, and loads of other phrases come to mind. Breast milk can heal ear and eye infections, can clear up rashes…it really is a miracle liquid. What we fail to appreciate, however, are it’s emotional benefits. I was blessed beyond reason to have nursed my darling Rocket Baby for 28 of his 33 months; twice through pregnancies, and once through a pregnancy loss. He is our only living child, though Angel Baby and Baby O are very close to our hearts.
This isn’t something I ever thought I’d share, honestly. For a long time the beauty of our breast feeding relationship was so personal, something I held close and sacred. I think, however, it’s become too important not to share: the beauty of healing that comes with breast feeding. Breast feeding through pregnancy is no joke – it is rough. There are days when I didn’t feel like being touched and those are the days Rocket Baby would hang on the teat like he would spontaneously combust if he unlatched. During my pregnancy with Angel Baby, I wanted nothing more then to wean Rocket and it just wasn’t happening.
I was devastated when we learned of Angel Baby’s loss at 15 weeks gestation, although this baby had left its tiny body around 12; we just weren’t expecting it to happen. For Angel Baby’s loss, I opted for a D&C and after, wanted absolutely nothing more then to go home to be with Rocket Baby. Just days earlier I wanted him to be wean and be independent, and at that moment I was so thankful he didn’t. Nursing him became my greatest comfort; I could hold him, snuggle him, and smell his sweet baby scent. It was amazing and it truly helped me heal.
We lost Rocket Baby’s brother, Baby O at 20 weeks gestation (though he measured about 17 weeks). By that point, my milk had dried up and Rocket Baby had completely self weaned. We did try a few times to regain my milk supply, but it just wasn’t meant to be. I realized a few days before writing this, that I may never nurse another little one. With plans to adopt and being unsure of the possibility of relactation, my experience with Rocket may just be it. There is one thing, however, that I am sure of, and that is this: what a blessing. What a fantastic blessing it has been to nurse my son for those 28 months. In that time we grew so much together and I grew so much myself. I went from being shy and awkward about nursing to being able to pop a boob in my growing toddlers mouth whenever and wherever he needed it. I became empowered.
Breast feeding is so much more then nourishing a tiny human, it’s so much more then sustenance. Whether you choose to cover, not cover, nurse for 3 months or 3 years, or exclusively pump: it’s so worth it. It’s an unbreakable bond. No matter how you choose to do it, keep an open mind. Most of all, appreciate the time; it really won’t last forever.
Thank you so much Jasmine for sharing. You can follow her adoption journey at The Violette Underground.