September 26th, 2012
So yesterday, for some reason, I got into I-want-another-baby mode.
Maybe it was because both of the kids were out of the house and I missed them.
Maybe it was because my period was ending.
Maybe it was because I had lost my mind.
I don’t know. But I just thought about how awesome Punksin and Pudding are and what entirely different and wonderful people they are, and how fun it is to see them grow and develop their personalities, and how much we support them and try to nurture them not just to grow but to FLOURISH, and it seemed like such a wonderful idea to add a third.
Then a friend of mine on FB posted something about the merits of breastfeeding and I just went over the moon.
I absolutely LOVED breastfeeding.
Don’t get me wrong. The first months with Punksin were hell. My nipples hurt, no one had TOLD me that it would be difficult and painful, there’s so much they don’t TELL you because if they TOLD women everything that would happen the human race would go extinct.
But I stuck it out, through my tears, through the bastards at the La Leche League who made me feel guilty for expressing my own pain, and one day, magically…the pain stopped. And I was able to then enjoy nursing. Sitting in my nursing chair, looking down at a growing baby who looked up at me, knowing that I was providing her with strength and nutrients that no formula could duplicate…it was wonderful.
And then, as she got to 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, amazing things would happen. Sometimes she would just stare at me while she nursed, listening to me talk to her and read to her. Sometimes, she would pull the nipple out and SMILE at me, a mouth devoid of teeth and full of milk, smiling happily, oh, how wonderful that was. Sometimes, at naptime and bedtime, her eyes would slowly drop close and eventually, I would feel the loosening of the lips, and I’d pull her away to find her sleeping soundly, happily, full, contented.
It was the most beautiful thing on earth.
Then Pudding came and I didn’t realize that it would hurt AGAIN…I thought you only went through that once. But this time, I knew that with time, it would stop, and it did. And boy did he nurse. When he was hungry he would try to nurse through my shirt, my sweater…if the Tech Guru was holding him he would try to nurse on HIM, which made us crack up every time. He let you KNOW when he was hungry, he went for it. And as with Punksin, I would sit, and feel myself calm down.
The human body is an amazing thing. The fact that nursing releases hormones in a woman’s body that calms her and activates the empathetic, loving part of her…how incredible is that? And I would FEEL that, the same way I feel coffee coursing through my blood when I drink it, I would FEEL my body relaxing as I nursed. And having to nurse forced me to take some time that, although I was sitting with the baby, was some sort of me time. I couldn’t just hand a bottle to someone and keep rushing around. I had to sit, and relax, and be peaceful.
And I miss that.
Of course I bond with the children in other ways but I will never ever forget the joys of nursing, being physically connected to my babies once again, this time on the outside, and doing something that only I could do for them.
Being a mother is hard work but it is the most wonderful thing on earth. When they are inside and you are feeling them growing and moving and understanding that with each passing week, this little person is inside you with cells multiplying in complex equations to form arms and legs and veins and lungs and feet and fingers and hair and eyes…and that you are assisting that with what you eat, and that you are providing a safe workspace for what has to be God’s biggest miracle…it humbled and fascinated me.
And then of course that’s actually the easy part. Because then they come out, and after housing them inside, you have to help them to grow OUTSIDE. To be strong not just physically but mentally and emotionally. You have to discipline, love, nurture, and help them to be the best version of whoever they are. And it’s tough sometimes, because you don’t KNOW who they are. Punksin and Pudding are not just mini-mes. They are real people with likes and dislikes and opinions and futures and goals and destinies that are wholly different from my own. And I have to help all of that to come out and be expressed in ways that are positive.
We all know I am not World’s Best Mom, but…my kids think so. And that’s enough for me. Of course, as they grow, they’ll discover the chinks in my armor, that Mommy’s not always right or happy or brave or perfect. I think in some ways, they already know, because I try to stay strong enough for them to know they can depend on me, but human enough for them to understand that its okay to make mistakes, as long as you admit and grow from them
So I think all of this, and I think, well, I used to think 3 would mean we were outnumbered.
But 3 can also mean we are outloved. 3 can mean one more person to be proud of and to add sense and dignity to a world that is quickly losing both.
Two’s company, three’s a crowd? Well, I don’t normally like crowds, but in this case…that’s a crowd I would love.
- The Fork in the Fallopian Tubes (drinkleidownpassout.com)
- Suprise! Study Says Breastfeeding Prevents Breasts from Aging (thebump.com)