A few weeks ago I went into DC for a special photo session with Norah. It was peak bloom for the cherry blossoms and the weather was clear. A handful of Moms from DC, MD and VA gathered with their little ones under the beautiful trees to normalize breastfeeding.
When I heard Liz Hough wanted to capture these photos, I couldn't resist. Being able to nurse both my girls has been a huge blessing. I know many Moms who were not able to do this for a variety of reasons, and I am thankful that I never had any major issues. It took Charlotte and I a little while to get the hang of it, but once we did it was smooth sailing. I nursed her for 20 months. Sometimes I feel like that is a really long time, sometimes not long enough, but in the end it was perfect for us. And after all that work, my ladies were ready to go for little Miss Norah. She had no problems latching (thank goodness!). Some things are just so much easier with baby #2. As for how long I will nurse her, I have no idea. Sometimes I think longer than 20 months because I will have a hard time wanting to stop. As our last child, when she stops nursing I will really have to come to terms with her not being a baby anymore. That is going to be a tough one for me. Most days I think she will want to stop nursing long before Charlotte did. She is extremely interested in food, solid food that is, and may self wean before Mommy is ready.
Once that happens I will have only my memories of that time together. Sitting in the rocking chair, her heavy head nestled in the crook of my arm, her eyes looking up at me with love and wonder. Watching her slowly fall asleep, noticing the subtle differences between a nursing latch and a comfort one. Going from a itty bitty baby to one who holds my hand while nursing, or nuzzles her hand in between my two breasts (like Norah did today). That sweet new baby smell. The peach fuzz hair. It is a wonderful feeling to be able to provide everything your child needs to survive. My body can produce food for my baby, whenever she wants it, how much she wants. Wow.
It seems like there is a big push to normalize breastfeeding. It really bothers me, why is there even a need for this? It is not like we just recently started feeding babies from our breast, it is how children have always been fed. The problem is that society has sexualized the breasts, so now some people are offended when you whip it out to feed your infant. While others have shared some extreme comments they have received, thankfully, I have never been subject to any. I have never been asked to go to another room, to cover up, etc. Perhaps they get a look at my resting bitch face and figure it may be better to just let me be. And in that case, they would probably be right. I imagine in my head what I would say if told to nurse my child somewhere else, it's rather snippy. If you don't like what you see, don't look.
I nurse anywhere, anytime. The gym, the car, in the middle of Target, in restaurants, at the park. If baby is hungry, baby gets fed. Funny story: when Charlotte was a few months old we were living in Monterey and had family visiting. We wanted to take them out to dinner, so Matt called to make a reservation, and while on the phone he said "yes 4 adults and a baby, and oh my wife will be breastfeeding the baby while we are there". When we walked in we gave them our name and the woman promptly pulled me aside and told me "I just wanted to let you know we support breastfeeding 100%. Anything you need just let us know!". I felt so welcome! It was such a relief to receive such love as a new Mom. I wish all places were like that.
At the end of the day we Moms need to be supportive of each other. Nursing Moms, working Moms, SAH Moms, formula Moms, granola moms, etc. However you "Mom" it, good for you! And Dads too! I know there are plenty of great two Dad households out there!