All of a sudden I looked at the calendar and it had been a week -- maybe eight days since I had nursed.
And I cried.
Ezra is our third and last baby. He transformed all of us in a million wonderful ways, but I think me most of all. And nursing him for 14 months has been a joy.
I remember seven years ago when I came home from the hospital with Elias, my first, sore from a long delivery and unsure of what was to come. I put my breast to my son's lips, determined to figure it out. In the days that followed, I remember sitting in the bathtub with hot washcloths on each breast, weeping over the pain of engorgement.
The milk finally let down and we figured it out together. I didn't know then that milk would teach me about myself. Through nursing I learned to become more in-tune with my body and my children.
With Adeline, she devoured my milk. She wanted no part of a paci. Just mama and her milk all. the time. Being my second time around, everything was easier. I knew what to expect and how to listen to my body. Through hours and hours of nursing, we bonded and found our rhythm.
And then, sweet Ezra. My last child. The last to be nourished. I embraced the sacredness of the middle-of-the-night, house-quiet, just-us feedings, knowing these days would be numbered. Yes, I was tired, but my heart was also full of gladness for the wee one I fed.
When my milk supply ran low and I turned to my sister for milk from her breast and formula to help nourish my son during the days, I clung to those nighttime feedings even more.
As he grew and grew, my supply dwindled. Soon the feedings of us together were just once a day, then even less so. But I cherished each one, holding him close and trying to stamp the feeling of his body on mine forever on my heart.
I didn't expect to enjoy nursing as much as I have. It's one of those unexpected gifts of motherhood no one can really explain unless they have experienced it.
My breasts don't look the same as they did before I became a mother. They bear the marks of three children, nourished healthy and loved well.
Who knew that three times liquid gold would flow and affirm me in my calling to mother?
This post was first published on The Mom Creative and was written out of my own experiences of nursing my three children. Its intent is not to diminish other mothers' experiences who were unable or chose not to nurse their children.
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