I had a great friend once describe nursing to me in the beginning as the most unnatural natural experience you will ever have. And yes, this is the best description I could give as well. My plan to nurse was really focussed on the health benefits for both my daughter and myself. And the first two months, that continued to be true. Having my nursing pillow strapped around myself practically 24-7 and holding my arms and baby in unnatural positions didn't quite have the feeling I was hoping to have about nursing. But I continued on for those health benefits, and now, a year later, I can say it was the best decision I ever made.
Now nursing is so much more than "health benefits". It is the most amazing bond that I have been able to have with my baby, and something I'm so glad I worked through. I worked through the pain, the soreness, the kink in my back from just sitting in strange positions and now we have mastered the craft. I worked through the times when I was the only one who could console her, even when I really needed a break. These days Everly sits with her arms and legs wrapped around my sides, and now that she's older, she lets me know when she wants to nurse. Now before I became a mom I would have proudly stated "once they are old enough to pull out the boob, they are too old for nursing". Funny how we make statements about things we do not know. Instead, I love that she can express to me that she wants to share that time with me. I do not love that she wants to have both boobs out at once, but I digress. Modesty and motherhood do not go hand in hand. I used to cringe at the idea of too much cleavage. Now I am just trying to make sure I'm not going full frontal in the middle of a dining establishment.
So, I said I would never nurse past one, and now I realize how silly that was. Not only am I the main source of liquid for my child, I can comfort her in a way that no one else can. When Everly decides she is ready to stop, I will be excited for her, and maybe cry a tear or two for me. But for now, I will gladly be there for her in this way and know that this time is special in a way that I cannot describe. And everyday I am thankful that I was able to nurse her, I cannot imagine it any other way.
Mom tip: Issues with supply - I swear by Fenugreek. I take 3-4 capsules about 4-5 times a day. And yes, you will smell like maple syrup, but smelling like you work at the local pancake house is totally worth it! Most grocery stores will sell it in their natural foods department or near the pharmacy.
All photos by Sarah Maren Photographers