I feel very blessed to have nursed all three of my children for varying lengths, but it is since my youngest has stopped nursing that I see something new and special… something unexpected in the bond beyond breastfeeding.
Gwyneth nursed for about 27 months and when she stopped nursing my breasts were not automatically “mine” again, much to my surprise. With my first two children they just sort of moved onto something else – case closed so to speak. Some 9 months now after breastfeeding, Gwenny still claims my breasts as her own and she will fight me if I say that they are mine. She still prefers to fall asleep with her hand on my chest, and if she catches Daddy looking at them she will sometimes cover me up with my blanket and tell me that she is protecting me (or them?). I find it all comical and we play and laugh, but more than anything I am touched by the notion that my body is still her comfort. Though I am no longer providing her physical nourishment, I am still giving her emotional nourishment – much like a security blanket or favorite stuffed toy or doll. I was – and am – my daughters comfort and safety – that is amazing in every way I can possibly think of.
I talked to some friend months ago about this post and laughed about how I should title it something like “My Daughter Loves Boobs”, but then I thought that Gwenny might not like that one day. It’s true though. She does love boobs, or at least mine. She protects them and until recent months she would come up to hug me and go straight for the boobs – it was like I “Mommy” was just a third wheel at times. I was just lucky enough to be attached to said boobs. When she’s happy or sad she throws herself onto my lap and nuzzles her head into my chest as I wrap my arms around her and let her know that I am here for her.. supporting her.. comforting her.
Bonding is different for every parent and every child – but for Gwenny my breasts stand for love, comfort and security. I cannot be more thankful for the experience of breastfeeding than I am when I think of my baby girl and the comfort, confidence and strong relationship that breastfeeding has helped foster for us.
I am also thankful for the support and guidance that I was given along my journey into motherhood. Breastfeeding is “natural” but without education, examples and guidance it can seem all but possible. Education matters and I am very blessed to have had women in my life to support me along the way.
Have you experienced something unexpected, or similar with your breastfeeding experience?