Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Breastfeeding: Natural and Free

I honestly can not believe I began my breatfeeding journey more than 13 years ago. My olest natural child, a son is now 13. In the beginning we struggled a bit with a month long nursing strike. There were tears, pumping of milk and formula supplemntation. I know now, we could of done without the formula. I was 23 year old and had no experience with breastfeeding. In fact the only person I knew who had breastfed was my pastors wife, back in Sothern California....I was in East texas sitting on Louisianas lap.
Fast forward almost three years....another baby, a son. I am back in Southern California and have been made to feel like being fat and big breasted is not a sight people want to see breastfeeding. However, I had joined Le Leche League and had a close friend who was also breastfeeding. We now live in our own space, and free to lay around. Most says are spent in the bedroom. Laying topless in bed with the baby while a toddler plays at the foot of the bed, and we watch lots of PBS. There are rare snuggles with this son, as he didn't much like it. There were no sweet baby cues or long gazes into my eyes as I craddled him. This is my first child with Autism. Our physical bonding was limited only to breastfeeding and wearing him as he slept on outtings. He bit me once as I nursed him and was talking on the phone. There was no blood, but I did scare the person on the other end. Hey, it's not always sunshine.
I nursed baby boy number two until the birth of baby number three, a girl child. By this time baby boy number one was in kinder. Days were spent helping care for my grandfather, spedning time with one of my younger and pregnant sisters. Nurisng was on the run in a sling and not as much topless in bed. She was a happy baby, held by many hands and adored as she was named after a recently deceased aunt. I nursed her at school, at parks and even pulled over on the side of the road. She looked at me like I was the queen of her world, I probably was.
I nursed baby girl number one until baby boy number three was a month old. He hung from me like i was the tree that supporteed his being. Everywhere I went, he was attahced. From my front and my back he came along for the ride. Baby girl number one was attacthed to dad at this time. Baby boy number three went on hikes and to the ocean adn nursed like there was nobody else around. He loved being in nature. When he his arms could reach he would trace hsi fingers in the dirt or sand as I sat cross legged and fed him.
I nursed him until baby boy number four came along. We nursed laying on the couch a lot. The livingroom was the center of existence. There were four other kids swirling around. He would reach for sheets, towels or blankets to cover up as we bonded. He would squint his eyes closed and fall asleep. This went on four just over three years.
Now with baby girl number two, I feed her and stroke her head. I carress her back. We feed at parks, libraries and in the big ol van we drive. I lay topless in bed as she curls up to me with her tiny hand on my breast. We sit upon the couch and her siblings take turns bringing me her boppy. To see my breast is nothing of consequence to them, it's natural. They've all become advocates and adorers.
The best things in life are free....


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