I am blessed that my second child nursed perfectly the first time he latched on. I cried because it was so easy with him. With Jackson I struggled a lot in the first month or so, and never imagined I'd make it 3 months -- I lasted 9. But Holde was a champ nurser from day one. Woo-hoo!! He also took bottles well since we introduced them early on as a supplement. Then, suddenly he stopped taking a bottle a couple of months ago while he was in the hospital. It was a rough transition for me because it was nice to have one feeding a day that Shawn could help out with -- especially in the middle of the night. But alas, all the trying of different nipples, bottles, formula, pumped milk, etc, proved the kid is a total breast-man.
So I have let go of my anxieties and frustrations about it all, and have embraced being an "EBF" mama. EBF = Exclusively Breast milk Fed. It's a term used widely in breastfeeding circles. I have a few friends who are EBF mamas, mostly from my uber-fabulous mommy-message board that I belong to. I always sort of looked at them in both awe and confusion. Awe that they could be the sole provider of sustenance for their child. And confused -- Why would you want to be the only one feeding the baby? Why wouldn't you want your husband to help? Why wouldn't you want to be able to leave the baby for a few hours without worrying that the baby was going to starve? Now that I have sort of been forced (for lack of a better word) into this position, I look at it all very differently. I am a proud EBF Mama! Aside from 1/3 serving of baby food that he currently gets per day (minuscule really), I provide 100% of my sweet boy's nutrition. That is amazing to me! The female anatomy amazes me once again -- in its ability to nurture a being from birth to one year with almost all necessary nutrition! And free nutrition at that. That rocks.
Even more than that, Holden and I have a pretty special bond because of our circumstances. He survives because of me, and in a way, I survive pain-free because of him (if you've ever weaned a nursing child before, you know what I mean by that). It's truly a miraculous thing in my eyes. And to see my sweet little guy, warmly nuzzled up next to me, his finger curled around my thumb, happily eating away -- it melts my heart. The act of nursing a child is as old as time (they didn't have Playtex bottles 500 years ago!), but every time my child latches on I feel a bit like it's the newest, most amazing feat. And it makes me adore him even more. So here I am being an EBF Mama, and I couldn't be prouder or more pleased. My hats off to all my EBF mama-friends. Now I totally get it!