I’ve been feeling a bit resentful about breastfeeding Peanut lately. With her asking for it all the time and my nipples hurting and I already feel touched out (though luckily not as much as I did earlier in pregnancy), I’m just annoyed. I’m still far from weaning, but if it were just the annoying nursing sessions I may be thinking about it. I do still have the ones that save my sanity like nursing her to sleep rather than fighting her to sleep (both for bedtime and naptime) and keeping her asleep when she’s ready to wake up at 6am.
Part of the problem is: I haven’t stopped to think about the beauty of nursing in a long time. I guess it just got away from me.
When she was an infant, nearly every nursing session was me staring down at her and marveling in her beauty. There have always been the times when it’s just because she’s starving or I’m annoyed that she’s asking again, but there’s always been times that are a wonderful bonding experience like they say in all the books.
With being pregnant and busy and stressed, I haven’t thought about the bonding portion of nursing for a long time. I mean, it made sense for the while where she was only nursing when I was half awake, but now that she’s nursing when I’m fully awake again, I should be thinking about that, right?
Without even having all this consciously go through my head, I did have that wonderful bonding experience while nursing Peanut to sleep last night. I could have felt rushed to get back out of the room because we were having a Halloween party and I wanted to get back to the guests, but I just didn’t. Rather than turning off the light because it would make her fall asleep faster, I left it on and just looked at her. I told her how much I loved her and could tell she wanted to say it back, but obviously couldn’t talk, so I helped her to sign “I love you,” which is something we haven’t done in months. I said something slightly amusing at which point she smirked. I could have been annoyed that her smirking while nursing kind of hurts, but instead I was delighted at how cute she looked. I watched happily as she drifted off to sleep, basking in the beauty of my child and the silence (which is something rare in a toddler). It was lovely.
I suddenly feel so much better about nursing. I don’t dread the next time that we nurse. This morning I didn’t put off nursing until she was so awake that it didn’t put her back to sleep, so I got a couple extra hours of sleep. I don’t know why I was fighting it before. Then when I got up I saw this post from Tophat about nursing in public. It was a great post about nursing in public, but it also reminded me about nursing being a bonding experience, which made it all make sense in my mind. I wish I would have realized weeks ago that I needed that bonding experience to get back to where I wanted to be with nursing. I’m sure it won’t solve every problem, but I certainly feel better about nursing than I did a few days ago.
Have you bonded with your nursing toddler lately? Do you forget that nursing is supposed to be a bonding experience too? What about you moms who are nursing/have nursed through pregnancy? Did you remember to bond with your nursing toddler while pregnant?