Thursday, August 11, 2011

Finding Balance During Changes

For the last week and a half I've been volunteering at the Breastfeeding Cafe (coordinated with World Breastfeeding Week for the first week). That has kept me pretty busy and seeing that I'm giving about 4 hours a day, between driving and volunteer time, it's safe to say that I have a new appreciation for mama's who work out of the home, even part time. Whew! I'm tired and cranky at the end of the day and I have had no desire to do any of my usual chores. Add to that the fact that there are several OTHER reasons I have been a little bit down and lacking the energy and desire to do my duties and you can only imagine what a wreck my life is right now.

Volunteering has been wonderful and I'm so glad that I took the time this year to do it. It's bittersweet because I'm fairly certain that this will be the last year, possibly one of the last months, I'll be breastfeeding my sweet Mad. I know I WANT another baby, deep down anyway, but there is no guarantee that when the time comes we'll decide to go for another or that we'll even be able to have another. We were lucky with Mad and I know so many people struggle with infertility everyday so I don't want to count my eggs before they hatch (eggs before they fertilize??? Overshare??????). So, in my mind I have to imagine the possibility that I am close to being done with breastfeeding forever. Cry. Seriously.

I love breastfeeding. I love the beauty of it, the bond, the closeness, I love the incredible rush I STILL get from being so close to my baby even after almost 2 years. People talk about the oxytocin you produce when you are breastfeeding your newborn but no one ever told me that 2 years later the feel of her little hand on my skin, her breath on my neck while she sleeps, would still give me such a physical reaction. It's the reason I think I'm so completely obsessed with her, why I hate to leave her for long, she's my drug.

All this aside I know that emotionally I am ready to hang up my breastfeeding badge for a while. It might be some time before I convince Mad that she is done as well but I know it will be a peaceful movement eventually and it will be at a time that is right for both of us. I doubt this is the last I will write of it because as of today she is still nursing SEVERAL times a day and loving every minute of it. We aren't even close to me being able to politely tell her no without a mini breakdown (but it is getting better). I guess I'm her drug too.

I can promise that even when we are done with our breastfeeding relationship we will continue on with our attached life. Just now I snuggled her down for a nap (in her big girl bed, which is a story for another day) peacefully, her legs wrapped around me, her head snugged right into my shoulder where she likes to fall asleep, until she was silent and ready, and warm enough, to roll into her own space for the next two hours. I think toddlers are even more clingy (in a good way) at bed time than infants. I'm positive that I rock her more now that I ever did as an infant and I'm ok with that. This is one of the reasons I didn't want to have babies close together. I don't want to sacrifice my snuggle time with her to rock and cuddle a fussy newborn. I want it all dammit!!!

The clock is ticking as I write this and there are a million things (literally) to do before she wakes and we head up for another volunteer shift. So that is that.

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