A baby rooting for the breast looks much the same. Mouth agape, head turning side to side seeking out his source of nourishment. It is a baby at his most vulnerable, visible proof of how much they depend on us, on their mamas. It is a deeply biological drive, one that we cannot change, only respond to.
My body has fought me every step of the way - getting pregnant, staying pregnant, giving birth...if there was a symptom or side effect, I had it. The whole 9 yards. To say I was nervous about breast feeding is an understatement. Having a late preemie didn't help that nervousness. It is often difficult for them to learn to latch and be an effective suckler. But it was something I very much wanted to do, and hoped I would enjoy.
My amazing kiddo figured it out within 36 hours, impressing everyone. So did I. And I was born to do this. I LOVE IT. I lucked out, probably due to his preemie status, and never had horrendously sore nipples. By the time we came home I was pretty much over that. I have the majority of a tube of heavy duty lanolin sitting unused. It has not been without challenges, but those are related to needing to supplement (not due to my production, but rather his need for extra calories) and fitting that into the schedule and pumping and whatnot. The actual breastfeeding has been amazing. Perfect.
I love the closeness I get with him. It reminds me of him inside me (which still seems sort of surreal). I read a line in a book by my favorite author, Barbara Kingsolver years ago. The book is The Bean Trees. I dug it out today to find the quote I was thinking about.
"The baby's suckling at her felt good, as if he might suck the ache right out of her breast."
This is the best way I can describe it. Which sounds sad, but it's not, not for me. I mentioned the Baby Blues before. Add my normal emotional issues on top of that, and exhaustion, and, well, there is definitely an ache. The let-down of no longer being pregnant. The shock at the love I feel for this being. The love itself. The ache I feel in my chest when I see Hubby with his son. There are so many emotions. Nursing him...it's right. It's real. It's something very physical that I can count on, to reel me back in from the crazy. The sight of him once he is satiated sleeping using my breast as a pillow. His milk goatee when he is finished. The absolute need he has for me to provide something that only I can provide him.
My body got something right.
And I am ever so thankful.