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Merisa's Story

#MyStory #Breastfeeding


When my daughter was born, she inch-wormed her naked little body up to my breast and latched immediately.  


(This was after an excruciating 45 minutes after delivery, during which time she was whisked away before I saw her because of a retained placenta.)  And so, this was how I thought she would nurse, laying with her tiny body on me, parallel to mine, until a nurse came into my room the next day, and remarked, "well, that's one way to do it," and promptly showed me how to cradle her like a normal human. But my daughter had made her point day 1: she didn't care how, but she wanted a nipple in her mouth.  


She went on to be what that same nurse dubbed "a feisty baby." For her first 4 months, she cried a lot.  Holding her alone would not calm her - she needed a nipple in her mouth.  It was really hard, because no one could sub in for me even for a short break - 24 hours a day.  I'd call it a traumatic start to motherhood.

 

Gladly, after 4 months, she became a very pleasant, charming, giggly, wonderfully cute baby, and nursing was very special for us. I loved the bonding.  But that girl only wanted to nurse.  Sleep training was a nightmare because of it. 

I happily nursed her until she was a year and a half, but then I was ready for my body back - to be just mine. 

She was pretty verbal at an early age, so when it was time, we talked about it.  I told her we wouldn't be nursing anymore. She counter-offered by saying she could still "touch boobies", and I conceded.


Over time, this adjusted, and we set new boundaries: You can touch boobies over mommy's shirt, but not under. You can lay your keppe (Yiddish for 'head') on boobies, but not touch.  You can lay your cheek on mommy's chest, but not boobies. I took a video of her one day around when she was 2, and mid-conversation she pauses, stares blankly, and after asked what she's doing, says "I'm just lookin' at your boobies." And so on.  She's 3 now, and now with a little brother, and my breasts fuller again because I'm nursing, and she's still very interested in them.  She'll often come over and - for lack of a better word - motorboat me.  (Something I had to stop saying out loud because she began repeating it.)  


It's amusing, but I've stopped smirking about it, and started to try to honor it for what it is: a very beautiful bond she associates with my boobs, and more so, with the very special connection we have. 

So now when she nuzzles into me, I don't smirk, I smile, hug her, breathe in her messy mop of curls on her head, and think about how sad I'll be when she's too big or busy to care about this elemental comfort she finds in me and my body. My girl. My boobie girl.

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