Friday, November 19, 2010

Thirty Days of Thanx :: Day 19

Three years of being able to breastfeed my little girl.
If you would have asked me prior to getting preggo, how long I planned to breastfeed my babies... I probably would have quoted you a time frame of a year-and-a-half to two years. Even though I grew up around breastfeeding - even extended, as one of my sisters bf'd until she was four -  compared to our society's 6mos to a year average....  my 1½-2year estimate seemed reasonable, and generous.  But I am so grateful for and LaLeche Legue, and a group of educated mommy friends that enlightened me to the real norms of breastfeeding... it doesn't have to stop at one year! 

So here I am , still breastfeeding  after 39 mos... and still loving it!  

And here's why....

I love assurance and emotional support if offers to her. Breastfeeding comforts her when she's sick... helps her feel better when she's hurt... and assures her, when she is feeling scared or overwhelmed. Though she is quite independent and wants to learn to do things all by herself... she knows that no matter what's going on around her... she can always come to me.  I am her safe place, her refuge, her solace.  
I love how it comes to the rescue in so many ways - to distract him from undesirable or unsafe behaviors...  to avoid an issue before it can become an soothe her and keeps her grounded when she's having a rough day.... and (esp when she was younger) helps keep her quiet at times where she can't be making a lot of noise.

I love that even though she now gets the majority of her nutrients from other foods... shes still getting so many amazing & valuable immunities, vitamins, and enzymes that help her body & immune system be strong & fight. (Did you know a child's immune system isn't functioning at adult level until age six?! wowsers!) I also love that because she is still nursing.... I am comforted by the fact that, on days where she doesn't eat much, she is still getting a sufficient amount of calories - all from natural source of nutrition, that is specific to her. 

I love the snuggles, and the look on her face when she says "Mama, Ima nuse, peese"  (can I nurse, please).  I love the ways she nurses for few moments, and then looks at me with the widest of grins, she said, "I la you, mama"  (love)

And though she's getting older, and her nursing is becoming less frequent....  I love that it has been gradual, and gentle, and led by the *both* of us.  It has been such a blessing to watch through our journey, such an amazing little girl evolve. One who tells in confident & smart... tells jokes, sings songs, makes up stories, lives a life full of imagination, and shares with me her secrets and her dreams....

And I love that even though our breastfeeding days are slowly fading... the bond between us holds fast & strong - it just comes now in different forms.