Disclosure :: World Breastfeeding Week is recognized August 1 – 7, 2016. This year, the World Breastfeeding Week theme is about how breastfeeding is a key element in getting us to think about how to value our wellbeing from the start of life, how to respect each other and care for the world we share.
Dear Mary Ellen,
I am writing this letter to you after our nursing journey has ended. I am sad, relieved, guilty, confused, and grateful. Sad because we don’t share the intimate relationship we once had. Relieved because I feel free. Guilty because I should have nursed for longer. Confused because I don’t understand all of these emotions. And, most of all, grateful because we provided each other with a gift that will last a lifetime.
There are so many things I want you to know about our one year together as mommy and baby.
I want you to know that I am proud of us for sticking together. The beginning was kind of rocky, but you were a quick learner (and still are). We had many opportunities to quit – two moves, sickness, food allergies, low supply, over-supply, plugged ducts, and returning to work. Everyone told us formula was fine. And there was no judgement for stopping.
I want you to know that I am a stronger, more confident woman because of our one year and two weeks together. Nothing on this earth compares to nursing a baby as precious as you were. We got so many compliments on how ” beautiful” you were, but I know your true beauty lies in your sweet spirit. You taught me how to love deeper and try harder.
It wasn’t all giggles and rainbows. I know one day you will be a mother and understand the challenges I faced. But for now, I want you to remember our time together as an utter privilege and delight.
Dear Baby #2,
You have not been conceived yet, but you are constantly on my mind. I have already wondered whether I will give you the same gift I gave your sister or if our journey will look different.
I want you to know all of the wonderful memories I experienced with Mary Ellen. There are, however some things I don’t want you to know.
I don’t want you to know that the lack of sleep and emotional roller coaster almost broke me. It changed me.
I don’t want you to know that I will likely have to use the same coping strategies I used before. Like snacks stashed next to the rocking chair or motivational quotes that helped me survive the endless nights.
I don’t want you to know that I might be so desperate for sleep and peace that I consult five sleep books and every mommy blog site imaginable.
I don’t want you to know all of the hard times I might face. You deserve a mother with fresh eyes and energy. You deserve the best of me. And while I may not be a “new” mother to you, I will have unique challenges with you. And I cannot wait to start our journey together.