Breastfeeding was not magical for me. That special moment where only my son and I could bond – when did that happen? Was it when he bit my nipple so hard I cried? Or when I realized I wasn’t making enough for him, so we struggled more than we bonded.
I get it.
You’ve heard this song and dance before. How mothers try everything under the sun, only to still come up short. But “Breast is best,” right? Because we have that liquid gold. And there’s no other bonding like when you can feed your child from your breast.
I didn’t breastfeed my teenage girls. I tried with the oldest, only to have given up. Back then there weren’t as many resources as there are today. So when my son was born in March, I was on a mission. I was gonna be a breast feeding mama! I really gave it an honest effort for nine weeks. But as he needed more, my supply just wasn’t enough for him. And I tried to increase my flow – you name it, I tried it. The pills, the teas, and the lactation treats (which by the way are yuuummy). But at the end of the day, it was just too much for us.
“Oh but you’ll never feel that bond with him.”
As my teenagers would say, “Miss me with that.” My new son and I bond so hard, it’s not even funny. I spend all day and night with him, since my partner works and I’m still on maternity leave. So I’ve had 11 weeks to really get to know my Chooty boy. I understand that as a mother, breast feeding is the only thing that I can provide for him that no one else can. I also understand that as a mother, sometimes it just doesn’t work out that way.
So I did the next best thing to create that bond – I spent as much time with him as possible.
I know all his cries. I know what he needs when he needs it, and I’m the only one who can give him that right now. Sure, when his father stays home with him once I go back to work, he will learn all of our son’s quirks too. But for now, that’s all me.
When I bottle feed him, he looks right into my eyes. Like he’s staring into my soul. Sometimes I feel a little awkward, but it’s as good a feeling as if I were breastfeeding him. To be honest, sometimes I still attempt to breastfeed.
We take our morning nap together between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. That’s when it’s just him and me cuddling in the bed. He smells like baby drool and lavender from his bath the night before. When he wakes up, he just smiles and talks to me.
He hates tummy time, so instead we play 1-2-3 Up, 1-2-3 down. It is basically where I sit him up, hold his hands, and help him sit up and sit down. He just loves it!