I wish…

I wish I could cradle you with both of my arms and snuggle up close to you, skin to skin.
I wish I could use my own body to comfort and care for yours.
I wish I could feel the closeness, connectivity that only a nursing mother and babe can feel.
I wish I could have, for just once, felt the rush of milk at the sound of your cry.

But I can’t and I couldn’t.
And usually I’m okay with it.

But there are days that my heart aches
And I yearn for something I know can never be.

I don’t regret it.
I don’t regret the surgery that left me unable.
I don’t regret the hours I spent feeding and pumping to no avail.
I don’t regret the tears shed in the process.
I don’t regret the tears that fell when I finally gave up.
I don’t regret any of it.

But sometimes…
Sometimes it does make me sad.
And sometimes I do get angry.
And sometimes I do get jealous.
And I want to yell to the nursing mother who looks down her nose at us and the formula:
“I wanted that!  I wanted what you have!  Don’t look down at me.  I did the best I could.”
And to the mom who chose not to breast feed, I want to scream:
“Why?  Why did you stop??  I’d give anything to have that.  And you just wanted to stop.”

But then I take a deep breath.
And I close my eyes.
And I let my heart-gut fill with peace and love.
And I realize that maybe the nursing mom wasn’t looking down at me after all.
Maybe she was looking at me longingly, wishing that every-now-and-then she could have a break.
And maybe that mom who decided it was time to stop?
Maybe she has health problems or supply issues or who-knows-what.

Or maybe the nursing mom really was looking down at me, at us and maybe she is thinking what a horrible mother I am.
And maybe the other one gave up because it was too hard, or too overwhelming or just not convenient.

But you know what, kiddo?
It really doesn’t matter.
It’s you and me.
Doing our thing, our way.
And we’re doing the best we can.
And I think you’re pretty great.
And you seem to think I’m pretty nifty, too.

And I’m fairly certain that they won’t ask “Breast or Bottle?” when I go to register you for school.


3 Responses to I wish…
  1. Liz Sanders
    July 11, 2011 | 11:35 pm

    I promise I will not look at you and think you are a bad mother for not being able to breast feed. You do what you have to do to feed your baby and that is the most important thing. Sometimes I wish Bella would take a bottle, and while yes technically I could have weened her 6 months ago, I’m not quite ready and she’s not either. I’m afraid that stopping anything with her since she is the last is going to be harder on me than her!

  2. Tara
    July 12, 2011 | 8:51 am

    You did the best you could. Don’t ever forget that! You are far, far, far from a bad mother! In fact, sometimes I wish I was as good a mother as you! Breastfeeding is great, but it’s also extremely exhausting. For 10 months (until night-weaning), I rarely slept for more than three hours at a time. To have a child who refused bottles meant that I never got to leave for more than a couple of hours, except for when I had surgery. I paid for that 26 hours away, though, because he wouldn’t come unlatched for the next three days. We all do what we feel we can and/or what we feel we have to…and sometimes, I wish I had relaxed enough to say, “ok, you’re getting formula this time so I can sleep.”

    You are a fantastic mother. Never ever forget that.

  3. Jessica
    July 12, 2011 | 10:25 pm

    I completely agree with what others are saying! I only wish I could relax and just enjoy my babies instead of constantly stressing out about how I choose to feed them.