Definitely the closeness and the cuddles. It’s such a lovely feeling when Amy snuggles up to me during her feeds or falls asleep on me. She can be the grumpiest baby ever, be moaning and teething but when we go up for her bedtime feed and it’s just the two of us, I really enjoy the peace and intimacy.
I am really lucky so far. My biggest challenge was getting Amy to latch on properly during the first days after her birth. We both didn’t know what we were doing and us struggling in hospital really put me under pressure. Fortunately, we both got the hang of it within a couple of days. The only other thing that was really hard for me to deal with is a habit that Amy has every now and then: scratching and pinching. At one point my left breast looked like I had fallen into a barb-wired fence because she was constantly scratching and pinching me but (fingers crossed) at the moment, she’s being really good.
My mum and Ben were and still are a great help. My mum was only here for a day after Amy’s birth but she helped me so much finding a comfortable position to feed in and getting Amy to latch on properly. And Ben is absolutely fab as well. I know that he feels that he is missing out by not being able to feed Amy and that he would love the bonding time that Amy and I have during feeds but he throws all that over board because he knows how important it is for me to breastfeed Amy.
If I say that I was a mental wreck that really is an understatement. I am not really confident within my body. I carry way too much weight with me, so think people are constantly staring at me as it is. Getting my boobs out in front of strangers on top of that really sent shivers down my spine. One day when Ben was at the dental hospital and Amy and I were in the park, I just braved it because she was getting unsettled and hungry. I quickly covered my boob with a muslin cloth and literally nobody noticed that I was feeding my baby in the middle of the park. From then on I didn’t look back and got much more confident about feeding Amy in public.
Oh yes, before Amy was born, when Amy was born, when she was a couple of weeks old, at 3 months, 6 months, 9 months and I bet the next person asking me when I will finally stop breastfeeding her is not far away. I don’t know why people find it so strange that someone can really enjoy breastfeeding their baby but to them I seem absolutely crazy.
I still don’t like the way my body looks but I am proud that my body was home to my beautiful baby girl for nine months and that I am able to nurse Amy without having to go out and buy a tub of formula. In a way my body has helped us to bond in a really special way and that is something that makes me love my body a little bit more.
I think I was really naive before I started breastfeeding Amy. I thought “How hard can this be?” – mouth open, boob in and get sucking but if you don’t know what you are doing and have nobody tell you then breastfeeding can be a real hurdle. It’s not as easy as it looks but it’s worth it – for me.