The decision to breastfeed was set even before Val and I decided to have a baby. I read books, interviewed moms, and did my “research” as I wanted to know everything I could about it. I wanted to be prepared. I read wonderful things about it and heard intimidating horror stories. Nothing could stop me from wanting this for my child.
Breastfeeding was difficult. Much like giving birth to a child, no amount of studying could’ve prepared me for this. Two weeks into motherhood, there would be moments wherein I thought I wouldn't last the day. The exhaustion really wasn't an issue for me. I psyched myself beforehand. It was the pain. The sharp, excruciating, and toe-curling pain caused by something as simple as an incorrect latch almost ended the breastfeeding journey for us. I would pray hard and silently cry in pain, not wanting my good husband to worry about us. All I could do then was muster even more strength and courage I never thought I had. I took it one day at a time. I set short-term goals in the beginning instead of looking at it on a monthly or annual perspective. I got help and educated myself some more. Then one day, I saw that we already overshot the six-week mark. We just kept going. And going! At this point, I don't know when we'll stop. Andi is now 14 months and shows no signs of weaning anytime soon.
Breastfeeding brought out the best in me, I think. It tested my strength, courage, and commitment as a person. And as a mother, it just takes on a life of its own. It's a blessing—the way my girl looks right into my eyes, how she strokes my face gently, the way she hugs me close (and I hug her back!). I love that Andi would just stare at me while we fed. It’s as if she’s talking to me without words, telling me how much she loves me and our milk. I cannot even begin to describe it. We are functioning in one system and we have our own little bubble that no one can understand but us. It's invaluable. It's not to say that the road is now easy all the way. We get some bumps here and there, but nothing too major.
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It’s a change of lifestyle and mindset, and sticking to your guns. Everyone else wanted me to stop, or at least mix feed. They all did not know any better. Good thing I have a blessing of a husband whose support is priceless. I believed in what my heart told me, that breastfeeding is truly best for my baby. As it turns out, it’s also best for me.