I've been a mother for fifty-two days now, and I want to remember this time, as every day feels momentous in some small way. Today, for example, my baby girl started sucking on her hand. This is both good and bad. The good: it means I won't have to be her human pacifier anymore. The bad: well, it isn't particularly attractive, for one. She hasn't figured out how to suck her thumb or fingers, so she tries to jam her entire fist into her mouth. But also, I don't get to be her human pacifier anymore. And because I read this beautifully written piece, I can see how that could be seen as a loss.
I am not a warm human substitute for a cold silicone and plastic doohickey.
Further, from kellymom...
Comfort nursing serves a purpose, too. Studies seem to indicate that this type of sucking overall decreases a baby’s heart rate and lets him relax. It seems to have a very positive effect on his whole physical and emotional well-being. Don’t be afraid to allow this type of nursing. Breastfeeding is more than just imparting fluids and nourishment. It’s a way to nurture your child as well.This comfort nursing is sweet and fleeting. Everyone tells me babyhood zooms by and to cherish those snuggles while you can because soon, your little one will be in "I'll do it myself" mode and squirm away from all forms of affection. So, I just want to give my little girl everything while she wants it (and me). And as she approaches her two-month "birthday," I shake my head and wonder where those two months disappeared to. I plan on nursing exclusively, and while this means no long romantic dates without baby in tow, my partner and I also agreed that it is for a relatively short time, and we're happy to have lots of family time instead.
I found this sweet "letter from baby to mom," explaining how a baby sees nursing, encouraging, too.
I remember wondering before I had my baby if I'd be grossed out about changing diapers, how often I'd be able to go on dates with my husband, hang out with friends, etc. And now, those things are the least of my worries. Changing diapers isn't actually unpleasant for me-- it shows me my baby is getting enough to eat (since breasts don't come with measurement lines). My partner and I are still deliriously happy being together with our little one and would probably be too annoying, cooing "Isn't she cute!" all the time, to spend too much time with-- but somehow, our friends forgive us and still hang out with us. It's a small miracle that we're grateful for.
I've sought out other new moms and am slowly finding a new community with other mommy-baby pairs, and that's been an interesting and rewarding way to relate to people, too. As we get to know each other, I look forward to spending time together as families and hopefully watching our little ones grow up together.
I guess this means I'm truly a grown-up now, and it's way better than I thought it would be. :-)