So I only got to nurse Jillian for a total of 3 months and we always had to compliment it with formula. It was not an optimal experience for me... especially as a first time mom. You hear so many stories from women who just LOVE nursing and my first time experience with it was anything but great. I didn't feel this "amazing connection" or "bonding" with Jillian because I nursed her or because I gave her a bottle.
Jillian and I had other ways of "connecting" and "bonding". However, I was disappointed in the nutritional factor that she wasn't getting as much breast milk in those first 3 months or through out her first year. I felt mostly, guilty that I wasn't giving her the "optimal". However, I learned through that... that God takes care and develops my baby girl with or without my breast milk. HE is the one that keeps her healthy, strong, and grows her intellect.... not my breast milk. In the end I came to the conclusion... it's not the end of the world that she's not getting breast milk and my motherhood isn't judged good or bad because I'm not nursing. Nursing is NOT my identity.
So then along came Olivia Eden. I still wanted to nurse because of the obvious nutritional and economic benefits, and was determined to go at it hard, and push through any bumps in the road, and not give up. You know how sometimes you over prepare yourself for things that you THINK are going to go terrible? Well, I was ready for war with the hospital nurses and mentally prepared for all kinds of rough patches through nursing Olivia. HA HA... I didn't need them. GOD was SO kind to me and made Olivia just a pro nurser from day one. He gave me plenty of milk supply so I never not even one day had to give her formula to supplement and I had a great support from obviously my husband... but my mom as well that got to stay through the first 2 weeks after Olivia was born.
This nursing experience has been different. It's amazing to me how Olivia calms down as soon as they pass her to my arms... it seems like just my smell is comforting to her. When she's upset, nursing soothes her. When her tummy hurts, nursing soothes her, when she's hungry... nursing soothes her.
This time God has used nursing to teach me different things, only this time it's the presence of it instead of its absence.
How often are we like nursing babies in God's arms: fragile, hungry, hurting, looking for comfort. Is it not His voice, His arms, His nourishment, His nearness, His intimacy that soothes us when our hearts are aching? We're like nursing babies...we're crying out for comfort... and the only thing that will ever satisfy us is his nearness, His voice... that sweet intimacy like between a mother and her nursing baby.
My favorite moment is when Olivia falls asleep nursing. She just looks so peaceful, satisfied, and comfortable. Like we are when we're near the Lord, near His breast.
Nursing still isn't all that some women make it out to be... it's still not my identity... but I'm thankful for it and I'm thankful that the Lord is teaching me through it.