Without the Safety Net of Breastfeeding

This morning at 3:30 Levi woke up and wouldn’t go back to sleep.  He was crying and clearly very upset.  Dawn went into his room first, while I stayed behind and fretted about how I could comfort him now that I don’t have milk.

I went into his room and could tell immediately he was burning up.  I took his temperature and sure enough he had a fever.  Of course, a mere five days after we stop breastfeeding, he gets sick.

At this point Dawn was holding him, trying to comfort him, and the crying continued like a deluge.  I took him.  He asked to nurse, and I gently reminded him — no more milk; I am sorry.  I held him tight, he calmed down and snuggled his little face into the crook of my neck.  He wrapped his arms around me and settled in as I rocked him.  We stayed that way for hours.  I was tired and concerned about what could be wrong, but at the same time my heart was bursting.  I couldn’t believe I had managed to comfort him with snuggles and rocking alone.

Earlier this week I donated what was left of our breastmilk.  As I spoke with the office manager about the experience of ending the nursing relationship, I got all teary.  We talked about how it is also a whole new way of parenting, as the safety net of always being able to make everything better with the breast is gone.  I admit to feeling incredibly daunted by that thought — by knowing that I had to find new ways of making the hurts hurt less and the sadness lessen for my son.

Last night was our first obstacle and our first lesson in parenting without the comfort of the mama’s milk, and it has made me feel much more confident in moving forward with this new era in our mother/son relationship.  Still teary, but more confident.

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