Bonding with your child is a process that begins in the womb. Your little one feels every emotion you are feeling. Immediately after delivery when they are placed in your arms and rest on your chest for "skin to skin" the external bonding process begins. As I think back on my initial bonding experiences with my little ones I have a flood of emotions; a feeling of extreme love and appreciation. I chose to breastfeed both of my children. With Aubrey, the beginning was rough. I remember sitting on the edge of the bed and crying because I wasn't producing milk yet. Feelings of inadequacy and failure began to set in. Charles said to me, "What are you crying for? It will come then you can take him off of the formula." Eventually I began producing milk, he began to grow teeth and I became a human teething ring. Oh the horror.
Imagine dozing off as you lie in bed nursing your little one then all of a sudden, a sharp pain surges through your body. As you look down, you find yourself lodged between their teeth as they begin to laugh at the fact that you yelled out in pain. Oh yeah, Aubrey thought it was the funniest thing. Did I stop nursing him after that? No. No I didn't. I nursed Aubrey until I found out I was pregnant with Caden; he (Aubrey) was 16 months. What really aided in the process was the fact that I was working crazy hours.
Fast forward to Caden. The nursing process was a breeze and I was a pro. So much so that when I took a trip to New Orleans I traveled with my pump and returned home with almost a weeks worth of milk. (Pats self on the back). My current life and work circumstances have allotted me the opportunity to nurse Caden more than I was able to do with Aubrey. Now he has four teeth and I am considering weening him off sooner than I did with his brother. The first time he bit me was under the same circumstances as with his brother. However, the reactions were much more different. At the time he had one jagged tooth at the bottom and others lying in wait beneath his gums. He clamped down, I jumped and yelled and he began to cry. Me being the goofy person that I am began to laugh and he smiled at me with tears streaming down. He still has to come up off the breast though. As soon as he turns one the weening process will be going into full effect.
The time I have spend nursing/bonding with my little guys have been the most rewarding to me. I feel so blessed to be able to give them that. There are many women who would love to be able to nurse their children but cannot for so many different reasons. Some can nurse but the baby is either refusing the milk or unable to latch. For others they are not able to produce enough or any at all. Then you have some mothers that genuinely do not have the time to do so.
Though he didn't say it to me, I know their father/my late husband was happy about my decision to nurse them. I would overhear him on the phone attesting to it. All in all I'm so grateful that I was chosen to mother, lead, guide and protect them as we navigate through their journey of life together. Everyday I pray for the wisdom to do so. I know I am cultivating two completely different personalities. Even though I have the same amount of love for them both, I know I have to love on them the way that is required for them individually. The first step, for me, was nursing them. Bonding is so important because it is the onset of their social experience and ability to connect with others. I want to make sure my boys know the sincere love of a woman and how to treat women.