Throughout my pregnancy, one of my nagging, back-of-the-mind worries was whether or not I'd be able to breastfeed. At one point in my life, I had both nipples pierced. I removed the piercings a few years ago, and they healed up well, but I was afraid the resulting scar tissue would be in the way and my milk would never flow...
But flow it does! And Aedan is a natural at this nursing thing. And so, every couple of hours, I am obliged to settle myself quietly, usually reclined on the couch with him across my stomach, and engage in the oh so beautiful bonding experience that is breastfeeding.
I can't help but laugh as Aedan hungrily smacks his mouth all over the place, trying to latch on to his hand, my hand, and anywhere on my breast his mouth happens to land. He snorts and grunts like a little piggy until I calmly give him a little bit of direction. Sometimes he gums at my nipple for a bit, too excited to really get things going, but then he gets serious and...ah! he latches. And then he gulps. And gulps. Such a loud swallower as he begins! You can hear him from across the room. He looks up at me as he suckles, his dark grey eyes wide, or sometimes he looks past me, focusing on the muted, late-autumn sunlight that comes through the window. Gradually, his frenzied gulping settles a little, and his eyelids grow heavy. He swallows less frequently, until eventually he stops altogether, my nipple slipping from his mouth. He'll snooze for awhile at my breast, and then wake with a grunt and we begin again on the other side.
I am so in awe of the human body, and of human nature, each time Aedan and I partake in this most natural of functions. I'm amazed that he just knows what to do...the way he kicks his little legs against my stomach, pushing himself up and over towards a breast, or the way he's able to latch on by himself and get the good stuff flowing. The first day, in the hospital, I had different nurses showing me different ways to get him latched. I was holding his head over my breast and all but shoving my nipple in there, always trying to correct. It was frustrating for both of us. Finally, though, I just let him do what he wanted. And, of course, a beautiful latch every time! I'm amazed that my body can produce this most perfect of foods for him, amazed to know that the make-up of my breast milk can change day to day, feeding to feeding, always delivering exactly what he needs. That my body produces more when he's having a growth spurt, and less when things even out, and that my body will keep producing as long as he keeps breastfeeding.
Incredible mother nature!