Truth, I miss breastfeeding.
This is the first holiday season that I am not with child or breastfeeding a child (or in Hailey’s case, bottle feeding a child). Though I adore my children and how they are growing, I do miss the one on one time and gentle closeness of their soft skin against mine during feedings. These times I am reminded of also include bottle feedings with my daughter who never latched but through the art of pumping took breast milk via bottle. Her large blue eyes peering up, the sweet sound of her breath and the weight of her head in the crook of my arm.
Towards the end of each of my children being weaned I had reached a point where I found it to be time-consuming and a hassle to stop and drop whatever I was doing to pull out the boob or fill a bottle. But now I realize that it was so much more than that. It was a time of bonding, meditation, quietness, love and maternal fulfillment.
I was blessed to have those times of one on one time with each of my little ones. With my first-born I recall reading book after book as he fell asleep nestled into my chest, the heavenly sound of him dozing off after a feeding as the snow of his first Christmas drifted past the window. Now he’s so busy dreaming up Lego plans and jumping from couch to love seat pretending to be in the worlds of Minecraft or Paw Patrol, I’m lucky to get him to sit with me for a nano second.
The feedings and pumpings that came in the middle of the night provided silent conversations with my little twins as I took in the sight of their chubby cheeks and pink skin while envisioning their futures and the joy that they would bring. Now they run screaming through the house too consumed in their curiosity of this big world they have come to find.
Now we are always running, always rushing, always busy. No more times of quiet retreat to nurse or provide a bottle. No more silent sessions of gazing into one another’s eyes.
Now, I secretly find joy when they call to me in the middle of the night from a scary dream or a tummy ache, for these are when I find myself experiencing the bliss of motherhood like I did during those one on one feeding sessions. Their small heads fitting so perfectly in the space between my shoulder and neck. Their little butts resting on my forearm as they doze off against my chest. Their sweet breath warm against my skin.
I now steal moments of tender touch when they are interested in nestling down in my lap for a book. I take every second of utopia as lay their heads upon my belly while watching the newest episode of Curious George.
Having come to the realization that these little people grow so fast, I relish in the smell of their skin and the gentle touch of their finger tips against my own. I now know that it’s better to let them consume me with their grubby little hands while nestling their yogurt and macaroni cheese caked faces into my chest and belly.