Breastfeeding, Bonding, and Being a Magic Mama

Today, I was catching up with some old issues of New Beginnings magazine (LLLI’s publication) and one of the snapshots of a mama and her toddler nursling brought unexpected tears to my eyes. I am so, so excited to get to have a breastfeeding relationship again! Seeing that picture brought this intense body memory of looking down at my nursing babies and seeing that total and complete contentment on their faces—the way their whole bodies relax and become peaceful at the breast after experiencing the stresses of life as a toddler. It is gorgeous, beautiful, precious and irreplaceable. And, it slips away and before you know it another “normal” has taken its place—breastfeeding was such an integral part of my life for so long, it is startling to realize that it has been an entire year now since I’ve nursed anyone. And, also startling is that I only think about it rarely—the boys I have now have thoroughly replaced those nursling boys. Those tears sprang up from the past joy I have experienced and the anticipatory joy of having one more chance to do this again! I realized after this experience and after writing my last post that in the last couple of days I’ve become bogged down by the “bondage” a new baby brings rather than the bonding that it also brings. (It is realistic to prepare for both! ;)) I feel so lucky, happy, and thrilled to have a new baby again.

During this pregnancy I have not participated regularly in any kind of “due date club” message boards or anything like that, but I do occasionally peek it at one of them and was surprised to see the January mamas there all talking about how done they are with being pregnant and how ready they are to have their babies. Me, I feel like I’m just hitting my stride with being pregnant and cannot imagine being ready to be done yet—this is the great part: the looking nice and pregnant, the enthusiastic baby wiggles, feeling her hiccup, the anticipation of celebratory activities like getting pregnancy pictures taken, making a belly cast, and having a blessingway, the planning for her birth. Despite the fear and anxiety of this pregnancy, I love being pregnant. I adore it. I have never felt more magic or more special than I do as a pregnant woman. I know one should never say never, but I do not anticipate ever being pregnant again and I cannot imagine wishing this “magic mama” feeling away one second before she is ready to be born! It is the best 🙂

Here are some comparison belly pictures:

32 weeks pregnant with number 1

30 weeks with number 2

30 weeks pregnant with Baby Girl

In my 31 weeks pregnancy newsletter from Mothering, there was a neat exercise about painting your fears away. I love the use of art during pregnancy and I thought it was a good idea.

4 thoughts on “Breastfeeding, Bonding, and Being a Magic Mama

  1. It is sad to see people wan to be “done” I had a lot of pain with my last one even to walk but I swore I would not complain. I knew he was my last one and I would never be able to feel anouther baby growing and moving inside me. That is a bond that you can never get back even know you will be developing new ones.

  2. same here with my 3rd, but I don’t think I’m done yet. I had extreme PS pain with my last one and couldn’t walk, pulled a groin muscle in early labor and stalled it out to the point I went 10 days past my due date and STILL would not take any non-natural labor induction interventions (I *did* do homeopathic cohoshes and the tinctures a few times). I wouldn’t have traded a minute of it though and had zero interest in potentially starting a cascade of interventions that could have lead to consequences that would have restricted my enjoyment of my newborn (I have degenerative disc issues that make me VERY wary of epidurals, before we even get to the c-section recovery issues). Enjoy your pregnancy and I’m glad you’re planning to celebrate it to its fullest – didn’t do a blessingway this time because I was in prodromal labor for 6 weeks and just didn’t have the energy but we did a belly cast (all three times, there’s one hand in the cast for each pregnancy – one in my first, 2 hands on my belly with my 2nd, both my hands and one of my eldest’s hands in the 3rd) and my hubby hennaed my belly for me with a stencil this time around because I was sad not to have my friends hennaing my belly like they did at the blessingway for my 2nd.

    I believe the pregnancy and labor clue mom in to the personality of the child to come – it has held true with my elder two and seems to be with my 3rd (tho he’s not yet 6mo so harder to tell). Enjoy what this baby is telling you about herself in the months only the two of you can really share fully. Cherish the blessing that is your ability to carry a baby in your body – I wish more women understood how truly lucky those of us who are able to carry pregnancies are, it’s such a heartache to our sisters who can’t.

  3. I should clarify–I don’t meant to sound “smug” as if *I* know better and enjoy every minute. I do understand why/how people start to feel “done” being pregnant. I, personally, do not experience that feeling. All I know is that from where I’m sitting, I feel more like, “oh no! Only 9 weeks left!” rather than, “still 9 weeks to go…” ;-D

  4. Bonding for me actually started during pregnancy. Not completely naturally, though, but somewhat intentionally. I was very ill during my pregnancy with my son, but we began the bonding process by regularly reading a week-by-week development book. It is truly amazing to track the miracle that is taking place. It really made a difference for me even after birth. Now, there are a lot of great books and blogs out there to serve this purpose, but the one I’m reading now blows all the others away, and it’s great for every pregnancy, not just the first. Not only does it have even more development details than usual, and personalized, it has a section in it where you can journal or write letters to baby. It’s called “The Wonder Within You: celebrating your baby’s journey from conception to birth” by Carey Wickersham. It’s an awesome combination of week-to-week information, what’s going on with the baby, “Did you know?” plus health advice about what to eat, cravings, nutrition, etc, BUT also with awesome 3D/4D pictures and videos you can link or QR with your phone to and see what your baby looks like at each week stage. I’ve just not seen anything exactly like it! It’s got famous quotes and real mom stories, too. The pregnancy information is as up-to-date as it gets and it’s such a great keepsake. I want to get one for everybody I know who is expecting! I highly recommend it!

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