I'll never forget the moment that Baby S latched on and started to feed.
I think it's a moment that every mother remembers, but it was especially poignant for me. My first baby, Toddler B, had a mountain of feeding problems due to her special needs. Breastfeeding her was a frustrating struggle that was never completely resolved, and led to me having to exclusively pump to get her the breast milk she needed.
When I was pregnant with Baby S, I had the same worry off and on for the full nine months: Would I be able to breastfeed this baby? I wanted it so much. All of my mama girlfriends had had few problems breastfeeding their children, and I wanted to be like them. Have some degree of normalcy. I envied the easy way that they fed their children, the intimacy that they had. In some ways, I needed this validation for myself- I am normal. I can feed my child in the way that I was built to.
Fast forward to birth. Painful but relatively quick birth- nothing out of the ordinary there. She was born and plopped onto my chest. I spent some time crying at her perfection, at the emotion of meeting my child for the first time.
After a bit I asked the nurse nervously, "When should I try to feed her?" She responded that now was as good a time as any. I tried to be calm, to not think about the worries that plagued me. I put her little mouth next to my breast, and just like that- she latched on and started to suck.
I cried and laughed at the same time. So easy- she ate like an expert. I was breastfeeding! I looked up at my partner and midwife, who were smiling and emotional as well. A fear lifted from my heart and flew away.
I still marvel at it- I can breastfeed! It's a beautiful feeling.