A Response to “Letters to My Nursing Child”

{Editor’s note: Years ago after EC’s first son, H, was born, someone was writing a book called Letters to My Nursing Child. What follows is a lovely follow-up to EC’s first post about nursing her first born.}

Dear H,

You are one year old now – I see the sparkle in your eyes of amazement with the way the world works, with chasing the balls across the floor, with watching fans spin and lights glimmer. I love you and your chubby little body, your spunky noises, and inquisitive hands and feet.

I’m thankful that you and I have been able to connect in a magical way – you grew because of me. And in so many ways I grew because of you.

I was committed to giving you as good of a start as was humanly possible – I was ready to go, full of knowledge and will, but it seems that you had some other ideas for me! Our nursing bond started off painful, and our first struggles together were over your tongue’s frenulum being too short! After we had that fixed, it was months before we had what most momma’s think of as a “normal” nursing relationship. But just a few months later, the damage that was done early on allowed for creepy crawly staph bacteria to seep in through my nipples – they liked momma’s milk as much as you did and refused to go away! Momma saw special doctors, took all kinds of special medicines with big names that I can hardly even pronounce. It hurt SO much to give you what you needed, and even more imporantly, what you wanted. And It made me hurt in my heart to think that we might have to stop because those staph wouldn’t leave.

But you loved our special time together so much it was worth all of the ickies and the ouches and the tears. I’ll never regret the months that we entered into this amazing space together – a place that transended the pain and was filled with both of our love for each other.

But finally, a moment came. None of the medicines had worked, and you, well, you became a big boy, and I knew that we were developing a new relationship, and that we both would be OK. As I write this, you are crawling across the floor, pulling your favorite toy with your teeth, and looking at me and giggling – look how strong you’ve become! I deeply miss those times together, but I know that all of our struggles only made our connection stronger. Onward we go!

– EC

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