It’s so exciting to feel the incredible sisterhood of breastfeeding supporters celebrating our natural means of caring for our little ones during World Breastfeeding Week. Had I never experienced breastfeeding mistreatment firsthand, I would probably not be as tickled by all the hoopla of breastfeeding advocacy that makes early August so fun. If I had the time, I could have spent long hours the last two days immersed in the sea of pro-breastfeeding messages, youtube videos, blog posts, GE’s Olympics commercial, and more floating around the Internet.
So, when asked how I was celebrating World Breastfeeding Week (by the Breastfeeding Blog Hop), I convinced baby we should pause the 10th replay of this sweet video long enough to compose a couple thoughts:
- Yay! Hubby, 3 boys, and I are hopping in the minivan at the crack of dawn tomorrow to jet up to the West Lawn of the Capitol Building to join in the first-ever Great Nurse-in! While there, I will see if my little one wants to nurse during the Big Latch On, an annual event to set the record for the greatest number of women breastfeeding simultaneously. (If only we could capture data on the vast multitude of mamas around the world, naturally nursing their babes in the course of their day!) Bonus to supporting breastfeeding will be meeting up with friends and making new ones.
- Yay! Hubby & I decided to donate 9% of all profits from our business, Tender Sapling, for the month of August to the Best for Babes Foundation. Check out the BfB website and prepare to be impressed! Then stock up on Tender Sapling’s Back-to-School items designed to inspire your child’s inner light, all while helping support a great cause.
As my thoughts drifted back to whether or not my 24-month-old nursling will nurse in public (the last time he did was in Independence Hall a week ago, in a room off the main hallway that was empty at the time), it hit me. This may be the last World Breastfeeding Week that I am a breastfeeding mama!
I have spent every August since 2003 either nursing a baby or pregnant (inner-nursing via the amazing placenta!:). Ten Augusts of wrapping my arms around my babe and loving the natural connection of nurturing via nature’s design. More than nine amazing years.
If my other two sons’ weaning calendars are any indicator of son #3’s future weaning date, then I have a 50% chance that he’ll have self-weaned by next August. Wow. Considering that this represents almost a quarter of my life and that son #3 is by all expectations our last child, this is huge for me, and bittersweet. All those warnings from well-meaning grandmas at the grocery store that my babies’ first years would fly were true. So true.
So it’s a call to action for me. I have this one last World Breastfeeding Week that I know I can nurse my baby at a nurse-in (or at least try), or just soak in the moment of holding my breastfeeding babe in my arms while channeling positive thoughts to all the other breastfeeding mamas – past, present, and future – around the world. I am committed to enjoying the remaining moments of breastfeeding my sweet babe.
What a sweet bittersweet this year ahead will be. Gone are the thoughts of annoyance that my night-weaned baby is once again waking in the night and asking to nurse as his new teeth emerge. I am secretly grateful that my baby’s misfortune of breaking his leg last week means he wants me to carry him much of the day. I will bask in the truth of one of my favorite poems that helps remind me in difficult moments of the sweetness of this moment, the gift I have been given as a mother:
While they are at your side, love these little ones to the uttermost. Forget yourself. Serve them; care for them; lavish all your tenderness on them. Value your good fortune while it is with you, and let nothing of the sweetness of their babyhood go unprized. Not for long will you keep the happiness that now lies within your reach. You will not always walk in the sunshine with a little warm, soft hand nestling in each of yours, nor hear little feet pattering beside you, and eager baby voices questioning and prattling of a thousand things with ceaseless excitement. Not always will you see that trusting face upturned to yours, feel those little arms about your neck, and those tender lips pressed upon your cheek, nor will you have that tiny form to kneel beside you, and murmur baby prayers in your ear.
Love them and win their love, and shower on them all the treasures of your heart. Fill up their days with happiness, and share with them their mirth and innocent delights.
Childhood is but for a day. Ere you are aware it will be gone with all its gifts forever.
– George Townshend (1876-1957)
So, happy World Breastfeeding Week to all mamas, babes, and supporters! May the coming year be filled with beautiful sweetness in all your life adventures. And may the world be a more breastfeeding-friendly place this time next year.
Until then, if the advocate in you is stirred to action, please see this fellow blog-hopper’s post and Best for Babes’ Take Action page for great ideas of how you can celebrate World Breastfeeding Week. Be well and happy!
Read other bloggers’ thoughts on this week’s Breastfeeding Blog Hop topic of World Breastfeeding Week at the new hosts’ sites: Sisters N Cloth and Wifemummynurse.com. I’d post the linky, but WordPress.com doesn’t allow it.