Breastfeeding is one of the most intimate bonding experiences that a mother and child can have. My twins, who are now three, could not nurse at birth due to their prematurity. Though we tried when they could breathe without assistance, they could never grasp the latch skills to successfully breastfeed. So, in an effort to give them the best nutrition possible, I pumped gruelingly for 14 months - for twins mind you. I brag about this only because, at one point, I was pumping eight times a day, for at least 25 minutes. For anyone who has pumped, you know that doing so every three hours is quite frankly really draining...pun intended.
My eight-month-old was born only two weeks early and has been a great nursing baby. She latched right away and has been successfully nursing ever since, which has made the transition from two to three children a bit easier. It is always a far less expensive option for feeding, which is great too. At about six and half months old, I introduced her to solids and she's really thrived with her eating. As a result, I've lessened her nursing feedings and cut many of them out. We are now down to just nursing before naps and bedtime.
I initially felt a real sense of freedom from not having to nurse her all the time, some feedings were not so convenient, the other kids needed something, etc. However, the other night while sitting in a quiet, dark room while nursing her, I realized how much I loved the experience. I heard the sound of silence and looked down to just see my sweet baby slowly falling asleep as she gripped my hand tightly, and nursed. Though she's grown so much since she was born, she still looked so tiny in my arms and I couldnt' believe she was all mine.
With this said, I am so glad that I have the ability to nurse my daughter (and all my children in a bit of a different way). We are forever bonded, and I will always cherish our quiet moments in the dark when it was just she and I. She will never remember them but I will and they will resonate in her heart.