Sunday, 13 April 2014

fed up and fulfilled

It's funny how people adapt. At one time, I wouldn't have dreamed of breastfeeding publicly, but as I write this post, we have fed

in the hospital: delivery room, NICU, doctor's room, waiting room;
at home: in every damn room
in the car, on a boat, ferry, plane, train (mercifully not on a two-wheeler, but I suspect that was only because she fell asleep - she likes scooters)
at the beach
in the park
at concerts, dance performances, movies (and a couple of times at relatively informal meetings)
at the mall
at a mandir
at practically every restaurant we've been to since she was born
at the airport

while eating, sleeping, reading, working on my laptop, on a call, struggling with crochet/ tatting/ knitting

while contorting myself so that I can bribe madam to stay enthroned on her potty

sari-shopping at a traditional gaddi, her mundan, twice at a wedding mandap (in case you were wondering, the wedding was not mine. It was, respectively, a friend's and a cousin's)

dinners/ lunches/ meets at friends' places, open markets (like Dastkar)...

The list carries on and PP sometimes gloomily predicts that we will be sending her off to college while still at it. Sometimes I get the same feeling but I do know that this phase will pass all too soon and though I hate to admit it, I will feel bereft when it does.

In the meantime I have resigned myself to her head-butting, insistence on being nursed to sleep and assertion of ownership over what I mistakenly assumed were my body parts. There are rewards of course. Nothing quiets a squalling baby faster than a quick nursing session and I take shameless advantage of that.

Is this a pitch for breastfeeding? Yes and No. I love it, yet I believe that every mother makes that choice for herself and her baby.

It is as my wise friend who happens to be a lactation consultant told me. There is motherhood beyond breastfeeding - this is just one aspect of it.  

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