This is the rocking chair in my living room. I spend a lot of time there nursing Baby. On the tray next to the chair is my tray of supplies. A book to read. The TV remote. The telephone. A bottle of water. My once daily 1/2 cup of caffeine. And the blue tray filled with pacifiers, nasal syringes, gas drops, chapstick and a burp cloth. I can stay in the chair for hours with all my needs met.
Nursing requires a lot of mothers. You are the only one who can feed the baby. So you have to get up for all the nighttime feedings. You can't just run out with the girls for a night out - not without a lot of planning. Then there are the oh-so-matronly nursing bras. Not exactly Victoria Secret apparel. There are also the issues with sagging and stretch marks. And, in my case, there is having to give up certain foods. Baby is sensitive to dairy so I've had to give up milk, cheese, yogurt and ice cream. I really miss ice cream and my coffee specialty drinks.
All that aside, nursing is wonderful for me. Beside the typical health benefits of nursing, it is good for my mental health. It makes me do things I wouldn't otherwise do.
I am forced to sit or lie down every 1 1/2 to 3 hours. I have to get off my feet. I usually read, watch TV, chat with Daughter, mess on the computer, snooze or just do nothing. I would never take this time for myself normally.
The hormones released when you nurse cause calmness and sleepiness. It's like the best drug ever. All the worries just dissolve away. It's wonderful. I've never found an anti-depressant that works as well. I'm trying to figure out how to bottle this feeling - I'll be rich if I can figure it out.
There is nothing better than rocking in a chair and staring down at a beautiful baby. Especially when they have that dazed, my belly is full, milk mouth smile. It's the best medicine in the world.
At least 4 times I day I sit in that rocking chair for twenty minutes. I sing songs, read the Bible, read a book or just talk outloud to Baby. He loves it. He relaxes and I relax. Sometimes though, it is just not convenient to nurse right then and there. I needed to go to the bathroom or get Daughter ready or leave to go somewhere. So I sit down and am willing Baby to "hurry up." Know what? The milk doesn't come down as easily. He gets fussy because I'm tense. So I have to force myself to relax. I have learned that Baby picks up on my moods and body language. So I've had to learn to take deep breaths and blow out the tension.
Last night Husband took the first shift. I went to bed at 9 pm and he fed Baby a bottle of milk I had pumped earlier. So I got to sleep from 9 to 2am. Ah, five blissful hours. And while that was very nice, I wouldn't give up nursing to get more sleep. Speaking of nursing, I'm hearing squeaks from the swing. So it's time to refill the water bottle and get settled in for some bonding time.