Today, I'm thankful. I, hopefully, finished weaning baby girl today. I feel so thankful that she was able to nurse for the last 14 months. My son was never able to nurse, to no fault of his own. But, I believe, due to the circumstances surrounding his birth that kept him from me during that most pivotal first hour of his life and the bottles he received there after. The very close girl friends who saw me through that low period of my life when I accepted that I could not breastfeed my son and my next pregnancy as I hung on the hope that things would be different may be able to understand this strong thankfulness I want to express.
I took for granted when I was pregnant the first time that my diabetes wouldn't weigh into something as simple as breastfeeding. In fact, I continue to think that it was not the diabetes so much that affected my failure to nurse him as much as the expectations of my medical team due to my diabetes. They expected me to require a c-section, they expected to take my baby to special care nursery, they expected to give him bottles, and they expected I wouldn't expect to breastfeed him. Well, that was a darn lot of miscommunication.
I'm a dietitian, we preach breastfeeding. I'm a mom who thinks breast is best. I thought I'd communicated that to my doctors the first time around? But I don't want this post to be about that, I want it to be a post about the last 14 months of pure joy and accomplishment! She was birthed, she WAS in my arms that first hour, she did learn to latch and nurse, she never accepted a bottle one time in her little life (guess you get what you ask for). :)
I have type one diabetes and I successfully breastfed my daughter for the last year. She is healthy and beautiful. She's stayed healthy the last year despite her brother bringing home all sorts of childhood illnesses as he started his first year of preschool - she had all of the immunologic benefits of breast milk. Not to mention, I've enjoyed the mama-benefits of nursing as well.
So, although I feel that sadness that I'd imagine lots of moms feel as they let go of this stage of their child's life; I also feel joyous and thankful to have experienced it.