Early on, I had always wondered when I would reach the reward period with nursing. I read about it in a book - when things begin to get easier and you find yourself relaxing and enjoying the act of nursing. I have always enjoyed nursing, as to me it is very calming. However, I used to get real nervous about whether or not she was getting enough. I was big on making her stick to a two or more hour schedule. I always watched the clock to see how long she ate. I felt bad if I had to take her from someone who was holding her to feed her ... yet again. I freaked out if I felt like she ate twenty times in one day. (And she did!) I was afraid of what other people thought of me nursing. I also wanted to see every poopy diaper and it's color when I wasn't the one changing it. I was basically driving myself nuts. & While I enjoyed doing it, I didn't enjoy being so uptight all the time. My husband was so cool and calm about it; he just kept saying, she's fine, she's doing great, you're doing great. I should've just trusted what he was saying, because he was right. I just put myself under immense pressure to make sure she was okay and to make sure I wasn't making anyone mad with how I was doing things. (Get used to it! Many parents have different views and you've just got to take their advice with a grain of salt and move on.)
That time has passed for me. It happened while we were visiting Grandma Peggy in Illinois, C's schedule was all out of whack, and she was very clingy. Instinct kicked in and I knew she needed to be nursed even if she didn't really seem all that hungry. She just needed me. She knew when she needed me and when she didn't, she knew exactly the moment when she became full. (She sticks her bottom lip out as to say, No more Mom!) Maybe it was the fact that I was with my Grandma, who has mothered several children of her own and knows a thing or two. Or maybe it was just feeling C's stress from being in a new place. I just didn't care about the little rulebook I had created for ourselves anymore. From that point on, I stopped counting. I stopped scheduling. I stopped feeling bad. I knew just by looking at her that she is developing well, content, and happy. I decided I'm the Mom, I'm gonna do it my way. (That's the way you've got to be with so much advice and books telling you ten million different ways to handle your child!) & It has become easier. Nursing has always been fairly easy, but it just became that much easier for us.
Lastly, nursing isn't just nursing for me. I talk about it a lot, but that's just because I enjoy doing it. It's just one of the many aspects of being a Mom to a young baby for me. I've come a long way from where we first started. Motherhood is a wonderful journey and a blessing from the Lord.