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So That's What They're There For!

Puberty was a difficult time for me, as it is for most people. I remember filling with jealousy as I watched my friends' bodies change. How silly it was to be jealous of feeling so sick, but I did want to get my period so I could be in that club too. I saw my friends get their periods and then their breasts, one by one they each went through this change that I couldn't help but feel jealous of. Sure enough, I got my period not too early and not too late. I was 12 years old, it was a Saturday afternoon and I started to run a mild fever. With a shy smile I told my mother, "I think I got my period." I showed her my bloody underwear and the broadest smile came across her face. Of course, feeling the way I did I could not understand why she was so happy. She gave me a pad, which I promptly applied, then she sat me down on the couch welcoming me to womanhood. At that time I didn't feel like a woman, I felt like a sick little girl.

While my period came around more regularly, I wondered why my breasts seemed to shy to show up. Weeks and months passed, my period eventually became regular and predictable but still my breasts were a no show. While I could not understand why nature slighted me at 12 years old, I figured things would work themselves out. Now, pregnant with my first baby I finally understand. By the beginning of my second trimester my bras all became snug, my nipples became more sensitive and the further along I get in this pregnancy the fuller my breasts become. Not since 12 years old have I been this aware of my bust.

When my husband and I first saw the results of the positive pregnancy test breastfeeding was far from the first thing on my mind. Eventually I figured I would give it a shot once the baby shows up, but either way would be fine. As the second trimester came on and my body began to fill out, especially my bust, I finally understood what my breasts are for. I started to read up on nursing and I realized that this is what I really wanted for my baby. I want the bonding, I want the peaceful feelings of relaxation, I want the nurturing moments with my baby. As I have grown more pregnant my belly has filled out to the size of a beach ball, my breasts have grown by nearly two cup sizes and it has become clear to me that nursing my baby is part of my destiny.

I am truly blessed in that I have every tool at my disposal to aid me in this process. From friends and family I understand that nursing can be very difficult and anxiety provoking. It seems that once you get the hang of it there is no other pursuit as pleasurable or fulfilling as nursing your child. My husband and I have hired a labor support doula to help us with the labor and delivery of our baby. The best part is that she is also a certified lactation consultant. As part of her services she will give us a breastfeeding class that will include everything from how to get the baby latched on properly to how to change a diaper and swaddle the baby. I've read a few books that have taught me about the hormones involved in nursing and how to optimize your body's biology to give you and your baby the premium nursing experience. Knowing now, beyond a doubt, that nursing my baby is what I was meant to do I am filled with eager anticipation and excitement for the birth so we can get this process started.