When I was pregnant with my first baby at the age of 36, somehow I just knew I’d be breastfeeding on demand, sharing my bed with my baby, and using cloth diapers. My husband and I did not even discuss this…it was a given for both of us. I had friends who were parents, and I had a few “surrogate” children of my own – those special little ones who’d come for the weekend and help with a cooking project or planting the garden or gathering the eggs from the hen house. And yes, most of my friends nursed and slept with their babies and were stay-at-home moms, washing diapers while holding their little one in a sling or a Snugli.
I witnessed and took to heart these happy, glowing, beautiful mamas and babies. And so when I became a mother, it was totally natural for me to do the same, no questions asked. And no regrets. I just knew….to trust my instincts? To do what was familiar? To follow my heart? Becoming a mother for the first time demands all of this. And a whole lot more. When my baby was a week old, my parents were visiting and helping out – breakfast in bed, clean laundry (and diapers!), wood brought in for the stove, pathways shoveled. My dad and I went for a short walk, my first time away from my baby. She was home with my husband and my mom, but by the time I reached the end of my driveway, all of 400 feet, I HAD to go back. I felt crazy and scared and worried that she was not with ME! I missed her; my heart ached and my arms felt empty. It had barely been 10 minutes! My dad gave a little chuckle, took my arm, and we turned back. Somehow I just knew that I needed to be with my baby. Thanks, dad, for supporting me in becoming that fierce mama lion that I so admired!