If you had asked me two months ago, I would have told you I did not enjoy it in the least bit. I didn't even have a negative experience with breastfeeding to being with. River was born a great sucker, latched on within five minutes of being born, and it was my instinct to want to breastfeed him right away. I was raised by a mama who exclusively breastfed all four of us kids, and would have never thought to formula feed my own children. I was enthusiastic and excited to breastfeed, knowing that there is nothing better I could give my baby. But I did not enjoy it like I thought I would, and I didn't have a problem admitting it either. I can say I understand why some mamas choose to formula feed. For me, breastfeeding was painful, and yes, I was doing everything right. He was latched on correctly, I held him in the right position and everything - I was just very sensitive. I felt smothered, because it was always me who had to do it (can't pass off feeding to daddy if I'm tired). I thought it was inconvenient, because it felt awkward in public. Mixing powdered formula in a bottle of tap water never sounded so welcomed.
I'm still only four months into it. I'm still learning and discovering, and so is River. And it took me four months to get to the point where I can say I love it. I love that my baby needs it not only for physical nourishment, but for emotional comfort as well. I love that I stuck it out, and am now at a point where I've toughened up and pain is no longer an issue. I love that I can do it any time of the day, and don't have to worry about schedules or over-feeding. I love that I am the only one who can feed him - it's a special time just between me and him. I love that when I take him and he's hungry, he starts desperately sucking on whatever he can get his mouth on before I'm even ready. I love when he's not really hungry, but just wants to nurse for the heck of it, gets distracted, looks around the room, smiles at me - all the while suckling away. I love that I have the confidence to nurse in public - I'd like to think I'm "representing" and nursing in public for "the cause." I love that what I am giving my baby is doing more for him than any formula, vaccine, or medicine can do. Breastmilk was designed for baby. Breasts were designed for baby. I'm back to being enthusiastic and excited. I know in the future, with River and with other children I have, there may be bigger bumps in the road. But I'm so glad I now understand what is truly so precious and amazing about breastfeeding. I'm proud to be a breastfeeding mama.