I've been thinking lately about the sacrifices we make as mothers. Pregnancy, birth, and mothering young children are very physical endeavors. Being a mother definitely involves sacrificing our bodies. It's not just the 9 months of pregnancy either. It's saying goodbye, at least temporarily and maybe forever, to the pre-baby body. It's watching your breasts swell to previously unheard of proportions as they fill with milk to feed your baby. It's spending hours and hours suckling said babe. It's losing sleep and sometimes a bit of sanity along with it.
Yesterday was one of the most trying days of my young career in motherhood, but it was also one of the most rewarding. Asher was sick. The kind of feverish sickness that just left him tired and weak and clingy. He woke up from his Sunday afternoon nap with a fever. He had refused to eat much breakfast or lunch but had nursed. After napping much of the afternoon he nursed again and then threw up all over me. This was actually my first experience having a child vomit all over me. It was nice to realize that it didn't gross me out at all. I just picked him up and took him to the bathroom where we both showered. The poor kid had never really vomited before and didn't understand what was going on. I will never forget the look on his face as he looked at me with scared questioning eyes before throwing up again.
He actually had a good nights sleep but woke with a fever still. He refused to eat more than just a few bites of oatmeal. All he wanted was to nurse. Thus commenced the day that I spent doing nothing else but nursing my two babies. Miriam is a newborn so of course requires lots of breastfeeding and Asher in his misery didn't want anything but Mama. If he wasn't nursing, she was. Or they both nursed at the same time.
I've never felt so used before. I mean that in a good way. It was very draining to be needed so much, but I never resented my sweet children for it. I never felt upset with them for needing me in such a physically demanding way. We spent most of the day in bed snuggled up. I just feel so grateful that I am able to provide for them in this way. Breastfeeding is about so much more than food.
It made me think about how at this time in my life, my body is not my own. I am sharing it with my children. It's not always easy, but it's the way it is supposed to be. This time is so short. They will be big so soon. Then they will need me in a different way. But right now even with my leaky breasts and squishy belly, I am so fulfilled in being their mother.
These pictures are actually from the week before Miriam was born.