I remember driving in the car with my husband and my first son, all pink and new, along the windy road that curved between the open hills and backs of random homes with farm animals in the suburbs. I remember wincing at each bump in the uneven payment, still wounded from the war of delivering the precious gift now tucked snugly in his Graco car seat.
And I remember crying. Tears just streaming down my new mama cheeks. Crying because once our black Saturn rounded that final curve and then three more short turns till home, it would be time to nurse again. Time to let this new-life Noah latch onto his only source of life-giving food--the latch that made toes curl tight with pain that shot my whole body through.
Crying tears of overwhelmed. Tears of exhaustion. Tears of I never knew that this natural thing would feel so unnatural and I really want it to work but it sucks the joy life out of you to do something eight, nine, ten times a day that feels so awful, so awkward.
I remember my husband touching my knee. Not sure what to do. "You don't have to keep nursing," he offered. "We can go get some formula." He was trying to be sweet, give me freedom, reassurance. But this was something I had to do. For my son. For me.
Seasoned moms said that it would get easier. I had to believe it was true.
And true it was.
* * *
I think back to that day more than four and a half years ago, and wish that I could hug that new, desperately tired, trying to do right mom. Tell her that she would go on to nurse three boys, each for more than a year, and there would be tender moments without pain and the gift of bonding and nourishment and nurturing would be so very worth it.
In many ways I feel like a totally different person now, different mom. Yet there are new things about my current season of motherhood, raising three boys, 4, 3 and 1, that stir in me that same worn to the bone and at my limit cry because I want to do the very best by my sons no matter the cost but some days I can't help but succumb to the tears because I don't know if the struggles will get better and if all sacrifice will be worth it.
But I'm guessing that in another four and half years I'll know that it was and that it did, too.
Five Minute Fridays over at Lisa-Jo's. Writing on one word for the sake of creative bravery in a community of women who love words and Jesus. Today's word is True. Come check it out.