Before becoming a mom, I heard plenty of things about breastfeeding, including positive health benefits and negative challenges. However, like so many parenting experiences, I didn't quite understand what it would really be like until I did it myself. Over the course of my own breastfeeding relationship with my son, I discovered there were lots of little moments no one ever talks about; breastfeeding moments I wish I could relive over and over again, that have made this whole experience far more worthwhile than I could ever have imagined.
People talk a lot about the close bond they feel with their child when breastfeeding, or the sense of accomplishment they feel when they successfully overcome a breastfeeding challenge. That all seemed so abstract, though, or just a side effect of hormones. It never occurred to me, while looking at pamphlets of perfectly still moms and babies, that babies and moms are doing so much together when we breastfeed. Nursing babies and toddlers make faces, and play games, and express their gratitude, and so many other things while nursing. Honestly, it's hard to convey in words just how adorable, charming, and amazing it can be. (Also amazing: the feeling of relief when you finally find a bra you like, in your newly-enormous size.)
The following are the kinds of moments I'll miss so much when we finish weaning. They've definitely sustained me at times when breastfeeding was tough, and will always be fond memories of this early time in my life together with my son.