What I Missed Out On By Bottle-Feeding
My littlest turns 1 this week. Along with the cake and the parties, it brings another milestone I’ve been looking forward to. I get to reclaim counter space, and a significant chunk of time each day as I put away the bottles!
These bottles have fed three of my children now, though that really wasn’t the original plan. I only nursed for a short time, then complications from mastitis-turned abscess-turned MRSA changed all of my plans. One of the things I always felt guilty about was that I would be missing out on something special with my child. I would be missing out on this beautiful time of bonding.
You know what?
I missed out on it. I don’t know what that special bond is like to nurse all my babies for 12+ months and be the sole provider of food. I don’t know the victory of working hard to keep up supply, or the sacrifice it takes takes day-in and day-out to continue on with it.
You know what else though? I’ve “missed out” on a lot of other special moments of bonding too.
I haven’t felt the amazing moment of finally meeting the child I have been praying for, raising money for, and flying halfway around the world to meet.
Or the amazing bond and gift it is to get to hold that sweet baby that is now yours after multiple painful attempts to adopt a baby.
I haven’t felt the sweetness it is to legally finally be able to call those foster children yours forever and welcome them into your family.
Or that first night you have with your baby at home after being in the NICU for what felt like an eternity.
I haven’t felt the the all-encompassing, life-giving joy of loving an amazing child with down syndrome.
Or what it feels like to selflessly care for a special-needs child day-in and day-out and the unique strength it gives between your whole family.
I haven’t felt the feeling of triumph of a mom of a child with a sensory disorder as she rejoices in the success of one silly chicken nugget.
And I haven’t experienced those specific moments that have knit you together so tightly with your own children, be it through triumph, victory, or grief.
Just as you have not experienced the tears and treasured moment I shared with my daughter and her bottle one night while I thanked the Lord for healing after several long months.
I haven’t felt these moments. But I know women who have. I know strong, beautiful, God-fearing women who have felt these joys that tie them so closely to their little ones. You know them too.
Mommas, we won’t know every experience. But between the day-in and day-out and the incredibly painful- we are gifted some amazing and unique moments with these babies of ours. Somehow in this amazing gift to us, we also get to experience them together. We can be there for each other in the grief, and we get to be there together in incredible joy (Rom 12:15).
Our stories may be so different, but they come together in a glorious testimony to the power of our King of Kings. Let’s rejoice together today.