I must say, I just recently just discovered what in the world Ina May Gaskin's famous saying, "Your body is not a lemon", really means. Sitting around talking with all my birthy friends at a dinner table right next to Ina May herself, no doubt, I got the answer.
Turns out I was WAY OFF!
A lemon is a car, often new, that is found to be defective only after it has been bought. Any vehicle with numerous, severe issues can be termed a "lemon", and, by extension, any product with flaws too great or severe to serve its purpose can be described as a "lemon".
Now I get it! This analogy makes perfect sense to me!
I know many women refer to this saying for birth. But, it also makes me think of the rest of what she says. "The Creator is not a careless mechanic." I totally agree! Just think of how intricately we are designed.
I believe we were created by God. And, the woman was created from man and given a womb...thus being called womb-man...woman. He gave us all the tools we would need to bare, carry, feed and nurture our children. It was a very well thought out creation.
First off, we women have a cycle. Typically it is 28 days or so. And, during the middle of that cycle we have been given ways to detect our fertility by observing our cervical fluids and noting the changes to our body. It has the very signs to tell us when we can get pregnant...or not...depending on what you are trying to accomplish.
He gave us the organs to grow a baby. We were born with all the eggs we will ever have. Each month during our cycle one (or more) is released and travels down the fallopian tube to become pregnant or not. If not, our uterus sheds the lining it has prepared for a pregnancy. If the egg gets fertilized, it plants itself into the uterus and grows for 9 months.. Our body is amazing. It grows this baby! This video is a wonderful representation how a baby grows during it time inside its mother.
And, believe it or not, our body has the remarkable capability of completing the pregnancy (on its own) and telling you to go into labor. Your body was designed to trigger labor on its own when the baby is fully ready. Our bodies were created with amazing pain receptors that give us the ability to help our bodies birth a baby. When unaltered by drugs, the brain and uterus work in perfect unison to complete the amazing task of sending messages to your body on how to give birth.
If unmedicated, a mother will feel the most amazing cocktail of love hormones created by her own body that she has ever felt in her entire life. These hormones help create the initial bond and love between a mother and her child. This is not to say that a mother who was medicated during birth does not immediately love her child, please don't get me wrong. But, she is missing out of the most amazing drug-free high she could ever experience in her life after a birth with no drugs.
He gave us breasts to feed our babies and sustain their lives. Need I say more?
We truly are an amazing design! So, your body is not a lemon. Yes, I understand that some of us have trouble conceiving, carrying a child, or breastfeeding and I am truly saddened by this struggle. But, it wasn't first created as a faulty design and in today's world, I believe we should still be seen as beautiful creations!
I must say, I had no expectations of what breastfeeding was going to be like. I only knew that I was going to do it. My mother nursed all five of her own children and I didn't really know any other way.
One evening when I was pregnant, my husband and I were discussing how long to breastfeed. He came to the conclusion that once the baby was old enough to ask for it, that should be the cut off point. He thinks a bit differently now, as that would have been last summer!
As I push my cart down the grocery aisle and tote my nearly 22 month old to the park and other public places, it is apparent that we are quite through yet. I gently pull his hand out from my shirt and tell him we will have "mi-mi" when we get home. Sometimes we sit off in a quiet corner together nursing in public, as I don't mind taking the time if we have it. I guess that is a perk of being the firstborn and only child thus far. I've nursed him in some pretty creative spaces.
Yes, we have gotten some wayward glares and noses pointed up at us occasionally. I am not quite sure what the lady was thinking as she passed us in the back aisle at the fabric store, as I sat nursing on a step ladder. But, it doesn't matter. I am not nursing a toddler to prove any points. I am not nursing in public so that you have to watch me and be subjected to all my my attachment parenting ways. I am tending to my child for HIS benefit, not for my own.
Nursing a toddler has its challenges for sure. For me, it's been his acrobatic moves and constant squirminess to get comfy and settled into the perfect position. Wowzers, those teeth can be rough!
(oh, hold on, I need to go nurse.)
Ok, where was I? Oh, yes, the challenges. Did I mention It was anytime and anywhere? But, you know what they say...no child ever leaves home in diapers. I think that applies to nursing too.
But, there are some awesome benefits to nursing a toddler too! Relish the time while you can mommies. It will be long over way too soon.
The very best part of all (and the thing that keeps me going) is the times when he just finishes nursing, looks right at me and exclaims "mmmmm, gooood mimi!" It doesn't get much better than that.
I am not sure how long I will nurse. I have no plans. We are working that out one day at a time.
Happy Breastfeeding Mommies!
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