Monday, January 25, 2010

Exciting :)

Parenting is a scary thing. Not because it's impossible, but simply because it's challenging.  Also, (and more importantly) I think it's because there is so much Love involved.  It's hard to love someone as much as a parent loves her child.  That is, the natural, over-flowing, unconditional Love that a parent has for her child makes her vulnerable to all the ups and downs in that child's life and in their relationship as parent-child.

There are many other fears that come with parenting, too.  There are so many unknowns, so many things you have to "discover for yourself."  What parent hasn't called his own parent at 3 in the morning, exhausted, saying: "I don't know what to do"? These fears are not prohibitive, of course, but they loom on the horizon of any expectant parent.

So, thinking about adoption is a little scary, too.  Not because I think I can't be a parent, but because all my parenting knowledge up to this point has been from biological parents who raised biological children.  I'm not saying this is an "easier" or "better" way, it's just that I have little experience with parenting a non-biological child.  I've done my fair share of babysitting of course (nieces and nephews, siblings-in-law, high school babysitting jobs), and as much as I love the kids, it's not parenting.  I mean, you can always give that kid back when the 'rents come home, right? :)

I confess one of my fears when we were first thinking about adoption was "What about breastfeeding?"  Breastfeeding has been shown to provide far more than merely nourishment for infants--there is an irreplaceable bond between the mother and child who breastfeed.  I recall those moments when the screaming (but not hungry) baby can't be comforted by anyone but its mother (who can only comfort him by nursing).

But guess what!  I just discovered that women who have never been pregnant (i.e., me) can induce lactation by natural (i.e. no hormonal supplementing) means!  I may not be able to produce a full supply of milk, but any breast milk for baby is better than none, and the bond would still be there. And there are ways of "breastfeeding" using formula (or donated breast milk).  Possibilities abound.

One of the things I think of most, when imagining motherhood, is holding my baby close to my chest, watching him nurse, feeling our skin touch and knowing the closeness that comes with such contact.  I think about him looking up at me and smiling, and about those quiet moments in the morning, or the middle of the night, as I pull him close to me and sooth him to sleep. I think about being that one person who can comfort him when no one else can.

And it's beautiful :)

More info, if you're curious:


  1. Everything you said here is true. I don't think you can ever be fully prepared for the roller coaster ride of parenthood. But that's no reason to be afraid, now is it?

    Breastfeeding does make motherhood easier. I helps with bonding, getting the child to sleep, and various other things. But even mothers who do not nurse can be phenomenal mothers, too. I know you know that already, but it is something to keep in mind. Like the la leche article says, you can still hold your baby often during feedings and in between them. It is interesting that you needn't not have been pregnant in the past to induce lactation. I'm sure you can look more into it...good luck!

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