1) A bottle was never fully adequate for my baby. She would take a couple ounces from a bottle at most, then turn her nose up at it. I felt guilty leaving her with her daddy or grandma for more than a couple hours while she was exclusively breastfed.
2) My child has an obsession with hair. She likes to twirl, pull, and run her fingers through my hair. Especially while she was nursing, and even more so when she would nurse in our bed at night. It was painful and kept me awake. And forget about trying to move her hands, she would go ballistic. It turns out this is a kind of security blanket for her. Once she discovered her own hair she started running her fingers through it to fall asleep.
3) Breast pumps suck. Sure they are incredibly miraculous inventions. But I'd be willing to bet that anyone who tells you that they love pumping is lying to you. Although I didn't have to pump very often it's still not fun being tied up to a machine, especially when milk output is never the same while pumping as it is while actually nursing. That being said I still loved my Medela Pump in Style. It was hands down the best shower gift I received.
4) I went bra shopping for the first time post-breastfeeding. I needed new bras and finally decided to just do it. I got fitted at Soma and the woman said I was a 36D. I looked at her like she had two heads and responded, "that can't be right. I stopped breastfeeding almost a month ago and I was a 34B pre-pregnancy." She brought me a C cup instead. I walked out the door with a nude colored 36D wrapped in white tissue paper. I'd be elated with growing two cup sizes if it didn't mean my boobs now resembled limp deflated balloons. I suppose that how it goes though. I get to feed my little girl the best a mother can offer and feel great about it, but I have to sacrifice my youthful perkiness. That's what push-up bras are for right?
Reasons I loved breastfeeding:
1) I didn't have to mess with bottles or formula. It seems so much easier when the tools are attached to you and ready to go at a seconds notice.
2) I knew I was giving her exactly what she needed. Breastmilk changes as your baby grows to provide him or her with exactly what their growing body needs. I didn't have to worry about what the ingredients were or if Ayla was getting everything she needed.
3) I adored the bonding experience. The way your baby looks at you while you're nursing her is unlike anything you'll experience. She needs you and you alone to survive and it's as if she really knows that.
It's also a very primal feeling. You're feeding your child the exact same way mothers have been feeding their children forever.
4) It made me sit and be still. No matter what was going on if Ayla was hungry I had to stop and feed her. It forced me to sit and be still for a little while. I'd stop and focus on just her. It was like pressing a pause button for just a couple of minutes.
5) I knew it wouldn't be forever. I got to lay in bed with her at night while she nursed. I got to stroke her soft cheeks, kiss her sweet head, and memorize that beautiful face. I knew it wouldn't be long before she wouldn't want me to hold her for more than a few seconds. Babies don't keep and I savored those moments.