Well, there is What to Expect First Year, and then there is real life. Breastfeeding is a hard, painful, stressful, frustrating, amazing job. In the first couple of months, the painful/stressful part wore me down. As the task grew easier, it was just something that we did. I was just feeding my child, and I think I overlooked the bond that we created. Only in the past month as we've begun weaning have I been able to truly see what breastfeeding has done for me and Evie.
One of my most precious memories is related to breastfeeding Evie. It was the morning after she was born. She was still in the NICU, but her breathing troubles had cleared up, and they allowed me to nurse her for the first time. The nurse took us to a private family room, and helped me get comfortable. She helped me get her to latch for the first time, and then she left the room to give us some privacy. That first nursing session didn't last very long, neither one of us really knew what we were doing. Evie unlatched, and I began talking to her. She looked at me and she recognized my voice. I started crying, and I held her close. I think I tried to get her to latch a few more times, and I honestly don't remember how it all ended.
Lately, nursing has been challenging. My little girl would rather explore the world than breastfeed. It's bittersweet, but I will always have irreplaceable memories all of the quiet times when it was just two the of us.