I know this seems odd…to write a letter to my chest. But for me, they have done so much, and not only for me but for my daughters. I had always been maternal, from the moment I could walk and carry around a baby doll. God had fully intended to make me a mother, it was part of my destiny. To love and care for another being, to put another before myself.
When I gave birth to Halen we had zero issues breastfeeding, she latched immediately and our forever bond had been solidified. Halen and I were attached to the hip exclusively for the next six months…and pretty close to exclusive for the next year after that. We loved our cuddle time, Halen loved nursing. I was able to provide her all the nutrition she needed for the beginning of life, I was able to provide her with comfort, safety, love and closeness. Her temperature regulated when she was skin to skin with me. She would immediately calm when in my arms. Those 18 months brought us a connection that can never be torn apart. Halen still talks about those close moments together.
Nursing Halen in the hospital. Henley is milk drunk in the wee hours of the morning.
When Henley was born, she also latched immediately. Our forever bond was sealed from that moment forward. Henley also loved nursing, her and I would have extraordinary one on one, skin to skin moments that would bring sustenance, security, protection, unconditional love, and closeness only I could provide her. Henley and I were attached singularly for the next 6 months and pretty close to exclusive for another six after that. I heartbreakingly had to wean Henley long before her or I were ready. But with my diagnosis, it was essential to stop breastfeeding.
In all that being said, it is a bittersweet farewell to the body part that provided my children and I so much happiness, unity, and health. I provided my daughters with antibodies which will help protect them for the rest of their lives. My breasts helped create that bond I only dreamt of prior to becoming a mom. I absolutely adored my maternity leave with both my daughters. My oxytocin was flying high even in the wee hours of the morning. I wouldn’t have traded the exhaustion for anything. If I could I would start my mothering days all over in an instant to relive those days.
Today, my right breast will be removed in a unilateral mastectomy. It is with sorrow for the past, but eagerness for the future that I say…thank you. Thank you for those unforgettable, priceless moments with my daughters. Thank you for providing them everything they needed nutritionally and emotionally. Thank you for functioning for me to be able to have the blessing of a smooth breastfeeding journey. Thank you. And now I say farewell…you have done your job and I am no longer in need of your service. I look forward to the next 65 years of health, happiness, incredible love and great adventure.
I love this picture I was able to create of Henley nursing. Truly shows the life bond we shared.
The last time I ever nursed.