Saturday, August 6, 2011

Mama's Milk

“Blessed is the womb that bore you and the breasts at which you nursed.” –Luke 11:27

“Mother, remember the blink of an eye when I breathed through your body.” –Sam Beam

“Yet you are he who took me from the womb;
You made me trust you at my mother’s breast.” –Psalm 22:9

This month is breastfeeding awareness month. In honor of this month, I have purposed to write a tribute to the ladies in my life who have made this a priority in their lives.

First up is the Mother of God, the Virgin Mary, who nourished at her breast the Lord Jesus Christ. “All generations shall call me blessed”, she said, and so we do. What an example of selflessness, of dying to ourselves so that we may truly live. From the cross, Christ said to John “Here is your mother”, and so, in the deepest sense, she is the mother of all who believe, the mother of the Church. “A sword shall pierce through your soul”, it was said to her, and she was continually submissive to pain, to suffering. She conquered just as her son did, by lowering herself to the level of slave, of servant. What has all this to do with breastfeeding? Everything! This seemingly simple, natural, biological outpouring of a mother for her child is at once the essence and the image of what it means to be like God. We are all as humans meant to pour out ourselves for each other, to be united by our mutual submission to each other, to give each other 100% of who we are. The mother of God has given herself completely to God and in so doing has given herself completely to all. By her outpouring of milk, of her own life, she has nourished us all, given us life by bearing and breastfeeding Christ who “is all and is in all”. And so I honor her, the most blessed mother, who continually intercedes for us now filled with the love of the Holy Trinity.

Next, I’d like to write about my own mother. She breastfed me. She raised me with a deep regard for nature, for music, for people, for God. I know it was hard for her, but she poured herself out. I was the first of my siblings to be born at home. When I look back at the pictures from the day I was born, I can see exhaustion and satisfaction in my mother’s eyes. She took me to the breast that day and comforted me. How thankful I am for that fact, and how rarely I think of it. We all have been cared for by our parents in one way or another, to one degree or another, but to have spent those first hours of life, not in the nursery, not under a heat lamp, but in my mother’s arms, in my parents bed with yummy colostrum in my tummy, is a great blessing for which I rarely express gratitude. Those of us who have been breastfed from infancy often don’t realize what a great gift we’ve been given, especially in a society that disdains anything that keeps us from doing what we want. Thank you, Mom.

Last, but not least, I would like to praise my wife who has dutifully nursed our daughters for almost 24 months (not consecutively) so far. What a challenge! She has pressed on through discouragement. I’ve watched her feed our daughters during long trips in the back seat, watched her feed an infant who continually wakes up time-after-time when laid down for sleep. She rarely complains and makes me wish I had more to give to our girls. We both have set out to give our daughters the best start possible. Breastfeeding is such a huge part of that. The nutrition and the bonding, the comfort and the closeness are all so important for that first year or so of life. My wife is doing an amazing job, despite all the setbacks. It is my goal as a husband to encourage her as much as possible and this is one way of doing that. Keep it up, baby! You are amazing and I love you!

To all the breastfeeding mommies out there, God bless you! Don’t give up!

1 comment:

  1. You're wife is so lucky to have such a supportive husband! It seems like a rare thing to find a man who supports breastfeeding.