Now, fast forward two and a half years later and I am a regular wet nurse on call for Baby E.
I've been given the amazing opportunity to nurse E a bit over the past two weeks. This has been such a gift to me. Before I talk a bit about what it is like to nurse a surrogate child, I first want to thank M&T for allowing me to do this, for trusting me to do this and for letting me experience nursing one more blessed time.
From the very bottom of my heart, thank you.
As the big day approached though we decided to go ahead and attempt latch nursing in the hospital. My world moved. I was so happy to have the opportunity! When the big moment came though, my first thought was, "What am I getting myself into?" Nursing has always been intensely emotional and a deep bonding experience for me. I knew I didn't want to create that sort of bond, only to have to break it in the coming weeks. I had a bit of trepidation about if I was emotionally up to opening the door to that potential bond. But, perhaps selfishly, I couldn't turn down the opportunity to try. It was best for both baby and tummy mummy from a health perspective... and my heart fluttered at the idea to nurse one more time.
Then Ellie latched on. I swelled with pride at her natural ability. In that moment I knew that I'd be able to nurse without forming that bond. Over the next two weeks I would pump like mad and nurse whenever it was convenient for all parties involved.(PS- Thank you to the other latch surrogates who I consulted about this before doing this. You told me a bond wouldn't form, and I just had to trust you. You were right. Thank you for your wisdom.)
Through the experience I never felt a growing attachment through the nursing. What I felt instead was pride in her ability to eat, and my ability to produce. And I got some wonderful cuddles in the process. Win-Win.
As the end of this experience draws near, I feel as though the nursing has actually helped me to more comfortably distance myself from Ellie, as opposed to grow nearer to her. It has given me the opportunity to still matter to her and still help give her the best shot at life that I can. I didn't have to quit mattering cold turkey.