What's Another Year?
This week we celebrated Clara’s first birthday. It’s quite an accomplishment in that we managed to keep Clara alive for one whole year! “What’s another year?”, Johnny Logan asked back in 1980 when he represented Ireland in the Eurovision. Well for me, as a father, this has been the best year of my life. I have seen tremendous changes in Clara but I only realise how significant these changes are when I look back at photos. A good friend of mine recently had a baby and I find it hard to believe that Clara was once so tiny.
We had a small family gathering for Clara’s first birthday party and had a lovely afternoon. I reckon she enjoyed being the centre of attention and she received some beautiful presents.
Clara’s first birthday has been a massive milestone for my wife, Barbara. She has breastfed Clara for one whole year! Her Breastfeeding Facebook group has given her immense support when times were difficult. She could have stopped breastfeeding altogether but she persevered and her determination was second to none. Breastfeeding is not for everyone, I know that and it’s a personal choice. I know what you’re thinking. What is this guy talking about breastfeeding for? He’s a man! He hasn’t got a clue!
And you may be right. But all l can do is speak about my own personal experiences of breastfeeding and how amazing the journey has been for Clara, my wife and for me too.
If you think I’m going to list off the benefits of breastfeeding here, well you’re wrong. Google can tell you that. Breastfeeding is something my wife wanted to do before Clara was even born and I would support her decision no matter what.
I have great admiration for my wife for sticking with it when times were tough. She did all the night feeds and I’m sure at times it was tempting to switch to bottles so that I could take over and she could get some well deserved sleep. Yes she was sore. Yes she had mastitis. Yes it was uncomfortable but the bond between the pair of them is the most beautiful vision in the world.
Both friends and strangers comment on how Clara is such a happy baby when they meet her. Maybe the breastfeeding has something to do with it? Or maybe she’s just so happy from laughing at my dad jokes? Whatever the reason, we are blessed.
In breastfeeding circles, mothers have Boobie Awards, Nursiversaries or Breastfeeding Milestone Awards, whereby they are given an award to acknowledge their efforts for the length of time they spend breastfeeding. (Silver 6 months, Gold 12 months, Platinum 18 months and so on). I felt that it was important to mark this important golden milestone for my wife. I wanted to show her my appreciation for her efforts so I wrote her a short poem and gave her a little award. My mum gave her the beautiful Breastfeeding figurine.
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