"IT'S NOT THE LENGTH OF THE GESTATION, IT'S THE EXTENT OF THE ATTACHMENT."


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Closest I've Come

I've always wondered what breastfeeding was like. The sensation, the satisfaction, the frustration, the nurturing, the bond.

I felt robbed of my inability to breastfeed. My breast became engorged, full and ready to feed. They became hard and knotty. They were round and large. The nurses and everything I read online urged me against rubbing them, against stimulating the nipple, against letting the overly warm soothing water hit them. I did all of these things I was urged not to do. I wanted to feel what it was like. In a way, it was curiosity but it was also a form of punishment.

I asked my mother and my mother-in-law what it was like. My MIL said it "feels like someone is sucking on your nipple" and my mother said it felt "like an orgasm". Maybe to them that's what it was like, but to me it'll be something different.

Today after I lay LD down for his nap, I tried to put down his brother too. He wasn't fussy, but he wasn't exactly happy either. He needed to sleep. He tried to get there and I rocked and swayed, I sat and stood. I walked and hummed. My usual method of holding him on my left shoulder, placing my right arm underneath his bum and folding my left arm across his back and cupping his head wasn't working.

I finally sat down, propped up with pillows behind me and folded my right leg over my left knee. I held him across my belly and his head rested in the crevice of my elbow. I rocked him softly, admired the curves of his sweet face, and listened to his sighs. His eyes fluttered until they were completely still. His cheek grazed up against my breast and he began to suckle.

I provided him a place of comfort.

It's the closest I've come to knowing what it's like.

7 comments:

Rachel said...

I think it feels different for everyone. The one thing that I think is similar to all is that it is comforting to know you comforted a baby.

Antigone said...

I remember being in the ninth grade and reading The Grapes of Wrath. At the very end a new mother nursed a starving dustbowl refugee. It wasn't until much later that I understood the power of such a symbolic gesture.

Amanda said...

I agree with how unfair it is that your milk still comes in after you loss your baby. I had milk for almost a month after Logan, I kept wanting it to dry up but when it finally did I cried, b/c it was the last reminder (other than the stretchmarks) that I was ever prego. ((((HUGS))) and I hope one day we both will feel the joy and bond of nursing our baby/babies. LOVERS...

Seraphim said...

I'm hoping that you will be able to do it for your baby sometime (soon) xxx

Becky said...

I can totally relate to that feeling. Perhaps that's why breastfeeding was so important to me, and why I spiraled into a depression when I was unable to breastfeed Lily.

I dreamed about it. I still dream about it. To me, it's the epitome of being a mother.

There is nothing sweeter than holding a baby the way you described. You'll know that feeling soon, I know it.

Reese said...

You post reminded me of a recent conversation I had with Peyton about how Salma Hayek nursed that starving African baby. He asked would I do that? And I said absolutely. He was shocked!

Only women know what it's like to give that kind of comfort. It is ingrained in us.

Your time is coming, sweet girl. I pray for it every night for you....

Reese

jaded said...

i just read this, it really hit home, just how natural being a mother comes to you and i will never stop beleiving that that day for you is on it's way.

i never had my milk come in, and i am thankful for that. it is painful enough to be without your child and then have to deal with that. i know that one day you will be able to tell someone all about breast-feeeding, from firsthand experience.