…where a brave and beautiful bunch gather every week to find out what comes out when we all spend five minutes writing on the same topic and then sharing ‘em over here.
I feel a pause in the gentle tug and a rustle in the gauzy blanket as she latches on again. I grit my teeth to keep from startling her and mentally calculate how much cream I have left to repair the damage. Enough. Certainly enough for this tear. Shaking my head I sigh and resume typing in the early morning glow of the computer. It’s been almost eight months this time. Six years ago I started learning how to feed my children. Through pain, exhaustion, anxiety and more help than any woman daydreaming about motherhood could imagine ever needing I’ve plodded along. One day at a time. One nursing at a time. Over and over I tell myself just one more time. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. If it’s too much there are plenty of other ways to grow these sweet chubby darlings. Plenty of people are happy to offer them bottles filled with whatever I send along.
No one said it would be this hard.
Or this filled with wonder.
When Zuzu woke I would roll over and she would nurse and ease back into slumber. Eventually the feeding plan wasn’t necessary and the reassurances that a bottle won’t hurt her didn’t raise my heart rate. Two and a half years later I assumed she would have weaned herself, but she knew better than me that her sister would need her help. Somehow.
When the Quail was born we were filled with wonder as she latched on for the first time. We were filled with worry later when it didn’t get any easier. When every trick and turn didn’t abate the daily struggle. When one referral led to another we plodded along. Just one more day. Just one more nursing. She is growing. They’re wrong. She can do this. In the end one way or another she did receive the milk for 15 months.
This spring, I wondered which time it would be more like. If any of the tricks and turns would make this any easier or if we would start from scratch yet again. If the combined chaos of two rascally doting sisters would keep me from feeding this baby the same way I had fed the others. Either way; one day at a time, one nursing at a time.
It isn’t like either time. And yet it’s the same. It’s filled with pain and irritation. With gentleness and comfort. It’s filled with wonder. Hers and mine. As I watch her easily double in size and snuggle the gauze up to her cheek. As she bashfully grins at me and her dad and sisters from her nest in my lap. As I feel her pause in the steady rhythm I look down to meet her sparkling gaze in wonder.