what it’s like to breastfeed.
Before I had my first child I wondered how my breasts, small by society’s measure, could produce enough milk to grow a human. The moment 'L’ latched, ‘J' looked at me in awe and asked, “what does it feel like?” I said “it feels like what I’m supposed to do” - what I’m built to do. The feeling wasn’t laced with consciousness of lips and tongue on nipple; the only thing turned on was the faucet of liquid love she’d drink from. I cannot capture the feeling of breastfeeding in physical sensations alone. To breastfeed my child feels like plugging in to life force. I’m the force - she’s the life. And I’m the life, and he’s the force. And the circuits are live.
Exchanging information with other moms about “well, what I do is...” and with experts who offer “maybe you should…” disconnects me from my power source and into my head, a place from where no woman has successfully breastfed. Oh I’ve tried. I’ve project managed the collection containers, the counting of ounces, best storage practices, ideal schedules and systems to track those schedules, how to increase my supply, maintain supply, donate my supply, supplement my supply…
I’ve tried to navigate and caretake all the people who support me, but who also ask questions that suggest they’re not entirely sure what my son’s milk and my breasts have to do with each other...I’m exaggerating a little, but as soon as I decide to invite support and rely on someone else to nourish my babe, even when I choose it, I panic. More to manage.
unmet expectations. and while I’m away...where to put the milk and for how long and at what temperature and under whose watch?
"HONOR THIS LOVE CURRENT OR ELSE!"
Tuning in to the instinct, the truth carried in that current is a sure bet. When to fight, to surrender, to give more and when to receive is all programmed into that liquid love that flows between us.
And oh, the JOY! Over and over and over and over we plug into each other to activate pleasure, to remedy pain, to arm our immune systems, provide each other comfort, and baby, you will grow and I will marvel at the miracle of it. I will tear up with pride, I will simmer with the power that stirs my blood into breastmilk. And I will seethe at anything less than reverence of my love expressed.
My love expressed is 22 lbs. and is carried in the being and the body of a little boy who knows his mama's power.
My love expressed has eight teeth, and is flashed in a smile that melts human hearts.
My love expressed is a source of life for millions.