Sunday, January 02, 2011


It's really quiet out there today. Been raining all day, gentle summer rain.
The occasional fog horn from the sea, the afternoon call to prayer, but mostly, quiet.

A relief after the relentless wind of the last week, the fanfare of Christmas and NYE. A welcome start to the year. The gift of a quiet summer Sunday.
A pause before it all begins anew.

I've nearly finished breastfeeding. Down to just 2 feeds at night. It's been much easier than I anticipated, I'm equal parts relieved and saddened.
It's such a weird thing nourishing a child from your own body. The umbilical cord gets severed at birth but the bond it began stays so much longer, forever one might argue. But most especially while you're still feeding your baby from yourself, your body working tirelessly to produce that which your child needs to physically thrive.
Chemically there are lactation hormones at work, hormones which make a breastfeeding mother stress less (although some may disagree!) etc, but emotionally there's this strange thing going on. This knowledge that you are the person keeping this other person alive.
Sure anyone could pick up formula from the corner store, your baby wouldn't expire if you did, and you know this, but still you've an emotional involvement, a dedication, which runs deep.
Added to this your scheduling is all around those feeds, every other time-based decision, plan, commitment, has to factor in when and where you'll be doing the next feed.
Add it all together and that's some noisy head-space you got there.

And then you stop, and suddenly there's some quiet. There's a full tin of formula in the kitchen, enough frozen mush in the freezer for a week. There's rice cakes and dried mango and grated cheese aplenty. There are other hands around to administer all the above.
And there's your baby, starting her life-long relationship with FOOD. Experiencing the tastes and textures and mind-blowing array of what's on offer. Learning to work her tongue and jaw, working those gums and (in our case 2) little teeth. Watching her sister and parents eat, learning to recognise smells, colours, shapes. It's huge.

So while she's distracted I step quietly back, and find that my head is quieter too. That there's some space in there quite keen to be filled with other things, some thoughts and feelings whose silhouettes I recognise as they emerge from the fog.
There's some slightly different life to be lived out there, and while I've no illusions it'll be any calmer or less hectic then any other part of my life, for now I'll savour this quiet place from which to view it, and slowly start making some plans to live it.

1 comment:

Dani said...

This is beautifully described Molly! Thanks for sharing with us such personal thoughts!