Breastfeed, motherhood, Mothering, Newborn, Parenthood, Parenting

Ritual

Our Ritual.

We sit down and assume the position. She knows what’s coming and she lacks any semblance of patience. She starts off frantic. She’s hungry, damn it, and this girl needs to eat. Her head thrashes about, her mouth ajar, tongue moving in and out of her little mouth. In this moment she looks like a lizard and I giggle every time. She makes contact with my nipple and she burrows her face into my breast as though I were possibly leaving at some point. Her arm embraces my breast. Her hands hold on and I melt into my chair. I’m watching her grow and develop motor skills in amazement. She gulps in as much milk as she can and inhales deeply – over and over. Almost instantly, she calms down. She gazes into my eyes and her eyes widen. I think to myself, “Your pupils dilate when you see something you love. She must love me.” She continues to eat and she genuinely seems to be at peace. A smile cracks while she eats and a stream of milk dribbles down her chin. I’ve never seen such pure joy and I’ve certainly never felt anything quite like this before. I am completely serene.

Every time we go through our ritual, I remember that I have never known a love so pure. I have never felt a bond so strong. I certainly have never felt so at peace or more like myself. I never thought one experience would define me, and yet, becoming her mother has made me find myself. So, as we sit together embracing and eating in the morning’s first light, I am beyond grateful. I am elated. I am calm. I am amorous. I am protective. I am stronger than I was yesterday. I am amazed at everything about our circumstances. I am the simplest and most complicated aspects of myself. I am her mother.

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