“Why are you so worried about your milk? He asked, after I broke into tears.
It was 7am and I couldn’t help but let the pooling tears run down my cheeks. I had been awake most of the night feeding El, who just never seemed to be satisfied. The day before had seemed a pointless day to wear a shirt and bra, because my breasts were out all day, on demand to her. She was finally asleep, my breasts were empty and deflated, like they had been all night, yet the mere thought of feeding her left me leaking more than just tears.
Maybe I have been obsessed lately. I know El has a small tongue tie, and I know what that could mean for our breastfeeding relationship. I have mentioned it to everyone from the postpartum nurse in the hospital, to the pediatrician who looked after her there, to the home care nurses drawing her bilirubin, to my own family doctor. Everyone just keeps telling me not to worry about it because she’s feeding and growing well. But her latch is shallow. I know it could be a lot better, and I fear that while she gets enough milk now, she might not get enough in the future. I love breastfeeding my babies, and she is the last one. I want to breastfeed her for a long time.
So, why shouldn’t I obsess? This beautiful baby was part of me – she came from my own body and flesh. Now that she is born, she is still part of me; everything that provides for her, nourishes her, and keeps her happy and alive is from me. She knows my voice and she knows it means comfort, fulfillment, closeness, and love. I am the only person in her world who can give her all of that by simply holding her in my arms and offering her my body.
It is not just milk. That milk is me. I AM the milk.
My beautiful baby drinks me in and for those minutes – those hours – we are one again.
I am not ready for that to end, so I can’t help but worry about my milk.