Why is it that my brain always waits until designated shut down time to consider the happenings of the day? My head is busy with upset, thoughts, ramblings. Especially focussing on the words of the doctor that ‘you didn’t have to stop breastfeeding with these new antipsychotics. There just is not a lot of research. But I guess we usually recommend women in your case to stop anyway.’
And so tonight Mr. A was blending some steak and veg for Master X who was becoming increasingly frustrated, restless, agitated and I was trying to placate him with games, songs and tickles. And then the words of the psychiatrist popped into my head and I asked Mr. A
do you mind if I try to nurse Master X?
Even as I hastily drew my shirt upward to undo my bra, it felt different. Like thirstily grabbing at straws when all you really want to do is drink the beverage from the cup itself. It felt weird, but I was compelled, driven by grief, by need, by the desire to comfort my son in that way that I had for so many months, on so many occasions. Master X looked wary and hesitated for a moment before gaping his mouth- not wide enough- to latch. It tugged, it pulled, it felt fresh and new. We tried again. And again. And I knew that it was over. Like trying to hook up with an ex lover after you both have already had your heart broken.
The road map has disappeared, the leaking is almost gone (I express every two days now) and it was evident from his lack of sucking that there was no milk for Master X. I knew this, thus the decision to try, one more time, for comfort rather than food. I thought that perhaps (foolishly) I could nurse him during times of distress. Those times that used to make me feel drained like nursing to sleep, through immunisations, co-sleeping. All the things that we can no longer do, and that were ripped so quickly from our hearts, from our bodies. I wanted to be present to the last time; and to see if hope availed, or if indeed this could be a new beginning.
So tomorrow I will not breastfeed, but I will- for the first time since cessation- spend the morning skin to skin. Because I miss him close, taken too soon, to fast, too hastily from the nourishment of my body. But now I know that it is indeed over. And that is okay.