No Space Between Us

Posted on May 3, 2016


Dear baby daughter

By the time you read this and understand that I breast fed you for the first 10 months of your life, you’ll probably be a teenager and will wrinkle up your nose and pretend to vomit at the thought. And that’s OK. It will be weird to you. I thought it was weird when my mum told me. Like, yuk.
But know this, little one, I grew to love it. lt was about the only thing that I could do right. I made a mess of the rest of it, and initially felt like a trapped cow when feeding you; constantly attached, 12 times a day, drained. Such a change for me, so used to pouring everything into a suitcase and disappearing somewhere hot and sticky at a moment’s notice, answerable to no-one, suddenly plugged into a mini vacuum cleaner.
But now the breast-feeding is coming to an end and I am so, so sad. I will miss that physical attachment, your buttery skin pressed against mine, inhaling that reassuring mummy smell, grunting away, pulling my hair as you feed, watching me, always watching me, out of the corner of your eye, your long lashes beating away. I see you mummy. And when you couldn’t reach my hair, you would play with your own. And the smell. Why did your hair always smell of baked beans?
Right here, in this little nook, is where I saw your first smile – your eyes locked with mine, then a frown, a look of surprise and your lips turned up at the side and you beamed at me. Oh look, there’s someone attached to this milk bottle and she seems nice…
By tomorrow, it will all be over and I am treasuring the last few days; the morning feed at stupid o’clock. I never used to see 6am, now it is our special time. Ten months of early mornings have made me look ten years older; pregnancy and breastfeeding has turned my skin into sandpaper; my hair is like wire wool. There are little bald patches where you tugged on my hair for comfort as you fed, battling with your reflux. You did that to me, you little scamp. But I know in years to come I will want to feel this way all over again.
There was never any space between us. Soon there will be. You’ll forget this. But I never will.
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