Sunday, January 26, 2014

Pieces and Parts

I'm not sure when it all started, but one day I turned and found that my patterned bag was not with me.

Earlier that morning before the sun had even thought about rising, we prepared for our day as usual when I developed a sudden repulsion to the bag. It was almost as if a physical illness had swept in through the garage door as the trash was taken out and held it's grip on my body, striking absolute palpitations to my heart and fever to my brain. Paralyzed, frantic and feeling slightly crazy, I just walked out. 

And just like that, the bag never came to work with me again.

It's only in moments of pure silence or when I'm asked what I'm feeding my child do I start to let the pieces and parts creep in. Pieces of guilt so heavy they weigh on my shoulders, knowing I had no real reason to quit other than the sudden suffocation I felt in nursing my child. Parts of tormenting when I beat myself up, researching the web, reading stats, comparing myself to others and defining nursing as the only trait of a good mom. Pieces of sadness that I didn't take a moment to celebrate and commemorate our last session together. In fact, I don't remember it at all. Parts that ache, sag and leak as they adjust, knowing that our infant still longs to take from the breast. Pieces of heartbreak in the week it took to teach him he'll have to find comfort elsewhere, because it would no longer be at Mommy's chest that he would find it. Pieces that chide myself for doing something that seemed to come quite easily to me, milk abundant and efficient and free. Parts that feel like I'm an imposter as I advocate for nursing and advise my girlfriends around the clock, yet haven't kept up with it myself. Pieces that felt incredibly selfish for hanging up the black bag when women all over the world are fighting daily to get an ounce. Parts that wonder if he'll not thrive as well as the first one for quitting "so early." 

Thankfully silence is a rarity around our neck of the woods, so in a moment of controlled chaos I bagged it all up and found much of it a new home. And though it felt amazing to wash and sterilize all those tiny parts for what I was guessing was the last time, I found myself battling my brain to resist reminiscing.

There were all those trips we'd been on together. The sisterhood that comes from pumping mothers. The competition with oneself to create more and more nourishment. The laughter that comes from the inconvenience of pumping at concerts, on airplanes, in cars and in places that seem unfathomable. The pride in providing such magical nourishment to your growing child. The peacefulness of the night and closeness of your little one as you bond in only the way woman and child can. 

Why wasn't that enough?

Most days are so harried I can get through without spending too much time getting personal with myself to try and answer this question.  Most moments are still joyful as the infant's stomach has adjusted, his rolls continue to expand, and his heart and personality that go with it.

It's been nearly two weeks and a roller coaster of emotions to accompany those 14 days. And while I sure as hell don't miss washing all those pieces and parts, the obligation of them literally sucking away at the layer before my soul, I'm still having to work hard to shut out those other pieces and parts. 

So I'll just take it piece by piece, part by part and keep moving forward, wishing upon wishes a part of me finds peace in weaning real soon. 

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