When Jonathan, my son, was born they quickly brought him to my breast so I could breastfeed. Oh and how I loved that! They had a nurse to show me how to breastfeed him. The first few days I was trying to get used to holding him and was thinking too much about how often I needed to breastfeed him and for how long. Although I read that nursing was on demand, I was still conscious of it. I waited for the milk to come after the colostrum. When we left the hospital Jonathan had lost ten percent of his weight, which they say is normal, but I felt he was too skinny and thought the colustrum I had given him was not enough. Adam explained that the weight loss is normal for newborns.
When the milk finally came I wasn’t quite sure if it was enough. Adam was extremely supportive during this time. He helped me so much with Jonathan; he changed him, bathed him, swaddled him, and held him. If he could have breastfed, I’m sure Adam would have. When I breastfed Jonathan, he didn’t stay on the breast for long. I tried switching from one breast to the other, but he would just turn his head away. His neck and onesie would be soaked. My nursing bra and blouse would also be soaked. I just knew I was not giving him the milk. It was going everywhere but his mouth. I was frustrated.
On Friday, I remember taking Jonathan to the pediatrician who told Adam and me that if our son did not gain weight with the breastfeeding over the weekend, I would need to give him baby formula. I was distraught. I didn’t want to give him baby formula. Was my milk not enough? Was I not doing it right? What was happening? I had no idea what to think so instead I cried.
We left the pediatrician’s office Adam took me to a nursing and baby store. While I was perusing the nursing bras and clothes, he was taking care of Jonathan and looking through the informational handouts the store had for its customers. Adam came looking for me and handed me a flyer and said, “I think you have an overproduction of breastmilk that’s why he’s getting full quickly and not wanting the other breast and why both of you are soaked.” What? I had an overproduction of breastmilk. Could that be true? I would soon find out. I only had three days to help our son gain weight before the pediatrician would order me to give him formula.
Guiding Lesson: Eve, I see it and still can’t believe it. How does your body produce the very thing that your baby needs to survive and thrive? Not only that, the baby’s need actually alerts your body it’s time to feed. This is simply divine. Better than Merlot, don’t you say?
However, I can sense some uncertainty and insecurities. Just a little anxious, huh? Are you getting used to not fully being in control of your life, your body and your time like you used to? Motherhood really changes you. For the first time you might be able to see what really matters in life. It brings you to a place of having to live in the present and in the presence of how vulnerable and trusting new life is as well as how you have been entrusted to care for this life. What a daunting task?
Like your son, you, too, are in the hands of something bigger than you. Can you feel it? Can you trust it? Unfortunately, the many years of being in control has made you forget how to trust in the Divine. Can you allow this experience of motherhood be the beginning of trusting when you are not in control? This new role and the whole miracle of breastfeeding are steps to becoming more awake to life. There are no buttons to push or pull.
I know you keep asking, if what is within you, enough? The answer is “yes.” And like Adam has discovered, you have an over-production of breast milk. All you need and all your baby needs are within you. Like your baby who longs to be close and safe to your breast, you, too, long to be held close and safe.
Eve, I just realized that your breastmilk is like me, Grace that is within you. Like breastmilk, Grace is your nourishment and I will be there as your soul alerts me that you are running on empty. You have more than enough. The question is, do you believe that Grace is enough for you to take the next step, tackle the next struggle and live fully alive? Am I enough Eve? Is Grace enough for you? You have been given an over-production of it. Will you choose to nourish you soul…with Grace?