by Celine Malanum
Last night was like any other night –
but it wasn’t.
We lie in bed, facing each other;
how familiar we are with each other in the dark.
How well we know each others’ bodies –
the curves, the warmth,
How there in the darkness the day’s mania
has nothing to feed on so it
hushes away into the night.
And how everything is reduced to just you my daughter,
Our legs locked in two places.
There the awkward angle of my head, my
neck an accordion, my right arm reaching like a sea-swept tree.
Your small hands, creamy gloved starfish gently patting my
breast in your still-small perfect mouth, buoyed
by each breath.
Gently patting them like you would pat an old friend on the back,
with great familiarity, with great affection
as if to say:
There, there, old pal.
Your breaths growing heavier and slower;
it’s almost the end.
I’m almost free! I thought so many nights before
I'm almost free!
So last night was like any other night.
I’m almost free!
But it wasn’t.
I’m almost free!
Because see this night
I am not ready.
I miss you, Daughter,
even as you sleep here just beside me.
I’m sorry for what? For everything? No.
For this? This tender untangling, this halving of our bodies? Yes.
And so I weep for us both.
Last night was like any other night
I end the manic day
stowed away with you in the stillness.
Huddled, we cling to each other,
driftwood rolling together on milk white sheets.
Maybe this night I cling to you tighter,
maybe this night I am the one who wants more.
It is you who has the magic, not me;
I see that now.
I know there is a cycle here
like the moon we are so tied to, my love.
I know like every glorious thing we have celebrated
and every brute thing we have endured –
this too shall pass.
But for now
let there be one more night.
I am so thankful for Celine and her poem, it is so beautiful and I am happy that she let me share it here with you. This touches me in so many ways and I cry each time I read it.
I had a few goals when I started to breastfeed and so far so good - I am very proud of us
these are the goals that we have checked off
- get through this feeding [haha the first few times at home were so hard]
- make it to 3 months
- be able to pump enough to send with Claire to day care
- make it to 6 months
- make it to a year
newest goal as of September 28th- continue as long as this relationship is mutually beneficial and continue to pump for at least 3 months to give her 50% breastmilk at day care and donate the rest.
Now on October 4th, I think Claire might be weaning herself. Maybe I am being a little dramatic but she has pulled away from me all day today. She only wants to be with her dad and each time I have offered the breast she pushes me away. I feel sad. I feel rejected. I feel unsure. This could just be the heat or she might just not be hungry since today has been full of solids, please cross your fingers for that. Yesterday and last night she nursed like usual so I am hoping this will pass but I understand that this is a relationship between the two of us and if she has moved on even if I feel really sad I have to respect her wishes.