Then it all hit home. The warm bed. The rising sun. The hungry 5-month-old next to me wanting his 6AM feeding (which comes shortly after his 4AM feeding, and about 4 hours after his 2AM feeding, and not too far from his 11PM feeding…..) I groaned. No. Back to the restaurant. Just for a few more minutes. Please. Oh please. My husband continued to snore.
Motherhood arrived, while not unexpectedly, abruptly. There is only so much you can do to prepare for that about which you know nothing. You can’t plan for just how you are going to feel when you make the transition from woman to mama lion. Nor can you plan for the sleepless nights as you nurture and love what has suddenly become to you the single most precious thing in the entire universe. You can’t understand how the cries of another being can rip out your heart, and you can’t appreciate how much you would give for a home-cooked meal when you haven’t had the energy to make one since before you went and got yourself knocked-up in the first place. You can’t know what it is like to leave your infant because you have to go to work until you do it for the first time. Forget the valiant salmon swimming upstream: all you can do as a new mother is try and go with the flow. This I believe.
That said, for better or worse, I am still a fighter. I tried to ignore the residual pain in my right breast after having removed the small, 5-fingered grabber from it, and did my very best to move past the tiny legs happily kicking with morning joy and the micro-paws merrily pummeling me in the chest and face with slimy, drool-covered fingers. Come back to me George.
But alas, George was gone. My boy hungry. The snackbar had to open. So I rolled over and pulled up my shirt just in time to tuck into my breast my small, squirming, child. He suckled vigorously and I stared down at him as the light from morning sky brightened the room. After a few minutes, my baby paused mid-breakfast and his eyes met mine. Then the suction around my nipple broke as his lips widened into a slow, triumphant, gummy smile when, hunger abated, he noticed my face.
by Alison Cornwall