New firsts

Suddenly it was snatched away. Our moments of peace and calm. Our closest time, our precious bond. Me irreplaceable to you. Giving you something no one else could. You joined to me once more. Our bodies one again. Your safe and happy place. My chance to hold you close after watching you venture further each day.

But suddenly breastfeeding you wasn’t safe. It could do you harm. Once the best possible gift I could give, was now a risk to you. My heart felt ripped apart, to know this bond must break. That somehow now putting you first meant stopping what was once the most valuable act. To know what we worked so hard for was no longer worth a thing. The thought of hurting you, hurting me like nothing else.

Days of wrestling advice in my head, my instincts stronger than my sense. Fighting what was happening, desperate to delay. I needed my time to accept it was over, and to realise you needed me well more than you needed my milk. That taking medication was for you as much as me.

The pain felt so physical. Like you being ripped from my arms. The urges so strong to pull you back again. The howling tears consuming me. That cry from the depths of your gut. The sadness like a cloud. I felt so far away.

But you were just so peaceful. So trusting and so brave. You held me close and snuggled in. You just got on and never begged for more. You showed me you were ready and it didn’t change a thing. You loved me like you always had and this was just the time. How could you be so small, yet stronger than me? You helped the shadow lift and slowly we’d pull through. Soon you’d find your walking feet, and I’d see your love even more, as you run into my arms and sparkle with joy at my touch. You’d patter round behind me, still my little cub.

I couldn’t bear a last, I just had to catch myself by surprise. Do it without warning, not make a final time.

And now I see these new firsts. Like as you cuddle in, drinking on my lap, your head within my reach, your body against my heart. I can cast my lips over you, feeling your soft whispy hair. I can kiss your face and whisper magic in your ear. I can wrap my body around yours as we lie together now, legs to neck fit just right, you my baby spoon. Still two pieces of a puzzle attached forever more. Because even as life changes, and you grow, you’ll show me these all these new firsts, up but never away.