Estimated reading time: 2 minutes
Darcy Smith, Oklahoma, USA
Photos: Texas Vogue
Sometimes to relax while breastfeeding, I think about sitting on a beach and hearing the waves, feeling sand between my toes, and smelling the salty air. I keep the room dark to keep our attention on just the two of us. Life can be busy and noisy but our time nursing is quiet. The whole world falls away and we are somewhere far away from the messy house, the daily demands, and we are floating in soft, cool water. Alone with my thoughts about us. Gazing time with you, my blue-eyed baby, staring into each other’s eyes. The shadows make my hair seem longer, wilder, like we are in the water. We are calm and serene. There is nothing in the world besides us. I take deep breaths and speak in whispers. Everything sounds exotic, more meaningful, when it is whispered.
Breastfeeding releases prolactin, which relaxes both of us, and oxytocin, which is the feel-good hormone. I imagine myself floating in water, soothing your cries, nurturing you. We are tranquil. It’s so still and all I hear are your swallows and feel your heartbeat against my chest. I inhale and breathe in the smell of your head. It’s so calm that I can almost hear the roar of the ocean waves cascading nearby. The fan above us mimics an ocean breeze and your hair brushes against my arm. Your eyelashes fluttering are like little fish kisses against my arm. A little sigh escapes your mouth. I think about how I have never heard such a tender sound and I wish I could capture this rhythm to relive over and over. I can only see shadows. The world falls away. There is nothing but us. I lean over and kiss your forehead. You smile up at me and giggle. This time is heavenly. We are far away from our house. Your breath carries a rhythm, an ocean melody.
Nursing you is magical. My milk heals your body when you are sick and helps you build your own immunities. We’ve transformed our quiet room into an enchanted world. I have never had more beauty in my life than when you are curled in my arms, your eyes locked with mine, nursing at my breast, our warm bodies snuggled against each other. Throughout my life, I’ve given my time and my strength to helping others. But feeding and comforting you is different. It’s so much more. A true purpose. I feel one with nature: you and I are connected. I feel invincible. We’ve created a bond that feels immortal.
I know this transcendental spell won’t last forever but at this moment, time is standing still.
Darcy Smith is an early childhood teacher and breastfeeding advocate in Oklahoma, where she lives with her spirited daughters and feminist husband. She can be found at Mom-entous.
Where do your breastfeeding daydreams take you? Send your stories and photos to Barbara at firstname.lastname@example.org or to breastfeedingtoday.