It was seven months ago.
I was, in many ways, feeling like a pulp-less rind.
I was four weeks deep into two terrifying and completely new adventures:
motherhood and breastfeeding
Neither adventure was turning out to be as I had dreamed it would.
Motherhood, the institution I had toiled for almost two years to be admitted to, was turning out to be better than I thought. It’s so cliche, all the ‘nothing can prepare you for that moment you first lay eyes on your baby’ and ‘just wait til this or that other thing happens’ sort of statements people make- but they’re true. My heart and my body were caught very unprepared for the love (and subsequent sacrifices) I began to feel (and make), last summer. And still, eight months later, each minute I spend with my baby boy is one where I am being simultaneously filled up and drained out with pure love. It’s thrilling and terrifying and exhausting. It’s a spiritually pulpy business. If you’re not careful to mind the state of your heart, (notice I didn’t say feelings…), you could easily lose yourself to your tiny infant, and the rest of you might also become pulp.
Breastfeeding was, at that time, seven months ago, what had battered me into a pulp-less rind. If my heart was unaware of the amount of love it could feel for anyone (which we are learning, my heart and I, that it’s infinite, because it’s God’s), then my mind was completely foolhardy when it came to breastfeeding. I had not the bluest of clues. I didn’t study anything, I didn’t ask any questions, I didn’t receive any training prior. And, quite frankly, my mind was also naive to what has been currently going on in women’s healthcare in America. No nurseries in many hospitals, birthing classes are optional, and as soon as my baby was born, they were trying to get him to nurse. I don’t even think I knew what was happening until it was over and I was injured.
Four weeks later, I was a mess. I was sleepless, wired, and draining fast. I only felt lovely and womanly and good when I was holding my little one. And I was seriously doubting my natural ability to do any of it in a way that would also allow me to feel beautiful. Don’t kid yourselves, ladies. We need to feel beautiful. Regularly.
Baby boy was asleep between feeds one evening, and I found myself in a hot bath just long enough to sing this song. It’s a love song. From God to us.
It made me feel beautiful again.
Such a lovely memory!
What songs make you feel beautiful?
You, you shake your head, what is so hard to believe
When you, you are in your bed, I sing over you the sweetest things
Because oh, my love is does not tire, I’m awake when the moon is full
And I know the times when you feel lost and you just aren’t sure
And lo and behold
My love hasn’t grown cold for you
You could steal away in the middle of the night
And hide in the light of day
While you cloaked yourself in the darkest lies
But oh, my love, it swims in the deepest oceans of fear
And as soon as you lower your head, I, I am here
Lo and behold, my love hasn’t grown cold
Oh lo and behold, my love hasn’t grown cold
If only you could see how heaven stills when you speak
I know all your days and I have wrapped you in mystery
And oh, my love for you is as wide as the galaxies
Just hold out your hand and close your eyes
And come, come be with me
And lo and behold, my love, oh yeah
Lo and behold, my love yeah, hasn’t grown cold for you
It hasn’t grown cold, oh it hasn’t grown cold