Nursing Leone

LeoneNursing“I think the baby’s hungry,” James says, bringing Leone into my office. “She’s very patient but she keeps turning her head and trying to suck on my sweater.”

He hands me the baby. Just four weeks old, she’s a solid bundle now–warm, substantial, sweet-smelling.

Not as floppy as when first born, she’s still so vulnerable. Her entire life depends on us. It’s strange to think that the food that nourishes and helps her grow comes entirely from my body.

It feels like a big responsibility to take care of such a small life.

I take Leone out of my office to nurse her. My office is cold, a place of deadlines and phone interviews and invoices. I don’t want to feed her in here.

She grunts and mews as I carry her to the living room, turning her head from side to side. I feel a sharp tingle—almost a stab—go through my breasts. The baby wants to nurse and my breasts are overfull.

I sit cross-legged on the couch in a ray of sunshine. Even when she was only a few minutes old, she knew just what to do. Leone opens her mouth wide and I shove my breast into it. She sucks lustily and I’m surprised, again, by how much relief and gratitude I feel as she empties out the milk.

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