Tuesday, October 12, 2010



Last night I finished this book and it was really good for me. There are several parts I want to remember. Here goes...

from Julia Glass -
At first, I felt guilty that I wasn't concentrating on "bonding" with Alec, that I was using him as a lectern of sorts. But right about then, the pain began to fade. Alec was probably three weeks old, though I felt as if I'd known him for that many months. One day I looked down and saw that he'd fallen asleep and away from my breast. I'd been so absorbed in a good novel that I hadn't noticed. Alec's tiny swollen lips still nursed on thin air; my milk lay spilled across his cheek like a sheen of sugar icing. One of his hands still claimed my breast, while his other arm was flung aloft on the pillow, as if he were a cowboy roping a calf. I laid aside my book and just stared. I laughed. Here it is, I thought with a sense of wonder and enormous relief. The bliss.

from Ann Matturo Gault -
The connection between us was undeniable. My ability to comfort my baby just by offering her the breast astounded me and Willie was equally impressed. ...
Poor Daddy; I'm sure he felt like an outsider, but he didn't complain. He'd never have my intimate knowledge of our daughter - God's reward, perhaps, for the hard work of motherhood.

The milestones during that first year were exciting but bittersweet, too. At four months Ryan discovered her hands, and I loved the way her fat little fingers grabbed at my shirt as she nursed. When she was five months old, I just couldn't get enough of the adorable cooing sounds she made when I came into view... Before long she was enjoying a variety of solid foods. Willie was wild for his little girl and clearly loved feeding her with a spoon. He made up corny little songs as he fed her and obsessively kept her face clean, gently dabbing away excess food with a damp paper towel after every bite. As much as I love watching the two of them interact, part of me hated sharing her.

Looking back, I know it was breastfeeding that transformed me into a mother. Nursing was our private conversation. Without the exchange of a single word, I always knew what Ryan needed and could easily decipher a hungry cry from a tired one. For the first time in my life, I felt truly important. Some mothers find that dependency suffocating. I cherished it.

The love for a child feels different from the love for a spouse. More poignant. More intense. And why wouldn't it? Children share your blood, your genes, and, of course, your heart.

from Heidi Raykeil -
The baby makes another hungry strike at my breast, turning angry and bright red until suddenly, she's on. Her color goes back to normal, and instantly her body goes limp, falling into me, forming to me, milk-drunk. And it hits me - this is the real reason I love breastfeeding. This moment. It's not something you can put on a list; its one of life's biologically reinforced, beauitful intangibles. It is the surprise of direct connection, ultimate intimacy, the trust and ability to go back, if even for a fifteen-minute feeding, to a time when two separate beings were one. I also sometimes hate parenting because of this moment: It is so elusive, so private and ephemeral. There is no one clear-cut way to reach it, no how-to book or magic recipe, no amount of planning in the world that can guarantee this outcome.

from Dana Sullivan -
From what I can tell, men aren't as critical. Sure, they might harass one another about a lame jump shot, or bad taste in music. But I can no sooner imagine my husband inquiring about whether a friend's baby gets breast mile or formula - then offering his opinion about whether the friend is making a good or bad choice - than I can imagine him making the case for homemade baby food versus jarred. These scenarios are as far-fetched as asking me if his jeans make his butt look big.
I'm tired of it. Whether a woman has an epidural or delivers her babies without medication, whether she works or stays home, has babysitting help or does it all herself, feeds her babies from the breast or bottle or both, its all challenging. I truly believe that we are all doing our best to love our children the best way we know how. What if we made a collective vow to cut each other some slack? Since we're all in this together, let's all just lighten up.

from Stefanie Wilder-Taylor, book review:
I wish I had Unbuttoned when I was struggling to breastfeed my first daughter. The only books available on the topic were manuals telling me how to do it. Where were the women who were willing to be honest - women brave enough to share the challenges and triumphs of what was going on behind their blouses? Thank God, they are all here in this book.

from Leslie Morgan Steiner, book review:
This book offers moms the best baby gift on Earth - the knowledge that none of us are alone on the messy, drippy, leaking roller coaster of motherhood.

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