For a full eighteen years, I’ve remembered the days of breastfeeding my baby with such fondness… and then eventually with such sadness, as it seemed that I would never experience that sort of joy and connection ever again. Through the years, I have often had recurring dreams about nursing, and I would wake up in tears, with a feeling on my chest as if a baby had been physically ripped from me.
So needless to say, when I found out that we were going to have another baby, eighteen years after our first, one of the things that I was most excited about was having the chance to breastfeed again. What a gift.
From the the minute that he was born and then to then to the minute that he suckled onto me and took his first meal, I knew that I would never take this beautiful second chance for granted. With each and every time we connected, I looked at his every eyelash and every hair and every body part within my sight, I smelled his baby angel skin, I felt his body breathing and sweating against mine, and I languished in the feeling of his feet curling into the crook of my arm and his little hands reaching to be held by mine. When I nursed Haakan, I saw Michael in his eyes, I saw me in his eyes, and I saw Madeline in his eyes. I saw and felt everything within those moments together… the healing power of nurturing a human, brought its healing powers to me, washing away years of pain, guilt, and sorrow, and quietly replacing them with joy.
Memories are a funny thing, because, well… they fade. And I knew that I never wanted this memory to fade, and never wanted to have that feeling of missing something so badly again… so I asked Madeline to photograph Haakan and me, just one week before I knew that I would be weaning him, and it was one of the most special days of all of our days together.
Because here I am. I AM MOTHER. These are my children. I have been their home, I have been their food… and forever they will be my best memories.