Butter & Milk: One and the same

The thing about being with child is that you are not always aware of what you are, what you are capable, what you can be. More than just a swelling stomach and questioning mind, you are primal.

We are animals, creatures, mammals. What our body does without us even being aware of It, is miraculous. What the mind can influence in our body is even crazier.

FEAR. The emotion behind the renowned fight or flight[i] which we have mostly all heard of but which we correlate to animals who dart in the face of a predator or an old lady finding the energy and courage to hit a thief around the head with her handbag. But there is so much to this instinct.

The mama deer at the side of the highway will settle down into her own sacred space to birth her baby. She knows that there is the chance of being hit or spotted by a car or person but she has found mental and emotional stillness enough; she has told herself that all will be fine and indeed, as her womb begins to expel her baby, she melts like butter and begins to allow her baby to release. A car doesn’t hit her; a person doesn’t walk by, but a truck whizzes past so fast, with such bright lights that her sacred space which she worked so hard to create is obliterated by harsh disturbance. Her cervix clamps shut, the labour halts, she dashes.

You see, we all have that mama deer in us. Our bodies are butter: yielding, pliable, melting. Hard to soft. Sometimes back to hard again and capable of multiple alterations. Giving way to the hands which work us. Our structure becomes moveable, changeable, without any decision it conforms to the conditions which its surroundings encourage. Just like butter melting under the warmth of the summer sunshine, your cervix has the ability to open and shorten, melt away with every breath that you take, every safe haven that you put yourself in. As you surround yourself with gentleness, security and a sense of protection and consistency, you are providing your very primal self with the nourishment that it needs to lay down at the side of that proverbial highway and birth your own ‘fawn’. Should you be met with any perceived danger, any outside influence whether that be a person who you do not want to see or a suggestion to do something which you do not desire, that buttery body of yours can just as quickly become the hard slab right outta the refrigerator. The clamping cervix does not just occur in the Mother Deer. The animal in you can do that too.

YOU ARE BUTTER. MOVE AS YOU MUST.

The baby has been born and as you put your baby to the breast for the first time, you watch the suckling mouth work it’s way to the correct place. Not always correct, a work in progress; a lifting of her tiny chin, a tuck of her tummy to yours, you are getting closer. Her latch is shallow though; you insert your pinky finger to the corner of her hungry mouth and try again, wait for her jaw to open wide and then pressing her entire mouth around your areola. Much better. But as this gentle dance between the two of you unfolds, as you each learn the crevices of each others bodies so that you can work together, watchful eyes around the room can heighten your awareness that she has not yet EATEN. You question yourself; will this work? Do I have milk? Will I be enough for her?

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Your mind is getting in the way. Your body, yes, it is miraculous. Your brain and the release of the placenta and all of the hormones which go with these bodily reactions are preparing your breasts to nourish your child. Whilst our physical self is just doing this without question, WE can make unconscious choices: rest, eat, drink, snuggle up bare skin with child & wait for the milk to come. Or tense at the sight of caring, watchful eyes which you perceive as judgmental; we think that maybe our body will not do what it is supposed to do. We hand over the reigns a little earlier than maybe we feel deep down that we need to. And there you have it; our mind has taken over what the body was going to do.

YOU ARE MILK. WAIT AND SEE.

Just as butter and milk come from one source, your baby and it’s nourishment can do so too. You are enough. You are always enough. Even when things do not go to plan, yield to the new beginning and find a way to make this path yours; make it okay.

Not all transitions come quickly or easily but more often than not it is natural progression and one worth waiting for. One worth yielding to.

Be buttery and honey-laced milk; so sweet. So sweet.

With love,

Sian.