Katie Graham Anderson
Breastfeeding is my apology. It’s my grace. It’s how I fill in the holes. From not enough time, not enough energy, not enough patience.
It’s my, “I’m sorry I yelled so much. I’m sorry I’m gone so much. I’m sorry I didn’t play more. I’m sorry I couldn’t read more. I’m sorry I wasn’t here more. I’m sorry I’m not…more. But it’s all okay now. Come nurse. Mama loves you.”
It’s my, “I know it’s hard. I know it’s hard to have a brother. I know it’s hard to have a sister. I know it’s hard to have stupid rules and stupid clothes and stupid food and to not get what you want. But here. You can have this. Mama’s sorry. Mama loves you.”
It’s my, “I know night time is scary but you’re safe. You come here, come see mama, we snuggle and nurse and it’s all okay now. Mama’s sorry you were scared. Mama loves you.”
Mama’s sorry you fell down. That he took your toy. That you can’t have ice cream. That we have to go to bed. That we have to wake up and go to school. That we have to go home.
It’s my, “I’m here, mama’s here, mama loves you. Mama take good care of you. Mama always here. You always come find mama. Mama always loves you.”
I don’t have to say it in words, because for so long they didn’t know any, because this is just how we say it, how we have always said it. They take both my hands and want to lie down and nurse as soon as I get home.
They come running when they fall or get scared and come nurse for “just a minute” and race off again.
When they wake every night and they stumble blindly back into my room, I try, I TRY to just accept them and not think about the homework or housework or writing I should be doing, and hold them and kiss them and breathe in their little baby smell that they only have for such a short time.
I try because I know they’re accepting my apology. That we’re okay now. That they love me too.
Katie is a mother of three and a birth and postpartum doula. She has over ten years experience as a La Leche League member and lactivist. Her journey in motherhood started with an unplanned pregnancy at nineteen, then experiencing secondary infertility, two miscarriages, and finally the birth of twin boys in 2012. She is currently in nursing school and becoming accredited as an IBCLC.