Rachel here: Perhaps it's too early for me to really articulate this experience. Breastfeeding, I think, is a landing in my body for me. I have gone from spending years starving and controlling food, desperate not to feel full, not to feel my length and weight, to now living in my body, fueling it in the name of sharing it to sustain M. Over and over again, M puts me back in my body and connects mine to hers, lending me both an expansiveness and a closed circuit at once--it is both thrilling and incredibly safe feeling.
A bizarre and breathtaking phenomenon has occurred in which I have gone from merely consuming food to becoming the producer of it for our baby. While I completely support women who end up going the formula/bottle route for the various reasons that that becomes the prudent course of action, I feel incredibly lucky to get the experience of breastfeeding my child. The connectedness that comes from it is both heart-stopping and calming and I feel incredibly and quite simply powerful for being able to feed our baby this way. It took M and me a day or two to really nail this joint project (with a lot of help from John) and I feel so fortunate that we stuck with it. When I feed her, I try to focus exclusively on her, to calm my body and slow my breath so that she is nourished both physically and emotionally. The result, of course, is a nourishing of myself unlike any I've ever known.
Ok, so I'm typing with one hand now as is often the case these days. I have repeatedly come back to this post in an effort to write a satisfying ending to it. Every time though, M wakes up and wants to eat before I get my thoughts together. I finally realized that that is my perfect ending.