Today I picked up donor milk from a black woman. The milk before that was the milk made by a lesbian. My baby has had milk from me and so many other people.
I choose to see the beauty and the joy in this. My baby, and my heart, have been fed by community. I haven’t been able to do this alone. And I won’t lie. I didn’t always feel this way.
I had days of feeling like failure.
It doesn’t matter how many times I have comforted another mother over this very situation. It doesn’t matter how many times I have said words of empathy and cradled a fragile postpartum heart over the complex feelings of breastfeeding.
When it was my baby. My fragile postpartum heart. Some days were too long. And my head was too cruel. And the time still passed.
And it got better. We supplemented some. I pump a lot. I still agonize over weights and feedings and seemingly never ending supply of complex feelings over raising this tiny human and where my human milk fits in.
And I have moments, where in the smile and oversupply of another person, I know that my baby is not only being nourished by the milk of others. I am as well. We were never meant to do this alone. We were never meant to be the only ones for anything. And my moments now can celebrate the amazing diversity that my baby has been exposed to. And when my baby is older I can tell her that she was truly fed by a world of people who cared about her. Who wanted to help her thrive and grow. Who gave not only of their words, but of themselves.
And I can remember this for me as well. Because my still fragile postpartum heart needs that constant reminder. Of how worthy I am. And how that worth isn’t tied into how clean my house is. Or how much money I make. Or if my baby is fed by me alone. It’s because I just am. It’s because I’m enough.