For Ben, the prospect of extracting nourishment from my bosom is like a hummingbird getting its beak around a pair of ten-pound cheeseburgers.
So we practice snorfles. More osmosis and familiarity than ingestion — the reinforcement and practice of Boob-As-Happy-Place. Not whatsoever expecting him to latch, or master the art of suck-swallow-breathe. Not quite yet. Should have had him sign a waiver.
I, the Undersigned, do hereby acknowledge that the activity of Snorfling may or may not result in me being blown to the back of the room by a Fire Hose of Tasty Mama Love. I understand that my mama cannot be held responsible for any mishaps caused by aforementioned fire hose.
BENJAMIN PETER INGLIS.
Bless him, he was up for it—a teensy latch, but a latch nonetheless. It didn't last long, but it was a start. We’ll find our way around each other. Then it will be Liam’s turn. We’ll be a trio, an ecosystem. And somehow that will make them mine.
It means so much to feed my child the way I’m supposed to, without machines. Deep in my animal-self I’m buzzing with ancient recognition, ripe with mama-chemicals and physiological fulfillment.
I don’t need a new drug. I’ve got milk.
This morning I walked into the NICU to see Liam’s nurse smiling broadly, waving me over. Come and see! She exclaimed. Come and see what’s different.
It's a milestone of healing: he is off the ventilator. He’s just Liam now, all-baby. He may have hiccups, backsteps. But it is such sweetness to see his face unobscured by complication. He is hoarse but he gurgled at me, and pulled faces in the nervy twitchiness of preemie sleep. Today, magic from both boys had me smiling all the way home.