Oh me, oh lordy my, ain't got no honey baby now. Rising Appalachia
I am certain that I was not breastfed. Amongst the scraps of paper left behind after my aunt dismantled my house and life, Aaron and I found a tattered doctor's baby book loosely chronicling my early months. I was born June 9th at 5 pounds, 14 1/2 onces and 18 3/4 inches long. Sash was born March 4th at 5 pounds 15 onces and 19 inches long. How much beyond our relative size did we share in experience? Probably not much.
On June 12th, my doctor prescribed Enfamil with equal parts formula and water. By 12-14 days, I was to be given rice cereal 2 times a day; by 21-28 days fruit juices were introduced. A month later all of the above was increased and I was to start on vegetables. By three months I was already getting whole milk. I didn't offer anything other than breastmilk until after Sasha was six months and not very enthusiastically. At the back of the booklet are odd photos of a woman demonstrating how to feed and "bubble" a baby. I try to imagine myself as an infant being held and wonder if anyone had the feelings for me that I have for Sasha. Again...probably not.
I turn to my wiggling son and try to breathe in some wisdom. The two of us in bed together, him against my bare breasts, are gestures of ritual that seem now to only work for me. I've memorized the imprint of my son across my body but it is not enough--again for me. Though I feel I should let him decide, I also want this to just be a phase. I try again with my breast and when he refuses, his head shaking, tears coming to his eyes, I place the bottle of my breast milk in his mouth. He sucks happily, his tears dry up and mine begin to fall.
We are an extension of each other so close, hushed and familiar, once so settled but what we have now are delicious memories. Now we are on the verge of something new.