Here’s a picture of Cesar, just three days old on his first day home, at the farm.
He needed a little bit of sunshine to help filter out some excess bilirubin.
From being in the womb where his needs are constantly cared for as being a part of my body, he was now an individual being. One of the first things that struck me was the frequency of these needs, which were basically present pretty much *all the time* for about three months. In a way, looking at where he came from – it does make sense. In the womb, he had constant supply of nourishment, constant supply of physical contact (and the ease of peeing in the womb whenever it pleases him!).
The first three months of his life consisted of constant feeding, sleeping and nappy changes.
At first, I was doing everything ‘by the book’. Having him sleep in a crib, trying to keep his feeds apart, only nursing for x amount of time.
It was absolutely horrible.
He would nurse forever, literally hours on end, Once he dropped from my breast – I had to change his nappy because he’d usually excrete right after each feed. By the time the nappy was changed, he wanted to nurse again. Maybe now he didn’t poo or pee and I had an opening to put him in the crib. The moment his body touches the crib and my hands let go = he cries. The moment he is in my arms, he is satisfied, and looks to nurse some more.
During the day I was living in my rocking chair, during the night, not laying in my bed for more than 20 minutes at a time between long nursing periods.
I was exhausted, my body – my body burn out.
The paediatrician suggested I limit his feeds to 20 minutes only, make sure there is an hour in between.
I timed his feeds, I would struggle getting him to unlatch, I put him in his crib.
He cries, he cries and he cries.
My chest hurts.
It reminds me of when I was in the hospital, where they brought Cesar to me for a short moment to check if he had his sucking reflex before they quickly rushed him back to the nursery to keep an eye on his blood sugar levels.
When they gave him to me, and I embraced him and brought him to my breast. There was such an intense moment of calmness, wholeness, completeness, tranquillity inside the both of us. Alas, it only lasted for a split second – as the moment he latched on, they ripped him off to take him away. As they picked him up and took him away – right after that moment that our bodies stopped touching – he open his eyes and LOOKED straight at me, into me. His body, his eyes – everything was saying NO! – WHY?
I listened as I hear his screams fade as they take him away.
My chest hurts like all hell.
Anyway – back to the main story.
Suffice to say that the scheduled feeding did not last for very long.
Each time we’d follow the schedule – we’d wait 15 minutes: he’s still screaming his heart out.
30 minutes: he is still screaming his heart out.
45 minutes: he is still screaming his heart out.
1 hour: he is still screaming his heart out.
Now he gets his next feed.
We thought, well maybe it’s just these few times, we have to keep trying.
He would do it over, and over and over again.
Sure – he wasn’t feeding all the time, but I wasn’t getting any rest exactly either. My chest, my body would hurt so much hearing him want physical contact, closeness, nourishment.
I said fuck it – this scheduling is not working for me.
The tiredness, the physical exhaustion and pain – they were going to be there, there’s no point for him to suffer needlessly.
(The first three weeks, nursing was also incredibly painful, like no pain I ever experienced before. My nipples were completely destroyed, bleeding, crusty – then regenerated themselves being more pliable and soft at which point the nursing became painless – this pain factor also played a big role in trying to make the ‘scheduled feeding’ work).
So now I was back to nursing him pretty much 24/7.
Sleep was still an issue. He slept terrible in his cot. He only ever slept peacefully in my arms. I started reading up on co sleeping in the books I had. The issue was very controversial – constantly pressing on the danger of killing your child in your sleep. I looked only – again, most articles geared towards scaring death into you.
I found some material of mothers cosleeping. They did not experience any of the issues all those articles by professionals put forward. But how can I trust them? The scary, professional input seems so much more credible. But it wasn’t working, we weren’t getting any sleep.
So little by little, I would start nursing him in the bed at night and leave him to sleep with me. I made a firm decision within myself – to not move or do ANYTHING while sleeping. If I move, I must be awake. If he moves, I wake. If Gian moves, I wake.
Slowly but surely, the frequencies increased, slowly but surely, he was now always nursing and sleeping with us.
What a relief.
How different things would have been if we had done this from the beginning.
In the womb, his needs were being met instantly, continuously without cessation. How could I expect him to behave any differently once outside of it? This was all he’d ever known.
Even now – when he is 2 years old – there is no ‘thought process’ involved in between his need and the expression of this need.
There is a need I experience inside my body – I express this need.
As a baby, he was utterly, frail and dependent. His only connection to life, the only thing keeping him alive, was the breast and warmth. This was his lifeline. When he has a need to nurse, he feels it, he experiences it in his body and he expresses it – who am I to say: No, you can’t have access to your life-line right now. That’s what happened that moment in the hospital. He had a need, he needed his connection to life – represented by the breast and the milk that flows from it. Milk freely produced by the body, milk which is always available, a breast which never runs empty.
And instead, he was taken away. And that’s when he looked at me with BIG EYES – eyes asking a question: WHY?
When we come into this world, our parents are our guides. Our parents are our examples from who we learn about the world around his and from whom we learn how to navigate in this world.
You trust they know best, they brought you into this world, you are a part of them.
So when we as a parent – advertently or inadvertently say NO to a child, say that ‘they cannot have access to Life’ – what does a child do with that information? Well the parents know best, there must be a reason why I am not deserving of life, there must be something wrong with me… And that is how we are all Born in Sin.
While nursing young Cesar, I was still busy studying economics. The resemblances and similarities in how we have set up and structured the world and how we set ourselves up and structured our approach to our children = it was flabbergasting.
We have a system where Money is one’s lifeline, one’s access to life. Yet – we do not give it unconditionally. The Earth, the Universe – everything is perfectly in place to provide abundance to all. Yet we withhold, yet we place conditions. Now we live in a world where everyone believes they are inherently dysfunctional. That it is normal to have to ‘fight for life’ – just as a baby kept screaming and crying for food and physical contact eventually gives up and gives in within the acceptance that struggle is an inherent part of life. Our inherent sin and dysfunction driving our every decision, our every move we make in life in a futile attempt to ‘redeem’ ourselves.
We believe it is normal to fight through another day, to demean ourselves and degrade ourselves just to get a job and have little bit of money to get by.
“It is the Way of Heaven to diminish superabundance, and to
supplement deficiency. It is not so with the way of man. He takes
away from those who have not enough to add to his own superabundance.
Who can take his own superabundance and therewith serve all under
heaven? Only he who is in possession of the Tao! “ Lao Tzu – Tao Te Ching
To change the world, we have to start with ourselves. To recognize the Life Force within us, to recognize that Life is all around us and that we all Equally deserve access to Life.
It starts with a baby, soft, frail, weak – utterly dependent on its parents for its Life connection, and making sure that this connection is met and fulfilled. To be available to your child, always – as a statement that Life is available to you, through me. You are welcome and deserving, you are whole and complete.