This self reflection and account of my daughter's birth was triggered and inspired by Sarah Kiser's painting, Some Enchanted Eating, pictured above.
My first daughter was born by emergency c-section, rushed, agitated but healthy in appearance. Once she was tucked in the nursery and my morphine high was wearing off we learned her heart rate was 240 and rising. They had her in the regular nursery hooked to a heart monitor awaiting transport to their Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. She was crying with an intensity that increased the beat of her already too fast heart. I tried to nurse her but my tasteful ballet pink robe was getting in the way, the sash tangling in all the cords and wires. Fed up and without hesitation I stripped down to the waist . I vaguely remember over a dozen shocked faces and the nurses rushing to plant themselves between me and an audience of scowling faces. They were expecting clean, shining and post birth perfect babies. Instead they got me, breastfeeding behind glass like a gorilla in a zoo.
I was haggard, graceless, lit by fluorescent light and terrified but I will always remember that moment with the perfect indirect light glow, slightly out of focus with soft edges. There was only my daughter pressed against me and the sound of her heart beeping a little slower with each dry suckle. It was the exact moment I lost my last shred of modesty and learned my body was magic.
"I hope that through my paintings I can make it clear that breastfeeding is natural, wonderful, beautiful and completely normal and beyond that, it is a magical experience for both the mother and baby"
Sarah Kiser http://www.sarahkiser.net/
The featured painting is available in a dainty 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" print, perfect for displaying in a series or tucking in your diaper bag. I wish I had had it then to gaze at it when I needed to be reminded that I am enchanting, natural and full of magic.