I’d just come from visiting my friend and her ten-pound, twelve-ounce newborn. I had heard the story of her epic labor, the heroic effort this tiny, five-foot, two-inch Frenchwoman went through to bring this child forth, and I went to see that she was okay. Also? I needed a baby fix in the worst way. Someone needs to invent scratch-n-sniff postcards that smell like a baby’s head.
For the first half hour or so, little Marianna was nursing so her mom and I talked and laughed and I was looking at those little feet and tiny bottom and was just dying to hold her. Finally, she burped and started looking around, so I cradled her in my arms and began the bouncy, swaying, figure-eight move all parents do when holding an infant. It was bliss.
We were in such a trance, looking at each other (her wondering where her mommy went and me remembering immobile children) when suddenly I felt a tingling sensation. In my breast. Holy crackers. I knew that feeling.
“Um, you’d better take her back now… my milk is letting down!” I pressed the inside of my wrist against my breast and stared, wide-eyed, at my friend.
“Eeeeeeeeeeee!” We squealed in unison.
“This is wrong. So wrong.” I hadn’t nursed in ages, and I swear in a few minutes I’d have been asking for a towel and the baby would have been eyeing me with sudden interest once she caught the scent.
I know that eight years of breastfeeding would condition my body, but come on! When will my reproductive and support system finally believe I don’t (and won’t!) have any more babies?
Have any of you experienced this, this ghost of nursing that whooshes through your body after you thought you were past it forever? How long do our bodies keep that recipe on hand, ready to dish up like a short-order cook? Have you experienced around a baby that wasn’t yours??