It was early in the morning, still dark. Dr. Whatshisname was asking how breastfeeding was going, I think. We'd had a rough start and some latching troubles, but I don't think my response to his question was an unusual one: "I'm feeling some nipple soreness." Of course I was! Nursing hurts like the dickens in the beginning. Even when you're doing it right. At least it has for me. Every time. Maybe it's not painful for everyone, but I have met very few women who haven't experienced soreness in the beginning.
I was still drugged-up on Perkacet and Tylenol with Codeine, and too fresh and naive to realize how ridiculous Dr. Whatshisname's response was to my extremely-common-sore-nipple-ness. I can still hear his pompous, patronizing tone saying:
"You're not a pacifier, you know."
Looking back on that moment, I feel such a surge of mixed emotions... indignation, pain, shock, irritation... it makes me want to cry and vomit at the same time. I don't know why I have such a strong negative response to it, but I do. I suppose it's because his statement was a powerful indication of the way he viewed my body and my purpose as a mother. I'm "not a pacifier?" How can he say that?
Could there really be a more fitting description for a mother than that? Pacifier. Yes. It is exactly what our bodies, hearts, and souls were designed to be. We--our arms, our bodies, our kisses, our breasts--are the ultimate and best source of peace and comfort for our children. We allay, soothe, settle, restore to a tranquil state, calm. A mother's smell and touch are life-giving, healing, and far more soothing than anything else in a baby's world. We are peace-givers and peacemakers. We are the original, supreme, and ultimate pacifiers.