Skip to main content

The Human Pacifier

"If you nurse them every time they cry", she said, "You just become a human dummy".

A dummy - as if I were...lifeless, still, inanimate, unresponsive, and easily and cheaply replaced.

Worse still, perhaps, an idiot, a stooge, a fool.

I know that Fools have a long history of being wiser than they seem...


Nevertheless I prefer to think of myself as...

A Human Pacifier.

pac·i·fi·er   [pas-uh-fahy-er] 
noun
1. a person or thing that pacifies.
2. a rubber or plastic device, often shaped into a nipple, for a baby to suck or bite on.


OK. I'll take definition 1.

I am 'a person or thing that pacifies.'

pac·i·fy   [pas-uh-fahy]
verb (used with object), pac·i·fied, pac·i·fy·ing.
1. to bring or restore to a state of peace or tranquillity; quiet; calm: to pacify an angry man.
2. to appease: to pacify one's appetite.
3. to reduce to a state of submission, especially by military force; subdue.

Yes... I 'bring or restore a state of peace'. I can see that, most days, when the boob presses 'pause', and the screams or the fights or the tears subside, and the calm or the love or the contentedness return. Suddenly...peace. She rolls her eyes upwards to me, and a little crease of a smile appears at the corner, to show - this is quite funny now, although it wasn't then. It's amazing how quickly she is 'appeased' - bumps, losses, appetites - you name it, I can pacify it.

I don't use military force, but I can very easily reduce to a state of submission a person who thought they needed to wear pyjamas over their coat but who just wouldn't fit in their car seat that way. Who wanted the doll but lost it in the heat of battle. Who got scared of the man with the beard. Who woke up tired. Consider yourself soothed, comforted, appeased, subdued, pacified.

No, I'm no dummy, but I am a bringer of peace, and this takes some doing, most days. Some focus, some effort, and just a little bit of love. It's worth it though. She can't 'self soothe' - since she doesn't really know what 'self' means, and I think - without wishing to rant - that my arms, breath, smell, thoughts, words, body, feelings, presence, love - add up to more than could ever be bought in a box. 

So yes, I am a Human Pacifier. I'm happy to be the restorer of peace, tranquility, quiet, calm; a warm haven to bathe in at leisure and learn about comfort and love. As I hold her I feel her return to her centre; a human - just one - is pacified. Stillness. Contentment. A whisper of breath reaches my face, and I wonder, could this peace spread slowly outwards, like a sigh, like a trickle of milk?


.

Comments

  1. I love this! Thanks MamaMule - it's so well written! I was thinking about your While I Nurse You To Sleep post earlier too as I was lying on our bed waiting for my son to nurse to sleep (took ages...). Thank goodness for the support you provide. X

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh thank you Ellie what a lovely thing to say!
      My daughter took nearly 2 hours to nod off tonight (it's just a phase, it's just a phase)... She had been begging to go to bed from about 4pm but once she actually got there she just sprang back to life and, in between boob after boob after boob, sang incey wincey, repeated the phrase 'my scooter' over and over, and occasionally blew raspberries on my head, or bit me, depending on her preference. :)
      The things you do for love!
      x

      Delete
  2. This is lovely. Well-written and beautiful. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm a human pacifier, too! When my boys are melting down, or simply in need of some centering, we nurse. I call it hitting the reset button, and it often pacifies me as well as them :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, you are right, the peace definitely spreads straight away to the mummy! I wish I had included that idea now. Thanks for reminding me x

      Delete
  4. Ah, I never understood why BFing mamas say "I am my baby's pacifier" or whether that was a good thing... Now I get it! This is really beautiful. My babe is 4mo and quite the fussy nurser and pretty much never comfort nurses, but sometimes at night we have a really peaceful breastfeeding session and then I love it. I can't wait until she gets a little older and does turn to the breast for comfort; everyone keeps telling me that she will... anyway, love the post!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Enjoy those moments ..... Its was a lovely read and brought back so many memorys xxxx we nurse for such a short time in our lives (I know it does not feel like it at 3am !)

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

The Visual Birth Plan from the Positive Birth Book

If you've already seen the beautiful positions for labour artwork by the amazing Kate Evans that feature in the Positive Birth Book, you'll be pleased to know that our collaboration goes much further! I've been in love with Kate's art and imaginative flair ever since I read her amazing book Bump , so I nearly passed out with excitement when publishers Pinter and Martin agreed to commission her not just to do these amazing illustrations, but to collaborate with me on a much bigger part of the book - the Visual Birth Plan, or VBP. I've loved the idea of a Visual Birth Plan ever since I saw birth plans made from little icons floating around on social media a couple of years ago. These little icons are pretty simple and basic, wouldn't it be better if the icons were more suited to every birth choice, and more beautiful, I thought?! I know there are arguments to be made about birth plans 'per se', and I'm not going to go into those here - suffic

Baby eczema took over our life: have we found the answer?

"How come you have stopped blogging?", someone asked me recently. Short answer: I had a baby. Slightly longer answer: I had my third baby, my life is chaos, I got a job as a columnist and it's all I can do to get that done every week, I'm a perfectionist and it takes me ages to write anything, oh, and my baby got eczema and it's pretty much taken over our life. Eczema? Isn't that just like, a rash? A bit of dry skin, the odd bit of redness behind the knees. That's what I thought, and almost laughed when the community nurse suggested I apply for disability allowance shortly after the eczema started. Four months on, it has nearly broken me. I can't describe to you how awful it is just to see your baby not looking right. This might sound awfully superficial, but I'm sure it's much deeper than that. There must be something hard-wired into the deeper, older parts of a mother's brain, to feel ill-at-ease if her baby looks sick. The skin of

While I Nurse You To Sleep...

While I nurse you to sleep...  I.. . rest .   For the first time today, I am still.  I am not lifting, carrying, holding, bending, reaching, stretching, scrubbing, wiping, hauling, or lugging. Here in this dark room I lie beside you and allow my body and mind to come to stillness after the chaos of our day. You suck, and tug, you fiddle, and fuss...and slowly come to stillness too, until we both are still, and both are resting...I wait, momentarily, and then, I slowly slide away and leave you sleeping. While I nurse you to sleep... I...take stock. I turn over in my mind, the contents of the fridge, the washing on the floor, the money in the bank. I count up the years I've had so far and the years I might have left. I work out how old I will be when you are the age I am now - thirty seven - seventy two. I hope I make it. I count the eggs you already have in your body and those I have in mine and I wonder at the people they may become. I think about the person I was before I met