Gentle tugging, swallowing, soft breathing, satisfied smile as she drifts off into an undetermined amount of sleep. Eating, sleeping, comforting, cuddling in one. All three have such different personalities, but they all nursed for the first hour of their lives. Umbilicus still blue, hair matted down, fingernails like paper, strong grip, moist skin, still smelling like birth, eyes swollen shut, nursing because it comes naturally, or because they feel hunger for the first time? More love and closeness than when she was inside.
Quilts are not made to be hung up. They wrap my babies, get soft and frayed at the edges. The slow panic when a child goes missing. When am I supposed to start worrying? Will he run back, giggling, or will the world end? Electricity climbing up my neck at the speed of light. They act like they don’t need you all day, but cuddle with you at night. Skin to skin, she likes me to hold her belly as she falls asleep.