Every time I pricked a finger
Said no to food
Submitted to tests
Fought shame and fear
I chose her best.
Failure to Latch
Sending me home with only questions
Some babies take time to latch
Mine may never latch at all
Why can’t I do what I’m meant to
Where are the answers they’re trained to have
They say breast is best
Then no, fed is best
What’s best for mom is what’s best for baby
But how can I breathe when I can’t even choose.
Lip-Tie and Double Tongue-Tie
I chose her best
Every doctor visit and consult
Every time I turned on the pump
Every bottle I filled up
Every three hours when I stretched her sore mouth
Every time we tried to nurse
Every time my heart broke
When I watched her cry while I held plastic to my chest instead of her
I was doing my best
To choose her best.
Switching to Formula
I chose her best
When I decided that I’m her best
Me, whole and present and happy
Me, just me
Not my milk
Holding her close
Nothing between us and nothing forced
Releasing the mights and what-ifs and what could have beens
Embracing what is and who we are
Choosing the best for my heart.
She is my heart
And when I chose my best,
I chose her.
Michelle Marvin is a lover of fresh flowers, captivating stories, and making a mess in the kitchen. She has a stash of scribble-filled journals spanning two decades, spent a semester studying literature at Oxford University, and tends to be a walking thesaurus and/or dictionary thanks to her degree in English. When the words flow nowadays, they’re usually about navigating the nuances of marriage, motherhood, and becoming more like Jesus. She lives in Indiana with her husband, Andrew, and baby girl, Pippa.