From Breastmilk to Heroin
I was deliberate and intentional in raising Hayley – wanting her to have every opportunity in life. I had an all natural childbirth with Hayley weighing in at 8 ½ pounds. She took to the breast immediately, and was a vigorous nurser. And although she was ‘colicky’ the first three months of her life with lots of gastric distress and refusing a pacifier or artificial nipple of any kind, she gained weight well and eventually outgrew her fussiness. I nursed her for ~ 18 months and she didn’t sleep through the night until she was weaned. She was a beautiful, delightful baby, who idolized her older brother, Brian.
What better start can you give a child? I thought I had protected her health and future with breast milk, homemade baby food, no sugar or artificial preservatives/additives until she was almost 4. She was loved, and held, and read to.
Hayley later blamed her so-called ‘oral fixation’ on me – biting her nails and cuticles, smoking, maybe even her eating disorder, who knows? A mother is always to blame, isn’t she?
So when and where did it go so wrong? I thought I was being a good mother, but there was obviously some thing Hayley needed that she wasn’t getting. Who knew?
I had a tortured dream last night that I was kidnapped by heroin addicts and was forced to watch them inject themselves. Strangely, Hayley was not amongst the group – and, as revolting as they were, I was drawn to ‘these people’. They showed me a certain level of kindness and compassion – as if I were ‘family’ – yet also seemed to find some perverse pleasure in shocking me. I was terrified that they would make me shoot heroin myself, and my life would instantly change. I also was afraid that I would stick myself with one of their carelessly tossed needles and become infected with hepatitis or HIV. I eventually escaped in the night, barefoot, and had to find my way home – miles away, and in an unfamiliar setting.
Babies – their innocence, potential, future . . . nothing is for certain, although I thought I could stack the odds.