"100 years of aggressive formula marketing has effectively erased the tradition of women helping each other in this way. I had never heard of anyone I knew nursing another woman’s child, or having her child nursed by another woman, and I had never wondered why. I sat in the rocking chair that night, nipples on fire, inconsolable shrunken baby looking more and more like a plucked chicken in my arms, and a terrible new panic hit me: we were in very serious trouble and could not go on this way."
It took me a long time to regain my confidence. The state of early motherhood was in many ways a state of crisis, and although my husband was characteristically stalwart and kind, a full partner in every sense, it was the women who calmly, lovingly took my hand and led me through. It turned out I didn’t have to feign invulnerability whatsoever. The more vulnerable I remained, the clearer my vision became, and what I could see, at long last, was a circle of woman comrades, offering me fortitude and nourishment when I was bereft of all. My gratitude only grows with time.