Author Topic: ? for the ladies - mothers actually  (Read 3379 times)

Offline kk

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? for the ladies - mothers actually
« on: July 01, 2009, 08:41:21 AM »
I am writing a story in which the female prot. has lost a child, an infant, but she has moments of remembering the feeling of breast feeding.  Along the same lines as you hear people stilll feeling a limb that's been amputated.  It's not really there, but you still feel it.  So, I'm trying to describe that feeling - the physical memories of breast feeding - and need some help.

What I recall from those long ago days, is a fullness; a surge of warmth rushing into your breasts causing them to swell.  I also remember something I want to call a tingling sensation, but that's not quite right?  What do you think this memory might feel like? 

Thanks for any help you can offer.

kk
“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day.”

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Offline Alice, a Country Gal

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Re: ? for the ladies - mothers actually
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2009, 09:14:57 AM »
kk, I think if the memory is strong enough, it might even result in some seepage - perhaps not the milk that would have nurished a baby, (need to check with someone with medical background here) but a seepage never the less.

The feeling, thou years past, that I remember was a definate fullness, especially near feeding time. And most times, once we both became use to it, was an emotionally, a warm calmness; a time apart for just my baby and I to share.

Physically, I often experienced what I believe you mean by 'tingling' but you're right, it was more than that. It was almost as if the act of nursing was causing the now empty womb muscles to tighten and contract. Perhaps nature's way of trying to get our bodies back into shape.

Sorry - there are something things that are simply hard to adequately describe - at least, for me.
 
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Offline bonitakale

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Re: ? for the ladies - mothers actually
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2009, 08:12:09 AM »
The tingling I don't recall. The ache of fullness, yes. In fact, when my breasts swelled monthly, after my children were older, I used to think, "Damn, it'd be nice to have a baby to take care of this."

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Offline kk

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Re: ? for the ladies - mothers actually
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2009, 08:29:06 AM »
Thanks Alice and bonita,

I appreciate you taking the time to help me out with this. I'll see what I can come up with, but as you say Alice,

"there are something things that are simply hard to adequately describe. "
“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day.”

                                                                            ~ Edith Lovejoy Pierce

Offline bailish

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Re: ? for the ladies - mothers actually
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2009, 08:58:51 AM »

The tingling I don't recall. The ache of fullness, yes. In fact, when my breasts swelled monthly, after my children were older, I used to think, "Damn, it'd be nice to have a baby to take care of this."


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Offline jojohnson

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Re: ? for the ladies - mothers actually
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2009, 01:27:26 PM »
From a medical point of view, seepage would depend on how long ago the baby was lost as this doesn't continue forever. That said, the feeling of something pulling on the breast and a gentle throbbing/sucking feeling may be normal. This also manifests in the uterus as breast feeding causes uterine contraction after the birth and can range from a dull period loike pain to a full feeling of a contraction and is most unpleasant. Perhaps you could write something regarding this, or maybe a tingling sensation could be normal if your character hears another child crying and is not a controlled response? This could easily be combined with the smell of a new baby or even when she sees another woman breast0-feeding and imagines she can feel it or smell the baby/milk?
Jo x

Offline kk

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Re: ? for the ladies - mothers actually
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2009, 05:48:05 PM »
okay, I've tried to get this idea into a couple of different places in my short story - I've put them below to see what you think - do they work?  What feeling do you get from these passages?  Any further suggestions?

Then began the steady push, push, push with [the cat's] paws; right, left, right, left, the kneading eventually penetrating Olivia’s mind; like the drip, drip, dripping of a leaky faucet soaking into her unconscious. Tonight the movement brought with it the heart breaking memory of her full breasts tingling while her baby nursed.

She wrapped her arms tightly around her breasts, trying to still the ghostly flow of memories trying to spill out.   Squeezing harder, her mind drifted to that evening last fall.
“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day.”

                                                                            ~ Edith Lovejoy Pierce

Offline bonitakale

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Re: ? for the ladies - mothers actually
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2009, 07:41:16 AM »
I like it, but the dripping faucet analogy is perhaps a little too appropriate? I got a drip in my mind, and was picturing dripping milk...

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Offline Tooie

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Re: ? for the ladies - mothers actually
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2009, 12:39:12 PM »
Hi,
I agree, there was definetly ache and seepage.  Trying to get your breasts to dry up when they are full is extremely painful.  I think it might work if you tied the pain and anguish of losing a baby with the constant reminder of her painful breasts. Look for metaphors.  They're everywhere.
Tooie 

Offline jcff

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Re: ? for the ladies - mothers actually
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2009, 06:29:33 AM »
Hi kk, I also remember a strong feeling of release after the tingling sensation you (and others) describe - I seem to remember that being called 'let down'??  It was a physical release (the release of the milk) but also a release of tension as all I could do at that time was sit and feed - it was impossible to multi task and that is a relief in itself.  It's an excuse to just sit and look at your baby; a quiet calm moment in an otherwise busy day.  I also remember that as soon as I started feeding I had an overwhelming thirst so always had a glass of water nearby.  Hope that helps

Offline kk

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Re: ? for the ladies - mothers actually
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2009, 07:10:38 PM »
bonita,
Quote
the dripping faucet analogy is perhaps a little too appropriate?

Interesting comment - I've never thought of something being too appropriate.  I'll have to give that more thought.  :)

Tooie,

I was loosely using the cat's paws - left, right, left, right as a metaphor for breast feeding.  You know, how kittens push on the mama cats to get the milk flowing?  I think it will work.

jcff,

Thanks for your insight - I'll see how all the ideas come together.

Thanks all for your thoughts - I do appreciate!

kk
“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day.”

                                                                            ~ Edith Lovejoy Pierce

Offline streatham

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Re: ? for the ladies - mothers actually
« Reply #11 on: July 08, 2009, 03:06:01 PM »
I love the way kittens do that, and isn't that why cats do that kind of "knitting" on people when they are older, tightening and loosening their claws in a friendly way. 

Also, if you breastfeed a bit longer than the first few months, older babies have a habit of fiddling with the other breast, while they are feeding on one.  I think that starts let down in the other one, so that it's up and running when they are done with the first!  Very clever, but a bit annoying.

Dawn


Offline kk

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Re: ? for the ladies - mothers actually
« Reply #12 on: July 08, 2009, 04:39:54 PM »
streatham,

Quote
Very clever, but a bit annoying.
Never underestimate the power of a baby  :)
Someone told me older cats who do that paw thing may have been weaned from their mothers too soon OR that they like you very much.

“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day.”

                                                                            ~ Edith Lovejoy Pierce