KIRK: There is no tighter bond than between a mom and her childThe intense bond between a mother and her baby is hard to describe to a man in a way that he can really comprehend. The only comparison that would even come close would be the bond he feels with his remote.
By: Amy Kirk, The Daily Republic
The intense bond between a mother and her baby is hard to describe to a man in a way that he can really comprehend. The only comparison that would even come close would be the bond he feels with his remote.
Since men don’t have a traveling lunch counter on their chest the way mothers do, guys don’t get to experience bonding with their offspring to the degree that a mother does while nursing. Nor do men get to experience the extreme sense of relief that nursing gives when it is way past a newborn’s feeding time. Mother’s milk is nature’s quintessential bonding element; especially among cow-calf pairs.
Ranchers are the EMTs of cattle when a new calf is born in cold temperatures and is still wet. Getting a cow’s milk in her calf’s belly is vital in getting the calf’s core body temperature raised to ensure its survival. I can sympathize with cows that get riled when their bonding time gets interrupted because I’ve been there.
As a first-time mom all I wanted to do once I delivered my firstborn after nine long months was hold and feed my newborn son, but instead he was whisked away for monitoring. Similar to a chilled new calf taken from a cow to get warmed up and essentially save its life, nurses snatched my son away to NICU (Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit) because my baby boy wasn’t breathing well.
Nurses monitored him closely until he was out of the danger zone the same way a chilled calf is kept warm until it perks up. I waited six hours before I finally got to bond with my baby, nurse him, and sniff his head — I never felt the urge to lick him though. Getting to hold my child before anyone else did was my biggest anxiety.
Once I got to be the first person to hold him, I was willing to share him and from then on I constantly wanted contact with my offspring the way cows do, especially after visitors who wanted to hold the baby finally returned him to me.
Most cows are wary after calving and won’t settle down unless they’re left alone to mother up good. I get that because during my hospital stay I wanted to nurse my newborn alone. Hospital staff and visitor interruptions were distracting and interfered with my mother-child bonding time.
With both of my babies it was hard to watch my newborn fuss or cry at the hands of another mother and I would get agitated. Internally I was what a rancher would call “woofy” and was anxious to mother up which is exactly how a cow behaves. I especially did not like getting my baby back with foreign smells that I didn’t like.
I was restless like a cow eyeing a rancher working on the cow’s calf; only calves usually respond positively toward ranchers who warm them up. At my firstborn’s baby shower I couldn’t rip through the baby gifts fast enough in order to get him back.
I tried to act unaffected but my baby’s cries riled me, just like a mother cow gets at the bawling of her calf.
Being a mother, I can attest to the fact that there is no other bond in nature that compares to mothers and their babies; mostly because dads don’t have what it takes to feed them.
Amy Kirk and her husband raise their two kids on a fourth-generation cow/calf operation near Pringle. She blogs at ranchwifeslant.areavoices.com.