the “let down” and other painful goods: A Haines Home Companion

I woke at 5:00 this morning to feed Titus, my 4 week old. I’ve forgotten so much about being the mother of a tiny baby – so many moments in which I’m thinking, “Oh. I forgot about that.”

After re-remembering, I can now (again) predict the “let down” of milk and hold my arms accordingly. I brace my face in a delighted posture instead of screaming in distorted anguish. I still can’t remember how long it takes to regulate.

I can now change a diaper in the dark, which is what I did this morning to wake Titus because of the earlier mentioned “let down.” His blackbrown eyes still meet mine in the window light. I love the round of his diapered bottom, his folding into the soft place he used to be. Though pain comes with all this, I love having a baby. It must be my very most favorite thing (besides the man who helps me make them).

Now I’m in the living room writing after dealing with two more boys awake too early. My heart beats with a creativity that’s been missing a while, but right now – before 5:30 AM – Popeye cartoons are entertaining in the next room, and my boys gut-laugh. And my house has never been dirtier this early in the day. Coffee has never tasted better. I’ve never felt braver.

Autumn is coming, things changing. The drought here may switch sudden into stony winter, but right now Summer looms, all in beating shine. Grasshoppers land on shoulders and fly zinging wide back to the dusty grass. Hot as we’ve ever been, the days are slowly leaning toward pumpkin (at least canned), thoughts of soon-coming hayrides as on matchsticks.

I miss the Rock House, the Rock Home Companion, but for now, this is where we are – in an apartment loving our cloth, counting down the days until we resume home-school, wondering when I’ll ever get the dishwasher loaded and the mountainous piles put away.

I feel Seth’s eyes, the healing process coming to an end. Sex and Zumba are on the September page.

I look forward to so many good things while today is its own slow hot good, the smell of baby under the musky smell of flip-flop dirt, the way I hold a child in one arm (or between my chin and shoulder like a phone) and direct symphonies of bath-times with the other.

About me


Wild in the Hollow Book Club: an Introductory video
August 28, 2015
What I Knew In My Dying Day: a Wild in the Hollow Guest Post by Tara Owens
August 19, 2015
How Right Living Was My Brokenness: a guest post from Kelly Smith
August 11, 2015
Marriage Letters: On Home
July 06, 2015
Condemnation on the Molehill
June 08, 2015
Tools for the Highly Sensitive Mother: An Introduction
April 27, 2015
A Final Haines Home Companion: a Secret I’ve Kept
June 06, 2014
The Uncouth: The Hormonal
May 12, 2014
On Broken Parts in Regular Towns: Alabama, Arkansas, and Haiti
April 03, 2014


Lisa-Jo @thegypsymama
Reply September 2, 2011

You conduct the symphony of motherhood like one born to it, Amber.

Reply September 2, 2011

I just love the imagery of this post! So much activity and peace all in one place.

Reply September 2, 2011

The thing about the healing process coming to an end? ::fans self::

Elizabeth @claritychaos
Reply September 2, 2011

mmmm...the smell of baby.

(love the way you write, amber.)

Reply September 2, 2011

your writing makes me happy.

Ashleigh Baker
Reply September 2, 2011

You speak the soul of it all with such beauty I have no breath.

And yes, what Ari said. Whew.

We are THAT family
Reply September 2, 2011

September will be a good month for the you

Kamille @ Redeeming the Table
Reply September 2, 2011

Your home is lived in well. I had to come over with the various tweets about this post. They were all right. All the true beauty of a newborn, older children running their rhythm & a husband who partners & needs us as much as we need them.

Sara@ it's good to be queen
Reply September 2, 2011

Yes. I feel every bit of this.

Reply September 2, 2011

this was my world two months ago, and I'm already forgetting what I remembered. Nothing lasts forever...except for maybe Popeye.

Reply September 2, 2011

I'm here, holding mine this morning, and all I can say is *thank you*. Truly. This is my heart cry so many mornings even the symphonies of bathtime.

Reply September 2, 2011

It's been a very long time since I birthed a living soul and held such innocence in that other worldly, pre-dawn light.

This morning I walked a long while, companioned by mountains and winds carry an omen of Autumn. The sun itself was milk let down. I suckled the creamy moments portioned to me. I was, all at once, moving and standing still. Apart. Entering in.

Your life is good. Your telling of it ... fine.

    Reply September 2, 2011

    You just gave me chills. For real.

    Thank you, Laure.

Patricia @ Pollywog Creek
Reply September 2, 2011

So very beautiful, Amber. I'm decades past these sacred days of let-down and cradling new-baby softness (2 in fact, my "baby" is 20), but what encouragement your words must be to those who are struggling to find contentment with dirty dishes and "mountainou piles". It's a beautiful thing - this life you share.

Reply September 2, 2011

Oh Amber... you made me remember baby days... I miss them so.

Reply September 2, 2011

Oh gee whiz, you're making me want to have another baby! :) I agree with Lisa Jo's comment. Beautiful, beautiful... the words, the imagery, the living.

Reply September 2, 2011

You are making sweet music Amber. It is so good to "hear" your beautiful voice.

Reply September 3, 2011

I'm breathless. It's all beautiful. Every word.

Reply September 3, 2011

Today my fourth and youngest son left for University... and I spent all day - yard sale-ing; thrift shopping, visiting friends; avoiding going home to my truly empty nest (Hubby works on the road.) I wept much of yesterday (more than the first day of Kindergarten with the first son!) And your post took me back to the rocking and nursing days, the early morning blurry and yet so alert days, the happy chaos of raising our sons. I was warned, you have been too; Blink and they're gone--- Enjoy while you can -- They grow up so fast. It's a good recipee for all of life's stages, really. - Now I must concentrate and relax to take in all the separate and gathered joys of life with just us two again. My pursuits back to my own skills and interests and His leadings. Enjoy this part of my life while I can; it too shall pass so quickly. Look around, smell, taste, feel, listen to it all, breathe in the beauty and the gifts of today while it is still today. Thanks again - for perspective.

gabrielle thompson
Reply September 17, 2011

youve already amazed me.
"born to it" sound to be the most perfect words.

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