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A Glimpse Into Another World

Anthea Grasley
Rockton IL USA
From NEW BEGINNINGS, Vol. 25, No. 3, 2008, p. 12

The first La Leche League meeting I attended was in mid-June and my baby was due in mid-July. I remember it clearly: I wore one of my cutest maternity outfits and took a wellness day from work to attend the morning meeting.

There were about eight women sitting in a circle with lots of children and babies. One woman was due any day and she was feeling ready to have her baby. There was a woman whose third baby was due one week after mine. Another woman had a six-week-old and spoke of the support LLL Leaders had provided during some tough times with her newborn when he was struggling to latch on. There was also a woman who had six children, including twin seven-month-old nurslings. Rounding out the group were two Leaders and their children. I remember my initial response was that everyone looked so healthy, radiant even, and they seemed so "with it." It was a refreshing scene, one that helped dispel the stereotype of dowdy mothers that had been stuck in my head.

There was a whirlwind of activity surrounding us as children engaged in free play. Some women new to the group that day may have seen this as a bunch of children running wild. I think the Leaders may have guessed that's what I was seeing. Little did they know my field of study in college was recreation; although I did not have children of my own or have experience with babies, I considered myself an advocate for play. In my professional life I ran a high ropes and teams course and as a facilitator and administrator, experiential education was my passion, so I had a healthy respect and admiration for the children's vigorous play and for the mothers quietly creating a space for it.

I will admit that in the midst of this beautiful storm I felt I had a glimpse into another world: a world I would be entering soon. A world filled with chaos, joy, and scraped knees. I was entering the unknown and I felt a pang of fear -- what was I getting myself into? As my due date grew near, I knew I was about to embark on my greatest adventure -- motherhood!

I am now the mother of a healthy seven-month-old and haven't missed a meeting. I have shared my joy with the women of this group and they have also helped me mourn the loss of my desired birth experience. La Leche League meetings continue to provide support and offer needed affirmation of my parenting philosophy.

I love reading NEW BEGINNINGS. Already there have been many articles that have moved me, given me words for what I was feeling, and provided needed information in a timely way.

I would like to thank the Founders of La Leche League and all those who continue to make it thrive. I would also like to recognize my mother, who was a La Leche League Leader in her day. I am honored to be a legacy and a part of the La Leche League movement.

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