When my baby was born I was astonished that nothing in the world had told me that birth is a miracle. Out of my body came this entirely new being: it seemed incredible, yet more real than anything, and entirely personal. And then I couldn’t believe how hard it was to take a baby into town, how so little in the culture supported mothering, how devalued its status. I could not reconcile my experience with the fact that all the billions of people who walk or ever walked the earth are only alive through the same miracle of the mother’s body, her fecundity and succour and work. I thought about the magnificence, vulnerability and ferocity of mothers, of how bodily and messy it all is. How it’s a result of sex but not very sexy. I thought about the hunger for the breast, about yearning and weaning, about how we all drink milk.