It doesn't matter if you breastfeed, bottle-feed, you're a biological mother, foster mother, step mother or mother figure. You will hear over and over again that babies grow too fast and that they don't stay little for long. The reason you hear it over and over is because it's true. I feel like it was just yesterday that I held my youngest in my arms for the first time but in reality, it was nearly 15 months ago.
I'm going to tell you why photos like this are important to me. You can agree or disagree but maybe it's something that hasn't even crossed your mind and I want to give you the chance to think about it.
The image above is me with my youngest. Our journey was far more difficult in the beginning than with my first. More difficult than I could have imagined. With my first, we had our challenges. He had a tongue tie and a condition called laryngomalacia which made breastfeeding a challenge but we got there in the end and that lasted a beautiful 17 months before he decided on his own that he was done. With my second, the challenges of the first time around seemed completely insignificant. She had terrible colic. She associated me feeding her with pain and there were many days and nights where we were both on the couch in tears. She was hungry but didn't want the pain that came after a feed. We tried lots of different things and eventually we figured out that combination feeding worked best. At first I felt like a failure. "Breast is best" gets drilled into your head, even now. It wasn't that at all. By making this decision, I was in a better place mentally and so was she. Eventually she learned not to hate being breast fed and it took so much of the pressure off. Here we are 15 months later and I still breastfeed once a day.
I know though, that any day now it will be our last. Maybe it was today, maybe it's tomorrow but I know our days are numbered. When that journey ends, it's the end of an era. I will have breastfed my last baby and that stage of my life is over. It would be easy now to look at this photo and see the weight I couldn't lose from my recently diagnosed PCOS. The wispy, curly postpartum hair regrowth, the scars, all of the things I'm usually so critical about. I took this photo though because I want to remember. I want to remember all those things I'm critical about because it shows how far I've come, how strong I've been and how lucky I was to have been able to have children at all. It shows the journey I had to get to this point. I wanted to remember the seemingly endless days spent on the couch, the little hands playing with my face while she fed because they are unique to us, to our experience, our story and they will never happen again.
It doesn't matter where you are on your journey or how you got to this point because your experience is completely your own. If you want to capture your journey, a little snippet into what motherhood looks like for you, send me a message.