Saturday, November 2, 2013

//Adventures in Breastfeeding - Kelly Rae's Story//

I am so thrilled to share Kelly Rae's story!  Not only is her story relatable, but is sharing these photos for the first time.  I think that is huge and deserves some support from all of us mamas.  So read her story, check out her amazing art work and leave some encouraging comments!  I remember the first time I shared a breastfeeding photo and I felt how important it was, but it definitely took some time to feel more comfortable with sharing them.  And now, I have to say it again, how incredible is her artwork?! Love it, Kelly!  She blogs at Foxes in the Graveyard and her ig is the same, @foxesinthegraveyard.  <3

  Adventures in Breastfeeding || Foxes in the Graveyard
breastfeeding || Foxes in the GraveyardI am currently breastfeeding a toddler.  16 months old to be exact.  I am not even sure what that means to me.  People have asked how long I plan to breastfeed and I automatically say "I really have no idea."  They reply with will there be a cut off age for you?  and I reply with a simple No.  Once you become a breastfeeding mama there is no cut and dry feelings about it.  At the moment I like the idea of self weaning but this may change.  The one thing breastfeeding (and motherhood in general) has taught me is how to be humble.
Before your baby is born you can be pretty selfish in the way you do things.  You can go on weekends away without a moments notice and you can sleep in late.  But somehow the joys outweigh the dissatisfactions.  I remember in those early days of breastfeeding I wanted to throw in the towel a multitude of times.  I wanted to give up.  I understand why people stop breastfeeding and I appreciate that I know how that feels.  If my child had been just plain easy I wouldn't have been as humbled.  It makes me think of the Roosevelt quote, We do what we can with what we have.  I'm lucky that my daughter latched on like a pro.  Otherwise it could have been easily a different story.
breastfeeding || Foxes in the GraveyardOur little girl was on monitors the first week of life because of a low resting heart rate and a skipped heartbeat.  It was a traumatic way to become parents.  When you had planned to birth in a birth center and instead transferred to a hospital.  Only to have her taken from you the next day to be monitored and be forced to leave her 1 hour twice a day because the nurses had their change over.  I remember asking how long my baby was crying each time I would return.  It saddened my heart that my baby needed me and I couldn't be there.  The nurses also had their own agendas and wouldn't let me sleep with my baby in my arms.  So for that week I got almost no sleep as I propped her in my arms and kept her near.  I would try to catch a few zzz's until the nurses came into the room.  Then I would whip awake and pretend I was just feeding her again.  I completely understand that they are liable for me and the baby and they are doing protocol.  As a new mama trying to figure out how to do things it can be difficult to decide when everyone's telling you a multitudes of different ways to interact with your child.
Breastfeeding || Foxes in the Graveyard
But I digress on what I'm suppose to be talking about.  Breastfeeding.  With that sort of traumatic beginning I'm lucky that breastfeeding worked out.  But it didn't change the fact that I wanted to throw in the towel and said "Hey why don't we just formula feed."  But then I realized that formula feeding is work too.  You have to sanitize the bottles, mix the formula (which you have to get right too), warm the bottle, feed and then repeat.  That sounded like a whole lot more work then placing my boob in her mouth.  I didn't have any major issues with breastfeeding-I was just so exhausted.  I wanted to drop her off with a wet nurse and sleep for a few days.  But we continued and I had fits about it to my husband in those early months.  He pushed me to continue and if he had said "just quit" I might have.  I'm glad in hindsight that he didn't want me to stop and that now because of his support I have a solid breastfeeding relationship with our daughter.
Breastfeeding || Foxes in the Graveyard She understands the sign for milk and you should see how very giddy she gets when I use it or even say the word "milk."  She usually drops everything and smiles and runs towards me signing for milk on the way.  It means something to her.  It's a safe place for her when everything else is going wrong.  I don't whip out my boob on every instance but when she does get her feeds you can tell she's taking a bit of time for herself in those moments.  To collect herself and to regain something she needs to get her through her busy days.  It's pretty miraculous that we are built to feed these growing people with the food we take into our bodies.  I'm still in awe of the system that nature has created and that I'm getting to take part.
Breastfeeding a toddler || Foxes in the Graveyard My name is Kelly Rae and I blog over at Foxes in the Graveyard.  I will close by saying that I have never shared any of these breastfeeding photos before.  This includes on my blog or with friends and family.   They are a conglomeration of photos of my breastfeeding journey.  I'm glad to be able to share them on Adventures in Breastfeeding on the lovely Miss Verse blog.  Thank You Miss Verse for letting me contribute.

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