We create a truly special bond with our little ones who choose us as their parents on Earthside and one path. One path of this special bonding comes through breastfeeding.
Everyone’s journey is different. Not every Mama can breastfeed and some choose not to for various reasons. No mama should ever feel guilty and for those who are yet to decide, perhaps my journey will open you up to the realities of what can be a joyful (jet not smooth at all times!) journey.
A rollercoaster of emotions
I feel blessed. My ‘milky’ journey with my two daughters lasted 49 months. Now this part of my life is coming to an end, I can’t help but feel mixed emotions. While I’m happy to get my body to myself again, I’m also grieving the close connection, not to mention the healing properties of mother’s milk, which come in handy when my girls are sick!
My body feels ready, so ready. Observing myself from the outside I noticed a sense of irritation when my girl was feeding. However, I wish I could preserve this sweet baby stage! I remind myself that each child is a gift in its full magic, and we have to let them walk their path. And believe me, the toddler stage brings it’s own joys!
Not quite smooth sailing
When I was a baby, I had a milk mother. It was a close family friend that breastfed me when my mother had to take her university exams. They always talked about this openly, so when my first girl was born in 2013 with no latching reflex, it was a sweet relief when my midwife asked: “Would it be ok with you if we got some milk from another mama?” I was gratefully nodding….of course it was!
We got some milky magic from a beautiful lady who later became our neighbour and friend. My Alba only needed a few syringe feeds with the donor milk and then she got the drill. Our breastfeeding journey then lasted 22 months. It came to a close because I became pregnant with our second child and my body was not comfortable sharing on two channels. Plenty of cuddles and explaining what was happening made our transition smoother. I’m still amazed by mamas who can feed through pregnancy!
Second time around
Our second breastfeeding journey also wasn’t straight forward. When our second daughter was born, we experienced complications after birthing. Adrenaline did its unpleasant work against my milk production and no matter what I did, my milk didn’t kick in for three days.
When it finally came, so did cracked nipples. Then mastitis, high fewer and “unwellness” 16 months into our breastfeeding journey! I never thought it will happen that stage. The only thing that helped was massaging under hot shower. Letting the tears flow with milk and trying different positions to feed my baby (all fours worked wonders!). It’s also hard to forget being bitten multiple times… free piercing service perhaps?! Rather NOT thank you!
Moments to cherish forever
Our body is amazing how it grows and nurtures a little human. I will never forget all the special moments I’ve had on my ‘milky’ journeys.
Closeness sounds: When I heard their little gulping in the middle of the night snuggling up with me on a feeding chair in the dark. It was our soother, our comforter. I remember how nice it was just to sit down, take a breath, and feed.
Magic pain relief: When my children got hit by a nasty sickness – all they wanted was my milk to keep them hydrated. It was always there and always available. For stuffy noses, conjunctivitis (even my own), fever and more…
Cute habits: My older loved to spin around and cuddle a cloth nappy (she still looks for cloth nappies for comfort at times) and my younger loved to hum a gentle soothing “song” from three-months of age while she was feeding. It was so relaxing for both of us, somehow it always calmed my mama being. She also loved to stroke my neck while she was feeding!
Last but not least: When you’re feeding and you look down into their sparkly little eyes and get lost in the galaxy of their being – wow, all these moments are ones I will cherish forever.
Preserving the breastfeeding journey
Now my second girl is 27 months old and my body is giving me messages that it’s time to finish soon. My supply is drying up, and I’m feeling agitated every time I try to feed.
I wanted to preserve this special time in a unique way – to celebrate my body and our journey together. I got a beautiful DIY kit from Baby bee hummingbirds and I crafted a forever jewellery piece using some of my breastmilk as part of my ‘letting go’ ceremony.
This piece of jewellery represents us, The little flowers are my girls’ favourite colours, and each of them contains some of my preserved breastmilk.
Would love to say a heartfelt thank you to Kimberley Rich Photography for the stunning photos she took as a part our sacred closing. Just like my bonding memories, I will treasure these images forever.