Live, LOVE, Latch and be gentle with yourself new mama
15 years ago I became a mother. It was the greatest day of my life and one of the scariest. I had dreamed of being a mother since I was a little girl. Most people look at Monet and I now and think I was a teenage mama. I'll take that as a compliment but NOPE, I was married and 25 and so very very ready to be a mom. When she entered the world I pulled her from my womb and onto my chest and I began to cry. I cried tears for the greatest LOVE I had ever felt and mixed in those tears of JOY were tears of fear, a lot of fear. I was terrified I was going to mess it up, drop her, roll over on her, feed her to much, too little.. I didn't want anyone to touch her with their nasty germs and get my little angel sick. I literally locked Monet and I in her room for days and would only let a select few come to visit and I talked to them through the door, through buckets and buckets of tears. Everything I had ever wanted was in my arms and along with it entered my old friend, fear and with him, depression. I would struggle hard and want to give up somedays but I would grow, I would fight and crumble and fall and get back up. I would grow up but the journey would be long.
Breastfeeding Monet was my joy. I was so thankful that it came easy to us because it was one of the only things that did. Everything else seemed so hard. Monet cried a lot and rarely slept more that a few hours at a time (she didn't sleep through the night until she was 2). Soon after she was born we would find out that we had some battles to go through together. I would begin my fight for her, to take care of her when she got really really sick, I would fight to protect her, to provide for her and together we would grow up. How could I have know she would be my greatest teacher?
Gratefully, breastfeeding was the easiest part of being a mother for me but for some it is a battle and some mama's are warriors through this fight. I applaud you mama's who struggle with thrush and latching, cracked nipples, and the god awful pains of mastitis to provide your babies breastmilk. To face the pain and struggle over and over all day long is an act of bravery and unconditional love. I know there are lots of ways to deal with breastfeeding struggles and probably a lot more gadgets and creams that were out there 15 years ago. Cheers to you mamas!
There are two things that bother me when it comes to breastfeeding. One is the idea that it's not cool with people when a mama feeds her baby in public, yet we sell burgers and everything else imaginable by flaunting boobs and a women's sexuality in the media. You can hang your boobs out while munching on double pounder but its offensive when a mother feeds her child in a restaurant? NOPE! Not cool!
The second thing that bothers me is judgement. Come on sisters! We need to lift each other up and support each other through the journey of motherhood. A child is the most beautiful gift but the road can be really hard and if you choose not to breastfeed or its just to painful and hard and you need to let go of it, we love and support you! We all know that breastmilk is the best thing we can give our babies. I'm 100% for it but I also know that many women struggle with it and the last thing they need is judgement. And if breastfeeding is not the right choice for some mamas or its too painful or too hard and you have to let go of it then we as women need to support and love and NEVER judge. Women need to be each other's cheerleaders and lift each other up!
Breastfeeding was one of the greatest joys in motherhood for me but I struggled in 100 different ways and the greatest gift during that time for me was unconditional love and support from family and friends.
If I could write my 25 year old new mama self a letter I would say,
"Dear Sarah, You are enough just as you are. Be gentle with yourself and have faith. Worry won't solve anything so let go and enjoy each moment, even the hard ones. Let the house get messy. Take naps when you can get them. Have a glass of wine every once in a while and stop freaking out. Allow others to help you. You are beautiful. YOU ARE ENOUGH. Have faith, the road won't be easy but together you and this beautiful little girl are going to grow and flower. I love you just as you are. "
Love and light dear friends,