If you’re anything like me, you follow various people on social media who are new moms. young moms, moms of multiples, etc. sharing their tips and tricks to surviving motherhood. That phrase may bother some people “surviving motherhood”, but I’ve been surviving for the last year and a half. I don’t exaggerate when I say I haven’t had a full nights sleep since before Jax was born, but I’m okay with that. I’m fortunate and count my blessings daily that I’m able to be home with Jaxon 90% of the time. But some nights, I am most definitely in survival mode. Some days I drink an entire pot of coffee, causing me to stay up too late (like tonight as I write out this blog at 12:30 am) and when I finally do fall asleep, it’s as if Jaxon’s internal alarm goes off & he’s up for a nursing session, which then causes me to be exhausted the next day. It’s a vicious cycle.
18 months. I have nursed Jax for 18 months. And shared thousands of ounces of breastmilk with so many moms in the Twin Cities. I didn’t realize this journey would be this long, but then, some of the best adventures are full of surprises. We were watching old videos of the baby & Chase said to me tonight the sound of my breast pump will haunt his dreams. I laughed because I didn’t even notice the hushed hum of the pump in the majority of the videos. I’m still amazed at what my body has been able to do for not only Jaxon but so many little babies. I didn’t mind pumping. I know some women who have said they hate washing the pump parts every time and how much room in the freezer the milk takes up, but I loved it all. And while I’ve loved being able to donate and hope to do more in the future, I’m 100% an advocate of #fedisbest.
I have girlfriends who would cry and feel guilty & judged because they weren’t able to product enough milk for their little ones and used formula. In my opinion, some of the most aggressive judgments come from mom’s who breastfeed. Comments like “why would you do formula?!” And “The health benefits of breastmilk vs. formula are no contest.” Well, I think mama’s sanity & mental health are just as important! When I had to pump and feed I felt so judged. Even though baby boy was getting breastmilk, I was taking away the bonding because he was getting it from a bottle! It sometimes feels like as a mom you just can’t win. “Breastfeed, but not for too long”, “Cover up while you nurse”, “Don’t cover while your nurse, and if you ARE covering while you nurse, why are you ashamed of what you’re doing?”, “Pumping and feeding via a bottle isn’t as good as nursing”.. the list goes on and on. And it’s exhausting.
And I just have to say to those who make the assumption that because I choose to cover my son while I nurse because I’m “ashamed”, you couldn’t be more wrong. I’m proud of what my body produces for my son. I’m thankful we are able to still bond in this way. I love that he still needs me right now. But I know how I feel when I see someone’s breast hanging out or how Chase feels uncomfortable when he sees a woman nursing without a cover and I choose to be more discreet. No, not all the time, sometimes I’m that woman with her boob hanging out, but I assess my surroundings and act accordingly.
We’ve actually come to the point in our journey where Jax just nurses daily and I manually pump when I feel it’s necessary. It’s strange going from pumping 50 ounces/day on top of nursing to simply nursing. I’m not going to lie, it’s a little sad. But I have to remind myself that this is all a part of the journey. That being said, as our journey’s coming to an end, I want to quickly share my one of my favorite products as of lately! Primally Pure’s Baby Balm was my go to for the nips when I was pumping all the time plus nursing & needed some relief. But now I use it as my nightly lip balm! And Jax can use it too. It’s so moisturizing, I’m obsessed. If you want to check it out, use code SIMPLYDONE for a nice little discount!
So I am here to say Happy National Breastfeeding Week. Let’s support & empower one another to be the best mommies we can be to our little ones. Raise them kind. Raise them a wild. Raise them right.