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I want you to remind yourself of that every second of every day after your sweet newborn arrives.
Can’t breastfeed? YOU ARE ENOUGH.
Dread that next feeding? YOU ARE ENOUGH.
Can’t stand the sound of her crying? Desperately need a break? Long for the easier days?
Parenting is so hard and we all need some mommy support. Throw in all of those postpartum hormones, pain, and sleep-deprivation? UGH! I promise you that we ALL wish we could be more for our sweet babies. I didn’t have the support I needed as a new mom…not even close. Looking back now, breastfeeding struggles were at the center of my feelings of failure. I think that when I was nursing my babies, I had to work so hard to convince myself to keep going that it affected how I reacted to new moms with a bottle in hand. Was frustration, sadness or envy that I was experiencing? I don’t know, but I knew it was about me and not them or their decision to either supplement or give up breastfeeding altogether.
I suffered from D-MER with all three of my babies, but I didn’t even know what that was until I had survived the worst of it with my youngest. Maybe I’ll write more about it someday, but for now, I just want to say that after going through the intensely negative emotions associated with D-MER, I knew that I would never judge a mother who chose not to breastfeed. Of course, I hoped that every new mother would try, but my goodness is it so much harder than anyone can imagine for so many of us, and there is no end to the guilt created by feelings of failure.
Yes, in an ideal world, breastfeeding your baby at least the first year is considered the best way to bond with and give her the best possible nutrients and immunity to any illness that you are exposed to.
But, when the stress of nursing (whatever that may be) interferes with the would be bonding, what if…WHAT IF!
What if a bottle was enough?
And what if that healthy baby in your arms, milk dribbled down his cheek, soft chirps followed by the sweetest sleepy smile…what if that was simply enough?
Mama, what if YOU are enough?
I sometimes wonder if I would have bonded with my babies more if I hadn’t been so determined to continue breastfeeding despite the guilt that came from experiencing D-MER. No regrets, right?
I’ve told so many of my newborn clients about my experience with D-MER in the hopes that they might go easier on themselves. I also always find myself doting on the healing mama and encouraging daddy to recognize just how incredible his wife is. This is so hard and we have far too little support.
With all of the negative emotions we experience after birth, I hope that a newborn photo session with me will go a long way toward helping you see how beautiful and capable you are. And as your little one grows up, I hope these newborn pictures bring you nothing but those wonderful, warm feelings.
I can’t thank the amazing women from my local La Leche League from helping me push through the tough times.
And don’t forget to join the Flint Hills Fam Club for an awesome local support group!