Last night, I stole away from home for a bit to see a movie. We’ve been away on vacation for quite some time and I was due for a little “reconnect” time with my beloved friends. We saw “The Help”. We had all read the book and frankly, I was quite concerned about how the movie would capture what I both loved and found difficult about the book. The trailer had been quite bright, cheery and funny and I didn’t have much faith that it would be the gritty and hard to watch story that had haunted me for a few months.
At one point, as the situation of the maids got more desperate against the backdrop of a time of great violence in the civil rights fight, one of the main charecters says to the other,
“We’re not doing civil rights,
we’re just telling stories like they really happened.”
It stopped me dead in my tracks. Even as the words are tumbling out of her mouth, you know that the power of their story is going to change something. It might not change everything but it will change something, someone.
I don’t know that these stories will change everything. But I do know that they will change something, someone. I am proud of all who have shared of their breastfeeding journeys. I know it is not easy. My story is still unwritten for that exact reason. But I’ve seen your comments, I’ve heard your replies. These stories mean something to you. They resonate. If one story here gives one woman an ounce more courage to feed one more time, we’ve done our job.
I’m not done hearing stories. I’d still love to hear yours. If you would like to submit a story of your breastfeeding journey in 100 words of less, please email me at email@example.com.
Today, in honor of my friends, I share some of their stories:
I thoroughly enjoyed my breastfeeding experience. As a new mom, my worry was for my milk to come in, which, of course, came right on time. I was breastfed until I was 5 years old and really enjoyed just resting with my mother in her arms, napping and being close. I breastfed my daughter until she was two, and if I had to do it over again, I would probably have breastfed longer. People around me encouraged me to “take back my body,” but I cannot explain the joy I felt as a mother bonding with my little one. I am thankful to God that He has provided women with the opportunity to give the best they can to their babies and show them love and nourishment in such a peaceful, natural manner.
Meredith’s story (in 2 parts):
When your child is 2.5 pounds and in the NICU, breastfeeding feels like the only thing you can do to make him “better”. So, I did. I pumped milk, froze it and had it fed to him through a tube. Then we learned he wasn’t sucking well and the worst week of my life started. My milk dried up and I felt helpless. But I kept trying and eventually, with Fenugreek and a powerful pump I was able to produce about 2 ounces (8 times a day, every day). Six months later, exhausted from the endless pumping, feeding and cleaning routine I finally turned completely to formula. I felt defeated, but know that it helped.
After having a hard time breastfeeding my first child, I was convinced it would be better with the second. I was right. He was also early, but able to suck right away. Breastfeeding was excruciating for about 6 weeks and each time I would breastfeed sores would crack and open up, but soon the pain was a thing of the past and the ease of being able to feed him on demand, anywhere, (and not clean bottles!) was worth every bit of pain. I felt close to my baby and felt like I was doing something healthy for him every day. Success!
And my friend, Debby:
I breastfed both my children until they each were 3 1/2 years old. After the initial learning curve, we generally had a wonderful nursing relationship. It feels kind of strange when your child can clearly ask to nurse, because people look at you funny.
Most days, I wanted to let them self-wean when they were ready, other days I just wanted them to be done. Many people are not used to children nursing for so long but I’m glad I had support to give my children what I felt they needed, especially when they were sick or just needed comfort.