Tandem nursing mothers are superheros! Baylee and her two babies are so sweet! They happened to be in town from San Diego when I had a last minute opening for a session and I’m so glad the timing worked out!
Baylee was kind enough to answer some questions about her experience for this blog post! Here is what she shared:
Breastfeeding is such a beautiful image, mother and child bonding. I always imagined it would be as effortless as it is beautiful. So that changed when I had my daughter . The phrase that kept popping out of my mouth was– “no! you don’t understand, the severity of my obligation!” That and owwwww. I was very surprised that no one talks about how much it hurts and how constant their need for it is. But I had one friend tell me, it gets better, and then it stays that way and it’s all joy from then on, just you and your baby falling in love. And she was right, after 4 weeks of toe curling pain I decided to give up, and after one full day of bottle feeding her, I gave up on giving up. It stopped hurting completely. Miraculously. I’ve been loving breastfeeding ever since. Then, I thought she would just ween herself when her brother was born, seeing that mommy was busy….but no. She’s having a boobie renaissance if anything. More boob now than ever.
So, my biggest challenge with breastfeeding was the first four weeks and getting over the static, silent image of breastfeeding to come to a more accurate understanding of the activity from the mother’s seat. And then my favorite thing about it is everything since. I love that it instantly calms them down no matter what’s happening. I love the intense stare of love they shoot up at me every once in a while when I say I love you, their gratitude comes through those gorgeous baby blue eyes with a clearer communication than any words I’ve ever heard. I love how as Farrah has gotten older she pats my arm as she nurses, returning my love pats with her gentle small hand.My favorite memory breastfeeding Farrah is when it first started feeling ok, better, no more bleeding nipples, and all of a sudden I felt this tingle in my lower leg, and I started to notice that my whole body was just giving to this little girl. Cells we’re being summonsed from everywhere in my being to give her love and life and make her feel comfortable being here on earth. I felt like a welcomer / ambassador to the planet, and it made me feel really important, like what I was doing had the potential to communicate all the peace and love I had ever known or heard about directly into this new creature, to convince her that things are really good. So I try to keep that mindset whenever I’m breastfeeding so that I’m careful to only tell them about the good loving things about life in that moment– and maybe the quality of their belief in that will be better because of that. I don’t know.
Tandem nursing has presented challenges. At first, I laid on my side and put big sissy on bottom and tiny little newborn brother right on top of her– they were like puppies piled on me! But that only lasted so long. Now I need side support and pillows so I can prop one up on each side.
During the photo shoot I felt like the African women in the Babies movie. Just sitting on the ground in the dirt, legs straight out, nursing away! A little awkward position, but the photos turned out great.
I really wanted to see breastfeeding photos of myself because now at this point after doing it for two years and completely assimilating it into my life, I wanted that distance from it again, to see it again as just a beautiful image, mother and baby sharing secrets with their eyes and looking comfortable. It took awhile to actually feel comfortable doing it myself, and it’s been a journey– from seeing the image, to being in the picture myself with all it’s pain and joy, and now it’s rewarding to see how I’ve become that image I used to wonder about. It’s my opportunity to communicate the secret joy of breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding is kind of an exclusive club– high pain tolerance to enter, but then, paradoxically, the prize is a nice peace with your baby. Whatever it is, it’s a heck of a lot more than the silent peaceful image I had in my mind before I started. Because breastfeeding is a moving target– squirmy little babies tugging hard at your nipples! I hope that something about my photo shoot can convey a sense of how awkward- and yet still beautiful and peaceful the whole thing is.
So thank you for giving me that opportunity Alicia! The location was magical, the sunlight on the grass was beautiful, you really chose an amazing spot! It was easy to be myself with you. I was happy with how quickly you were able to capture these moments that will now last a lifetime. Thank you so much!!
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