World breastfeeding week 2014 : A picture is worth a thousand words.
That we have to promote a manner of feeding that is not questioned by any other species on earth, that has been honed by thousands of years of evolution to bring us where we are.
But who said the world isn’t a strange place? Not me.
So here’s my picture….and a few words after…
|Painted by Erin Darcy
It’s not really a picture as in photograph. the actual photograph exists, but I wanted to share this beautiful work-in-progress painting of it.
The picture was taken when Roz was six months old and I simply adored her. We had both relaxed into our breastfeeding journey and into our roles as mother and never-sleeping baby. She was smiley and gurgley and just adorable.
When I found out I was pregnant four years ago, I wasn’t going to breastfeed. I already had two sisters who hadn’t managed to breastfeed and my memories of the last child I had ever seen breastfed was my brother. My mother developed very bad thrush and I associated this, the endless tubes of daktarin, tearful stories and sore nipples, with breastfeeding.
And then I went and joined a website for expectant mums and a few of the women there, who have still remained friends, gave me so much advice and so many resources and so many youtube videos. The best videos being the ones by the New Zealand Ministry of health that just…oh, I was amazed! I was gaining confidence. I had this online support of women and resources and I just though I would give it my very best and take one day at a time and that’s all I could do.
And when Roz was born, I remember her sleeping beside me after our c-section birth and I was sore and tired and the midwife came to my bedside and asked if I wanted to try and nurse.
I propped myself up and was handed this warm, skinny mewling baby and I was terrified.
The midwife reminded me very gently to lean back.
“Baby to breast, not breast to baby”, she said and I put my shoulders back, breathed deeply in and out and Roz latched on. Perfectly.
And I was in awe that my body could do this amazing thing! Could sustain another human life.
And even though we had our ups and downs with breastfeeding, I wouldn’t change it for the world.
But I couldn’t have done it without the three pillars of breastfeeding. Support, support, support. And the more pictures we see out there supporting breastfeeding and the unbelievable power it holds for us as mums and tots, the better
In Nietzsche’s book Thus spake Zathustra, he gives us a challenge: if you were to live your life over and over again, (groundhog day style for all the modern kids) what could you do a thousand times over without regrets.
For me, breastfeeding would definitely be one of those I have no regrets about. Even through the sleepless nights and the crying and worries, and that’s only me, I would do it a thousand times over because nothing ever came close to healing that attachment that I thought I would never feel for another human. Nothing came close to reassuring me I was loved and needed and that I loved and needed in return.
And if you want to browse more of the very talented Erin Darcy’s work, please go to www.erindarcydesign.com
You can read more breastfeeding link experiences from Irish parenting bloggers and can celebrate with your own story and pictures below.