Coming upon Avalon’s 18 month birthday, I recently had the opportunity for a breastfeeding photo session. I had never had this type of session with my other kids and I admired breastfeeding photos I had seen from others. Not knowing how long Avalon will continue to nurse and with the strong possibility that she could be the last baby, I knew my breastfeeding days are numbered and all-to-soon approaching an end. With that, I scheduled my breastfeeding session with my dear friend and photographer, Lauren.
All my breastfeeding journeys have been different; however, this one is especially unique in the mist of my unusual circumstances. Someday I will write how these unusual circumstances affected this and other sacred life events. However, for now, I will stick to what I gleaned from the photos.
Upon receiving my photos,I felt such appreciation for Lauren capturing these sacred moments. When I saw our photos the first thing I thought, besides how adorable Avalon is, was how strong I look. Is that ok to admit? Seeing my own strength surprised me, as it was not what I expected. As mothers it can be difficult to recognize our own strength, even harder to admit. After all, the strength of a mother is difficult to fully describe, especially a breastfeeding mother, as it cannot really be quantified. In the mist of many breastfeeding journeys, mothers have hormone fluctuation, higher demands of food and water, enjoying the peace and calm with your baby interupted by guilt because lack of the “world’s view of productivity”, constant schedule changes, attempting to still cultivate relationships with family and friends, lack of sleep, living in unpredictable times (especially now), feeling happiness mixed frustration and much more. Then to add to my journey deep grief, legal stress, life transformation, and continued deep healing. Now, please hear me, when I say that I don't share anything for sympathy. Every mother has circumstances, and no story is greater or less than another, I'm simply sharing a bit of mine. Under the pressure of life, rather than succumbing to the overwhelming craziness, God has been teaching me to embrace the adventure, live in the present and thus has made each moment all the sweeter. I believe that God should be at the core of everything we do, including our mothering and as a result, one of our core pillars of our mother strength is living in the present and having joy in the moment whether good or bad because the days are long, yet the years are short and we aren’t guaranteed another moment with our babies. So mamas recognize and own your own God-given strength, because WE ARE #MOTHERSTRONG.
Photo Credit by Ardyce Blooms