By Kimberley Newing
A milestone happened in our house this week.
I breastfed for the last time. EVER.
Our 17 month old weaned and the timing was perfect for all of us.
For almost 7 years and 3 babies I have dedicated my time, energy, body and self to growing tiny humans into strong, healthy beings.
And I am damn proud of this – because for those who know, breastfeeding is no easy feat.
It didn’t come naturally to me (like I thought it would). In fact I remember pleading to revisit childbirth in place of the pain I endured through breastfeeding.
The engorgement, cracked and bleeding nipples, mastitis, low supply, too much supply, on demand feeding, staving off feeds, schedules, dropping feeds, bottle refusal, biting, niplash (you’ll know what that is if you’ve experienced it haha)…and the feeling like your body is no longer your own.
All of these things AND the pure joy of knowing that it was all worth it. For me and my family, it has absolutely been worth it. I did what I set out to do – nourish my children the way I wanted to and I did it against the odds.
Now it needs to be said, that this post is not to take away from anyone who couldn’t or chose not to breastfeed – we all have our paths to forge and bridges to cross. This post is to acknowledge and celebrate the hard work and efforts we put in to ANY goal that we mama’s deem worthwhile.
Because, well, why not!?!?! Why not celebrate the efforts we make in order to create better lives for our children. I don’t pretend this gig is easy. It’s the hardest fucking job I’ve ever had to do – motherhood. I’ve met my lowest of lows and highest of highs during these past 7 years.
I have crumbled MANY times into a million pieces and somehow managed to put myself back together and most times, better than I was before.
Because that’s what motherhood can do for us if we choose to see it this way. Yes, on one level it breaks us but into what?
I am a far better human now than I was before having children. My depth of understanding, my tolerance, my vulnerability, authenticity, my patience (tho sometimes I don’t feel so much of that one!) my kindness, my love, my generosity, my service, my purpose, my dedication…What motherhood has taught me about resilience and courage, about unconditional love and selfless joy has profoundly changed me for the better.
See next page for the rest…