Meredith, this one is for you.
Today I scrolled back in my camera roll all the way to June of 2015, to when my first son, Brooks, was born. Each image stings my heart a bit. I see an absolutely beautiful baby boy, but also a terrified first time mother. During those early days & sleepless nights - I was pressured into believing that breastfed trumps all, even your own mental health.
I tried every trick in the book. Every supplement. Every pump schedule. Every. Damn. Thing.
It did not work.
I lost out on the first six weeks of Brooks' life - I remember barely anything.
When I found out I was pregnant with my second, I vowed to take a deep breath everyday and remember that this was MY journey, no one else's.
That turned out to be true, kind of.
I posted during month six of pregnancy that I was in search of formula, since there was a shortage I wanted to have a few containers in stock - just in case.
I instantly got a message in my inbox-
Basically she said - 'You got this. And if you don't - I got you.'
Meredith and I met in college many, many moons ago. She was a positive, kind, hide nothing, all encompassing friend.
I was soon to find out that not much has changed within her over the years.
Cooper arrived in early June, changing every single facet of my life, all while completely making me fall head over heels in love & wishing time to stand ab-freaking-lutely still.
Nursing Cooper was a dream, a total dream. Around week 5 or 6 he began to need more that I was able to give him. I wanted to be sad, but instead I listened to that little voice in my head,
'Take a deep breath momma.'
So I did. And that breath led me to her.
I asked Meredith for advice. I wanted her thoughts, which she gave me gracefully. I don't remember all the details but here is what I DO remember-
She told me I was enough, even when I wasn't actually "enough" - that I was ENOUGH for him.
She told me she was proud of me.
And she then told me the most incredible thing I have ever heard, that she would feed my baby WITH me.
Over the next 3 months Meredith gifted Cooper with thousands of ounces of breastmilk to pair with me nursing him.
Blessed doesn't hold a candle.
I try and think of a word to describe my feelings towards her, but I always fall short.
I would of NEVER been able to have any resemblance of a breastfeeding journey without her, my doubt would of taken over.
Cooper self weaned from nursing me right around 4 months. I could feel it coming & I would be lying if I said it didn't break my heart a little, only because the end of anything that beautiful is hard. So, so hard.
Meredith continues to feed my son, and will for months to follow. Her generosity fills my deep freezer.
How lucky is Cooper?
How lucky am I?
The answer is undoubtably SO on both accounts.
Meredith, you define selflessness. You have changed our lives and theres no way around that. Thank you for every word and ounce. I know its not easy, and at times overwhelming.
But my God, you are an angel earthside.
I booked a breastfeeding photography session with Meredith and myself and what was captured was something unbelievable magnificent -
Two women, two babies, two journeys but hand in hand through it all.
[Photo Credit - CRZ Photography]