Breast feeding

So, this just happened, blowing my intended afternoon plans out of the water. But - I think it's a good thing too. A lot of things needed to be said.



Wow. That's all I've been able to say for the past several minutes. 
Because: "Someone reported my photo for containing nudity." My photo was reported for "violating Facebook's Community Standards on nudity" and will be removed if found in violation (currently in review). 
This photo. Wow. 
I have some things to say about this. 
First, I'm not in violation whatsoever with Facebook's policies. Please see: "We also restrict some images of female breasts if they include the nipple, but we always allow photos of women actively engaged in breastfeeding or showing breasts with post-mastectomy scarring."
Second: Nursing/breast feeding is a huge part of my life right now. I'm solely responsible for providing the sustenance this new baby needs to grow up, which is incredible in so many ways. There will be more pictures shared along this theme, probably for the next couple of years. 
Third: I've added some new friends over the past couple of months. If you aren't comfortable with images like the one you see here, please kindly unfriend or unfollow me. My feelings are hurt that you've reported my image, and it might be better for our "friendship" if you didn't subject yourself any longer. I'm not a "belligerent" or "militant" breast feeder. I'm not waving my breasts around in wanton displays. I'm pretty modest for the most part, and I'm always mindful of the fact that I'm connected here with family (my husband, my father, my mother, my brother...) as well as friends. I don't post anything I'm ashamed of, or that I think my family would be ashamed of. 
Fourth: I'm not big on confrontation, and I'm not silly enough to believe that my words here can change someone's mind - whoever felt that this was offensive enough to report. 
But I am big on championing myself and my successes in the hopes that my experiences can encourage someone else. 
One thing I've realized in this second round of pregnancy/motherhood is that I'm much more confident in myself than I was with James. This. Is. Awesome. There was so much confusion, frustration, doubt, and fear when James was so small. Was I doing it right? Whatever the "it" of the moment was? This time, I have a place to start from. I certainly don't know everything, but I know my resources. I know when to ask for help. I know what I'm capable of. And one of the things I'm capable of? Not only creating a human being from scratch within myself... not only birthing that human from my body with no medication... but then being able to provide everything that human needs for sustenance for the first 6 months of life (and beyond). Nutrients. Antibodies. Liquid. Calories. Love. Comfort. Connection. This is freaking incredible - and I get the amazing opportunity to do it again. It's mind blowing. Powerful. And worthy of attention. My attention, if not yours. 
Fifth: It's hard - nursing can be a challenge. With Thomas, I faced struggles in the first few days that I never had with James. My nipples were cracked, bleeding, scabbed - and nursing was the worst pain I could have imagined... and I got to go through that every 2ish hours until we broke through and found a solution. I was crying in the middle of the night, during the day, over and over, with Alan helpless to fix it. He drove me to the IBCLC and attended our consultation in support. He ran out to the pharmacy on Black Friday to get proper medication for me. He never doubted for a moment that we could get past this, and wanted Thomas and I to have the same chances that James and I had. And now we do. 
Sixth: Did you know that I nursed James until he was 2 years old? 25 months, actually. How cool is that? Sure, James started eating table food with us at 6 months, and stopped using bottles around a year old. We introduced cow's milk around a year at daycare, but we still nursed when he wanted to. It was so great - such a source of love and comfort and nourishment. And all of a sudden, it was over. He was done. We went on a trip for Memorial Day weekend, and it just... stopped. Naturally. With no struggles or tears or sadness. I'm so thankful for that journey. 
Seventh: I used to be so ashamed of my body. My breasts in particular. They are so small. They always have been. Certainly NOT the current "ideal" of female attractiveness. I've battled against this awkwardness, this shame, this being "less than" for so long. My breasts have never been able to fill out certain dresses, or bathing suits, or bras. I've always doubted that men could find me attractive. There was always a sneaking doubt when I had a boyfriend. The insecurity that another girl with the "right" body would walk by and remind that guy that - he's dating the girl with the small boobs. 
It's taken me a long time to start loving myself. And a really big part of that? Has been this miraculous ability to nurse my sons. My breasts are incredible. I am incredible. I know this now. Maybe they're/I'm not what "society" thinks is hot. Maybe I'm not lust-worthy to the general public. But that's okay. I'm beautiful to myself and my husband in a lot of different ways. I'm beautiful to my sons as their mother. 
I'm sad for my younger self, for having to fight this silent battle, for having so many years of doubt and questioning my worth and beauty. But I am grateful for the path I've walked, because now I can share my story with others. And hope that my words and images can help other girls or women struggling. 
Eighth: I will be sharing more of my images of breastfeeding here, with the full support and encouragement of my husband. I will be sharing more of my words and thoughts on motherhood, breastfeeding, life, love, growing, learning, and in general continuing to become the person I'm meant to be. If you aren't comfortable with that, please choose to look away.

Nursing Thomas - 5 days old

Nursing James - 11 months old

Nursing James - 11 months old

Nursing James - 11 months old
Nursing James - 11 months old


Nursing James - 9 days old

Nursing James - 9 days old

Nursing James - 9 days old

Nursing James - 9 days old


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