Sunday, December 18, 2016

Fed Is Best

I have been loving the tree of life pictures. If you haven't seen them they are typically pictures with the tree over the mother's breast and the child's face while nursing. I have seen some neat pictures with bottles as well. While these pictures are beautiful and I love seeing them, it is hard seeing them as it reminds me of missing out on this experience with Kaleb. Kaleb and I may not have gotten to ever get to this point of him nursing even though I had continued to hold out hope, but I wanted to make my own pictures. A look at what feeding looks like for us and the love and work that goes into each feed.

The first is a picture from one of my last pumps on November 4th. I had made it 14 months and a few days of pumping. Even though I still had 5-6 months worth of breast milk in deep freezers it was a hard moment to look at my supply dwindling and knowing that I was about to end that chapter. The other picture is Kaleb getting breast milk, just in a different way than most.

Breast or formula there is a hot topic that comes up in every mommy group I have ever been a part of, it is a controversial topic with both sides often getting defensive. So there is the saying fed is best. I like this and believe that for tubie babies this saying, fed is best, brings on a brand new meaning. 

For my fellow pumping mommas who for one reason or another are unable to nurse or those that do to work find themselves pumping; I applaud you. It's a pain, literally. I know what it's like to tirelessly hook up to a machine to provide breast milk for your baby. Spending hours with a machine instead of your baby, Instead of when you get up in the middle of the night to cuddle and nurse your baby and caress their cheek you hook up to a machine and play on your phone, possibly staring at a picture of your baby and caress the screen as you work to remember why you continue to pump. You continue to wash and sanitize pump parts, you log your pumps, calculate milk output, carefully label storage bags, and set up alarm reminders for your next pump. All of this for a child who won't remember this commitment and dedication. Know that we see you. Fellow pumping mommas we know what it's like, we've been there.

For tube fed mommas, it can be tough to hook up for feeds whether from gravity feeds or a pump. It can be tough when you see pictures of mothers cuddling while they nurse or give their baby a bottle, while feeding for you can be a wrestling match while you keep them still, make sure the tube isn't kinked, and every other detail that goes into a feed. It can be tough when you begin to get looks when you are out and it's time to feed. It can be tough when well meaning individuals ask how long until they can drink from a bottle or cup.Know that we see you. We see you provide for your child and learn a new way to feed your child, a way you never expected.

So mommas keep those tree of life pictures are coming but remember whether breast, bottle, or tube; fed is best. 

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