How breastfeeding shaped our first year

My Talitha,

We breastfed through painful contractions which shrank my uterus, my terror and shock from the birth, your discomfort from a long and difficult labour, and my exhaustion from days and nights of no rhythm.

It taught me that you are mine. I am yours.

We breastfed through a late diagnosed tongue-tie, repeated plugged ducts, low milk supply, a hundred efforts to make things right, a score of deadlines which came and went without me being able to bring myself to stop, breastfeed after breastfeed which I left me stressed, worried and confused and supplements of formula.

It taught me to look at you carefully, to trust my instincts when I think something’s wrong, to fight for what is ours. It taught me not to judge others. It taught me to accept help, to take one moment at a time, to rely on God for strength.

We breastfed through frequent night wakings, car cryings, clingy periods and a transatlantic airplane journey.

It taught me to hold you close. It taught me that your wants and needs matter, that I have more to give than I ever imagined I did, that my life is no longer just about me.

We breastfed through to exclusive breastfeeding again.

It taught me to thank God. Over and over.

We finally breastfed enjoyably, naturally, peacefully, hilariously.

It taught me to rejoice in you, to delight in you, to sing a song over your youth and my own. My life today would be unrecognisable to the woman I was even three months ago. Every day you are older, the mother in me grows.

You will be one year old in four days. How we managed to get here, I don’t quite know.

Your Mummy.


31 Comments

  1. Hannah Moody
    June 7, 2012 / 12:04 pm

    I don’t think anyone can deny the amazing health benefits that Breastfeeding has on both baby AND mother… But I have to admit that I LOVE the fact that I don’t have to sterilise all the time! 🙂 @hannahmdy

    • Adele Jarrett-Kerr
      June 7, 2012 / 9:43 pm

      I agree. Sterilising is such a pain.

  2. mamigz
    June 7, 2012 / 4:08 pm

    I’ve been nursing the niño for 2 years now I have to acknowledge that my easy breastfeeding journey was down to a supportive too – daddy was at home with us for the first six months (visa issues) cold drinks were brought to me by him whilst feeding in the midst of a British summer heatwave and a sultry Mexican Autumn, meals cooked, housework done & errands ran. Our son is the big strong boy he is today because of my nursing and Papi’s help.

    • Adele Jarrett-Kerr
      June 8, 2012 / 9:37 am

      His daddy sounds like a great guy!

  3. Purplemum
    June 7, 2012 / 7:38 pm

    Lovely post, and I can relate to so much of what you are saying. Breastfeeding has helped me grow so much also. From learning to tolerate night time parenting, to learning to be still.
    Purplemum recently posted..Trendy Thursday – Children’s Style.

    • Adele Jarrett-Kerr
      June 8, 2012 / 9:40 am

      I love that – “learning to be still”.

  4. Donna McP
    June 7, 2012 / 8:02 pm

    Thanks for sharing I have enjoyed reading this, my littlest one is 5 months now and that time has flown, its been a different journey from that I took with his sister….. so much easier in some ways so much more complicated in others (having a toddler in tow) but Its such a timesaver and so simple compared to what I would face if I was formula feeding!

    • Adele Jarrett-Kerr
      June 8, 2012 / 9:44 am

      Lots of new challenges with two I can imagine!

    • Adele Jarrett-Kerr
      June 8, 2012 / 9:45 am

      We blinked and she grew.

  5. June 8, 2012 / 7:32 am

    Gorgeous, positive post on breastfeeding. Wonderful x

    • Adele Jarrett-Kerr
      June 8, 2012 / 9:45 am

      Thank you!

  6. Kristal
    June 8, 2012 / 2:00 pm

    Such a beautiful post! Thank you for sharing this. I actually find that I love the night feeds too, there’s something very special about it being just us while everyone else is sleeping..

    • Adele Jarrett-Kerr
      June 8, 2012 / 9:35 pm

      That’s something I never could have understood in the early days but now I love the re-connection that night feeds allow us.

  7. June 8, 2012 / 4:41 pm

    What a beautiful post! I love the portability, availability and cure-all nature of the boob – it’s marvellous!

    • Adele Jarrett-Kerr
      June 8, 2012 / 9:35 pm

      I agree! Marvelous it is!

  8. esther james
    June 8, 2012 / 8:34 pm

    There are so many but one is that its free!

    • Adele Jarrett-Kerr
      June 8, 2012 / 9:35 pm

      I hear you!

    • Adele Jarrett-Kerr
      June 8, 2012 / 9:36 pm

      It’s going too quickly!

    • Adele Jarrett-Kerr
      June 10, 2012 / 10:02 pm

      Well done for persevering despite not enjoying it though it’s a pity you never got to enjoy it.

  9. June 10, 2012 / 6:21 am

    I love the ease of breastfeeding. Nothing extra to carry or mix… but most of all, I love the closeness with Pickle. The ability to soothe him. I’ll actually be a bit sad when he’s eventually weaned.
    @Kanga_Rue recently posted..157/366 – Jubilympic Cocktail

    • Adele Jarrett-Kerr
      June 10, 2012 / 10:01 pm

      I know what you mean. I think I’ll be sad when Talitha does too.

  10. Carolin
    June 10, 2012 / 9:36 pm

    Its brilliant because you are not only doing the best for your child and yourself, you are also always prepared, you cant forget anything, you cant get the temperature or mixture wrong and you dont have to walk around the house when you are half-asleep to get a night feed set up.

    • Adele Jarrett-Kerr
      June 10, 2012 / 10:00 pm

      Lord knows I’m good at forgetting things!

  11. Claire Willmer
    June 11, 2012 / 7:07 pm

    I think obviously i love all of the health benefits of breastfeeding for your little one and you are amazing but i also love the special time you get to spend together too : ) It truely is a gift and amazing!

  12. June 11, 2012 / 9:08 pm

    What a lovely post. It’s amazing how quickly they grow…

    We struggled with breastfeeding too but there are so many benefits, I’m glad we persevered. I think my favourite is probably the convenience, especially if Bubby D is ill and needs comforting – it’s great to know I’ve got healing milk power on tap, so to speak!
    Mummygadgetgeek recently posted..Make breastfeeding easy – win a Breastvest

  13. June 16, 2012 / 5:52 pm

    I love the photos on your blog, so beautiful. I don’t have an outright favourite benefit since there are far too many to choose from. I think for this blog post I will choose…the fact that breast milk adapts and changes to suit the stage of my baby’s development. Amazing stuff 🙂
    Kate Buckley (@scattymumofboys) recently posted..The Key to Breastfeeding Success

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