Rebecca invited me to record a very special set of images to celebrate and her breastfeeding journey. We discussed the style of the images and planned everything together for the shoot from location to what to wear. This is her story…
My breastfeeding journey.
Before my baby was born I had absolutely no preconceived ideas about breastfeeding. No one around me had breastfed their babies, no family members or friends. I just knew that it was something I wanted to give a try! I am big on health and knew that nutritionally it was the best option, not to mention the fact that I am not very organised and the thought of bottle-feeding filled me with dread, whipping a boob out just seemed better for someone who would lose her head if it wasn’t attached.
So when I was handed this newborn, who couldn’t latch I had no idea what to do. The next few months were a living nightmare. Arthur was so unsettled, never unlatched ( I think I got about 2 hours sleep a night) my nipples started bleeding and my precious little baby just seemed to cry all of the time. Surely, this wasn’t how it was supposed to be? Midwife after midwife came to try and help to no avail, they couldn’t work out why he couldn’t latch properly. “ maybe you just aren’t designed to breastfeed” one said, I remember this feeling of failure hit me in the heart.
I was ready to throw in the towel after months of perseverance. Every feed I’d dread as it was so painful. Why is this so hard? I read book after book, saw professional after professional. Homoeopathy, osteopathy, every type of opathy! Nothing worked. I had failed!
A few days after I’d decided I couldn’t express one more bottle, couldn’t stay awake all night with my baby unhappy. I met a lady at a baby group offering support. What did I have to lose?
Alexis told me that he has a tongue tie and this why was why we were struggling. We had the tie cut and he was able to latch on! I had to work at getting my supply back and went from exclusively pumping to exclusively breastfeeding.
From then on, it wasn’t easy but things improved and I was able to feed him. I decided I would feed him for a minimum of two years as recommended by WHO (world health organisation). I achieved that, and I was so thankful that I was able to nourish my child and overcome the obstacles put in our way.
When I had my second born, I saw Alexis straight away and Alberts tongue tie was cut, making things easier from the start. Our breastfeeding journey has been amazing and he has always been a very happy and relaxed baby. I have been tandem-feeding both of them for a year now and I feel incredibly lucky to be able to do so.
I wanted to have photographs of my breastfeeding journey to remember how incredibly hard we worked together to get through all of the hard parts, but also to remember the amazing bond I have with my two little ones. The hours I spent gazing at them when feeding and holding them close. I will treasure them forever.
I am now training to be a breastfeeding counsellor so I can help others achieve their breastfeeding goals.
Alexis Ozmen- Midwife, Doula and Breastfeeding Counsellor. All-round great person. I am eternally grateful for Lexi’s amazing knowledge and support.