I was so excited to finally get my project out and share it with everyone that I forgot to explain the sentiment behind it. I'm a new mom. I'm 10 months into my new job and I'm in love. I was 10 seconds into my new job and I was in love. Truly no one can explain to you what having a child does to your emotional state. Saying it is life changing doesn't seem to do it justice. The love I feel for this new little life is still overwhelming to this day. The vulnerability I feel is palpable. It's one of life's gifts that I am privileged to be able to be a part of.
That being said, I remember crying, A LOT, the first few months. And mainly, I was crying because I couldn't figure out this breastfeeding thing. I went to the class, talked to all my mom friends about it, read books, but still nothing can prepare you for the feeling of breastfeeding. Of knowing that no one else can do this job but you. Of feeling, everyday, that your sole purpose is to give this child your milk. I have never known what it feels like to be a cow and now I feel as though I understand their existence all too well. And my kid was easy! He latched on within 30 seconds of coming out of the womb. I can't imagine living through all the trials and tribulations that other moms go through on a daily basis. But what made it all worth it and still makes it worth it are those little moments with your baby that no one else can have with them. It's those adorable faces that look up at your while they happily suckle away. It's knowing that your boobs are so powerful that they can make your baby stop crying instantly, no matter what is causing their tears. I mean, we ladies know that our "ladies" are powerful things, just ask any male or watch TV for two seconds. But seeing our breasts as life giving and watching your baby grow...nothing can top that feeling.
Oh but the time it takes! I would sit there with my son for over 90 minutes breastfeeding him sometimes. My mind had nothing else to do but wander. And wander it did onto some images of beauty. I thought about how great a picture would be capturing this quiet moment with my child. I thought about the different lighting that goes on and how everyone's nursing area looks different (mine had a nice rocking chair and ottoman, the Boppy, and I played a playlist made especially for my son over and over again). I wanted to capture all those things!
I also starting to follow an online community on Facebook. A lot of the focus was around the women on their asking their questions about breastfeeding but also venting about how much breastfeeding isn't understood and how frustrating it is to cover up your baby in public because you have to feed them. I can attest to how annoying it is to drape this "utter cover" over you while your baby is screaming for food and comfort and kicking and clawing so much that you might as well not be covered at all. I applauded all the women not afraid to nurse in public. Which was the part 2 inspiration for my project. I wanted ladies who weren't afraid to show the world that it's ok to nurse your baby anywhere and everyone can just get over themselves.
So there it is in a nutshell. I was on vacation on a lake in upstate NY describing these things to my husband and he encouraged me! He told me I should get word out and get volunteers. He told me he would help me in anyway that he could. That I day I posted to Breastfeed Chicago and had such an overwhelming response I had to create an excel sheet...I tend to not create such things on my summer vacation! I met so many wonderful women who were so open and honest and lovely. I'm so glad that I did this just to meet other women doing the same things I was doing on a daily basis and know that you're not alone and you always have support. If this project says that to one other lady out there, or makes a pregnant woman think about her feeding options for even one more second, then I'm thrilled.