One of the very few nursing photos I will probably ever share in such a public way
Photo Credit: Venus Leah Photography
I have some of the most beautiful sibling photos I've ever seen. And I won't show them to you.
You might have noticed that I have not shared any of my own nursing photos before now. I have debated and debated, as I have lots of breastfeeding photos that are beautiful, funny, and/or mundane. Especially in the early days, nursing is so frequent that every photo taken is just before, during, or just after a feeding. I always chuckle at photos as I notice my shirt is not quite all the way down, or that I can tell the access flap on my bra isn't actually clasped, or some other tell-tale sign of probably the most commonplace happening of new motherhood: feeding the baby.
I don't keep these photos off the internet because I'm ashamed. Obviously I'm not.
But I am very uneasy about sharing photos of my children that could be used as fodder for teasing. For certain photos, I feel I need their consent to share them in such a public way as Facebook or this public blog. I've decided to share photos of my newborn nursing because that is becoming a more commonplace occurrence in this country, with 70.9% of newborns nursing in the hospital in 2003, and the CDC's goal for 2010 being 75%. I don't expect, when he's 5 or 6, that anyone is going to tease Squeak for nursing when he was one week old.
But I'm not so sure what the attitudes about photos of nursing toddlers will be toward the toddlers when they are school-aged.
It's really unfortunate because the photos that Venus took of Bean and Squeak nursing together are the most tender toddler/newborn sibling photos I think I have ever seen. Bean is gazing at Squeak and holding his hand, or Bean is nursing while Squeak sleeps on him. In another, Bean is nursing and gently stroking Squeak's head.
The photos are so sweet and genuine, and they capture how I feel about my life as a mother-of-two so far - and especially how I see Bean as a big brother. The past four weeks have been chaotic, and even cumbersome (I haven't grown a third arm, but I have ended up carrying things with my mouth a few times so far...), but full of love and appreciation and sooooo much snuggling!
...and a little yelling. It would be disingenuous if I didn't state for the record that the last few nights have been rough - each for a different reason - and I've been a bit short-tempered! I'm very much still on a high of postpartum hormones (and I imagine the fact that I'm nursing and snuggling two is keeping my oxytocin level at near-euphoric), but there is no substitute for a good night's sleep. Or three.