my path to purpose
i woke up at 4:25am. "google lactation consultant", i hear a silent voice say to me. i do it. and just like that. god gave me my promise. my journey to this "purpose" begins with taylor grey. so that's where i'll start...
i ALWAYS knew i would nurse bee. but when she came home, it wasn't as easy as i thought it would be. my baby LOST 2 pounds the first week she was home. i knew just by looking at her that something was wrong. i scheduled an appointment with a lactation consultant immediately. she informed me that because bee wasn't latching properly, my milk production was down and she wasn't getting enough milk. part of why she wasn't latching is because when i came home, my milk came in. my breast were HUGE! i couldn't even put my arms down by my side. they were so engorged, that bee couldn't get her little mouth to squeeze any milk out. what i didn't know, was that i was suppose to pump that milk OUT! it wasn't until my sister came by and saw my engorged breast, did i know something was wrong. due to me not pumping out the milk, my body slowed production dramatically. the lactation consultant suggested that we supplement with formula until my supply came back up, and i was devastated. we did it, because my feelings weren't important. my babies health was.
about a week or so later, i had a conversation with my mother about how defeated i felt, and she said something to me that changed our trajectory forever. she reminded me that i nursed for a year exclusively as a child... with a cleft palette. she said "jo jo, if you could do it, she can do it. you just have to relax. stress isn't helping. make a decision that this is what you're going to do, and figure it out." she helped me latch bee that day, and for the first time in her 3 weeks outside the womb, i nursed my baby to full! bee nursed exclusively for 1 year and nightly until age 2.
what does all this have to do with my purpose? when bee was born, i wanted to start a mother's group for young women and women of color, because i felt like there were so few resources for us that support a natural and holistic approach to child rearing. recently, as i was having a conversation recently with a dear friend who is expecting her second child, she reminded me of how much encouragement and help i was to her when she decided to nurse her first born. she said, "you would always tell me, don't say you're going to try to nurse, say i'm going to nurse! make the decision, and commit to it." hearing her go on and on about how much she appreciated me, i realized how many women are lacking something as simple as support.
not just support to nurse, but how to manage nursing and not feel consumed by it. supporting your decision to stop when it becomes a burden. assisting you in finding the best transition from nursing to bottles, to finger foods, to full meals. a sister. a friend. a cheerleader on your journey. it's my calling. and i'm pumped to start my journey!