This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of 1 Natural Way, a TRICARE breast pump provider. All opinions about breastfeeding are entirely my own.
I first saw the idea about six months ago. A dear friend posted gorgeous images of herself feeding her baby, surrounded by nature. She looked majestic, like a goddess.
While I was intrigued, I also brushed off the idea. I’m fairly modest and prefer to keep my breastfeeding moments low-key and as private as possible. There was no way that I would be up for having that documented by a stranger!
Until an offer popped up that I couldn’t refuse.
I’ve been getting teary-eyed lately. This is my last baby. Every first something is also the last first. Our last midnight feeding. The last breastmilk-only dirty diaper (yes, I know, it’s ridiculous). That last totally gummy smile. In short, I’ve been getting nostalgic for things that are not even over yet. Every moment is worthy of photo documentation.
Then, like a sign from above, there it was in my Facebook newsfeed: $60 for a breastfeeding photo shoot. I saved the post to think it over. To question my own sanity. Was I really going to whip it out, in public, for someone to take pictures of?
I mean, pumping is one thing. Using my Medela pump is not that revealing. 1 Natural Way offers the popular Medela, Spectra and Kiinde brands for military spouses for no cost.
Public and uncovered breastfeeding was another.
After I hemmed and hawed over it for 24 hours, I pushed send on a PM to the photographer. Could she work my older child into the photo shoot?
Kelli Slimm, the wonderful photographer, answered that, of course, my daughter would be very welcome and included in the shoot. Done deal! Anytime I have a chance to grab professional photos of my little family for a reasonable cost, I jump at the opportunity.
I was a bundle of nerves about my breastfeeding photo shoot.
I didn’t even tell my husband I was doing this photo session. I knew he would scoff at the idea or my reasoning. He might even be downright against it: documenting un-covered nursing in public, only a crazy person would do that!
Well, call me crazy!
I was also insanely nervous.
First, all my nursing bras had been through the wringer after having been used for my older child too.
Te best one of the bunch suddenly had a hook break on the morning the pictures were scheduled to happen. My current location doesn’t have the best selection of nursing bras and there clearly wasn’t time to order or borrow another. Getting post-partum supplies, like breast pump accessories and compression socks, is much easier when you order through 1 Natural Way. I just wish I had thought of that before my photo shoot!
Second, I needed to find something that both complimented my post-baby body and color coordinated with outfits my kids already owned. If I was doing this, I was going to do it looking 100% awesome. It took an hour of pulling out every possible dress and top to find something that worked for breastfeeding and was figure-flattering.
My breastfeeding photo shoot was surprisingly low-key and relaxing.
Kelli found a quiet spot on a gorgeous beach. She’s a mom too, so she understands how to work with little ones and relax anxious mamas.
Even though there were other people on the beach, not one word was said either about the nature of the photo shoot or my very public un-covered nursing. Everyone minded their own business and we went on with our photo session.
Unfortunately, my baby was not feeling cooperative in the least. He did latch, but only for a few minutes. Luckily, that brief window was just enough for Kelli to snap a few beautiful pictures.
The rest of the time at the beach was spent taking pictures of our little family all together (minus my husband who was away) and of my two children.
These precious moments are captured forever.
My children will only be little for so long. Before I know it, their chubby little hands will no longer reach up for mine and they will no longer fit in my arms. Suddenly, there will be no babies to feed or even pump for. I’ll soon be putting away my Medela Freestyle breast pump that was covered, cost-free, by Tricare.
I took a crazy chance on a wild idea: public breastfeeding pictures. And I’m so incredibly grateful that I made that leap of faith. Now I have a brief moment, captured forever: my last baby in my arms getting nourishment from me. I also have beautiful photos of both my children, frolicking in the East China Sea at sunset on our island.
These moments, this stage in my life, will be gone before I know it. I’m so glad that I’ll be able to go back in time, in the years to come, to a moment when he was still a gummy baby and she was my strong-willed toddler. This time is precious.