August is national breastfeeding awareness month! To honor all of the mommas out there who embrace this beautiful connection with their child, we are featuring Caitlyn and Cade. Sharing more than an intimate baby and mother photography photoshoot.
Intimate sessions are important to me because of the essence in which I’m capturing. These are real, honest, and meaningful moments of my clients. A time when they are sharing a very vulnerable part of themselves. To me, that is art. And the type of art I got to create with Caitlyn and Cade – well you’ll just have to see for yourself.
Before we dive into the portraits, we would love to share a piece written by Caitlyn. She talks about her personal journey with breastfeeding and how it impacted her time during postpartum. We honestly get emotional every time we read it so grab the tissues.
“Even before I got pregnant with Cade, I knew breastfeeding was something I wanted to do. I saw the beauty in it before it came to be our time. I realized after I had Cade, even the closest of people to me didn’t have the smooth road I had always envisioned.
For us, it started Day 1. When I had Caiden my midwife told me he had a tongue tie. We tried to help him latch and he just couldn’t do it. Luckily, my midwife had told me to get a nipple shield before I had him in case we needed it. Of course, that was one thing we forgot to bring to the birth center, so my boyfriend rushed home to get it as we lived very close. Once he returned we attached the nipple shield and baby Cade latched right on.
We got the OK to go home and little did I know this was really just the beginning. I was told to nurse every 2-3 hrs around the clock if he doesn’t ask beforehand. He was a bit jaundiced and extra sleepy in the beginning, so I woke him up pretty much every time. At his 5 day appointment, we were told he has lost too much of his birth weight, so we immediately made an appointment with a lactation consultant.
From day 1 the goal was to have him gain weight, focus on latch later. This is where my relationship with the breast pump came into play. I was so determined for this part of my journey I didn’t really realize the toll pumping could take on someone. As I was pumping every 2-3 hrs plus nursing to get his weight up, each weigh-in made me more and more nervous. I started to get obsessed with looking at him in that sense.
We had weeks of lactation appointments, tongue tie revision, and weigh-ins at appointments to check how much milk he transferred at the breast. It wasn’t until he was two months old we got the OK to exclusively nurse and I felt on top of the world. I pushed aside my pump to focus on that at the time being. It was all I wanted. He did so well. He started to make eye contact while feeding and it made me feel like we finally made it. Weeks later we had a weight check and Cade had plateaued. The anxiety of his weight instantly came on me all over again.
Our pediatrician told me we have 48 hours to see some weight gain or she would admit him to the hospital to observe his spit-up. We now needed to give him a specific amount of ounces per day and since you can’t measure breastfeeding that now means breastfeeding was on the back burner again. I was devastated but determined. I got out my pump, cried a lot, and started pumping every 2 hrs. My body was not used to this at all. It was rough. Cade wanted to nurse in between bottles and it broke my heart because I knew if we did that I wouldn’t have enough milk to pump every 2 hours.
I then realized I had to surrender. For my sanity, for my bonding time with my son, for my body’s sake, for my supply. I did hours of research and sent my boyfriend to the store to pick up a can of formula to supplement. We came to this decision so I would be able to continue to nurse Cade while pumping to build my supply. It was a weight lifted off my shoulders to know I could add an ounce of formula to my expressed milk. We also now had to hold him upright for 20 minutes after a feed for his reflux, so that was new. It was hard.
Here I am 3 months postpartum thinking I had it all down last month and still continually adapting.
We are getting the hang of everything see that Caden is thriving.
Everyone has a different experience and am so happy for those who do have a smooth sailing journey. For those who don’t… I hear you, I see you, I am you. I can finally see the light at the end of our tunnel and I know you will too.
Breastfeeding is so rewarding and I need him just as much as he needs me.“
Caitlyn & Cade
Studio: Neuhaus Studio in Downtown Seattle
Caitlyn & Cade | “Intimate sessions are important to me because of the essence in which I’m capturing. These are real, honest, and meaningful moments of my clients…”