Being Brave

12:32 pm

Not what we expected. on 365 Project

I shared this photo on my 365 project yesterday, and also uploaded it to my flickr account, and now I'm sharing it here.
I was actually shaking when I uploaded it to my 365 project. I felt sick. I haven't allowed any photos of Ernest feeding from a bottle. In fact Woody got quite cross with me at Christmas when I suggested he tell his mother (who takes 100's of unflattering candid shots)no photos with a bottle in shot.
Yesterday though, I was feeding Ernest and we were having a lovely snuggly time, so I allowed India to take this photo.
Honestly I still have mixed feelings about it.
I just thought that Ernest deserved a photo to look back on and see he was fed with love, and perhaps one day I'll be able to look at this photo and not feel shame, but just remember our times together on the rocking chair.

Don't be shy, say hello!

38 comments

  1. ...and you just look so great, so happy with him, so beautiful - I love your hair, and your décoltée!

    No shame, just regret - it's not at all your fault, you couldn't do better!

    xo,
    Daria

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  2. What an absolutely beautiful photo, Jeanette xxx there is so much love in your eyes, on your face and in that bottle xxx

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  3. hugs mama. I know how you feel. When I read this, I realised that I haven't taken any of G being bottle fed...

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  4. what a look of love, that is totally what I see - an amazingly committed and selfless mumma - lucky lucky babe x

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  5. Thank you for being brave. This is a beautiful picture of the two of you. I can feel the love and the fun.

    Having been in a similar position, I understand how hard it is to see the bottle in the pictures. At least, it is YOUR milk.

    HUGS and thanks for sharing.

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  6. I see not just your love for him, but his sweet baby love, with his fingers touching your hand and his eyes locked into yours. That's what counts. He is getting love with every sip, no matter the container.

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  7. This is a stunning photograph. This is how all babies should be fed, regardless of whether the milk is coming out of a boobie or a teat or a spoon or a cup or from the end of a finger - with total and mutual enrapture, adoration and love.

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  8. the look on both your faces is beautiful. I hope that one day you'll look at this and rather than shame feel pride for all your pumping and your tenaciousness in getting Ernest's snips and for generally mothering him with so much love.

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  9. I think it's a beautiful shot. Thank you for sharing :)

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  10. Oh mamma.. this just brings tears to my eyes. I know how much this has been to get through.. but I look at this picture and see such love and warmth.. look at both of your faces. and look at his fingers around yours. Inside that bottle is nothing but pure love.. and he will know it.. he already does.

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  11. Oh Jeanette, I dont want to bore you with a long story, but in shorthand, I had heart surgery as a child, instead of the usual midline vertical cut, they guessed where my left breast would be, (i was 3), and cut an arc, hoping it would be hidden under my breast. Sadley they cut too high and breast development was hampered. As an adult I had surgery to make both breasts look the same. I wasnt told they would cut and reposition my nipples, making it almost impossible to breastfeed. I am still very sad about it, even though I found out when I had my 1st baby and he is 22. I really understand how you feel.
    V
    xxx

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  12. You look beautiful!! :D

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  13. I looked at the photograph and thought how beautiful, then i read your message so I went back and looked again. All I can see is joyous, I'm sure the weeman will appreciate a photo when he's older.....no fear you'd never know you feel anything other than love x

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  14. A beautiful photo and the love shines through xx

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  15. No shame Jeanette, just a beautiful, loving and happy moment. Remember you have always done your absolute best for this special little man.

    Well done!

    San xx

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  16. Look at how he is looking at his Mama. He couldn't care less where that milk is coming from, just that he is being snuggled by you.

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  17. This is such a beautiful photo, and I hope one day you can shake the shame. I won't say to just let it go, as I know how hard it can be to let go of shame - god knows I hold on to so much myself - but this is such a beautiful example of gentle and caring mothering, no matter how the child is being fed and what is in the bottle.
    Most importantly, he's getting your extra special mummy milk and I know he'll be enjoying every last sip of it. Feel proud of how well you've done, especially on the days when it all seems to hard.
    xo

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  18. You should feel proud, not ashamed!
    You and Ernest have been through so much, are still going through so much, but there's no sign of that in the photo. It's just shows the happy loving relationship between a mother and son. Okay, there's a bottle there, and it's not the feeding image but the love and happiness will be what he remembers.

    The dedication you have put into expressing and trying different ways to feed Ernest is amazing. You should be given a medal.
    Most Mum's, myself included, would have resorted to formula long ago. I personally am completely in awe of you.

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  19. I'm sure my comments are irrelevent to how you feel, but all I can see in that picture is a happy relaxed and contented child in the arms of his mother who loves him. You've done everything right. Breastfeeding didn't work however much you wanted it to, so you found another way to feed him your milk and he is happy with that. No child can ask for any more. You did what was necessary for him despite your own feelings. That's true love.

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  20. It's a beautiful photo!! Ive made my peace with my feeding situation and am happy to admit publically that while I adore breast-feeding I also love to bottle feed and seeing a baby happily feeding via any method makes me smile.

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  21. This is a beautiful picture, Jeanette. Thanks for being brave and sharing. xx

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  22. Jeanette, what a beautiful photo showing the love between you and Ernest. Thank you for being so brave and posting this one. You are such a beautiful mother. I feel so honoured that you are willing to share your journey through your blog. It enriches me. love, Carlyn

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  23. Wow. The waves of love coming off that picture is staggering.
    Beautiful.

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  24. You're a beautiful mumma mothering that beautiful boy. Such love in that photo. (((Hugs)))

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  25. I agree with Daria "No shame, just regret - it's not at all your fault, you couldn't do better!"
    It's a beautiful photograph. You are both beautiful. When you tell Ernest all about it when he's older her will know he is loves SO SO SO much (though I am sure he will know already). Not many mothers would put so much time and effort and tears into making sure he get breast milk despite the hardships. To STILL be expressing is an amazing thing.
    It is NOT your failure. It's not Ernests either. It's just the way it's hapenned. And you have done the best you can with what you have been given. You could not have done any better.

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  26. This is a beautiful picture. It's just lovely. You should make more pictures of him being bottle fed, he will be grateful for it when he's older. It's such an intimate moment between mother and baby, he should have more such photo's for his album :-)

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  27. Well done you! Not just for posting that photo, but for keeping going with expressing when most Mums would have reached for the formula. When DD1 was tiny I used to carry her around (DH having his Dr Who fix) saying "you are wanted, safe and loved" Nothing else matters to a baby. How they feed, and what they are fed milk-wise doesn't matter so much as the love. There could be a mum who breastfeeds but ignores her children, and a mum who formula feeds and is totally there for her children. Be proud and confident in yourself.

    Just as an aside, I found that when I'm breastfeeding, I'm usually doing something else - reading, surfing etc, but when I gave DD1 a bottle (usually expressed but sometimes formula when she was older) didn't have a hand free so I concentrated on her. The dream feed was my favourite one because of it.

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  28. Just beautiful xx

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  29. It is a beautiful photo Jeanette, I can't say much more that all the others haven't, except that I think your India is a fine photographer in the making! x

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  30. A lovely picture, thanks for being brave xxxx

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  31. Oh Jeanette, I completely teared up seeing this beautiful, beautiful picture. The love and adoration and strong bond between you both shows up so strongly in this picture - more so than the bottle. I think it is lovely and I think you are amazing.

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  32. Gorgeous photo - and I think it is really gutsy of you to put it up - in spite of the ambivalence and shame you've felt. There is such huge love in this picture.

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  33. I agree with all the previous posts who urge you to release the shame you feel. I understand grieving the loss of the breastfeeding relationship, but no mother who glows with such love as you do, has any call at all to feel shame.

    Also, take it from someone who has had both a bottle feeding (my first daughter) and a breastfeeding relationship (my 4 month old son) - that is the look of a breastfed child. That is the way my son looks at me. The love is just glowing from him, and can see it in his face, and in the way he is clutching your finger. And it means that he feels the love and the sustenance coming from you.

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  34. This post made me weep, I can feel the disappointment you have in yourself in your words -- and that makes me so terribly sad. J you are an amazing mother, and the love you have for your children is so very evident. Please dont ever feel shame, be proud that you sacrificed so much to be the best mother you could possibly be.
    My love,
    M

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  35. you are a beautiful and wonderous mother to all your children i can see the love in little ernests' eyes and the gentle way he rests his hand on you. its such a great photo capturing such an intimate and tender moment how lovely xxx anne

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  36. This is such a moving, beautiful snapshot of the love between mother and child. I am breastfeeding my first baby and the light that crosses both your faces evokes exactly the same feeling that I get when she looks up at me from the breast. What a lucky boy to have been born to a mama who is wise and wonderful enough to be able to provide this precious gift under his circumstances- he must have chosen you xxxx

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