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That's what my photographer friend, Christine, said to me via Facebook Messenger during a late night nursing session with my 10-month-old son. I was skeptical. The phrase, "be open" will do that to a person.
She went on to describe a photography project she had been invited to participate in and wondered if I was game to join in. It was artsy and a little risky, but totally something she thought I could manage in my postpartum glory. Just pictures of me in my skivvies with my baby celebrating the beauty of the female body and the phase of motherhood I was in. It was called the Beauty Revealed Project.
I hesitated. Big time. Although my body does eventually bounce back after childbirth it takes awhile; A year or more at least. I eat eighteen meals a day (or so it seems) while nursing and the mama lumps and bumps stay firmly attached. Hence posed photos in my bra and underwear were not on the top of my postpartum to do list.
Christine gently convinced me though. And after photographing my wedding, family, maternity and more I had the good sense to trust her.
The photos for the Beauty Revealed Project turned out lovely. Beyond really. With an eye for modest subtly, Christine captured some of my most cherished photos. It wasn't about me, it was about celebrating something all women experience—changes in their body that are truly beautiful.
I tried in vain to lock in those moments; to close my eyes and turn our breastfeeding snuggles into concrete memories. But without photos, I knew my memories would eventually fade.
For me, the phase of womanhood I was in directly tied to my nursing relationship with my son. As we approached a year of breastfeeding I was already having waves of worry as to when we would wean. I didn't want to forget the touch of his little hands, how his chubby body melded into mine or the sigh of content as he reveled in warm milk. I tried in vain to lock in those moments; to close my eyes and turn our breastfeeding snuggles into concrete memories. But without photos, I knew my memories would eventually fade. I knew I needed to take the plunge and nurse Max with Christine working her magic over my shoulder.
I have a plethora of grainy cell phone snapshots and nursing selfies of Max and I breastfeeding over the months. I definitely cherish those, but to have a professional photos capturing my breastfeeding journey, honoring the milestones we've reached—I couldn't have made a better choice.
If you're feeling hesitant to spend the money or perhaps nervous about bearing such a precious relationship, I encourage you to be brave. Your breastfeeding milestones are worth celebrating! Whether it be part of your newborn photo shoot, a short pause during a family photo session or an entire shoot dedicated to breastfeeding, capture what you have accomplished. Celebrate breastfeeding and plan to never forget those treasured moments with your baby.
These mamas have all generously allowed me to share their special breastfeeding photos. Join me in celebrating their breastfeeding milestones. Can you imagine a more beautiful or simple way to honor motherhood?