Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The MOM Foundation presents the first annual MOM Calender

Photo by  Wagon wheel Photography
by Glenni Lorick, IBCLC

I am so excited to announce that The MOM Foundation is putting together a calendar filled with beautiful pictures of North Alabama mothers nursing their babies. Thirteen North Alabama photographers are providing an incredible assortment of lovely breastfeeding photos. These tasteful photos show mothers in a variety of settings from a cotton field to a woodland setting to a comfy nursing chair. Some are taken from a distance to show the surroundings, while others are close-up pictures highlighting the beautiful expressions of the nurslings.

This calendar makes the perfect gift for any breastfeeding mother. It will look wonderful hanging in a physician's office, a WIC office, or any business that works with mothers and babies. It is the perfect gift to encourage an expectant mom who is looking forward to breastfeeding her child.

Your Support is Vital

All proceeds from the calendar will benefit The MOM Foundation. This North Alabama 501c3 organization is dedicated to supporting low-income and teen mothers in natural parenting practices. We offer Sliding-Fee Scale professional breastfeeding support services. We never ask for any proof of income; we just want to make certain that any mother who needs breastfeeding help gets it as quickly as possible without money being an obstacle. We also sponsor the Bosom Buddies project at A Nurturing Moment which provides gently used nursing bras to low-income and teen moms  If we don't have a donated bra to fit a mother, we will provide her one from store stock. Those mothers who are receiving WIC are also eligible to rent a hospital-grade Symphony breastpump at half the regualar price.
Photo by Earthy Moon Photos

In addition to supporting a wide variety of breastfeeding initiatives, The MOM Foundation also sponsors The North Alabama Cloth Diaper Bank which provides diaper grants to low-income families. Many families struggle to buy diapers, so we make sure they have enough diapers to adequately diaper their babies.

All of these efforts are completely dependent upon donations from our amazing mama community. Your donations of bras, diapers, time and money have enabled us to continue offering all the services we offer. We hope that this calendar project will provide much-needed funds to be able to continue providing for as many mothers as possible, and also to expand the services we are able to provide.

Who Is Involved?

We are so excited about the response we have received from local photographers. The following photographers have agreed to be part of this project:  Jamie Clauss of Count it Joy Photography, Amanda Argo of DoodleButt Photography, Sarah Buchanan of Sarah Buchanan Photography, Jessica Molepske of Wild Child Photogrpahy , Ashley White of A. White Photography & Creations, Wendella Graham of Pitter-Patter Photography, Melanie Kolowaski of Melanie Kolowski Photography, Adrianne Moon of Adrienne Moon Photography, Mary Ellen Pollard of Lighthouse Photography, Corey Anna Straits of Earthymoon Photos, Krystal Ness of The Paper Jay, Jennifer Myers of Jennifer Myers Photography, Mallory Clemmons of Oliver Fair Designs and Photography, and Brekke Johnson of Wagon Wheel Photo. When I mentioned this idea late Saturday night, I was overwhelmed by the response from so many talented photographers!

Photo by Adrienne Moon Photography

Get Your Calendar Now

Calendars will arrive the week of Christmas, just in time to be the perfect Christmas gift!  Each calendar will have a page of coupons worth well over $100. You can reserve your calendar NOW with a minimum gift of just $15 to The MOM Foundation. You can send your gift via PayPal to anm@knology.net or simply click the button below. Be sure to include your phone number. Or you can come into the store and make your donation in person.  If you don't live close enough to pick up your calendar at A Nurturing Moment in Huntsville, please include  your address. Shipping cost is $5 for 1-2 calendars, $7 for 3-5 calendars, and $10 for 6 or more calendars. Be sure to include shipping with your gift, please. Our goal is to raise $7000 by the end of the year, and we are on our way. Our Huntsville Mommy Milk Meet-up group has over 1300 members. Even if half our members donate, we will surpass our goal!

Win a Calendar!

We are going to give away a calendar to one lucky winner. Enter today!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, November 27, 2015

Win a Labor Photo Session from Doodlebutt Designs

by Glenni Lorick, IBCLC

How would you like a free labor and delivery photography session? Or maybe a lovely session with you nursing your baby? A Nurturing Moment and Doodlebutt Designs are giving away one session for every 10 Best Chairs sold between now and December 31.

When you purchase any chair on the floor or order a chair and finance it (we offer financing for up to a year with no interest with approved credit), you receive one entry. If you order a chair and pay for it in full at the time of purchase, you receive two entries, and if the chair you purchase costs more than $700, you receive one extra entry. Depending on how many chairs are sold during this period we might be giving away 2 or 3 sessions!

Our Small Business Saturday Sale is our biggest sale of the year, and for one day only, you can save 20% on any chair on the floor OR any chair you order. All the chairs on the floor are already discounted, and for this one day, you can save even more! While the contest will continue through December 31, there will not be another day when we offer discounts like this!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Laser Frenectomy Is Now Available in Madison County

By Glenni Lorick, IBCLC

Dr. Kennon Curtis has just taken over the Madison Pediatric Dental practice of Dr. Brian Beitel. That is REALLY exciting news for the lactation community because Dr. Curtis understands the importance of revising tongue ties and upper lip ties early to help optimize breastfeeding. He has gained experience in his father's practice in Columbus, MS, in this area, and is now bringing his expertise here to North Alabama!

Dr. Curtis has grown up around pediatric dentistry; it is obvious when you meet him that he is passionate about what he does. His dad has been involved at every level of pediatric dentistry and was actually president of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry in 2004. The younger Dr. Curtis has had the privilege of shadowing pediatric dentists in 8 states and 3 countries. He says "Of all these pediatric dentists I've met, I've never met one who says, 'I wish I had done something else.' I can't say that about any other profession." He was part of a large pediatric practice in Southaven, Mississippi,  prior to moving to Columbus to help with his Dad's practice while the elder Dr. Curtis recovered from a surgical procedure. Dr. Beitel has been a long-time friend of the Curtis family, so when he approached the younger Dr. Curtis about taking over his Madison practice, it seemed like a great opportunity.

Very much a family man, Dr. Curtis and his wife Candi have two daughters who are 7 and 3 years old. They are really looking forward to being part of the community in Madison as they build a life here. I was particularly excited to learn that their daughter will be starting at Westminster Christian Academy in January, since we have had such a wonderful experience there with our own children.

Dr. Curtis began to learn about the importance of frenectomy procedures to help babies breastfeed better while he was working with his father. Several years ago the older Dr. Curtis had been introduced to this concept at a dental conference. After researching it, he incorporated it into his practice. The younger Dr. Curtis, whose two daughters breastfed, realized that it was an important service to offer mothers and babies. He wasn't sure how much of a demand there would be for it here; however, I think it's safe to say that he is quickly realizing that our lactation community will keep him busy!

I learned about Dr. Curtis yesterday after Annie Neidert saw him for a procedure on her baby, Jonah. You can actually see the difference in the way his upper lip looks before and after the procedure! Annie was very pleased with their visit to Dr. Curtis. " Dr. Curtis encouraged me to be there for the procedure. I held Jonah's head and stroked his hair and talked to him. It was over in 5 minutes. Then we nursed right after. Jonah has been getting bottles and was frustrated at the breast, so we gave a bottle. We have some work ahead of us establishing breastfeeding. He will have to learn how to latch with his newly released tongue." By this afternoon, Annie noticed that instead of falling asleep during a feed, he was staying awake and finishing it completely.

I have since already referred two more patients to Dr. Curtis. Like a true professional, he has made of point of consulting with the pediatrician of the 5 day old baby girl I referred to him last night. I look forward to seeing him build relationships with other medical professionals in this community and continue to help educate all who care for infants about the importance of tongue-tie  and upper-lip-tie revision for effective breastfeeding.

Dr. Curtis cares for infants, children, adolescents, teenagers and special needs individuals. His office is located at
7771 Hwy 72 West, Ste. B in Madison. You can find in on the web at pediatricdentistryofmadison.com . They are also on Facebook.  To schedule an appointment with Dr. Curtis call 256-325-6595.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

GroVia One Holds Almost a Pound of Pee!

Dry O.N.E. weighed .70

by Glenni Lorick, IBCLC
The other day Beth from Moo Moo Caboose came to a breastfeeding support group to talk to the moms about cloth diapering. She had a GroVia O.N.E. diaper on her little boy that he had been wearing for quite a while since she had gotten him up when he was still mostly asleep to put him in the car seat. By the time she went to change him, the diaper was very full, but not leaking at all. We couldn't believe how heavy it felt, so we decided to weigh it.

Full O.N.E. held almost a pound of pee
Imagine our shock when it weighed 1 lb. 6 oz. That was amazing since a dry O.N.E. weighed just .7 oz. This amazing diaper held almost a pound of pee! It is truly one of the best nighttime solutions that we have seen. Even that baby who wets through everything is likely to wake up dry in a O.N.E. that hasn't leaked through to jammies or sheets. With a price point of just $22.95, we feel like this is one of the best diaper deals around!

Another thing we absolutely love about the O.N.E. is that it is the cushiest, softest diaper we've ever felt. Nearly all the absorbency is a result of the most amazing organic cotton imaginable. This amazing diaper also gives you the option of converting from snap closure to aplix closure and back.

If you are looking for a reasonably priced amazing nighttime diaper, the GroVia O.N.E. is everything you need!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

It's Time for ALL Working Moms to Have Legal Protection for Pumping

Salaried health care workers deserve the same rights as hourly workers!

by Glenni Lorick, IBCLC

If you work as an hourly employee in a store, restaurant or business with more than 50 employees, your employer is legally required to provide you a place to express or pump your breastmilk (a bathroom isn't acceptable) and whatever break time you need to do so. This fact sheet explains the details of the law as it is currently written. However, if you are a teacher, a physician or any other kind of salaried employee, the law doesn't provide you any protection at all.
Some employers like HEMSI  work
 hard to accomodate mamas.

Last year I wrote a blog about this topic and mentioned the Supporting Working Mothers Act of 2013 which was sponsored by Senator Jeff Merkley from Oregon. Unfortunately our lawmakers didn't care enough about mothers and babies to act on this legislation, and they allowed it the bill to die.

Nevertheless, the United States Breastfeeding Committe (USBC) is mounting a campaign to once again find a sponsor for the Supporting Working Mothers Act so that it can be introduced in the upcoming session of congress. You may not be a very politically active person, but please take just a moment to get involved in this very important issue. It isn't a Democrat or a Republican issue. No, it is a MOTHER'S RIGHTS issue. It is a BABY'S RIGHTS issue. Every mother and baby should have the right to sustain their breastfeeding relationship after mother returns to work. Sadly many do not have that option because employers fail to understand the many incredible benefits for everyone involved including the employer!

This school counselor has
been able to pump as needed. 

Benefits for Mom and Baby

The numerous benefits for moms and babies have been well documented. Babies who receive their mothers' milk receive antibodies to anything that mom is exposed to. They also have reduced incidence of all the following:

Upper respiratory infections
Ear infections
Gastrointestinal infections
Juvenile diabetes
Childhood leukemia

Mothers who breastfeed receive tremendous health benefits as well.

Increased chance of healthy loss of extra pregnancy weight
Reduced risk of premenopausal breast cancer
Reduced risk of postpartum depression
Reduced risk of osteoporosis and ovarian cancer later in life

Benefits for Employers

Every working mother should
have this right!
Many employers do not realize that when they empower their workforce to breastfeed according to the AAP recommendation they will also benefit the bottom line of their company in a variety of ways:
  • Increased retention of employees following maternity leave
  • Reduced incidence of absenteeism due to working mothers having to care for sick babies
  • Greater job satisfaction reported leading to long-term employee retention
  • Reduced costs for employer-funded insurance plans because the medical costs during the first year of life are drastically reduced. 

The first step you can take is to click on this link which will take you to the USBC campaign. Scroll down to the bottom where you can enter your zip code to send an email to the representative for your congressional district.

Next repost this information to everyone you know

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Cancer and Pregnancy Loss Didn't Deter this Mama!

by Megan White, Guest blogger

Isn’t it strange how one moment in your life changes it forever?

This is my journey. It starts out heartbreaking, but like all good stories, it has a happy ending.
When I was 21, I received the scariest news of my short life so far: I had cancer. I was a young mom, and I had cancer. Just the word strikes fear in those that have been touched by it—and most of us have in one way or another. I had a baby that needed me and I didn’t know if I would be around for all those wonderful moments all moms live to see. I held her a little longer, I kissed her a little harder, and I watched her a little closer. She was my reason to fight. I was told I would probably never have another baby. She was my one and only, and I was determined to be the best mom I could be, to cherish every moment I had with here, small or big.

Through treatments, I soon found myself in remission! I had a healthy, happy little girl and a wonderful, supportive husband. I was the happiest I could be, but that desire to have another baby never went away. I tried to push the longing as far back in my mind as I could. I had my girl! It was selfish of me to ask for more—but I did. Quicker than a blink of an eye, six years had passed. We were a family of 3 and we thought that was how it was always going to be. Then, on a rainy February morning, I did something I never thought I would do, I took a pregnancy test. Through shaking hands and a tear filled eyes, I saw the two pink lines show up. I was pregnant! Our family was overjoyed. My daughter was beside herself with excitement. After years of being told another baby was near impossible, we were going have a baby!

Then on May 22nd, 2014 we went to a normal wellness check and heard news that shattered our little world into a thousand indiscernible pieces. We lost the baby. My heart was broken, and I didn’t think I would even be able to walk out of the doctor’s office. The hardest part of it all was knowing we’d have to tell our little girl that the baby was gone. How do you do that? How do you explain to a six-year-old that her brother or sister was no longer in mommy’s tummy? I still don’t know if we explained it right.
We all did our best to push forward, but I know I dropped the ball. I let my grief consume me, and the one that suffered the most was my daughter. I will always feel guilt over that. I pushed myself to do better, to be better. I dusted myself off and was determined to be the mommy that she needed—the one that she was used to.

Then, in mid-September, I had my annual check-up to see if I was still doing well. I was told that I was perfectly healthy. In fact, I was a perfectly health, 8-weeks-pregnant. ‘How is this possible?’ I thought to myself. How is it possible that after 6 years of trying that not only did I become pregnant once, but twice. I was terrified. I didn’t have that overwhelming joy that I felt the first time we were told that we were to have another baby. I couldn’t ; I wouldn’t let myself. I went to my appointments and heard the heartbeat every time, but I wasn’t going to let my hopes rise just to have them fall again. We didn’t tell our daughter about the pregnancy until it was getting obvious that mommy was getting bigger. We didn’t announce the pregnancy to anyone until I was 20 weeks. By then, we had a sex. We were having a boy!

There was no way that I could keep myself from feeling. We were going to have another baby! With every week that passed, I looked up if something were to happen, if the baby would have to be born early, would he survive. Those fears were squashed when I hit 37 weeks, then 38, 39 and then at 40 weeks, one day, our beautiful, healthy baby boy was born! There was only one way that I wanted to nourish him, and that was to nurse. There was not one moment, one experience that I wanted to miss out on. We had a few bumps in the road; we had to learn each other after all! But we have made it! At 8 weeks, our little boy is in the 75th percentile on height, and the 95th on weight! Not only have we made it this far, but I knew that if I was able, I wanted to donate my milk to another fanily that needed it. With an oversupply and an over-active let-down, I have been able not only to feed my son, but donate to 2 other babies! I cannot even begin to explain the honor I feel being a part of someone else’s breastfeeding journey as well as my own.

The pain of our loss will never go away, but we get better at moving forward. You take it day by day, and if you can’t manage that, take it minute by minute. Healing takes time, and my healing has been helped by my two beautiful children. Our journey isn’t over, not by a long shot, and I look forward to every second ahead of us.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Give Them Wings and WatchThem Fly

Nicholas came to the airport to see Uncle John off.
By Glenni Lorick, IBCLC

Today I said good-bye to my 16 year old son as he headed off on the adventure of a lifetime to spend his junior year of high school in Cali, Colombia, at the Colegio Americano. As I was driving home from the airport I couldn't hold back the tears, and the thought occurred to me that the very act of becoming a mother means that you will never again be the same, no matter how old your children get. A tiny piece of your heart will always be with each of your children wherever  they go. You will rejoice when you see them make wise decisions, but if those decisions mean that they leave you for a time, that little piece of heart will go with them...and it will hurt for a while.

When John Carl (Juan Carlos to his Colombian and Peruvian friends) told his coaches at Westminster Christian Academy about his decision to go to Cali, one of his coaches asked him to write up something explaining why he was doing this. The incredible support he has had from faculty, administration, coaches and friends at WCA has been phenomenal. We are so blessed to have been part of such an incredible community of faith for the last 11 years.

I want to share with you what my son wrote because I am so proud of his willingness to listen to God's call. We have tried to raise him to be obedient, and now it's time for us to watch in amazement as he does just that!

Juan Carlos in his uniform

John Carl's Testimony

This summer I took a trip to Colombia for the 185th Cumberland Presbyterian General Assembly which was held at the Colegio Americano. The Colegio Americano is a private school that was founded by the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in 1925; it consists of kindergarten to high school. They have around 120 kids in the high school level grades, so not much bigger than Westminster. However in Colombia, graduation is after grade 11 unlike the United States where it’s after 12th grade.

When I first arrived at the Colegio Americano, I was astounded by the campus grounds, the teachers, and all the students helping out for the General Assembly. That Saturday I had a wild thought that coming here to do schooling would be amazing. When I told that thought to my mom, she didn’t know what to think. She thought maybe coming down again next summer for a couple weeks would be good for me after school here had finished up just to see what school is like in Colombia. I knew in my heart that I truly wanted to attend the Colegio Americano for the entire year and graduate from there.

I have always wondered what God’s calling feels like because I have never been spoken to physically by God, and so I wondered how to know exactly what the Lord wants. The next three days we had services in which God directly showed me the way He wants me to take. We had a sermon on how to listen to God’s call and to go and make disciples of all nations. On Sunday there was a special missionary service where missionaries throughout the world were recognized.

My family used to be in the mission field first in Costa Rica and then in Peru. I was born in Lima, Peru, into a missionary family and would live there for the next 5 years. I remember parts of Peru but not all of it; however, I do remember the heartbreak it brought my entire family, including me, when we were forced to leave the country where I was born. One interesting note is that my trip to Colombia was the first time I had been back to South America since we left Peru. I didn’t realize how much of a longing I had to be back and experience South America again. I have dreamt of going back to Peru and perhaps someday I may live there again, but Colombia feels like the place I want to be, the place I need to be.

The Colegio Americano has a beautiful campus!
That Monday night a Colombian preacher spoke about letting go and being willing to accept God’s will. He had urged his child to finish law school before going into seminary even though God was calling his son into the ministry. In order to please his father, the son finished law school and then became a pastor. That night the preacher apologized to his son for not allowing him to follow God’s calling immediately at that point in his life. This sermon was very powerful to both my parents and me. Afterwards I found my mother and sobbed because we both knew this was exactly what God wanted for me, no questions asked.

I still do not know what all God has planned for me as I go to attend the Colegio Americano this next year, but I do know that if I follow His will and his guidance I will be okay. I also know that people may worry about the safety of a gringo in Colombia. First off, if I am following what God wants me to do I am worried by nothing. Secondly, the city of Cali is a very safe city, and while I was at the General Assembly I never felt danger at all, only the loving kindness of all the Colombians. Someday I pray that I will be able to go to many countries in order to serve and proclaim the name of Jesus to those who are in the darkness, looking for light.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Breastfeeding from a Dad's Point of View

Jason and Madelyn
Today's blog is very special. I really appreciate the time that this dad took to write it. I hope it reaches as many dads as possible!

By Jason Argo, Guest Blogger

The week of February 17, 2011, our daughter Madelyn was born. My wife was hoping to be able to breastfeed Madelyn when she came into this world, and it was a rough road of letdown, after letdown (no pun intended).  From the start, none of the first nurses we had in the hospital wanted to help with the situation, but rather always wanted to  stuff a bottle in our little girl’s mouth. The lactation consultant came in the next morning, but was of no help. She did not really evaluate the baby and did not tell us that Madelyn had a tongue tie, and that was going to make it difficult for her to latch on.

Our nurse that morning, Leah, was like ray of sunshine to the situation. She was so helpful to Amanda, first taking control and getting her physical pain to a manageable level. Then she lit a fire under the nutrition director because Amanda ordered lunch, and 2 hours later it still wasn’t there, but she hated being a burden and didn’t want me to go get it. However, her biggest task of all was guiding in breastfeeding – I do not think she was an IBCLC at that time, but but she offered wonderful nursing support. She also briefly pointed out that Madelyn had a tongue tie. I cannot brag enough on our favorite nurse on the delivery floor of Huntsville Hospital - Leah does an amazing job!  Leah felt the tongue tie needed more evaluation, so she brought the only available IBCLC back to the room which happened to be the same one who initially came in.

She still didn’t touch the baby but instead pointed out everything my wife had done wrong, never anything positive.  “You used a pacifier, the baby is confused.” “You’re sitting with bad posture.” "You’re taking pain medication”. The latter two were unavoidable as my wife has several musculoskeletal conditions that left her in excruciating pain after 18 hours of induced labor, 13 of which were without an epidural, 4.5 with it, and the last 30 minutes when she delivered it had worn off.  Once she started spit-firing all the insults and discouraging statements, Leah took control and told the IBCLC we had it from there and she could leave.

Amanda and Madelyn
Then not long after leaving the hospital, more challenges were flying at Amanda. She faced opposition from her family and mine as well. She would get comments like, "You’re starving her; make her a bottle." Or "Nobody wants to see that;go to another room because you just want to do draw attention to yourself." We also heard this classic line, "Other members of the family want to feed her." None of these things is something a new mother wants to hear, especially coming from family. There were even times where I would unintentionally drop an unsupportive comment. Like most dads, I often have foot-in-mouth syndrome; sometimes I shove it in there up to my knee!

We soon realized though that something was not right when Amanda would try to nurse Madelyn, but she just could not latch. I could not stand to see how much physical pain she was in and how emotionally broken she was over the whole situation. Madelyn was not gaining weight, and this is how we found Glenni at A Nurturing Moment. We came home on Sunday, and by the next Saturday Amanda was in so much pain and so exhausted she was walking through the house like a zombie carrying a can of “just in case” formula the hospital sent home with us.  I was cleaning the kitchen listening to a local Christian radio station and heard an ad for A Nurturing Moment where breastfeeding support was mentioned.  So we called.

Glenni is also another ray of sunshine in this story because she helped in so many ways. She really helped Amanda physically and mentally on some the struggles she was facing. She did everything she could to try to increase Amanda’s supply. She even taught us how to get Madelyn latching the way she needed to be latching.

Amanda always did her best to pump while she was at work but was getting so little. We would move milk back and forth between home, work, and her Mom’s house.  Madelyn suffered from a severe case of silent reflux, never really spitting up, but choking and sputtering and sometimes struggling to breathe, so it was important to us not to have her in a day care with multiple kids per adult. Therefore, we commuted 2 hours each morning and 2 hours each evening to keep her with family.  Most work days we didn’t get home until 9 or 10 PM.  Amanda would take a shower and lie down to nurse the baby while I put away the pumped milk, and I would unpack and load all of her pump parts into the dishwasher.

Each morning I got up long before she did to pack her pump parts into her pump bag and pack snacks for her to eat while she pumped, and then I woke her up so she could nurse the baby while I made and packed our lunches.  Sure, I could have used extra sleep, but it was all worth it because even though we were primarily using formula by 8 weeks, she still got between 2 and 4 ounces of liquid gold every day. Other than the reflux and the occasional reaction to vaccinations, Madelyn did not once catch any cold or get sick at all until a month before she turned 1 when she got an upper respiratory virus.
Even Zeus the dog adores Madelyn!

I write this because men need to realize that if their wives (or significant others) want to
breastfeed the baby, they need to help them breastfeed. To be honest and truthful BREAST IS BEST!!! There are so many things that are put in formula – go read the labels, or open a can and smell it – it even tastes metallic, but there is nothing like mother’s milk. Daddy can do other things to bond with baby like bathtime – make it fun!  Act silly!  Some of the best memories Madelyn and I have when she was a baby are from bathtime!  She’s now almost 5, ask her about the adventures of Soap Monster!

Please, please, I ask the men of the families to encourage  your love to the best of your ability if she is breastfeeding. Don’t let her hide in stalls in the bathroom; don’t let her hide anywhere for that matter. If your child is hungry, your child’s hungry. Don’t run all over God’s creation trying to find a “private” place, because a mom should not be isolated and shamed during a time she deserves to be loved and celebrated. It is a special connection that no one else can have with the child besides mommy, but if daddy is supportive, it grows a special connection between mommy and daddy.

Friday, August 7, 2015

One Month In, New Mom Is Loving the Adventure!

By Janell Hill, Guest blogger

I love it when things amaze me. But then again, who doesn’t? 

As a first time mom, I am constantly amazed with my new little one. Those toes! That button nose! Those lungs…. However, nothing amazes me more than my own ability to support this tiny human being with all the nutrients that she needs to grow by leaps and bounds every day. 

I am amazed that we have made it this far - one month to be exact - breastfeeding. At first, I felt awkward attaching a squirmy little person to myself. Support her head. Check her latch. Make sure she’s awake. There were so many things to consider, and that was all on top of the initial discomfort of breastfeeding and giving birth. Fortunately for me, I had plenty of help and encouragement from family, nurses, and lactation consultants. As the questions abounded, the kind folks at Madison Hospital were eager to listen, answer, and assist. For that, I am ever grateful. 

Currently, we are a month into this adventure. That’s four weeks of dirty diapers, hungry cries, and endless hours nursing. But it’s also four weeks of establishing a deep bond with my little one, loving stares into her eyes, caressing her sweet face, and holding her tiny hand. 

We’ve had our fair share of obstacles throughout this journey, but we’ve stuck it out and persevered. And I’m so glad we have. Watching my new baby eat and grow is truly amazing. She’s growing because of me! This milk is from me! My body is making this!!! 

I would be amiss to say that breastfeeding has been easy. There have been times that I wanted to give up and make a bottle of formula. There still are. But I know that despite the frustrations and fatigue, we will continue to breastfeed, and I will continue to be amazed. 

You can read more about Janell’s adventure in bringing up baby on her blog, On Growing Up

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Twins Sustained on Breastmilk Thanks to a Village of Support

By Somer Jennings, guest blogger

I have 14 month boy/girl twins that have been exclusively on breast milk since the day they were born at 33 weeks.  

I went into labor at 30 weeks for unknown reasons; thankfully they stopped it with meds and gave me steroids to help develop my babies' lungs.  At 33 weeks my baby girl decided to break my water; as you know, there is no going back at that point. My baby girl weighed 4lbs 1 oz and my baby boy weighed 4lbs 11oz. Of course they were both rushed to the NICU. At that point I had two tiny babies dependent on me to provide nourishment for their tiny bodies to grow.  

My breastfeeding journey started with an amazing friend bringing a huge bag of breast milk cookies and a kind smile to make sure I knew I had support.  Between NICU visits I started pumping, and right away I was producing! During our long 23 day NICU stay I was able to supply all the milk the babies needed and also store some up for our stash at home.  While in the NICU, only Keelan was able to nurse. Delaney wasn't big enough and they wanted to make sure she could come home with her brother, so we bottle fed her.

When we got home, I was nursing Keelan with a shield and pumping for Delaney. I was going through my stash pretty quickly because in the NICU they wanted the babies to have an enormous amount of milk at each sitting. I started getting worried at one point that I was going to have to supplement, so I reached out to my wonderful village. There were so many wonderful mommies that wanted to help out!  We had milk in our freezer and wet nurses when we were out and about.  We were so lucky to have all these wonderful women in our lives.  

In the mean time, I was pumping on a strict schedule, eating cookies, drinking tea, doing everything I could do to keep my supply up.  I also spent lots of time working with both babies trying to teach them to nurse. As it turns out, both babies had lip ties, though Keelan's was not as severe as Delaney's.  We went to the specialist and had hers corrected.  Eventually both babies went from bottle, to breast with shield, then to breast!  

We are still successfully nursing. We stopped accepting donor milk around 12 months because between table food and my milk, we were doing great!  My hopes with sharing my story is to let moms know, you can do it!! You are also NOT alone. I don't know what I would have done without my wonderful village.  The women that helped me are truly my heros.  

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Determined Mom Breastfeeds Second Baby Successfully

By Lowie Morgan, guest blogger

Here's my story with my little nursling, 

I have an almost 8 month old little boy named Isayiah. But I want to rewind to a few years ago when I had my daughter. I was walking down a hall with no info or support with breastfeeding. I had a lactation consultant and doctors telling me to supplement to help her gain weight and help prevent jaundice. So because I knew little to nothing about breastfeeding I did just that. I would supplement more and more because she would prefer it. When she was 4 months old that journey ended; I was devastated. I cried for months and just learned to tell myself, "It's okay; you're a wonderful mommy either way. But I felt a bond was ripped from me because I had no support or good info. 

Fast forward almost 2 years when I got pregnant with my son. I was determined to breastfeed him. I researched, read articles, youtubed  info, read books, and asked questions. I told my husband my wishes, and he totally supported me like he always has. When my son artived, he was an amazing nursling; he came out ready to nurse. I felt complete, and I couldn't wait to nurse him. I nursed him on demand, feeding him any time he was hungry. At his check up they mentioned that if he needed to supplement, I could give him some; nurses even gave me formula. I threw it out and said, "Oh no, this is not the way we're doing this! " 

We kept going strong, and at 6 weeks my menstrual cycle came,  and my supply dipped. I just kept pumping and nursing. It picked back up, and we were nursing happily along. His 4 month check up came, and he was in the less then 10 percentile for height and weight, so here comes the doctor saying, "You may need to supplement." 

My response: "Nope, not happening." We kept on  nursing. At 5 months we hit a nursing strike for a day; he was cutting teeth, and I was on my cycle again. I called a lactation consultant who said, "Keep trying, keep trying, unless you're ready for your journey to end." I said I was not even close. He came back full force, and at almost 8 months is going strong and growing like a little weed.

 My journey has had its ups and downs, days where I have said I'm done and days where it was such an amazing blessing to nurse him. There were days where I thought he wasn't going to nurse any more,  and I cried and cried. But the joys that come when his sweet little brown eyes look at me while he is nursing and he smiles at me outweigh any bad times. The fact that he can find comfort in his mommy and his milk that I make for him is beyond exciting and makes me proud to be a nursing mother. I have been on both sides of the table from an ashamed formula-feeding mom because I felt like I failed her, to a proud breastfeeding mommy. Either way, though, I was able to be a great mom to both of them, regardless of how I fed them.

I hope this helps or gives encouragement to another mom who is walking in the same shoes I was. 

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Mom Refuses to Allow Emergency Hospitilization to Destroy Breastfeeding Relationship

By Susan Bachle, guest blogger

My name is Susan Bachle, and after nearly 11 years of marriage my husband and I were blessed with a precious little girl 8 months ago.  I have known I wanted to breastfeed since I was a little girl.  I was extremely intolerant of formulas as a baby and suffered with lactose intolerance as a child.  My mother expressed to me on numerous occasions when I was growing up that if she had breastfed me I would not have been lactose intolerant.  Now whether that is true or not, I don’t know, BUT it put me on the path to breastfeeding!  Nonetheless, when I had my daughter I did not feel as though my family was supportive of my decision and was told numerous times that I’d “give up” soon.  They were almost right.  

When Anna was only two weeks old I had a stomach ulcer perforate.  I underwent an emergency repair surgery and was hospitalized for nearly a week.  It was devastating to not only be away from my newborn baby but also not to be able to breastfeed her. I was not aware at the time that you could continue to breastfeed while taking some medications, so I followed the doctors’ orders, and pumped and dumped for the duration of my hospital stay.  My surgeon, however, was highly supportive of breastfeeding and ensured that I was given an excess of fluids while in the hospital; he encouraged me to continue pumping.  Of course it was difficult to maintain a strict pumping regime due to the effects of the medications, so my supply began to dip.  Later during a follow-up visit he expressed his surprise that I was still able to breastfeed after the surgery.  I am so relieved that he did not doubt my ability to do so during the time, as that certainly would have further discouraged me.

While I was in the hospital, I put out a call to the local breastfeeding Facebook group to request donor milk for my daughter.  I was lucky enough to be able to obtain some from a very generous mother!  My parents arrived to help my husband care for my daughter and gave her donor milk and formula.  I just knew that when I finally came home Anna would no longer latch.  She’d been on bottles and pacifiers while I was gone - my breastfeeding journey would surely be done.  

For the next several weeks I was on a liquid diet only, but I continued to try to breastfeed and rebuild my supply.  Anna re-latched like a champ - I was so relieved!  Anna and I laid in bed for days with lots of skin-to-skin contact, latching at every opportunity.  It was a challenge to maintain enough nutrition to exclusively breastfeed again, but within only a few short weeks we were back to 100 percent breastfeeding!  Now at 8 months our breastfeeding journey continues and I have zero plans to quit until she is ready!  

Monday, August 3, 2015

Mom Achieves Beautiful Breastfeeding Goal Despite Difficult Hospital Start

by Kim Jones, Guest blogger

Hi my name is Kimberly Jones. I have one child who is 16 months old. From day one I knew I wanted to breastfeed.  I attempted to breastfeed her from the moment my daughter was born. Everything was going great for the first 24 hours, then the nurse gave her a pacifier (after my husband had written on the information card that we don't want to use a pacifier). My daughter refused to latch back onto the breast after that.

I asked the nurse for a pump and some bottle nipples so that I could feed my daughter. I continued to pump for her for 5 days. My husband went to the local Walmart to get me a nipple shield so I could get baby back on the breast. After I started feeling depressed from not being able to keep to my goal I posted to Facebook for help. One of my friends gave me information for a store on South Parkway named A Nurturing Moment. I called to speak to the lactation consultant so I could get help. She immediately told me to come in the next morning.

 I went to talk to Glenni Lorick the next day. She helped me with our latch issues and talked about more ways to work on getting her on the breast without the shield. I was so happy with our consult that within the next week my daughter was back on the breast without the shield. Glenni helped me continue breastfeeding! I was ready to give up and just start giving my daughter formula. I am glad she helped us achieve our breastfeeding goal.

Not only did I achieve our goal, but I also had to pump because I had an over supply. I pumped so much milk I had to store most of my milk in my husband's grandparent's deep freezer. I eventually couldn't store anymore there or at my house, so I had to donate it. I asked a few people who could use the milk and they sent me many names. I became a donor for a little boy that was only 1 month and 1 day younger than my daughter. My daughter is still being breastfed and will continue to be until she decides to stop. I love our bond and am not ready to stop yet. I will not let anyone tell me that I need to stop feeding because my daughter is a toddler.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Third Time Is a Charm for Breastfeeding Mom

By Carissa Clarke, guest blogger

My name is Carissa and I would love to share my story with you. I was 19 when I delivered my first born. She was whisked away to the NICU, and my Breastfeeding relationship was never established. Without support from family or the help of a lactation consultant I went home without any hope. I pumped every two hours for each feeding that followed. Never learning how to nurse, I continued to pump and bottle feed until she was 4 months old when I finally gave in and accepted formula.

     Fast forward a few years, and I gave birth to a beautiful boy. I was determined to breastfeed him. So, I joined our local La Leche League and started attending meetings. Thanks to the help of those wonderful women, and specifically Jessica Hall, I maintained a healthy nursing relationship with my son even while I worked and pumped. About 8 months in, I received a lot of pressure from family to stop nursing and I was currently 3 months pregnant with number three. So due to the pressure, pregnancy, and being a working mom of two, I stopped nursing and resorted to donor milk to finish his first year. Thanks to my freezer stash and donor milk he finished his first year solely on breast milk. I was thankful and proud to be able to provide that.

     A few months later I finally gave birth to my third and final baby. This time I knew what my goals were, I educated myself, and I surrounded myself with lots of local support. I joined Huntsville Mommy Milk Meet-up, Rocket City Sling Swap, and Cloth Diapering in Huntsville. These local groups and the people I met thru them that shared my interests and goals helped me thrive at being the best I could be. We ignored family judgment and social pressure to stop, and we have made it to a year of breastfeeding! Although I did experience one public shaming at Our local Madison County WIC office recently, we are still thriving in our breastfeeding journey.  We still enjoy our nursing sessions and hope to reach our new goal of 18 months and beyond.

   Please remember that you and your baby have a right to nurse in public, and you should never feel ashamed. Don't let anyone pressure you into giving up on what you know is best for your child. Thanks for letting me share my story, and good luck to you and your breastfeeding journey. 

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Mom Transports 200 oz. of Breast Milk from Hawaii to Alabama

by Krystal Ness, Guest blogger

Hi, I'm Krystal!  I have two children (4 yr old girl and 1 yr old boy).  I was unable to breastfeed my first due to a low supply, so I was adamant about making it work with my second baby.  From the beginning things were phenomenal!  He latched on right away and for the majority of our nursing relationship things went smoothly.  I work outside of the home, so pumping was a daily activity for me (nurse when I was home and pump at work).

When my littlest was 10 months old I took a business trip for 2 full weeks.  I was so nervous about all things breastfeeding that I was literally nauseated while sitting at the gate waiting to board.  Would my baby take the frozen milk I pumped? Would we have enough for the full 2 weeks?  Would I be able to find the time and room to pump while away from my baby?  Would my supply go down because he's not latching?  How do I get my milk back home after I pump it?  This was no easy trip either.  I was going to Hawaii -- thousands of miles away from my little boy.

The trip out there was long, but after I got settled into my condo I got into a rhythm pumping before work, at work, and after work each day.  I felt like that was all I was doing.  The place I was working did not have a room that I could use so I either pumped in the bathroom (making sure I was sanitary) or I pumped in my rental car.  After nearly 2 weeks I had about 200 oz. of frozen milk.  During my trip I called FedEx and UPS to find out how to ship my milk.  I was so disappointed to find out that the quickest they could get it to Alabama was 48 hrs.  I thought there was no way to get my milk home.  I had spent countless hours during this trip pumping, remembering why I spent the time and effort to pump, and my hopes that he would be nourished with it were dashed.  I was in tears.  I couldn't fathom throwing away that much milk.

The only option I had was to check my milk with my luggage.  I remember being so incredibly nervous walking up to the check-in counter.  "Do you have any explosives, firearms, or flammable material in this cooler?" No.  Phew!  "If you don't mind me asking what is in this cooler?" Frozen Breastmilk.  My inner self winced as I wondered whether she would have a problem with this, but her response was as if it was completely normal that I was traveling with my own milk from Hawaii to Alabama.  I was home free.  The only thing I worried about after that point was whether or not my luggage would get lost.  Standing at the Huntsville Airport waiting for the cooler I heard the ding of the luggage belt.  Within 30 seconds I saw my box crest over the luggage conveyor!  It made it!  When I got home, the milk was still completely frozen.  Pumped with love in Hawaii.  :-)

During my trip, after determining I had to check a cooler, I searched online for the best way to accomplish packing, but I found very few resources.  I purchased a cooler on Amazon, meant specifically for shipping food.  I purchased techni-ice and blue gel icepacks.  I filled the cooler completely full with as little space as possible.  I taped (using duct tape) around the top and sides of the cooler to ensure the lid would stay shut.  I put the cooler in a box of the same size (mine came with the cooler).  I labeled the box BREASTMILK and added my address and phone number  in case something went wrong and then I put the whole package in another box.

While I was gone, we did actually end up using donated milk for about 3-4 days.  A close friend of mine who pumps for the Milk Bank brought some over for my husband when he was close to running out of my own stash.  She even offered to wet nurse him.  I have used every single means possible to feed my baby breastmilk.  Nursed, Pumped, and Donated Milk!  I wish I had these friends and community resources earlier with my first baby!

I want to share
my story in hopes that other working moms gain hope that even a business trip doesn't need to end a nursing relationship.  We truly can meet the needs of our children while accomplishing our own dreams.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Let's Celebrate the Normalization of Breastfeeding

By Glenni Lorick, IBCLC
Thursday a number of moms and nursing babies/toddlers descended on Point Mallard. What had first been intended as a protest against the treatment received by nursing mother Emily Jackson, turned into a full -fledged celebration of the normalization of breastfeeding! Thanks to the amazing publicity due to the AL.com article written by Anna Claire Vollers, Point Mallard was quick to issue a statement in support of nursing mothers and their families.

Recently another local mom had an unfortunate experience at a local restaurant. Alex Ragland was celebrating her husband's return after a business trip. They were enjoying dinner at Buenavista where Alex ordered a Margarita. She waited to drink it until she was done nursing her 7month old son. After securing him in his high chair, she relaxed and drank her cocktail. When she ordered a second one, the waitress began making loud comments to other customers about her endangering her baby. One of the customers, himself a Redstone Arsenal Police Officer, called the Madison Police! When Alex went out to her car, she was met by Officers who explained that they had to make a report since they were called. They informed her that they had no choice but to involve DHR. The manager of Buenavista was extremely upset by what had happened to them, and he gave them their meal for free.

That night Alex contacted me because she was so understandably upset. She did speak with an attorney, (one of our incredible ANM moms) but decided not to pursue legal action. This week I stopped in to see Antonio, the manager. He was quick to tell me that the offending waitress no longer works there. He also expressed his dismay over what happened to Alex. He couldn't understand why anybody would give a second thought to somebody breastfeeding since it is completely normal in his home country! He assured me that all his staff understands never to bother a nursing mom, and if another patron complains, he will be relocated.

In light of Antonio's wonderful attitude, and with Alex's full blessing, we are planning a  #NormalizeBreastfeeding celebration for Thursday, July 2, at 6:00 at Buenavista on Highway 72 in Madison. We are taking advantage of their $2.99 margaritas as part of our celebration. Please understand that we are NOT encouraging moms to drink while nursing. Although Dr. Jack Newman  has said that "Reasonable alcohol intake should not be discouraged at all." Basically, if you are safe to drive, a Baby is safe to dine! Nevertheless, Alex did nurse first THEN had her margarita.

Let us know if you plan to come by responding to this link in Huntsville Mommy Milk Meet-up. Of course husbands are welcome! In fact, my husband and I plan to be there celebrating with our amazing mamas and babies!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Milk Depot Opens in Madison

by Glenni Lorick, IBCLC

This morning a young man walked into my store and asked if I had heard about the Milk Depot opening up in Madison. I. WAS. EXCITED! I quickly learned that two of my amazing IBCLC friends, Stacy Ramirez and Elizabeth Dunaway, through Connections Breastfeeding have created the first satellite drop-off location for the Mother's Milk Bank of Alabama. 

This is an incredible step for mothers and babies in North Alabama because that brings us a step closer to increased use of breastmilk in North Alabama hospitals. All it takes for an infant to receive donated breastmilk in the hospital is a prescription from a physician, and with greater availability, we hope to see a steady rise in the use of banked human milk  in our area so that stories like this will become commonplace here! In fact, if you are a health professional interested in ordering breast milk for your patients, you can contact Katherine Wood at kwood@mmbal.org or 205-942-8911.  

The Connections Milk Bank freezer will be located at Journey Massage, 1874 Slaughter Rd, Madison, AL 35758. Drop off can be scheduled online at Journey Massage by clicking on "schedule your next appointment" and scrolling down to Connections Depot Deposit.  

Many women are truly blessed with an abundant supply of breastmilk. While some mothers share their milk with a friend, other moms really have no idea what to do with the excess milk they pump. And some mothers are really excited about the prospect of their milk being used to help a sick or premature infant! There are certain requirements for donors, but the reward of being able to donate is worth any potential hassle posed by the requirements! Mothers interested in donating at the Madison depot can download a donor packet here. 

If you have a personal story of how milk from a milk bank has helped YOUR little one, please share in the comments!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Worship Before the Throne of God

By Glenni Lorick, IBCLC
If you come into A Nurturing Moment, you're likely to hear K-Love Christian radio playing because I love the atmosphere it provides. I listen to K-Love in my car, too. Since I spend a lot of time on the road between the store, Athens-Limestone Hospital and my home, I get to listen to a LOT of amazing songs; in fact, my little Honda transforms into a rolling worship service sometimes! Just this week I heard this version of How Great Is Our God for the first time.
It literally brought tears to my eyes because it took me back to our time in Costa Rica when we were in language school preparing to go to Peru. We had found a church that was pastured by a Peruvian pastor in a suburb of San Jose. Together with some Swiss friends from our language school we had gotten involved in this amazing congregation.

Our Costa Rican brothers and sisters take prayer very seriously. One night we had a vigilia -an all night prayer meeting where we spent time praying, worshiping and sharing sweet fellowship. As we stood in a circle holding hands and singing, I found myself between my Swiss friend and a dear Costa Rican sister worshiping with all my heart as we sang a Spanish song.

Suddenly it struck me that I was experiencing a tiny foretaste of Heaven - I imagine that we will spend all eternity praising God in all the languages of the world with all the songs that have ever been written. And the best part of all is that we will understand all the words. I don't know about you, but it sure makes me just a little bit homesick for that day when our eternity of worship before the throne of God begins!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

My C-Section Truths

by an anonymous  Guest Blogger

For a long time I didn't think that I could get pregnant. We adopted a son a few years ago and were more than content with him. But I miraculously became pregnant in 2013 and quickly decided that I wanted a natural birth. I chose a doula who was also a midwife, so I knew that I was in good hands.

Having a C-section was not on my radar. I never read that chapter in What to Expect, and I ignored any information about it because (in my mind), I thought those were either elective or emergency—and to my prideful mind, those weren’t options for me!

But after 48 hours of natural labor, my baby became stuck, and I ultimately had a C-section. It was harder than I imagined. The entire experience and the few months that followed were the hardest of my entire life. My son’s birthday is next month, and I can’t help but think (almost daily) about that time. Recently, I read this article, and it took a hold of me and hasn’t let go:

My thoughts after reading that sweet blog post:

Yes, that OR is a scary place, especially when my heart monitor chirped in my ear and scared me each time there was a missed beat. And even though I know my next home is heaven, I didn't want to leave my boys and family. 

Yes, the preppers talked about other things (the beach). My doctor asked 2-3 times where my family was, which is exactly what my inner voice was screaming. I can remember when he quietly said that he was moving my bladder, and I was so grossed out and so thankful I couldn't feel it.  My husband and doula came in very late-he had already begun.  It seemed like just a couple of minutes (and maybe it was) that my son was out, my husband was gone with him, and so began the sewing up.

I still regret, am disappointed, and am frustrated that I didn't get to see my son when he first entered this world. I still feel that I was robbed of seeing that precious boy exit my body, his home, to enter the cold, bright OR room, so foreign to what he was used to.  I still fight bitterness that I didn't get to hold him immediately and that he was robbed of the peace and warmth that should have come from being next to his mama, and hearing her now-faint heartbeat.

I still can't/don't want to look at photos of other women and their newborns resting on their chests just after birth. I still feel fight bitterness when I see happy couples with their wrapped up newborn while in the hospital. I don't have any pictures of those.  I still fight the disappointment that I only heard my son’s cry from far away to know that he was alive, rather than seeing him and holding him. I just remember just gazing into my doula’s eyes, finding/fighting for peace and strength to get through the next heartbeat.

I somehow feel that the author's use of "brave" when describing a C-section mom is somehow too strong. We mothers did what we had to do to—it’s as simple as that. When I look back on those first few weeks being home, I am still in awe that I made it...especially those first few nights. Getting up (which is incredibly hard to do when you're semi-afraid that your insides might pop out) to feed a crying baby/change his diaper every hour and a half to two hours was just plain hard. Not to mention constantly wondering/doubting if I was doing the right thing. And to think about how now I don't feel rested unless I have 7 hours of sleep!

I will say that I totally agree that a C-section leaves physical AND emotional scars. Though I believe I had an excellent surgeon and had little/no complications and don't have problems with my physical scar like many other women (and feel VERY blessed), it's so true that it's emotional, too. Don't get me wrong—yes, the end result is what really matters: healthy baby, healthy mama. But there's much more that most people—especially those who haven't been in the same situation—can't imagine.

BUT....and here's a BIG but:

Though I sometimes struggle with my disappointment and grief, I DO realize how blessed I am that I experienced the greatest miracle of humanity (other than Jesus)--being pregnant and giving birth. I can remember the pangs of loneliness when seeing pregnant women bask in that special beauty that only comes from having another life growing inside of you. I remember watching mothers breastfeeding their babies and being saddened, thinking I’d never get to have that awesome experience. I remembering being on the adoption waiting list: full of hope and excitement, all the while being anxious about the unknown. I'm fully aware of those thousands of infertile women and/or those waiting who are waiting on an adoption waiting list who would LOVE to have a baby in ANY manner and who would switch places with me in a heartbeat. I don’t believe that they would spend much—if any—time regretting what might or should have been. In the end, they would be incredibly grateful for that baby that they could call their own.
Having a C-section was not on my radar. I never read that chapter in What to Expect

Yes, things didn't go "my" way regarding the birth, but God allowed it to happen that way. And it's ok—really. I'm thankful for the opportunity, the privilege…no, the high HONOR that it is to be a mother.  (And I realize how blessed to be a mom in two different, special ways!) So, it's perhaps much easier for me to let go of those times of disappointment than others. But, like an old injury, it aches sometimes.