We Are Breastfeeding Mommas… Hear Us ROAR!

I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter,
Dancing through the fire
‘Cause I am the champion,
And you’re gonna hear me roar
Louder, louder than a lion
‘Cause I am a champion,
And you’re gonna hear me roar!

So who’s out there singing along with me? You know, some days we need a little mantra to remind us just how truly amazing we are, because we ARE fighters, and champions. Every day we push forward doing what we know is best for our babies, even when it may seem all odds are against us. So first, I want to say to all the mommas, “Way to go… you are each amazing for all you do!” I also want to specifically encourage all the moms who work outside the home. To those who nurse when they are with their baby and then pump when they are away. The past 14 months have been the most dedicated to something I have ever been in my entire life. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve devoted my time to lots of things in 33 years, but this takes the cake. Not one feeding has gone by in 420 days that I didn’t either nurse my daughter or pump at the exact time she was being fed a bottle. I have managed, while working in a rewarding, yet most times very stressful, full-time career to stay on HER schedule and never miss a beat. We set our mind to this even before we found out we were expecting her – and I say, “we”, because my husband has played an equally vital role in our successful breastfeeding journey.

Danielle Pardue 1

You see, when we had our son 5 years ago, we lived in a city with no family or friends, no support page like this, and came from families where NO ONE ever breastfed. I happily breastfed my son for 6 months, and naively let work and others’ opinions take over.

NOT. THIS. TIME. This momma bear wasn’t going to let that happen. I read, researched and prepared. I have been fortunate enough to educate anyone and everyone who will listen, and even had the opportunity to aid other mommas this time around. Above all, I was dedicated to making this work; from excusing myself from meetings with my executive bosses in the boardroom, to pumping while sitting on the floor in the airport when I needed to travel for work. From nursing sitting in the dugout at my son’s t-ball games, to nursing on the beach, to everywhere in between. My heart and soul has been dedicated to this gift I am giving my daughter.

So, today as I type, our beautiful daughter is growing into the mirror image of her independent, highly motivated momma. She gently self-weaned (of course momma wasn’t ready, but this girl has a mind of her own!) and I am in the process of weaning from the pump (which by the way is 1000x harder than weaning a baby LOL). Our 3 freezers are stocked with enough milk to last until she is 19 months old (nearly 4,000oz give or take), which allows us to meet our goal of 18 months! Yep, I’ll say it. I’M PROUD! Proud of me, my daughter – but more importantly, proud of my entire little family of four who has laughed (when we catch the kids “pumping” themselves), cried (when we powered through the pain in the early days or when a day was ‘just hard’), lost sleep (oh yeah, you momma’s know about that), supported one another (big brother gave her her first bottle feeding when momma went back to work and daddy was always to the rescue by scooping her up and placing in momma’s arms when it was feeding time), learning from the past (those darn “teaching moments and learning curves” – gotta love ’em), and above all LOVING each other through the beautiful journey.

Danielle Pardue 3

Simply put, my heart is full. Thank you to all of you who give of yourselves day in and day out, to provide this amazing gift to your children. Don’t let anything or anyone stand in your way….and if an obstacle appears before you, just keep singing and believing,

 

I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter,
Dancing through the fire
‘Cause I am the champion,
And you’re gonna hear me roar
Louder, louder than a lion
‘Cause I am a champion,
And you’re gonna hear me roar!

_________________

Danielle is mom to a son, Anderson, 5, and daughter, Bostyn, 14 months, and has been married to her middle school sweetheart, Clint, for 11 years. She adores a slow weekend on the lake and any crafting project she can get her hands on!

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