This here is the very reason I got into breastmilk jewelry - Meet George.
George was someone I had prayed for, for a very long time. After suffering a few miscarriages, I fell into a slump. I practiced cautious happiness when we found out we were expecting George. I was obsessively peeing on Amazon cheapie sticks, temping - it consumed all my thoughts. It’s all I talked about I’m sure.
And then when it finally happened after a long long time, I couldn’t believe it. We had actually found out we were expecting George on our first son Jay's 11th birthday.
Preteen years. What a stark contrast that had been too. With Jay, I was a teen mom, working my way through university. I was young and alone and terrified. I cried when I found out.
With George - I was elated, but In shock. I was only 3 weeks - so I knew the road ahead of us was long and I tried not to bubble over. But he stuck.
And, on October 3, he was born. 4 days early, and a whopping 11 lbs 2 oz. Naturally, I might add because I refused an IV, and didn’t want any pain medications. But also because we had no idea he would be that big - no one knew. I didn’t have GD - or anything else.
Sure, I felt like a house when I was pregnant - but never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d have an 11 lbs baby.And out he came with great difficulty - vacuum, a nurse on top of me pushing from the outside, two doctors delivering, shoulder dystocia, an arm broken - but he made it into the world in less than 8 hours.
We eventually made it home after two days, but our little bubba kept turning more and more yellow.Three days later we were admitted to the NICU for very dangerous levels of jaundice. He stayed there, where I couldn’t hold him or pick him up for days. Intensive light therapy. A mask over his face. I broke - but I had support.
My husband was so strong - our nurse (@thenicuibclc) Viga was a God send, my in-laws let us stay with them so we didn’t have to go home and see all the empty baby things...I was determined to breastfeed this baby though.
I pumped and pumped for him. Meticulously every 2 hours. My body was exhausted. My heart being torn between my two kids.We quickly learned that there would be some unknowns in our journey with George.
His jaundice levels were just THAT high.I also learned that there would be some obstacles. The cute baby photography shoot I wanted to so desperately offer this babe (because financially I just couldn’t with my first) I couldn’t do.
There were a number of reasons - I reached out to a few people - for one, his size alone didn’t fit photography props. One lady told me that after 9 lbs the wraps look silly. My heart sank.The other reason? His arm was broken - and they weren’t able to cast it or anything. He was fragile. The beautiful Jessica Dawn of Jessica Dawn Images (who so lovingly did my maternity photos - another thing I didn’t get to do with my first due to having absolutely no budget) did offer to do lifestyle photos of us - but at that point I felt so so low.
If I couldn’t have my newborn all wrapped up, I just didn’t want it. My heart sank. Another babe I couldn’t offer pictures to. The ones I so desperately scrolled through Pinterest for.
I’m pretty stubborn. I did my own newborn photos. A light swaddle, and a fur rug. It wasn’t the beautiful photos my girlfriends were posting - but it gave me some peace.And with that, the I can do it mindset was born.
I’ve slowly been working on my photography skills - in fact, all of my product pictures I take on my own (you’ll get a giggle if you ever see the set up!)But I felt the same way about breastmilk rings. I worked for years as an art teacher - and I had some experience with resin.
I knew I could do it - and I did it for myself. My heart hurt I couldn’t have a memento from my first pregnancy... but someone suggested that I can make them for others.
That I can reach out, and do something for others that I couldn’t do for myself as a teen mama. That would be the way I honoured that pregnancy. And I fell in love with that idea.
Isn’t it funny how one thing often leads to another in life?