the certainty of motherhood

nursing photos taken by stacey montgomery {19} nursing photos taken by stacey montgomery {11} nursing photos taken by stacey montgomery {16}

i had not intended to write today... or any time soon, for that matter. but i found in myself an urge to write down my thoughts as {and shortly after} i nursed isaac this afternoon.

you see, i had cried while i was nursing him. in four months, this was a first. i have cried while holding him, gazing at him, sitting alone and thinking about him. but never before today had i cried while nursing him. and it's not that the thoughts i was pondering, leading me to cry, were entirely new. i was thinking about the fact that i am what sustains my child... without me or the nourishment i give to him, he would not survive. of course, i know he could live by another means if he was not able to nurse on his own mother's milk. he would have to. but it is by me that he is nourished and has been these four months. i am the one... my own flesh is what has allowed him to thrive as he has.

like i said, there was nothing new to my thoughts. but they were thoughts that, today, brought tears to my eyes... even slight whimpers to my breath. and that is because it hit me differently today... today, while in the midst of a couple battles against things that are much bigger than me... while dealing with quite a lot of disappointment in so many areas of my life, while feeling overwhelmed and completely inadequate at keeping up in every area, while wanting all that is wrong and broken to be right and mended and while feeling as if absolutely nothing in life is certain or guaranteed. today, while nursing, i felt so anchored in the fact that there is one certainty that cannot be denied... i am this boy's mother, and it is i who has literally kept him alive and sustained.

though this could be viewed as mere fact... simple biology... i saw it as more than that. i saw in it a great purpose for my life right now. and with so much uncertainty all around, that was one giant, yet still, small certainty that brought me to tears. i can't express what a comfort it was to me. but i can try to explain... and that i have done.

nursing is always such a tender and intimate moment for me that i treasure anyway. today, it was all the more. not every time that i nurse are the surroundings silent and peaceful {though i strive for that}. but today, when i cried, they were such. and it was a markedly different experience nursing than all the rest. i will always remember it.

that is why i decided to use these photos for this post. normally, i like to limit the photographs that i use here to the ones i have taken myself... since it is a blog for my photography {and writing}. but today, not only would i not have been able to take shots like these if i was to be in them {unless i used a tripod}, but i would not have made images quite so beautiful and telling the way my dear friend stacey could.

i was amazed when she sent these photos to me as a birthday gift... utterly amazed. i cried when i saw them, because they captured one of the most incredibly beautiful acts that i have ever been privileged to do... nurse a child... my child. and she wrote about it beautifully, herself, here.

you might remember me writing about stacey recently... how i had the honor and privilege to meet her in person for the first time when she visited chicago. i took isaac to the city with me to meet her for lunch. afterward, we decided we'd like to walk to the lake, but i knew i had to feed isaac first. she was kind enough to allow me to use her hotel room to nurse isaac before we went walking. it was very unplanned to have these photos taken, but she saw an opportunity to capture a cherished moment, and she did so beautifully, in my opinion. i was in awe of the way she used the light in the room to tell such a quiet and tender story. she is an amazing {one of my favorites} photographer. how honored i am to have been photographed in this moment by her.

can you see why i just had to make use of them today? actually, i had intended on just providing a link to them in a post, back before i decided to stop blogging regularly. but i never got around to it. today, it seemed fitting... not just to link to them, but to actually post them with my words. i really wanted a place to come back to where i could find these thoughts from today paired with the images from a few weeks ago.

. . .

here are a few more she took.

DSC_9103B&W nursing photos taken by stacey montgomery {18} DSC_9114B&W nursing photos taken by stacey montgomery {7} DSC_9120


Shay said...

I was so happy to see you had posted and have missed you! Being a mother is one of my GREATEST joys. Remember, when all else fails, when everything is crumbling at your feet, your child will still be there, staring at you in amazement, full of love. It's then, when you pick yourself back up, get out of bed when you don't want to, because they need YOU to survive. Now think of our love for them and imagine how BIG our Father's love is for us! Praying for you!

Steve Gravano said...

That photo of Isaac looking up at you is wonderful, you can see all the love there is between a child and mother. (I like the color version too)

Stacey said...

Oh Georgia. You words made me tear up. In sadness bc I know what you are going through right now, but also in happiness bc of this incredible gift in your life. This sweet baby boy!

It's amazing, isn't it? I remember thinking the same things when I nursed my babies. One for a year and one for 17 months. That they NEEDED me. I alone provided that milk for them to survive. I often think that this is how God must feel about us. We often go to other places for nourishment, hope, contentment...but only He can provide that pure milk for us to really "survive" to the fullest.

Thank you so much (again!) for your kind words. I'm so happy you posted these photos.

Love you and praying for you, friend.


Meri said...

Oh, I remember feeling the magnitude of incomparable wonder that my body had gestated this little being into embodied for and that I was feeding him milk perfectly formulated to exactly meet his needs, milk made from my own body as a gift to him. Those moments are always mystical, a treasure to savor.

beth said...

oh georgia....
you are giving your little man {and you} such a sweet gift and you will never forget these nursing days. never.

i think about you often....xoxox

Andrea said...

So glad to see you post. :)
Nursing creates such a bond between mom and baby. I can remember just staring at Max while nursing him and wondering how I made this little person who was so reliant on me. I still look at him and get teary-eyed at times...can't put it into words; it's just an overwhelming feeling.
I will tell you that it does get better - that feeling of being overwhelmed. Motherhood is overwhelming, and is probably the most difficult at the stage you are in. But, the wonder and beauty and grace of this baby stage is breath-taking. Remember every detail. Enjoy every moment - even the tearful moments. It all goes by far too fast.

georgia b. said...

thank you, all. i'm so glad to have read your comments and encouragement.

yes, andrea... i will enjoy it. i am enjoying it! immensely. trust me, these were good tears. i hope i don't paint a picture of depression... thankfully, i have not struggled with any postpartum blues. there are just some things that i am going through that make the good moments like i wrote about even more cherished... make me even more grateful for them. yes, i am overwhelmed some days. but it's something i embrace fully! i wanted motherhood, and everything that comes with it! i know what you mean about breath-taking. it really is at times. thank you for your encouragement.

Ramblings said...

Hello! Thankyou for your kind comments on my blog. Yes we love the Big Picture Book Bible. It is great. That is pretty cool that you helped out with the design and stuff. Well done. Thanks for stopping by and saying hi, it was lovely!

Caroline said...

Isn't it amazing...how we as mothers can nourish and nurture? It really is a miracle. These photos, by the way...stunning!!!

Sherah said...

oh MY. Beautiful photos (I like the b&w of his chubby feet, towards the top!), and beautiful writing. Well said!