Sunday, August 5, 2018

National Breastfeeding Week


It’s National Breastfeeding Week, so I wanted to share a bit about my breastfeeding journey. 
Cannon & I are currently 4+ months strong with exclusively breastfeeding! I know 4 months seems like nothing, but I am so proud & grateful to have gotten this far! The amount of work, love & determination that have gotten us to this point cannot be measured.


I’m going to be honest, breastfeeding has been so different than I imagined it would be. It has been a fight & a struggle almost every step of the way so far. It is crazy how something that’s meant to be so natural can be so difficult...(hello infertility!) At times, it has taken nearly all of my strength to persevere. There have been days where my only goal was to make it to & through the next feeding. I have cried countless times over how hard it is, how defeated I’ve felt & how exhausted I’ve been.


Breastfeeding has been challenging, but it’s also been beautiful & definitely worth the work. After adopting & formula feeding twice, I realize what a privilege it is to feed my third baby from my body. For a long time, this experience is one I thought I might never have. I am so thankful I’m able to do it!

My life pretty much revolves around breastfeeding - not just because I feed Cannon on demand around the clock, but also with staying on top of drinking enough water, eating constantly (I got back to pre-pregnancy weight very quickly but have gained weight from breastfeeding because I’m hungry all.the.time!), avoiding clogged ducts (I’ve had mastitis twice & lost count of the number of clogged ducts - hello misery), worrying about my supply all the time, struggling to feed in public, pumping when Cannon refuses a feeding, bringing him to weekly appointments for feeding therapy, physical therapy & chiro + the list goes on.

I am still taking this journey one day at a time. I’ve heard time & time again that the first few months of BF are the most difficult. I hope that someday soon, the good feeding days will outnumber the hard feeding days. When I look back, I’m amazed at all the obstacles we’ve overcome these past 4 months!

When things do go smoothly, it’s empowering. I love feeding my boy & truly cherish our precious moments of bonding together. When Cannon looks up at me with his sweet milky grin my heart can hardly take it. It’s an incredible feeling to snuggle my boy close & know that I am all he needs! I hope the sweet, beautiful moments will continue to increase with each day that passes. I hope I will be able to continue to breastfeed Cannon for as long as I want/as long as he needs!

My husband has been my biggest cheerleader & supporter...I definitely wouldn’t have made it this far without him in my corner! Although I am definitely grateful for the support I have received while breastfeeding, I wish there was more support for BF mothers & for all mothers, especially the first few months postpartum.

I feel like this goes without saying, but of course I believe fed is best. I will never ever judge or shame another woman in her journey of feeding her baby. I know firsthand that this topic & each person’s decision/experience is complex! The shame & guilt, feeling misunderstood & questioning our own decisions, wrestling with what’s best, feeling like we failed or aren’t enough can be so so heavy. 
All you mommas blessed by adoption, I want you to know you’re always on my heart. I know reading post after post this week about breastfeeding isn't the easiest thing for your momma heart. I’ve been there. 

Motherhood is harder than I ever imagined it would be.
We are all doing our best & what we feel is right for us! As my friend Crista shared, “Let the normalcy and support and education that #nationalbreastfeedingweek brings help you fight your battle. But let your motivation for why you do what you do and the sweetness you reap from it be between you and your baby alone. Leave the guilt and shame out of it.“ So much love to all you mommas!  You’re amazing, strong & you’re doing a great job! 😘

With love, 
Tyler 

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Dear Momma of a Newborn


Dear newborn momma,
This season of your life is probably a combination of beautiful, joyful, wonderful, miraculous + overwhelming & exhausting. That’s totally normal! Taking care of a baby is a full time job...it requires all of us, pretty much all the time. It is truly the.most.incredible thing & also sometimes can feel like the hardest thing. 
Let me assure you, every momma gets overwhelmed sometimes! [yes, even those of us who waited & longed & fought with everything in us to experience motherhood get overwhelmed in hard moments]
Some days, weeks & months, you won’t be able to do much more than hold your baby, feed your baby & try* to get your baby to sleep. If that’s you, please know it’s okay (& to be expected) that you can’t do “it all!” You are giving all of yourself to what is most important right now, your precious baby! Everything else can wait, truly. 
Don’t rush getting back to “normal” life, instead, learn to slow down & embrace your new normal. Take some pressure off of yourself. Give yourself permission to take as much needed off your plate as possible in this season of life. Accept help when it’s offered & ask for help when you need it. Rest whenever you can & seize those little moments of you-time in whatever way you need most...a shower, a nap, a meal, your favorite tv show...isn’t it funny how the simplest things can refresh us these days?! 
I know it doesn’t feel like it now, but it won’t always be this all consuming! One day soon, you will get into a good rhythm & learn how to find room & time for yourself again. In the meantime, be kind to yourself & soak up every sweet moment of this special season. Babies don’t keep & trust me, before long you’ll be looking back at this time wondering how it flew by so quickly. 
You’re doing SO great & you ARE a wonderful mother! Go kiss those yummy baby bellies & soak up every sweet smile...drink it up friend, it’s the good stuff!
With love, 
Tyler 

Welcome Baby Cannon!

Cary & I recently welcomed our third child, Cannon Constance Koch into the world. 
Cannon is such a miraculous & beautiful answer to years of prayer! He was born Saturday March 24th at 7:43 a.m. God answered our prayers by bringing on my labor swiftly when I was 40 weeks 5 days pregnant. I was able to have the natural birth I desired & planned for. What a whirlwind of emotion, pain & love! It was by far the hardest & most amazing thing I have ever done! I have no idea how I made it through because every minute I felt like I couldn’t go on, but somehow I found the strength. And of course, Cary was incredible! I could not have done it without him! He supported me through every second. I am looking forward to sharing Cannon's full birth story & birth photos here soon. 

 Thank you all for every prayer, message & kind word you have sent our way throughout this entire journey to welcoming baby Cannon! 
With love,
Tyler