One thing I was not prepared for when I first started offering breastfeeding sessions in 2014 is the amount of healing they can bring to a mother and her child. I first met this stunning duo last year, when Mama wanted to document her breastfeeding relationship with her daughter before they began the process of weaning. We didn’t know it at the time, but her sweet girl was already sick, and not a month later would be in for the fight of her life.
Her mom shares her incredible story:
Audrey was diagnosed with a life-threatening immune disorder (Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis, or HLH) the week after her first birthday and received a bone marrow transplant this past February. I started weaning her right before she became sick but decided that now was not the time for major changes and we were going to just focus on getting our little girl better…boy was that the right call! I ended up breastfeeding Audrey through doctor’s appointments, blood draws, many failed IV attempts, echocardiograms, before and after major surgical procedures, during chemo treatments and during the actual bone marrow transplant itself. I was even able to pump in the hospital and have my milk given to Audrey through a feeding tube during the absolute worst of days when she couldn’t eat or drink anything and needed a morphine pump because the mouth sores from the harsh chemo drugs were so insanely terrible. Never in my life did I think I would breastfeed this long but I couldn’t be more proud of the two of us. Audrey is doing extremely well and I know that our journey is coming to an end but I will continue to enjoy this special time while it lasts.
I was able to attend one of Audrey’s recent visits to her doctor, and am sharing these with permission, to demonstrate how powerful breastfeeding (and capturing it through photography) can be.