It’s Beautiful

*Avery’s Memory*

The school supplies are out and the sales are beginning. This used to be my favorite part of the summer. My sister and I always loved school supply shopping! Now, as a parent, school supply shopping has a whole new meaning for me.

When I walked past the school supply aisles recently I couldn’t help but think about Avery. We lost our first child in October of 2013, but my due date was the following June. If the Lord hadn’t called Avery home, we would have a kindergartner this Fall.

I don’t think I’ll ever stop thinking about Avery and the “what ifs”. I don’t think grief ever entirely disappears, it just evolves. I no longer cry whenever I think of the baby we lost, but missed milestones are still bittersweet. I love ALL of my children, including the one we never had the privilege of meeting.

This year, (and maybe this will be a new tradition), I plan to purchase school supplies for another child in Avery’s honor. Avery’s memory isn’t sad. It’s beautiful.

motherhood, Product Spotlight, Reviews

Product Spotlight: Smart Bottoms Small Wet Bags

This is an unsponsored post- Items were purchased by me.

Everyone in the cloth diaper world knows how handy and useful wet bags are. Did you know that wet bags have more uses than just carrying dirty diapers while on the go?

I like to use the small wet bags to carry a change of clothing for each of my children. It keeps each outfit together in the diaper bag so I don’t need to take everything out to find it in an emergency.

On the left is a Small Smart Bottoms wet bag in the Campfire Tails print. I love the thickness and the quality of its construction. I’m not worried about it falling apart. Inside this wet bag I can fit a 3T shirt, 2T shorts or pants, a pull-up, and a pair of socks (not shown).

On the right is a Small MESH Smart Bottoms wet bag in the Walk Tall print, exclusive to Abby’s Lane. This one is much thinner and is breathable due to the mesh. In this one I can currently fit a 3m shirt, shorts, and zip up hoodie.

Both of these wet bags have room to spare, so I can add other items as needed.

Even if you don’t cloth diaper I recommend keeping a couple wet bags on hand in your home and diaper bag. They’re great for organization and emergencies!


We Need Support, Not Deceptive Marketing

Recently the WHO looked at a breastfeeding resolution that seeks to limit the aggressive marketing of infant formula companies. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the US fought against the resolution, mentioning moms that are unable to breastfeed. They even went so far as to threaten other countries with tariffs if they did not agree to shoot down the initiative. To clarify, no one is trying ban infant formulas. The WHO resolution merely seeks to prevent large corporations from marketing infant formulas as breast milk equals.

I am not shy about sharing my low supply and breastfeeding struggles. I know there are cases where breastfeeding is not physically or emotionally possible, such as for breast cancer survivors, moms who do not produce any breast milk, or sexual assault survivors. I have had to supplement both of my babies with infant formula. Obviously the most important thing is that my children are fed. However, I still acknowledge that breastmilk is the perfect form of nutrition for my babies. Formula is a substitute.

I am disappointed that my government chose to use me as a statistic. As a low supply mom I need breastfeeding support. I need access to breastfeeding research and other tools that will help me succeed, such as a breast pump and a lactation consultant. What I don’t need is to see deceptive formula marketing at every turn. When I first had to start supplementing with my first child, I needed access to information about all the different option I had. I didn’t need my pediatrician to tell me to start with a specific infant formula just because the manufacturer provided his office with free samples.

Low income mothers should not be told to supplement from birth or to introduce formula at the first sign of a breastfeeding setback. What those mothers need is breastfeeding support. What happens when parents can’t afford infant formula? Oftentimes they will water down the formula to make it last longer, which can be very dangerous in a small child. Watered down infant formula can cause malnutrition, electrolyte imbalances, and kidney failure.

Why doesn’t our government (and society) want us to encourage and support our new mothers? Breastfeeding isn’t easy, even for a mom without a milk production problem.

In order for breastfeeding to be successful we need to be taught about feeding on demand, pace feeding, how to prevent and resolve clogged ducts, and how to help baby get a deep latch. We need help choosing the right flange size for our breast pumps and we need to learn about proper breast milk handling and storage. We need to know our pumping and breastfeeding rights in the workplace.

We need to stop setting new moms up for failure.

What we don’t need is commercials about infant formulas that claim to be “close to breast milk.” We don’t need formula samples and coupons before our babies are even born.

Formula has helped my babies thrive, but I’m not going to pretend it’s the same as breast milk. And I don’t need my government to assume I am incapable of understanding the differences.