I'm not sure exactly when I men Jen for the first time. I think we may have connected through the Joint Base McGurie - Dix - Lakehurst parent's page. I do remember I met Mark for the first time shortly after he was born. Jen was experiencing some common breastfeeding challenges and reached out for nursing support. It's always so exciting to follow a family's journey and watch them overcome their challenges and come to the point where they want to celebrate their breastfeeding journey.
Jen told me she always knew she wanted to breastfeed for the health benefits (and financial benefits, the alternative is quite expensive after all!). She originally had planned to nurse Mark until he turned 6 months old, but as she learned more about breastfeeding, her goals changed and she has decided to follow Mark's lead and wait until he's ready to wean. I love hearing her story for so many reasons. Mostly I love that Jen was so open to learning, changing, and adapting her plan and expectations. That can be really hard as a new mom, but when we follow our intuition, we can never (rarely?) go wrong.
I'm so excited for Jen that she is celebrating this stage of motherhood. She chose to book a Mommy & Me Breastfeeding Photography session with Little Bear because she knew this time wouldn't last forever and these moments and memories would be forever treasured. She stated her favorite part of breastfeeding is the way it instantly calms Mark down and a "wave of calm" comes over him. I saw this first hand as she had to clear his nose with suction, and he was quite upset about this. He immediately took to nursing to find comfort again, and perked right back up to his happy, hammy self!
I have to tell you this little guy was a blast to work with! He LOVES the camera! In fact, he loves it so much I had to be pretty sneaky with how we would capture these special moments nursing because he was too busy wanting to smile and pose for the camera. Despite his comedian personality, we got some beautiful images that I hope Jen will look back on with a warm heart one day. Many people hesitate to book sessions like this for many reasons. A common one is that it can be downright awkward to breastfeed for the camera. Even the most confident nursing mamas can feel funny doing it for the camera or with a stranger staring you down. After our session Jen shared that she was so glad she booked because she "loved that Mark was having fun showing off and that Jaimie was able to get such amazing pictures despite the fact that all Mark wanted to do was play." She continued to share that her photographer "was so patient and made [her] feel comfortable", and that she would absolutely recommend a session like this with Little Bear to anyone who is on the fence.