Each mother’s breastfeeding journey is unique and must be respected. Some relish this moment, some fight it, but no matter what her journey has been, any mother who has been breastfeeding for an extended period feels emotional when it comes to the last time. Maya Vonderstrasse talked about how she felt during this period and how difficult it is to end some cycles.
When mom of two Maya Vorderstrasse got tired of seeing pregnancy portrayed as perfect and easy on social media, she decided to show the world how it actually feels. Maya said:” Honestly I was so tired of seeing motherhood portrayed as perfect, flawless, and effortless on social media because I never felt like it was like that for me. So I embraced my chaotic life, and decided to share it with everyone in the hopes of helping other mothers realize that it’s OK to not have it all figured out.” So, when Maya was pregnant, she regularly posted pictures next to a letter board, sharing how she was feeling or thinking that day. From food cravings to wild bladder to swollen feet, she shared how pregnancy actually feels in the most hilarious and honest way.
Maya gave birth to her daughter just over two weeks ago and she’s continuing to share her funny letter board pics. And she wants to the world to know: Fed is best. The American mother opened her heart to vent about the period she breastfed, and it was emotional. Maya said when sharing what happened:” I didn’t know that one person could feel so proud and so broken at the same time, right now I am a ʜᴏʀᴍᴏɴᴀʟ, emotional, and mental mess.” Maya’s post shows two photos. Left, the first time she breastfed her daughter Hazel. Right, last time. And in each one, she tries to smile, despite having tears streaming down her face. “Raising my arm in this picture was very difficult for me as I had to fight through uncontrollable tears: this picture meant that I would never breastfeed my Hazel ever again. I have been nursing for so long, that I don’t know what it’s like to not nurse anymore.”
In a viral Instagram photo of her feeding Zoey, 13 months, and Hazel, 2 months, Maya shares her journey down two different paths that are often in the parenting world. She wrote:” I always dreamed I would breastfeed my child as long as I could. I’ve seen so many beautiful and amazing journeys through the bonding and comforting experience that it is. I breastfed my first daughter until she was 6 months old, and I loved all of it. It was our time together, so special … and no one could take that from me. I got pregnant when she was 2 months old and by the time she was almost 6 months old, my milk was gone, dried up, like, it disappeared.”
She added:” We had to start bottle feeding and I thought our bond would disappear. But, It was still our time, she’d still grab my hair and smile at me with her eyes. She was so happy. Fed. Loved. My mind revisited everything we had gone through. It was such a powerful memory and I felt so grateful to be at a good place today. I thought that it was not possible that other women weren’t going through this. I had the idea of posting a picture that represented my journey, so other mothers would know that they will be OK, and to not waste time feeling bad about their feeding choices.”
As the saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” These images represent the joy and not so happy moments of motherhood. When Maya looks back she will remember the first and last time, but not only. The tender moments in the apparently normal dawn will also be in the mind since now they are no longer part of the mother’s routine.
Maya’s publication has received thousands of comments and applause, not only congratulating her for having given her daughter the best, but also for having captured the end of such an important stage in their lives in a very emotional and special way.
Making the decision to wean a child is never easy, because it is not just about stopping giving breast milk but about stopping having that precious ritual that only exists between the mother and her baby, something that is undoubtedly a great moment and an emotional experience that many mothers have gone through.