Here are my pictures of me breastfeeding both my babies—Mari and Lila. 

Denene with Mari (about age 4 months)

I breastfed Mari for 12 months (I pumped for an additional two)

Denene with Lila (about age 2 months)
I breastfed Lila for just over 10 months (I pumped for an additional two)

I chose to breastfeed my babies because I knew that it was best for them. I wanted nothing more than to give them the very best of everything, and securing a healthy future for them by giving them the best of ME just made sense.

No one I knew had done it, and I got little support from anyone (hospital doctors and nurses included!) except my husband, my mother, and my best friend/sister-in-law, Angelou, who stuck up for me when friends and family questioned why I “still had that baby sucking on my ninny.” I’d feel so embarrassed about feeding her around these people, but the pull of making sure she and her sister, Lila, whom I breastfed for 10 months, got what was best for them far outweighed the slick comments I’d get when I breastfed my girls.

I’m so glad I did it.

When I breastfed my girls, there was a connection between me and my babies that is incalculable; the sweetness, the warmth, the cuddling, the staring into each other’s eyes—it was an incredible feeling, one that simply can not be duplicated. There was also a sense of power—that my body, solely, could nourish my children, was, simply, a mind-blowing thing. The more I gave of myself to them, the bigger, stronger and healthier they got.

It was truly a miracle of God—spiritual. And I’m so grateful that I was able to do it.