baby beloved has hit that fun teenager stage....yup, 15 years old on December 1st, 2019! Jamie Gortsema and I were working at a hospital, dreaming of how we could provide breastfeeding support out in the community. It took about a year of planning (and MANY discussions on what the name should be) but we finally quit our jobs and jumped head first into something we really didn't know much about. Yes, we knew how to help mamas breastfeed, but neither one of us had ever run a retail store, marketed a business, billed insurance or hired employees. It was all something we figured out along the way, and I feel SO blessed that I had a partner to walk through the muck with. Money was tight. Hours were long. The furniture was janky. The shelves were sparsely stocked. But our passion was strong and it sustained us as we got to interact with the mothers and babies who graced our little purple and yellow boutique in the lower level of the Ardmore building, behind Breton Village Mall. We loved every minute of it, really.
Unfortunately, Jamie had to move on as we moved baby beloved into the Women's Health building. Around that same time, the recession hit, and although I tried holding on by my fingernails, I was losing too much money and I had to snap out of it and say goodbye to the boutique. It was one of the hardest things I've had to do, as I know what a great place it was for moms to gather--for support group (where so many women found a lifeline AND future friends), to be fitted for a bra, to grab something cute for their baby or themselves, for the many incredible classes we hosted, and just to get out of the house to talk to another adult during our lonnnng winters. I still grieve it, truth be told. Big sigh....but alas, I am so incredibly thankful I could hold onto the consulting portion of my business. I could keep helping moms breastfeed and lead group classes for pregnant couples. I could still be a part of the magic that happens as a mother is born. As she finds her way, finds her voice, and as she finds herself in a powerful relationship with her baby. It's such a humbling thing to see a mother and baby interact with love, trust and empathy...I don't suspect it will ever get old for me. So, let's see what happens in the next 15 years, eh?
I am dying to celebrate! I've never done this, but I'd like to host a drawing for some awesome gifts. A winner will be picked December 1st as I sip a glass of champagne (don't worry, a computer will pick the winner!). Please join me (for the raffle AND the champagne--maybe a mimosa?-- if you'd like).
To enter, click here and be sure to share with anyone you know who is also currently breastfeeding or pumping who has inspired you along your journey.
-Mama's Sippy Cup
-$50 gift card to Kindred Bravely
-Haakaa Silicone Breast pump
-One Year of Access to Work.Pump.Balance. Online Course (worth $99)