Mother's Milk ⏤ Vol 39
Boobs, the number 24, 2010 Atlanta nightlife.
Chillleeeeee, I am exhausted.
But I finally feel like I have hit that point where I am on autopilot. I don’t really remember what time it is or the day of the week; I just go.
Caring for an infant is not an easy task, and I see why it takes two people to make a baby. And it takes that plus more to care for them.
Super thankful my husband is home with me for the first 6-weeks of JJ’s life because without his round-the-clock love, support and help, I don’t know what I would do.
Today for lunch, I am drinking Mother’s Milk. It’s a tea that helps with lactation because listen…well, we will get into that during today’s topics.
There are only two topics today, but it’s enough to keep you nice and full.
I had a birth plan laid out and also a feeding plan. Every nurse or doctor I encountered the last few months of my pregnancy, through labor, delivery, and hospital stay asked if I planned to breastfeed and for how long.
My response was always the same. Yes, I want to breastfeed, Lord willing, and I will do it as long as I can.
My response always yielded a “great answer” from the medical professionals, but “as long as I can” is really a wide-open answer. It can mean 1 year or 3 weeks.
This shit is hard. Super hard. It’s tiring and taxing.
Feeding a newborn is an on-demand kind of thing. There is no schedule for feeding. They say brand new babies need to eat every 2-3 hours, but that’s not nearly the truth.
JJ sometimes will eat 2-3 times within 2-3 hours. That means anywhere from 15-30 min of eating, 2-10 min trying to get a burp or gas out, him dozing from being milk drunk (so freaking cute), and then he will wake up, cry or scream, informing me he needs more. Cluster feeding is basically what it’s called. It’s exhausting.
The phrase “Breast is Best” is a load of shit. FED IS BEST! The pressure on how people feed their babies is insane.
Breastfeeding a baby takes a huge toll on a woman and her mental health. I’ve cried into my food, into a pillow, and in my husband’s arms during moments of feeling like I failed when feeding our child. This shit isn’t for the weak. Keeping a helpless baby fed already is a challenge.
I feed our child however it fits. I nurse, I pump, and we give him formula. We started supplementing with formula in the hospital and we haven’t stopped yet.
But I did have a moment in the hospital when he wasn’t latching. I felt like I was unable to feed him. I cried and cried, and it took me stepping away to take a moment to myself and reach out to one of my best girlfriends who had a challenge nursing her baby for me to regain confidence as a mother.
After talking to her, I was no longer ashamed or sad that he wasn’t latching. I became determined to give our son whatever he needed to satisfy him.
You know when folks ask you “when you are going to get married,” or once you get married, they ask you when you are going to have kids. Then when you have kids, they ask you when you will have more. Those questions are triggers for some folks.
Conceiving a child is hard work, and for some, the road there is long and tough. I learned through my conception journey that asking a woman about having children can seem innocent, but depending on their story, it can also set off some unwanted emotions.
It’s the same feeling when someone asks a new mom, “are you breastfeeding” or “how is breastfeeding going.” When I was asked that question initially, it wasn’t going great, and my emotions about it were unstable.
I was like, “damn, this is one of those questions someone should probably think twice about before asking because you never know what someone is going through.”
Granted, I got over the challenging hump of breastfeeding, but it is still hella hard and not easy. Some moms never get over the hump, and emotions get the best of them.
So next time one of your friends has a baby, be gentle with them. Maybe not ask them how breastfeeding is going; instead, ask an open-ended question about mother/parenthood.
And if you are super curious about how the baby is being fed, ask just that, “how’s it going keeping the baby fed.” Moms struggling with getting that nip in the baby’s mouth will thank you for this adjustment in your curious questioning.
FYI - If you follow Jeannie Mai on IG, she shared a real AF heartfelt post about her breastfeeding journey and the 4th-trimester struggles, and her entire post was spot on!
In two days (3/9) marks the 25th anniversary of the death of The Notorious B.I.G.
The year was 1997, and this lyrical giant lost his life at the age of 24, a few months before his 25th birthday. BIG’s music career began in ‘92, but his debut album, Ready to Die, didn’t hit the streets until ‘94. A few years later, he was gone.
In Vol 20, I briefly touch on the love square of Pac, BIG, Faith & Lil Kim. In Vol 31, I pull back all the curtains on Charlie Baltimore & BIG’s relationship. If you missed either one of these, go back and read.
I’ve said this before, BIG’s music makes me feel rich and luxurious AF. Even his hardcore songs give me the same feeling. When the Pac or Biggie debate begins, I am always on the Notorious side.
What’s your favorite Biggie song?
I have a favorite Biggie song and a favorite music video. My favorite song is Notorious Thugs featuring Bone Thugs and Harmony. Yo side note, I STILL can’t believe Bizzy threw that water bottle at Juicy J during their Verzuz battle. And guess who produced this track, good ole Stevie J. *eye roll*
My favorite video is One More Chance.
The cameos in this video are insane.
Heavy D, Total, Tyson Beckford, Uncle Luke, Faith Evans, Mary J. Blige, Aaliyah, Da Brat, Craig Mack, Patra, Changing Faces, Zhané, Junior M.A.F.I.A. (minus Kim), Jermaine Dupri, Queen Latifah, and I am sure I am missing a few more where all in this less than 5-minute video.
When was the last time this much talent was in a video just because? This was during one of the golden eras of the 90s, 1995.
The vibe + energy in this video is unmatched. I always pictured myself walking into a house party like Pam did in this video.
And two years later, it was all over for him.
Think about how much life BIG missed out on. He didn’t even get to live to see his final album get released, let alone his children grow up. BIG did get to experience real love, which most of us yearn for throughout our lives.
He met Faith Evans at a photo shoot, and they got married eight days later! Eight days!
Is there anyone you would have married after eight days? I don’t want to sound cliché, but I would have for sure married my husband after eight days. He gave me a feeling from the beginning that I’ve never felt before. It’s one of the reasons I knew this was different. But outside of that, NOPE.
At 24, my parents were married and had me.
At 24, I was living my best MF’ing 20something life in Atlanta. Spending pretty much every night out on the scene. Let me reminisce for a second on my weekly nights out in 2010.
Mondays were dedicated to Magic City. Magic City Mondays have a special place in my heart until his day. I can’t wait to take Ju there one day. They got this appetizer platter at Magic that is to diiieeee for! 😋
Tuesdays belonged to Onyx, another popular strip club that was probably my favorite spot. Their wings were on point, the DJ always played the best Atlanta had to offer, and it wasn’t super uppity. For some reason, I am still on their text list because I legit just got a text from Onyx like three days ago.
On Wednesdays, I would park in the chipotle parking lot to walk up to a shed in the back which led you underground to a dingy, damp, sometimes slightly musty literal underground club called MJQ. You never wore anything nice to this spot because it would be ruined within moments. But you were guaranteed to have the time of your life.
Thursdays we were at Opera. Every time we set foot in this spot, me and my girls were guaranteed to have plans for the rest of the weekend. When folks visit the A for the weekend, it typically starts on a Thursday, so this was everyone’s first stop.
Fridays, you could find me at The Verve, a three-story club in downtown Atlanta OR a few doors down at D’Jango’s, which was dark, underground, and played the best reggae music in the city. If I was feeling a little ratchet, I would go to one of the many clubs in The Underground. I don’t even know if they have clubs in The Underground anymore.
Saturdays, we was at Mansion or Essos. I had girlfriends who worked the VIP line, bar, or promoted for the club at both spots, so we were always GOOD going to these two spots. But surprisingly, these were my least favorite spots. I always had a good time, but I rather rest up for Sundays.
The Velvet Room era in Atlanta is probably equivalent to the Club 112 era; you just had to be there. I never got to go to Club 112, but The Velvet Room was my absolute favorite nighttime spot. Nestled in a strip mall, you would never think how exquisite this spot was until you went inside. The who’s who of Atlanta and out of towners would always be spotted at The Velvet Room.
*pause* How in thee WORLD did I have the energy for a nightlife lineup like this. I definitely showed up at work hungover a time or two, or twenty.
So you see, when I was 24, I was living LIFE.
To think that life could have just stopped right after that OR been married with a kid at that age is wild. I commend all parents who planned (or didn’t plan) for kids around that age. *round of applause*
Hell, I could have waited another couple of years to have JJ, but they always say you never are fully ready to have kids; you get ready when they arrive.
By the age of 24, BIG lived a big life. Married, had two kids, a side jawn (Kim), a relationship with Charli, and had a short career that labeled him as one of the best to do it, one of the greatest rappers alive, a GOAT.
24 years. That is it.
Imagine what he could have accomplished if he didn’t feud with Pac because we all know that is the ONLY reason he was murdered. Argue with me if you want, but that man was gunned down in ‘97 because Pac was murdered six months before. There is no other explanation. If there is, please tell me.
You already know life is precious. One day we all with leave this world, but leaving this world before your time, when there is so much left on the table to accomplish, is hard to stomach.
That’s also the final number Kobe Bryant wore in his career as a Laker. But we not going to touch this topic because I still can’t believe this GOAT also is gone.
So, what were you doing at 24?
#currentlybinging Married at First Sight. I started with season 7, currently on Season 9, per a recommendation from a colleague, and MAN, is this show an insane ride. It’s a perfect way to spend my late nights and early mornings when I am up with JJ trying to rock him to sleep or calm down a screaming fit.
Ashanti, Amerie & B2K. Fight me for picking B2K debut album in my top, but that is one of my favorite CDs to play, NO SKIPs!
Well friends, that’s all I got for you today. I hope you enjoyed lunch with me. Send good vibes and energy our way that we have a good day with JJ. He has been WINNING lately.