Monique's "Crazy Ride"
Every so often you meet a woman whose journey to motherhood makes you stop and take stock of your own. Everyone, meet Monique.
From the birth of son Lorenzo with forceps due to Shoulder Dystocia to a variety of breastfeeding complications, Monique Griffani from @raisingthegriffanis certainly hit the ground running into motherhood. The mama of two (to Gabriella, four years old, and Lorenzo, nine months) openly shares the ups and downs of #mumlife with her more than 12K followers on Instagram, including her tumultuous breastfeeding journey with Lorenzo and adjusting to life with two young children.
"I have always been quite honest when it comes to our story and never held anything back. My breastfeeding journey with Lorenzo has been far from easy. I feel as though from day one it has just been hurdle after hurdle that we have had to overcome, which makes our success that much more important to me."
With that being said, we thought it only fitting that Monique shares her journey with you in her own words from the very beginning.
"Lorenzo's birth was the most traumatic and scary situation that I have ever been in. The stress, and worry of wondering whether my baby was going to be okay or when I was going to be able to see him and hold him again was overbearing. So many emotions ran through my veins that day. Lorenzo was born using forceps due to Shoulder Dystocia. This means that his shoulders were lodged into my pelvis, meaning that he could not proceed through the birth canal. He was delivered not breathing and was taken straight from inside of me to the special care nursery. I didn't get to hold him, and only saw a tiny glimpse of the back of his body."
"Due to the stress on my body, my milk didn't come in for around five days after his birth. Lorenzo was exclusively formula fed in the hospital while I was frantically pumping trying to get even just a single drop of milk for him. To make matters worse, Lorenzo has a high pallet. That added with my flat nipples is not a good combination. We found trying to get him to even latch was near impossible. Just before our departure from hospital, I made the decision to feed him with the aid of a nipple shield. This worked well for us at the time and it meant that we were able to breastfeed. So I was happy. Lorenzo was around three weeks old when we were able to go cold turkey off the nipple shield. Another major achievement! I remember counting the days since we had used it and every feed was celebrated."
"Our next hurdle to overcome, tongue tie. Lorenzo was diagnosed with a tongue tie at six weeks old. After careful consideration between ourselves, his doctor and lactation consultant, we made the decision to correct his tie to prevent any lasting damage. Flash forward to the present, and we are 8.5 months deep into our journey and loving every moment. We still celebrate the small wins, and every feed is an achievement. When I look back to those early days, there were so many times when I wanted to give up, that I thought it would be easier to not do it anymore. Now, I dread the idea of having to clean bottles constantly! I believe it is important to remember that there is going to be your good days and your hard days. But the end result is totally worth it. "
Amazing effort, Monique! We are totally inspired by your determination and grit!
As a breastfeeding mama of two, Monique is a veteran when it comes to choosing breastfeeding-friendly fashion. Her followers catch glimpses of her casual yet polished style amongst the many ovary-bursting photos she shares of her gorgeous children on the daily. She loves shopping local for her new threads and like any BFF enthusiast, she has a thing for buttons!
"Buttons, buttons, buttons! Anything with buttons is breastfeeding friendly. Most of the outfits that I love are sourced from The Self Styler, a local Gold Coast business. Most of their items are 'mum bod' friendly and really flatter the postnatal figure."
Monique also recommends Kmart for mamas looking for bargain BFF, saying that much of their new range is breastfeeding-friendly with button down fronts and stretchy necklines to "whip one out".
Like many mums, Monique began using Instagram to connect with other like-minded mamas and share her "crazy ride in motherhood". She's refreshingly honest when it comes to sharing her opinions on parenting and family life (including attachment parenting, co-sleeping, breastfeeding, and being eco-friendly), and is not afraid to share the lows as well as the highs.
"I used to think being a mother of one was an absolute walk in the park. It wasn't until after I had Lorenzo that it hit me that man this shit is f****** hard! While the times are tough, seeing Gabriella and Lorenzo together playing, giggling and enjoying each others company makes it all worth while!"
Amen, mama! To see more of this incredible woman and her family, follow her on Instagram @raisingthegriffanis.
Love Monique's style? Check out our Monique-inspired, handpicked selection of breastfeeding-friendly fashion sourced from The Self Styler, Kmart, and your other favourite brands (all breastfeeding-friendly, of course!). Click on the images below for more details and to buy.