Breast Cancer and Breastfeeding

Recently my photographer ( Nichole Taylor) and I were having a vino and were discussing interesting clients we had met...that's when she brought up Bek. She was talking about an amazing girl who's wedding photography she had performed and that she had just had a baby. Interestingly she added that Bek was pregnant only months after having a mastectomy for breast cancer and was breastfeeding with one breast.....I had to meet her.

So, I messaged her through Instagram in the hope she would like to wear one of my dresses for her upcoming newborn shoot. I was really happy when she agreed as I was really interested to learn more about her story.... and this is it..

Bek was only 29 years old when she had some concerns and went to her doctor. Only 12 days later was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer that had spread to her nodes. Bek discovered the cause of her cancer was from an endocrine disrupter- although it cannot be pinpointed exactly what the cause was, endocrine disrupters are things like plastic water bottles left in the sun and reused, chemicals in deodorant or makeup. So whilst dealing with her diagnosis, doctors and treatment choices....  Bek and her partner found out they were pregnant with their first baby. Sadly, at 6 weeks they miscarried;

'It was a rocky but quick road. We had been trying just before I was diagnosed and got pregnant that month. I guess the stress of my diagnosis played a big part and I had a miscarriage at 6 weeks. '

Bek went on to have a full mastectomy without reconstruction to one of her breasts and opted too have no further treatment. 

'As to why I chose to do it this way, well, it’s taken a lot to be able to be happy with this decision but I’d rather live a good life than a long life. '

She initially requested a double mastectomy but the surgeon suggested they remove the other at a later date so she could breastfeed.

'I wanted the best for my child, for their immunity, gut flora and everything else breastfeeding brings. '

Roll on 2 months post surgery.....and they were pregnant again with their little rainbow baby. For those of you that do not know a rainbow baby is a baby born shortly after the loss of a previous baby. This term is used as a rainbow typically follows a storm, giving us hope of what's to come. I think the term couldn't be more fitting.

Pregnancy wasn't easy. Bek had lupus, hypothyroidism, lymphedema and pre-eclampsia. She also experienced really terrible phantom pain from where her breast was removed.

Fast forward 8 months (she came a little early) and a beautiful little girl was welcomed into the world. Weighing 1.9 kgs with a full head of dark hair but was perfect in every way. Some time was spent in the Special Care Nursery just learning how to breastfeed. Bek has done endless expressing at every feed but her supportive partner has made all the difference.

When I asked Bek if it ever crossed her mind that she wouldn't breastfeed she responded

'Never.....its all been challenging and rewarding to say the least. The best part is watching her grow and seeing the milk I’m providing her nourish her body. She’s getting her own little personality and it changes every day. You can’t help but smile when she smiles... even if most of them are just wind at the moment, they’re still adorable. '

Congrats to the gorgeous Bek and partner on the safe arrival of their little girl. Photo taken by Nichole Taylor Photography and Bek is wearing our La Luci Dress

 


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