A piece to carry with me always

Souvenir, memento, keepsake, reminder, token – what is it that compels us to collect them?

I have never fancied the kitsch souvenirs tourists are encouraged to purchase. Instead I’ve grown fond of things that carry personal significance – a Pound Puppy plushie that was a Christmas gift from when I was 5 or 6 years old, a handmade scrapbook from some of my closest friends when I moved to Australia, photos from our weddings. So I felt it fitting to commemorate Bubby’s arrival after a long journey with a piece to carry with me always.

A piece to carry with me always - Beyond the Willow Tree

I stumbled on breast milk jewellery while I was pregnant. While I have joked about earthly remains being turned into diamonds or memorial tattoos, the idea of jewellery made of breast milk sounded charming. I felt like the perfect way to remind myself of this journey we’ve undertaken.

There are lots of breast milk jewellery companies, but I finally settled on a trio pack of custom European beads from Beyond the Willow Tree. They are an Australian company with a wide product offering, including cuff links and pendants. They also share lots of customer photos, giving me peace of mind that our order would be treated with respect.

A piece to carry with me always - Beyond the Willow Tree

They took awhile to arrive (breast milk jewellery is a lot more popular than you might think) and have a few imperfections as they’re handmade, but each one represents a little piece of our journey as a new family.

One has a lock of Bubby’s soft baby hair to celebrate bringing him into our lives.

Another has my breast milk to celebrate being able to nourish and nurture this whole new being with just my body.

And the third has the SO’s and my hair entwined to celebrate being together on this new adventure as parents.

I’m not sure they will ever become family heirlooms, but at least I now have a piece of our little family to carry with me always.