Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Celebrating Mothers in May Day Two

Welcome to Celebrating Mothers in May! May is a wonderful month, the flowers are blooming, warm weather is rolling in (I hope, anyway) and then there's Mother's Day! Although I am hosting two downright awesome giveaways for moms, I would like to honor them in another way: by listening to stories from and about mothers. This week I will be sharing stories with you that were submitted by other bloggers and followers to celebrate Mother's Day. If you have a story or essay you would like to share please contact me via Facebook and let me know :)

Every breastfeeding mother knows that nursing is a learning experience for both the mother and the baby. Although some learn quicker than others, and may seem like natural eaters, most babies have to be taught to breastfeed. It can be painful, but with determination, support, and a healthy supply of Lanolin cream it can be done. Here is one mother's story of her breastfeeding journey with her son.

"As I sit down to the computer to write this, my son walks up to me and lets me know he wants up. This is always his clue that he wants to breastfeed. He does this every time I sit down at the computer. This used to annoy me, now I know that I can do most anything while breastfeeding. I am reminded repeatedly in my daily life that I am so glad that I was able to breastfeed. I have seen people have to leave a function with a crying baby because they have forgotten the needed can of formula. The formula that without it, the baby has to go hungry. I realize that most breastfeeding moms are happy that they are breastfeeding; otherwise, they would not be breastfeeding. However, for me, I thank God every day that I am able to breastfeed. I am so thankful because even though my son is 14 months old, I also have a 13 year old and an 8 year old. I was not able to breastfeed them. I do not know if it was because I did not have the right influences or was not strong enough or what, but I was not able to. From the moment I found out I was pregnant with my son, I read about breastfeeding and natural childbirth. I read, re-read and re-read LeLeche League's book, "The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding".
During my pregnancy, I kept going to LeLeche League meetings and asking people for suggestions. I came up with an organized list as to what I was going to do to overcome me having inverted nipples. I was first going to ask for a certain type of syringe to make the nipple come out. Then, I was going to ask for a pump, then a lactation consultant for ideas, then finally a nipple shield. If none of the above ever worked, I was going to pump exclusively and feed him that milk.
After I gave birth, the first time I attempted to feed him, all he did was lick, and I had heard that that was normal. I had heard that some babies take a while to get the hang of it. So, the next morning, I asked for the lactation consultant to come help. Well, I tried a few times more before the lactation consultant came in. I had asked for a pump in the meanwhile and nothing really came out, but the lactation consultant asked me to pump for few minutes while she weighed little one and assessed him. After she was done, we tried again and we were not successful. She gave me a nipple shield and he latched on immediately and I felt the contractions of my uterus, and I knew we were good.
He had a good appetite. I fed him every time he seemed to want it, when he first woke up,
I always offered, and when he cried, I offered. That night, he woke up every hour and I was getting exhausted. They wanted his hat on all the time, they wanted him to be swaddled all the time, and they wanted him in the bassinet all the time, too. My husband kept saying how he must have not been getting milk since he was up every hour at night. He wanted me to give him a bottle. I kept saying no, no, no... As I have read that is what I was supposed to do. I finally gave in with a cup with formula in it. We tried this once, and he still woke up an hour later. I figured he just needed mommy and mommy's milk every hour.
That day, I started to see something different about his tongue and the next morning, I
mentioned it to the pediatrician. The pediatrician said he is tongue-tied and that there is no action
needed if nursing is going ok. I had not ever heard of this condition and did not argue with the doctor. I was not that worried, but I understood that I might have to use the nipple shield for his whole breastfeeding time, so I mentally prepared myself for that.
Everything went just fine. Throughout the first few months, he gained weight wonderfully;
he became a fat baby. He was my smallest at birth: 1st - 8lbs 1oz, 2nd - 8lbs 9ozs, 3rd - 6lbs 12ozs.However, he gained to be equal to the others just fine.
Those two challenges at the beginning were enough to stop some of the weak-hearted, but I was strong. I overcame those and more.
I have overcome mastitis, blocked milk ducts, blocked nipple pore, yeast, and cracks/wound. I breastfed with the nipple shield for 8 months. I was asleep breastfeeding and fell asleep, when I all of a sudden felt him nursing from me without the nipple shield. From that moment on, he would not nurse with the nipple shield.
I have been to see the hospital lactation consultants many times, as well as my Healthy Babies Health Department nurse. Man! They were my lifesavers. I have several friends that supported me along the way. I am very grateful to them. However, ultimately, this breastfeeding experience has made me feel that our success is all about our mutual, give and take relationship between Roshaan and me.
I breastfed in public with no problem. Times when my husband reminded me, why don’t you bring a bottle, I have never used it. He will not take it and I am not going to deny him what he truly wants and needs. I have found it just easier to feed him than worry about other people and what they think about me breastfeeding him. My husband felt like I should feed only when no one can tell that I am breastfeeding. I do not care if they know that I am breastfeeding, I just care that they cannot see my body parts; and an accidental flash will not make me burn in hell... It is not a horrible thing.
I had surgery April after he was born in January. I packed three bottles of my milk, I even
practiced with him to take my milk, and nothing worked. He never took the bottle. My doctor who
performed the surgery said I could breastfeed after the surgery, no problem. The anesthesiologist said I should not, that I should pump and dump for 12 hours! I woke up; my husband came in. I asked him if Roshaan took the bottle; he said no. I told him to bring him to me. I fed him within 10 minutes of waking up from general anesthesia. Some people may think that I was stupid, but what else could I do? He would not take a bottle.
I have recently been through some problems with breastfeeding and when a few of my friends heard this, the first thing they said was that I should wean him. I know he is over a year old, but I do not want to be talked into weaning and my mind, body, and instinct say not to just make him stop. Why would I stop him from doing something he is so attached to just because he reached an age milestone? I am not breastfeeding for my benefit; I am breastfeeding for his benefit. The relationship we have is two-sided. I give him milk anytime, day and night, and in return, the few times I have to say no, he is okay with it. I can see the care and love in his eyes. I feel that he loves me with no restriction."

1 comment:

  1. "I am not breastfeeding for my benefit; I am breastfeeding for his benefit."

    I love, love, love this line! Breastfeeding is a hard job and does take so much effort to get in to a good rhythm for both you and baby. I've had some problems and used a nipple shield for 8 weeks with our little one. I tried and tried to get her to come off of it, but she wanted no part of it. Finally, one afternoon she just decided to latch on! Two weeks have gone by now and she is nursing without the shield. I was frustrated during the process a few times and just wanted to pump and bottle feed, but my very supportive husband encouraged I "take a nap then see how you feel". In the end I am happy that I didn't give up because:

    "I am not breastfeeding for my benefit; I am breastfeeding for "her" benefit."

    Thanks for posting this : ) Made this Momma's night!!


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