{Snip-its of Motherhood}-Celebrating World Breastfeeding Week

{Disclaimer: I know there is much controversy around “breast is best” and those who desired to breastfeed and may have had to take other avenues.  Please know I subscribe to “fed is best” and celebrate all moms and babes on their journey. This is just a small snapshot of my story}

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Since June was born 9 weeks early so many of the ideas I had about my journey into motherhood were thwarted by a C-section, rushing our girl to the NICU with just a passing glance at her and staring numbly at the hospital grade pump my amazing nurse and lactation consultant wheeled into my room the next morning.  I had 2 more months to prepare for motherhood, finish our house renovations, prepare the nursery. I never imagined having to start my journey of nourishing my child through hand expression and  pumping around the clock 8 times a day.  Two of my best girlfriends came to visit right in the middle of my nurse educating me on how this all works.  True friends right there.

While I was still in the hospital I pumped and the beau navigated cleaning all the parts. I remember always being discouraged & concerned–is this enough? has my milk come in? I need to do this because it’s so important for preemies.

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Once we were discharged, not only were we traveling daily to the NICU to see the babe, I was trying to figure out how this new part of my body worked, remembering to wash (and bring) all the parts with us and waiting in line to use the pumping rooms. It was emotionally taxing to bring in your milk back the NICU nurses and trying not to stare when the other moms would bring in 2 entire 2.5 oz bottles full (about 80 mls each) and I would maybe have 30ml’s total.  I also experienced the reversal of that later in our journey.

Thankfully I was producing enough that donor breast milk was not needed, but she was still being tube fed and until she was able to come down off the C-pap, we couldn’t try bottle feeding or nursing her.

When she was 47 days old on March 30th, I was able to nurse her for the first time.  The beau who was back to working nights 3-4 days a week was there and the lactation consultants were busy and unable to come assist. Our amazing nurses put up curtains for privacy since she was still on oxygen.  And little June did her thing.  Just like I know babes fresh out of the womb can latch right on, she did that same thing.  And I couldn’t help but cry.

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There was so much that didn’t go the way I’d hoped but I was so thankful that this worked.  The following day the lactation consultant came over and said she had a perfect latch and our anatomy worked perfectly together.  Again, tears flowed.

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I went back to work the last two weeks of her NICU stay so that I could enjoy more time with her at home.  I would get to work at 7am, take shortened breaks and head over the to nurse her every morning. Those were very special moments.

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Coming home with her on oxygen and a monitor was tough, but I continued nursing and pumping even though her small size requires she be on some high calorie formula to help her growth. I’m grateful that our team recognizes the importance of the 19 calorie breast milk in addition to her 27 calorie formula and supports my decision to continue nursing her. That does mean that I’ve got a freezer full of milk that may be donated at some point as I’m still pumping to keep up my supply, it is worth it.

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And for all you moms out there feeding your babes–You rock.  Yes, nursing has been a great gift to us, but that doesn’t mean it’s not without it’s challenges.  Just like everything in parenthood.

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2 thoughts on “{Snip-its of Motherhood}-Celebrating World Breastfeeding Week

  1. Pingback: 2016 Review | pliable

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