Tami's Breastfeeding Story
My breastfeeding journey started when I was about 16, my sister breastfed all of her kids and I was, and still am, really close to her. I watched that it came so easy to her. When I was pregnant she gave me so much support and told me that it was so much work for her and wasn't easy. I never saw or heard about her hard times until I had asked. It's something that isn't talked about at all in my family, yet it's something that your just expected to know without asking questions.
So I had always planned on breastfeeding. When I had my baby in June, the nurses were with me for the 1st latch, I nearly cried, and all the nurses said "oh your fine" and didn't really encourage me. That night my baby started to have some breathing problems and was admitted to the nicu.
We ended up being in the nicu for 5 days. Everyday the lactation consultant made her rounds and spent a half hour each day with me. I also felt more support from the nicu nurses, than labour and delivery nurses. They made a point to talk about my feelings and answer all my questions.
When my baby girl was discharged, I felt so confident and knew I could rock breastfeeding. The next day my husband and I decided to go for a walk and get out side for a few minutes. Walking out my front door I took a wrong step and fell. We ended up in the ER, I had a broken elbow and a fractured ankle.
My elbow had to be in a soft cast for 6 weeks. That was the biggest punch to my confidence. Luckily I had so much help with all things baby. But as much as I loved all the help, I felt like everyone else was being able to bond with my baby instead of me. At that point breastfeeding became my saving grace, it was the only alone time and the only time I was even able to hold my baby. It was rough trying to feed her with 1 arm, and get positioning right.
I made the choice to go back to work, when the school year started up again. (I am a special education paraprofessional) I considered stopping breastfeeding because I didn't know how I was going to be able to pump and work. The teachers I work for were so supportive and made modifications to my schedule to include pump times.
My baby is now 10 months old and I am still breastfeeding with only 1 pump/bottle feeding. I am very blessed to be able to produce enough milk for my baby, and was able to donate some milk in the beginning.
I look back and I probably wouldn't be breast feeding today without the help I had received in the nicu, they had taught me so much. I have good days and bad days. Somedays I tell myself I could breastfeed forever and other days I want it to be my last day. Breastfeeding has changed the way I look at myself and I feel more confident in myself than I have ever felt. Even when parts of my body were broken I knew that my body could do amazing things.