Mothering and Life in General
Breastfeeding Week Day 3: I Owe It To You
This piece has been written for inclusion in the World
Breastfeeding Week Celebration hosted by Pocket.Buddha. By
celebrating World Breastfeeding Week we show support for breastfeeding
mothers and their families, and promote the act of breastfeeding as
the natural and normal way to feed a human infant. During World
Breastfeeding Week, August 1st to 7th, Pocket.Buddha will be
featuring articles written by and about breastfeeding mothers, and the
people who support them.
There are a very few handful of people who were great support to me. One of the few is a woman whom I don’t know her name. She was in the NICU, she was the one who roughly showed me how to latch. But other than her rough moments and her hard-core, she was the woman I was taught by. She was the person who gave me what I think I needed. A kick in the butt.
Around Day 2 of K2’s hospital stay, K2 was still rejecting me from all the formula they were giving her after I left because “I needed to get some rest”. Of course I did not know this then, all I knew was; I was engorged, I was hurt, I was concerned, I was numb, but I was also trying to figure out how to be a mother in an environment that tells the mother to rest and the nurses looked after the child.
I was in no frame of mind, I tried to get K2 to latch and she would not have it, she wanted to sleep, but my breasts were telling me otherwise. I started to cry. I never thought the rejection from a child could be worse than your first love’s, but it was, it cut deep. I told the woman, whom I did not get her name, to just give me a F-ing bottle, she does not want me.
She looked over to me with a stern look on her face and said, “Well, you want to breastfeed right?” I nodded, “Then breastfeed!”. At the time I was holding back every emotion to not jump over, what I called, K2 lizard heat tank and strangle her. She thinks it’s so damn easy. So easy to feed when my baby is already full! I cried, and then the woman brought me a tissue box.
With that, I knew she was not trying to do any harm, she was just helping me the only way she knew how. Maybe she did not breastfeed and thought the way I did, boob + baby + milk = breastfeed. I knew by her coming to me with a tissue she was not as cold as she sounded. Most volunteers would have closed the curtain, it’s been done before.
The next person, I credit very often, our daughter. She knew what she was doing, I just did not know I could take her lead. Everyone telling me to do things differently. One nurse says 20 minutes per feed, another nurse says until K2 falls asleep, another says to not let her go past 2 hours between feeds, another will say K2 was getting older and I would want to let her sleep. Frustration.
If I only knew sooner, that we both knew what to do. Her, in knowing how to get her milk and me following her lead. There was nothing to fix here, nothing at all. We had some issues, I don’t think any nursing relationship ever comes out like fluffy white clouds with silver linings. Every dyad has a mountain to climb.
Our Health Babies Healthy Children Nurse. I love her and was sad to see her go. She was the first person, in the flesh that admitted to still breastfeeding her, at the time 4-year-old. I was over joyed when she first told me. FINALLY someone I knew breastfeeds until their baby/child weans. Something then, I only read about with online friends.
I think in a way she was relieved that she had someone to pass down her torch too, in a way. Someone she can help with her struggles of toddler nursing and child nursing. She was the biggest help of all, she was always on my side. I needed that during the struggles of K2’s “Failure to thrive” and In-laws telling DH myths about breastfeeding. When our nurse left, I knew it was hard for her, because she knew that she was my only support that I had.
Finally, my silent supporter. My father. We butted head while I was growing up, but I was glad to have his voice in my ear every now and again. Although I snapped back, I am glad he said something. He would always remind me while K2 was “Failure to Thrive” that she acted happy, hitting milestones, she’s interacting with her world, she’s fine. Thanks Dad you helped me continue to give your granddaughter what I feel was right and natural for her. You also helped sort out my analytical thinking to make is seemed to fit into place again.
So today – the third day of Breastfeeding Week I thank those who have helped me out. Without you, K2 and I would not be here today.