BF as Brest Feeding, not Best Friend 🙂
To began my story about BF i have to come back to day when a morfine wear off and when i realize that its 3 days gone and i still didn’t hold my baby and whats worse i don’t even know if shes ok.
I left hospital on my own request. I had to. I was the only one in the big room without a baby. I was lying in bed and listening to girls around me, talking to their baby’s, feeding them and changing, baby crying, being a witness to all this while i only seen my own baby for 5 seconds and i didn’t know if shes going to make it… i couldnt do it. Not any longer. It was just brutal.
I came back home and it was just strange. No belly, no baby… what to do??
There is no words i can explain how it felt. Lets just say it was wrong. I had to do something.
But the truth was- there was nothing i could do except praying and waiting for good news.
And then i realize, there is something i can do. I actually cant remember right now how did i get to the idea, but i decide, that the only thing i can give S., is my own milk, and i hold onto that idea.
So next morning I express milk and brought it over to Intensive Care where S. was.
And luckily day later they stopped the drip and started giving her ( through the tube) my milk.
God, i was so happy!
I’l never forget the happiness that she’s taking it well, and the excitement of everyday news of how much they increased the dose.
First day it was 1 ml every hour then next day 2 mls, on third day 6 mls, o 4th day 8 mls, then 2 days later 15 mls every hour. Each day was an huge achievement and i was super excited shes taking my milk and it helps her get stronger.
3 days later since i left hospital, i was expressing milk while i was sitting next to incubator. Looking at her tiny, poor body made the milk just flow like a river. All the nurses couldn’t believe how much milk i had.
And i believed that this is helping S. That she is getting stronger.
When she was stable and moved from Intensive care to Neonatology i was leaving ward just for a night. I spend there 12-14 hours a day , expressing so much milk i could feed a whole ward 😉
Il never forget one time Mr Mortell asked me if baby is on formula or breast milk. I said that shes just on EBM ( Expressed Breast Milk), and he said that’s great, cos her lil bowl and insides wouldn’t be able to handle a formula milk, that BM is just perfect for her.
That gave me wings.
So i kept expressing and freezing milk, and S. Kept getting milk trough tube then one day they took off the tube and started giving her milk from the bottle.
I really wanted to feel her, to hold her and breast feed her, but didn’t have a clue how to start.
First time i got to try to feed it was a disaster. S. Wasn’t interested at all… few tries more she stated to play with nipple but didn’t latch on. She just didn’t know how to do it. What to do with it… heartbreaking.
Apparently premature kids cant suck as they learn this trick in 37th week. Since S. Was born in week 33… she had to learn. It wasn’t easy. It took a while, lots of tries, lots of tears, lots of upsetting moments, but she learned. First through a silicon shield (thank you Nurse Karen Breannan- what a great idea), and few weeks later without it.
For me it was a journey. Still is.
When S. Was born we were separated straight away. I didn’t get to see her. ( well, just before they took her to temple street Hospital, for 5 sec, but she was so swelled up i didn’t really know what i was looking at- but that’s a story for another note).
The first time i get to hold her in my arms was when she was 12 days old. And its hard to call it holding her in arms,as she was out of the incubator, wrapped up in 3 blankets, with oxygen mask that cover her whole face. First time i got to feel her on my skin was 19 days after she was born, and after that, it happend maybe 5 times only while she was in hospital. I had to wait 19 days, for something so natural like skin on skin, something that everyone is taking it for granted.
You might ask – why is she giving all these details- i tell you why.
Cos I want to show you how scary it was. How much i was scared i wont be able to bond with my baby. I was scared she wont know who i am. She wont recognize me. Not to mention that i was scared that she will be emotionally scarred by the fact she didn’t feel warmth and heart beat of her mum…
Since that time, every time i see in a movie a scene where straight after labor, baby is lean on mum chest… i cry and get upset. until now, every time i read about how important is the first contact after birth, I’m getting upset. And always think- everyone is taking it for granted. Its not. It wasn’t for me. Its beautiful and i was stripped of that experience. I know we are lucky that S. Made it. We are lucky she survived. In that perspective that moment of closeness might sound silly. But il never forget how much i miss it.
I’m still BF. S. Is 2 years and 3 months old. I didn’t know il make it that far. I didn’t plan it. It sort of happend. My friends and my family thinks I’m a hippie. Its ok. I don’t mind. I’l be BF as long as i can, as long as S. needs me to do it.
I keep hearing that at this stage its me who need it more than her. Its not true. Every time she is in hospital, when she is puking her guts out and she cant have a water, BM is the only thing that stays in her belly. When she cant eat, BM gives her nourishment.
And its comforting. I love our little routine when before she goes to sleep she says: “mummy, boobie?” and we cuddle. And when we wake up and she is snuggled up and we snooze for another half an hour. This closeness is… i have no words to describe it.i love his feeling. I don’t know how long it will last but i enjoy every minute of it.
Just on the very end of this story ( if you’r still here- thank you and congratulations), im not judging girls who didn’t BF their kids. Its everyone’s personal choice. It used to annoy me when i heard that some girls didn’t event try once, not for one day. I thought it was stupid and super-selfish ( cos why wouldn’t you wanna give your baby at the start of their life the best thing you can give them?!). But then i remember how hard work it was and how determined i was. Not everyone is up for it. And that’s ok I did it my way.
And I’m thank full i could, and that i still can.
P.s. Please don’t ask me when will i stop.