My Breastfeeding Journey
When I got pregnant, the idea of breastfeeding was far from my mind. What with relatives who was not able to breastfeed for so long, the longest was I think was only 1 week. So, in my mind, I maybe like them, I can not breastfeed, I don't have enough milk, my baby would be formula-fed from day one. With that, while I was pregnant, I bought a sterilizer, lots and lots of feeding bottles, teats and everything that I would be needing that a formula-fed baby would need. I didn't bother attending any breastfeeding class at all. I packed little bottles in my maternity bag to be brought at the hospital when I give birth.
At the hospital, I was told that I need to breastfeed my baby. As a first time mom and not armed with breastfeeding know-hows. I really didn't know what to do. Good thing, the nurse gave me clear instructions on what to do, and around 20 minutes later, my baby's pediatrician arrived. She then gave me more instructions on how I would breastfeed Jabe. Jabe was then transferred to my room. For the first day and middle of the second day, he was crying, and I know he's hungry even if I was told that the baby can live without anything given to him for the first 36 hours, I think. It even came to a point that I was already on the verge of crying, since as much as I try to latch him, he cries and is not getting milk as I don't see any milk coming out. We even asked the NICU if they could call the doctor to give us anything, formula or water, just so Jabe can have something. But, Jabe's pediatrician, being a breastfeeding advocate said No to our requests. She insisted that I try and try, and soon milk will flow.
Second day, during her rounds, she arrived while Jabe was latching. Told me I am getting the hang of it, as the position we were at, is a very comfortable one. I told her to just give us formula since I think there isn't any breastmilk. But to my surprise, when she pinched my other breast, there was milk, or the colostrum as she called it. She told me that Jabe is already getting the colostrum which is really important. I was so happy at that time. I can breastfeed! And I prayed and hoped that I would be able to do it for a long time.
Jabe has to be transferred back to NICU on his 3rd day of life due to neonatal jaundice. His pediatrician told me that a double phototherapy would be given and what I need to do, to speed up his recovery is to breastfeed continuously. It was hard going to and from my room to NICU everytime I breastfeed him.The sleepless night, the no rest-day, the late breakfast, lunch or dinner, and even being under the very hot phototherapy light while breastfeeding does not matter at all, I didn't even felt tired, because in my mind, I need to breastfeed Jabe, he needs my breastmilk. We have seen an improvement within 24 hours, thanks for the breastmilk, that everytime he breastfeed, he poops which signals that he is excreting the excess bilirubin that causes jaundice. Within 48 hours, he was already cleared to go home.
From then on, I told myself that I will breastfeed Jabe for as long as possible. He has been healthy ever since. He hasn't had high fever, even after his monthly vaccinations. He hadn't been sick at all except for slight colds and coughs due to the weather. His weight gain is normal. His development is really fast as compared to other kids. He is very smart.
One factor that had also helped me go-through breastfeeding, is because I have a very supportive husband. He had been attending breastfeeding classes with me and Jabe. There was even times that he is the one who remembers most of the discussions instead of me. Sometimes he even discussed the things he learned through the classes to his officemates who are new moms like me. He is very proud that Jabe is a breastfeed baby, and I am a breastfeeding mom. He proudly shares it to his officemates, our friends and relatives.
Breastfeeding had also made me realize that there is life outside my work. I sometimes think that God gave me the gift of breastfeeding, so I can have more bonding time with Jabe. I used to be too workaholic, working almost 24 hours per day, not giving attention to anything or anyone if I am working, I am too focused in my work that I don't like to be disturbed at all. But with breastfeeding, it changed the way I balance work and my personal life. Now, I can let go of some projects and stop working the minute Jabe needs to breastfeed.
It's almost seven months, and I am still breastfeeding. A first in our family.
Breastfeeding, indeed, is one of the perfect gifts and blessings that has been given to us, and I plan to continue breastfeeding for as long as
I hope that moms and moms-to-be would also try to breastfeed and not give up on breastfeeding.
Take the time to check out posts of other breastfeeding moms who have participated in this month's carnival:
Shaps- Beyond Being Thin
Gretchen - Breastfeeding Gifts for Christmas
Carol - The Gift of Miracle
Jenny O.- The Gifts of Breastfeeding
Anne - The Gift of Breastfeeding
Nats - We Wish You Merry Nursing
Jenny R. - If the Magi Were Queens
Em - The "Breast" Gift
Isis- Got Milk?
Armi - Breastfeeding Gifts
Liv - My Breastfeeding Journey
Laya - Time in a Drop of Milk
Mec - The Gift of a Changed Man