Thursday, August 4, 2011

My other passion

picture by Picasso
While I have always wanted to write and be published. I have other interests outside the printed word. Artistic endeavors and martial arts are two of many.

When I birthed my first baby I knew that breastfeeding was the best thing for him. While making milk comes naturally to most of those women who are able to get pregnant and have babies. The art of nursing doesn't necessarily come naturally as a skill. I know from experience. Those seven months that I attempted to feed my oldest were filled with frustration and tears. I have to praise my dear husband who talked me into trying "just one more day" that whole time.

I almost didn't nurse my second baby based on the hard time I had with my first. For me memories of nursing my baby were difficult to re-live. But again my dear hubby suggested that I just try it for a few days and see if I was sure I didn't want to. That first time I put my second baby to breast was a completely diferent experience. She latched on like she'd been doing it for weeks. My first thought was "If this is what normal breastfeeding is, then the last time was all wrong." We had a nice nursing relationship that lasted until I let peer pressure make me wean. Even if she knew what she was doing, I was still un-educated.

Baby number three changed my ideals and I began on a journey that would make this one of my few very loved passions. He was born 6 weeks early and spent 21 days in the NICU. I had a choice as i sat in the mothers wing alone, without my precious baby. Let my milk dry up and formula feed him or pump and give him the very best food he could recieve in this medicaly fragile time. I came home after two days armed with a pump and a bag full of attachments. In those few weeks i read everything I could get my hands on about breastfeeding, I talked to the lactation specialist, and the Dr. When my pediatritian said it was okay to wean him and feed him formula it had the opposite effect. It made me even more determined to get him fully breastfeeding when he got home. (I often wonder if he was using reverse psycology on me.)

Baby 4 was my most succesful relationship. We nursed almost 2 years.
5 and 6, were both weaned between 18 and 20 months. During this time I was hired in both UT county and Tooele county as a peer counselor and ran my own pump rental business. I also had a chance to become an IBCLC which is teh equivalent of a Masters of Nursing for breastfeeding. (we moved so I was never able to complete the course. I feel terrible that I couldnt get that degree. With changing regulations, it's lost to me now.) The cool thing about these years is I had become passionate about breastfeeding.

Now I am nursing my #7 and last baby. Even if I have dificulties. (I don't like getting bitten) I am determined to make this a rewarding relationship for both of us. I have made it to a year, (Happy Birthday Elias) and am still going strong.

It seems apropriate that my last baby was born during World Breastfeeding Week. What a better way to celebrate something you love with all your heart. To all those women who nurture your children at the breast I salute you. To those who struggle, you can do it, and if you choose to wean, you tried.


Please don't take this as an insult to those who can't have children of your own or breastfeed your babies. I have struggled myself and suffered almost every ailement know to the nursing woman with the belief that it has given me compassion for all women. I am adopted, I was not breastfed myself. This has deepened my understanding of all types of mothering. I believe in the precious feeding relationship between parent and baby regardless the mode of delivery or the content.

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