To get pregnant after 10 years from my first pregnancy could have looked crazy. For me it was a blessing, to accept with the intention to do something differently and this time more informative.
Thanks to my doula we achieved the doubts, the fears and the insecurities that a new pregnancy brought and even more when you experienced a previous loss. For everyone it was a process of growing, for my husband being a father for the first time and for my 10-year-old daughter to learn benefits from a natural birth and the empowerment. As a family we visualized that day and we put a drawing on the wall of how we wanted it to be like.
The birth of Eowyn was beautiful, with an incredible pain, but surrounded with my mantras everything looked more outgoing. Meanwhile we were at the hospital the natural oxytocin did his job and together with my friends and family everything was happiness. But when crossing the door from the apartment I had to face my fears and reality.
I suffer from fibroadenomas from both breast.
A tumor that grew frequently in my breast and even if it caused pain it hasn’t been anything with cancer. The hormones of the pregnancy grew extremely the fibromas of my left breast were completely deformed. I have friends that have had cancer of breast a some of them aren’t with us right now. As now fear that this can cause me, I was grateful to God for being cured I didn’t dare to complain.
My fear? Not being able to provide my baby with breastfeeding that could bring her so many benefits.
The days passed and even when my breasts began to fill with milk, anxiety took over because the left breast did not react. I had the support of my husband, doula and friends, but the uncertainty of whether my baby was eating enough overwhelmed me and made me feel guilty. How far should I push myself and expose my baby to lose weight or nutrients?
The first appointment came, and my baby was not doing his evacuations. As much as I was told that breastfed babies do not evacuate frequently, my mind was so full of anxiety, pressure and fear that I could not think clearly.
The problem is me, I thought.
So, I immediately ordered the breast pump. We had several recommendations, so we bought the Medela Manual and the Spectra S2 double. In the stress of so many recommendations, I also made sesame horchata teas because, according to the grandmothers, it increases the production of breast milk, the Traditional Medicinals Organic Mother's Milk tea, Fenugreek and the prenatal vitamins of Garden of Life, MyKind Organics. Even with all those attempts, my inner self told me that my breast would not respond. As a mother and as a woman I was overwhelmed by the situation I was going through. I was in the middle of postpartum, struggling with the weight gain, the soon i must return to my work, and now this.
The expected appointment arrived, the pediatrician and the surgeon both agreed that they never seen something like this.
Doctors recommended surgery to try to save the breastfeeding.
The surgery had to be scheduled soon and this would leave my baby without breast milk, for a few days, due to my low production that did not allow me to have a bank of breast milk either. I cried, Yes, I cried, thinking that when I gave a bottle to my baby it would leave that bonding that we had created since her birth. It was hard for me to accept that maybe I could not breastfeed my baby or feed her as I had visualized. I kept forcing myself more and more. This time with the intention that my baby didn’t start weaning, we tried giving milk in the dropper to make sure that she ate enough and could do her evacuations.
Those days were the worst days, until I decided to change pediatricians and try a second opinion, as to follow my instinct. With the change of pediatrician, we started all over again. He gave us the peace of mind of doing the right thing and indicated the way to provide formula to our baby and breast milk without having to wean. Every day, I left my job at lunchtime to breastfeed and when I arrived every afternoon I offered just one breast to my baby. This continued all night and every early morning, with the intention of only providing formula during the day when I was not available and the least number of times. In this way we made sure that the baby continued to gain weight and did not weaned.
I feel Peace. Our bond had solidified so much that my baby did not reject me. Although when the surgery was a success and the left breast recovered from the fibroids and the baby no longer wanted to stick to it, we continue to breastfeed from a single breast.
I breastfed my baby with only one breast to approximately her first year of life.
At weaning, we still have that beautiful relationship that grew both breastfeeding and co-sleeping, and I am happy to have done what we thought was best for our baby at that time. Motherhood is not easy, neither breastfeeding nor post-partum. I thank God for being surrounded by my husband, daughter, doula and friends who gave me their support and being able to pass these processes which seemed impossible and without judging my decisions.
In those moments of uncertainty, it is good to be surrounded by people who support us and provide alternatives without trying to impose their criteria and position on the matter. These are moments of great tension because our baby's life is in our hands.
It is important to be informed of the mental and physical process that we are going through to flow and let our maternal instinct direct us, without expecting to be the perfect mother.