The moment I found out about being pregnant I was a cluster of emotions. I was a nursing student and working in a hospital, I was a grieving daughter, I didn’t have time for a baby. But a baby, was something I never thought I would have. And I love babies: their smell, chubby cheeks, coos even their cute little poops. We are keeping this little miracle.
At the time I wasn’t married and in my religion that was a big NoNo. Once I started showing I got glares, eye rolls, heads shook disapprovingly. I once had a lady look at me and say, “You’re not a good Christian for getting pregnant before getting married. You and your child are going to hell.” I really think Men have it so easy especially when words and looks like this are exchanged.
20 weeks comes and I am told by my doctor that we are having a girl. Yay!? Wait. What a girl? That doesn’t feel right I thought for sure we were having a boy. My gut said boy. Turns out my doctor was wrong about a lot of things, not just the sex of my baby.
I felt something was wrong, not to mention that doctor was as unpleasant as rubbing salt on an open wound and then spraying lemon juice all over it. My new doctor was and still is everything I wanted in an OB. She listened to my concerns and sent me for an ultrasound.
Not only was I NOT having a girl…that’s right it’s a boy! But I had a complete placenta previa…how did they miss that? We discussed options and if my placenta didn’t budge I’d have to have a c-section.
I remained positive. But my natural birth went flying out the window. Fast forward to 33 weeks, placenta still had not moved. Not only had it not moved but my uterus was hostile and contracted any time I moved so I was on bedrest from week 25 to week 36. I kissed my career and schooling goodbye. We schedule a c-section, my worst nightmare! All I could do was blame myself. This is what you get for not being married.
At 36 weeks exactly, with my wonderful boyfriend we were getting prepped for surgery. I was so scared I started crying and my doctor held and soothed me while I got my spinal. Can I just say that she’s amazing! We get started 3 minutes later I hear my son’s cries. Boyfriend crying, I’m crying, OR is crying it was amazing. They put him on my chest and my world forever changed. In the recovery room we nursed and I cried. My son was a month premature but he was perfect nothing was wrong, no NICU, and we both lived.
I loved breastfeeding him, but he fell asleep so easily, I told myself he had a rough day and we would try later. Later comes he wants to sleep, but the nurse urges us to wake him and feed him. I stripped him naked, rubbed his feet, tickled his hands, under his nose, took his diaper off. He slept, the nurse came in did the same. He slept on. She put a wet washcloth on him…that woke him up. We got him on the breast, he latched took two sucks and fell asleep. Because he was premature he didn’t want to nurse..it was too hard. That’s ok, we will prevail. Breastfeeding for my son and I was never easy but we never stopped.
Fast forward to 4 months at his weigh in…yeah we had to have weigh ins. Our doctor sat us down and suggested that because of Parker’s lack of weight gain and projectile vomiting that we try formula. He said that Parker was probably that 1% that had an allergy. Until this point I had tried everything from completely over hauling my diet to sitting him up for 30 minutes after a feeding. My baby was vomiting, colicky and had explosive poop every 15 minutes. And as much as I wanted to breastfeed his health was more important. I still pumped with hope that one day I could breastfeed.
All I could think was I couldn’t have a baby the natural way and now I can’t breastfeed. I’m such a horrible mom and it’s all because I was pregnant before I got married. A month later and I have a completely different baby. He’s happy, he sleeps, he eats, there’s hardly any vomiting, and normal poops!
Until it all rewinds on us. My milk had dried and Parker went back to his old ways. We try formula after formula until finally we find something that works. But my milk was gone. My milk was gone. My milk…I was heartbroken. I still am.
When I say I am envious. I really am because I made it through bleeding, cracked and sore nipples, endless nights of sitting up with him, just for my sons body to be on formula and my milk to dry up. I grieved, I cried, I begged and pleaded with God. It just wasn’t meant to be.
Now I’m here in present time, the biggest advocate for breastfeeding, and I myself can’t breastfeed. Talk about an oxymoron. But I will support women who can and who do.
This is my Sacred milk story.