Sunday, September 6, 2009

Mother's Milk

Photo courtesy of Mel Orr of Haddy2Dogs

I've always taken breastfeeding for granted. I live in a part of the country where it's actually harder (in a social sense) NOT to breastfeed. I've heard many stories from mothers, who for medical reasons could not breastfeed, who had been approached by the Nursing Nazis in public, who just had to let them know- quite smugly- that "Breast is Best" (um, thanks, I think they already knew that).

Breastfeeding for me has always been matter of fact. It's simply what one does. I'd never been very sentimental about it or felt the spiritual experience many have had. I fed Matteo and Nico until the time was right for them to move on. No tears on either side. End of story. This all changed this past week when what I took for granted was no longer available.

I didn't write about this before because quite frankly I was tired of my own drama and didn't want to submit you lovely people to more of it. But after I had posted about the miscarriage last week, through follow up blood work and an ultrasound, I found out that I wasn't miscarrying, but rather had an ectopic pregnancy. Joy, right? So I had to take a trip to the emergency room for a lovely dose of methatrexate to terminate the pregnancy. I could deal with that for I had long given up hope for a viable pregnancy, but what I wasn't prepared for was the inability to nurse my precious Luca Bean for 4 days following as the drug worked through my system.

Up until then, my happy-go-lucky Bean was The.Easiest.Baby.Ever. Now my Littlest Love was absolutely beside himself, pulling at my shirt, banging his head against my chest in rage. He never had to take a bottle before,he didn't know what this fake milk/formula was... my poor little guy was just going mental not knowing why he wasn't getting his booby. For me, I was incredibly stressed trying to make sure the Bean would eat something. I spent a small fortune on organic blueberries and peaches knowing those were foods he loved. I wasn't sad, I was just plain angry (though I still don't know at whom) while I pumped and dumped at least 4 times a day trying to keep my supply intact, while attempting to explain to my 4 and almost 3 year olds that playing with the pump controls while Mommy was pumping wasn't really conducive to Mommy "letting down".

Last night I finally was able to nurse my precious, precious little Luca. He woke in the middle of the night and I was able to do what I had been doing thousands of times before, simply lift my shirt and offer my breast to him. My hands were free of a bottle and I could stroke his little warm head while the light of the almost full moon was on his peaceful, lovely face. I finally understood the spiritual connection one has while breastfeeding a baby. I discovered a bliss and happiness that was always there, but had taken for granted far too easily.

Never again.

9 comments:

*erin* said...

Wow, thanks for sharing. That must have been very difficult. I've struggled so much with nursing that I am so grateful for the brief peroids of time when I can nurse pain-free. It is a beautiful thing!

nicola said...

you have me in tears, marina, despite my already knowing the full story. i think you might have noticed that on saturday, though. huge hugs, to you and luca.
nicola
http://whichname.blogspot.com

renee ~ heirloom seasons said...

I was only able to read half of your post earlier, so I wasn't sure if it had a happy ending. I am so glad that you were able to resume nursing your little one!

Tahara said...

Glad to hear that Luca is back to nursing...It must have been hard on you both not being able to nurse...Stay strong Marina!...You are an amazing woman and wonderful writer :-)

Elemental Handcrafts said...

Oh my Marina! After seeing your link to your blog in your email back to me after your order I feel so connected. I had a friend recently go through the same thing, although she isn't nursing now. After talking with her about it I wondered what I would do in her shoes, with a nursling. I so feel for you and am sorry to read of this and am SO glad for you and Luca that you are back together in this way.
Stephanie
E.H.

cat said...

oh sweetie...i always loved nursing the girls too and when they were done it was bittersweet. i never had to stop during though and am so sorry you had to go through all of this..so happy you and luca are back on track...

love you..

gardenmama said...

What a beautiful post, thank you for sharing your heart. Many blessings to you and your family Marina! Breastfeeding certainly is a beautiful connection, I am so sorry to hear all that you have gone through. May these days be filled with peace and light.

Simple Mama said...

Oh Marina! I'm so sorry for your loss. I know how difficult it is not to be able to nurse your little one. I had an invasive medical procedure when my little one was 7 months old and I couldn't nurse him for 3 days. It was so hard on both of us. I'm glad you and Luca are able to continue this relationship.

kyndale said...

Heartbreaking. I was wiggling in my seat reading this! What anguish. I'm so glad you got through this. Hugs, Kyndale