Momma Sandra

My husband calls me a hippie.
My mother calls me a free spirit.
I just call myself Sandra.
The topics of unmedicated birth, breastfeeding, and co-sleeping were never a question in my mind as they may be (or have been) for other mommas.
Let me share with you the start of my journey down the only path that my mind’s eye could see.
Breastfeeding was natural for us. Baby Z latched perfectly only moments after birth. We went home six hours later, she nursed every few hours, my nipples never became sore. {I can feel you out there rolling your eyes}
The midwife came to our home the next day and we were fine.
Wait for it…
Then my milk came in.
Baby Z would latch on and nurse for only a few, blissful, moments only until she began to choke.  This lasted one very hard day before I realized it may be a big problem.
What on earth?  I was choking my baby!
The search began:
We called the lactation consultant on the list of providers that the birthing center has supplied to us. No answer.
Frantic internet searching… Nothing.
I pumped and bottle fed her with a saddened heart.  What I thought was going to be so easy and natural having took a sharp right turn.  Well, at least we were both healthy.
As I pumped I worried silently the whole time about nipple confusion, which I knew could happen if we carried on.
We called other lactation consultants, as many as we could find phone number for…. NOTHING.  No answers. No solutions. {bet your feeling sorry for rolling your eyes now}
Finally after 36, sad, frustrating and exhausting hours we were able to talk to someone.  She introduced the idea that I may be over producing.  WHAT!?!  That happens?
From her we learned how to control my supply.  We learned that I needed to pump to relieve pressure when the engorgement was more than I could handle.  I had to learn to nurse one side at a time.  Most importantly she impressed upon me that I had to find my patience. She told me my body would eventually regulate itself.  She calmed my fears about nipple confusion and told me to simply focus on healthy feeding rituals giving her a bottle as I saw fit.
After a few more trying days and weeks we settled into a pattern of our own.
18 months later we are still happily nursing. Even through the night. We struggled through the hard start, we have learned endlessly as we have continued down the path.  I’m beyond certain that this was the right choice for us, not matter how rough the road has been and continues to be.
I often get asked: Why are you still night nursing at 18 months old? Better yet: Why have you not weaned completely?
The answer is simple for us.  We tried night weaning. That resulted in Baby Z crying until she vomited and I would rather sleep uncomfortably than not sleep at all. I am selfish, I own that.  I am making myself a priority in this equation not just my beautiful, darling daughter.  When I sleep {even if its not enough} my whole family functions better.
The easy answer for why we are not trying for complete weaning at 18 months is that my breastmilk still nourishes her body, fixes her boo boos, calms overwhelming situations and puts her to sleep. When she is calm and I am providing the security of nourishment, in my mind, this bonds us.  I can feel the bond and have felt it grow and change as she does. With an overactive toddler those moments are precious and they nourish my soul and hers.
So our breastfeeding journey continues…
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3 thoughts on “Momma Sandra

    1. Breast milk is such amazing, magical stuff. I’m so glad you brought up that it can be used as an external ‘fit it’ too. While talking to a customer last week she told me that her babysitter had used her breast milk to cure an ear infection simply by using it like ear drops for 24 hours. The only word that comes to mind is AMAZING!

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