(San Diego, ca)
Grace & Georgia, 5 months & 10 days
Visitor Breastfeeding Story: My body was constantly failing me. I struggled to get pregnant for three years. I went through infertility treatments and one by one they failed. I had a miscarriage, I grieved, I hated my body.
My husband and I decided to adopt a baby and were blessed with our gorgeous daughter Grace on June 12th 2009. When we were matched with Grace’s birth mom in January we were in the middle of our last fertility treatment and it worked.
When Grace was born I was 4 months pregnant, and cautiously optimistic. Our second miracle baby was born November 23rd, 2009. Two babies five months apart.
During delivery my body, again, didn’t want to cooperate, and I ended up having a c-section at forty-one weeks. I returned to feeling as if my body was something to be ashamed of.
That all changed when I started breastfeeding.
It was hard at first, but my daughter was a champ and we quickly become awesome feeding partners. I hooked up with a lactation consultant and immediately got information about trying to nurse my five month old adopted baby Grace.
My consultant warned that it could take a couple weeks, and it may not work, but she was so excited that I was willing to try.
Here is how I prepared:
1) Purchased a Nipple Shield: This is a plastic piece you put over the nipple. This would help Grace think of my breast as a bottle. Once the baby gets the hang of it you can get rid of the shield.
2) Skin to Skin: I undressed us both and just let her feel warm and comfy with me.
3) No Distractions: At 5 months she was a very active baby so I went to a dark location where there was little stimulation
4) Sleepy Baby: I tried when she was very tired, so she was more likely to really want to eat.
My lactation consultant also recommended tandem feeding and feeding in the bath.
I went in, knowing it might not work and being okay with that. The first time I tried, Grace fussed and looked up at me as if to say “What ARE you doing?!” I stopped and waited another day.
Same time, same location, the following day. I didn’t use the nipple shield this time because it was a bit cumbersome and she would just play with it. It worked instantly! She was amazing! She couldn’t get enough!
In the following days, she we would cry to get back on the boob whenever I fed her sister. I started tandem feeding my two babies. My husband would crack up at the sight of me with a two week old on one boob and a five month old on the other.
So many women take breastfeeding for granted. When it is something that you can’t do or that you may never get a chance to do, you really understand how important and special it is. Being able to breastfeed my adopted baby has allowed us to bond and easily move into the roles of mother and daughter.
My girls are now ten months and five months and I hope to breastfeed until my youngest is at least a year.
Grace has gone on a nursing strike but she may just be ready to wean. If that is the case I will be sad, but happy that I had those five months to give her health and security and an experience that will make her a stronger woman.
This is the one thing my body CAN do. I am so proud of my healthy body for its power. I may have had a hard time getting and staying pregnant but boy can I lactate!
Read more about me at www.5monthsapart.com