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Goodbye and Thank You

Susannah Naglee
From New Beginnings, Vol. 26 No. 1, 2009, pp. 22-23

It is with great sadness that I will be leaving my dear La Leche League Group. I am moving my family from Toms River, new Jersey, USA to Raleigh, North Carolina, USA. Please let me tell you about my wonderful, sweet, priceless experience.

I started going to LLL meetings in July 2005. My son, Ivan Johanan, was six weeks old with colic. The Leader of that Group gave me super help and so did the other mothers at the meeting. Ivan and I had a beautiful breastfeeding relationship that lasted until two days after his second birthday.

When Ivan was nine months old, I sought out the other LLL Group in our town. It was love at first meeting. What a wonderful three years it has been! I have only missed one meeting since July of 2005, when my newborn daughter, Matilda Grace, was only two weeks old and I was recovering from a cesarean section.

My Leader, Sue, is truly an angel here on earth. She is quite possibly the most generous and welcoming person I have ever met. She is so knowledgeable about breastfeeding and babies. There is no question about breastfeeding and mothering from the heart that she can't answer.

Sue heard my desperate call for help the first night in the hospital after my dear daughter, Matilda, arrived by emergency cesarean following a 26-hour labor and a failed attempt at a vaginal birth after a cesarean the first time around. Matilda came into the world at 3 am. Sue came to visit us early that morning. Because I'd had a c-section I wasn't allowed to have Matilda alone with me in the hospital room while receiving the IV painkillers. So I had to have sitters because I wanted Matilda in my room all the time. My immediate family was exhausted after the 26 hours of labor and sitting with me during the first day of Matilda's life. When evening came around, I realized that I had not planned for a sitter to come spend the night with me. I was so exhausted and so drugged that I could not think straight. I called Sue in a panic. The nurses were promising me that they would take Matilda to the nursery to spend the entire night and would give her formula. I could not believe my ears. There was no way that I was going to let my daughter be taken from me and put in the nursery. I especially did not want anyone giving her formula. She was a nursing champion from the first latch on! So, Sue dropped what she was doing and came right over. She arrived at 10 pm and did not leave until after 9 am the next morning. She held my daughter all night for me so that I could sleep. She sat right there in my room in a straight-back chair for 11 hours holding Matilda and bringing her to me for nursing. That is true devotion to breastfeeding mothers!

I have dealt with only a few breastfeeding issues and LLL has been there to help me through them all. First was colic with Ivan, then a persistent case of thrush, and low milk supply when a stomach virus went through our family.

I have attended over 40 LLL meetings in Toms River, New Jersey. Each one has had an opening statement about how LLL started. Every time I hear this, I silently thank the LLLI Founders for all they have done for babies and mamas. LLL is Love. LLL is mothering from the heart.

I am truly going to miss all the friends my children and I have made. I plan on attending all the groups in the Raleigh, North Carolina area and finding another good fit for my children and me. Matilda will soon be a year old. We have a long way to go before weaning, so I hope to find a new LLL home to add new experiences to my existing special memories.

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