Bedford VA USA
From: NEW BEGINNINGS, Vol. 19 No. 6, November-December 2002, pp. 215
When I became pregnant with my twins I didn't give much thought to how I would feed them. I figured I would give breastfeeding a try and if it didn't work there was always formula, which I thought would be just as good. The cost of formula wasn't an issue because we were on the WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) Program, which provides some formula for free. I didn't talk to anyone or read anything about breastfeeding. I mean, how hard could it be?
Well, I breastfed the twins for five weeks. During that time I had mastitis, a bad case of thrush, and relatives visiting. My father thought formula was an excellent way to nourish my babies. He saw his "little girl" in a lot of pain from the thrush. He went out to buy some presents for his new grandchildren and bottles were among the gifts. Needless to say, I was completely unprepared and I turned to bottle-feeding.
When I found out I was pregnant two-and-a-half years later, I decided that I would give breastfeeding another go. This time I read anything and everything I could on the subject. I even planned on attending La Leche League Group meetings before the birth. However, at 25 weeks I had to go on bed rest because of premature labor. Boy, did I have a lot of time to catch up on my reading and really think about what would be best for my new baby! My breastfeeding goal was to nurse longer than I had with the twins and I hoped I could make it to at least four months.
At 36 weeks, my water broke and just four hours after that my precious son was born. We were both sleepy from pain medications, but we did try to nurse right after his birth. He latched on well but soon fell asleep. Once we came home I encouraged Sean to nurse every hour-and-a-half to build up my milk supply. I took naps with Sean and carried him in a sling. Luckily, my husband and three-and-a-half-year-old twins are very supportive! In one month Sean gained four pounds!
I began to really see our breastfeeding relationship as more than just nourishment! I attended La Leche League Group meetings regularly. It is wonderful to be around other women who share similar parenting views. Each month I watch Sean become a chubby, healthy, happy breastfed baby. Each month my goals for breastfeeding evolve.
Sean is now eight months old. He is 22 pounds and has never had a drop of formula. My latest goal is to continue to nurse him as long as he wants.
When I gaze down at Sean while he nurses, our fingers entwined, I am sorry I missed out on these special moments with my twins. I know I did the best I could then, and they received my love in other ways. I also know I will cherish these nursing moments with Sean forever.