When it comes to birthing my babies, I’ve had a rough idea how I’d like the process to unfold; however I’ve always been pretty flexible and gone with the flow. The only and one nonnegotiable was that I breastfeed my babies to give them the best possible start in life. The nutritional value of breastmilk is unlimited and undeniable, and coupled with the nurturing and connection; providing for my babies in this way has always been my dream.
With my first born it wasn’t the easiest of starts, however determined, Zainabu and I got through each obstacle and our beautiful breastfeeding journey lasted for 2.5 years.
For that, I am proud.
With my second born, she latched when I was still in the birthing suite and ironically I said to myself “This is one less thing to worry about”. How wrong was I. What seemed like a dream start changed quickly when at 5 months after being admitted to hospital we discovered a mechanical issue which affected her feeding. This resulted in an immediate change of direction for us both, and rejecting the notion from hospital staff that formula be introduced, I was determined to continue breastfeeding my baby.
And I did.
I breastfed; started pumping after every feed and topping up her feeds with my own milk and then the breastmilk from two beautiful donor women. This was now our norm. We both adjusted with ease and I kept reminding myself that I was doing the very best for my baby but it still hurt that completely out of our control, my baby girl would eventually stop feeding from me all together. That day came shortly after our Melbourne trip; and whilst I mourn the loss of connection through breastfeeding her; I believe everything happens for a reason and I am embracing the friendships formed that I would never have had, had our paths not joined. Our baby girl Anaishe is thriving, inquisitive, determined, decisive and so so loved, and even though my dream to feed her for as long as I fed her sister sadly wasn’t to be realised, I must remind myself that I did my best and I can be proud for that.
Things don’t always go according to plan and one of the greatest achievements is the ability to adapt and make a new plan. It’s not always natural and easy, but when you embrace change there is so much to be learned and gained.
…and then I had my third baby