Breastfeeding has become taboo in some ways in our culture. As working moms, we have had to deal with the decision how to feed our children, and figure out how to mesh that with our time away from our children. Meg and I would like to share our journeys through breastfeeding with you. There are some similarities in our stories – we both have two children: older boy followed by a girl. But every child and every experience is different.
Meg: Four years ago when my husband, Steve, and I decided to try for a family, the thought of how we were going to feed that child once he/she arrived did not concern us much. We knew I was a breast-fed baby, but the only reason my mom chose that option was because she was single and poor (her words, not mine). She could not afford formula, so the decision was made for her. I also knew she enjoyed it and didn’t regret she had to feed me that way. Steve and I had a different situation — we could either breast feed or formula feed. It was up to our discretion. As we moved through a very normal pregnancy we decided breast feeding was something we wanted to try. We weren’t bound and determined we were going to succeed; just that we wanted to try.
Sara: My mom breastfed me and my four siblings. I always knew that growing up. It seemed like my mom remembered the experiences fondly. When my partner David and I found out that we were expecting, nursing was one thing that we were in agreement on, though we didn’t discuss it much. All of my research confirmed that breast is best. We were hoping for a natural birth and me feeding our child.
The First Time Around
Meg: When we found out at 26 weeks that our son was going to arrive a lot earlier than we anticipated we were still committed to our plan. I went on restrictions at that time, got two steroid injections, and we waited for our little fella to make his entrance into the world. He arrived at 34 weeks, six days. He was over five pounds, and by all appearances very healthy. He spent one night in NICU and came home with us just two days later. Steve and I were in a panic. Did the doctors really know what they were doing? Shouldn’t he stay in the hospital a little longer being monitored by nurses who had experience and knowledge when it came to pre-term babies? No to all of that! So there we were, first time parents with an early baby who cried a lot, couldn’t sleep, and wanted to eat all the time. We were a hot mess!
My mom and sister had both delivered their babies “late” (after the estimated due date at 40 weeks). I had a feeling that my baby would be born after my due date and wanted to find a care provider who would support letting this happen. I switched from an OB to a midwife at 30 weeks (7.5 months) pregnant. I didn’t end up going into labor until I was over a week past my due date. My labor was very long, and after several hours of pushing with no progress, my son was born via cesarean. There were no complications and he nursed within a half hour of birth in the recovery room. The tubes and wires melted away from my awareness – it was all about the tiny person I was finally getting to hold in my arms and nurse. After my surgery, I was not very mobile. David was wonderful at changing diapers and outfits. I was very good at sitting and eating and nursing our baby. :)