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Breastfeeding Success!! ~ Tica's Story

When I was five, my brother was born. I remember picking him up in the hospital and taking him home in our 1970 green pinto. I remember how tiny his toes were, and my mother sitting in her rocker by the fireplace smiling down at him while he nursed. I remember asking about what was going on. She expressed a little milk out onto her finger for me to see. She said I could taste it if I wanted to because when I was a baby, I breastfed too. I breastfed my dolls. I remember my cousin coming to visit when I was about 10 with her new baby. My mother told all the men that they couldn't come into the living room because it was for the ladies. I remember being included and watching my cousin breastfeed her daughter. It felt good, a sense of community ~ women sharing the nourishment of the next generation.

I went to a breastfeeding class when I was about 8 months pregnant. I remember the tough decision about who would go with me. My husband was my #1 supporter but I felt again that sense of womanly community. I talked to my husband and he understood what I felt. I took my mother to the class. During the introductions, they asked us to tell why we decided to breastfeed. Honestly, I had never thought of it like that. I guess many people decide to breastfeed or not to breastfeed because they all gave good reasons for their decisions. When it was my turn I felt kind of dumb when I said, "I never decided to breastfeed because I always knew I would." Like giving birth, it was part of the natural progression for me.

When my baby (9 lbs 5 oz 22.5" long) was born by cesarean, we were unable to nurse until 4:00 PM. He was born at 1:48 PM. They took him from me and cleaned him up. They brought him back and held him down for me to see but I was unable to touch him because my arms were strapped down. They took me to recovery for one hour and then to my room. I remember feeling an overwhelming sense of panic for my child. I needed him. Every fiber in my being wanted to hold him to me. When he finally latched on at 4:00 PM, he was an immediate expert. He nursed quite a bit. On the birth day he nursed twice, Day One he nursed 8 times, Day Two 10 times, and Day Three 9 times. My milk came in on day three and we have been nursing ever since.

I didn't have any problems associated with nursing like many mothers. But I was dedicated down to my soul. If I had encountered hurdles, I would have leapt over them to share this special bond with my son. My doctor told me not to introduce foods until 6 months. At 5 1/2 months I gave him some weak rice cereal because he was 21 lbs and I thought he was hungry. The doctor just laughed at me when I told him that! He told me to breastfeed for a year. My real goal was to breastfeed until he could drink from a cup. I never put it in terms of months old because he was my first child and I wanted to learn as I went.

At 14 months, I took a 9 day trip away from my son (unavoidable business trip). While there I had to pump in the worst conditions, small cramped co-gender bathrooms, airplane bathrooms, bus bathrooms and in front of a room mate. On the fourth day I had no milk left. I remember pumping in the co-ed bathroom and crying for my baby. Pumping and smelling excrement not my sweet baby. I went into a museum and happened to see La Vierge au coussin vert --Bois. I cried for 10 minutes looking at the baby and his mother.

When I came home I immediately crept into my son's room. I gathered him up into my arms and nursed him while he slept. I think I rocked him for three hours that night, singing crying and praying I could return to nurse. I posted on StorkNet message boards and Elaine directed me to the relactation information. I read everything and let my son tell me what he needed. Five days later, I noticed the tingle of let-down. Today, I cradled him to me and thanked God. My cup runneth over with happiness and with love for my baby. Nursing bonds us closer than I ever knew anything could. Nature knew what it was doing.

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