Hi, my name is Jessica. My husband and I are new parents to a beautiful, smiley baby girl. I have been hesitant to share my story because I have been told I need to "get over it" but I don't want to get over it, partially because I'm still upset at how our breastfeeding journey started, but mostly because I'm so proud of where it is now. When I became pregnant I knew that breastfeeding was going to be very important to me.
After being in labor for 36 hours with my membranes ruptured (PROM) I was told that I developed Chorioamnionitis and that my daughter would be taken to the NICU immediately following delivery. The next hour after I received that news all I did was sit there with a blank look on my face. All the hopes and dreams I had about watching my daughter crawl and latch and feed after delivery were gone. Breastfeeding was the only plan I had in my birth plan. I knew I had to be fluid because plans can change so quickly but that was the one thing I was never going to budge on.
They let me labor for another 4 hours. It wasn't until she started showing signs of distress that they finally took me in for an emergency C-Section. After she was taken to the NICU, I waited 4 hours to be able to go down to see her and try to feed her. She had low blood sugar and they came to ask if it was ok to give her formula while I was in recovery. Since I couldn't pump yet because I was still shaking uncontrollably from the anesthesia, I said yes through tears. Not only was my daughters first feed not going to be my milk, but it was given to her by someone else. As soon as I was given the green light to go down I dragged myself bleeding through the hallways to do what I thought was best for my daughter. For the first time in my life I truly put my own needs and even my health aside to take care of another human. It was then, and through my journey with her that I realized I would do literally anything for this tiny little girl. Miraculously she latched the very first time, and was able to pull a fair amount of colostrum. I went to the NICU to nurse her at every feeding and eventually I was able to stop giving her the formula. She nursed constantly throughout the remaining days in the hospital. That was about the last time that breastfeeding was easy!
My daughter developed sever reflux and it has been a constant uphill battle trying to get her to latch and nurse because she's in pain. Breastfeeding has taught me so much about myself, my patience, where my patience ends, and how my love for my daughter will transcend all else, always. I was ready to throw in the towel but reading other stories on First Latch and reaching out to friends and family for support has helped me through. The past few weeks have slowly been getting easier as we get to know each other better and as we manage her reflux. I will always be upset that my delivery didn't go even remotely like I thought it would, but I can't help but be proud of the woman, mother, and fighter it has made me.
She's visual proof of hard work and perseverance! All 16lbs 5oz of her At 15 weeks!
Thank you so much for sharing your story Jessica! Your empowered journey I'm sure will help other mothers!
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