Lucia’s breastfeeding story

Last week, we asked our Facebook community to send in their stories about their breastfeeding experiences, for us to post on this blog. All the stories we’ve received are wonderful, and we hope you’ll continue to send them in (details at the bottom of this post)*

To begin our real life stories from breastfeeding mums, there is no better way than with our very own Lucia – the breastfeeding mum of two who is part of the team behind the Facebook, YouTube and Twitter communities for the national breastfeeding campaign.

Lucia’s story

(Lucia with baby Alex and Mihai)

“I remember coming home with my first baby boy, Mihai: he was three days old, and my milk hadn’t come in yet. I was kind of terrified.

I remember waking up the next morning with two stones instead of breasts and hurrying my husband to go and buy a breast pump. Quick! It hurts! A breast pump that I didn’t need to use: my baby happily solved the problem. When I returned to work, I painfully expressed milk but Mihai wouldn’t take the bottle, so we had to do crazy things to keep up feeding: my father baby-sitting him in a park near my job, day by day, so I could come and nurse him; me rushing home in my lunch break to breastfeed, and back to work, and home, and work, and home; feeding him 200ml with a little spoon, half of the “best thing in the world” running down his clothes.

I remember getting A+ at my Maori AUT paper; my secret was revising the material every three hours while breastfeeding.

I remember trying to cope with broken sleep, and my easy excuse: breastfeeding brain. And I will never forget all the nice looks, all the nice words, the glass of water coming NOW, my mother in law’s happiness when I was breastfeeding her mokopuna.

I remember really really looking forward to breastfeeding my second baby boy, Alex, and to my surprise things developed differently. I couldn’t read anymore, my eyes were just shutting down. A worry I never thought I would experience: do I have enough milk supply? Guilt when seeing Mihai’s big brown beautiful eyes cloudy because he could not join in that special thing I was sharing with his brother. And a resolve: we both breastfed his trains. And Bob the builder. And Kung Fu Panda. And Toy Story; they were all breastfed, breastfeeding is a way of life!

There were, there are, of course things I don’t want to remember: we all have a huge list here, I’m sure. Pain, infections, soaked bras, restricted medication when sick, not being able to have that glass of unbelievably craved wine. My husband’s jealousy. My family’s misunderstanding. Incredible tiredness.

They all fade under the memories of my babies’ knowing eyes: my mother’s breast – that’s the safest place in the world.”

*If you’d like to share your breastfeeding story with us, please email it to breastfeeding@gslnetwork.co.nz – here’s the rules: try to keep it to approximately 150 words or less, and to one topic (i.e., the first feeds, latching issues and how you overcame them, your tips and tricks for new mums based on your experiences, combining breastfeeding and working, problems such as mastitis/thrush and how you overcame them – and any positive stories and funny ones too!) Feel free to send in more than one story if you have had experiences in more than one topic which you’d like to share! We will use your first name when posting stories unless you specify you want to remain anonymous. We may edit your story to cut down word count or do grammar/spelling checks. We can’t guarantee that every story will feature on the blog, and we will use the stories over the next few months so please bear with us if you don’t see yours up straight away. Kia ora!

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9 thoughts on “Lucia’s breastfeeding story

  1. I admit that I only decided to breastfeed because of the weight loss aspects. Before I heard about the benefits of breastfeeding to help me return to your pre-pregnancy weight, I was 100% adamant that no baby was going near my boob. So when I found out this valuable information I settled on feeding for 3 months, just to get my weight loss started.
    Once I decided that I was going to breastfeed, I discovered there was so much stigmata associated with breastfeeding that it would make the most confident woman weak at the knees. My antenatal class focused on it for 2 out of 4 sessions and by the end of that I was so nervous/scared/daunted by it that I almost decided that I would flag it altogether. All that “nose to nipple, chin to chest” bollocks just seemed too much!
    My babe was born in a rather urgent and violent manner so I was unable to have skin-to-skin contact for well over an hour. As soon as I could see my daughter my midwife plopped her down on my chest, grabbed my boob and literally shoved it in her mouth. DONE! Latched on and drinking. Just like that.
    The following days were painful and a little frustrating, but as soon as my milk came in (which incidentally resulted in my daughter getting such a fright you’d think my boob had slapped her) it was smooth sailing; apart from the cracked nipples which cleared up in a week or 3.
    My Bubba is 4.5 months now and she is breastfed exclusively. It is THE most rewarding experience I have ever had. I am so incredibly happy I changed my mind – even it was for selfish reasons at first. Now I would not have it any other way and could not give a toss about the weight loss. It is such a wonderful thing to be able to provide for your baby.
    She will start solids in a month or so but I will continue to breastfeed her until she is a year old. Then I will probably express for another year just for the “goodness of the milk” aspect.
    My experience with breastfeeding was that it was easy. The information given made it complicated and that could have clouded my initial encounter had my midwife not been so hands on.

  2. Thanks Lucia for your lovely story. However, you say that with your second child you couldn’t read anymore, your eyes were “just shutting down”. That sounds rather alarming! What do you mean? Has your eyesight weakened; or are you referring to how tired you felt? Are you able to read now?

    • Hi Vanessa, yes, just tiredness. I was falling asleep while breastfeeding. I am much better now, but I still fall asleep now and then while trying hardly to watch a movie. It is different having a toddler running around, but I think it’s worth it! Thank you for your comment, Lucia

  3. What a beautifully written piece about your experiences breastfeeding. I breastfed my daughter, now 3 1/2 for a year and am still breastfeeding my 14 month twin boys. I too did, and still do crazy things to keep up the breastfeeding, had crazy nightmarish experiences that I batted through to make it work and are all but forgotten now. Wish I could put my story into as eloquent a piece of writing as you 🙂

    • You’re wonderful, Sarah, thank you for the very nice words. I had in mind all of us breastfeeding mothers, this is what inspired me! I hope everything goes well with your twins – it’s quite hard with one, it’s seems so challenging with two! You’re doing not crazy, but amazing things! Lucia

  4. Thanks for your lovely story Lucia, brought tears to my eyes reading the last sentence! After twelve hard weeks my son and I finally seem to have it sussed, amazing how each child brings different challenges, even with something as natural as breastfeeding.

  5. Great photo in particular Lucia! And it looks like you are enjoying the sun at Orakei Marae at Ngati Whatua, Auckland unless I am mistaken. An excellent first story of our mums sharing their experieces, thanks heaps. Marama.

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