Check out Part 1.
When my second son, Elias, was born, he surprised us by arriving at 25 1/2 weeks. At 1 lb 12 oz, he was immediately taken to the NICU. We were only able to lightly touch the bottom of his feet or the top of his head. Needless to say, I was unable to nurse him, and he was not coming home with us. Not only was he not coming home when I was released from the hospital, but we had no idea when he would get to come home.
What was I going to do? Well, they could give him formula, or I could just pump every 3 hours around the clock! I HATED pumping, so this thought seemed like my worst nightmare, but I knew he needed my milk more than ever. The doctors and nurses talked about what an important role breast milk can have on babies, especially preemies!
Pumping became less of a chore, and more like my only means of taking care of my baby in such a helpless time. I was also teaching during his stay in the hospital, and briefly after, so I would have to give up any of my planning, grading, and scheduling time so I could pump.
Elias stayed in the hospital 76 days, and was unable to successfully nurse until the end of his stay. The doctors and nurses were amazed at how well he was doing and that he was going home almost a month before his actual due date!
I believe that prayers and his mother’s milk played a large role in this. They also stated again the importance of the breast milk. For that reason, I have donated some of my milk to Mother’s Milk Bank and encourage others to do so. Milk banks provide milk to preemies and other sick children, who would strongly benefit from breast milk, but whose mothers are either unable or unwilling to provide the milk.
Elias and I have strongly bonded through breastfeeding, and my husband and I made the decision for me to quit teaching and stay home with my children, so this allowed me to pump less and nurse more.
During this experience, I have had trouble with my right nipple again and suffered a terrible case of mastitis. I highly recommend using a nipple cream with lanolin, especially at first, to avoid cracks, or at least ease the pain if they occur.
The joys, the bonds, the fact that both my children are so healthy, even my micro preemie that should have a lot of issues, are direct results of breastfeeding! I have been nursing Elias now for 14 months.
Do I have days when I cannot wait to have my boobs back to myself? YES! Do I have days when I dread when it is all over, and I have no more babies to nurse? YES! The joys of breastfeeding! I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Did you enjoy breastfeeding? How long did you nurse your babies?