Sunday, February 7, 2010


Boobs.... once your child is born, they no longer belong to you. Or to your husband. They belong exclusively to your baby. If your husband touches them, you scream in pain. If you hear a baby (any baby) cry, your milk lets down and you have to run to the bathroom.

It was an amazing feeling to know that these things that have been a nuisance for so many years, finally have a purpose.

Well, I thought for sure that I wouldn't be able to breast feed. I had heard so many horror stories from friends and family and I thought that I wouldn't be able to. 

Once Brendan was born and rushed off to the NICU, the nurses brought in a pump and told me to start right away. At first there was nothing coming out. Then there was still nothing. But I kept at it and pumped every 3 hours even at night. 

Jeff and I were up in LA at a hotel near the hospital and I remember getting up in the middle of the night to pump. Poor Jeff would be sleeping like a rock and then my alarm would go off and wake him up. Did I mention that my husband is patient.

I would cry and cry because my milk wasn't coming in. It took several days and I didn't know what to do. I was getting about 4 drops total. Jeff I am sure remembers me sitting there with the bottles in my hands just sobbing and sobbing because I wanted Brendan to be able to breast feed.

Well, it was Thursday, five days after Brendan was born and that's when it came in. I was so excited! I really wanted to be able to do something normal for Brendan. I have heard that most mom's quit pumping after a couple weeks if their child is in the hospital and most of the nurses were telling me that I would probably not last that long just because the situation was so stressful.

I however took that as a challenge and decided that no matter what, I would pump until Brendan latched on. In fact, I was so good at it, that I would produce about 6 ounces in the beginning and then worked up to about 8-10 ounces every 3 hours.

Well, Brendan had some issues with latching on and actually couldn't ever take food by mouth. He had airway issues and because of this brain issues, was also not able to coordinate sucking swallowing and breathing. So momma did what I could. I continued pumping and he was able to take it through a G-tube that fed food right into his tummy. 

I am really glad that I was able to do that for him. I feel like it is the least that I could do for him. All the doctors and nurses told us that babies recover better from surgery and thrive better if they are eating breast milk. I was able to give Brendan breast milk for his entire life.

Well, I say all this to tell you that this past week was a tough week. A couple days after Brendan passed away I went to the lactation clinic to figure out how to stop pumping without getting mastitis. I was told to wean by decreasing day by day and after 2 weeks, I would be completely done.

This was hard because I feel like the one thing that I alone could do for Brendan, I had to stop doing. It was like a reality check that Brendan was actually gone. I know that what I was giving him was keeping him strong, keeping him happy and giving him life. Without this, am I still a mom? It was hard to deal with.

I am officially done. I am no longer a breast feeding mom. I am however, and will forever be, a mom. No one can take this away from me.

1 comment:

  1. What a great post Carrie. I can imagine the emotions with stopping breastfeeding could be pretty hard *hugs*

    And you are right, no one can take you being a mom away from you.