I was a young mom (16 to be exact), and with my first son I had no desire to breastfeed until it was too late. Four years later, I had another son who was born 31 weeks premature.
My maternal instinct told me from birth he would be alright. Almost 24 hours later when I was able to see him for the first time, my heart was broken. Seeing my baby hooked up too so many tubes, contraptions and devices, I was devastated.
I don’t remember much about my son being in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit, spot for tiny babies), but I vividly remember feeling absolutely NO CONNECTION WITH MY SON.
I was told when and if I could hold him, and sometimes I wasn’t allowed to hold him. I was told I had to put him back only minutes after picking him up. When I did hold him, I wasn’t able to cuddle him, burry my nose in his neck, or hold him close to me and smell his hair. I had to hold him like he was a piece of porcelain that would break if I made one false move.
In my heart, I was falling apart inside because I did not feel any bond with my son. When I went back to my room, my room mate was pumping milk for her baby that too was in the NICU. After talking with her, I figured, “that’s the least I can do for him, since I can’t do anything else.” So together we pumped for our half baked babies.
I began pumping and quickly learned I was a human cow! I made so much milk, the hospital told me not to bring anymore in for him! Seeing my milk go through that feeding tube into his body helped me begin to bond with my son from a distance. Watching my son grow, and come off breathing machines, feeding tubes, heart monitors and home into my arms all thanks to MY MILK, was priceless.
My son, The Prince, is almost 11 years old today, and to anyone on the outside looking in would never know the obstacles he had to overcome to be where he is today. I know my decision to breastfeed him helped make all the difference. Whether your baby is full term, or half baked like my baby, I strongly feel if nothing else breastfeeding brings about a bond between mother and child no one can take away.
My son and I 10 years later