By Marta Willis
We create a truly special bond with our little ones who choose us as their parents on Earthside and one path. One path of this special bonding comes through breastfeeding.
Everyone’s journey is different. Not every mama can breastfeed and some choose not to for various reasons. No mama should ever feel guilty and for those who are yet to decide, perhaps my journey will open you up to the realities of what can be a joyful (jet not smooth at all times!) journey.
A rollercoaster of emotions
I feel blessed. My “milky” journey with my two daughters lasted 49 months. Now this part of my life is coming to an end, I can’t help but feel mixed emotions. While I’m happy to get my body to myself again, I’m also grieving the close connection, not to mention the healing properties of mother’s milk, which come in handy when my girls are sick!
My body feels ready, so ready. Observing myself from the outside I noticed a sense of irritation when my girl was feeding. However, I wish I could preserve this sweet baby stage. I remind myself that each child is a gift in its full magic, and we have to let them walk their path. And believe me, the toddler stage brings its own joys!
Not quite smooth sailing
When I was a baby, I had a milk mother. It was a close family friend that breastfed me when my mother had to take her university exams. They always talked about this openly, so when my first girl was born in 2013 with no latching reflex, it was a sweet relief when my midwife asked: “Would it be OK with you if we got some milk from another mama?” I was gratefully nodding….of course it was!
We got some milky magic from a beautiful lady who later became our neighbour and friend. My Alba only needed a few syringe feeds with the donor milk and then she got the drill. Our breastfeeding journey then lasted 22 months. It came to a close because I became pregnant with our second child and my body was not comfortable sharing on two channels. Plenty of cuddles and explaining what was happening made our transition smoother. I’m still amazed by mamas who can feed through pregnancy.
Second time around
Our second breastfeeding journey also wasn’t straightforward. When our second daughter was born, we experienced complications after birthing. Adrenaline did its unpleasant work against my milk production and no matter what I did, my milk didn’t kick in for three days.
When it finally came, so did cracked nipples. Then mastitis, high fever and “unwellness”, 16 months into our breastfeeding journey! I never thought it would happen that stage. The only thing that helped was massaging under a hot shower. Letting the tears flow with the milk and trying different positions to feed my baby (all fours worked wonders). It’s also hard to forget being bitten multiple times…free piercing service perhaps? Rather NOT thank you!