I'm Glad I Did
Bay Shore NY USA
From NEW BEGINNINGS, Vol. 24 No. 3, May-June 2007, pp. 108-109
When I first realized I was pregnant, I was thrilled. Naturally, about a million thoughts went through my mind. When I started thinking about breastfeeding, honestly, I was disgusted. I knew someone who breastfed their child for two years and it was disturbing to me.
When I was about three months pregnant, I woke up one morning and didn't feel right. I ended up in the hospital and my doctor discovered that I had a cyst on my ovary. I went back and forth from the hospital to the doctor's office all day. The final visit with my doctor that day was when he told me I had a cyst on my ovary. They wanted me to come back the next morning to see if the cyst had grown any larger. I returned the following day not feeling nervous or scared.
After the examination, I was informed that the cyst had grown three inches over night, and I needed surgery right away to remove it. My immediate concern was for my unborn child. At that point, I was frantic. I went home and told my husband, packed my bags, and returned to the hospital. It wasn't until I was at the hospital that I was told that this surgery might cause me to miscarry. I couldn't believe this was happening. I remember sitting in the hospital room holding my stomach while crying and praying that I wouldn't lose my child. I learned that if I were to miscarry as a result of the surgery, it would happen within 12 to 24 hours.
When I was wheeled into surgery, my husband told me he loved me, touched my stomach, and said everything would be okay. An hour-and-a-half later, the surgery was over and I was in recovery. Through the night, nurses came every two hours to check my baby's heartbeat. I held my breath each time until I heard the tiny heartbeat. The next day, the doctor said that everything went well, they were able to save my ovary, and my baby would be fine.
Months later, I was still not even considering breastfeeding as an option to feed my baby. My husband finally asked me, "Would you just try it? Even if you only breastfeed for two weeks, our child will benefit from the colostrum." I told him that I didn't know if I would, but I'd think it over.
On my due date, I went into labor at 4 am and was in the hospital by 7 am. I ended up having an emergency cesarean, but Emma was born healthy. A few hours later, the nurse brought my crying baby to me and asked, "Are we bottle-feeding Emma today?" I looked at my daughter and I said, "No, I'm going to breastfeed." The nurse helped me position her and I watched as Emma opened her mouth and started to eat. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. I felt so good because I knew I was giving my daughter a great start at life. The lactation specialist at my hospital was wonderful. She came in and I told her that I had not wanted to breastfeed, but my husband had simply asked me to try it. I wasn't convinced that I would until I saw my beautiful daughter's face. That's when I became a mother. The nurse said my story was wonderful, and that she didn't hear stories like it too often.
My daughter is now six months old and I am still breastfeeding. It is a wonderful feeling to know that I'm bonding with her, as well as giving her the nutritional benefits that come with breastfeeding.