Saturday, December 18, 2010

Got Milk?

About every couple of hours of EVERY day since I had to wean I think about breastfeeding me baby. The thought doesn't go away and it hasn't gotten easier to deal with not nursing him. If anything, it makes me miss it more. Every day and moment that I wish I could nurse him makes me realize, even more than when I was nursing any of my children, that nursing is GREAT and makes like so much easier. Nursing (for me) is totally different from what I am doing now. This cancer has driven a space between me and my baby. With me leaving him for the many dr appts to not being able to care for him when I am so sick, and not having the nursing "glue" to hold us together has made this happen. Oh, how I wish I could have nursed him through this cancer treatment!

I am now free of the meds and could nurse him. Yet, he will not latch on. I have even tried a SNS (supplemental nursing system) since I have no milk. I will keep offering it to him but I am switching gears. I am now pumping with a hospital grade pump so I can get back my milk supply and then be able to give him my milk in a bottle (if he doesn't latch on). I have pumped for a total of 5 times and I have drops coming out! It is really amazing to think that after not nursing for 6 mths and going through chemo and radiation (and most likely those things also have put me into premature menopause) my body still will start to produce milk! I have just bought some More Milk Special Blend to help increase production. I don't have any milk to collect, maybe in a week or two I will have something to start saving. But just seeing these drops give me hope.

If I do the surgery (it would be around Feb 21), presumably I would have a supply by then, it makes things challenging. I would be in the hospital for at least 2 wks. And I would not be well during most of that time. How will I do it? I have not mentioned to any dr that I have started to try and build a supply. They would not understand at all. Perhaps even some of my friends or other people in the breastfeeding community might not either. But I have to do it no matter if he never latches on again or even if I do not get any milk to give to him. At least I know I went for it, I will not have a sense of I wish I had tried it. He is 15 mths and my new goal will be to reach 2 yrs of giving him breastmilk. (Just like the WHO recommends.)My last goal was reached, it was to have milk for him till he turned 1 yr old.

I still have milk from my milk mamas! He still loves it and drinks every drop of it! I am so grateful that I have been given this incredible gift! Please know milk mamas I thank you and say a blessing to you all every time I hold my baby and give him your precious milk. It makes me feel like we give a hard punch to the cancer every time I feed him your milk. Ha, ha cancer you can't take everything away from me or my baby!

On a breastfeeding email list I am on it was discussed about informal milk sharing and how the FDA was looking into milk banks and milk sharing. I am for sure glad that I am able to informal milk share. I would not have been able to get milk from a milk bank. What if there had been a list of requirements and hoops I had to go through to milk share with my friends? I am informed of the risks and took precautions I thought was necessary for us. If anything, my experience has made me wish that this was an option for more moms and it was more widely known and accepted. I will sing the praises of this option and let other moms know about it. I would think, at the very least, breastmilk should be THE supplement in the hospital for newborns. It should be very easy to order some breastmilk for a baby needing a supplement if for some reason the mom can't provide it. I am extremely grateful that my milk mama donors have not required me to pay them for there milk. (I couldn't afford it now with everything going on.) I am in favor of moms being able to profit from THEIR MILK. It is upsetting to me about companies profitting from moms who donate their milk to them. Currently a nonprofit milk bank is the way to go for moms who want to donate their milk to help babies.

This got long! As my friends know I could talk about breastfeeding (and birth) issues forever!


  1. I think that what you're doing, working on bringing back your milk supply, makes perfect sense. And I think you will succeed! You and your milk mamas are doing what comes naturally for your baby. I applaud you!

  2. Oh Kim Ann! I just discovered this and am hoping to reconnect with you. This is Karen (formerly Salomon) from the old LLL in Pensacola. I just wanted to let you know my thoughts and prayers are with you. You're a brave warrior mama!

  3. Thanks Karen! I have often thought of Pcola and the great times I had there with all of you! Seems so so long ago. Hope all if well with you.