Yes you read the title right. I feel strongly about the experience, I want to share it, mostly because I am proud of it. I stand by my choice and I would do it again.
When I gave birth to my son I had a lot of problems, which I won’t go in to detail about now. If you want me to do a post on this specifically, just leave me a comment below and let me know.
The placenta is your babies support system in the womb, it provides nutrients and feeds the baby as such, my placenta showed deterioration (premature aging), in a scan before birth. I don’t feel my son had adequate amounts of food stores before he was born, my milk also took a while to come in after birth, I feel these contributing circumstances made my son hungry faster, the colostrum just wasn’t enough for him.
Hours after he was born he would just scream, for long periods of time even after suckling at the breast for a long time. I know he was trying to get my milk to come in, but it was more than that, I had already breezed through this with my daughter having no problems with my milk coming in I knew something was up, he just wasn’t content.
He would be on my breast for what felt like all day, never satisfied. After getting discharged from hospital we were sent home, he still didn’t stop crying. I knew my milk hadn’t come in because I know the feeling you get in your nipples when you get the let-down. But I knew I had colostrum. However I wasn’t sure why he kept crying so badly, he was devastated.
So late one night, well at about 3am in the morning, no formula as back up, no shops open selling formula. I was breastfeeding him, and heard his tummy rumbling loudly. My mother in law was with me and I told her straight away that he was hungry. I was crying: “I’m not producing any milk for him. He is starving.” I didn’t know what I could do at this point. I had him at my breast constantly, I am a second timer at breastfeeding and know how much they feed at the beginning stages. But this was not a happy contented baby. When I heard his tummy it confirmed for me what I already knew, my boy was starving hungry. I was in bits at this point. My mother in law immediately went in search of an open shop for some formula.
When she had gone, a thought popped into my head that my sister in law Gemma was still breastfeeding her 6 month old daughter. I just instinctively knew I needed her to come over and feed my son for me.
So we called and asked her. My mother in law wasn’t too sure she would agree and my husband was a bit upset with me for asking, he too wasn’t sure. But I sat down and explained my views on it.
It’s natural fresh milk, from a family member, in actual fact probably a more realistic alternative to formula. My wonderful sister in law left her warm bed and sleeping baby to come and feed my starving four day old boy.
As soon as she arrived she sat on the sofa, and I passed him over, he was crying so much. She placed his little mouth to her breast, he latched on straight away and guzzled down her milk.
I have to say it was a very emotional experience watching my sister in law feed my new-born, but it felt so utterly natural. My little boy was filling his hunger pangs and that in itself made me so happy. Tears filled my eyes as I saw how contented he was at her breast and in her arms. You could tell he was starving from the speed at which he suckled. I literally looked at my sister in law at that moment and I was so thankful for such a wonderfully loving person. So thankful she could be there, so thankful she was still breastfeeding, and so thankful she could give my son what I couldn’t.
Completely milk drunk he fell straight into a heavenly sleep. My baby was happy. I was happy, my sister in law, mother in law all happy. (As a side note, my milk came in a couple of hours after)
Of course I made the best decision. I couldn’t have asked for a better person on this earth, who I would have loved more than my sister in law, to be able to bestow the beautiful gift of being the first person to feed my 4 day old boy; a special bond between them that will last forever. Breastfeeding sure is magical, beautiful, and sacred, it really is a gift.
In that moment I understood why some woman wet nurse and life is so amazingly vast with such wonderful choices available to us all at our own will. Whichever a mother chooses for her child, if it is for love and in the child’s best interest, who are we to judge?
All I can say is in that moment of need my son, starving, I willingly, with pleasure, gave him over to be fed by my sister in law and I would do it again.
Love is what makes the world go round and breastfeeding is love.
So I urge all mums, parent with your intuition, with your motherly instinct, because those feelings are never wrong. As a mum you just know and you always will know.
I would love to know your thoughts on this, please share how this made you feel.