Monday, April 6, 2015
Breastfeeding Through Surgery
This was my 6th surgery. During all six of my surgeries I have been breastfeeding (or about to be in the case of Willow and Rowan's C-sections ) It never ceases to amaze me the lack of breastfeeding knowledge in the medical community. I think the most educated and accommodating nurses that I had were during my 1993 gall bladder surgery...really! 1993. It is 2015 people. This madness needs to end!
I had a breakdown while waiting to go into surgery. They had already escorted David to the waiting room and I was placed in the hall outside the room I would soon be in. A woman came by with one of those sticker machines to make copies of my wrist band. That was all it took. Complete total PTSD meltdown over the sicker machine. You see, I used that machine daily for 9 weeks while Rowan was in the NICU. I made tiny labels for all of the breastmilk bottles I had pumped. As I looked up from the ugly cry, you know the horrible snot creating, red faced bawling mess cry, what caught my eye was the hand washing station. Yet another bad memory from all of those weeks. NICU flashes were coming from me out of nowhere! Everyone thought I was freaking out about my surgery, I mean, yeah, who wants to be cut open and have a piece of pig skin forever holding their abdominal wall closed? But no, I was having those flashbacks everyone in the NICU said would come. And here I was on my high horse thinking it has been nearly 3 years and I am doing awesome! No one is immune, no one. This only made me feel worse for being away from my sweet man the whole day for surgery. He was totally fine and had a fabulous day but I still carry the weight of the world from having to leave him for all those weeks.
Anyway, as I sat there telling the tale of our NICU journey to a kind nurse as she held my hand she asked" well, how is he now" my reply was "oh he is awesome! Better than awesome, he will be 3 in June and he is such a little joy"...then the look on her face caught me...she looked so confused. She said, "oh, wait, I thought the Dr said you were breastfeeding?" I replyed..."I am" And then I realized the shock that she was experiencing because of my nursing 3 yr old...and instead of sharing with her that all of my children weaned, well, when they were ready to wean, I made her even more uncomfortable by telling her that Willow was 6 years old when she weaned. Yeah, that did it. Even in my melt down that little bit of redhead came out :) I am sure I did nothing to help educate her on normal breastfeeding, but I did stop freaking out~
I only mention this because a couple of years ago I was at this same hospital with Mara. She had fallen and broken her ankle and we were waiting for them to take her to surgery...in her private room...just the 3 of us...in her private room..., when in walks a nurse with a blanket for Mara and she stops dead in her tracks when she sees me nursing and tosses the blanket to me.
There are just so many things wrong with that happened, too much to write. All I can say is if you have a problem with a breastfeeding mother you need to look at yourself. Breastfeeding is normal. Weird, shocked behavior, throwing blankets at people to cover up is not normal. I should not ever be shamed or made to feel less than because you have some problem with a woman doing exactly what her body was intended to do.
I can not imagine not nursing my children though all of my surgery recoveries. I have been able to continue to meet their needs and keep them healthy. Oh, and super healthy they are...but that is a post for another day....
- I am a mom to 5 amazing kids and married to my best friend and love of my life. We co-habitate with 1 cat, Asha, 2 dogs, Maggie May and Juniper Wren, a Chinchilla names Ozwald, and a Hamster named Fat Panda. We have lived in Salt Lake City for 13 years by way of Tennessee and Oregon. I love to be with my kids, knit, run, craft, sew, paint,travel, hike and play :) I love our crazy life!