Posted in Motherhood

Diary of a First-Time Mom: Feeding Blues

My mother told me that I only stopped breastfeeding at the age of three.

Yes, three. I have four more siblings and we were all breastfed for years, except for our eldest, who was introduced to formula milk early since my grandparents had bought quite a number.

I still elusively recall an instance of my childhood when I came home from playing outside. I was so thirsty. I then looked for my mother and asked for milk. Then I latched and my thirst was satisfied.

I can attest that breastfeeding brings a lot of benefits for both the mother and the child. Speaking for myself, I had a strong set of teeth growing up. I never had a severe illness which require hospital confinement. I performed well at school, intellect-wise. I was physically healthy for years.

As you can recall, I had an emergency CS. Honestly, I was not prepared for that. My mind and heart was prepared for a normal delivery. I knew I can do it, not until my baby’s fetal heartbeat became irregular inside my tummy. Recovering from CS operation was one of the most difficult times in my life. I was a good patient, but after the painkillers lost their effect on my system, I became exasperated.

It was my postpartum day two when my breast leaked milk. Unfortunately, the hospital did not arrange for rooming-in. I know its against the law. For your information, there is already a law for this requirement. All newborns should be roomed-in with their parents.

With the help of google, I am pertaining to Republic Act 7600, “The Rooming-In and Breast-feeding Act of 1992”. As section 6 indicates, infants delivered by caesarian section shall be roomed-in and breast-fed within three (3) to four (4) hours after birth.

I plead to my doctor but the nurses and admin refused my request. They said my son can be exposed to germs in the hospital. Since our parents and my husband thought they have a point, I just did not say anything in protest.  Making the story short, my son stayed at the nursery for five days. I was brought to the nursery by my husband via wheelchair on our third morning at the hospital. Not minding how painful my wound was, I stood up without support, entered the nursery alone since only mothers were allowed. There was my big baby boy, I carried him in my arms for the first-time and everything stopped. Insert all the extremely mushy words here

I started breastfeeding on our first point of contact inside the nursery. HE REFUSED TO LATCH, but I insisted. HE CRIED AND REFUSED AT THE SECOND TIME, but I insisted. HE STILL REFUSED, CRIED LOUDER AT THE SUBSEQUENT TIMES WE TRIED, but I insisted. My husband brought me to the nursery every three hours for the rest of our confinement. I actually thought I can’t make breastfeeding possible. My son was already used in formula milk, and bottle feeding. But mothers just want the best for their child, and so, I said to myself that I will try harder. When we were discharged out of the hospital, I gradually decreased my baby’s intake of formula milk. Perseverance and Commitment were the key. Finally, at our third day at home, formula milk was ignored.

The nights became longer and I became a vampire. Kidding. I can hardly recall how much sleep I got every night during the first month. Maybe there was none. Haha

There is one feeling I can vividly remember that time, the heavenly feeling after waking up from a three-hour nap time. Felt like it was the longest sleep I had in my entire life. Three hours only and it already felt like I won the lottery.

Patience is a virtue. I can still recall how painful every time my baby was feeding. Every single time. But as the day goes by, I became used to it. After three rough weeks, I made it. We made it. Breastfeeding was just a piece of cake. I loved my choice. We saved a lot of money while giving the best nutrition my baby can get in this world.

During my baby’s second month, there was another breastfeeding obstacle I faced. I NEEDED TO GO BACK TO WORK.We brought him to Singapore due to my goal to breastfeed him as long as I could. I reported back to work the next day. There was a big problem. There is no lactation room in our office. For the first two days I was forced to pump at the toilet. Imagine. At the toilet. Is that sanitary? Definitely not. I just pumped for the sake of releasing milk from my engorged system. But I have to solve the issue. I have to find a place. Fortunately in a mall nearby, there are lactation rooms, so I utilized it during my lunch break. Yes, lunch break is the only time I can make there on time. Since breastfeeding equates to hunger, I just eat at the fastest way possible so I can adhere to my work schedule. This situation left me with no another choice but to wake up in the wee hours of the night to collect stash for the next day.

My baby latched (unlimited) during the night which made it hard for me to produce more and collect milk for my daily stash. Every morning, I get up around 5:00 AM, I pumped milk, get dressed and go to work. Upon reaching home, I pumped milk as well. The cycle goes on, everyday. Hardwork.

Due to immigration policies, my son needed to go home. We were separated for three weeks after his fourth month and I did not have enough stash to sustain his increasing needs. I felt guilty. Super guilty. We were left with no choice but to switch to formula.

And now, to compensate for the nutrients he missed out from breastfeeding, we are introducing him to TAMANG KAIN. He eats green! He loved every fruit and vegetable we introduce him to. Lucky I have my Nanay and Titas who are helping me to feed baby Eli.

Here are some of his favorites (blended):

  • Sweet Potato with Malunggay
  • Potato sometimes with Petchay
  • Squash mostly with Malunggay
  • Sayote mostly with Malunggay
  • Apple, Melon, Mango
  • Orange Juice (his number one favorite drink, at least one orange a day)
  • Rice, Fish, and Meat (small amounts only)

 

Nonetheless, I am still a proud Mommy. Four months may be a short period, less than the recommended, but I am confident to say that I tried my very best. They say as long as you are trying hard to be the best mother, you’re already doing a great job. 🙂 

 

 

 

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