As I entered into my new world of motherhood with the birth of my daughter I felt as if I had been thrown into the deep end, was overwhelmed and bombard with newness and new realities. In the first early days of my new journey I in no uncertain terms rapidly and bluntly become aware of my acute degree of being virginal in motherhood. Also I was aware of being in great need of an instructional manual to give me much needed guidance and wisdom that seemed to be nowhere to be found. During this first part of my journey there were days filled with immense and immeasurable joy, excitement, happiness but also nervousness, stress, anxiety, confusion and extreme exhaustion. Before continuing let me just say to all my fellow mothers you will find that there is no judgment here this is a place of freedom of thought, expression and in feeling free to take a sip, breathe, and going to be able to embrace your own journey as a mother. The first area or issue of being a mommy and in motherhood I remember experiencing and feeling totally lost in was one of the most basic but yet also most debated concerns as mothers. The issue of concern for me was how to and whether or not to breastfeed. I had a most interesting experience regarding this issue as I started my journey.
Amidst the swirling whirling moments filled with varying emotions of
joy, excitement and happiness I was becoming increasingly nervous, stressed, anxious, confusion, and more and more exhausted. I had been in the hospital since 6pm on Monday prior to giving birth on Wednesday at 3:19pm. I was induced by 2 or 3 different mediations some administrated more than once to only go through and have experience contraction with no progress for about 40 to 42 hours. The result of this process although not planned I had a c-section. Following my c-section was unable to move my limbs for 6 – 8 hours after my surgery (due to where the medicine went after being injected), fearful to hold my baby girl and feeling guilty for not trying to until I could move and therefore not able to try to breastfeed. Wondering how would I fix what potential damage have been caused or ability to bond as mother and child. Once able to move and hold my beautiful precious baby girl I was dealing with a baby who was uncomfortable not eating well and having hard time trying to nurse, jaundice and losing birth weight. I had concerns over my ability to be able to nurse or have enough to keep up with potential supply and demand. This was concerning because when I was 16 I had lump in right breast that was removed at age 20 but due to the location of the lump and scar tissue from the surgery it could potentially block the mammary glands thus there were concern as to my ability to nurse. The swirling of all this and being virginal not knowing anything at this point made me feel anxious, nervous, stress, confused and a little lost or helpless.
In my trying to learn, adjust, acclimate to motherhood and my new reality I was struggling and muddling through all this only to have the breastfeeding nazis come in. The big push and agenda is for mothers to breastfeed. We are as mother when first becoming mothers are acutely virginal. I wanted to attempt to breast feed as a matter a fact all through my pregnancy that is all I said is that I promised to try and that was all. So as a doctor you have a willing virginal patient who is nervous, scared, anxious and stressed. I mean I was so virginal that I was freaking out because I thought I had a fever and when having a c-section you are told to watch for that. But what they don’t think to tell you as a virginal mommy when your milk comes in it can cause you to have a fever. One would think that might be something important to tell a new mother. Also I’m being told you need to breastfeed its best for your baby and you. They were telling me you need to get your baby to eat and she is loosing weight. On the other hand here’s the kicker in trying to breastfeed so my baby girl could eat and gain weight I asked for help and guidance as to how to nurse. I was made to feel I was stupid and bad, that I should know how to do this already, I’m a mommy it comes natural and that I was an inconvenience or bother for having to ask the breastfeeding Nazis for help, guidance or assistance. Yet they wanted me to breastfeed and apparently automatically know how my with no prior knowledge and experience without any assistance or guidance. In my confusion, stress, anxiety and mothering virginity I thought since my baby girl was struggling and losing weight that it was best to get food in her anyway I could so then lets try formula to see if that would be easier, be better and just to get something in her. I was informed to by the breastfeeding nazi I was wrong, if I do that she will never to take to nursing and to take that bottle out her mouth NOW! As a matter of fact we had to sneak formula into the hospital room. Let me get this straight I am struggling to nurse, I need to feed my child, my daughter is losing weight and not wanting to nurse and I can’t use formula to bottle feed. I’m confused did I hear you right even though my daughter needs to eat, I can’t nursed I can’t bottle feed so exactly what the hell I’m supposed to do please tell me for I sure hell like to know exactly what to do according to the breastfeeding nazi.
In the following days after my experience with the breastfeeding nazi I continued to journey on as new mommy. We were happy to be discharged and able to take home our beautiful baby girl six days after entering the hospital and three days after her birth. In the swirling, whirling newness of motherhood I learned that along the way you figure things out and that it’s your own individual personal journey and one else’s. I learned how to work things out and come to my own conclusions, solutions and answers even amidst the struggling and swirling. I realized I had to find my own way and path as a new mommy for me and my baby girl. I had to do a mixture of breast and bottle feeding and was able to breast feed for 3 to 4 weeks. As I look back though I know that I did my very best for my daughter and have no doubts about the solution that rose form this time of much confusion, anxiety and stress amidst my profound and immense joy, excitement and happiness in being a new mommy and starting on my own journey of motherhood. May you always remember to find your own way and path, do you best and take a sip, breathe and go forward on your journey. If we all as mother strive to do that we will be the mothers we need to be for our babies, family and for ourselves.