Excuse me, is my baby supposed to be blue?

10 May

I was the poster child for Attachment Parenting before I had my children. When I was pregnant with my oldest daughter I read the famous book The Breastfeeding Book by Dr. William Sears from cover to cover, over and over. Everything he said made perfect sense to me. His theories felt like home and I was going to do exactly what the book told me to do with my sparkly pink baby girl when she popped out. What I didn’t anticipate was that, as I sat alone to nurse my angel for the very first time, she would stop breathing and turn the color of a freezer pack. This was supposed to be my big entrance into the land of warm breast milk and love. How could this be happening?! I looked up at the nurse that had walked into the room and casually said, “I think my baby is blue.”

The next day was a blur of the NICU at Cedars Sinai and nurses coming into my room asking where the baby was, and me bursting into tears. She was poked and prodded and I stayed up all night calling the nurses every hour asking if she was still alive. It turned out that HB had a common issue that newborns sometimes experience where it takes a little while for them to get the hang of eating and breathing simultaneously. Soon after, she figured it out and was returned to me. Unfortunately, the damage had been done. She was healthy and ready to breastfeed, I however was not. All I knew was that the last time I tried to take things into my own hands, she stopped breathing and I was left alone in a room while my baby got rushed away with my husband in tow. I took her home and tried to continue with my perfect plan. I wrapped her up in my Maya, Moby and New Native slings even though she wailed endlessly. I nursed her for hours on end even though she was not gaining weight and I was slipping deeper into the hands of sleep deprivation. I did not want to let go of my dream of being the mother that Dr. Sears and La Leche League wanted me to be.

It wasn’t until HB’s 6 month check-up, when her Pediatrician finally had the balls to say to me “Leslie, you’re a mess. I think you have Postpartum depression and HB is not getting enough food. It’s time to stop breast feeding,” that I realized what was happening. HB and I were both beyond miserable with the way things were going. She had acid reflux and my elimination diet wasn’t working and she spent most days vomiting up my breast milk. I had PPD and was hating almost every single second of motherhood. I needed to hear it from my Pediatrician that it was okay to let go of the Mother I thought I would be and become the Mother that I am.

It took time for me to fully realize and recover from what had happened and to have the guts to have more children. One thing I was sure of was that this time I was going to do what felt right to me. Even though something makes perfect sense in a book, it may not be right for us if my children and I are not happy. Did I end up breastfeeding the twins? That’s another blog post entirely…

Every Mother has to find what is right for her and her children. When I see a Mother breastfeeding her child while wearing the baby in a sling, I always smile because I get it and I believe in it, it just didn’t work for me. If that Mom wanted to breastfeed her 4 year old while standing on her head and wearing high heels, that works for me too, as long as they are healthy and happy.

Today’s post is inspired by my friend and fellow blogger Jamie Lynne who is featured on the cover of this week’s TIME magazine!

Go Jamie!

xoxo

Did you breastfeed your kids? Do you judge me for quitting after 6 months? Comment and let me know!

One Response to “Excuse me, is my baby supposed to be blue?”

  1. J LO May 11, 2012 at 5:12 am #

    Kudos to you for doing it for 6 months! You’re a good mommy!

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