Wednesday, February 08, 2012

A very special breastfeeding relationship

Here's the story behind the picture of the woman nursing her baby in front of the ISU Memorial Fountain:

She emailed me a year and a half ago in response to my existential blogging crisis. She shared the stories of her births. She also wrote about her breastfeeding relationship with her third child. She gave me permission to share her breastfeeding journey here.


I wanted to tell you how your blog is currently giving me the support I need to continue to breastfeed my son that is now 15 months old [Note: her son is now close to 3 years old.] I breastfed both of my daughters, and wanted to nurse to a year but got tired of it and stopped at 10 months and then 11 months.

I had a really really hard time with my second daughter. I have inverted nipples and got a bad latch the very first time she nursed in the hospital, and she nursed for a very long time. I didn't even realize I had a bad latch until I pulled her off 30 minutes later. She had completely shredded my nipple. I used breast shields, but I was still in excruciating pain 2 months later whenever she latched on, and I would just shake my leg furiously to try to deal with the pain of nursing. I started resented her whenever she needed to nurse. We had very little money, but I really wanted to continue to feed her with breastmilk but was hating breastfeeding. Finally my sister talked me into buying a breastpump, and I exclusively pumped for 2 months and fed my daughter with bottles of breastmilk, so that my nipples could heal. Once my nipples had healed I began breastfeeding her again.

Because of this experience I was very nervous when I was pregnant with my son (my third child), because I really didn't want to have to pump all the time, and I didn't want my nipples to get torn up. Your blog has been a wonderful resource once again, and I have seen a community that strongly supports breastfeeding. I went to different websites that you recommended and watched videos online to make sure I would get a proper latch. Days before my son was born (when I was 11 days past my due date) my husband gave me a blessing (yes, I am LDS too). In the blessing I was told that me and my son would have a very special breastfeeding relationship.

When he was born we worked okay together. He was a very picky nurser and I had to use both hands and help express milk while he was latched on or he wouldn't drink. I felt at the time that I wasn't seeing this really special breastfeeding relationship.

Without your blog and your example, I would have never considered breastfeeding past a year. I really had no plans of breastfeeding past a year. Even at 10 months I was counting down, only 2 months to go, and I was excited about it. Then on his birthday he woke up, and I thought, should I nurse him? I prayed and felt no reason to stop. What has happened in the three months since his birthday is a complete fulfillment of that blessing I received. I have gone from breastfeeding because it is the right thing to do, to absolutely loving it. I truly have a very special breastfeeding relationship with my son now. I LOVE breastfeeding him, and that is something I never imagined would be me.

These past three months have changed me. I am someone that stays quiet on my opinions and try to let people have the space to form their own opinions, but I have found myself testifying to people the importance of breastfeeding and how special it is.

About a week after my son's birthday, a coworker of my husband mentioned that she really wanted to breastfeed her son. She was 4 months pregnant with, but because of medications that she is on (they are absolutely necessary for her to be on), she wouldn't be able to breastfeed her son, but she really wanted to breastfeed him. I have been working for 2 months to get my supply up so that I could be giving extra milk for her son that is due in a few months. I have only had on average 6 extra ounces a day, but it is something that she will be able to give to him. Then 3 weeks ago, she found out that she has gestational diabetes. The doctor said that it would make a huge difference to her son when he is born if he is given breastmilk. I felt so grateful that I can give them some, even if it isn't a lot, and hopefully it will help.

I think your blog is wonderful; it is one of my favorite to read. I love hearing what you are doing with your family and knowing that you breastfed Dio on the bus, and I feel strongly about breastfeeding in public. Because of your blog, I am feeling braver and braver about breastfeeding in public. For the first time ever, I breastfed my son in Relief Society 2 weeks ago instead of going to the nursing lounge. I know that I had the confidence to do that because of the example that you are through your blog, because other women in my ward do not breastfeed anywhere at church except in the nursing lounge.

I want you to know that your blog has had a really big impact on how I feel about breastfeeding and birth, and how I expect the medial professionals to treat me and my baby as I am giving birth. Thanks to your example and your blog I felt comfortable nursing in public without a cover.

A dedicated reader for 2 years.


  1. What a beautiful woman to sacrifice to pump milk for another baby. Thank you for sharing her story. I love the photo.

  2. This is beautiful..made me want to cry in a good way. What a beautiful woman. Your blog has inspired me too. You are couragous and write about what you believe in. M

  3. What a wonderful story! She is sucha beautiful person!
    I feel the same way as she does about gratitude for you Rixa.
    When we met I was pregnany with my second child and you talked tome about ome birth and all the things i did not like about my first hospital birth that could be better with a home birth. You even quietlylisten to me cry and rant that me midwife had torefer me to an OB when my son was still breech and you had just had Zari that morning, i didn't even know untill you consoled me and we talked about what I could do. And you bring your newborn baby to the hospital and bulling the Doc about my breech c-section was the best support ever! (She made sure he did things rightand not the cheap easy way) And even though my 3rd birth was in the hospital as a Vbac, you were right there on the phone durring labor and after with the best advice and just what I needed to hear- support!
    I always learn a lot from your blog, and I constantly tell people about it. I think it is one of the best motherhood and pregnancy tools out there for everyone!
    Thank you for all your work and dedication! It has helped me, and the knowledge will live on to help me support my daughters when they have their own babies.


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