While I was in ICU with Nia the Lactation Consultant gave me these hearts. They were very special for me and helped us to stay “connected” when we were apart.
One heart stayed with Nia in her crib and the other two hearts lived inside my bra. Each time we saw each other we would swap hearts.
Smell is so important for a newborn baby and for establishing breastfeeding and bonding. These hearts carried my smell to Nia so that she always thought I was around or could smell me even though she was feeding through a tube and not on my boobs.
Her heart had a beautiful newborn baby smell and it helped me express when I was back up in my hospital room attached to a big yellow machine. It reminded me that the pain and frustration I was experiencing with hand expressing and pumping was all for a reason. It helped me to feel more like a mother and less like a useless cow.
Breastfeeding is no easy thing. It is a skill that you need to learn.
I breast fed my 1st baby for 20 months (in fact i was still feeding him the morning I went into labour).
So I would say that I have some good experience with feeding.
But feeding Nia this week was a whole different ball game and still extremely difficult for me even though I knew what to do.
I had to start again from scratch and build supply and establish feeding. It takes time, energy, persistence and it’s painful and emotional. It’s not easy but it does get easier with time.