Thursday, August 21, 2008


I decided awhile ago that I would try and breastfeed our daughter for a number of reasons:

First, I really miss nursing. I stopped nursing Hayden by the time he was 10 months old because at the time I "couldn't deal" with his need to consume food 24-7. I know it was the right decision for me at the time but in hindsight I wish I had stuck it out for longer. Now that he is older and self propelled I realize what an incredibly special time that is for a mother and her child.

Second, I think it would be fantastic for bonding.

Third, I think it would help me kick start loosing some weight, which I've been making feeble attempts at for a long time.

Fourth, the only way I know to keep an infant quiet on a long flight is to nurse them. Without the boob, I got nutin.

This was all fine in theory but now it is HERE. It's go time. We're meeting our daughter in 10 days and my milk supply wouldn't feed a naked mole rat. So I talked to the lactation consultant yesterday. Bought herbs ("Goat's Rue" - you should have seen Jeremy's face when I told him I was taking it - he asked me to wait a day until he could look it up and see "what the science says" - nothing, is my guess....) Borrowed a pump from my fabulous and generous friend. And here, in my office, at 7pm on a Thursday evening I just pumped for the first time.

I only got a few drops but it felt really, entirely and shockingly wonderful. Maybe this will work after all! I felt the let down, I remembered how powerful it is to watch and help your body provide sustenance for another being. I felt proud of my few drops.

I realize I am only one part of the equation, and that Zeni also needs to want to nurse. She nursed with her bio-mom for the first few months of her life, so she knows how to do it. Will muscle memory kick in? Will it feel too close, too "attached", for her right away with this crazy white boob stuck in her poor teeny face? Will it scare her and make her uncomfortable? Or will she relax into my arms and suckle away with those little noises and faces that babies only make when they're nursing?

The lactation consultant suggested trying to feed her as she is just waking up, explaining she may be the most "off her guard" and open to it then. She also suggested I get this thing called a lactaid which is basically a tube that comes down and sits on your nipple. The top of the tube is attached to a bag holding milk or formula and the baby latches on and gets the formula while stimulating your breast. Genus.

So I will pump and take my herbs and get the lactaid and go from there. I have no idea if it will work - all I can do is try and make milk. If that works, then worst case scenario we have a freezer full of breast milk for her to drink. If it doesn't then at least I know I tried and maybe one day I can tell her about it and it will help her understand that although she did not grow inside my body she is mine, ours, a part of my body and heart.


Amalia said...

Good luck E!!!!

jen said...

what an awesome goal you've set for yourself...
it will be a wonderful thing that you will do for your new little one.
i used fenugreek while breastfeeding, when my supply dropped a little after going back to supply doubled during use. i wonder if that's an option for you??

Bekah said...

hey there,
just linked to your blog from the big ethio adopt list. just wanted to wish you luck in adoptive breastfeeding. i brought my son home from ethiopia 7 months ago at 7 mos old. he took to nursing pretty quickly but it was a lot of work at first. i'd love to share my story with you and a few tips, if you'd like. you can email me at bekahad at gmail dot com.

Sophie, Inzaburbs said...

She is just beautiful.
While I don't know anything about adoptive breastfeeding, it seems like it would be a great way to promote bonding. Wishing you the best of luck!

Feener said...

wow, amazing you are even trying. good luck