Saturday, May 24, 2014

Mandy; Wet Nurse on Call

I used to babysit my Godson from time to time. His mother was a breast milk hoarder who never sent him to me with enough food to last the visit. Now, this is not to put her down, because who among us breastfeeding mothers is NOT a milk hoarder terrified of using too much and being left without? Anyhow, I recall one specific afternoon where we had not enough milk and a really, REALLY pissed off little boy. I was lactating, and really thought I should just nurse him. But I couldn't do it. Not without asking her first. And, honestly, it just felt weird.

Now, fast forward two and a half years later and I am a regular wet nurse on call for Baby E.

I've been given the amazing opportunity to nurse E a bit over the past two weeks. This has been such a gift to me. Before I talk a bit about what it is like to nurse a surrogate child, I first want to thank M&T for allowing me to do this, for trusting me to do this and for letting me experience nursing one more blessed time.

From the very bottom of my heart, thank you.

As the big day approached though we decided to go ahead and attempt latch nursing in the hospital. My world moved. I was so happy to have the opportunity! When the big moment came though, my first thought was, "What am I getting myself into?" Nursing has always been intensely emotional and a deep bonding experience for me.  I knew I didn't want to create that sort of bond, only to have to break it in the coming weeks. I had a bit of trepidation about if I was emotionally up to opening the door to that potential bond. But, perhaps selfishly, I couldn't turn down the opportunity to try. It was best for both baby and tummy mummy from a health perspective... and my heart fluttered at the idea to nurse one more time.

Then Ellie latched on. I swelled with pride at her natural ability. In that moment I knew that I'd be able to nurse without forming that bond. Over the next two weeks I would pump like mad and nurse whenever it was convenient for all parties involved.(PS- Thank you to the other latch surrogates who I consulted about this before doing this. You told me a bond wouldn't form, and I just had to trust you. You were right. Thank you for your wisdom.)

Through the experience I never felt a growing attachment through the nursing.  What I felt instead was pride in her ability to eat, and my ability to produce. And I got some wonderful cuddles in the process. Win-Win.

As the end of this experience draws near, I feel as though the nursing has actually helped me to more comfortably distance myself from Ellie, as opposed to grow nearer to her. It has given me the opportunity to still matter to her and still help give her the best shot at life that I can. I didn't have to quit mattering cold turkey.
Per Day...
So when she leaves what comes next? I'll be producing roughly 100 oz a day by that point!  I mean, that's just shy of a gallon a day! My boobs hurt at just the thought of weaning off of that insane amount.I have considered milk donation and even milk bank sales. Who couldn't use the extra cash and help a baby? But ultimately, I think I've decided to wean slowly and put the milk into a cup for my girls- if they'll have it. It'll be good for them, and I won't be a slave to the "milk machine" through our summer travels.

1 comment:

  1. great for you! I am so glad they asked for breastmilk and allowed direct nursing.