(Photo: Sweet Little Peanut)
The moment I found out I was expecting, I was over the moon! My husband and I have been trying to conceive for a little over 2.5 years. I had everything planned in my head; I was going to deliver him naturally without any pain medication, most likely in water, I was going to breastfeeding and the list goes on. As you know, we can plan all we want but the universe has its own plans for us. Needless to say, I wasn't able to put any of my ideas into action because my little miracle baby decided that he wanted to come out at 26 weeks. My water broke during the middle of the night and I had an emergency c-section the next morning.
That was one of the most scariest times in my life. I never knew someone who had a micro-preemie and I couldn't wrap my head around how my little 1lb 8oz baby was going to survive. I'm still amazed of how much medical technology has evolved. My little soldier stood in the NICU for exactly 4 months and he is a happy and healthy 7 year old!
If you had a micro-preemie or a preemie, you know that theres nothing that you can physically do for them for the first few days or weeks. I felt helpless, I was suppose to be his protector and carry him in my womb for at least another 2.5 months. A few hours after my c-section, the nurse brought me an electric breast pump. I knew in that moment that this was going to be my most important "job" while my son was in the NICU. And so, this was the beginning of my exclusive pumping journey. There are so many reasons why we do the things we do for our children, here are my top three reasons why I pumped for my son.
My top 3 reasons that I exclusively pumped for my micro-preemie:
1. Liquid Gold - Colostrum is also known has "liquid gold". Our bodies start to produce it about 3-4 months into pregnancy. It is very low in volume but its super jammed packed with antibodies and immunoglobulins. It helps protect the babies from bacteria and viruses. No one could have prepared me for the first time I pumped, it was so painful BUT so worth it. I know that he had to get the colostrum.
2. Bonding - You wouldn't think of pumping for your baby as a bonding experience but thats exactly how I felt. This was "our thing". This was the only thing I could do for him for the first few weeks of his life. He wasn't able to actually start consuming the milk until about 2-3 weeks in the NICU but I was so determined to keep up with my pumping schedule and have a stock of breastmilk build up.
3. Go with the flow - I may not have been able to go full term, naturally deliver my baby or actually breastfeed but I was determined to make it work. I'm the kind of person that looks for solutions in any situation. I was determined to do anything that I could do to help my little preemie get strong and survive. Pumping breastmilk for him was my solution.
This motherhood journey its amazing, theres a lot of up and downs, a lot of second guessing yourself but you will slowly realize what it right for you. Pumping breastmilk was the path that I choose. It was not easy to pump every 2 hours but I made it work. My pumping bag and I were stuck at the hip (haha). It went everywhere with me, I still clearly remember having to pump in the car, always making sure that have the pumping supplies were clean, have storage bags, treating my expressed milk like it was gold and we can't forget the nipple cream!
Shelly from Jasemet