"Exceptional Care for Families with Newborns"

Learning to Breastfeed~My Story

July 11th 1992

I gave birth to 7lb 3oz Erica early that morning. My due date was July 4th and when it came and went I was pissed! I’m not sure why they told me I was… DUE that day, since in my chart it said  ESTIMATED due date . I still can’t figure out why they skipped the word estimated.

Seems like an important one to me….

Ok, my water broke – no contractions – went to the hospital – started pitocin – laid strapped in bed on the monitor for a bunch of hours – begged for an epidural – doctor cut the opening of my vagina with a scissor and there she was…. Our daughter, Erica Bonnie… and there she went, our daughter, straight to the nursery.

I was bonded to Erica before she even came, I so desperately wanted a child and our separation didn’t interfere much with that.

It amazes me that I didn’t put up a fight when they took her away.

That was the rule and for some strange reason that I will never understand, I agreed to follow the rules. Of all the times to start following the rules, right?

I guess they bottle fed her in the nursery because they didn’t bring me to the nursery to feed her until the next morning after I showered. They brought her into my room for visits prior to that but not for feedings. I remember walking very slowly and carefully (remember, they cut my vagina with a scissor…) to the nursery. My mother was with me and when I walked in they sat me in a large plastic chair with arms on it right next to the door.

I thought I was waiting to go into a private area but instead, right there under the flourescent lights, in front of the whole world, a woman in scrubs holding my baby in one arm, used her other hand to rip my gown down, expose my massive breast, squeeze it into a weird position and cram it into my babies mouth.

Is she eating?

Can she breathe?

Are we bonding?

This is weird.

I don’t like it.

I’m embarassed.

I’m crying! No, I mean right now! While I’m writing this! I’m crying. It was fucking mortifying! I guess I haven’t processed this fully yet. It’s only been 20 years…

Women need nurturing as they become the nurturer.

I needed a postpartum doula. I needed a lactation consultant, even a baby nurse would have been better than what I had. I eventually figured it out but the gentle guidance of some birth professionals would have gone a long way for me.

Authored by: The Rock n’ Roll Doula