Breastfeeding is such a sensitive topic. Nothing prepares you for being a new mom and all of the ups and downs that comes with it. I’ve always wanted to be a mom, I also always wanted to adopt… it’s on “my list” of things to do. Breastfeeding didn’t come easy with Charlotte – we spent many nights up troubleshooting with nipple guards, feeding tubes and pumping to try and keep up the milk supply. On top of that she had the cows milk protein allergy so there were some long nights and even though I wanted to give up we continued and by 6 weeks she was able to feed all by herself with the help of a bottle of formula here and there to help top up as my milk supply just couldn’t keep up to her growing needs. I was back to work at 7 weeks with Charlotte so we continued to breastfeed until 4.5months and then wedding season came around and it became more practical to switch her over to formula as my milk supply just couldn’t keep up.
I got pregnant with Sofie when Charlotte was 6months old! Yup… you heard it. We were “open” to the idea of getting pregnant right away as I knew that my HSIL (High grade squamous cells) cells were a problem and Dr. Shapiro had mentioned that we might need to do some sort of surgery at some point to the cervix and it might impact our ability to get pregnant or to carry a pregnancy to term. We found the first abnormal pap when I was pregnant with Charlotte so we were very aware of what was going on but felt confident that we were keeping a close eye on what was going on through regular colposcopy checks& biopsies throughout both pregnancies.
Both pregnancies I felt amazing. I loved being pregnant… seriously I did. I wanted to nap like a lion in first trimester for both of them and I had gestational diabetes for both which was much harder to manage with Sofie, but overall I felt really beautiful and loved the experience.
Sofie was born on May 1st 2015 in the early morning after a long night of waiting for her. She came out just as quiet as Charlotte… too polite to say a peep. She also came out with red hair! We couldn’t believe it… we really had hoped to have a redhead or strawberry blonde at least – we figured with our Irish ancestors we had a little bit of a chance so it was exciting. I got a lot of skin to skin time with Sofie in the beginning and she began breastfeeding right away – I couldn’t believe it. Wow – could this be easy this time around? I really wanted to breastfed but I knew I wasn’t willing to commit the time and energy I did with Charlotte – I understood the importance of sleep and I wasn’t willing to give it up with a 16month at home.
Breastfeeding this time was so magical. It came easy and I was exclusively feeding her with the odd time topping her up with a bottle here and there when she seemed extra fussy at night time. I know a lot of moms say muscle through it but I promised myself that I wouldn’t be a superhero and that’s ok. We have 2 babies to take care of and at the end of the day, everyone sleeping is way more important to have a clear mind. Anyone who is sleep deprived gets a little crazy, mix a new mom into that equation and things get messy.
I got diagnosed with Cervical Cancer on July 17th 2015, so Sofie was 2.5months old. Most moms with a 2.5month old are sleep deprived and leave their car keys in the freezer. I was feeling good, Sofie was sleeping through the night already and she was the most calm baby I knew. Charlotte was the same way – we called them Buddha Babies. Sometimes when new moms ask me how I was doing and how the “sleep” was going I would often lie and say “it was ok” and “some nights are tough”, but the reality was – things were amazing and no nights were ever tough. We have been blessed with 2 beautiful healthy girls that are happy, eat well and sleep peacefully… I am truly grateful. I know that this is not the case for everyone and that parents really struggle with the first years but sometimes you can’t have it all.
August 25th, 2015 – Last night of breastfeeding with Sofie.
Overwhelmed with the diagnosis I quickly realized that my easy loving breastfeeding Sofie days were going to come to a quick halt. Not only was I not going to breastfeed anymore because of all the chemo/radiation – I would be going through what’s called “treatment-induced or medical menopause”. As someone who is very sensitive and very in tune with my body it’s very emotional to really think about what I’m about to go through. I know I am strong. I know I can do this. I guess the thing is… I just don’t want to. I don’t want to put my body through chemo/radiation and then shock it with a treatment induced menopause state – it makes me sad. It also makes me sad that I’m going to be sick and not only will I not be able to breastfeed there will be times in the near future that I can’t hold my babies because I’m not feeling well enough to do so. I’ve always been a bit stubborn and a firm believer in standing by the things you like to do and just doing them, but, this time things were different and I want what ever is going to cure me and keep me here on this planet until I’m old and grey.