Tuesday, November 08, 2011
Magical Milk Pic-o-the-Week
On September 8, 2011, Jess Guest gave birth to her sixth child. She was 5 lb 6 oz, and has multiple congenital issues, including a heart defect, "as well as the most adorable curly eye lashes and thick hair and a foul temper when pissed off."
Within 48 hours she was sedated, intubated and flown across to Melbourne on mainland Australia (Jess and her family live in Tasmania, an island to the south). Jess followed the next day, leaving her other five children and husband behind for weeks, possibly months.
"This photo was taken on the 13th, five days after her birth. I had not slept, my legs were swollen to twice their normal size but I hid them so they wouldn't make me go and rest and would let me have skin to skin with my baby. My support network had imploded over the previous couple of days." That morning, Jess had chosen to fire her main support person after a breech of some very important "boundary issues." Thankfully, an amazing friend was called in and took over that role with brilliance.
"My whole body was shaking with exhaustion as I diligently expressed every 2-3 hours over the day and 3-4 hours overnight and was almost resigned to the idea that my daughter would never latch due to her many issues. During this, our first REAL skin to skin since the hours immediately following her birth, Kaylee attempted to latch on. At this moment, I felt as beautiful as the moment after her birth. Due to her issues, we will probably always have a pump and a NG tube (tube into her tummy) as a part of our relationship but this moment was the first glimpse of hope toward some semblance of a 'normal' breastfeeding relationship. Amidst the chaos and jubilation in my mind at that moment was the thought, 'This will make a kick arse photo for Christine's blog!
So here you go Christine, a kick arse Magical Milk pic.
I am still pumping. I am still in a whirlwind of chaos. The magic milk is flowing.
This picture is a symbol of hope."
UPDATE: on the day this picture was posted, Jess commented with this update - "Taking Kaylee home TODAY for the first time ever (she is two months old yesterday). Still pumping although her tube has been placed into her small intestine and even a drop orally makes her vomit stomach acid at the moment. We still do skin to skin a few times a day and my lactation consultants have hope that Kaylee may well surprise us all - even if it takes a few surgeries to do it. She has an unrepaired heart defect so avoiding infection is a big thing for us. It makes the magic milk still magic."
(keep up with this sweet family at The Life and Times of Jess)