Skip to main content

6/4 Mila's Milk

June 4, 2018 | Day 4

I've been pumping for a few days now, and it has its ups and downs.

It's comforting to see life-giving milk come out of me. It's comforting to see my body go through the full cycle from pregnancy through delivery to breastfeeding. I've nursed six kids already, so my body knows that this is how things are supposed to happen. Breastfeeding/pumping helps the uterus to contract after giving birth. That's healing. For me, this is something that feels right amidst everything else that feels so wrong right now. Hopefully Mila's milk can be donated somewhere and give life to a baby in need.

Pumping gives me phantom baby feelings, in a good way. I like imagining what Mila would be drinking. It makes me feel more like her mommy. It's Mila's milk, I tell the kids. When it's almost time to pump again, I feel like "the baby is about to wake up." In between pumping, I feel like "the baby is sleeping" & I can relax a bit. I like feeling like I just had a baby. Coco even says the pump sounds like Mila's breathing. That makes me smile. I'm not the only one imagining that Mila is here with us.

Pumping forces me to stick to a routine schedule. It forces me to act like I just had a baby. We went to Soak City today, as promised for Auri's birthday, but we only stayed for a couple of hours and then went back home, because Mommy needed to pump. I just gave birth a few days ago. I should be sitting, resting, and nursing a baby around the clock, not getting up and moving on. The pumping schedule forces me to sit down and rest and think about things throughout the day. It prevents me from being too active.

Since I'm not actually feeding a baby round the clock, I don't have to wake up in the middle of the night to pump. I can instead sleep and get plenty of rest. With all my phantom baby feelings, I put pressure on myself to stick strictly to a pumping schedule, but really, there is no actual baby who needs me. Mila is not here with us to cry and fuss if I don't feed her in time. She doesn't need me anymore, but my husband and six other kids do need me. So I have the freedom to loosen up and go off schedule if something comes up.

In all honesty, I like that I smell like breast milk, even though it's kind of stinky. But that's what a mom who just had a baby is supposed to smell like.

There's also a lot of disappointment that has come with pumping. I'm comparing pumping this time around to pumping when Roman was in the NICU 11 years ago. I was producing 32 oz a day, and since he was a preemie I pumped super high-fat milk, which enabled me to bounce back and lose my baby weight much more quickly. I expected that since Mila was also a preemie, that the pumping would have the same effect it did 11 years ago. But this is 11 years later. I am 11 years older. And pumping in honor of a dead baby is just not the same as pumping for your healthy, albeit tiny, baby 2 miles away in the NICU. I expected my milk to come in by day 4, and in abundance, just like it did with Roman. It didn't, though. Try as I may, I cannot trick myself into thinking that my baby is still alive. So here I am spending hours of my day pumping, with sore breasts, trying so hard to go through all the motions of having just had a baby, and really not seeing the fruit of it.

My body stored up a lot of extra fat during pregnancy with the expectation of one day feeding that growing baby, and now, post partum, it has no baby to go to. All of that fat is still hanging out on me. I catch a glimpse of my reflection, and I break down into tears. I despise my body and the way I look in the mirror. This is the heaviest I have ever been in life. I'm hoping that by pumping, I can get rid of some of that stored fat, but I have such a long road ahead.

The plan is to pump for 3 months. I will focus on healing during that time. Physical healing. Emotional healing. Processing all that just took place. Making sure I don't hide things in my heart and allow bitterness and resentment to take root. It means I won't be able to have a fun, normal summer, but this is not a fun, normal time in life, and I want to acknowledge that and let it linger for a bit and allow the Lord to work through me whatever it is He is wanting to work through me in all of this. I hope to be a changed person, a more sanctified person, a more compassionate person. I don't want to walk through something like this and just be the same old Delia.

In the meantime, I know I need to change my expectations and give myself grace. 









Comments

Popular posts from this blog

5/31 Baby Mila is Born

. May 31, 2018 | 31 weeks Our baby Mila was born today. 3 lb 1 oz and 14 3/4 inches of pure bliss. She stayed with us just long enough to meet her brothers and sisters, and then she breathed her last and went home to our Lord. We had been looking forward to May 31 for weeks. I was impatient about it, even. It was the day that our second opinion was scheduled. I was eager to find out more information about our baby. Instead, I got to meet her face to face. The Day Before Wednesday afternoon, just after 3 pm, I noticed that I had some sort of a discharge come out of me, out of the birth canal side. It was only a little bit. When I wiped, it kind of looked like diarrhea (an olive brown color), and I thought I must have leaked something when I passed gas. Super embarrassing. But anyway, when I wiped my other end, there was no sign of diarrhea whatsoever. So I googled it and concluded that it must be the beginning of some sort of infection, and I resolved not to eat any more chocol

Daddy's Reflections

As a husband I can’t directly relate to my wife through pregnancy and motherhood. Those things are uniquely feminine, and I am of no help to guess what Delia is feeling. I can learn from what she expresses, and I am really glad that she has been open to me and that she has now written these posts. It gives me a glimpse into the mind of the strong, Christian woman that I married going through the trial of her life. I always need to be the leader in our marriage, but I’ve had to walk that delicate balance between being a dictator and being aimless. The decision to choose hospice after birth was the direction I saw Mila’s health going, but I let Delia get as many opinions and counsel as she desired. I would have supported intervention if she insisted, because I love her and she is the mommy. Whatever she wanted for that day she would get, such as how she wanted to capture the day on video, or what personal items she wanted to have nearby. I trust her judgment, and so I trust being patie

7/26 Letting Go

July 26, 2018 | Week 8 It's funny how feelings can change in just a few days. Today, I'm feeling like I took a step backwards in the grieving process. As my final days of pumping approach, I find myself holding on and afraid of letting go. Seeing Mila's milk every day, writing her name on each bag every single day throughout the day has been so sweet & so special. I'll never get to fill out a form for Mila & write her name down on it. This is it. This is all I've had. These milk bags have been my only opportunity. I love writing her name down. I love that I think about her multiple times throughout the day. I don't want to stop thinking about her. I don't want "out of sight, out of mind", but I know that's how it's going to be. And I know that that's ok & probably even necessary. I'm feeling that all-too-familiar tension between life & death all over again. I want to choose joy and rejoice in life, but when I place