Hand wash only, love unconditionally, breastfeed as required


I bought Wriggles this t-shirt (from lactivist) while I was pregnant, it was one of only a handful of things we bought for her and I loved it, it says everything. At that time she was a normal healthy little baby girl growing strong inside me. Never will I forget the penultimate time my midwife checked her heart beat and we heard her heart booming out, my midwife saying, “good healthy baby you have there” while we both smiled. I was going to scoop my little girl out of the water and straight to my breast where she’d spend most of her first 6 months, as her brother had done before her. But that wasn’t to be.

My little girl’s heart stopped beating, that big strong healthy heartbeat was gone and replaced with a weak 60 beats per second heartbeat. Our little girl survived, she fought the odds and is in our arms night and day, but she doesn’t breastfeed. You see, the amount of time she was without oxygen significantly damaged her little brain, she has grade III HIE and has now been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, many of her reflexes are not present, no rooting, no suck and no swallow.

That t-shirt with three simple instructions on caring for a baby was hidden at the back of our babies wardrobe, seeing it brought me to floods of tears, I thought about giving it as a gift but somehow it reminded me of what should have been, not being able to breastfeed your baby when you desperately want to is the most heartbreaking thing in the World, but today our 6 month old daughter is wearing it and I’m proud to say that she IS breastfed as required.

She can’t feed from me, but her tummy is full of my milk right now, she can’t tell us when she requires it but we always make sure her daily requirements are met to the best of our ability. So when you think of breastfeeding, don’t always assume baby meets boob, my daughter is breastfed, I position her at my breast and feed her breastmilk. There’s a tube and a pump between those lines, but really they don’t matter.

Of course I would give the World for her to latch and feed from me, of course I would, and I shed a crumpled tear when I saw her in it this morning, but things are as they are, and we’re ever grateful for having her in our lives, however long that might be.

Comments are closed.