All I did was nurse you – the hazy ramblings of a sick breastfeeding mama

I love breastfeeding you. Breastfeeding was something I had planned to do, even before those two pink lines of hope appeared on the test. I took a breastfeeding class, researched all the benefits, and followed every breastfeeding Instagram account I could find. I was not going to fail.

I had a straightforward pregnancy, bar some pelvic girdle pain, I felt amazing. I craved sparkling water, and you hiccuped religiously. For 42 weeks and 1 day, my body kept you safe. Then, my body failed you, failed me.

Kiana after giving birth to her baby girl

I was induced. Everything about your birth was wrong. The induction, your heart rate falling with every excruciating contraction, the overwhelming medication, the paralysing epidural, the forceps, the episiotomy, your shoulder dystocia. 36 hours of unplanned trauma. The moment your warm body hit my chest was a moment of relief, rather than excitement. My body couldn’t birth you without assistance, I am truly sorry.

The moment your warm body hit my chest was a moment of relief, rather than excitement.

Baby sleeping against her sick breastfeeding mama

Breastfeeding was, however, something which failed neither of us. My body desperately repenting for failing us, gifting you with unlimited drops of golden milk. Nourishing your body, and helping to heal the guilt which consumes my soul.

I love breastfeeding you. But today I am sick.

I love breastfeeding you. But, today I am poorly.

I’m poorly. My nose is stuffy, I have a cough that could put an alsatian’s bark to shame, and I need to sleep and relinquish myself of all parental responsibility. But, you’re more poorly. And I need to nurse you. It’s 3 a.m., and as I wallow in self-pity, Kleenex and helplessness, holding your gaze of desperation, you consume the minimal energy I have left.

sick breastfeeding mama with baby

I’m poorly. I want to put you down. I need to put you down. But, you’re more poorly. And all I can do is nurse you.

I say, self-effacingly, ‘All I can do is nurse you’ as if it’s an insignificant gesture. But it isn’t insignificant. For nine months, my boobies have fuelled you with nutrients allowing you to grow, cut teeth, clap, crawl, and babble. My goodness, how much you babble! They have comforted you through vaccines, tumbles, and sleepless nights provoked by excruciating trapped wind. So impressive! Yet, when I think about it, today was more impressive.

breastfed baby asleep at the breast

Today, my boobies medicated you with a nectar of analgesic hormones, soothing your discomfort. Today, my boobies boosted your immune system with live antibodies, armouring your white blood cells to fight this snot-inducing virus.

So, whilst today all I did was nurse you, I know that liquid gold was everything you needed and more. 278. That’s the number of days I have been nourishing you. And of those 278 days, today felt the most significant.

278. That’s the number of days I have been nourishing you.

I love breastfeeding you.

Kiana is a sick breastfeeding mama feeding her baby

Read next: Tips for when your breastfed baby has a cold

Danielle Facey from The Breastfeeding Mentor shares her top tips for what to do when your breastfed baby is poorly. Read it here.

tips for when your breastfed baby is sick
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