THIS IS JASMIN'S NURSING STORY.
Eden, 10 months old, born premature to a dedicated and loving mother who fought to breastfeed against the odds.
Image via Instagram @jazzylishus
We fell pregnant unexpectedly.
Being told we were "infertile" and that we "would require medical interventions" put a massive downer on us as a newly married couple. But our focus was our careers so we thought "if it happens, it happens, and we will deal with it".
Fast forward 2 years and we found out we were pregnant naturally. From the beginning I knew I wanted to breastfeed, not because it is considered the best option for your baby, but for that connection that only you and your new baby can achieve.
We found out our little girl wasn't growing properly, so at 33 weeks I was induced and we delivered our beautiful Eden. She was so tiny (4 pound 2 ounces); she had not developed the suckling reflex in the womb (apparently that happens around 35 weeks), so I had a quick emotional cuddle, and she was rushed off to NICU.
I hand expressed like crazy to bring my milk in. I had midwives wake me at 2am to come and help me, my alarm set every 3 hours to express, even my husband leant a hand when I was so exhausted.
I exclusively pumped for 2 weeks whilst Eden was in hospital, and she was fed via a nasogastric tube. During our second week in hospital, despite nurses and lactation consultants advice, I placed Eden on my nipple and she began to suckle away. This was the most amazing experience. From here, we breastfed 4 times a day, and then she was fed via the tube at night whilst she was in hospital.
5 days later we brought our girl home (20 days post birth). We had to continue expressing to top her up with a bottle as she wasn't putting enough weight on for a month.
I was tied to my pump. I would pump after every feed. Both sides. Enough for the next top up.
We introduced formula at 5 months as the pressure on me to pump was too emotionally draining.
We began feed her formula through the night and breastfeeding through the day, and that worked perfectly for us.
At 8.5 months, with 4 teeth, and 2 bleeding nipples, it was time to wean. She was completely fine. Me on the other hand. The mummy guilt set in. Especially having a premie, it couldn't be stressed to you any more in hospital that 12 months is ideal.