This is a hugely personal event in my life, but typifies where I am in my life, living my truth, authenticity and vulnerability. I actually just finished writing an email to a role model mum Meg from from www.themilkmeg.com and there was a reason this email was so important that I had suppressed.
In December 2012 I gave birth to my second child. I spoke with the hospital and explained that I could not breastfeed. As a teenager I had a breast reduction as had my sister and mum. However, for some reason with her operation she could breast feed, and mine not. We are identical twins and were somewhat of a phenomenon at birth as we were born with breasts, so you can imagine the size of them in my teenage years. This was not a cosmetic choice they were large, grew so big, so fast with stretch marks and back pain and I was still a kid myself; so I made the decision with no regrets to reduce them. I knew the risks and having children meant possibly no breastfeeding for me.
Fast forward nearly 20 years, I tried to breastfeed the first with no success. I was okay with it but Swiss society was not. The nurse at the hospital told me to drink sage tea, and would not give me any pills to stop the milk coming. My breasts just got harder and harder like breeze blocks. The kind of bricks that you use on the inner walls of an extension before you lay bricks, it didn't matter how much tea I drunk. I tried the hospital several times but with no luck. I rang my old gynaecologist and he told me to get to the hospital ASAP. I'd moved Kantons (we moved districts before moving birth), so I still had the old contact. I was lucky. I was on the verge of sepsis. I was treated and managed to get back to good health or so I thought.
For the next 3 years I struggled around every period my breasts would be so painful, and a big ball would grow until I relieved it. I was in chronic pain, pain that I never had before and embarrassed that the only relief would be to squeeze stuff out of my breasts. My kids would come and give me a hugs and I would screech with pain. Eventually the hospital operated, and scraped everything out behind my nipples. I went in for what was supposed to be a few hours and ended up being 6, my husband said he was so worried. I remember going in and feeling grateful that God gave me a chance to be a Mum, telling him my family would be there if he needed help, and that I was the luckiest to have him. These are moments as a Mum where words do not do it justice. After the operation I didn't care that my nipples were flat, it was a relief that the pain went away and I was lucky to be healthy, alive and able to run, do yoga and cuddle my kids. I have a pain free body!
Why am I sharing this. Well motherhood is not all highs, it's also lows. Many of us cannot breastfeed, or even have low milk supply. When I found milkmeg I thought I wish I would have had access to that. As a young woman for advice on my future, and as an expat who can contact a lactation expert globally.
I'm blessed because both my kids are super healthy, smart and happy.