Wednesday, December 8, 2010
December 8, 2010
Where we live outside of Nelson BC is quite dark in the winter. The sun comes over the mountain for only a couple hours. It starts getting darker at 3 in the afternoon. I took this picture of Anaya sitting in her special chair in the dining room just a few minutes ago. The lighting isn't the best because it's already getting dark. I wanted to show off her beautiful cheeks, unmarred by tube and tape. It's so lovely to no longer have the NG tube up her nose. She seems to be breathing a bit easier and does not seem discomforted by the new feeding system.
For the past few weeks I have existed inside a flurry of activity. My Community Futures business plan project and Anaya's Surgery have been at the forefront of my mind all the time. Due to having to go to Calgary and stay there for the G-tube surgery I missed my business plan due date. I've applied for an extension and I'm waiting to hear if it is approved. I'm praying and hoping it goes ahead - because if it doesn't I'll be desperately looking for work and having to work away from home. I wish with all my heart that I get to stay here, working from home in Anaya's presence.
Now that the G tube surgery is done I'm so relieved. I believe that Anaya is capable of living for quite some time as long as we keep her healthy and comfortable. The biggest part of keeping her healthy and comfortable is her diet. The human breastmilk donations that we have gotten from many wonderful milky mama's is keeping my baby alive and well. Lately there has been lots of discussion about the safety of informal breastmilk sharing. There has been news stories in the paper, on the TV, on the radio - all regarding breast milk sharing. This has been in response to a new group created by my friend Emma Kwasnica in Montreal called Eats on Feets it is a facebook group with global reach. It's purpose is to connect lactating moms willing to donate milk to mamas seeking human milk for their babies. You can also check out www.eatsonfeets.org
My position on the safety of breastmilk sharing is quite simple. Without this my baby would be dead already. I'm for sharing 100%.
My poor breasts have not felt the touch of the baby they lactate for in 11 months. I've been pumping the whole time. I'm immune to the mechanical tug on my mammaries but I miss the connection time. Looking into your baby's eyes while they nurse is known to be one of the closest bonding connections a mom and baby share. Anaya and I share something different. We share my heartbeat and my voice, my touch and my kisses. I lay her head on my chest above my heart and the rhythmic thumping soothes her. This is our bonding time, our hearts beating together, snuggled in love. A friend of mine suggested that I nurse her baby to help improve my milk supply. I was not opposed to the idea. I tried it.
Initially I was scared. I was frightened that it was in some way a betrayal of my love for Anaya, I was frightened that I might enjoy it, I was frightened that in some way it would break my heart, I was frightened that it would show me how much I'm missing and I would drown in my tears forever. Fortunately the baby tried suckling and decided she didn't feel hungry and went to her mama. I only nursed her for like 10 seconds. Nothing happened emotionally except some fear that dissapated rather quickly. I think I'm still scared of the emotions I would feel while nursing another baby.
I love hearing stories from our milky mama's about how when they think of Anaya their milk lets down! How wonderful is that? I cannot give my thanks enough to the wonderful women who have shared their milk with Anaya. Words really cannot express my love and gratitude. Women from all ethnic backgrounds and classes have contributed. Love knows no boundaries. We love you all.
Our Calgary milk organizer - Lucy Lovelock, gave Anaya a present while we were in the hospital that is really very awesome and I have to tell you about it. It's a lamb-stuffy that has a gel hotpack inside that you warm up. I warm it up and use it to warm the milk up on the way through the tube into Anaya's tummy. It works like a charm and I think that every mom should have a gel pack stuffy for their baby. Here's a picture.
At the end of our Calgary trip we stayed for a few days at the Calgary Flames Rotary House. It is next to the Childrens Hospital and is a Hospice and respite centre for palliative children. I can't tell you how amazing it is. We had our own room for sleeping with all the creature comforts of home. There were nursing staff 24 hours a day to help take care of Anaya. They have tons of special gear for handicapped children and even a "Sensory Stimulation Room" where kids with disabilities can explore their environment in a fun way. In the Sensory room we were able to lay Anaya on a special bed that vibrates and moves to music. In this way she can really experience the music with more than just her hearing. If she ever goes deaf she'll still be able to FEEL the music while laying on this bed. Huge thanks are due to the Flames Rotary House and every donor that ever donated money to this great place. Check it out online! Flames Rotary House.
As always I feel like I have so much more to tell you about...but it will have to wait for another time.