I’m proud to say that my wife is a MOOmmy. Yep, that’s right. “Moomy”, and not “mommy” – a new term I’ve learned from having joined several FB groups dedicated to breastfeeding mothers, some, my wife added me into, and some, I joined myself. Moomy, referring to “moo”, the sound cows make, the same cows which produces milk. And from there I think you could guess the connection between “moomy” and breastfeeding.
My wife’s breastfeeding journey was not as straightforward as some of the mothers’ stories we’ve read were. At the onset, we had difficulties feeding our little one as she was not producing any milk then. We actually had to resort in asking for milk donations during the first week of our little one’s life as her milk supply was oh-so-little, and we are eternally grateful for several nursing colleagues for giving us a few bags of milk.
When I learned how expensive breastmilk was, it hit me hard why it was nicknamed “liquid gold.” Ang mahal pala!!! Several times I prodded her into buying formula milk from the fear that our limited supply will soon run out, but she did not give in. For the love of our little one, wifey got the services of a lactation massage therapist twice. The first time was when we she was still confined in the hospital, in the hopes of being able to produce milk as early as Day 2, and the second one was about two weeks later, at home. Did it help? A resounding yes. As a first-time mother, more than the massage, I guess the affirmation she heard from the therapist that she was on the right track was enough to boost her morale, to up her ante.
It was difficult, but with extreme patience and the burning desire to nurse our little one exclusively on breastmilk, she was able to pull it off. I was actually worried when I finally poured the contents of our very last milk bag donation into a bottle because after that, we were on our own. Little by little, her milk supply increased, slowly, but steadily and surely. At first, it was just enough to feed our little one, so imagine our happiness when finally, we were able to store our very first 4-oz milk bag for the very first time! I was the one who stored it in the bag while wifey was still nursing our little one. She does not know of it, but I almost cried a tear out of joy when storing it! Nakita ko ang hirap na pinagdaanan ng asawa ko, at masayang-masaya ako para sa kanya, para kay baby, ngayong sa wakas, may sarili na kaming supply ng gatas!
We have also tried several electric pumps. One was a hand-me down. It was still decently working, but after a few attempts, wifey felt that it was not the right one for her. We purchased a new one, hospital-grade and all, but after a few attempts again, and since it was quite big and bulky, we sold it and got another one. Finally, this one was the right one for her. She describes it as like our little one is actually latching on her, which stimulates her breast naturally to produce milk.
Her breastfeeding journey is not yet over. Our little one is just turning four months old in two weeks’ time, and we still have a long way to go. And you might ask, what now do I do to support her? Quite a few things.
I clean and sterilize her pumps and bottles when she’s done. And when they’re dry already, assemble them again Minute-to-Win-It style, just like putting up pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. (Record ko, under one minute, double electric pump pa yan o ha!!!)
I change diapers of our baby during the wee hours of the night/morning, not waking wifey up anywhere as I know she needs the sleep to charge up for the next day (breastfeeding is a highly energy-consuming biological activity).
I burp our baby before switching to the other breast. She appreciates those few minutes of respite in between feedings.
I wash our little one’s cloth diapers – shell, inserts, and liners. Yep, I still cringe at the sight of the peanut-buttery poo-stained ones. (So kapag naglalaba, hindi ko na lang tinitingnan yung nialalabhan ko!)
I walk our little one around the village everyday at around 5 p.m. after her afternoon feeding session. At least, wifey finally gets to take a bath when we’re out.
I recently learned how to bathe our little one. And yes, it is therapeutically relaxing, splashing water on her while singing her favorite nursery rhymes to calm her down during bathtime.
And several others.
I’m not the perfect husband nor daddy, though I’m striving to be. Being a first-time dad, I know I still have a lot to learn. And I’m proud to say that I am taking this journey with wifey. For our baby. 🙂
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