Thursday, November 29, 2007

I had a dream

Last night I had the most wonderful dream. I didn't want to wake up.

Last night, I dreamt that John and I were in Ukraine. The warm sun was peeking in the cracked window between the tree branches. We were visiting with another American couple who was also adopting. I was sitting on the couch with our little boy covering his face with a blanket to shield him from the sunlight that was magnified through the crack in the window. He was warm and cozy, his blue eyes closed, almost asleep............... and nursing.

The quiet sound of him suckling was like sweet music to my ears.

For anyone that has had the experience of nursing their precious, cherub like child, I'm sure you know exactly what I am talking about. There is something so natural, so innocent, nothing short of the way God intended for our precious little babies to be fed.

The only problem with the scenario is that my son will be adopted. Since I will not have given birth to this child, my body will not have made the hormones needed to produce milk. Secondly, my son will not be a newborn. He will most likely be drinking from a cup or at the very least a bottle. The desire to suckle harder when he will be used to the easier flow of a bottle, will not be there. I do not know if a child can be taught how to nurse after they have been fed with a bottle for so long. Thirdly, I've had a hysterectomy.......so if the other reasons for not nursing worked themselves out, I'm not sure my body could even be jump started into producing milk if my body is unable to make the right hormones needed to lactate......... even if just a little.

It is all so overwhelming.

Until now, I couldn't think of one downside to adopting. But, not being able to nurse my baby is so sad to me.

I have adopted before, but they were older and so I never gave nursing a serious thought with my daughters. One of of my daughters did though. When you think about it.....that is even sadder. Don't get me wrong, my daughters are so much better off having us now, even after missing out on so much in their early life, but that doesn't change the grieving that I as their mama now goes through for them because they missed out on the closeness that nursing provides. Their body being cuddled in their mama's arms, their face having skin on skin contact, being familiar with the smell of their mama, and the eye to eye contact that reassures them that it is okay to fall asleep......... is something they will have to grow up without ever having experienced. To me, that is something to grieve.

Come to think of it, have any of our adopted children ever had the pleasure and closeness of being held and cuddled by their mama while nursing from her breast?

Even though it wasn't from my breast that my adopted daughters have suckled from, I'd like to think that they did get that opportunity with their birth mothers.

Though, I am pretty sure that the only way I am going to be able to nurse my new son is in my dreams, I believe that God will open other doors for us to experience that same kind of intimacy between that of mother and her nursing child.

Still I will miss the chance to nurse my little baby boy. And I will miss the opportunity to show my older adopted daughters just how beautiful and intimate nursing your baby can be.

8 comments:

Sherry said...

Thats some dream. What'd you eat before bed?? LOL! I do know of adoptive parents breast-feeding... Not Me... just decoration here, LOL:) I totally believe in things happening for a reason. So if (with this kiddo) you can not nurse then its just not meant to be BUT you will still have a very special bond with your baby. The kind of bond that only the 2 of you will understand:)

Courtney said...

That made my cry Christine!

That is really so sweet. And amazingly I had just been thinking how sad that I never got to nurse M and G. It breaks my heart really.

Contact Denise at permissiontomother.blogspot.com and she will be able to tell you if you can nurse your new son. I am serious. She is amazing and may have a way for you to do it.

ArkAngels for Russian Orphans said...

Wow. What a dream!

Sadly, I wasn't even able to nurse my bio son (our adopted twins were too old by the time they came home). Sherry is right: "you will still have a very special bond with your baby!!"

Lisa
Mom to Niko and Lena (6) and Gregory (3 in two days)
Blog: http://lisamikeplus3.blogspot.com

Adrienne and Jim said...

Christine,
I had the same dream about nursing a baby boy the night before I found out I was pregnant with our fourth baby we lost in October. It really made me begin to wonder if I will ever be able to nurse a baby. I long for that experience, and I feel so sad for Owen missing out on this too. He just now at 24 months old is beginning to snuggle into me when I rock him, occasionally looking into my eyes. It's taken 5 months of consistent love and attention for him to do this. He had never ever felt this loving embrace and didn't know what to do. It broke my heart watching him lay at the edge of my lap, turning his head away from me as I rocked him each night, putting his arm between us and pushing away anytime I tried to pull him closer. I've still bonded with Owen and cherish each experience we do have together--I love this child more than anything in the world!--, but I do grieve for each of us for the experiences we missed. You will have a very special bond with your son, the bond that only a mother and child have, and no hysterectomy, no adoption, no one can take that away.

The Green Family said...

Christine,
Your dream was beautiful and it IS totally possible to nurse your new son. There are "methods" out there including herbs to induce lactation, but even if you can't do that, you can buy something called a Lact-Aid. You put the formula in a little pouch which connects to a tube, and you position it "just so". Look it up on the web. Many adoptive moms "comfort nurse" as well, (nothing comes out), just to experience that closeness in an intimate way.
Don't lose hope... it's totally possible :)
Blessings,
Kim

Christine said...

Thank you Adrienne and Kim. I was beginning to think that I was crazy for sharing this in public.

I really appreciate your comments and your own story. Adrienne your comment made me cry. :) Owen has such a sweet mama.

God Bless.

Permission to Mother said...

This was beautifully written. Check out Lenore Goldfarb site... I linked to her in my resources. She lists the protocols for inducing lactation in adoption and surrogacy. Hysterectomy shouldn't influence your results.

Denise

Anonymous said...

You asked about breast feeding... I have never given birth or breast fed. My production didn't meet demand, but with the preg sim, mobilium, fungreek, hospital grade pump protocol, I was able to get about two ounces every time I pumped. I supplemented with an SNS for a little while. He wasn't very satisfied and would mostly just comfort suck after I bottle feed him 8oz or more. But that's okay. It was important for me. You should look up the protocol and print it out. I mailed a copy to my doctor with a letter explaining that I wanted to try it. I called the office and set up an appointment for about two weeks later so he would have time to research it. He was very supportive and interested in the process. Good Luck.

Sid