Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Breastfeeding snaffu

I have been terrified of having an emergency that would not let me breastfeed ever since my daughter's birth.
Well yesterday, that emergency did occur. I am in France visiting my mother, and it is now mushroom season. We decided against "going to the mushrooms" since every year there are lots of poisoning and even deaths from ingesting self picked mushrooms and we weren't sure enough of our ability to know the good ones from the bad ones.
However a friend of my mom's was nice enough to drop off some Cepes, one of the supposedly best mushrooms in France, and we were happy to fry them up for lunch thinking that someone from the country side would be well aware as to which mushrooms to pick.
Three hours after eating them I started throwing up and had to be rushed to the hospital writhing in pain. I was not only separated for the first time from my child for 5 hours but because of the medicine they had to give me intravenously I was told not to feed my baby for the next 12 hours.

We had tried on and off to get Victoria used to the bottle in case of such a problem, however she never took to it, and I was feeding her my own milk through the bottle so she never had any experience with baby formula before yesterday.
She spent the entire 14-16 hours without eating anything but a bit of apple sauce and 30ml of formula. Luckily she was so tired from all the emotions of the day that she slept most of the night. I had fully prepared myself to stay up all night consoling her... but the old French saying is right: "Qui dort, dine" or "He who sleeps forgets his hunger".

I cannot explain both of our relief when time came to finally breast feed again. She didn't leave my breast of the whole morning and I left her there wanting her to know that nothing was changed and she could still rely on me.
I truly believe she understood yesterday that I was sick and unable to feed her. I sent a lot of positive thoughts her way and explained both in words and in my thoughts what was going on, and she calmed down instantly and accepted what was going on. There were very few tears once I had a chance to talk to her, whereas before I could explain to her what was going on she had been inconsolable. Even with her little tummy grumbling and paining her, she stayed calm and simply waited for things to get better.
While I did not need any, this was one more proof of the ability that children have to understand us and to realize what is going on around them right from birth. I am so thankful to have a wonderful relationship and exchange with my child even in time of hardship.

With that horror scenario behind me I can only hope that it will not happen again and that I can keep on breast feeding my child until she is weaned. What a stressful situation for both of us!


  1. huge hugs! that's a scary thing to happen. I suffered a bad injury that meant I couldn't breastfeed for a while when my daughter was 2.5 (and still very much a boob-limpet). She understood that she couldn't nurse, and was really calm about waiting till I was better and she could feed again. So glad it worked out okay for you!

  2. I am so glad that you are alive and well...mushrooms are no joke. They are actually the one food my children are not allowed to even grow at home. I too understand how wonderful it is that our children can understand our deepest needs as we do theirs. When I was very ill recently, Bo wouldn't leave my side and slept along side of me for 2.5 days without crying, complaining, or even wishing to do anything but nurse and snuggle. Bless their sweet little hearts!