I'm so thankful to all the mamas who volunteered to share their stories this week on my blog! Seriously, ya'll are amazing and wonderful women. I'm honored to know you. This last mama deserves a bit of special introduction. I have gotten to know her better over the course of the last year because she is the leader and owner of Dragonfly Village where I have my small studio. Without her amazingness, I wouldn't be able to have such an awesome space and be a part of such an amazing part of our community. So without further ado, here is her story:
"My breastfeeding journey has not been easy! My name is Lissette Minges. I am a mother of six. I’ve pumped milk my babies have not eaten, I’ve donated milk to a milk bank, I’ve struggled through not knowing if I could breastfeed, I’ve cried, screamed, and wanted to give up. I’ve been a milk mom to another child, and I’ve successfully breastfed three of my children. My youngest is just a little over two years old, and she is still breastfeeding to sleep. She will most likely do so until she is ready to be done. My older two children were weaned with other factors in play, and it was primarily my decision. Being our last child, I want it to be a mutual decision, and she is not ready!
When I first became pregnant in 2009, breastfeeding was not even something I considered for my babies. I was a formula fed child, and so was my husband. The knowledge of breastfeeding was just not there. I was pregnant with multiples to boot and we were planning for bottles and formula for simplicity sake. When I went into preterm labor and my children ended up in the NICU was when my lactation education began by the nurses on staff. The NICU staff and the birth of my children forever changed the course of my life and breastfeeding journey with a simple statement. One nurse said to me, “It’s not certain if your babies will be able to drink your breast milk, but if so, it could do wonders for sealing their gut at their premature age. It is like liquid gold!” In our current situation of doing anything for our babies for a good outcome, I began to pump, and thus my journey began. Unfortunately my babies were not able to take my breastmilk. The hospital staff stored all of my pumped milk from over a week’s time. It was then, I learned about milk banks. Unable to feed my babies, unable to take them home, and having all of this milk that would be disposed of, it was all unbearable. I decided I would pass on the milk originally planned for my own babies to another family who desperately needed it, and then the this “liquid gold” would not be wasted.
This was when I fell in love with the gift and the science behind what our female bodies can do in not only bringing life into the world, but continuing to nourish it beyond. Everyone’s journey starts somewhere, and it is not always pretty. Mine was crushing, and it catapulted me into a passion I would have otherwise never known. Now my life’s work is empowering women in their own breastfeeding journeys as a La Leche League leader who is on her path to becoming an IBCLC! If you would like to know more about my story, and how it all unfolded, please follow my blog at Beatuiful Love From Pain