‘The moment I felt whole’ by Ghada Ghaliyini
One of the many things I was looking forward to after delivering my baby was the skin-to-skin contact. I read so much about it and couldn’t wait to bond with my little girl.
After months of waiting, and an hour of pushing and breathing heavily, I finally had my Amar on my chest; that is a moment I will cherish my entire life.
A few minutes later the midwife told me I should try to breastfeed – something I hadn’t really thought about before except deciding along with my husband that we weren’t going to offer formula.
Anyway, I breastfed for the first time ever and I thought I did really well, although when I look at the pictures now I realize I had no idea what I was doing.
During the first night at the hospital I called the midwives to my room around 10 times (if not more) for multiple reasons: I needed help with latching, I needed to use the toilet and had zero help since my husband was fast asleep, and the most popular one of all: my baby won’t stop crying!
As the days went by, breastfeeding became my answer to every sound she makes. I noticed that it calms her down and gives her (and myself) comfort. Even though I was in awe of how tiny and beautiful she was, this phase wasn’t easy.
She was on my chest all the time – day and night, asleep and awake. The only break I got was to go to the toilet and my favourite sleeping position was sitting down with a zillion pillows for support (poor hubby really tried his best).
People around me felt sorry for me, and they even made me feel like something was wrong with my baby to the extent that I almost believed it. “She wants to be held all the time“, “She wants to nurse every 30 minutes“, “She’s not a good sleeper” are the phrases that we told friends and family when they came to visit.
At a time all I would think about was how exhausted I felt. Now, 6 months later, I look back at this time and thank God for giving me the strength to keep going. I feel so proud for sticking to my decision and doing what I thought was best for my daughter, and most importantly for paying attention to her cues and not comparing her with any other baby.
This article is contributed by Ghada Ghalaini