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A Spiritually Enlightening Online Magazine. November's Theme: "Birthing"
Volume 5 Issue 1 ISSN# 1708-3265
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My Miracle Babies
by Kerri Paquette

My soul mate and I were married in 1986, less than 2 years after our first date. I was told years before that I would probably never be able to have children and as an adult had been diagnosed with infertility because I only ovulate once or twice a year. My husband and I decided we would still have children in our lives through fostering and/or adopting. Then in 1988 I had my first "missed miscarriage". My husband and I were both very sad. But being told the fact I had even conceived was something for us to be happy about as it did provide some comfort. Being able to conceive was the first hurdle, being able to carry a baby to term might be another.

It was almost one year before I became pregnant again. Our beautiful baby girl, Amanda arrived at 41 weeks, near the end of May. She was our "miracle baby". Little did we know more miracles were to follow! Emma was born on Valentine's Day less than 2 years later followed by Maddison. Even though I gave birth at a hospital all my births were natural and intervention free so I decided the next baby should be born at home. Jonah was born peacefully at home - less than 2 hours after my first labour twinge.

We were surprised and shocked in early 2000 to find out that I was expecting twins. They were born in the hospital and full-term (38 weeks and 2 days). We all went home that evening. The birth had no interventions and was again natural even though the second twin was footling breech. Saige was almost 6 lbs and Claire was almost 8 lbs. A couple of years later Teagan was born at home and into my own hands in September 2003, just before my 38th birthday.

There are many definitions of the word "relationship". The one I prefer is, "a romantic or passionate attachment". To be passionate is to have an "intense emotion or strong feeling". Breastfeeding has allowed me to foster many relationships. It helped nurture the relationships I had with my children. It strengthened the passionate attachment between my husband and I. Breastfeeding even initiated my dearest friendships.

I had a wonderful breastfeeding relationship with all my children. I enjoyed nursing them as I watched my belly swell with the new baby to come. My partner supported the breastfeeding relationships I had with my children by loving me and telling me what a wonderful experience it was to watch me feed our children. His support was also important to me in our decision to co-sleep. Even if he didn't initially agree! I believe co-sleeping fostered a positive night-time breastfeeding relationship with my children. It also meant I got a lot more sleep than if I had made other choices.

My many years of breastfeeding were not always easy. During those years I experienced high-need babies, sore nipples, plugged ducts, breast infections, thrush (baby and me), two tongue-tied babies, a breastfeeding toddler with hip dysplasia, little success at expressing milk with a hand pump, nursing while pregnant, after miscarriages, twins, while building a house, with low milk supply, despite over-active let-down and reflux to name a few. I also tandem nursed. But breastfeeding was easier and better for our family.

I attended my first La Leche League (LLL) meeting in 1990. The support and warmth I felt from these other women was amazing. I had no family support around breastfeeding so LLL became my support network. The Leaders also verified the many advantages of continuing to breastfeed after 6 months and seeing many other woman breastfeeding older babies and even toddlers made me feel supported in choosing to breastfeed my babies for as long as we both wanted. My friendships with some of these women have lasted over 15 years. I truly developed deeply meaningful and long-lasting relationships with these ladies through the initial common interest of breastfeeding our babies. Now I help other mothers and babies with breastfeeding, just as I had been helped.

I have no regrets that I chose to continue to breastfeed while I was pregnant. I am glad I allowed my children to have a say in our breastfeeding relationships. Some health care professionals, due to lack of knowledge, tell pregnant women they must stop breastfeeding. There are rare cases when the mother should wean if she becomes pregnant. However, in most cases it is "healthy" for mom, child and the unborn baby (or babies) for the breastfeeding relationship to continue through a pregnancy and beyond. Tandem nursing created breastfeeding relationships beyond mom and child, and it fostered a unique relationship between my children.

Soon I will be able to enjoy a new relationship. I will support my own daughter who plans on breastfeeding her baby (my first grand-child) who is due in January, 2008.

Kerri Paquette lives in a forest in rural Ontario, Canada. Kerri and her life partner of 21 years, have seven amazing children together. Breastfeeding has facilitated many other facets of Kerri's life including volunteering, speaking engagements and contact with other mothers across the world who somehow manage to find her!

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