HERstory Breastfeeding Story and Photo Contest Winner: Tekendria Rice

“There is no greater agony then bearing an untold story inside you”

– Maya Angelou .

As I reflect upon my birthing/breastfeeding journey, I had major family support before and after I gave birth to my son. I was a 21 year old mother that went through my entire pregnancy as a single mom and I was also about to give birth as a single mother. Yet I was still filled with determination to be an outstanding mother to my son and be the first one in family to breastfeed. The support of my family being there had me so eager to begin this new journey of being a mom and start this new journey of breastfeeding. The support from my family was endless.

There were complications in my pregnancy that caused me to have an
“Emergency Cesarean”. I was really pushing to give birth naturally so that I could do skin to skin with my very first child. I remember being pushed back into my room after the surgery was over where my family was and we all then waited until the nurses brought the baby into the room. My son’s father was also in the room awaiting the entire time, from when I first began to try pushing and after the surgery was over.

Shortly my baby boy “Ashton Blake” arrived in the room I was so anxious to begin nursing him right away. The hospital where I gave birth did not have many staff for breastfeeding at the time. We were all so clueless on how to breastfeed, I had been watching videos, but at the moment nothing was
clear because of the medicine. I remember my son’s father going to “YouTube” to find nursing videos on how to hold him in a proper position until proper help would arrive. Having my son’s father presence there also played a big role of support and co-parenting.

My biggest encouragement came from my cousin who had been alongside me in the hospital after I had given birth. She had been there from the first night I went into labor until the day I was discharged. There were times I could not get back and forth to the bathroom, get out of bed , and walk the halls alone to recover from surgery she was right by my side to help. There was this one morning the “CLC’ walked in and saw my cousin sitting on the bed with me, my cousin was holding my baby boy up to the breast so he could nurse, we were just so determined to feed him properly. The Cesarean caused so much pain I could hardly feed my son how I wanted to. I would run extremely high fevers that would cause him not to nurse nor be in the with me very long.

Those things caused me to be very emotional at the time and I did not want to continue. Because of my phenomenal cousin I kept going strong and did not give up from her continuous support and very encouraging words. Till this very day my son is now 23 months old and we are still proudly nursing with no regrets.

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