Margery Grill, RN and IBCLC,
is a Labor and Delivery Nurse in Ohio. She loves being a nurse and loves being a lactation consultant. In her younger years, she first thought she would be a physician, then changed her mind and thought she would like to be a midwife. Life, job, marriage, moves and children changed all that and she decided to become a Nurse.
Margery is a mother of 3 beautiful children. Long before she became a mother, she knew she would want to breastfeed her babies. When Margery became pregnant with her first baby, she assumed that the pregnancy would go well. It did. She assumed that she would have a normal vaginal birth that went well. It did not. She struggled during her labor, pushed for 3 hours, before the decision was made to have a cesarean section. Both mom and baby were healthy. She had a small hurdle in the very early days of breastfeeding which was short -lived. Her son seemed to breastfeed well in the hospital, but became incredibly fussy that first day and night at home. Margery felt that he was not getting enough so she gave him some formula from a bottle. This seemed to help as he settled down. The next day, she felt her milk coming in from that point on breastfeeding was very easy and she enjoyed it. When she was pregnant for the second time, Margery was determined to have a VBAC. Her caregiver was a midwife, she took yoga classes, went for regular chiropractic appointments and was highly motivated. Her second baby was a very triumphant VBAC which made Margery so very happy. Her daughter breastfed well from the very beginning and self weaned. Margery was not really ready for her to wean, but we all know you can’t make a baby breastfeed if they don’t want to.
Margery was very happy for a third pregnancy and was planning on another vaginal birth. She received devastating news in her second trimester. An ultrasound at 22 weeks revealed that her precious baby boy had a cleft lip and a cleft palate. She immediately reached out to her Mother’s Group and asked for wisdom and resources. She did do some research during her pregnancy regarding babies who are born with cleft lip and cleft palates and their ability to breastfeed. While she hoped that she would be able to breastfeed, she was just not sure that was going to happen.
In my show, the All About Breastfeeding Podcast, you can listen to Margery share her story in her own words and in greater detail. However, she gave birth at 36 weeks gestation and had one of the most traumatic births of anyone that I know. She realized afterwards that she was close to dying and perhaps might never have been able to see her newborn baby and watch her other kids grow up. She had emergency surgery after the birth where her uterus was removed in order to save her life. Her baby Harrison, spent his first few days in the NICU, while Margery was in the NICU recovering. Between Harrison being born early, Margery having an emergency birth, and mom/baby separation and early bottles, along with his cleft lip and cleft palate, there were just too many factors against her.
Margery did try to work on breastfeeding, however, it just did not work out. So, Margery did the next best thing she could do for her baby. She pumped. and she pumped. and she pumped. and she pumped. For a whole year, Margery pumped….. until she could just not pump one more day! I am in awe and amazed at mothers who are able to accomplish such extreme goals as pumping is so not easy. It is time consuming and you are tethered to a plastic pump, rather than than having your soft, warm and fuzzy baby at your breast. Margery felt it was that important for her son to receive her milk. She had good family support and she put in the time.
Margery’s words of wisdom to any new mother put in the position of exclusively pumping for her baby is: GET a hands’ free bra as this will be your lifesaver. At least you won’t have to hold the flanges in place the whole time you are pumping. This can free you up to do things like – make up “to do” lists, check your email, bottlefeed your baby while pumping. She highly recommends a hands free bra to any mom that is pumping. I could not agree more. Exclusive pumping moms ROCK!