I knew that once I found out I found out I was pregnant, a post, discussion or something or other would take place regarding this subject eventually. Since becoming pregnant (now almost 24 weeks along), I have already been asked, or its been assumed, I will be breastfeeding. As much as I would like to have that experience, it is just not possible for me. Now, I don’t in any, way, shape or form blame anyone that has asked or assumed, as some don’t know the extent of what my surgeries involved, and i know no one asked or assumed with any negative feelings behind it. It doesn’t make me uncomfortable, upset or anything like that.
When I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer at 26, I did the most extensive and preventative measures I could regarding my treatment to prevent cancer in the future. I chose to undergo a double mastectomy In August 2013. That surgery involves removing as close to 100% as possible of all breast tissue, leaving only the skin, and I now have implants in their place. Since all the breast tissue was removed, that also removes all the tissue that involves the ability to breast feed (such as the milk ducts). Some women chose to just have this procedure done on the breast that is affected, however I did both, not only for symmetry, but as prevention. You can read more about the procedure here >
I wish I got the experience to breast feed, and have the bonding experience, but to be honest, it also doesn’t bother me as much as one would think. I am choosing to look on the bright side of things. First off, I wasn’t even sure if I could get pregnant in the first place after chemo. Being that it took 10 months (which seems quite a long time in compassion to others) for my cycle to return after chemo, I was very nervous that my ability to conceive was greatly impacted. Thankfully, I was blessed not only to have gotten pregnant, but on our very first try and everything is going great so far. Also, it will give Dylan a chance to bond with our son just as much as I will get (not to mention, not excuse for him not to be able to get up in the middle of the night for feedings right? LOL). Also, going back to work, having others watch the baby, for example, will be that much simpler of a transition. I don’t have to deal with the pain that can come with breastfeeding for some, either. I just hope the baby takes to formula and has no issues tolerating it.
I know that breast feeding is the ideal choice, but for me, and many others, since its not one I have, I am thankful that formulas are designed to be healthy and great for babies. I am sure I will be asked many more times about breast feeding (or even breast milk banks-I know they exist, unfortunately, none are close, they are expensive, and we are okay with trying formula). I have never been shy about the experience I went through with my treatment, and I am not ashamed of my inability to do this because of what I went through. I am just thankful to be alive to be able to have children and a family.
Here is a pic of my baby bump about 1.5 weeks ago, Baby is moving all around now:) He is healthy, growing on point. He probably wont have a “set” name until he is here, and we see him.