Dear Dr. Leeper,
I came to you a little under a year ago as a first-time mom who was really struggling. I was determined to breastfeed my baby boy and never imagined there could be any issue that would stand in my way. After all, I am an educated woman and I took all of the classes and read all of the books. I also spent the past ten years working in social services, primarily with women & children, so that had to mean something, right? Wrong.
I was having a miserable time with breastfeeding. It was so painful and terrifying. My son and I could just not seem to get it right. I reached out for help from several people and was repeatedly told that since he was gaining weight, there must not be an issue. But there was an issue. The issue was that I was in such pain, I would cry uncontrollably every time I had to feed this tiny person. The issue was that my baby would have to eat for almost an hour to get enough milk, while I was crying the entire time. The issue was that I wasn't bonding with my baby because I was in pain & couldn't look at him while he was eating. The issue was that my well-being was taking a huge hit as I felt overwhelmingly guilty and upset that I was failing my child. The ISSUE was that a one point in time, I looked at my baby while he was sleeping and thought for a split second that I didn't want him to wake up because that meant he would need to eat and the pain and crying would start all over again.
And then I came to see you. In the two hours my son and I spent with you on that cold winter afternoon you were able to do what several physicians, nurses, and even lactation consultants had failed to do so many times before. You made the pain go away. You made it stop. You made it possible with just a few small adjustments for me to feed my baby. You gave me my confidence back. You made it so I could enjoy this experience I so desperately wanted. You helped me find that bond with my baby.
He will be one year old on the 28th and we are still breastfeeding. One year. We made it. There were days in the beginning that I didn't think I would make it another hour. We suffered for 5 weeks. That's over 300 breastfeeding attempts that went horribly wrong and caused such pain it was indescribable. You fixed it...in 2 hours. Needless to say, I feel forever indebted to you and your staff. We have made it to one year & are still going strong. In this time our son has never been seen by his pediatrician for a sick check. He attends day care daily and is bombarded with germs, yet he remains a very healthy and happy little guy. I owe that to you. He jabbers a mile a minute and has started walking. He is the best thing in my entire life and I don't know if I ever would have seen that without your help. I owe so much to you.
The words don't seem to do it justice. They seem too small to carry enough meaning, but I will say them anyway - thank you.
Veronica (Harrison's mom)