After Archimedes died, doctors told me they were going to give me a pill to dry up my milk.
I asked for more information about the side effects of the medication (which include seizures, depression and heart problems – in retrospect, I think that I made the right decision, given everything else that was going on!). My file was marked “Refused Treatment”, and I was ignored after that.
Because I am a breastfeeding counsellor, I knew a Lactation Consultant, who reminded me to check the electronic ABA files I have access to. The ABA publish a booklet called “Lactation Suppression”, for when a baby dies or a mother is unable, or chooses not to breastfeed her baby for whatever reason, and needs to suppress lactation. I was able to log in and download a copy of this booklet from my hospital bed, and treat myself, after being punished by the hospital for asking for information.
At the funeral, I asked people for donations instead of flowers. It was my intention to use these donations to buy bulk supplies of the lactation suppression booklet, and to have them on hand in Sydney hospitals for women who found themselves in a similar situation to me. I also talked to my regional rep within ABA, and a few other contacts.
Well, my story got out. And today I was emailed a link to the ABA website where the lactation suppression booklet has been uploaded in full, for anyone to access. I feel a huge sense of relief, and I hope that if there are women out there who need the information, they are able to access it easily, and not have to suffer through what I went through.
My body was able to cry the tears of milk that should have been nourishing my babies. And now I need to find a new “mission” for the generous donations.