My Story: Ashley Gash

My Story: My second child came via vaginal delivery. I had no tearing or episiotomy. She was latched perfectly within fifteen minutes, and suckled for forty-five minutes. My husband was able to take a week of paternity time. He cleaned, cooked, and entertained out eldest. However, my milk never came in strong enough. I nursed and pumped and nursed and pumped, but Nora was jaundiced from head to toe. Even the whites of her eyes were yellow. She lost well over 12% of her body weight, and had a flaccid posture. She slept constantly to conserve her energy, and screamed of hunger the little time she was awake. I cried constantly. My pediatrician told me it was time to supplement, and I felt like a failure.

I am a mother and a nurse, I should know better, right?

My tearfulness never got better. I felt like I was in the middle of a terrible sickness. One night, my husband snored, and I threatened him. The next morning, he asked me if I was feeling okay. I brushed it off as normal "baby blues". Then he asked me if I was happy that the baby was here. The answer was no. I wasn't happy to be her mother, and I thought she'd be better with someone else. He encouraged me to talk to my friend in California, who connected me with her friend in Texas. All three encouraged me to call my OBGYN. I was put on Celexa 20 mg daily. Within a week I felt like myself. I enjoyed my time with my new daughter. When she cried, I actually wanted to comfort her. When she studied me, I felt pride and happiness. I no longer felt guilt for giving her formula. She was fed, gaining, and happy. My viewpoint of what defined a good mother was changed. I became more understanding to the different ways to raise a happy, healthy child.

Ashley Gash | Indiana


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