I had prophylactic double mastectomy just after I turned 34 in 2013. I have the BRCA1 genetic mutation and am unable to breastfeed due to the fact that all my breast tissue was removed.
I had a boyfriend at the time and he is now my husband. He was with me for the whole thing and knew I wanted to have children - this was on my mind before the surgery. I didn’t have a strong conviction about breastfeeding at that time but I understood I wouldn’t be able to breastfeed my future children.
During my pregnancy, once I explained and made it very clear to doctors that they needed to stop talking to me about breastfeeding everything was okay. Right at the top of my chart along with how to pronounce my name it also said, ‘Not breastfeeding, mastectomy patient.’
I remember right after I had my son, I was in awe. I still have those moments of looking down at him eating and realizing this is the life I produced and he is just so amazing.
It’s just me and him, and his sweet innocence. He looks up at me with this little smile before I give him a bottle - it is the sweetest thing and it is that connection that makes the hard times even better. He is so happy and he knows he is so loved.
Maybe I don’t have the same connection as someone who is breastfeeding, I don’t know. Whether it's the same connection or slightly different, I'll take it.