My name is heather sousa and i am the mother of three beautiful boys! I was asked by a friend to share my nursing story. to be honest i didn't really feel like my story had any "wow factors" going for it, but it was my story none the less, so i hope you enjoy!

All three of my boys were born at Sierra Vista Medical Center in San Luis Obispo. When my doctor, of all three boys, Bruce Monroy, asked me where I wanted to deliver, I actually responded by asking him where HE wanted to deliver. He said Sierra Vista for many reasons, but mainly because of the NICU. With that, I was on board. 

My first child, Canon, was born beautifully, a week late and a perfect scenario to child birth. He was healthy and adorable. With no idea what I was doing regarding nursing, I just did what felt right, and my little love thankfully lead the way. About 4 months in, super confident with breast feeding, my son began to break out around the face. I didn't really think much because as a new mom I just thought it was baby acne. As the weeks went by his continued puffiness lead me to reach out to our pediatrician, Dr. Jeffery Thompson. He then referred me to a local allergist. After speaking with Dr. Randy Johnson, he let me know that this was indeed food allergies. If I was to continue breast feeding, I needed to cut out all allergens and start fresh, as well as, have my son take a blood test in hopes of finding the allergens. So I did, and so did my son. We came to find out that Canon had 13 food allergies! I didn't give in and continued to nurse my son until he was 15 months old and I stayed away from all 13 of his allergies! Canon now has grown out of all but 1 of his food allergies!

My second beautiful boy, Easton, was born without ease at all. Since Canon's birth went so smoothly, naturally I expected the same for my second child. At full term I went in to schedule an induction at Sierra Vista. Once I was hooked up to the monitors, it was soon suggested that we do an emergency C-section. Easton's heart rate was just too stagnant and not varied at all. Thank goodness for our doctor's amazing reactions, our second son was immediately helicoptered to Madera's Children's Hospital where he experienced the heating/cooling process of the brain as he got a major blood transfusion. Of course out of my mind and unable to even meet my baby, everything happened so quickly, I did the only thing I could do, I pumped! I pumped and I pumped and I pumped. Sierra Vista let me store all my milk in the NICU so that we could eventually transfer it all to the Children's Hospital once I was released. Once reunited with my son, the amazing nurses coached and practiced with such patience as we attempted breast feeding with Easton on his fifth day of life. It was hard and tiresome, but we did it! Easton was released from Children's after 12 days and our journey could continue at home. I breast fed Easton for 16 months! 

Since Easton was an emergency c-section, I decided to have our third child, Cruz, via c-section. It was a completely different experience. My doctor was again amazing and made the experience incredible. Feeling like a breast feeding pro, Cruz latched on immediately and went to town! At about 8 weeks Cruz developed a really red and bumpy rash all over his body. At our 8 week apt my pediatrician again gave me the sad news that he thought this was another food allergy baby. Of course not even considering the idea to quit nursing, I just stopped all food allergens from my diet and the rash disappeared over 10 days. Slowly I brought back foods, and as I write this, I am in the middle of figuring out the allergy. But I will do it! Cruz is only 11 weeks and I pray and plan to breast feed as long as I can. 

I guess one more thing that makes my story, my story, is that I am a full time teacher as well. And with each child, I have had the blessing of being able to be at home with them until they were any where between 3-4 months old. As I returned to work it was a priority for me to invest in a fabulous pump and pump at every break, recess, before school, and after school so that I could give my children what I felt was the best! 

So I guess I do have some "wow factors!" Above all I feel so blessed that breast feeding worked out for me and my boys no matter the bumps we came across. It was never a  thought to stop or quit and I am so lucky to have been able to give my boys mama's milk!!