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Gloria Riesgo's picture

Growing up, I was not your typical little girl. I never dreamed of finding my Prince Charming. I never planned my “Big Fat Mexican Wedding”. And, I never imagined that I would be a mother. When my childhood friends were out playing house, I was playing office. When they played with their dolls, I played with my typewriter. But, that all changed when I found myself pregnant at 24. I hadn’t planned on getting pregnant. In fact, it was a…surprise. I rushed into a marriage that I wasn’t prepared for and started to prepare for a life I knew nothing about.

I was a very immature 24-year-old, and I was ill-prepared to become a wife and mother. I was right smack in the middle of a severe dependence on drugs and had to stop using cold-turkey when I found myself with child. My pregnancy couldn’t be over fast enough, and I found myself continuing the abuse once my daughter was born. Breasfeeding was not an option for me because I had to get high. Sad, I know. So there I was – 24, unhappy, unable to connect to this beautiful little girl, and numbing myself with drugs. At the time, I didn’t know what I was missing with not breastfeeding my daughter.

What I did was take advantage of programs, such as WIC and gave my daughter formula. I often wondered how she could eat the stuff – it smelled so horrific.

If I had breastfed, not only would I have equipped her with the best nutrition, but I would have provided her with the much needed colostrums, which is rich in nutrients and antibodies that protect a baby. Not only that, but my milk supply would change to accommodate the ever-changing needs of my growing baby. There would be fewer instances of ear infections and digestive issues.

But no, I was selfish and immature. I did the same almost 5 years later, when I gave birth to my son. I often lament the things I could have done, would have done, or should have done, had known better. I am now an almost 42-year-old divorced mother of two incredible children, who is going on 13 years of being clean. I learned what is best, it just took me a little longer to get there.

According to my gynecologist, I am still able to have a…surprise. If it does happen – I will definitely have a little body hanging off my middle-aged boobs.

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