Nikki Heying, a mom of four from California, will do nearly anything to ensure her 6-month-old gets breastfed, including pumping and dumping during months of chemotherapy. After giving birth via C-section, doctors told Nikki that she had a nine-centimeter mass growing around her heart. Once a battery of tests were completed, she was diagnosed with lymphoma just days after welcoming her newborn. In a now-viral Facebook post, Nikki detailed how she poured her milk down the drain every day for half a year so that she could breastfeed again after treatment.
"Six weeks old on the left, 30 weeks old on the right," she captioned the side-by-side photo. "It's been six months. Six months since I was allowed to breastfeed my son. Six months of a hard battle against CANCER, getting poisoned with chemo that tainted my breast milk and prevented me from nursing my infant son. Six months of pumping every few hours and dumping every single ounce of it all down the drain, just so I could keep my supply up, in hopes of eventually being allowed to nurse my baby again."
Nikki explained that her good friend came over to her house a few times a week to make sure Nikki's son could practice latching, and, wow, talk about it taking a village. "Six months of having a dear, sweet, generous friend come to my house 1-2 times a week to latch my son, just so he would remember HOW to breastfeed again when I was able," she said.
After months of chemo, Nikki was finally able to resume breastfeeding her son, and there's no doubt it was an emotional moment.
"Well, here we are, I had my last chemo session in January and it's been 35 days post-chemo," she wrote. "My breast milk no longer contains any remnants of chemo in it, and last night I was able to BREASTFEED MY SON AGAIN!!!! It's been a long road, but I wanted to share my journey publicly in hopes that it can be shared and might inspire others in some small way. God is GOOD. The power or prayer is REAL."