My name is Meganie De Luca, my bio father is Portuguese and my mom was Italian. I was born in Venezuela but I was raised really close to my parents European culture.
I had a pretty normal and happy childhood. I was an only child and the apple of my mother's eye.
Growing up I always felt less than others and was pretty insecure about myself so when I first started to access alcohol and drugs at 13 it was such a relieve to have something helping me out of my shell and shushing all those demons, or so I thought.
It all took a turn for the worse at 16 when my mother was tragically murdered in our home.
My hole life changed and in between the pain, sense of loss and abuse of drugs and alcohol, who I now relied on more than ever to numb the chaos, my mind was unable to healthfully process what was happening to me so I spiraled into a self destructive path fueled by an addiction to all those substances I had blindly trusted.
My relationship with my biological father was damaged beyond repair and was really toxic so by the time I was 20 I had lost all my immediate family, was severely addicted to drugs, dropped out of university and by some miracle my godfather who was my moms brother decided to take me in.
Once I was back in a regular family environment it became apparent how broken and out of mind I had become but my godfather was not willing to give up on me so he took me to a rehab center hoping they could salvage the little girl he once knew.
Little did any of us know what he did would be a turning point. I was born again in that place. It gave me even more that I could ever imagine of and thanks to my sobriety I started to achieve what used to be hopeless dreams.
It's been 10 years and I never looked back. My godfather adopted me so I'm now part of a family again and 7 years ago I had the happiest accident. I became pregnant with my first child.
At first I was really scared and had mixed feelings about bringing a child into the world. I kept thinking about everything I lacked and wondered if I had it in me to be a good mother but turns out he was exactly what my life was missing and not because he gave what I though I needed; it was because he made strive to be the best version of myself. When I lacked motivation I knew I couldn't stop now.
I believe my journey into finding out my purpose in life started with my sobriety yet motherhood in a way helped speed that up. I started growing exponentially through the struggles of motherhood and then in the blink of an eye I was pregnant again.
My second pregnancy was longed for but it came with a lot of unwanted symptoms, it was traumatic and eventful. So I remember telling myself it will soon be over and you've done the newborn thing once so it'll all be fine by then.
It was not fine. I was hit with postpartum depression and I wanted really bad to do exclusive breastfeeding so I had been feeding my child with cracked nipples for about 2 months, crying every feed, with multiple mastitis episodes left untreated and a baby that suddenly had to be hospitalized with bronquitis.
When he was hospitalized my symptoms got worse because he had a decreased appetite and I was uninformed about how to deal with anything that had been happening. So day 7 I collapsed. Living in a country with no family my husband found someone to stay with our oldest because I had to be rushed into an emergency OR. I was about to be septic. One of the untreated mastitis in my left boob was now a breast abscess that needed to be drained right away and all I could think about was feeding my 2 month old and panicking about not waking up from surgery.
We stayed together at the hospital a total of 25 days and recovering from my surgery was hard because I now had to feed a child with a boob that had a surgical drainage in a place that made it almost impossible for him to latch.
Somehow my desire to breastfeed was stronger than the horror I went through but I remember feeling so mad because no one in that hospital wanted to help me achieve my goal. Everyone offered to help me dry up my milk supply or suggested I stopped.
I was sent home with so much fear and so little information that I had a panic attack 3 days after I went home because I thought I might have mastitis again. This time I went to a different clinic and they had a lactation consultant look at me. I will never forget her.
She made me feel that I was not crazy, that I could feed my child and that I could achieve doing it without suffering. With everything she taught me I started to heal.
Once this crisis was dealt with the world was shut down for COVID and in the solitude of my home I had to manage new mastitis episodes alone. I spent endless nights reading blogs, maternity pages and what not. I was doing everything right but still had one or even 2 episodes per month. Fortunately I was getting really good at dealing with the symptoms but I couldn't find the cause. My boy was 6 months and exclusively breastfed so there was no chance I was giving up; asides from the recurring clogged ducts, milk pearls and infections I had moments I treasured and by now I was confident in myself because I got good at dealing with the symptoms. I could feel better no later than 48 hours after the first sings showed.
Then by some miracle a good friend of mine invited me to do a detox with him and that's when everything fell into place. During the detox I felt great, had no mastitis and by the time I was done my husband decided to celebrate by making pizza at home. The very next day I woke up with a fever and something clicked. I remembered one of those nights I was desperately looking for something to help that I read a paper about a doctor who said that when women have allergies they can trigger mastitis and for the first time I had a theory. Can this be food related?
It is not common and I was no doctor but I had nothing to lose so once I had dealt with that mastitis I tried eating gluten again and low and behold I had mastitis within 24 hours of eating it. For the first time since my boy was born I felt like it was not my fault, I just lacked the right information and support from the beginning.
I felt so empowered by all the knowledge I now had that is was at that moment I decided to study so not only I could have all the tools to keep protecting my breastfeeding but I now had the dream to pass on my experience to moms out there. I wanted to be that support I desperately needed crying for so many months. I wanted to be that voice that I wanted to hear telling you can do this. I wanted to be the one who told them you are not failing, you get to decide what is right for you and your baby.
Feeling like I had found my true calling I studied and certified myself as I lactation consultant.
Since then I've continued studying prepping for this moment. Publishing my site to put out into the world my knowledge and hoping this journey will give me the chance to share joy with other moms by providing the right information, at the right time. Empowering them to achieve their own personal goals.