Pass Christian MS USA
From NEW BEGINNINGS, Vol. 23 No. 3, May-June 2006, pp. 114-115.
Sometimes breastfeeding isn't about the warm fuzzies, the cuddling up, and looking into each others'eyes. Sometimes breastfeeding is about survival, about whether or not your baby is going to live to see that first birthday. That statement may seem overly dramatic to some, but to those of us who survived Hurricane Katrina, it is fact. I'll also warn people. My story will be difficult to read.
有时候，母乳喂养并不仅仅是温暖的拥抱和眼神的交流。 在某些时刻，哺乳是关于生存，关系到您的孩子是否能活着看到第一个生日的到来。 这句话可能对某些人来说太过了，但是对于飓风卡特里娜的幸存者的我们，这是事实。 我也提醒人们，我的故事是很令人伤心的。
On August 27, 2005, I awoke to get my children ready to attend the World Breastfeeding Celebration in Biloxi, Mississippi, USA. As always, I watched the news as I dressed and fed my children, three-year-old Betsy, and Aisling, almost six months. What I saw frightened me. Hurricane Katrina was in the Gulf of Mexico, churning her way to my Pass Christian, Mississippi home. I knew then that we would have to evacuate. Our home is in a flood zone, and although we've never flooded, we evacuate for every hurricane that comes ashore. The storm was the main topic of conversation during the WBW event and at lunch afterward. Although we were all concerned, we had no idea how bad it would be.
在2005年8月27日，我叫醒我的孩子准备参加在密西西比州Biloxi举行的世界母乳喂养的庆祝会。 和往常一样，我边看新闻边给孩子们，三岁的Betsy和差不多六个月的Aisling，穿戴衣服和吃早饭。而我从新闻里得知飓风卡特里娜正从墨西哥湾向着我在密西西比，Pass Christian的家而来，把我给吓坏了。 我知道我们必须撤离。 我们的家在洪水区，虽然我们从来未被水淹过，但我们一旦遇到飓风登陆就会撤离。在WBW活动期间和午餐的时候，飓风成为了交谈的主要话题。 虽然我们都很担心，但我们从来没有想到过那会是那么的糟糕。
The next day, my husband and I loaded our children, a few changes of clothes, and the family photographs into the back of our van. My parents along with my sister, her husband, and their 10-month-old, evacuated with us to a relative‘‘s home over 100 miles inland. On August 29, we waited out the storm there. Even as far inland as we were, I watched as trees were blown down in the yard, and we watched news reports until the power went out. The next morning we made our slow, painful way back to Pass Christian to see what remained of our homes. The trip back was difficult. We had to take the back country roads home, as the main thoroughfares were blocked off to all but emergency vehicles. We frequently had to stop and wait for men with chainsaws to cut through the trees that were lying across the roads. During these stops, I would nurse Aisling and comfort Betsy, who was alarmed at what she was seeing from the car windows. We had to skirt fallen power lines, and as we came nearer to the coast, we had to find alternate routes because there would be a house or a pile of cars blocking the way. As we came into the subdivision where we lived, we had to drive around a bit to find a way in. The entrance was blocked by someone‘‘s home that had washed from its foundation and into the road. Our actual neighborhood did not seem to be too badly damaged. The streets were muddy and debris strewn, but most of the houses still had their roofs.
次日，我的丈夫和我把我们的孩子、一些换洗衣物和全家衣物装进了我们的小面包车里。 我的父母则与我的妹妹，妹夫和他们十个月大的孩子一起，跟着我们向100英里外的亲戚家驶去。 在8月29日，我们在那里等待飓风的到来。 即便是在远离海岸的内地，我们还是看到院子里的树被风刮倒。我们一直看着新闻，直到断电。 第二天早晨，我们缓慢而痛苦地驶回Pass Christian，想看看我们的家情况如何，还有什么剩下的。 回程是困难的，因为主要公路只对急救车辆开放，我们必须走偏僻的乡间小路。我们必须常常地停车，等待人们将横倒在路上的树锯开。在等待的时候，我就喂Aisling，并安慰被车窗外的景象吓坏的Betsy。我们还要注意避开断落的电线，靠近海岸的时候，我们还必须绕路，因为经常会有倒塌的房子或汽车堆在路上。 当我们进入了我们居住的小区时，我们在周围找了好久才找到一条进去的路。 小区的入口被一栋人家的房子堵住了，这栋房子整个的从地基上给冲到了路上。乍一看，我们家的周围似乎没有太严重的损坏，虽然路上都是泥泞和残骸，但是大多数的房子的屋顶仍然完好。
However, as we went farther into our neighborhood, we saw things that were quite alarming. A boat had settled into a driveway. Household items were on the roofs of houses. Cars rested in places I knew they should not be left. I held my breath as we pulled in our driveway. My husband‘‘s truck was three feet to the left from where he had parked it. Our front door had been blown off the house by the force of rushing water. It quickly became apparent that the water had actually gone over the top of our roof. Our ceilings had collapsed, and all we had left was the frame of our home. I was explaining to my daughter, who was still in the car, that our house was "broken" and would have to be fixed when my sister came walking up my driveway. We were both crying when I told her that it was okay, I hated the wallpaper in the bathroom anyway. "Oh," she said, "Did you hate the bathroom, too?" We had started to laugh at the situation when I saw my neighbor, Geno, running up the street.
然而，当我们靠近时，我们还是看到了触目惊心的事： 一艘小船停在了车道上， 家里的物品倒在屋顶上，汽车停在平时不应该停的地方。 当我们走进我们家的车道，我屏住了呼息。 我丈夫的皮卡从原先停的地方向左移了三英尺，我们家的前门被洪水给冲走了。很明显，水一直漫过了屋顶，天花板塌了，整个房子只剩下了架子。等我妹妹过来的时候，我还在给仍然待在车里的女儿解释说我们家的房子破了要修。我们两个抱头痛哭，我安慰妹妹说，一切都会好起来的，“反正我正好不喜欢卫生间的墙纸，正好换了。 " 噢， " 她说， " 你也不喜欢卫生间吗？" 我们开始自嘲起来，这时我看见了我的邻居， Geno，跑过了街道。
She was crying so hard that I had a difficult time understanding her, and it took a few minutes before it became clear what she was trying to say. She had returned from her job to find her husband and three-year-old son drowned in their home. We couldn't call for help. Our cell phones no longer worked. We actually had to leave Geno holding her son wrapped in a towel while we went to get her help. It was the next day when help arrived.
On August 31, we left my parents'home, which had sustained only minor damage, and went back to our house to try to salvage some items. I left my children with my mother for the two hours that I would be gone. I actually enjoyed the air conditioning in the car. It was a respite from the 95 degree heat we had been enduring. When we got to our house, we found our 78-year-old neighbor, who had not had water or food for three days. He had survived in the second story of his home, where he had stood in five feet of water for 12 hours. We gave him what food and water we had with us and did our best to talk him into leaving his destroyed home to go to a shelter. I also had to tell the coroner which homes to check for bodies on my street, as I knew who had stayed and who had evacuated. I watched as five of my friends and neighbors were carried from their homes in body bags and placed in the back of a pickup truck. It was at that point that my husband and I decided to take our children and make the long scary trip to stay with family in Nashville, Tennessee, USA. We left with a half tank of gas and no idea where we would be able to get more. We were ultimately able to find gas in Alabama and arrived in Nashville the next day, where we stayed for 10 days until power and water service was restored.
8月31日，我们离开了我们父母那受损较轻的家，回到我们的房子，想设法抢救些有用的东西。 我把2个孩子留给我的母亲照顾两个小时，我很喜欢汽车里的空调，至少我不用忍受35度的炎热天气。 当我们到家的时候，发现我们78岁的邻居已经3天3夜滴水未进了。他躲在他家的2楼，在五英尺的水里面泡了12个小时。 我们给了他随身的食物和水，并且劝说他搬离已经损毁的房子住进避难所。 我还告诉验尸官，哪些房子需要去检查是否有遇难者，因为我知道谁留了下来，谁撤离了。 我看到我的5个朋友和邻居被装在运尸袋里从他们的家搬到卡车的后面，从那时起，我丈夫和我决定带着孩子们去田纳西州Nashville的家。我们开着只有半缸汽油的车出发了，我们不知道哪里可以加到油。最后我们终于在亚拉巴马州加到了油，次日抵达Nashville。我们停留了10天，直到水和电恢复供应。
Where might the importance of breastfeeding babies and toddlers come in at this point? It helped us survive. My exclusively breastfed baby stayed hydrated in the sweltering heat. I did not have to worry about mixing formula at a time when we could not shower or flush a toilet. Also, as we slept in a pop-up camper in the yard, my daughter's rhythmic sucking soothed me throughout the night. My three-year-old decided to nurse again for that brief time, and we were able to share that comfort. Later, my friends from La Leche League told me their stories, just as dramatic as my own. One woman even nursed two babies who were not her own, as their mothers were unable to find formula in those first days after the storm. How much better can breastfeeding get than that?
When we returned from Nashville and began picking up the pieces of our lives, we found that our La Leche League members from all over the country had come to our rescue. Those of us who had sustained great losses received food, clothing, shoes, medicine, toys, and even items like strollers, car seats, and cosleepers. I'm grateful that I made the decision to breastfeed and join La Leche League. An already horrible situation would have been even worse otherwise. Thank you, my sisters. Thank you for your thoughts, your prayers, and your help.