Choosing to breastfeed my twins was a no brainer. When I was pregnant, I did a lot of research on everything from easy ways to feed them at the same time, how long I should, how often, etc. I was convinced we would NEVER have to use formula. I didn’t want to, I only wanted them to have the best, that liquid gold 🙂
Literally the minute they were born, that all changed, and I wasn’t going to debate. I know a lot of women that would have put up a fight regarding this, but I learned early on in my pregnancy that the problem with being pregnant with mono-di twins, and being so high-risk is that flexibility was going to have to be my middle name. There was going to be no birth plan, no “dream scenario” on how I wanted them to enter the world. It was going to be whatever was the safest for them and me and that was that.
I would hear from so many women, when I told them I had a scheduled c-section for 37 weeks, but don’t you want to have them naturally?! Because they don’t usually let women in my situation go past that for safety reasons, I would respond with, that is OUR natural. Natural to me is however the babies graced us with their presence the safest and healthiest for everyone involved!
Then came the feeding battle. Because Sawyer was immediately whisked up to the NICU, I knew that his first form of feeding was going to be though an IV and bottle (they actually wouldn’t even let him leave until he took formula from a bottle) and Mason was born with very low blood sugar so his first feeding came from a bottle from his father while we were all in the recovery room and everything was still all wiggly to me.
I immediately began pumping, 1. to help bring my milk in faster, and 2. to start signaling to my body that I needed more than the usual one baby amount! Once Mason started nursing, they would have me pump after every time he ate in order to produce more. I remember feeling so heartbroken about Sawyer though. Not only that he was not with us but I thought he would never get a the chance to nurse. At that point he was getting all of his nutrients from an IV, since he still wasn’t taking a bottle. I was CONVINCED that he would never get the hang of eating from me since it was all happening this way. I pumped and pumped and pumped until I got probably 1/16th of an ounce of some colostrum that I begged the nurses to let us bring up to him so he could at least try and get some of that good stuff! They did, and he ate it, it was such an amazing moment for our little family (CJ was with us, but they wouldn’t allow Mason).
So skip forward to being home and trying to figure it all out- tandem feeding, trying to get my teeny premature babies to latch and stay latched while making sure they were getting enough calories to gain weight, and all maintain our sanity, sometimes we did turn to formula. We felt so lucky that 1. they would take from a bottle and 2. they would pretty much eat anything we offered! They never fought regarding a brand or a temperature of a bottle, they are seriously the best babies ever (just had to throw that in there) 🙂 I also happen to have the best husband ever to kept my spirits up about it telling me that they would get there, not to give up and all that good stuff that I might have not realized without him.
But, that also doesn’t mean that my mom guilt didn’t kick in every so often. Formula started to be way less apart of their daily diet, once we got the hang of nursing, and I was thrilled about that. It was down to one bottle day, until about 3 weeks ago when I was forced to start the weening process for many reasons. Mom guilt kicked in again. So many people (no one with twins, though) 🙂 would tell me: breastfeed as long as possible! It’s what’s best! You’ll never get that time again! I KNOWWWW all this! It was the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make, and I don’t want them only eating formula, but I have developed enough of a freezer stash to keep going with the good stuff for a while and I will keep pumping for as long as I can.
It has become of of the most controversial topics I have come across as a new mom, and while I only really ever felt “shamed” about my decision once (during a crazy breastfeeding support group/class) I have quickly learned that I need to do what is best for us, as a family, and me as a human and that is that. Everyone else can suck it😛
*The 3 of us our second day home from the hospital*