Friday, March 5, 2010

Nursing twins

Is seriously one of the hardest things I have ever done! It seems like, with twins, every new stage is the hardest thing I have ever done. But this is seriously difficult! I am nursing probably 8-10 hours out of every day. The boys are wanting to nurse every hour or so. All that would be fine if I could nurse them at the same time. But I loathe, hate, despise, tandem nursing. Seriously, every time I have to nurse them both together I find myself wanting to throw myself off a bridge. I have no idea if it is hormones from having two let-downs or what, but tandem nursing makes my skin crawl.

I debated on whether or not to post this. But I really want fellow twin mamas/ future twin mamas to hear the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

With these babies there are very few times of sunshine and rainbows while nursing. I rarely get the warm, fuzzy feeling while nursing them. It is really sad! With Nathan, I adored nursing! It was the greatest aspect of being his mother and I could sit and nurse him for hours and hours! Now, I am nursing because it is my responsibility as their mother to feed them. Sure, once in a blue moon I will get a nice, happy feeling while nursing, but those are few and far between. The main reason is that I am just nursing so much! The amount of time spent nursing doesn't allow for any time for myself. Seriously, yesterday, I had one 5 minute period when I didn't have a baby on me. So that in itself makes it hard and I do understand now why so many twin mamas don't nurse/ quit nursing.

Of course, I would never quit. I am far too dedicated to this. I am far too committed to my babies having the best for me to do anything else.

So I have committed myself to nursing these boys for one year. If at the end of one year, I still feel this way about nursing, then I will give myself permission to wean. Which is also not like me at all because I have always been a supporter of baby-led weaning. But I think that nursing twins for a year will be quite the accomplishment and I will allow myself to be proud and move on.

Although that is not to say that I am not hoping that my feelings on nursing get better so that I can continue past a year. I am hopeful for that. We shall see.

Go easy on me....


Andrea said...

Please don't feel any guilt at all in your feelings about this. I can not imagine doing one task (let alone one that requires your body) that many hours a day. You have done some seriously amazing things the past few months and you need to be proud of every single accomplishment. If anyone can nurse two a year, it's you. :)

Christina said...

I can't speak from the twin experience, but I did have ups and downs myself with Genevieve. She spent her first 16 days in the NICU, so I did a lot of pumping to start, which I absolutely LOATHE!!!! Pumping is the WORST!

I probably got a bit of an attitude towards pumping because my first daughter wasn't able to nurse enough on her own, so I had to pump almost exclusively with her. Oh, how I hated pumping!!!

So, once Genevieve got out of the hospital and after a LOT of working with her we both got pretty good at it and it was smooth sailing for several months. Then she got teeth, was a bit of a biter and I got mastitis. I made it through that episode with too much drama and she stopped the biting. So, we plugged along happily for a few more months, then she bit me again--another case of mastitis. This time, though, it was serious. I had such a terrible fever that I couldn't get out of bed for 3 days. And OH THE PAIN!!! It was then that I decided that I just couldn't go through that again.

We were just a couple months from my 12 month goal, so my compromise was to just take the weaning very slow. It worked out that she was fully weaned by her first birthday and it turned out that she was ready too. It wasn't nearly as difficult of transition as I thought it would be. Don't get me wrong--I was still a bit teary when I knew it was the last time, but we were both ready.

I know my situation really is nothing like yours, but I think when it comes to BF'ing you've gotta just take it as it comes and go with whatever feels right. You've already given your boys so much already, so don't be too hard on yourself if it just isn't working. You're still a great mama, even if you don't make it to your goal.

Amanda said...

"Go easy on me..."
OH Mandie!! You are amazing!! Really, truly amazing. Those babies are so lucky to have you. I can't even imagine how hard this is. You are doing the absolute best and most selfless thing here. I don't think any person would blame you one bit if you "gave up", yet you are going strong and thinking only of what is best for them. What more can any mother do? What you're doing now is going to benefit them for the rest of their lives. I don't know if I could do it. But you are doing it, and so wonderfully and gracefully, even as hard as it is. Take the credit for this amazing thing you're doing, you deserve it!!! <3

Amy and Sean said...

I do know that feeling. I don't have twins but Logan had a shallow latch and so he was not getting a good milk volume those first 1-2 months so not only was I feeding him constantly, but it hurt like heck! I hated it at first, but the n he finally turned a corner and my milk volume increased and his latch improved. This is the hard part, but give it a few months (I know that seems like an eternity right now) and I bet they'll be great nursers and not need mama milk so frequently.

Syd said...

Mama you are awesome. I have never heard of another mama nursing her twins past a week or 2. You are amazing for going this long and planning on nursing a year. Now I have never nursed twins but I am willing to bet as this boys get older and nurse less often the more you will enjoy each session. I bet you will get your "warm fuzzy" feeling once they are older. HUGS!

Sarah said...

I totally go with what you are saying. It truly is a HUGE task to be breast feeding twins. HUGE. YOu are doing Amazing to get this far. Well done.

don't fret yourself that you don't get these 'warm' feelings. You have given birth to twins and are living a life with twins and a young one - your brain just does not have the space to just sit and enjoy and allow these feelings to happen. Though I did not have twins I had two VERY close together and with the second this is exactly what happened to me.

You really are above and beyound amazing.

TammyQ said...

Twin mama here :) Big Hugs...nursing twins IS tough!!! It will get better (honest). And the only advice I can offer is to find as much help as you can. Heck I would have hosted random strangers in my home if they'd hold a baby for 10 minutes. My girls are now 14 months old and I'm pretty proud to say that they nursed exclusively (and continue to) bottles, no supplment, just the's worth it and you're doing an awesome job!!!

Anonymous said...

Hey Mandie! CONGRATS first off! They are sooo cute:) YOu are doing so great! I survived only 3 months nursing my twins, and I could not agree more, the HARDEST thing I have ever done. I never left my bed for those 3 months it seems...I was always nursing. And then depression hit from not getting out of my room or house and then thrush came along with a blocked duct and that was awful. After that I could not get the nursing to keep going. I know though that you can do it! I pray that things get a little easier for you soon, I know they will. Hugs to you!!

Erin said...

You are doing great job! I don't know many people who would commit to nursing one baby to a year, let alone two. Hopefully by that time they'll be nursing less and they'll play with each other and you can get a break.

I don't really like tandem nursing either. It's sweet when they hold hands though.

Hang in there!

Dad O' Three said...

Mandie - You are doing great! I love your blog, found you via and always check in to see new posts.

I nursed my DS for 23 months. I loved nursing him and he led the way for our weaning so even the ending was positive for us.

Our twins are 7 months now, we are still nursing and it is easier than it was at first, I promise!

I despised and I mean despised tandem nursing. So I stopped. I needed to develop that lovely nursing relationship again and I couldn't do it nursing both at the same time. So I nurse them one at a time. Yes, that means sometimes I nurse for hours. A lot of the time one is waiting to nurse and he or she is crying (although that started to get much better @ 6 months). The minute I stopped tandem nursing I started to love nursing again.

Being a Mom to twins and a toddler is the hardest thing ever; you are doing a wonderful job. I can't even remember my blogger log-in (which is why this comment will come up Father-o-Three instead of Mom-o-three!!) You are actually posting to a blog. Truly impressive.