I never in a million years, pictured my life how it is today. I knew I was going to be a mom of a handful of kids but never thought twins would come up.
But that’s how life goes right?
Finding Out We Were Having Twins
It was actually about a year or so ago when we first found out I was carrying twins. This was three weeks after finding out I was pregnant.
It was a whirlwind of a day. My husband found out he got orders to a new base and we found out we were adding two more to our family.
After finding this out, we both were shocked but so excited to see what our future held. A part of me knew from the beginning that they were twins as crazy as that might sound.
I remember thinking about all the things we would need to prepare for, how many diapers we would go through, how would I handle my son and the twins, etc.
What if I couldn’t handle it? Who could handle twins and a toddler?
Pre-term Labor Messed with My Head
Fast forward five months later, the girls decided to come into the world a little earlier than planned. I had been ready mentally for them and my body had been giving out a bit but it had been 4 weeks earlier than they needed to be.
So they were born and whisked away in minutes to the NICU. Yes, I am grateful and thankful for the staff to have helped my babies get through their first month of life. But it messed with my head and ultimately that bond I had with my son after he was born wasn’t the same with my girls.
My Decision to Breastfeed My Girls
A little over a year prior, I had breastfed my son almost instantly after he was born. I had a strong belief in breastfeeding him and it worked out really well. I only reached 7 months of breastfeeding him but I am proud of myself for making it that far.
Breastfeeding, to me, is one of those things that I always knew I would do for my children, if i had the ability. The benefits for mom and baby truly outweigh the personal reasons for me. When I found out I was having twins, I don’t think I ever had a doubt in my mind that I wouldn’t breastfeed them or at least try.
Now, I had no knowledge on how to breastfeed twins so I took my research to Pinterest. I found a bunch of useful articles and learned alot.
So fast forward a few months, the girls came 2 months early and spent the first month of life in the NICU.
The Frustration of the NICU Life
If you have never had a baby in the NICU, it’s safe to say you won’t fully understand the flood of emotions us NICU moms go through.
We don’t get to hold our babies right away or if we want to breastfeed, we can’t do that either till the doctor gives the go ahead.
It’s a backwards environment. You essentially have a hard time accepting you are a mom to these babies because your baby is in the hands of their medical staff 24/7. You don’t get to have the comforts of knowing your baby is sleeping 3 feet from your bed at night.
Your responsibilities as a new mom don’t line up with how it should be because of the baby’s condition, whatever that may be. It is a hard life to become accustomed to, to be quite honest.
I honestly felt depressed and frustrated by the fact that I had to say goodbye to them every time I had to go back home. I would spend that half hour balling my eyes out feeling like this separation would never end.
Struggles of Fighting to Breastfeed
The girls had been in the NICU for about 3 weeks before I was finally able to try latching them. Up to that point, I was so determined to breastfeed them that I had this frustration built up about not being able to do that for my girls right away.
I wasn’t able to do the one thing I so wanted to give my girls.
They needed time.
So I was pumping every two to three hours all day and all night so I could build my supply up for them.
While I was very lucky to have such a huge surplus of milk, I never felt more depressed. I honestly had so many emotions and didn’t feel like I was doing the best that I could.
I know now that I was doing the BEST that I could with what I had and the girls just needed time. It is not an easy thing to be in and try to process that your baby can’t be home with you because they need the extra support and time to grow.
I followed the doctors orders and continued to pump around the clock and feed the girls breastmilk through bottles.
I tried breastfeeding one feeding a day but was struggling to get them to latch right.
My girls were also having a hard time with acid-reflux. It got so bad for one of them that she wouldn’t be able to have a whole bottle without spitting up half of it afterwards. She was also the one that was behind on her weight.
Without the doctor’s approval, I made the decision to cut out the bottles and just breastfeed them. I can say I never will regret making that decision that day.
So 4 months in, I was tandem breastfeeding around the clock. One of the hardest, most tiring, but rewarding things I have ever done!
To this day, I am still breastfeeding the girls but they are now on baby food too so I am not nursing as often as I used to.
Although my days are planned around their schedule and my son’s, it becomes a tiring exhausting day real quick. Now that they are bigger and need more from me, I feel like they take a lot out of me.
They aren’t the greatest sleepers lately so my sleep is minimal.
There are days where I just feel all touched out. I felt that alot after starting to breastfeed them together around the clock.
Sometimes, these days, I just want a break. But I quickly realize how much they need me.
They are attached to me 20 to 30 minutes every 4 hours now, sometimes even less.
While it may be a very exhausting journey, I would never change it for the world. I have created a bond with my girls that they and I will have forever. I have accomplished something I never believed I could.
It is All Worth it in the End
I know one day my journey of breastfeeding will end and I will look back on this experience and miss it. I don’t regret my decision to breastfeed them both, no matter how hard it has been to handle. Cluster feeding was the worst which lasted for 2 months.
I am happy to say I have survived through an incredible, exhausting, at times frustrating, but joyous blessing. I can say that I have survived through breastfeeding TWINS!?!
For that, I am proud of myself for sticking with it this far and feel blessed that God brought us two more beautiful children into our lives.
Breastfeeding is not an easy journey nor is it fun all the time but I for one am thankful to have been given the opportunity to breastfeed all three of my children so far.
If you are on the fence about breastfeeding, know what you are getting yourself into by doing your research! But also know if you are given the opportunity and ability to, it can be done!