November 20, 2014

FIAO 5.5 - Feeding The Twins - And We Have Latched!

It took 3 and 4 months but I have officially breastfed my babies. Vivienne decided randomly one night about a month ago to actually latch when I tried. It was incredible and terrifying all at the same time. I couldn't believe it when, instead of turning away and screaming, she opened her mouth and started suckling. After 2 months of trying I pretty much gave up. I just happened to catch her one night when she wasn't starving but just starting to get hungry. Juliette was not interested at all that night although I tried. Then yesterday afternoon she woke up about half an hour before it was time to eat so I decided to try. Lo and behold she latched like she'd been doing it all along. I couldn't believe it. Same thing this morning when she woke up. I just picked her up and she latched right on. It's truly an incredible feeling to feed my babies from my breast rather than a bottle for the first time at 4 months old.

So, with my newfound confidence in my nursing skills I decided this afternoon that instead of making bottles we were going to try to tandem feed. Viv woke up first and nursed for a minute before Jules woke up. I thought for sure Jules was going to fight it as she usually wakes up starving but nope she got right on. Then I spent nearly 10 minutes trying to get Viv back on. I was just about to give up and make her a bottle when all of a sudden I must have gotten her in just the right position because she settled down and started to eat. It was insane. Jules finished a few minutes later so we only tandem fed for a few minutes but what a moment it was. I can't believe we did it - while I was all by myself too!

I'm trying to figure out where to go from here. The downside is that I was in the process of slowly weaning and transitioning to formula full time. My supply is literally half of what it was just 3 weeks ago (really, why couldn't they have latched THEN?) Like I said before, I didn't want to be pumping with other children here when I decide to babysit. But nursing? I can do that and watch a couple other kids. Especially considering it takes significantly less time, I am not restricted to one spot for an hour and with a cover very little is exposed. CJ isn't sure how he feels about me changing up the game plan but he's so happy that we finally were able to do it. I think a little part of him is worried he will miss out on his bonding time with them if we stop using bottles. He gets home late and most nights it's one more bottle then bedtime and he only has Sundays with them. I told him not to worry, we can figure out a way to do both.

I am also reflecting on my journey from hating even the idea of breastfeeding 10 years ago to being over the moon that I fed my twins today. Such a special day for me, one that 4 months ago I was pretty sure would never happen. I will never forget that feeling I had when they were a week old and I was able to attempt nursing in the NICU. They screamed and scratched at me like I was trying to hurt them. The lactation consultant just kept shoving their heads into me (which I know works sometimes) and it was breaking my heart. They were half naked as we were doing skin to skin and I could feel them getting cold so I was worried about their temps dropping and they just could not get their mouths on. I think now that they were just not ready yet. And when I tried here at home I would often wait until they were really hungry - big mistake.  Once they get past a certain point they want instant gratification and trying to figure out a new nipple plus having to work harder for the milk was not going to cut it for them. Or maybe they just weren't ready until today. The bottom line is we did it.

It's funny that this article about EPing came out this past week. It had me all sorts of irate the other night. Gotta love these little tidbits: 

"There’s an assumption that bottle-feeding breast milk to a child is equivalent to breastfeeding, but that may not be the case."
What the actual F? So I've been doing all this hard work for four months thinking I'm giving my babies the best and you're STILL trying to tell me it's not good enough?! Awesome, 'cuz I didn't feel enough guilt when my eleventy billion attempts to nurse failed until today.

"Breastfeeding is about more than the milk. Babies don’t just breastfeed for nutrition; they nurse for comfort, closeness, soothing, and security."

Do you want to do it or do you want me to? I mean someone has to be the one to break the news to all the Dads, grandparents and caregivers (not to mention formula feeding moms) out there that while I'm sure they meant well they weren't actually soothing or comforting their little bundle of joy - not unless Mom was attached as well that is. What the hell? My girls are perfectly soothed with a snuggle and you bet your ass they feel close and secure to me, as well as my husband and family who haven't been able to breastfeed them either.

“The new challenge is to use language accurately, and tell mothers the truth that feeding their milk to their babies by bottle is less than equivalent to breastfeeding.”

Because that's what we want to hear.  Not only do you suck because you can't nurse your babies but you are practically poisoning them despite feeding them the EXACT SAME THING.

Despite my outrage something started to creep into my cold, confused, EPing brain.  Although I know I am doing the best for my babies, it is such a friggin' pain in the butt. And it's getting harder as they get older. But I want them to have my milk. So I will just keep trying, to the extent that my sanity can allow. What if one day they did latch and instead of getting up and making bottles at 5am I could just roll over and feed them? Because despite EPing being incredibly convenient and super easy (not!), I hear nursing is a little less time consuming. Plus, what if it really isn't as good and all of this is for nothing? (Just kidding, I know that's a crock of shit.) So, thanks to this lovely article, I decided to keep trying. And it worked. This time. Am I fully converted? No. Do I think it will be this easy forever? Nope. Am I glad to be able to say I've tandem nursed my twins? Of course. But it does not change the fact that no matter how my babies ate for the last four months it was ALWAYS the best thing FOR THEM because I WASN'T STARVING THEM.

Seriously people. It really is that simple. At the end of the day it doesn't matter how it gets done as long as you feed your babies you're doing just fine.

Thoughts? I'd love to share a pic but I'm still a little shy on these here interwebs so maybe next time. 'Til then, just remember: always feed your baby. No matter how you may have to do it! :-P


No comments :