Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Milking It

So I've decided to start blogging what I know as a mom. Cause all though I haven't been a mom long, I have been a mom for almost 2 years of twins and that's saying something.

I wish there was a lot more information out there when I had the girls. Talk about having your life turned upside down with a baby! I had 2 to figure out!

I didn't feel like books were helpful to me and in fact felt condemned by them at times for not being this all natural, done everything by the book kind of mom.
Letting my children cry it out was like a sin, formula- even worse! I didn't appreciate these books that seemed so robotic, where was the life and truth in their words? Life happens.

Luckily I'm surrounded by honest to goodness mom's who are honest in it's pure tortures at times but also have a deep unconditional love for their children. REAL MOMS.
Find a network of these women near you!

Well, on to what I wanted to start doing. Giving my information in hopes it helps someone else with twins, or a single, or quads, or for me to look back on someday and remind myself I am NOT perfect, but I AM perfect for my children.

I want to start with the basic things when we first have our children. First off the most certain thing they need is- Milk.

The glorious golden liquid. It's priceless, It's perfect. It's made by your body and is made purely for your baby.
It's a magical time of intimacy. It's free. Can it get any better than that??

But unfortunately it can't happen for every woman. Many women struggle to keep up supply and it's darn right painful!
I would bite my lip down and kick my feet against whatever was near to pass the latch. Once one was latched, Daniel had to keep them in place while I prepped the other baby to latch on my other breast and once again, bite, kick and push through.  Finally both would be latched and all I could do was hold it all together. I didn't have an extra hand to eat, drink, re-position or keep them awake. They'd always fall asleep and Daniel had to keep waking them to drink. But worse was that one would always let go and I'd have to make them latch again! I couldn't keep them there.

It finally seemed easier to just do one at a time. I'd feed one and then I'd feed the other, and when I finished, the first would be hungry again and I'd start over. I felt like a cow. I was just constantly feeding and I had no time to myself to sleep, bathe, use the bathroom or eat.

Trail mix was my only food and water my only drink. Needless to say my supply wasn't very strong.
I also had one side that was so tender I'd cry when I tried to get them on it.

I wanted so badly to do it. To exclusively breast feed my girls. To give them the perfect source of food, that again is FREE. Formula is pricy and I have two babies to feed! I was in love with the intimacy I shared with my babies during that time. But I had not one moment to do a thing for myself. I was getting angry and irritated. I was in pain and I was heart broken. I was sleep deprived and stressed. I couldn't hand the girls off to anyone to relieve me to clean up, sleep a little, or enjoy some food at the table. 

It truly felt like one of the hardest moments of my life. Deciding to introduce and use formula.

Formula had it's downfalls. I had to pay for it. I had to buy double of it. I had to buy bottles, I had to buy double the bottles. I had to start washing bottles. I had to wash double the bottles. I had to prep the formula and prep double of it.
But the benefits, I could let Daniel feed them, or we could share them and I could have an arm free. I could excuse myself to clean, sleep, eat and other amazing things I wasn't getting done. I could let other people help feed them and it allowed me time to breath and function. I could feed them at the same time and actually work a feeding schedule, and I could see how much they were getting.

It can be a brutal and devastating feeling to go through or at least it was for me. Especially when all the books discuss how fantastic breast milk is (and I do agree) but it never talked about formula and how great that is too!
We live in a blessed time. We can get outside sources to feed our precious ones if we need to or just want to. It is made for them too.
Formula is not a sin. It is a blessing. I am thankful for the stuff.

We each have unique children and lives. And for me, having two and having to function the way I need to in order to support my children at my best meant I had to give them milk outside from me.

I'll be honest and say I didn't try very hard to find outside help. I really didn't want it. I wanted sleep. I wanted pain free. I wanted to eat! I sometimes wish I had tried harder, got help. But I realize what I did was best for me and them. I feel right with my decision. They are two very healthy, beautiful children and very smart.

Point: If you feel like you want to do something that isn't what books are saying is best, it's okay. You're not trying to hurt your child. You're trying to be the best mom.

Whichever choice you make, stick to it. Make the decision and let everyone around you know it and make sure that they support it or that they keep their mouths shut. It's your baby, your choice. Your need support not guilt.
If you decide to breast feed, then push for it. Ask for help, speak to a consultant, work to boost supply or take herbals to help you. Do what it takes. (and always discuss with a doctor)
And if you decide not to, it's not commiting murder. Your baby will still grow, healthy and well. You'll get benefits either way you go. The question is which will benifit you and your child the most and there is your answer on which way to go.

I do remember at one point while I was trying to breast feed and suggesting we go to formula, Daniel didn't exactly support the idea right away, and I told him, "You grow a pair of boobs and you see how it feels!' If only men did....