If there is one thing I have learned since becoming pregnant with the twins it’s to expect the unexpected. It has been no different since they were born. I spent my whole pregnancy preparing to breastfeed them. Every time I was asked if I was planning to breastfeed I gave a very certain “Yes”. Supplies wise, I was completely prepared to start my journey of exclusively breastfeeding my twins.
I was not prepared for what happened, I was not prepared emotionally. The day the boys were born they both latched on great. Lucas was such a great nurser from the beginning and Lincoln although he needed more help with his latch was still doing well. The first two nights were killer, between two babies I was up every 30 minutes trying to nurse. By the third day my milk began to come in, I was already at a breaking point. On the fourth day we began to supplement to help them with their weight gain and although it did feel less taxing on me, we began to question whether breastfeeding the twins while taking care of our home and the rest of our family was feasible.
I was exhausted, physically and emotionally. My hormonal changes mixed with the excessive sleep deprivation caused by nursing every 30-45 mins was causing me breakdowns. I was not being able to spend any time with Zoey and Lia, and Lia began to act up. For the first time I felt like maybe this decision to give my twins “liquid gold” might not be the best for OUR WHOLE FAMILY. I was torn. A part of me felt like I knew that formula would be the best option for the 6 of us not just the 2 of them. The other part of me felt like I was failing them. However, by that point I no longer felt this desire to cuddle and hold my babies, the time in-between feedings I wanted to rest. that is when I realized that something needed to be done.
A week after they were born in a very emotional conversation, my husband and I agreed that it would be best if we made the switch completely to formula. Even though we made the decision with our whole family in mind, it was not an easy choice. Although most of my milk has dried up I still feel my breasts tingle when they cry and every now and then it brings me to tears to remember I won’t be nursing them.
There is this stigma out there for not breastfeeding, whether it be you can or simply you don’t want to! For some reason we are made to feel that we are less than breastfeeding mothers. One of the most frequently asked questions even now that the boys are born is whether the boys are breastfed, and to answer “No” is sometimes even embarrassing when it shouldn’t be. I need to remember to be kind to myself and my body, and be proud of what it has done and not think about what it is not doing. I gave myself the ability to mourn this chapter in my life and although pained at having to say I am not nursing I need to be proud. I created two human beings. I gave birth to two human beings. I made it to 39 weeks pregnant with twins. My babies are happy and healthy, and I am happy and healthy.
I want to share my story with you so you know you are not alone. You are enough! You are doing the best you can, and that is more than enough!