Double Duty Nursing

When I first became a mother, there was no doubt that I would breastfeed. It was a wonderful experience and I ended up being an “extended” nurser for my first two girls. When I was pregnant with my twin babies, I was often asked if I would do it again.

Of course! I mean, how could I not? It was what I knew.

The first week in the hospital was difficult. The babies were in the NICU. I didn’t have that first latch after birth. But I was determined. They were so tiny, that it was difficult to get a good latch. And there was the pressure of getting a preemie in the NICU fed.

One of the criteria of having your baby go home from the NICU is can she eat well? This means being able to drink a certain amount within a half hour time. From the moment she starts to eat and until she finishes. Trying to get her breastfeeding and knowing how much she was getting at a feeding was just not going to work in those parameters.

So I was pumping. And after a couple of days, I was still getting just a tiny bit. And I was getting pretty torn up by the pump. I thought my nipples were going to fall off and I was about ready to wave the white flag.

I was so discouraged.

When the lactation nurse finally came in to see me, she saw the problem. The phlanges that came standard were too small for me! She brought me some bigger ones and what a relief! When I finally pumped that first full ounce, I was overjoyed!

I couldn’t imagine not being able to nurse my twins.

Once I finally had them home from the NICU, I was able to breastfeed them pretty much exclusively. They went the first two months with mostly breastmilk either from me or a bottle. Nursing one at a time, one right after another. Is it exhausting? Sometimes. Does it always work that way? no.

One night, I was up feeding Ema and Marco was dead asleep. He had taken some cold medicine and I had no hope in waking him up. Sara started to fuss and before long was screaming her little head off. I tried put Ema down to nurse Sara and that wasn’t working either. Before I could really think about it, I somehow brought them both to the rocker and got them both latched on. I looked around the room expecting applause at my accomplishment.

But no, only a sleeping Marco.

I’m pretty sure I tweeted about it though.

Now they are three months old and still going strong. I still nurse them together when I need to, but mostly one at a time. I had to add some formula to their scheule, because I couldn’t keep up with their hunger. Especially in the evenings.

Will I go two years plus like with my first two? I don’t know.

Leche Face

I’m just happy that we are making it work now. And hey, the more I nurse, the less dollars go to formula and the easier it is to drop the pregnancy pounds. Can’t complain about that!

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. mel says:

    That happened to me too with the pump. I had no idea. Glad you posted because honestly, I don’t think people realize how much of a difference the right equipment makes.

  2. Amy T says:

    A friend recommended your blog to me when I was pregnant with my twins, who are about 2 weeks older than yours, so I love to follow your posts and comments about similar triumphs and struggles.
    I BF my toddler until about 8.5 months, so I too knew that I’d bf my twins, but I just wasn’t sure how it would work. Fortunately, they were both able to go home from the hospital with me, so we were able to work on latching from the beginning. Both were great, but I did need to work with the boy a bit more. At first I nursed on demand with either of them since I was at home. When they were five weeks old, they boy was in the Pediatric NICU for a week and a half and I stayed with him. My supply dropped because I could only exclusively pump, he was on a feeding tube, and I was not with my girl to nurse her. I managed to sustain things, though it wasn’t easy…thanks to their hospital-grade pump in the room. As soon as he could nurse again, things got better, and when we went home, my girl remembered me and and I was soon nursing two babies again!
    Now that I’m working again we have a schedule of tandem nursing in the morning, pumped BM at their daycare, and then 1-2 more tandem nursing sessions in the evening. I say we’re on about 80/20 BM to formula now, and I gotta say, I’m dang proud of that!
    How long will it all last? Not sure. I’d like to make it to 6 months and then re-evaluate. Good work momma, keep it up! Fist “pump”!

  3. AmyAnne says:

    OMG congratulations to you for nursing TWINS! I think you do deserve a moment of applause for getting them hooked up at the same time. Wohoo!!!
    I nursed my other 3 kids for 12 months each. For me, while physically nursing has come easy, each kid has gotten harder and harder to deal with. I don’t know if it’s the demands of the other 3 or just the fact that I need SPACE, but this fourth one is wearing on my last nerve. She won’t go on a schedule and is trying her damnedest to make me an on demand Momma. So here I am struggling to wrap my head around feeding one and I read this. Wow! You are amazing!

  4. Wow Lex. I tip my hat off to you. You are truly an amazingly strong woman. Way to go!

  5. Chantel says:

    Lex, you are a rockstar! I’m proud of you. I never realized the breast milk pump equipment was/is adjustable to your needs.

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