Saturday, June 9, 2012

Breastfeeding bliss... or lack thereof

It's time for a word-heavy blog post; something that gets down and dirty on a topic that most moms/parents have visited before: breastfeeding (as my audience is mostly women I feel quite safe going there, sorry guys!) This isn't an ode to breastfeeding (although I do think it's great) or a brag-sesh about how wonderful breastfeeding is going with baby girl (we make an awesome bf team!) vs. with the twins a year ago. This is a rant.

About this time last year I was juggling two poorly-latched boys at the boob, and struggling something fierce. Breastfeeding twins, for me, was no walk in the park. I had daydreamed of holding them close, looking into their little baby eyes and feeling synchronized and bonded. Nothing could be farther from the truth. While breastfeeding the boys I was also pumping in between (for fear of returning to work) and therefore had some form of plastic attached to my nipple at almost all hours of the day. Not fun.
This is a (the only) photo of both twins eating at the same time. It was taken as proof for my midwife who couldn't believe I always had them eat together. I'm pretending to meditate, poking fun at how NOT relaxing it really was. It has been edited for public appropriateness.

Being tiny and premature made breastfeeding hard for my fellas. They each used nipple shields the ENTIRE seven months due to poor initial latches, and somehow (cue lack of sleep, hormones, babies crying, husband and home needing attention) I missed the window of opportunity to try them without. Wah. So goes the tale of being stuck that way for seven months, until I gave up breastfeeding for fear of losing my (and my family's) mind. It was a very emotional decision but in the end it saved my sanity.

Fast forward to now, and the wonderful experience that has been breastfeeding my daughter. We had a small scare at first in the NICU (she was altering between bottles of breast milk and me with a nipple shield for a short time) but ironed out the kinks in time to come home. I was determined not to get cornered into a bad situation again, not to mention glad to be able to feed my big growing baby all by myself, without spending a dime. The ultimate savings accomplishment!  I was actually relieved the night I "lost" the nipple shield and had to go without. I told myself that we would just bunker down together until we both got in a rhythm and honestly it happened like BAM!
I say I "lost" the shield because I later discovered that I had actually put it away while cleaning and forgot all about it. oops.

In the NICU working hard
Now for the nitty gritty. Ayara is a champion breastfeeder. She latches on without any help, she goes left or right no problem, she even loves eating in bed... so what is there left to complain about, you might ask? The answer: breastfeeding in public. BLECH. Great for tiny-boobed ladies with no post-pregnancy belly dangle, not so great for the gals with giant jugs who can't seem to be discrete for the life of them. 

Now that I think about it, when I daydreamed about breastfeeding in the past, I never pictured me with my boobs. I pictured me, of course, but with some very averaged-sized, perky, perfect breasts. Not the case. When Ayara and I try to feed in public I just know someone is getting a show. AHA, the invention of the hooter-hider (or the breastfeeding cover as it is more commonly referenced) nope. No good. Ayara hates being covered up.

So our bliss is reserved for the home front for now. Is it really so bad? I guess not. And just because it doesn't work perfectly doesn't mean we don't try... and try, and try, and try. And will keep trying. One look at her smiling face and I just know I'm doing something right.


  1. I always had dreams of breastfeeding, very rarely turns out like it looked in my dreams :)I'm on month 8 of nursing my twins and I often feel more like I'm wrestling 2 alligators than snuggling 2 sweet babies. I found your blog on pinterest :) It's always fun to find other twin mommy blogs! Your kids are super sweet and cute!

    1. Jenni, your comparison of nursing twins to wrestling alligators is hilarious; not only for the visual but because I agree with you 100%! I wish it had gone smoother and been more zen-like (like my current singleton experience) but I'm glad to have done it regardless. Kudos to you for 8 months and counting! I'm proud to know a stick-to-it mama like you!


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