PERSONAL BREASTFEEDING JOURNEY

Posted on October 9, 2017. Filed under: Breastfeeding multiplies, raising multiples, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

The following is reprinted, with permission, from the amazing twin Momma, Sara Pomeroy.  Momma Sara is brave, honest, caring, loving, doesn’t hold back and shares from the bottom of her heart.  I hope you get as much out of Momma Sara’s story as so many other Twin and Triplet Mommas have.  Blessings.

I want to post this in hopes it will help someone, or maybe help me find some support…

I had it all planned from the time that test was positive: water birth at the local birth center, breastfeeding until forever, you know- the total crunchy mom package. It was what I had dreamt of as long as I had dreamt of having kids. I had a glorious pregnancy. It was my first. We were having twins!! And then things started to go against my “plans”.

My b/g twins were born at 34w6d by emergency cesarean due to preeclampsia. Thank goodness they were healthy! (They just turned one.) But, from the start it was a constant and never-ending struggle for me to breastfeed them at all, forget ebf [exclusively breast feed]. From hours after they were born I was already feeling pressure to use formula from family and nursing staff. One RN in the nursery even bottle-fed my son against my wishes. I nearly hit her. We went through lip and tongue-tether revisions and exercises, multiple meetings with different IBCLCs and groups, many well-meaning moms on Facebook and in person, and endless reading and research during those sleepless days and nights. My son lost 10% and my daughter a whopping 17% of their already low preemie birth weights in the span of four days, and we had no choice but to supplement or not be able to leave the hospital with them.

I ate anything toted as having powers to boost milk production and swallowed capsule after capsule of herbs. I drank nearly enough water to drown myself. I watched my weight balloon from taking loads of domperidone. I did all of this with little output increase. I watched my mother and husband struggle with what to say to me to support me in my efforts. I silently screamed and cursed the braggarts who told me stories of “geez that’s too bad, I had enough milk to feed the neighborhood with mine”, even when I asked them nicely to not tell me that because I was struggling.

I am an ER RN and had to go back to work after twelve weeks. I spent thirteen-hour days caring for others while I pumped meager amounts of milk in a tiny room at the back of the building. I almost got fired for insisting on having breaks to pump. I cried when I spilled the two ounces I had pumped after fighting for a break one day [and] while taking my pump off. It was like being punched in the gut. I would come home from work and place my sad little bottles in the fridge and enter into another night of broken sleep.

I smiled for photos and out with my friends. But I hid and sobbed while locked in the bathroom at work or shower at home so no one would see my defeat.

I quit my job after six months and devoted myself to making it work. It didn’t.

I told myself that it was ok to supplement with formula but it made me feel horrible inside. “A fed baby is a happy baby” was a mantra I repeated hourly. I started to wonder why I put this pressure on myself. Why did it seem that everywhere I turned for advice, all I came away with was more pressure? Did the moms who “humble bragged” in the forums with their photos of freezer stashes and 9oz bottles from one session know how much it hurt the rest of us who were struggling daily to feed their babies that golden goodness? Were people really being well-meaning when they told me it would get better? Or did they just not know what else to say?

Well, my babies turned one a couple weeks ago. They self-weaned completely around the same time. Even though they only ever seemed to get a snack at Chez Mom, it was important and special time for us and it shattered my heart when they were done.

But then it happened. It FINALLY happened. I was telling a close girlfriend about them weaning themselves and how it hurt and she said the simplest thing and it was the best thing I had heard in a long time. She said: “You did your job, mama, and that is a wonderful thing!” I felt better. Instantly.

So, what I’m trying to tell you… what all this long-winded rambling is about… is this:

Mamas, you’re doing great! Everything you do for your babies is amazing. Everything you’re doing is good enough. Changing up the plan is OK. Nobody (at least not me, and definitely not those babies) will ever fault or judge you for having to modify your perfectly plotted plan of attack for being the best mom ever. I promise. (If they do, tell them where to go. Use small words because they probably won’t understand big ones.) If you can’t ebf your babies, I promise that some is enough. If you cannot bf at all, I promise that formula is more than “good enough”. PLEASE don’t beat yourself up. PLEASE don’t feel bad. But most of all, PLEASE don’t keep it all inside like I did. ✌🏻💜

 

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