By Meredith from Twin Talk
Twins Breastfeeding Success Story
And you thought one was hard… read about Twin Talk’s journey through breastfeeding twins and the pressures she felt when it was “time to stop” breastfeeding.
When you’ve taken dozens of pregnancy tests, only to look at them five minutes later and feel complete despair, seeing two pink lines is so special. What I didn’t realize in that perfect moment is it wouldn’t be the only time I’d see two tiny objects right next to one another.
A few weeks later, Michael and I went in for our first ultrasound filled with excitement and anxiety. I remember watching the screen, silently praying we’d see a tiny flicker of a heartbeat along with reassuring words from the technician. Instead, we heard her quietly laugh as she told us we were having twins. The room was so silent, so still. And then I looked at my husband with tears in my eyes and blurted, “You need to find a new job.” I’ve always been great at ruining sweet moments.
I had a wonderful pregnancy, filled with minimal morning sickness and little discomfort. I knew this would be my only pregnancy so I treasured the early morning kicks and jabs. I even laughed at the terrified looks I received from strangers – my belly was, after all, enormous.
When you’re pregnant with twins, the breastfeeding questions change from “Will you?” to “How will you?” Most women assumed I wouldn’t even try breastfeeding twins. They casually brought up supplementing with formula, difficult nights with two hungry babies, and vitamins I could take to help my supply. It was hard not to get discouraged before I even began. But I was determined. Every time someone told me I couldn’t, I told myself I would.
Jude and Sloane arrived on October 30, via scheduled C-section. They were healthy, happy babies. I breastfed the twins in the hospital and was fortunate enough to have one baby who was a natural from day one. My daughter, however, had a much harder time. I had two lactation consultants who never gave up on me, and therefore I never gave up on myself. Every time it was time to eat, my husband grabbed seven pillows to place all around me for added support.
The first few weeks at home were hard, filled with tears from everyone. I went through the same struggles as most new moms. I wanted to quit. I didn’t. Sloane struggled and I’m sure she wanted to quit. She didn’t. Michael woke up every single feeding and made sure all three of us were comfortable. Often, we’d be sitting on our bed, bleary-eyed from exhaustion, each burping a baby. I will never forget those nights. It was such a defining moment for both of us – we were in this together.
Finally, what I once considered excruciating work became second nature. I nursed them at the same time until they turned three months and were too big for my nursing pillow. I felt like the majority of my day was spent breastfeeding and in the beginning that was pretty accurate. But I’ll never forget getting rid of the pillow and nursing them one at a time. I finally understood what people meant when they said it was such a bonding experience. I remember holding each baby and not wanting to let them go.
When you watch your children grow — watch them flourish — and it’s because your body was able to provide them that nourishment… it’s incredible. I thanked God every day for letting me be a part of it all.
I was blessed to breastfeed my babies for 15 months. What I find so strange is you receive encouragement and praise from everyone… until your babies turn one. Suddenly, what is so incredible becomes weird. I saw every raised eyebrow. I recognized every side-glance. I felt every pause. And little by little, it broke me. The girl who didn’t have an issue nursing in public suddenly started hiding, again.
I constantly made excuses as to why I was still nursing. I told people I would stop breastfeeding by a certain date and when that date passed and I continued to nurse, I felt guilty. And in typical fashion, I poked fun at myself for still breastfeeding. I made a joke out of the most precious gift I have ever been given.
Now, when women mention they’re ready to wean their child, I encourage them to go one more month. Just one. Just to make sure their reason to stop breastfeeding has everything to do with them and nothing to do with anyone else.
After I’d completely weaned Jude and Sloane, I went through several months of sadness. I missed the beautiful moments no one else would ever experience. I missed them falling asleep while nursing as I held their warm bodies close to mine. I missed counting their rolls and using my finger to softly draw their faces in the crook of my arm.
There were so many firsts and lasts in those 15 months. This was, without a doubt, the hardest last I’d encountered.
It was also the sweetest.
Meredith is a photographer and blogger living near Dallas with her husband and twin toddler children, Jude and Sloane. In her free time, she loves fashion, planning trips, and writing about her twins. Learn more about her pregnancy, twin birth stories, breastfeeding, and more on her blog, Twin Talk.