My boys are breastfeeding! Exclusively! No supplementation, no (well almost) pumping and bottle feeding!
I’m so happy about this development that I feared would never be achieved. Having preemies who had poor latch and suck along with the stress of trying to keep up my supply solely through pumping was so stressful. Actually putting the boys to breast became recreational after the stressful work of supplying their food source with pumping and formula. This was clearly not the way to achieve exclusive breastfeeding but it was so stressful everytime I tried.
And then a tornado hit our street. Last Wednesday night our city’s tornado sirens went off. We, of course, went outside to see what was up (idiots). It wasn’t even windy or raining. The news was saying for our area to take shelter so I went into a room with only 1 window with the kids and Pete went across the street to talk to a neighbor. Suddenly a man came running down the sidewalk screaming “it is coming, run!” Pete gave me a signal and I took the kids into the bathtub. By the time Pete got there the electricity was out and the world had turned black. The wind was whipping like crazy.
I think all the damage was done in the first 60 seconds. I’m told it was a “burst” tornado because it only lasted like 40 seconds but it destroyed several houses – no fatalities though, thank goodness. This one is 5 up from us:
We were in the bathtub for 20 minutes and the boys were crying. So, I latched them both on and made shadow puppets by flashlight to keep Aellyn amused (can you say supermom?). Our electricity was out for about 40 hours – so no pump. I was freaking out and manually expressing into a bowl (fun). But then this clam settled on me and I thought maybe God was giving me a kick in the pants. So, I figured, I’m making enough for them not to STARVE, right? They were latching great and I could feel let down. Maybe they weren’t emptying the breast as quickly as a pump but they were nursing more often than I was pumping so my supply was fine.
Well it has been five days with nothing but boob (except I pump once so I can sleep through a feed). Every time they cry I worry I’m starving them. It is hard to go from measuring and timing feeds to trusting my body and the art of supply and demand again. I’m actually glad I don’t have a dr. appt for them until the end of June so I don’t worry about weight. They are pooing and peeing normally and still sleeping 4-5 hours at night. I just have to trust the process.
I’m so happy not to be bottle feeding! I have a new found respect for bottle feeding moms. In my opinion, it is 100 times harder than breastfeeding. Getting up at night, all the washing of bottles, mixing formula that has to be thrown away after an hour. It is so wasteful and if you mix it with breastmilk then that is getting wasted too. AND IT STINKS. Like seriously. Formula smells like festering garbage. Their burps and farts smell even worse. It stains everything an unnatural orange color. Breastmilk doesn’t stain or stink when it is spit up. A night feeding was a two hour ordeal with feeding each one (I could simultaneously bottle feed but not burp so I did one at a time), pumping, and then washing parts. It sucked.
If a woman has chosen to bottle feed she is either uninformed about breastfeeding or she has a pretty good reason. There isn’t anything convenient about formula! Remembering to have your boobs on is much easier than packing a formula-fed diaper bag. If a woman was informed, had all the good help of an LC and still chooses to formula feed then I think the physical or emotional distress must have been very high. It is a lot of work to be taken lightly.
Anyways, I’m so excited my bumpy journey ended so well! Here’s to 2 more years at least of boobs for my twins!