Feeding is HARD.

We have been ordered to top up both babies with formula 😦

It’s really, really, REALLY hard. I feel like I can’t do the most natural, nurturing thing in the world. I’m caught between two cultures as well; although very few mums do successfully breast-feed long term, I thought I’d be up to it with a little determination. In the UK you have a midwife who comes round and helps you. You’d also have ante-natal classmates and other new mums to help you, and my own dear mum too. Here at the moment i have only AW. Perhaps I still will be able to do it, but for now I have to rest and pump to get the milk going.

Our babies have both lost weight (and you know how critical that is already for Ivy), and worse, Olive has critical jaundice through hunger. If either twin worsens, they are back in SCBU next week.

We went in to hospital because Olive’s umbilical stump is oozing, and came out with all this more stressful info.

I feel like such a failure. I know I shouldn’t. I will just need to pump as often as possible. AW is as always very very supportive, and her family too, albeit in a very un-English way. It is cultural. Chinese-Thai families are caring in a tough love sort of way. I miss my mum SO much. Good job it ‘s only 9 days till she’s here for a while!

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9 thoughts on “Feeding is HARD.

  1. I remember this bit, poor Jo was so stressed and being hard on herself just as you are now… No one tells you just how bloody HARD breast feeding is! I can only imaginine trying to feed two little ones.

    Formula top ups are definitely a good idea, you will get a little relief from the constant breast feeding and that may be all you need to have your body do what you’d like it to.

    I’ll bet you’re doing an awesome job. Good luck!

  2. It is hard and obviously your twins are different from mine, BUT it is possible. There is possibly not as much support in the UK as you might think – in fact I had very minimal support with breast feeding – and we were told to top up with formula because both twins lost weight in the first week after birth (again, this probably wasn’t as critical as it is for yours). If you are interested, you can read about my journey breastfeeding twins (which I have done for the last 5 and a half months and plan to continue for some time yet) at http://becomingmums.co.uk/let-it-all-out/the-breastfeeding-chronicles-part-the-first-2/

    Hopefully both babies will start really thriving soon (one important point you will see in my own account is that my milk didn’t actually come in until they were a week old!)

    Good luck and remember that whatever breast milk they get is a bonus and that the most important thing is that you are all happy and healthy. Xx

  3. Our babies only had bottles while I pumped and pumped during that first week home. We needed to know exactly how much they were eating so they could gain weight. Once they started gaining, I reintroduced breast feeding.

    I TOYALLY know how you feel about the supplementing. I feel like most of what I post about lately is breast feeding the babies. Every time I have to give them formula after time on the boob I get so sad. But the supply for two babies is hard to bring in, and like I said … You may never have enough for 100% of their nutrition. Which is okay!!! What does “natural” mean, anyway? In another time you might have asked another lactating woman to help nurse. Formula allows you and AW to be the sole food providers, which is an amazing thing for your family.

    Hang in there ❤

    1. Thanks 🙂 I’ve sought advice from a few breast feeding advocates and they are very militant, and don’t make me feel very good. I don’t mind giving the twins formula supplements, as long as they don’t go off the boobs as a result, and as long as my supply doesn’t crash.

      I have a question about pumping: when you pump pump pump like crazy, FO you just keep going when nothing more is coming out? That’s when I stop and wait for them to replenish, but often I get waylaid and/ or a baby needs milk…

      At the hosp they each had a bottle today, I have expressed, and ivy and olive have both since had one formula from a cup (as well as breast feeding). The cup was barked at me by a militant(she may as well have written in ALL CAPS), but actually helpful – both girls could do it, and I know they are getting the extra milk and not going off my nipples.
      Let’s see… I love your comments and support Robin, thank you!

  4. I 100% feel your pain. As you can see on my blog, I am breastfeeding my 19-month old twins. It was not without struggles though. One of my twins screamed at the sight of a boob for the first 5 weeks! Neither of them could latch at all when they were first born. I was so stressed, frustrated and exhausted during those early weeks. Supplement if you need to and don’t feel like a failure! If breastfeeding is important to you, stick with it! You and your babies will get it.

    Here is a post I wrote about the HUGE challenges of breastfeeding when my twins were just a few weeks old: http://www.2moms2dogs2babies.com/2011/06/breastfeeding-is-hard.html

    I’ve been where you are and am more than happy to provide advice, encouragement or a listening ear!

  5. Don’t feel bad!!!! You have TWO babies to feed, some people can’t even feed one, you have a huge challenge ahead of you, there’s no way I could do it! Just keep pumping regularly and you supply will boost, and don’t feel bad for supplementing because you’re just doing what’s best! Fenugreek herb and a couple weeks of reglan helped my supply! You’re amazing for having 2 at the same time so don’t let anyone (even yourself) make you think otherwise! 🙂

  6. Kellymom is an excellent site! Also, do you have a lactation consultant you could do a Skype session with? Do you want me to ask around? HUGE network here. I took Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle daily from around 2 weeks as my supply was chronically low. At 3 months, I ordered Domperidone (from Thailand as it’s illegal here!) and it really increased my milk supply to the point where I felt like I could feed them by myself without formula. Like I’ve said before, don’t beat yourself up about the formula. No one can tell you what ‘your’ challenge will/won’t be. This is your path and you have to decide the best thing to do for your family. Everyone is different. You do the best you can WITHOUT making yourself crazy!!! If you can’t find the herbs there in BKK, you might ask your mum to bring you a good supply. Good luck mama.

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