Distress!

We are having a daily battle here of some kind. I have been feeling quite distant from Ivy as through establishing breast feeding with Olive my attention has been largely monopolised by her. This is the central problem; how to give them both equal attention when their needs are so different?
Today we decided I would spend some dedicated cuddle time with Ivy, and AW and auntie would feed O breast milk from the bottle. From my perspective, that was great; Ivy and I did a but of snuggling, and though she can’t feed at the breast, she really liked it and we had a little skin to skin doze together, and she was very calm. Unlike yesterday (screaming all morning) and last night (screaming since 4am).
I had begun to feel quite anxious about Olive’s successful breastfeeding increasingly alienating Ivy. It almost killed me to hand olive over for bottle feeds with Auntie.
Sure enough, it threw everything off, and Olive refused her afternoon feed (from the bottle). I then decided to put her back at the breast, as she had to eat something, and the gap since the last feed was widening. What happened then was really tough. She refused the breast completely, in a huge rage. I had some (LOVELY, twin mum) friends here and they’d seen me feeding Olive last wk. they could not believe what a state she was working herself into this time. It was really upsetting. Every time something like that happens, I feel that the precious work we did getting Olive to accept the breast has all been lost.
In the end, as she was really, really hungry, we offered her formula in a cup. She drank it down in less than five minutes.

I have been feeling in the doldrums these last couple of days. I am really not sure at this point that breast feeding is worth the angst.

If I can express and give them bottles of my milk, then both twins are on an even footing, and each will get shared attention.

However, I love that closeness we have breast feeding, especially as we worked so hard to get it. I have asked a few specialists to pay us a visit, but as it has been the holidays it hasn’t happened yet.

Hands up though, I REALLY need some help or I’m not going to be able to sustain this; I must find a way to be close to them both, and if that means bottles, or even formula in bottles, it’s a price I’m willing to pay.

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5 thoughts on “Distress!

  1. I could have written this post 3 1/2 months ago :(. In many ways I still feel closer to Apple because of his early and talent in breast feeding, and my husband feels closer to Banana because of how much more frequently he was feeding her. But giving up breast feeding with Apple was too painful, so I tried to make Banana better at it and hoped she would like it. And you know where I am now with all of that.

    I have no answers. Either way feels terribly painful and unfair. The only solace I get is from mothers of older kids who say in the end the breast feeding was not as important as they thought it would be. And I just read an article on slate about the benefits of breast milk being completely blown out of proportion. So I don’t know.

    HUGS ❤

  2. When my boys were born L latched like a champ but then lost it. M latched well and would breastfeed happily. Then suddenly it switched and L was feeding like a pro and M would fuss and cry and slip off the boob. M ended up stressing me out a lot. By 4.5 months I had to go on meds which meant I could bf for a month. After that L flat out refused the boob. M bf for another 2 weeks and then stopped. I was fully in the grips of post natal depression by then and barely had the strength to get out of bed let alone get the babies back on the boob.

    I bfn for 4.5 months. It was a fight and a struggle most of the time. My one boob always produced significantly less milk which meant one baby was always left hungry and cranky. I started supplementing with formula at 2 months and it made a huge difference.

    I wish it had worked out otherwise but I did the best I could.

    My own thoughts are that the fighting and stressing isn’t helpful for anyone and if you finally decide to bottle feed then that is okay. Don’t buy into the mommy guilt. Do your best and then let it go.

  3. Like Robin, I could have written that post 19 months ago. Teagan established breastfeeding at just one week old and was doing well. Quinn on the other hand, like Ivy, couldn’t really breastfeed. I felt like I didn’t have the same connection with her that I did with Teagan. My time with Quinn was often stressful because I feared that she would never figure it out. She would usually scream whenever I tried to feed her. A lactation specialist recommended taking Quinn to an osteopathic doctor. He helped Q tremendously. It took 6 weeks but she got it. By the time the girls were 3 months old, breastfeeding was effortless. They would both eat in 20 minutes or less. I loved the freedom it brought.

    Do your best. If it is important to you, stick with it a little longer. If you decide to stop, know that you’ve given your babies an amazing gift of breast milk up until this point. No guilt!

  4. This post is so relevant to almost every other mother that has breastfed. It’s HARD! I watched my wife work at it like a champion, and she finally got there… But, that was with just one baby and it was sometimes painful to watch… The Breastfeeding only lasted until 4-5 months as her cycle resumed and they both became unwell with a cold, so she dried up.

    Everyone has a breastfeding story – you are not alone, even though it probably feels very much like you are at 3am with two unsettled babies…

    Just remember that you are doing the best job you can – and please try not to let anyone elses ideas or judgements make you feel anything less than a wonderful mother. Make the decision that is best for you and your little ones, even if that’s formula – you’ve given them a great start by breastfeeding this far!

    Good luck!

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