While visiting my parents who live out of state, we decided to make a pilgrimage to our favorite Swedish home decorating mecca, Ikea. Our objective was to obtain more wooden train tracks for Will’s newest obsession, Thomas the Train. It is hard to pass by the sweet shop by the checkout with out partaking. The aroma of cinnamon rolls were calling my name, and mom decided to share a frozen yogurt cone with Will. We sat down and grabbed a seat with my sister who was chauffeuring the babies around in the twin stroller. About half way into my cinnamon roll I heard some lip smacking, and I peered down to see two happy babies, totally entranced with our eating and mimicking our noshes.
After 7 months of breastfeeding, my 5 month old (adjusted) twins are starting to show the signs that they are ready for more than just mommy milk. Looking back at the beginning of their feeding journey, I am amazed that we have been able to make it this far with breastfeeding. At the WIC office, the nutritionist asked me if they had given me breastfeeding t-shirts, which were infant size with clever breast milk related sayings on them. I thought to myself that if anyone should be getting a t-shirt it should ME, proving how awesome I am because I have overcome a mountain of obstacles (as every nursing/pumping mom does) to be able to breastfeed these babies.
We started out with two babies starting with feeding tubes and formula in the NICU, worked through both babies being tongue tied, learned how to feed at the breast after several weeks on bottles, and balanced out a major oversupply problem that was more than enough milk for two. I became a master at nursing two at once, have feed them in a variety of strange places when necessary, including the front seat of our mini van with both legs propped up on the dashboard. And now that they are much more efficient eaters, not to mention HUGE babies, I have been enjoying feeding them one at a time.
Breast feeding is hard work, there is no way around it. Part of me is relieved to be introducing some new food sources into their diet. It will be nice for my husband to be able to help out more with meal times and I will enjoy the benefits of having a little more freedom to go out and do things sans babies. The other part is a little sad that we have reached this milestone so quickly. I plan on continuing to breastfeed until they are at least 12 months (adjusted), but as we add more and more foods, breastfeeding will evolve from being the main course to a morning/nighttime snack.
For anyone who has the desire to breastfeed their baby or babies, I want to say that it can be done, however you have to be prepared to be met with obstacles, especially if you are a mother of multiples because the chances are VERY high that you will be delivering pre-term babies. As far as time-management goes, I think the benefits of breastfeeding when you have multiples is ideal. When we first came home from the NICU the babies were eating every three hours. By the time I would pump, feed them a bottle, and then clean everything up (pump parts and bottles) it was time to pump again. I was going nuts. I seriously considered giving up several times, but I still would have had to prepare bottles. Once we hit our stride with breastfeeding, I was able to get the time spent feeding both babies to 30-45 minutes which gave us much more time.
I am going to start solids slowly, by adding a little bit each day/week and progressively dropping and stretching between feeds as they get more used to it. Because I am able to get purees from WIC, I wont be going the baby led solids route, but I really like the idea.
Well, I didn’t get a t-shirt for my accomplishments, but I’ve got two sweet milk-fat chunk-a-chunks (as pictured above) to remind me that all my hard work has paid off. You would never know by looking at them that they were 8 weeks premature, weighing around 4 pounds each when they were born. I cannot recommend breastfeeding enough!