Background template

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Male readers: beware

(And anyone else that is grossed out by breastfeeding: beware as well.)

So I thought about writing a deep and thoughtful post about nursing and the trials and tribulations I've experienced thus far. But then I decided it was too sappy and serious, and that it would require a lot less effort to just throw it all out there.

Nursing is a lot of freaking work. It is time-consuming, brain-consuming, and physically consuming. I'm sure it's a lot of freaking work for one baby, but it is really a lot of freaking work for two.

I literally feel like I have two (really cute) parasites that have taken up semi-permanent residence on my body. Actually, scratch that, thanks to my friend, the pump, I feel like I have three parasites that have taken up semi-permanent residence on my body.

Let's talk about some of the positives of nursing the twins so far:
- weight loss (duh)
- optimal nutrition for the babies
- hopefully it keeps the babies healthier and boosts their immune systems, especially in the germ pool known as daycare (our daycare is great, but inherently full of germs!)
- easier and more efficient than dealing with bottles
- it's FREE!!

Now let's talk about some of the not-so-positives so far:
- Colby has had latching issues from the start, which resulted in me having to use one of these for a while.
- I have gotten multiple milk blisters. These are not fun, and they hurt. A lot.

- I have also gotten multiple plugged ducts (mostly since returning to work and pumping). These are also not fun.
- The position I use to nurse them leaves me feeling like a hunchback.
- But on the list of not-so-positives, this takes the cake: last week I came down with a lovely case of mastitis, complete with chills, 102+ degree fever, and pain while nursing that was so severe that I once spent half the nursing session crying and the other half screaming obscenities. In fact, I am ashamed to admit that pretty much every nursing session in the past week has resulted in the shouting of at least one obscenity. Brian even gave me a stress ball in an attempt to help me cope, but I just threw it across the room (likely while yelling an obscenity). Do you sense a theme here?

Thankfully my OB's nurse came to the rescue and called in a prescription for an antibiotic without me having to go in for a visit. However, one side effect of mastitis and antibiotics is a lowered milk supply. Because when you feel like crap and feeding your babies hurts like crap, the only thing that makes it even more awesome is for you to not produce enough milk, causing you to stress out and produce even less milk. Fun times.

And as many of you saw on facebook last week, one of the daycare teachers had the very unfortunate timing of telling me (the day that the mastitis started) that she thought the babies needed to be getting more in their bottles each day and informed me that they were hungry each time after they ate. Cue additional stressing and refer to paragraph above for how that turns out.

All this to say, I am basically just whining. I would really like to continue nursing/pumping for the reasons listed above. But I don't know realistically if I can keep up with the twins' demand, because unfortunately in my experience so far, pumping doesn't quite mimic the demand of actually nursing.

I'm not necessarily looking for advice (because to be honest, I think I've heard it all at this point), but really just sympathy. Is it shameless to admit that? I don't really care even if it is. I also don't feel bad admitting that I have been tempted to transition the babies straight to cheeseburgers so that we can be done with this whole liquid diet thing.

Thanks for letting me vent about this (as if you have a choice). Be sure to check back in tomorrow for the latest version of Would You Rather Wednesday, which I promise will have nothing to do with nursing (although I could come up with some good ones)!


the blogivers said...

I'm glad you decided to blog it out! Hopefully you feel better just having hit "publish." And like I've been saying, you're doing a great job and the babies are lucky to have a mom who cares so much to have even made it this far!!

Amanda said...

I'm so sorry Amanda! This sounds awful! Mastitis sounds TERRIBLE! I hope the antibiotic has helped. I have no advice to give, even if you were looking, so I just want to say that you are doing a GREAT job! You're a WONDERFUL mom!

Erika said...

Ugh, that sounds awful. I am so proud of you and impressed with your breastfeeding domination so far-- and if you switch to formula, I'll be proud of you then, too, only I'll feel sad for how many extra bottles you'll have to wash. I will also suggest getting a second dishwasher. And my final piece of advice is straight from the side of my almond milk carton: THIS IS NOT INFANT FORMULA. Just FYI. Because...I guess lots of people drinking almond milk are dumb as bricks and think it is formula? Or think...what? Huh? So, just FYI.

Mollyanne said...

I am completely sympathetic and have 4 thoughts for you:
1) mastitis is awful. Yuck.
2) in my experience, the 4-6 months range was the hardest time of my year of nursing. I only had one baby, but the second half of the year things went much more smoothly and he ate so few times and so much faster compared to the first months that it didn't feel nearly as taxing. I was ready to quit at 6 months but ended up being really glad I didn't.
3) my neighbor has 4 kids including a set of twins. She nursed the 2 singletons for 12-13 months each but quit at 7 months with the twins because of All The Hard and the stress of worrying about supply all the time. I consider this proof that breastfeeding twins is at least twice as difficult as just one baby.
4) you are amazing for making it this far. If you need to stop for everyone's sanity and well-being, it is still impressive that you've made it this far with 2 babies and a full time job. Way to go!

Christina Spinella said...

You have my sympathy!! I remember what all of that and how how hard it is. Just know that you are amazing for doing it as long as you have, and if you decide to stop, it's not the end of the world! I have a friend who has triplets and at 3 months, his wife had to stop. They did the math of 3 kids times 3 months = 9 months! Formula, while expensive, won't ruin your kids for life! You are amazing - full time job with twins!!! Don't let anyone make you feel guilty, even unintentionally!!

Brittnie said...

Girl, I honestly have been SO impressed with your breastfeeding determination thus far. I cannot imagine how hard feelingTWO babies is. I struggled with one and felt like I wanted to die at times. I hope the infection clears soon and stays long gone! Ugh!!!

I heard someone say one time that when choosing between breastmilk and formula you cannot make a bad choice. Sure, breastmilk might be "better" but formula is NOT bad, so really, whatever you decide is a win win situation. I really appreciated this perspective.


Brittany Sciba said...

You're doing such a great job! Don't put too much pressure on yourself. You're a wonderful mommy! :)

Allison said...

You're doing a great job and whatever your decision, it's the RIGHT one for you and the babies. Like someone already stated, breast may be best, but formula is a pretty darn good second.

And as a side note....having the hubs be able to help out more with feeding will save everyone some sanity.

Best of luck!

Courtney Squillante said...

I seriously don't know how you've lasted this long! You are my hero! Just remember, do what's right for YOU. You are a great mommy and have given those babies so much good nutrition/antibodies/etc already. I'm beyond impressed with you- so when/if you decide to change things up, don't for a second feel bad about your choice!

Party of Three Heads said...

A few things... I've had mastitis.. and it friggin sucks.. and I too quit breastfeeding when I got it... because of the pain, I couldn't keep up, I was OVER it by that point.. so I say that to say that if you switch the babies to formula you have done GREAT job thus far.. and some breast milk is much better than none! If anything do half and half. Produce what you can, and supplement the other with formula??

Victoria Strong said...

If you haven't already, check out The Leaky B@@b Facebook page! Lots of great advice and support!

You got this, mama!

Beth said...

You most definitely have my sympathy. I'm sorry things are getting rocky. Whatever you decide to do, know you're doing the best thing for your family! They are so lucky to be breast fed for as long as you can keep up, but as my pediatrician told me "a sane mother is more important than a breastfed baby". I like Christina's math - 2 babies x 4 months = 8 months already.

Natasha said...

I'm so sorry nursing is becoming harder right now. And having extra stress and worry doesn't help.

Like everyone else I am really impressed that you have nursed this long with twins. I was ready to give up so many times with just one and cannot imagine the perseverance you have (and need) to nurse two.

I wish there was something more I could do but I am praying that the mastitis clears up soon and things get easier, no matter what road you choose to take.

And nursing blog posts purely for sympathy are completely understandable and necessary :)

Gina Manifesta said...

This was a grrrreat post. Sorry breastfeeding sucks (bahahaha) sometimes. Can you just puree cheeseburgers? Organic of course.

Anonymous said...

Please everyone... Don't forget that nursing is NOT all or nothing! Supplement 1-2 feedings per day but keep pumping and nursing as much as possible. Give the babies more milk like they need but do not give up because nursing gets sooooo much easier at 6 months and even easier at 12 months. Keep it up!!!