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Journey To the Finish Line

PR's, 4 children, hopes and dreams; I'm always running after something

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Breastfeeding

Adventures in Breastfeeding Twins: A Year Later

Other than this post, I haven’t blogged much about breastfeeding. I’ve written a comment here and there about ounces eaten or feeds dropped as the babies got older in weekly posts but thats about it. They are almost a year old now and we are soon beginning the process of weaning. I have much respect for those who continue to nurse into toddlerhood, but for me the journey ends at (or around) one.

Before Miles and Abby were born I tried to keep a flexible attitude about how I was going to feed them. I wanted to breastfeed but wasn’t sure I would have the supply, energy or determination. I told myself that while breastfeeding was my goal, I would not be angry with myself if it didn’t happen or if I made the decision that the effort was really not best for our family. I budgeted for formula just in case. I kept a few sample cans around and held onto coupons in an effort to keep the cost down. Knowing babies develop the suck, swallow breathe pattern around 35 weeks gestation and that we were at a higher risk for premature birth, I didn’t want to have any expectations.

Miraculously, we made it to 38 weeks. After hearing about the importance of skin to skin and nursing ASAP after birth, I worried a bit about our choice to have a cesarean section. The babies were taken to be weighed, assessed and bathed before they were brought to me in the recovery room. The hospital LC accompanied them and helped while I attempted to place one on each breast. Both latched on instantly and I congratulated myself on what I expected to be the first of many tandem feeds. I shrugged off the suggestion from the LC that I feed individually for awhile.

A couple of days later Abby showed her stubborn streak when she wailed that my colostrum was not enough to satisfy her and she did, in fact, NOT want to wait for my milk to come in. I tearfully agreed to a formula “top off” of 1-1.5 oz after each nursing session, something I probably could have refused and only ended up needing for a few feeds anyway. Because when my milk came in, I mean it CAME IN. Suddenly I grew from a modest B to Dolly Parton cup size and because I was feeding so frequently, my body produced so much milk thatI became engorged after only a few hours. To give an example, I could complete a feed, pump 3-4 oz and still not be empty. To top it off, Miles developed a poor latch and I began to battle with broken skin on my nipples. It was then that I finally understood what the LC meant and began feeding individually. For me, though, this meant I was spending 2x as long feeding and found myself overwhelmed and exhausted by it by evening. I craved a break and welcomed the pump because I could empty in half the time it took to nurse both individually.

2-3 weeks later Abby started spitting up. When I say spitting up I’m not talking about a little here and there, I’m saying we sometimes estimated ounces lost. It stressed me out so much I called a private LC for a weighted feed so I could get an idea if she was getting enough. Since she was born on the small size (discharged from the hospital at 5 lbs 6 oz and lowest weight at 5 lbs 4 oz), every ounce was important. As it turns out, she nursed like a champ but often spit up likely because my let down reflex was so strong. I tried everything from feeding reclined to assigning her her own breast (which not only didn’t work but eventually made me look comically uneven in size), feeding sitting, burping often and taking breaks.  We even bought her a special reflux pillow because she spit up at night and did a trial with Zantac. Nothing worked, and it made the experience stressful. And let’s not forget the part where I sprayed and/or dropped on every available surface in the house – some humans included.
It took 8 solid weeks before I faced breastfeeding with more enjoyment than dread and 12 weeks before I finally REALLY started to enjoy it.

If I remember correctly (and honestly there is a decent chance that I don’t thanks to sleep deprivation), it was 4-5 months before I was able to stop getting up in the middle of the night to pump even though the babies were sleeping longer stretches. It was also about that time that it started taking longer to pump than nurse so I took the night shift more often than not. On the plus side, this made things easier in general because at this point I was so used to nursing individually that tandem nursing began to feel awkward. I began to feel thankful for my ridiculously fast let down because I could have BOTH babies fed in 20 minutes (however, this did NOT help our spit up situation).

Over the next several months we found our groove and slowly dropped nursing sessions as more solids were added. We (with mostly amusement) dealt with “distracted nursing” (squirrel!). I was pretty lucky that biting was never a big issue. I enjoyed feeing each individually because it allowed me to have some individual snuggle time. Somewhere around 9-10 months there was a noticeable drop in interest and nursing sessions began to get shorter. I had feared they would be difficult to wean, but they are proving me wrong.

I remember a few weeks in thinking that breastfeeding for a year felt like a very long time. There were periods where I felt overwhelmed, stressed, and frustrated. I became surprisingly emotional and attached to it and my ability to provide the babies with breastmilk. Once my supply regulated, I worried often about making enough. I sometimes pumped extra late night or woke up in the middle of the night to make sure they would have enough for day care. I did not enjoy pumping and admittedly sometimes was annoyed at needing to duck out of social events to pump. Sometimes I was annoyed that I was getting up most often simply because it was faster for me to breastfeed (and I was too paranoid about my supply to skip a feed/pump). If there is one thing I wish I had known beforehand it would be this: breastfeeding can be, and often is, hard.

Still, it is almost a year later and I find myself shocked that it went by so quickly. The weaning process is bittersweet. These will likely be my only babies and my only chance to breastfeed. I look forward to kicking the pump to the curb and not having to plan where I will be when its feeding time but its just another sign that my babies are no longer babies. In fact, Abby has refused the last few nursing sessions, which makes me think she might be done already. I will miss the built in cuddles that will likely be fleeting the older and more active they get.

My story isn’t all that exciting and comparatively speaking our adventure not all that bumpy. Still, a full year is quite a feat and I’d say I’m as proud of myself as I was crossing the finish line of both marathons. Maybe more. I know technically we are still two weeks away but aside from the possibility of slightly early weaning I think its safe to say mission accomplished.

We made it!

Life with Twins – Week 20

Twenty weeks old isn’t really all that significant but for some reason it feels like it to me. Maybe its because twenty weeks is typically associated with the halfway point of a pregnancy. Maybe its the jump from the teens to the twenties. Whatever the reason, it seems old. I mean, as far as babies go.

I continue to gimp around and not run in my stupid boot. It’s been almost two weeks since I broke it so 4 more to go. I have discovered, thankfully for my sanity, that I can use the elliptical with the boot on and keep my toe stable. I’ve also (finally) been doing more core work and weights after every elliptical workout and think it may actually be helping my still split ab muscles. On top of that, I finally discovered the wonders of Breaking Bad when I looked it up on Netflix and use that to entertain myself. I  just finished the first season, so no spoilers please 🙂

On the plus side, I dunno if it was because I was sick or just lucky but it appears that I have finally lost the final 2-4 lbs I was fighting as the scale has been steady for the last few days. If I can’t run, I can at least celebrate that! I also signed up for comeback half part 2 in December. I should have 7 weeks to train for it after my toe heals. I probably won’t be able to run fast, but I should at least be able to finish it. So there’s that.

Babies are getting bigger every day. Still no rolls from Abby yet and Miles still hilariously gets stuck on his stomach because he hasn’t figured out how to roll back. We go to a party to celebrate babies that our fertility clinic throws and go to Landen’s second birthday party. I wrote about his birth in my 2nd or 3rd post in this blog two years ago. Crazy. Both babies are starting to giggle in response to tickles and pay more attention to their lovey’s and the stuffed animals on their wubbanubs. But since they’ve figured out how to grab, but not let go, they often end up pulling the pacifier out of their mouths and then cry. Like, wtf just happened mom? It was there and now its gone.  🙂 They are also (much to my demise) starting to get distracted while eating and Abby likes to do this thing when she’s done that involves my nipple and pulling. I do not look forward to teeth. We haven’t started solids yet even though the pediatrician said we could  – they still don’t seem all that interested, and I’m in no hurry.

No onto the fun part:

  • Abby wears her first pair of shoes
Whoooooo could be cuter than me?
Whoooooo could be cuter than me?
  • And strikes a pose, madonna style
Vogue!
Vogue!
  • We go to a celebrate babies party
Our babies rock the Coastal hats
Our babies rock the Coastal hats
  • And make our fertility doc pose for a few pictures
aforementioned photo request :)
I’m even cooler with babies
  • And one with our awesome nurse
She's pretty awesome
She’s pretty awesome
  • We go for a ride in the double jogger – of course no jogging
Faster mom, this is boring
Faster mom, this is boring
  • Miss Abby gets fussy and stuck in the carrier
I fuss, I get worn
I fuss, I get worn

Obviously no running stats this week. Boo.

And as always keep clicking to vote for my blog. I’m #3 right now and would love to keep moving up! Click click click!!!

The One Where I Talk About Boobies and Support

But not in the way that you probably think.

So this week is World Breastfeeding Week. I didn’t even know there was a breastfeeding week. In fact, August is also breastfeeding MONTH. Who knew an entire month was dedicated to boobs? And that my birthday shares the month dedicated to boobs?

My husband would be so excited.

So lets talk about boobs- doctors, the internet, TV ads – they all tell how breastfeeding is beneficial to both mom and baby. How it saves you money, reduces the risk of SIDS, decreases risks of cancer, and apparently makes babies smarter. Its natural, they say, to use mothers milk. It’s always available. It’s great bonding time. It’s healthier than formula. Some people go as far as to say that formula is bad. (On the other hand, I’ve also heard that breastfeeding is for poor people who can’t afford formula)

Here is what they don’t tell you:

Breastfeeding IS great bonding time. It’s rewarding. But it’s also complicated. It doesn’t always feel natural.

Breastfeeding is HARD.

I breastfeed the twins and other than a little bit of formula during the early days have for the entire 12 weeks they have been alive. I am proud of this and hope to continue until they are at least 6 months (maybe even a year). My experience hasn’t been nearly as difficult as some but I’m going to be honest when I say: I have a love/hate relationship with my boobs, and breastfeeding.

Once I figured out the crazy mechanics needed for a woman to get pregnant, sometimes I wondered how anyone gets pregnant at all (despite the fact that its so easy for some). The same goes for breastfeeding. Many things have to work correctly – at the same time  – for it to be successful. You need an adequate supply. Baby needs to be able to latch. Baby needs a strong enough suck. Baby needs an adequate suck-swallow-breathe sequence. Baby’s oral anatomy needs to be adequate  in order to be able to extract the milk.(i.e. no tongue/lip ties) The list goes on and on. The problem many moms face is a need to start with a bottle for one reason or another that results in a baby who then isn’t interested in the breast.

In the hospital the babies were brought to me about an hour after delivery to attempt breastfeeding. The latched, together, like champs. I thought to myself “dang,this breastfeeding thing is easy”. A couple days in, though, things started to go a little awry. Despite latching well, they were still crying after a feeding. And I’m not talking “hey, I think I’d like a little more milk, mom”.  I’m saying “OH.MY.GOD.I.IHAVEN’T.EATEN.IN.YEARS!!!!” (years I tell you, years). It was heartbreaking – and the nurse suggested, only 2 days in, that we supplement with formula until my milk officially came in. I told myself AND others before they were born that I had no qualms about using or supplementing with formula if that what was needed – that I wasn’t going to allow myself to be upset if I needed to use it. But suddenly, sitting in the hospital listening to Abby scream, I felt like a failure because I wasn’t able to supply what she needed.

And so the emotional roller coaster began.

We did end up using a little formula for a few feedings. Then one morning I woke up and suddenly I had transformed from B for Barely There to D for Hello Dolly Parton. As a runner, I was not a fan of the drastic size increase (seriously, you should see how ridiculous my sports  bras are). I was, however, excited that things were rolling the way they should be – and then my nipples started blistering and I couldn’t figure out why. I winced through a few tandem feedings before I realized that Miles’ latch sucked (this is no longer a problem – if you’ve seen a pic of him lately,  you know he gets plenty). I fed separately and worked on this and after a few days and some nipple cream they were back to normal.

That’s when the spraying started. I sprayed everything – the couch, the bed, my clothes, the floor, the babies eyeballs. I got out of the shower and dripped on every surface in my bedroom. To this day I find some old milk stains in strange places (like my bed foot board) and still sometimes drip on various surfaces post shower. I still spray the babies in the eye. It takes a few weeks for your body to figure out how much milk to produce. Some don’t end up with enough. Others, like me, end up with too much. I was filling up so quickly I was uncomfortable in less time than they were ready to eat in, or they would finish and I would still feel uncomfortably full. Pumping some milk helped me build a stash  and feel better temporarily. Then I started dealing with some mild engorgement because my body was supplying me with what it thought the babies were drinking when in fact they were drinking less and as the babies get older the demands change and I often find that it is a fine line for me between making enough and way too much. I saw a Lactation Consultant. I know many moms out there probably wish for an oversupply but believe me when I say it comes with its own set of problems.

Then there is the emotional side: in the course of the last 3 months I’ve found Ive developed an attachment. Iff I suspect for even a second that my supply is dwindling I worry that I am failing my babies.  Before seeing the LC, I worried a little every day about whether Abby was getting enough simply because she was so tiny. At the same time, though, I have had days where I find breastfeeding to be very limiting. I can’t go anywhere for more than a few hours without my pump. Even on a “night off” when Bryan or family member takes the babies, I still set an alarm to get up and pump to make up for the lost feeding(s). I have scheduled “pump breaks” at work (though am VERY lucky to have a boss that has not given any of us moms trouble about this). It took me nearly 8 weeks to be able to say I started to enjoy it. There is always going to be an element of guilt because of my infertility history. I am not a shy person and care more about the ability to leave the house and take care of my babies than I do about what others think, but still find myself eyeing those around me as I nurse with a cover on, wondering if they are bothered. It’s ironic all the hype about how great breastfeeding is but feeding in public is often met with distain, even with state laws in 48 states saying I have the right to breastfeed in public.

With that said, I know my struggles have been minor compared to some. Women on Twitter write about working from exclusively bottle feeding to exclusively breastfeeding and pumping several times a day on top of nursing in order to produce enough milk. That level of dedication inspires me. Let me be clear when I say I know I am lucky in so many ways. If given the choice I would go through it all again, and plan to  breastfeed as long as my body will let me (or until a year). I fully support the concept of breastfeeding month and advocate the use of mothers milk. But I also support moms who, whether by force or choice, use formula either exclusively or as a supplement. Plenty of babies thrive on formula. The feeding path each woman chooses can be a difficult one and no one should be judged for the one she takes.

Mama By The Bay, I love your “I Support You” campaign, and so I wrote this post not only to share but to say:

To moms who pump and bottle feed, moms who formula feed, moms who breastfeed, moms who supplement – doing what is best for your family and your baby(ies) is most important. It may be World Breastfeeding Month, but breastfeeding moms aren’t the only moms who need support. We all do.

I support all of you.

My Dolly Parton boobs do too.

Life with Twins – Week 5

Aaaand I’m late on this one.

If you’ve heard of the Book/App The Wonder Weeks ( and if you haven’t, I just told you and now go download it), between 4.5 and 5.5 weeks babies go through their first “mental leap”. During one of these babies tend to get fussier, want to be held more and want to eat more (generally – each leap has its own behaviors). For this particular leap you’ll see your baby/babies are starting to stare at things more intently and with more interest. They can also start to see beyond 20-30 centimeters. We’ve seen this in both babies and it has been the coolest thing. I love having this app/info because it really helps me to understand why one or both might be crying despite being full/dry/not tired. It also keeps me from feeling like there must be something I’m not doing because I know that its due to brain maturation and not any particular mommy fail. I have been fortunate (so far, the leap isn’t over until the end of the week) that neither baby has been super fuss bucket…..yet.

This week I also had my visit with the Lactation Consultant. When I evaluate kids as a Speech Therapist I hear stories constantly about how their kids are or are not able to do some particular skill and then those kids proceed to make mom look like a liar. Miss Abby did just that by eating nearly 4oz at the breast that day. Go figure. She did leave with some good suggestions though – feeding her on an incline and try “assigning” each baby a breast so that each will learn how much each baby will take and therefore how much to produce. This worked fabulously for about 3 days. Then Saturday both babies wanted to be fed more frequently, my boobs went back into temporary overdrive and she began spitting up quite a bit again, even with reclined feeding and pulling her off during a letdown.  So I emailed the LC again. Fortunately and unfortunately she seems to handle the flow of bottles better simply bc my letdowns, and I tend to get multiple per feed, are so forceful. She does exhibit a few reflux symptoms too so its difficult to know what the true culprit is. I’m trying pumping her side a bit before feeding and so far it seems to be working (famous last words). Its also been suggested that she might have a dairy intolerance that could be aggravating reflux symptoms. I don’t think that’s it but I’m cutting down on dairy anyway just to see.

Anyway, onto the fun stuff:

  • Other than the breastfeeding issue it was a relatively uneventful week. Their 5 week “birthday” marked the start of all my help leaving so I am now officially on my own.
  • I finally get a cute video of Miles AND Abigail cooing/making noises, but the stupid blog won’t let me upload them
  • Twins turn 1 month
    I'm the favorite! No, I'm the favorite!
    I’m the favorite! No, I’m the favorite!
    • Daddy puts Miles into the Mamaroo while jamming to some Deftones. He is less than pleased.
      Don't you know I rock to Ace of Base??
      Don’t you know I rock to Ace of Base??
      • Damn bullets are at it again
      • Abigail is inquisitive
        Question! I have a question!
        Question! I have a question!
        • We start playing on the playmats and watch the lights
        • Mommy plays a cruel joke on us
          Every man should stay in touch with his flowery feminine side
          Every man should stay in touch with his flowery feminine side

          This Week By the Numbers:

        • OMG the bullets! Does anyone know how to make this NOT happen?
        • Pounds lost: 39
        • Pounds left to lose: 5!
        • Number of girly outfits I dress my boy in: 1
        • Number of times daddy thought this was funny: 0 (he has no sense of humor)
        • Days till I can officially run again: 7!
        • Number of times I’ve *cough* cheated a little: 1 (shhhh it was only a little)

Life With Twins – Week 4

Hey I’m still keeping up with this! Woo hoo! ( I want to though so I at least have some form of a journal/memories of the early days )

I had a couple rougher days this week, which I wrote about in my Honest Thoughts About Motherhood. 

The biggest frustration has been about breastfeeding – and so I decided that it was time to nip it in the bud (bonus points if you got my pun just now), pull out my wallet and have a Lactation Consultant come tomorrow.  On the plus side I have found a nursing position that seems to result in fewer eye sprays – so there’s that. And apparently per the LC – consults are mandated to be covered by insurance thanks to Obama’s Healthcare Act – pumps too! (just an FYI for those who may need that info). I am excited to see what kind of advice she can offer.

On a more positive note, I simply cannot believe that twins are 4 weeks old today. They are awake more often now and seem to be taking well to the Babywise schedule (no, I do not make a hungry baby wait the full 3 hours to eat if one is hungry before then, just in case you were wondering – I  use it as a base but allow for flexibility) which is nice for me because it generally means only a couple of nights feeds most nights.

So anyway, onto the fun stuff:

  • This week, we read our first book (bad me, I know).  My pupils seem less than enthused:
    Beware twins' future teachers
    Beware twins’ future teachers
    • Miles starts making super cute cooing noises while he sits in this bouncy chair. Numerous attempts to catch this on video are foiled because apparently he is camera shy.
    • Miles has his own opinions about tummy time

      Tummy time is bullshit, yo
      Tummy time is bullshit, yo
    • I buy new running shoes. Two weeks till I can run again.
    • Miles sports his first milk mustache.
      Sorry buddy, mommy ate the cookies
      Sorry buddy, mommy ate the cookies
      • The fact that these bullets aren’t formatting correctly is pissing me off
      • I put away all my maternity clothes – and not because I can fit into all my old clothes. The maternity clothes are too big and most of my old stuff too small so I took a trip to Goodwill and bought bottoms for my new in between size. Here I find a pair of Lucky brand jeans. Win.
      • I’m gonna pop some tags, only got $20 in my pocket.
      • Babies strike a pose
        We are PTFO (passed the F*ck out)
        We are PTFO (passed the F*ck out)
        • Extra bonus points if you started singing the song referenced two points up.
        • Visits to stores take twice as long, and not because I have to load up two babies but because we are stopped by all.the.people who seem to have never seen twins before.
          No, they are NOT identical
          No, they are NOT identical
          • I start to understand that people aren’t kidding when they say they grow up so fast.

    This week by the numbers:

  • Oh hey the bullets are formatted again. Asshole bullets.
  • Mommy breakdowns: several all in the same day
  • “Are those twins??”: seriously? I lost count.
  • Pees caught by hand: 2 (for me)
  • Grandma gender mix-ups: 5 (ish)
  • Dollars MIL owes me so far for apologizing too much: 3

Life With Twins – Week 3

A big fail this week on keeping up with my usual 2x per week blogging.

Babies are 3 weeks old already. There is something about not working that makes all dates run together. At some point I missed the transition from May to June – and today is already June 5.

Emotionally this was a better week. Knowing they were both growing well allowed me to get rid of a lot of the guilt about the bottles and much of the worry about whether they are getting enough to eat. Well, more about Miss Abby. Mr. Miles is turning into a chunky monkey and all you have to do is look at him to know he’s putting on weight. I’ve still had to feed individually most times because the milk lets down with such force oftentimes that babies get sprayed in the face and/or cough while eating. I’ve been told this will regulate itself eventually. Hopefully sooner rather than later. I think the babies are tired of giving me popeye eye after being squirted in the middle of the night. (Ack mom, that goes in my mouth – not my eye) I downloaded an app to keep track of diapers, feeds, and sleeping. I  used it for 2 days and then quit. It was too time consuming, the babies poop and pee ALL DAY so I know they are hydrated and I figured watching their cues rather than the clock to figure out when they are full is probably a smarter way to go about feeds anyway. We started a schedule this week following the Babywise book so they are eating every 2.5-3 hours with some wake time during the day followed by nap. We are a bit fussy at night which is annoying at the time but in retrospect really not too terrible.

Bryan and I  have been able to get out a couple times for a couple hours which has been nice. I miss him while he is at work though and sleeping in the same bed – well in a bed period. The couch is ok but its not our bed!

This weeks fun firsts:

  • Miss Abby gets a wicked sore bum. This is not a fun first. Poor baby girl.
  • My parents come back down to visit and my dad attempts his first swaddle:

    That part is not a hood
    That part is not a hood
  • We have our first tub bath:

    we are clean
    we are clean
  • We pay a visit to the fertility clinic and make the doc strike a pose with the babies:

    My doctor knocked me up
    My doctor knocked me up
  • Miles grows out of newborn diapers we think – at least at night. He pees himself, his clothes, the swaddle and the bassinet sheet 3 nights in a row.
  • Miles has his first epic spitup that makes me wonder if he actually kept anything down. Luckily this is not a regular occurrence for him.
  • After becoming annoyed with my milk letdown making it difficult to tandem nurse and commenting about that on Twitter – a follower laughs at twin mom’s “crazyboobs” at which point I decide to lovingly name mine Betty and Sally Mc Crazyboobs. I should have named one Dolly after Dolly Parton.
  • We take our first trip downtown with the babies in their baby wearing carriers. I forget to take a picture of this. Fail.
  • I find stretch marks. Boo.
  • I willingly catch pee in my hand in the middle of the night – 3 changes in a row.

This Week by the Numbers:

  • Number of people who commented on our twins while downtown: OMG everyone
  • Number of hand caught pees: 3
  • Number of pounds left to lose: 8-9. At this point I have a feeling its going to stay this way until I can exercise again.
  • Number of semi-breakdowns: 3-4 ( I think)
  • Number of times the babies poop: OMG everytime.
  • Number of diapers we estimate we’ve gone through in the last 3 weeks: over 400. Yes, you read that right. FOUR HUNDRED.
we are adorable
we are adorable

Breastfeeding: A Survival Guide for the Early Days

This is what I have learned so far in the twins’ short 11 days of life.

Breastfeeding twins is hard.

Duh, right?

I felt like a superchamp at first when the lactation consultant brought the babes in about an hour and a half after birth declaring they were hungry and helped me latch them both on successfully – warning me that even though we were starting in tandem, I should probably aim to feed them individually. Stubbornly, I refused. I mean it just wasn’t practical. And actually the tandem thing worked for awhile until they started to get frustrated that not enough was coming out, causing some interesting abuse to my nipples that didn’t require any calls to the police but made me feed them individually until we could get the latch thing straight. I’m sure the LC is siting at a desk somewhere, writing out paperwork and thinking to herself  ” I told you so”.

Things really started to get interesting when my milk came in. Everyone said “oh, you’ll know”. But in my case right away I didn’t- other than I watched my boobs grow from large to epic over the course of about 12 hours. I remember looking down at them on the night of Day 2 and thinking “I think my boobs are bigger”, and then the morning of Day 3 – when they had grown to Dolly Parton like proportions, I declared that they were definitely bigger. In fact, this was brought to my attention awkwardly by many, and acknowledged awkwardly by me in response. Or vice versa- I’m also pretty sure I brought attention to my boobs that now look like I underwent a breast enhancement surgery on top of a c section to some of my friends – which is ironic because it isn’t like you could miss it.

But I digress.

After being home for a couple of days I committed a cardinal sin of breastfeeding – letting Bryan give them some pumped milk in a bottle. The aim is to feed a newborn 8-12x a day. Except I have two that I’m feeding separately meaning I’m shooting for 16-24 feedings a day. It didn’t take long for me to become exhausted and have since let him feed them 1-2 bottles a day so my body can have a break – luckily with no major worry about nipple confusion so far.

After worrying for months about whether I’d be able to supply enough milk for both babies I’m now “suffering” from a case of “be careful what you wish for” because I’m actually producing enough milk for about 3 babies – but this is where the interesting (and funny) part comes in.

Theresa’s list of 5 early breastfeeding tips:

  • I got out of the shower one day at the hospital. I’m walking around the room getting ready and suddenly notice that there is not just excess water dripping off my body but also……milk? I’m dripping milk. Wait, how am I dripping milk? Oh, that.  Since then I’ve walked around the bedroom searching for a nursing bra dripping milk onto the carpet. Tip one: make sure you have your nursing bra and pads on hand after showering unless you feel like sharing your milk with random bathroom and bedroom surfaces.
  • A tip given to me by the LC to help the babies latch was to express a bit of milk onto the nipple while trying to stimulate the lip. A couple times I’ve done this and sprayed myself in the face. Tip two: when trying to express a bit of milk – remember the word “a bit”. Don’t squeeze too hard.
  • A few times while switching sides I decided to let righty/lefty hang free until I at least got the baby on the other side – failing to notice righty leaking all over my clean bra. Tip three: always keep a burp cloth tucked between your boob and your bra to avoid smelling like rotten sour milk by 2am.
  • Then there was the time that Mr Miles had a great latch but for some reason decided to let go – shortly after milk had let down. This resulted in his spraying himself directly in the eye. Tip four: always keep an extra burp cloth handy to wipe away random eye sprays. He looked a little dumbfounded.
  • Finally, Tip five: be aware of what it feels like when your milk lets down. Until I had a grasp of the interesting pins and needles feeling I’d almost involuntarily grab or put pressure on both boobs in response – yes, even in public. And yes, I did look like I was groping myself (and my newly look like they’ve been surgically enhanced breasts).

Stay Tuned for further tips as we navigate this journey through parenthood.

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