The Greatest Gift

Well, now that I can truly look at nursing twins as the “Greatest Gift” I’ve given my girls; I’m going to blog about it. My hope is that maybe this story will help any mother who is getting ready to start nursing or maybe having a hard time with breastfeeding and is ready to stop.

My goal from the moment I found out I was pregnant was to breastfeed exclusively. Even when I found out I was having twins I never waivered on this. People said it would be difficult and it might not be the ideal situation with twins; depending on if they were born early. Boy, were they right!!

I had read every book and I had decided NO bottles or pacifiers would be given for the first 2 weeks until they were established nursers. HA!! With a picture perfect start, your baby would be put on your chest after delivery and you would be allowed to nurse within a very short time. This was not the case for us. Because the girls were born at 34 weeks they were taken straight to the NICU. My first trip into the NICU and they already had binkies in their crib and were started on bottlefeeds. I about flipped but then realized they were doing what they had to in order to care for the babies. So much for that idea…at this point I knew it was going to be a struggle to nurse them later, but the nurses assured me it could be done.

Preemies are born without a good suck reflex and for this reason I wasn’t allowed to try and nurse them until day 5 to make sure they were getting the nourishment they needed. Let’s just say it was a long road…I was engorged like you wouldn’t believe and was pumping 8 times a day to bring milk for them into the NICU. Once they came home I was pumping, allowed to nurse them a few times and day and then also bottle feeding. Every feeding took about 2 hours, so basically by the time I was done it was time to feed again. I thought I would never make it!! Many days I wondered why I was trying and thought about how easy it would be to just give them a bottle of formula.

Now, granted every mother doesn’t have all of these challenges and setbacks. Preemies can be particularly difficult, but I know many mothers who struggle to nurse only to eventually resort to bottle feeding. I can’t tell you how glad I am that I stuck it out. In the beginning it was so painful..everyone who says it isn’t is lying. I used to dread every feeding, but then eventually it just got easy!! Now at 5 1/2 months it is a piece of cake. I look forward to every time I get to nurse the girls and now dread the day when they no longer want to nurse. To this day, I am proud to say they have not gotten a single bottle of formula!!! I truly feel like I have given them the best start to life!!

Well, this post turned out to be much longer than i planned, but I wanted to share my story. Who knows…maybe it will help a first time mom who is ready to throw in the towel!!!

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Hannah I am so proud of you – and so impressed! Nursing is not an easily learned thing – for a mom going from 0 to 2 babies (like you did!) and having the premie hurdles (like your girls did). It is such a great thing that you've done by sticking with it. I bow down to you! I don't enjoy nursing whatsoever, but it is absolutely worth it. Thanks for sharing your story. I will pass it along when I have a friend needing some encouragement!

Aaron Terri got s lot of grief from a lot of people. I was so proud of her for nursing Karis and not listening to things people said about it. We didn't use pacifiers. We were lucky and our daughter was able to start the feeding process right after her birth like the perfect scenario you mentioned above. I cant believe I saw this link. I hardly ever get on facebook these days. I'm so glad I did. What an incredible story. I can't imagine twins. Keep up the amazing work! Karis is 15 months in a few days and shes never gotten sick(fingers crossed). I will have Terri read this. Truly great story.

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