First off, happy half-birthday to my cute little twins! Boston and Lyla are 6 months old! I can't believe they've blessed my life for already half a year! They LOVE bananas, Boston loves to roll around, and Lyla has become the binky thief!
Before I had the twins I planned on just nursing them. That's what you do when you have babies right? Just nurse. Just. Ha. While in the hospital I would try to nurse Lyla but she wouldn't nurse long enough and wasn't gaining enough weight. Boston was having a difficult time nursing too. I was told to pump for 10 minutes after each time I nursed but that usually got lost in the hustle and bustle of juggling two babies that were 3 floors apart. When we got discharged I was so overwhelmed with family being around wanting to hold them that I would just go in the other room to pump so they could be held instead of trying to nurse them. It was a downward spiral from the beginning between having two very sleepy and tiny babies that weren't interested in nursing and not understanding the discipline it took. So I became one of those exclusive pumpers. Yeah thats a thing. It's not widely known and there are not many resources on the topic. When my milk really started to come in I wasn't worried at all. Then a week later it seemed like my milk production was going down the drain. I spoke with a lactation consultant and she suggested a few tricks. Ever since then I take fenugreek every day, I eat oatmeal twice a day, drink Mother's Milk Tea, make lactation cookies (my favorite recipe is here), and try to drink lots of water. Ever since then it's been a battle to keep up enough supply to feed two babies. I set a goal to exclusively give the twins breast milk for 6 months, which meant a lot a lot a lot of pumping. Every now and then I would try to nurse them again, but it never really worked out. Plus can you imagine nursing two babies at once? It's hard!
Well, I made it to my goal. I have exclusively pumped for 6 months. I spend a minimum of 5 1/2 hours sitting and pumping a day. For me it takes a full hour to pump enough for 1 feeding for the twins. I'm not a pumping supermom, but I'm trying my hardest so my babies can eat what's best for them. People have judged me, others have applauded me, but the truth is I'm pretty exhausted. My pumping "schedule" (currently every 4 hours, except for at night) dictates what I can and can't do each day...where I can go, how long I can be out for. Part of me wants to quit since I reached my goal, and the other part of me thinks, "I've made it this far, what's six more months?" I know there are so many mothers out there that wish they could give their baby breast milk but are unable to. Since I am able to I feel like I should and that I need to keep going. I'm still not sure what I'm going to do moving forward. My mom nursed me for 2 years! There's no way I could ever make it that long, but I'm happy I made it to 6 months. If I can have more children I will definitely try again to nurse, but I don't think I will ever exclusively pump again. I have spent enough time with the constant sound of "ehh err ehh err". Exclusively pumping is hard. It takes a lot of planning ahead. I can't do things on the fly. I can't just go to the mall and whip out a boob when they're hungry. It's exhausting, time consuming, restricting, but I think I should be proud of myself for trying to do what's best for my little ones.
If you have any questions about exclusively pumping feel free to contact me!