Breastfeeding was one of those things I thought just came naturally. It doesn’t. Okay maybe I’m being a little harsh. For the RARE few, it is instant bliss. No cracked nipples, no bruising, baby latches like a dream. This didn’t happen for me. Here is my story.
I was adamant that I was going to breastfeed my babies. I have very strong beliefs about breastfeeding and I was determined to make this a success. My nurses were advised that the twins were not to receive a bottle. About two hours after my c-section, my twins were brought to me screaming like banshees. I placed the ever necessary feeding pillow around me and began what would be the most trying experience of my life. Neither one of my babies seemed to grasp the concept of latching. It was very difficult. After the second day of little sleep, crying babies and sore nipples, a very nasty lady, who happened to be my nurse, came in. “You are starving those babies. They have lost weight and you are going to feed them a bottle.” She didn’t even take a breath before she shoved a hard rubber nipple into my babies’ faces. I cried, wept and sobbed. I couldn’t believe that this was happening. Afterwards, the lactation nurse came and we began the wonderful task of pumping, supplementing and desperately trying to get the babies fed and content. The day we went home was a very fearful day for me. Here I was with two babies who didn’t feed all that well. I stopped by a medical supply store and rented a hospital grade pump to continue the “dairy farming” at home.
The public health nurse came the day after while I had an older lady from church visiting. She asked how things were going and as you could imagine, the tears poured out of my eyes. She was so gentle and loving; first she gave me a hug and told me to go take a shower. After I came down she asked me to sit on the chair I was most comfortable in and told me to relax. While my visitor bounced and rocked a screaming baby girl, the nurse came with my son and she got him to latch. I was amazed. For the first time since they were born I felt wonderful. I wept with tears of joy as this little baby was filling his tummy. Next came my daughter, who I was deathly afraid of. She was so tiny, just less than 5 pounds, and boy, was she feisty. With all the patience in the world, this nurse was finally able to get this little lady to latch. There I was, my visitor holding my right breast and the health nurse holding my daughter while I held my son. I could have had the whole world in my living room at that point. I was in heaven with both of my babies in my arms, right where I wanted them to be. No bottles, just us. She gave me a referral to a breastfeeding consultant and that day marked a newfound strength. I was going to do this; these babies were going to nurse. It took about three months until we were “graduated” from the breastfeeding clinic with healthy, happy twins. We continued to breastfeed until they were 9 months.