"You've got your hands full!" say 95% of the people witnessing me with my twins. Then, if they learned we were breastfeeding, many responded, "Really?! How is that even possible?" Ummm, two breasts, two babies, soooo...
Honestly, I had no idea how breastfeeding twins would go. This was the storyline playing in my head:
Could we do it?
Will I make enough milk?
How will I breastfeed twins in public?
What if one twin latches easily and the other twin doesn't?
I'll probably never sleep again.
What if we can't successfully breastfeed?
But, what if we CAN?
I had to simply try. So, we tried. Our journey began with lots of patience, pillows, Organic Nipple Butter, and naps anytime, anywhere. Like, even during a nursing session. Here we are, two weeks old, recovering from two types of birth, Baby A vaginal, Baby B cesarean. This mama was exhausted, but still patient and hopeful.
Low and behold, the sleepy days, weeks and months ticked by. My twins and I had a surprising 28-month long breastfeeding journey. These guys would have kept going too, but my heart knew that it was time. I felt smothered under two busy two-year-old twins at that point!
Deciding when to wean is a very personal and, often, bittersweet decision. I reminded myself that " I " am a part of this relationship too, and I wasn't thriving in it like the twins were. After two years, I was officially "touched-out", ready for the next transition in toddlerhood. I was ready to return to "me".
I'm convinced my boys would have happily nursed until Kindergarten, so I needed a little support for the milk-jugs!
Our weaning story began at 24 months when they were more active and breastfeeding less. We decided to phase out nursing before naps, reading books and singing songs before laying down. It really only took a couple days, and a few tears, for them to understand and accept this transition. Then, the twins got more active throughout the day. This was a big shock to my body as I was used to being the ultimate milk-factory! I felt blocked milk ducts with painful, lumpy breasts. Enter - Booby Tubes and No More Milk Tea.
- Booby Tubes warmed in the microwave, then placed in my bra, helped encourage milk flow with my clogged ducts. I gently massaged the tender area working with the warmth of the breast pack. Sometimes if felt comforting to use them cold from the freezer.
- Organic No More Milk Tea helped my body produce less milk. I've always been an over-producer and with two boys nursing, I was still making lots of milk! The antigalactagogue herbs in this tea were so helpful, encouraging my body to slow down milk production. The first day I drank 2 cups, then enjoyed 1 cup a day until I felt my body and breasts adjust. It's delicious as iced tea too, so minty and refreshing! #protip: For iced tea, I pour cooled, brewed tea into ice cube trays to freeze. Then I've got "tea cubes" that won't water down my tea.
I wasn't in a rush to close this chapter of our journey together. Over the next 4 months, we gradually nursed less. The last nursing session I eliminated was their favorite one - in the morning, just as they were sleepily waking up. That was our precious quiet time together. We continued this way, without much of an agenda until life moved the three of us forward. One day, there we were, barreling downstairs, ready for cee-lo (cereal) and "Baby Shark" playing on repeat.
Some chapters of motherhood feel like eternity, while others are a flash and a blink. It's painfully raw, real and exquisitely miraculous. You won't "love every moment' as they say, but you can appreciate the hell out of your body and the work that it's doing. Whether your breastfeeding journey is one day, one month, a year or more, it's some hard work and worth celebrating your commitment to just giving it a try.
And here's to the next beautiful chapter. - Amy, Mama's Bump Squad