So I broke the rules with breastfeeding. Well first the hospital broke the rules, we tried to get back on track, then I broke the rules.
As I mentioned in the birth story, the twins had to go to the Special Care Nursery for 48 hours after they were born. Not only did I not get to breastfeed them during that time, but they were bottle-fed formula. Once I was able to breastfeed in the hospital, I asked for a lactation consultant or a nurse to help me with every feeding. One of the LCs asked me why they were given a bottle and not cup fed in the SCN to which I had no answer for. Fortunately for me they still did breastfeed and once they made it to the regular nursery, the nurses brought them to my room every three hours for feedings. They would nurse a little and then had to have a formula supplement in order to put on weight. A few of the nurses had me tandem feeding them and were very excited when it worked but the reality was I was just laying there and the nurses were doing all the work. Once I was on my own, I could only focus on one baby at a time.
Since we've been home, I tried to nurse every three hours but still had to supplement every feeding per the pediatrician. I was never sure how much they were getting and they always fell asleep at the breast. I tried the tricks they showed me in the hospital to wake them up but once they were woke back up, they had trouble latching back on.
The first rule I broke was eliminating nursing at night. Once I moved to my bedroom from the family room and put the twins in their bassinets, it was too hard to get situated on my bed and nurse them without them getting frustrated fast. I know I should have tried harder but to keep my sanity, I switched to straight formula at night and try to nurse + formula supplement during the day. This cuts down the time it takes to feed them and makes for less angry babies at night. And, admittedly, I get more sleep at night too.
The twins are quite popular and we get a lot of visitors. Which I love but there are only a few I will nurse in front of. So I slowed down during the day too. Broken rule #2 (which is technically the same rule as #1 just more broken.)
I rented a hospital grade pump but haven't pumped as much as I should have. And it wasn't until I started pumping that I realized how little I was producing. Forty-five minutes on one breast with suction as high as it can go yields a little more than one ounce. I'm still pumping and storing at least twice a day and nurse during the day when I can and I'm going to try to pump more to see if the milk production improves. My OB, who is also a mother to twins told me basically the goal is to get them fed be it breast or bottle.
Broken rule #3 happened when I introduced the forbidden binky -or in my case, the Soothie. I was told during my breastfeeding class no pacifiers for at least four weeks and it would be better to never introduce them. The pediatrician said wait at least two weeks. I made it twelve days. The twins are not huge fans of the binky but it does soothe them occasionally.
I told myself I would try to breastfeed and if it didn't work out, that would be okay. The truth is I do feel a little bit guilty that I haven't worked harder at it. Mel wrote a great post yesterday that, along with the comments, has helped ease my guilt. I'll keep at it the best I can though. For now.