Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some questions I am frequently asked about breastfeeding: (Are you surprised that I'm devoting an entire Q&A to breastfeeding?)

Q: (Two part) Do you breastfeed your twins? If so, do you ever do it at the same time?
A: Yes, I do breastfeed my twins. I have never supplemented and don't plan on it. God has blessed me with plenty of milk and I just see no reason to go through all the trouble of preparing bottles. Plus, my fear is that if I ever did bottle-feed, I would be tempted to prop the bottle so I could get other things done, and that would be too sad. I do sometimes nurse them simutaneously if they are hungry at the same time, but I prefer to feed them separately, as it is more physically comfortable and it allows me precious one-on-one time with each baby.

Q: How do the twins do at night?
A: They are finally beginning to have some semblance of a schedule. If I can keep them awake beginning at 8:00 PM, then they will go to bed at 10:00. My routine is to play with them (or ask relatives to help, including the grandparents down the street, see picture on right) until 9:00. They then take their bath together. They love it so much and usually spend about half an hour kicking and splashing and sometimes hitting each other in the face, but they seem used to that by now. I then dry them off, and lay them in the playpen in the living room for more play time while I clean up as much of the bath mess as I can. Once they get tired of playing, I dress them and wrap them tight in two beautiful, big, but lightweight blankets my mom's friend had made for me. I turn down the lights, get a glass of ice water and a book or the remote, my special "Bosom Buddy" nursing pillow and first latch Hyrum on the left side in the cradle hold, then have someone hand me Joseph to be latched on in the football hold on the right side. I can do this without help, but it is very awkward and since someone is usually still up, it's nice to have the help. So basically they are both facing the same way. They usually fall asleep within five minutes using this routine and it is very rewarding to know that they will sleep well for at least three hours.
After I am sure they are in a deep sleep, I carefully lay them in our cosleeper attached to the left side of our bed. I love the cosleeper because the babies have their own space, but they are within arms reach. It was invaluable after my c-section! Usually, about 3 to 4 hours later, one of them will begin to fuss. When this happens, I will pick him up and put him on my right side to nurse. We usually fall asleep within 5 minutes in this position, then at some later time, I will be awakened by the other baby. At this time, I will roll over, pick him up and nurse on the left side, and again, both of us will usually fall asleep within 5 minutes. When the other baby wakes up again, I will roll over and nurse him, etc. This goes on until about 6:30 when I have to get up to help get the kids ready for school. Sometimes the babies only wake up once during the night at the same time, sometimes one will sleep through the night but the other will wake up many times, or sometimes they will wake up at different times, two or three times each. That is usually the case, but because we are able to fall back to sleep so quickly after each feeding, I feel like I am able to get through the day without a nap, which I usually don't get because it is difficult to get all three babies asleep at the same time (including Johnny). Night times are hard, but not nearly as difficult as I imagined they would be when I was pregnant. God has a way of making things work out.

Q: How much time do you spend each day nursing the twins?
A: About eight to tens hours, including nighttime feedings. It's literally a full time job!

Q: Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed at the amount of time you spend nursing?
A: Sometimes, yes. The way I deal with it is to remind myself that this is a very special time in my life. It is only six months (breastfeeding without supplementing, that is) out of the, hopefully, 90 or so years that I'll be alive! Even though I can never leave the babies for more than an hour and nursing them takes up most of my time, I wouldn't give up this time in my life for anything!

Look for more FAQ in the future, perhaps about things other than breastfeeding!


Barbiemat said...

How is the mastitis? Are you feeling better? I hear ya on the breastfeeding facts. My boobs are numb from constant soothing.

The Farmer's Wife said...

amazing! Loved nursing my kids, but then again I didn't have twins...sounds like you have it down to a science. Shauna said that you all had a great time on Monday:)

Bethany Cox said...

no i'm not flushing them out by crying. by exercising. that's what I was just talking about. and whenever I call you, you can never talk anyways.

Kristin said...

interesting choices of images, Jenny!

CJ, the Purple Diva said...

Your sense of humor is a RIOT! I LOVE the pictures you use with your posts! They are DARLING!
TOO FUNNY! I want to do nothing but read your posts!