Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Our twin breastfeeding journey

This has to be some sort of a record...I blogged TWICE today. I know. I deserve an award :)

ANYWHO...If you don't want to hear me go on and on and on about breastfeeding skip this post...it's long...and really not all that exciting...unless breastfeeding is 'your thing' Then go ahead and listen to me complain :) I guess not every breastfeeding journey is a happy one!

So... This isn't really my blogging style but I've got many thoughts on my mind regarding all of the struggles we had with breastfeeding, and figured I may as well get them all out in one place...I apologize now as this is long, but let me go back to the beginning.

TUESDAY,August 16th

*We were induced at 9am... The babies were born in the afternoon... 36weeks 3 days... At whopping 6lbs 9oz and 6lb 15oz. To every ones surprise they were both doing GREAT and didn't need anything (There were problems pre-birth with both babies that led us to induction and we believed they would need a great deal of care after birth)
*After birth I tried nursing constantly... Knox would latch alright... Kullen tried but really wouldn't do anything. I had nursed my other three boys exclusively with no problems so this was a surprise to me... I asked the nurses for help several times and they really didn't listen to me...or seem to care when I told them my 36 week infant would NOT eat.
*I noticed the babies were tongue tied ( I checked for this because my husband is tongue tied) and asked the nurse if that was why we were having issues. She let them suck on her finger and said it was 'fine'

WEDNESDAY

*Kullen still wouldn't nurse. The nurses still didn't seem to see the problem...and pushed formula.
*The pediatrician came to see the babies...I mentioned I was concerned he was not eating... She let him suck her finger and then told me the tongue tie was fine...and was not affecting his sucking reflex despite the fact that he wasn't nursing.
*We were discharged at 6pm.... just over 24 hours after giving birth to twins nearly 4 weeks early

(this is the most scared I have ever been in my life! Driving home... 2 hours away from the hospital...the day after our induction because of problems with the babies... with TWO 36 week infants... one of whom STILL was not nursing... But I figured that the health care professionals know best and wouldn't send us home if they had any doubts about the babies health)

SATURDAY

*Neither twin was really eating well... We were supplementing Kullen with formula as he would scream like we were hurting him while trying to get him to nurse. I noticed both babies were looking yellow and took them to the ER
* Both boys had lost about 1lb! The nurse assured us this was 'normal' and they should be back up to birth weight by a week old.
*We were hospitalized for 4 days for Jaundice and to try to get babies weights up... Since neither was nursing well we were made to supplement them both as they had lost so much weight.

In the 2 weeks that followed we went to the Dr every few days to check on weight gain and thankfully the boys started gaining at a great pace. Unfortunately... as much as I was trying to breastfeed, Kullen was still refusing it and my milk supply was suffering.

Fast forward 6 weeks... full of pain and screaming babies... but I was determined not to give in... I just took it one day at a time not allowing myself to give up and we would get this figured out eventually.

After another unsuccessful breastfeeding session with Kullen, I was giving him a bottle and noticed his mouth was bleeding. That is when I noticed that the tie underneath his tongue had ripped! At the next feeding he nursed like a champ compared to before!

It took 6 long...emotionally charged...painful weeks but I thought we were finally there... we had it figured out and it was going to get easier now!

After that I struggled for another 2 months to get my supply up... The boys were nursing better...I was pumping... took fenugreek... nursing constantly and the boys still weren't getting enough and I was continually upping their formula. They would nurse good one feeding and refuse it the next... screaming like they were in pain..

I decided formula was going to be a part of our life despite my best efforts...and just continued breastfeeding and then topping them up with formula after the feeding.

Fast forward to 9 months old. They had slowly been weaning themselves and just a couple weeks ago got to the point where they flat out refused to nurse... So I cut my losses...patted myself on the back for trying so long...and a couple weeks ago gave up.

Today... I was looking on google...and discovered both boys are also lip tied.

Please tell me where our health care professionals learned to brush off mothers concerns without a second thought. I am so angry that I missed out on what could have been so rewarding all because the knowledge wasn't there as to what the problems were... and when I asked for help was told:
a)Their tongue ties were not the problem... and
b) not once did anyone look for or mention a lip tie to me.

We need to educate moms...I knew all along that something wasn't right... breastfeeding was NEVER that hard for me... and only when it is too late did all of the variables that were running against us come into play. It just really makes me sad!

So if you're still here...listening to me go on ...and on... AND ON...My Point is... Boobies and Coffee(Although I've never actually made it to a meeting...just read the FB page)... Thank you for your group... I learned about lip ties there... Never would have known otherwise...and unfortunately I looked at the babies lips too late... But I want to thank you none the less... It's an awesome group and you're going to help so many mommas!

1 comment:

Kristen said...

I TOTALLY Know what your feeling, Lex nursed like a champ yet scarlett started to refuse at 3 months, screaming just like you described. Right when my milk slowed down to the point she had to work for it and she couldn't cuz of a lip tie. I was heart broken to have to bottle feed her.
the EXACT same thing happened to with Audric and I have jsut found out scarlett was lip tied so a check and he is too. It was to late he never went back to nursing BUT i still can't beleive that dr don't think they matter!!! good for you for sticking to it for as long as you did!