Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Breastfeeding Diaries

OK, I realize some people are not going to want to read this entry because its kinda weird, but breastfeeding has really consumed my life. And I have some pregnant friends who might want to hear how my breastfeeding experience is going. And I might want to read and remember everything I went through for the boys one day in the future.

While still in recovery after the c-section, I tried breastfeeding both boys. I had read that this was the best time to start trying. They both showed interest and may have even latched on a little... I was on a lot of drugs so its all kinda fuzzy.

The next few days, while still in the hospital, Kase slowly caught on, but Kyle would get frustrated and not want to latch on. They were having to share the little amount of colostrum that I had, and over the first two days both boys lost about 8 percent of their birth weight, which is actually normal. The lactation specialist (who was so helpful and so incredibly patient) suggested supplementing with a little formula until my milk came in. We fed each boy 20 ml of formula with a syringe instead of a bottle to avoid nipple confusion. Then I pumped. By the second time I pumped on Friday, my milk was starting to come in. After that I would try to breastfeed both boys, but Kyle was still not having it. Kase was slowly learning and I was pretty confident that he was getting milk in him.

The lactation specialist helped out again when she worked up this contraption to feed Kyle my pumped breast milk.

It is a 2 oz. bottle with a feeding tube they would use for a NICU baby strung through the nipple. Someone would stick their (very clean) finger in Kyle's mouth and he would start sucking. Then they would feed the end of the feeding tube into his mouth, next to their finger. We were still avoiding nipple confusion and Kyle was having to work for the milk instead of having it dropped into his mouth via a syringe.

And while I am very grateful for this little device that allowed Kyle to eat, I am ecstatic that we don't have to use it any more. We went home from the hospital on Saturday and by Tuesday morning Kyle was latching on. Its not always easy to get him on and he decides how long he will squirm and fight it, but so far so good.

I usually start a feeding with Kase. He spit up a couple of feeding in the beginning so we decided to keep him upright after a feeding to try to avoid that. Someone will change Kase's diaper to try and wake him up and get him ready to eat. I feed Kase, usually on the left side. For a few days though he would only take the right side. Do you think these boys are going to be difficult teenagers, or what? About 15 minuted into Kase's feeding someone changes Kyle to get him awake, but not too awake! If Kyle gets over stimulated he will take forever to latch on. Once Kase is done, someone brings me Kyle. I feed Kyle (once he decides that its a good time for him) while someone burps Kase and keeps him upright for a while. Both boys usually fall asleep by the end of the feeding and the goal is always to get them to sleep in the crib until the next feeding. That might happen about half the time. They also love to make more room for their meal and dirty clean diapers while they eat. The post meal diaper change usually hinders the chances of them going down for a nap. The entire feeding process has taken as little as 50 minutes and as long as 2 hours. During the day they are eating every 3 to 3 1/2 hours and at night they will usually go 4 hours. My next goal is to learn how to feed them at the same time and to also learn how to do it all by myself. Right now an extra pair of arms is necessary.

I've heard that the first two weeks are the hardest. Tomorrow will be the boys' two week birthday. I've almost made it! It can only get easier, right? RIGHT?


Mandi said...

Wow! I am so so proud of you!! Sara, I cannot believe you are nursing twins! That makes you way amazing =) One at a time is HARD enough...I can't imagine. Feeding one baby consumes ALL of your time much less two. You're a rockstar!

Edison said...

you knew I would be asking! and I'm sure I'll get even more details before May