IVF changes your outlook as a parent. It’s impossible for it not to have moulded you in a certain way. The pain and heartache never leaves and so when my breasfeeding came to an end suddenly with my twin girls on the 15th January 2020. Some of that heartache suddenly came back.
I had the most beautiful breastffeding journey with my son which stopped when I started fertility treatment which annoyingly didn’t work anyway for 9 more months but it was a necessary journey.
I knew how magical breastfeeding could be (I am lucky enough that I have had a great journey both times) so when each IUI failed. I was struck with the extra pain of not having a baby and having the only thing I could do naturally as a mother which was breastfeed. When you feel everything else ‘normal’ has been taken away- boobing seems like the one thing you CAN do.
Everytime it failed I cried about this and when I was pregnant Ali would say to me, “You can’t wait to have a baby on each boob and breastfeed can you?”
When the girls were born at 37 weeks and forced out because that’s all they let you go to with twins at the moment. Xanthe struggled with her sudden departure. No cord clamping and forceps. An hour and 10 mins between the babies and she had low blood sugar. As I maintained in the hospiatal she needed time and they scare mongered me. Suddenly, I was backed into a corner after 48 hours and she had a tube. 3 hours later I screamed at them to remove it and told them this was all bullshit. She was sleepy and not breastfeeding at all. I continued to boob her and demanded I went home else I would walk out the hosipatal. I knew I was right. I KNEW I was right. Breastfeeding and aftercare is shockingly shit. We know it’s the NHS and the pressure but doesn’t make it any less frustrating.
I came home and we all boobed and boobed and boobed and we all blady loved it. I was a machine. I was round the clock and I knew it wouldn’t last so I just loved it.
Suddenly two became one when they needed to be fed separately at around 13 months and then at 16 months Xanthe said she wasn’t into it. Night after night I offered it to her and she refused. She never used me for comfort and I know it stems from her awful boobing start thanks to a midwife who sat on her phone with a cuppa rather than helping the one woman on her own with twins. I do blame her and I know I am right to blame her. I forgive her because her pay is probably shite, because she was a “supply” midwife as I called her and she had no care that night. Because she wasn’t busy and she became complacent. But it happened and Xanthe’s journey is hers and different to Paloma’s.
Paloma used me for comfort and nourishment. However- I couldn’t express anymore as my supply was low. We didn’t boob in the day anymore because well, life. I work and I have three and she didn’t ask for it either past around 16 months. We went down to one boob and then one night a week I was away at work.
I went to a friends for a weekend and in my heart I knew this would potentially mark the end. Sunday she fed, Monday she fed. Tuesday I was at work and Wednesday she stopped.
She turned 20 months on the same day. My heart felt heavy. Our journey had ended. I knew that. I stood two nights later in the shower and saw I still had milk and I sobbed. I cried all the tears into the shower knowing my lioness moments where I feircely protected and nourished had ended and I no longer a ‘breastfeeding mother’.
The following days for Paloma were tough. Though she definitely didn’t want my breast she wanted me more than ever. It was like she knew in her heart she had ended her journey too but she wanted to know I was still there for her. We held each other and I let her know that our cuddles would only continue. That one to one time we had each evening has gone and she cries every night two weeks on when she gets put down with her sippy cup of milk like the others. It’s a tough transition but one we are working through, like the rest of the journey we have been on, together.
So darling girls. We did it despite everything. We tandem fed on rocking chairs, benches in National Trust gardens. We did puzzles with Arlo as you fed together and held each others’ hands. One of you slept after the boob while the other continued and stroked the other one’s face. We fed separately taking it in turns and we fed lying down. We tandem fed on trains and in cars. We fed in the middle of the street and in cafes. We showed people the possibilities around feeding twins and we have supported many others. Baby girls- we have done it. We didn’t quite make it to two but this is our journey and I am so, so proud of us all.
Now it’s time for me to move forward with my own breast confidence journey. I am struggling to look at my breasts. I have been left with, basically nothing. They have been amazing but I now am on a new road with them and I need to work out what that looks like.
Lots of Love
pin it for later