Feeding Frenzy

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Week 4 arrived!  Again, these babies are getting bigger and bigger by the day!  We are still going strong on our schedule and keeping close to it best we can.  This allows me several hours a day to get things done around the house, nap, work on the blog and even send out birth announcements!  Each day is getting easier and I'm learning so much about E & B's personalities.  I feel so blessed to have this time with them.

My Grandma came to KC this weekend and it was SO GREAT to have her meet Em and B.  We also took the babies on their first walk! They slept the whole time... but it was great to get out!

All styled out by their Auntie... ready for a walk!
We LOVE our double stroller.  The City Jogger Select.  Their car-seats snap right in and we were off!

Now for the meat of this post...

This post is about f e e d i n g.  For those of you who aren't parents yet, this is not a post to sway opinions or take sides, breastfeeding versus formula, it's a post to share the struggle I had and another mom with finding what works for our families.  Let's dive in...

B r e a s t f e e d i n g...
My plan was always to breastfeed my children for at least 3-6 months.  I had heard from other mom's that it hurts when you first start but after you get the hang of it, it feels fine.  And the benefits are great and your baby needs the antibodies and such.  I think nursing is such a cool thing and the benefits are amazing for your babies.

I didn't realize how difficult it would be with twins.  This post is here for a realistic view of our journey with feeding.  I didn't know really anything about the feeding process of newborns and I'm still learning every day!  Here's a glimpse of the first 4 weeks with the babes and their growth so far.

In the hospital, I started breastfeeding them right away, individually.  Once my milk started coming in more, we started tandem feeding to try and get the hang of it there while I had help and a lactation consultant right down the hall.  For those of you that are unfamiliar, tandem feeding looks like this:

There are tons of different ways to go about it feeding twins at the same time.  It saves time, especially when you are in the "feeding every 3 hours" stage.  We were getting the hang of things while at the hospital but we still supplemented with donor milk while in the NICU because my milk had not fully come in and we needed the babies to gain weight so we could go home.  They had dropped down close to 5 lbs each in the NICU.  Before we left, the plan was to breastfeed the babies, pump after feedings to save milk and supplement with formula is needed.  That lasted a week.

I was feeding them for upwards of an hour and 45 minutes and once they were "done" they would still show hunger signs (biting their hands, rooting, etc...).  With the 3 hour feed stage, I would finish feeding them and then turn around and have to begin again less than an hour later.  My emotions were running wild.  My nipples were incredibly raw and sore because they were not latching correctly.  I was supporting their heads and trying to help them latch but once I would work with one baby and help him latch, she would unlatch and pull away and the pain would start up.  This ESPECIALLY became hard for the nighttime feedings.  Alex would wake up and help me latch them but it was my job to stay awake and alert enough to coach both babies through an incredibly long feeding, only to know that they will still need formula even after the feeding.  I was incredibly frustrated, tired and sad I wasn't able to feed them fully from my breast.

We still had formula (Enfamil) from the hospital, so that first week we supplemented after feedings. But I was waiting for the magical milk supply that would feed both babies fully to come in and I felt like it never did.   Like I said before, I would try and pump after breastfeeding but I would never get ahead.  I never felt like I was giving my babies enough, and it was heartbreaking.  It was utterly unbearable to feel like I couldn't feed them with just my breast milk and I thought to myself, WHY IS THAT?  Why do I feel this guilt?  So I decided to make a change.

E x c l u s i v e l y   P u m p i n g...
Alex and I knew that something had to change, for our babies sake and for my sanity.  I think the baby blues I was feeling were blown up more with the feeding issues.  We decided that I would pump and then use that milk for the next feeding.  This seemed to work for awhile.  I was producing enough at the time to feed both babies from one pump.  This didn't last long.  The babies are 4 weeks old now and they have about DOUBLED the amount they were eating 2 weeks ago.  I still felt very uncomfortable but felt better knowing the amount I was feeding them.  The babies took to the bottles really well.  The slow flow Tommy Tippee bottles have been awesome!  I would highly recommend.

It wasn't long before I was falling behind in supply again.  The frustrations returned and the pumping got harder to stay on top of.  It's hard being tied to a pump with a baby, let alone two.  Once I get all hooked up to the pump, if one baby needs me, well hopefully you can imagine the back and forth and how hard it got.

Alex and I made more decisions towards the end of that week.  Since I was feeling tired and was hurting and wasn't even pumping enough to feed them both fully, we decided I would pump when I could and we would supplement again with formula.  This was our life for about another week.  We recently switched over to formula only and it has been G R E A T.  I know just how much both babies are getting fed and can prepare mass amounts of formula for the multiple night feedings for both babies.  It's also great that other people can help feed the babies too!  Alex has so enjoyed being able to have that intimate time with both babes too.  Night feedings go twice as fast, leaving more time for sleep for all 4 of us!

Multitasking is a MUST for feeding twins... Learning hands free!
Emmy, very focused on her dinner.
The aftermath... Milk Drunk!
T h o u g h t s   f r o m   A n o t h e r   M o m m a...

I asked my dear friend and fellow recent momma for her input on feeding and she has been a great resource for me!  I asked her to share because her support and advice have helped me immensely.  It's so great to have someone that understands where you're coming from and who offers her opinions free of judgment.

She lives in New York with her husband and baby boy Jack.  Alex and I went to High School with her husband and we have gotten close over the past few years.  I wanted to show how different everyone's experience with feeding babies can be and so with that, here is Theresa Rzeszut.

Firstly, thanks Lauren for asking me to share! I am thrilled to be a part of this blog. Here is my feeding story:

It seems all you hear about as a newly pregnant mom is the importance of breastfeeding. It’s pushed in birth classes, on every phone app, and even in the hospital after you give birth. Nursing has become a new measure of motherhood – the longer you do it, the better you are. When I got to the hospital to be induced at 40 weeks 4 days, one of the first things they asked was, “will you be breastfeeding?” I eagerly said yes and it was marked with a big “X” on my card. My mom nursed each of her 8 children for approximately 3 months and by the 8th kid, my mom was a serious pro at it. This was the extent of my nursing knowledge. It looked so easy and natural. What I didn’t realize was that nursing does not always come so naturally! A few minutes after my son Jack was born, he was placed on my chest and quickly latched. This was a breeze! My baby is a champ! He latches like no other!

Fast forward 12 hours and Jack was sleepy and uninterested in eating. A lactation consultant came by and manhandled my boobs which were already so achy from all the hormones. My milk had not yet come in. That second night in the hospital, Jack was STARVING. He attempted to nurse for what must have been three hours. He was crying and hungry. I was crying, tired, and beyond frustrated. Not one nurse at the hospital came by that night to ask if I needed help or to suggest possibly using formula. My milk had still not come in when I left the hospital less than 48 hours after giving birth. We took Jack to the pediatrician for his first check-up and he was not wetting many diapers. The doctor looked me in the eye and told me that my son was hungry and needed formula. We gave him formula and he was finally content. Five days after giving birth my milk came in and we switched to full time nursing. The first month alone with Jack every day was exhausting – constant nursing throughout the day and night. I felt like a milk machine and began to resent my husband for not being able to help out with feedings. Mentally and emotionally the responsibility of being Jack’s only source of food was terrifying.

Fast forward two months and I was scheduled to go back to work. I had been pumping to get a supply going for Jack while he was at daycare – I was still exclusively nursing. Luckily Jack took a bottle easily, so that was not a worry. I am also lucky that my office has a special lactation room and hospital grade pump that allows for easy pumping and storage. Even with all of these things going for me, pumping was a struggle. I was waking up early in the morning to pump before work and then pumping three times during the day. I was already leaving work earlier than I had before Jack came along, and I was panicked and struggling to keep up. I tried to talk to women at work about it and one of the responses I got was “yeah, I just don’t believe in formula”. Woof. Then one day I read this article http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2009/04/the-case-against-breast-feeding/307311/ that explained how the differences between breastfed and formula fed infants are hardly apparent. I immediately began to taper off feedings and had fully weaned within two weeks. The pressure I felt from being Jack’s sole supplier of food was gone. The final feelings of resentment that were left were erased. I truly feel like a new person.

Jack Rzeszut
This is not a post bashing breastfeeding. Nursing is a beautiful thing, and I’m glad to have done it for four months. But next time, I won’t freak out about formula. We have enough to freak out about as parents, and feeding our children is one of them. But how we do it doesn’t and shouldn’t matter. You would be hard pressed to look at a group of four year olds and point out which were breastfed and which were formula fed. We need to focus on the important things – keeping our children safe, happy and healthy, and giving them lots of love. The societal pressure to nurse is insane! Unfortunately a message that once came from a great place has been misconstrued and is used by women to keep one another down. News flash – you don’t get a medal for nursing for twelve months! My favorite part of the article is this:when people say that breast-feeding is “free,” I want to hit them with a two-by-four. It’s only free if a woman’s time is worth nothing.” In a world that is obsessed with women’s equality, breastfeeding somehow slips through the cracks. Jack is still thriving – I have noticed no change in him since he began formula. But I have definitely noticed a change in myself. I am less stressed and truly feel as though I am able to be a better mother. The three of us have become an even happier family J

To end this post, there are SO many different ways to feed your baby and once you find something that works for you and your family, then stick with it!  Own it!  Like Theresa said, NURSING IS BEAUTIFUL and if you can do it, especially for multiples, then I am nothing but happy for you.  If you're struggling with feeding, know that formula is great too.  

Also, CHIEFS had a great season... the babies loved getting to know their NFL home team :)

Thanks to Olivia Morgan for the awesome onesies...
Until next week...

Lauren, E & B


  1. The important thing is baby/babies are getting fed and they are happy and healthy. I did want to offer a tip that worked for me when I was getting ready to go back to work and trying to build up a breastmilk supply for the daycare. I got a second hand pump. I was able to pump while cuddling my baby. And a bonus to a hand pump is you control the pressure and the speed. That being said I only had one, not two!

    Also, pumping is my least favorite part of nursing! I couldn't imagine trying to exclusively pump for twins. I am glad you found what works for you!

    1. ** to clarify the tip is for anyone reading and hoping/trying to save milk for going back to work

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