Originally Posted by nummies
Charlene and others who mentioned formula/ bottlefeedings- Believe me, I think about it nearly every single day. I had D-MER with my son but it was very slight and I only got a little sad during the very beginning of let-down. It is the double let-downs that makes me go insane. It is just too much stimulation. Anyway, I have committed myself to nursing for 1 year. After that I will be weaning with no guilt.
Since you may or may not get the help you need to address the sleep issues, I suggest that you address the issue that can be addressed - even if it's not the one that seems the most urgent, and that is -- the breastfeeding thing.
I don't have D-MER, but I am the only person I know, irl or online, who has had pain with nursing that NEVER stopped. Now, at 27 months, I can occasionally describe it as strong discomfort, but it has never been comfortable, never mind joyous for me. And like you, I have a set idea in mind about my commitment to nursing. So I feel a little qualified to speak to you on just this aspect of what you are going through. If I could sit with you face to face, I'm sure I would cry while saying this, so please hear that I am going to write the following with deep deep compassion:
YOU MUST GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK, for your own sake, and for the sake of your children.
The symptoms of D-MER are necessarily affecting your decision-making process here. Please consider that hopelessness comes not only from situations truly being hopeless, but also from sleep deprivation, intimacy deprivation, and D-MER.
One less feeding (of both babes) per day might really be a huge relief, especially when you are still suffering so much at night. It will also free you up to use childcare support in new ways. Since you are so heroically committed to breastfeeding, I assume that formula is out for you. I think it could make things MUCH easier, but I'll keep talking as if you refused that option.
This will probably require some penny pinching to get the help you need, or calling in favors from trusted friends. Initially you can use some extra childcare help to manage the babes while you pump. With that help, you can pump immediately after a feeding, so that you are not subjecting yourself to another D-MER experience each day. When you have a little stock built up, you can use the childcare help to give you relief before, during (!) and after one feeding a day.
Here's what one bottle feeding per twin per day WILL NOT do: it won't decrease your commitment to nursing for a full year. It won't decrease your babies ability to attach to you. It won't decrease your desire to attach to them. It won't affect their health. It won't be weaning. It won't require any guilt on your part. It won't make you less heroic.
IT WILL: allow you to get a break, maybe even skip one miserable let-down per day. You might take a shower. You might play with your 3 year old. You might nap with your DH (oh my.) Your twins will be blessed with the opportunity to also experience nourishing nurturance with your DH, other family and trusted friends. You will be increasing their wealth of love experience. It will give you a better shot at continuing your nursing plan without a crash and burn moment.
I am not speaking from experience at good self-care. I have done all my son's milky-feedings since he was one month old (daddy did finger feeds in the beginning. He still misses that.) I suffered so much. I was terrified to let my son get my milk from anyone but me. I was stuck in my cycle of pain and nourishing, and I feel sorry now that I put myself through that. I think my sensitive infant felt my conflict and still feels it, and that we all would have benefitted from him having more early attachment options with my husband.So if there's any part of you that clings to the breastfeeding out of dogma, guilt, inflexibility, anxiety, etc. -- please think again about these options.
I know it's not the main issue, but damn, it's a big one. You are suffering soooo much, just with the nursing. I know this because I suffered lots, and still less than you, and it nearly did me in. I'm not even done yet processing this disappointment in my own life. It's the most responsible-mama thing you can do, to do anything you can to give yourself a break you can live with. Please think again about whether you can stretch your ideals to allow for the fact that a mama is an equally deserving member of the family.
I'm hitting submit with all the love and compassion of someone who also had a relentlessly rough nursing experience. You are a wonderful woman!