new member here......and so glad I spied this thread! I only know (in real life) one tandeming mama and she had a horrible experience and actually encouraged me NOT to tandem! Anyway, I am tandem nursing a dd who turns 5 in end of May and a ds who turns 2 in mid June. Actually, I am beginning to think my tandem days are over...I cannot remember the last time dd nursed (maybe 3 times in the last month and it was just a quick "drive-by" suckle and a giggle) and I am not quite ready to say she has weaned, as just when I think she has she nurses again.
Overall tandeming is going WAAAAaaaay better than it did at the beginning. To make a long story short ds was "air evacuated" with me to another province (I live in Northern Canada, no peds surgeons here) as a week old and had a inguinal hernia repair (it was strangulating and he was vomiting, dehydrated) and the next day had a upper bowel obstruction which they found post op repaired as well. DD woke up one morning (she had only just turned 3) and I was gone for 8 days, just like that. We came back and I tried to settle into life with 2 kids. Ds was greatly weakend by surgery, and just couldn't nurse well, so I used the supplementary nursing system around my neck and dd even tandemed with us, just flipping the tube off the nipple when she nursed. I suffered from pp depression (actually more like incredible anxiety/obsessive thoughts, not weepiness or anything) and was on meds for 6 months, which really helped. I was so glad that with my mind stressed and clouded with anxiety so much so that I sometimes couldn't even feed or dress us that I could just sit and nurse and that prolactin would work!
I was determined to stick with tandeming but it was so hard, adjusting to 2 kids, feeling at times like I hated my dd for being so "needy" of me, frustrated by how often she was nursing, dealing with that antsy feeling that happend when they nursed together. I just couldn't believe the pendulum my emotions were on especially the first 6 months! I talked LOTS to my La leche league leaders from a group I used to attend and that helped, and it took alot of thought and introspection and crying and thinking when at times I wanted to wean her RIGHT now when she nursed more than her brother.
BuuUUUuut...when I see things like them hold hands when they nurse, or her tell him what side to take, and how they generally get along, I know it has been worth it. I loved how my "boobie juice" put both of them to sleep so quickly and conveniently when dh worked nights and I was alone at bedtime. Tandeming really changed my relationship with dd, I learned to set some limits (ABC's and count to 10...) for my own sanity and I learned that I just needed to take care of myself and follow her own pace...and I can see how she has matured emotionally this last year. And I remember standing in Walmart buying formula to supplement ds and crying that I couldn't do it (breastfeed) when my dd never had a drop in her life, and thought of all the moms I have helped breastfeed ( I am an OBS RN) and I KNEW I couldn't give up...I had to give ds that beautiful relationship/mothering that dd had. I see him revel and delight in his "nur nurs" and I know it has been worth it
So to all you mama's out there who are struggling...it really does get better (although you won't think so when you are in the thick of things, but boy you will see the results when you one day pass through to the other side of your struggle) KEEP ON KEEPING ON!