It's funny. I was just thinking about this tribe, and I saw the most recent post as I was scrolling through the recent BF threads. Must be a sign to post. I have not read all the previous posts, but I am so glad to see this thread here.
I have been pumping since my twin boys were a few weeks old, but I went to exclusive pumping when they were around 6 months old or so. I tried SOOOO hard to get them to nurse. SOOO hard. It just never really worked. They did nurse for a while, but they could never really fill themselves up and they resisted nursing--screaming, back arching, etc.
It's such a long story, but I think the biggest reasons are that they had latch issues, then I got thrush, then mastitis, then thrush and mastitis again, then they stopped gaining any weight and were diagnosed with failure to thrive. I started giving bottles then, and they developed a bottle preference, but I think that was because for the first time they were finally getting enough to eat. They were around 2 1/2 months old when I first started giving bottles. I worked with a LC and my local LLL, read anything and everything I could on bfing problems, tried everything under the sun....anyway,
they just started refusing to nurse AT ALL around 4-5 months, which I think may have been related to undiagnosed reflux and ear infections as well. basically, we had just about every problem in the book. I tried the SNS too, but trying to tandem nurse with two babies who can't nurse and trying to wrangle that thing was just insane. I did try it several times though, but all I wound up with was screaming babies and wasted milk all over my clothes, etc.
Anyway, you get the picture. It was so hard. SO hard. And I had no help during the day and I became so sleep deprived that I could not see straight. I think if I had had some help so that I could have focused on one baby at a time I could *maybe* have kept them nursing longer. But, that was impossible. I was pretty much on my own. Anyone that has had twins knows how hard this is. My mother would have loved to help, but she died 3 months before I found out I was pregnant. I did not have any sisters or aunts or anything. So, on top of everything else, I was also suffering from PPD due to losing my mom, my father being ill, and trying to raise twin infants without much support.
Anyway, the boys are 11 months now, and I only pump a few times a day. But they still get about one or two bottles of mama milk each day.
I have mourned the loss of the nursing relationship, and was doing much better about it until recently.
But recently I have started to grieve again. It breaks my heart I can't still nurse my babies and that they never found nursing to be a comforting or happy thing. It was always such a struggle for them. So many tears were shed by all of us as we tried so hard. It breaks my heart my boys don't look to me for that comfort when they fall or are sleepy. Sometimes I wonder if they are even that attached to me. But then I get angry with myself for thinking that because I know that's a form of mommy-guilt, and that I know I did everything I could to get them to nurse. And I know being a mom is about so much more than nursing. As you can see, I argue with myself about this issues A LOT.
It's nice to know there is a group of mamas who understand.
When we went to bottles it was the best thing for our relationship. Not to mention, of course, their health. Feedings went from utter hell to somewhat peaceful. But it's hard not to still miss being a nursing mom. It's so hard to not be sad about never having had that bonding with my sons. Even though they did nurse for a while it was always so hard and they fought it and cried and cried.
I guess it's a grieving process I will revisit time and again.
Know what I mean?
Thanks for listening.