I don't have anyone to come & help me. What angers me the most is DH's lack of help. He will take care of the girl twin, since she's the easier one, and she's not nursing, but the way he does it drives me nuts. He just wants her to sleep, so he can sleep too (during the afternoon/evening) so then she's up all night for me. He complains that HE'S tired, and I want to smack him. He said last night that he'd take care of the girl twin, but I said don't bother, you'll sleep through her screams anyway. He said it's not his fault, he can't help it, and I want to smack him again.
I can't even call the babies by their names. It's always him or her. I feel I haven't bonded with them. I love them, but I'm not IN love with them, does that make sense??
Oh Mollie- I wish I could offer you more than a virtual hug!
I don't know how you do it! I had grandma help for the first 4 weeks of our twins and a husband who doesn't sleep through screams and it STILL was really rough. Twins are a LOT!
Please please give yourself a break. You didn't fail birth- look what you did! You created two big healthy babies, a big accomplishment particularly given all the difficulties twin moms often face. That is a huge success!
Tons and tons of people have difficulties nursing one, let alone two. It has nothing to do with you 'failing'! Lots of moms have had to use formula and can likely help you deal with the disappointment. For twins, it's particularly common. I've spoken with a ton of twin Moms asking for advice, and know of only one that never, ever used formula. Obviously we're here on MDC b/c we are dedicated to things like BFing, but in the grand scheme of things- your kids will be great! Think of all the wonderful people in this world who were formula fed (my Mom and DH come to mind) and are just dandy- you know?
Do you have BFing support groups or mothering groups around you could join for support? It sounds like you could use support in whatever way you can! Have you spoken with you doctor/midwife about this? Moms of multiples are more at risk for PPD and with all the struggles and lack of support, it seems like a definite possibility. You are dealing with so much physically and emotionally- please take care of yourself. Please stop beating yourself up!
As for your DS and his hunger- do you think he could be tired? I know with my boy especially, he'll root like crazy sometimes and act cranky, even after a big feed, but a little soothing and I realize he was just exhausted. We use pacifiers (for us it hasn't been a problem and they're still growing like weeds) and that helps to calm him a lot.
As for not bonding with the babes, it's hard when you have so many strains on you! It's also common with PPD (please don't be afraid to seek support). That being said- I love them to pieces, but definitely can relate. I feel like people talk about their babies in a way that I can't totally understand. Again, I think it'd different when you're bonding with one versus two! It's getting to know/love them vs him/her.
Sending lots of hugs your way and hoping you take it easier on yourself and your husband gets his act together.
Please don't feel guilty about the formula. Trust me, I KNOW that is easier said than done in the midst of the hormones and mother guilt and sleep deprivation. Especially when your birth didn't go as planned.
I had a hospital induction with DD that was rather traumatic for me, after planning for a natural homebirth. Then my milk never really came in and we struggled for weeks and weeks, trying everything to make it happen. We still don't know why I couldn't produce more than an ounce or two a day.
So, I know exactly how it feels to have your image of yourself as a mother shaken right to the core in the first days and weeks. I was going to be a natural birthing, breastfeeding mother...there just hadn't ever been a question in my mind. So if I couldn't do those things - who the heck was I? I was afraid I would never bond with her properly, she wouldn't be as healthy or as smart, etc etc etc. Plus the embarassment I felt bottle/formula feeding, I dreaded the judgement from people who felt that EVERYONE should be able to BF if they were committed enough.
Now? I very firmly believe that what is important is your mental health. That the best thing you can give your babies is a mama who is as rested and happy as possible. Do what you can but do not do it at the expense of your sleep or stability. Truly.
Your DH needs to understand that he needs to help, and ACTUALLY help, not just help in a way that is convenient to him. Because babies aren't conveninent and twins certainly aren't convenient. He needs a serious kick in the butt and you need to tell him that if he doesn't, PPD could be a real possibility. You didn't create these babies on your own.
And, please know that you will bond with these babies. Whether you BF, bottle feed, Formula feed or likely some combination. The bottle was not a barrier between us like I feared it would be. Feed with love and respect, no matter how you have to do it. Get some sleep. Get DH on board. Let everything but the important stuff slide. And you'll be okay!!!!
I'll be thinking of you, let us know how things are going!
Beth . wife to DH and Mama to DD1 (May 1-09) and DD2 (Nov 2-11)
Oh, Mollie, you sound so exhausted. Huge, huge hugs.
First, you have NOT failed. Your job is to do what you can to 1) grow your babies, 2) get them safely out and 3) care for them and help them continue to grow. You have big checkmarks on all of those. Yes, it's too bad that you weren't able to have them vaginally, but seriously, twins are tricky. You did what you had to do to get them here safely, and that takes serious effort and sacrifice. You are a wonderful mother, and you gave it an enormous effort. And as for breastfeeding, when your little girl refuses to nurse, what are you supposed to do? It absolutely makes sense to give her formula. When I had trouble breastfeeding my first, every LC I saw plus my local LLL leaders all said, "Rule #1: Feed the baby!" Do not beat yourself up. Do what you can, and if it works, it works. If not, thankfully there are excellent alternatives.
I strongly agree with Katico:
As for bonding, I know that feeling of loving but not being in love (excellent description) that you are talking about. I had it with my first. All it meant for me was that bonding was not instantaneous. It took some time, but it absolutely happened. You've been through a heck of a lot. Give yourself a break. Your babies do not care if you call them by name right now. They just need you to heal and take care of yourself as best as you can while caring for them.
Did the hospital give you a follow-up number to call if you are having a hard time? Please try calling it, or your doctor/midwife. You sound really overwhelmed, and it can help just to talk to someone. I had a lot of trouble with my first, and didn't call until he was four months, by which point things had gotten very, very bad. It can make your life much easier if you head things off at the pass.
I'm not sure from your description if it will be possible for your DH to help with nightwakings the way you need him to, but at the very least, if he is available in the evenings, why not feed your boy, hand DH the babies, tell him he's in charge of the kids, and take a nice long nap?
professor & maman de DS1 (6) & DS2 (1)
So last night I gave him a bottle, and both babies slept all night. It was great getting continuous sleep like that. I feel a lot better this morning. I'm sorry I was having such a pity party in my OP, I was just so overwhelmed. I'll write more soon, they just woke up.
Mollie- I don't know what to say other than hugs! You sound like you are really under too much pressure right now, you have an awful lot on your plate. So glad to hear that you got some rest and things are looking a little less bleak with some sleep. I can't imagine just having my 3 kids without help, and you've got twins AND many more olders to deal with than I do. Agree with others, that BFing should not be at the expense of your or your babies' health. The big picture goal is to have healthy (rested!) mom and babies.
dissertating mom to three
Mollie- I am so sorry to hear you are having a hard time. You sound a lot like i did after I had ds3. I didn't have the nursing issues and the twin issue BUT he was my rainbow baby after 2 consecutive losses and I was very very shocked at my emotions. I ended up with pretty bad ppd. It turns out that many people have a similar reaction with their rainbow babies. You expect to be 100% blissfull but turns out you end up with mixed emotions, excitement for the baby(ies) her, guilt for the one not, etc. That may be contributing to your existing frustration. I would highly recommend seeking help for ppd and possibly some counseling if you have insurance or means to pay for it.
I remember when we were in the dec ddc together you had similar issues with your dh after your dd3 was born. I would really be clear w/ your dh about what you need.
Also, the part about your older chidlren not listening to you right now really stuck out for me. Your dh can help you in regards to directing them. They are old enough to be doing a lot to be helpful and if you don't have the energy to get them going then your dh needs to be responsible for that. Everyone that lives in your home needs to contribute and that will really help relieve some of your stress.
I hope that bottle feeding will help with your anxiety and sleep making this transition easier on everyone.
I am thinking of you and really hope things let up a bit.
nicole , mom to 3 boys here on earth 9, 7 and 4.5 and 2 girl's 2.5 and 10/16/11. Always remembering my babies in heaven: Sam (9/7/05) at 12.5 wks , Morgan (2/13/06) at 6 wks , Emeric (8/9/10 at 17 wks) and Pepper (11/26/10) at 8wks.
I'm still nursing both when I can, my DD will latch on occasionally, but I'm not producing enough for either to be exclusively BF, so both are FF too. I'm OK with it, they need to eat, and realize that it just didn't work out this time. I'm still really sad about it though. They are growing, getting chubbier everyday, and have started smiling. I'm still not head-over-heels in love with them yet. I think that will come when I get more rest, and when I can actually be happy about everyday things.
Mollie Keep on keeping on, mama. Give the Zoloft some time to start doing its job, and make sure that your doc ups the dosage if it doesn't show any results between 2 and 4 weeks. Depression sucks! It makes everything sooo much harder, and post partum time with twins is hard enough as it is. Thinking of you!
~Iris~ Catholic mama to DD1 11/15/05 * DD2 04/28/08 * 06/23/2010 * and our little rainbow DS 10/07/11