I don’t write on this blog as often as you’d think. Admittedly my focus has shifted to the twins, so I don’t have the time to post as regularly. On the chance that they’re sleeping or being watched after by a family member, I sneak away and cull posts from my past journal entries, or I’ll write quickly and stagger the posts. So in the future, when you see posts about shopping or fights I’ve been having, or friends I’d like to make, or those I’ve let go, try to remember that chances are these things have been written once upon a free time ago. I don’t serve them up as they’re happening. I just can’t.
Right now I can. Right now Abigail is asleep in her swing and Lucas is sleeping in his bassinet. His lips move when he sleeps, like he’s dreaming about eating. Which brings me to breastfeeding. I hate it. It’s hard. It’s not just the latching on, which is what I thought before I knew anything about breastfeeding. I heard mothers complain about the latch. That it hurt. That some babies wouldn’t take the breast. It’s not that. It’s that they just aren’t mature eaters yet. They snack from me. Each time, I resolve that they’ll each feed for 40 minutes, then I will take them off no matter what. Usually they fall asleep within the first fifteen minutes. I tickle them, play with their feet, rub their sweet fragrant heads, and all they do is snack, but dare I set them down, back into their bassinet, a rip of a scream sacks me. "Okay, okay." I pick them up, anything to hush their cries. Maybe they’re still hungry? Maybe I’m not making enough milk? Maybe they’re just being babies and I should let them cry for a bit? They breastfeed for over an hour. This isn’t the way it should be.
The hardest thing is opinion. Everyone has one. Because I’m committed to breastfeeding them, even though I can’t stand it, I brought in a lactation consultant who weighed them first, before breastfeeding, and again afterwards to see how much they were getting. She determined that they just aren’t mature eaters yet. To practice breastfeeding, but mostly she said, I should pump. Pumping sucks the big fat hairy moose cock. You know what else sucks? Breastfeeding for 40 minutes then doing it again and again and again and again every time they wake up hungry, in less than two hours. With a bottle, they sleep for four hours between feedings. With the breast, they’re up all the time.
The other opinion comes from their doctor who tells me to just breastfeed them, forget the pumping, and if they cry because they’re hungry, well let ’em cry. "They won’t starve. They’re healthy at this point, and it won’t hurt them if they lose weight." Sounds fine, but in practice, hearing the wailing cries from Abigail, I can’t just let her sit there hungry. I also can’t continue to do as I’ve done in the past three months, be attached to a pump. But for them, I’m not giving up. I want to give up, but I won’t. Not yet. And if I did, I’d have to deal with feeling like a complete failure.
"No, but you shouldn’t. That’s postpartum depression talking. You’re not a failure if you can’t breastfeed anymore. You’ve done it for the first three months of their lives. They’ve gotten all the good stuff by now." It’s used to make me feel better, but it’s not about me right now. Shocking, I know, to hear such a thing from me, but it’s true. It’s about them, their health, their happiness.
I’d like to say I’m going to try just breastfeeding, without all the pumping, but I can’t. I have to continue to pump so when their sucks become more mature, there will indeed be enough milk for them. It’s actually a mess when I try to feed them both at the same time. One loses his latch, the other screams when she can’t feel my nipple on the roof of her mouth. But I like them on there together, working for it, seeing each other, our family. I wonder, truly, why I won’t stop now. Their doctor says he sees no difference between breastfed and bottle-fed babies. But, I am still sticking to it, for their sake, even though all I want to do is stop.