After a week of moving all of our possessions from one house into another, my husband Jamie and I had just unpacked our last box and we decided to celebrate. A run to the grocery store to pick up that bottle of wine was a go. I had been a couple of weeks late in getting my period, which I chalked up to the stress of moving. I told Jamie to pick up a pregnancy test, just to be safe, knowing the test would be negative and I could enjoy that glass of wine in my new home. Jamie arrived home and I took the test first and watched, in dismay as the test turned positive. I remember crawling onto my bed, wishing I had drunk the wine first. Jamie and I already had two daughters and we were past the “can’t sleep through the nights, changing diapers” part of our lives. Our new home had three bedrooms! It was perfect and now this?!?! A third child? This was an oops of gargantuan proportions.
I also have a disease called multiple sclerosis and I knew this meant the nice remission I was in would end sometime after the birth of child #3. Fast forward to week #16-we had come to accept that our family was to grow and we were so excited. The girls were hoping for a brother, as was Jamie. Try to imagine the look on our faces as the ultrasound tech placed the transducer on my belly and not one head appeared, but two. We were to have twin boys! My egg had split…identical twin boys.
Luckily, I had a very smooth pregnancy. At 36 weeks, and blood pressure slightly elevated, I was scheduled for a c-section. Twin #2 was breech so I had no choice to deliver them naturally, like I did my girls. I had breastfed my girls too. Kaylee, our oldest, got to 9 months breastfeeding but the biting would not stop and I was done being her chew toy. Kendall breastfed for 6 months. My MS started relapsing and I made the heartbreaking decision to stop breastfeeding to go back on my medications, which would have passed to her through my milk.
After I came out of recovery, I could not wait to begin breastfeeding the twins. I felt I was a professional because I already had 15 months under my belt and could take on the challenge of twins. 36-week-old babies have the tiniest mouths so for the first time I was presented with a new problem: getting those little mouths to latch on. Luckily for me, a Le Leche League member was in the hospital and this wonderful woman showed me the best way to have my sons latch on. She also talked to me about double feeding, something I wanted to try, of course, but was unsure of how to do.
I remember so many people telling me that breastfeeding twins was a bad idea and the reasons kept coming…you won’t produce enough milk (not true)…you cannot get both on your breast at the same time (not true)…bottle feeding is so much easier(not true). My MS doctor was also opposed to me breastfeeding and wanted me to get on IV meds right after delivery, which I refused. Through some trial and error, I found my favorite position was the traditional hold for the first to latch on and the football hold for the second. What a wonderful feeling to be totally encompassed by your breastfeeding sons.
I would put the twins in their bouncy seats right by my feet as I sat in my “seat.” All breastfeeding women have their “seat”: the one that just makes everything perfect, from the angle of the TV, the phone, the table with your water and of course comfort. I would take the first twin and have him latch on and then have the other latch, with the football hold...and that was it. I would have people come over and they would marvel and the efficacy of our team. There are some really cool things about breastfeeding twins: you are able to eat…A LOT! An extra 1200 calories a day is needed for twins...Goodbye baby fat! Another plus is the fact you never have to choose between which screaming baby gets to eat first, if alone. And money saved?? Formula is so expensive.
After about 4 months, my multiple sclerosis started to return. My sight disappeared from my left eye, I was unable to walk or hold the twins without help. I remember that night, knowing it was the last time I would ever breastfeed again. What a bittersweet moment that was….anger that my body would not allow a longer time but also thankful that my body held out for four whole months. I would not change a thing.