Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Decisions I Have Made As A Mom - Part 1

Becoming a mother was the most scary, awesome, rewarding, panic-inducing thing that has ever happened to me. Becoming a parent not only forces you to all of a sudden become in charge of one little (on in my case two) lives, you are constantly faced with decisions on what kind of parent you will be. You may think one thing, then change your mind once the situation arises. I thought I would post a bit of the decisions I made throughout this journey and the reasons I did so. This is part 1 of ??? I don't know. There are always important decisions to be made!

Josh on the left, Jules on the right

I took drugs. The legal ones, of course. This was decision number one for me. After the one year mark of trying every month with no baby, we decided to pursue some medical assistance and confront our infertility. We kept it a secret for a long time, then due to lots and lots of support from lots online friends, I became ok with this and knew I wasn't alone. So, yes, we did 1.5 years of infertility treatments. And one FINALLY worked! And I got two precious babies out of it. While some may continue "to let nature takes its course", and "relax and let it happen". I am not that person. I was aggressive and determined to become a Mommy.

I had a planned c-section. I know there are many other mothers out there who would disagree with this decision, and some may agree. It never occurred to me to even try to deliver vaginally. I didn't care in the least about my pregnancy or the "birth experience". My goal was babies and motherhood. I was all about the end result. I wanted them to get here in the quickest, safest way possible. All it took was hearing one story about delivering one vaginally, then having to do an emergency c-section with the other. And I was like, nope. No thanks. Not gonna risk something happening.  Again, I didn't care about any of that. I just wanted my babes here and healthy :)

I was an exclusive pumper. I never really envisioned myself as a nursing mother. But, I knew I would give it a good try. I was wishing and hoping I would produce milk and that my body would know what to do. Some of my friends weren't blessed with this miraculous ability, so I knew that if I could do it, I would (and hey, you gotta get that uterus back in shape after twins, quickly, no?) They said after a c-section your milk wouldn't come in until probably day three, and I was so anxious waiting for it. I remember on that third day in the middle of the night I woke up in the hospital with the strangest sensation, and I woke Jake up so excited!!

I tried nursing for two weeks.  They would do it sometimes, sometimes not. They would nurse for 10 minutes or so, then we would follow up with formula and/or pumped milk. And I would still pump.They were very small babies, and my lactation consultant told me that they wouldn't get their cheek/sucking fat until they were full term (I had them at 36w5d). I was doing tandem sometimes, sometimes not, just trying to find something that worked. I was doing this multiple times a day and in the middle of the night and still pumping 3-4 times a day so I could build up my milk supply. I was exhausted. So when two weeks came and we took them to the doctor with two very fussy babies and he said they had reflux and were dairy-intolerant and for me to take dairy out of my diet and take a nursing break for a couple of days (I misunderstood this, I thought thats what he told me to do) I never went back. It was a very, very guilty, but marvelous feeling. I hated that I was happy about it. And I had help this whole time, so why wasn't I using it? Why was I doing this all on my own and feeling miserable and felt pressured to do this because that's what books, doctors, etc make you feel like you have to do? So, I stopped. And everybody got a bottle of pumped breast milk and we were good.

From then on, I was attached to my hospital-grade Medela pump for that next year. We were BFFs. I was doing it anyway 3-4 times a day, so I just increased it. Was it hard? Oh yeah. Was it harder than nursing? I dunno. It seemed not at the time. Nursing moms I knew thought I was crazy and awesome. THEY certainly thought nursing was way easier than pumping, but it worked for me.  I probably could have forged ahead and made it work. But, I'm still proud of myself. I tried it. It wasn't me. And I pumped for an entire year, in public bathrooms, in my office, in my car, etc. So, surely they give out medals for that too? Or is that just nursing,  lol?

We did Babywise. Aaaahhhhh!!! We were those parents that sleep-trained their babies! Please don't stop reading my blog now. What? What I thought we were in the trust tree in the nest, were we not? I started reading Babywise way before the babies were here. People that think its written by the devil probably haven't read it. I loved that it was a marriage-centered book, and that babies join your already-family-of-two, and that the basics of a strong family starts with a strong marriage. And I don't all of the time agree that when a baby is whining or crying that you feed them. I believed that you should try to figure out something else first. Maybe they're not hungry. Maybe they're cold, or  hot, or bored, or tired of the swing, etc. Plus, let's be honest, I was terrified of having two babies and not sleeping for a year. I needed to give these babies all I could, and I couldn't be the best mom I could be on no sleep and working. And I am a schedule-person anyway, and it worked beautifully with us with twins. We didn't do "cry it out", (couldn't really with two babies in the room) but we did let them fuss for a bit. They started sleeping through the night at about 4.5 months. Josh could have started earlier, but that pesky sister of his wasn't letting him. They would still get up every now and then, and they still do sometimes, but I was a new woman after that, and a better mommy, and had the sleep and energy to entertain two babies. I still do some Babywise stuff now, too, but not alot.I think independent playtime is very important, as it teaches them great problem solving skills.

Some of these are controversial, and I agree. But thats the best thing about being a Mom. You make decisions and hopefully you are doing the right thing. Other moms out there shouldn't judge, but support you and hope you know whats best for your kids. Stay tuned for Part 2!

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  1. I nursed my twins up until two weeks ago when the dr. said they weren't gaining enough (at the 9 mo check up.) I've been counting down the days until I could quit pumping. Nursing tandomly seems so much easier to me, I commend you for exclusively pumping!

  2. @undomestic chica

    Thanks!! You too for nursing for 9m!! Woohoo!

  3. Amazing that you pumped for an entire year! Impressive! I nursed Evie for 13 months and she did not do bottles - that was an early sign that she was going to call the shots. She put herself on a great schedule but her brother is different already. I think that I may need to re-read Babywise for him. He still gets up once or twice a night and has not a scheduled bone in his body. That can be good too! I am not sure what is harder nursing or pumping but what I do know is that breastmilk is best - no matter how the baby gets it! I loved this post.

  4. @The Niemeyer Nest

    Thanks girl! I liked writing it.YAY for making it 13m! Thats awesome! Every baby is certainly different. Josh and Jules were VERY different babies, which I why I thought a schedul was important, espeically with her. Otherwise I woudl be feeding them all day, and they would be napping/sleeping completely differently. And with twins, sheesh, now ay could
    I do that, lol!

  5. I'm honored to be on this journey with you from the very beginning =) You certainly deserve a medal for exclusively pumping for a year. Incredible!

  6. i totally agree with you that there is not ONE right way to do anything & that IS why being a mom is awesome. you get to make decisions you feel are right for your family & you dont have to answer to anyone... well, in most cases. haha. we kinda did babywise too, loosely. we followed the sleep, eat, play, sleep routine & it worked amazingly for us. high five mama!

  7. what a beautiful post!

    new follower here =) hope you can follow me back too http://iamblissfullyloved.blogspot.com/

  8. You DO deserve a medal! I'm a 10 month exclusive pumping, Babywise follower too. And it is hard work! I love your posts and you have two healthy, happy babies. Healthy and Happy because they have one smart Mommy!

  9. I love this post! I think you're crazy, yet I admire you at the same time, for being a pumping mom! Good for you...I BF'd my son for over a year but there's no way I could be so dedicated to a pump so props to you for that! :)

    I read BabyWise when I was pregnant and was gung-ho...but it didn't work for us because Braden liked to eat-play-eat-sleep. He just had to eat again before he slept. But when he was old enough (5 months) we sleep trained with SleepEasy and it saved me! I think you HAVE to have a schedule and be organized, especially with twins. All my twin mama friends and SIL with twins have done some version of sleep training and they've all felt they "had" to!

  10. Great post!! One of my twin boys couldn't latch so I was nursing one and pumping for the other, always feeling like they were not get the same amount so after about 6 weeks I went to strictly pumping but I could never produce enough for TWO! YOu are a rockstar! 12 months! And we are babywise parents oh yes we are and we are so HAPPY we are! Have had the boys sleeping through the night since 4 months! :)

  11. Hi, this is Katie from Medela. It sounds like you're very dedicated to providing the best care possible to your little ones, and we're glad to hear you got a lot of use out of our products. Keep up the great work!

  12. @amy@agoodlife

    Yeah, I agree. We all gots to stick together. No mom is alike, just like no kids are alike, and thats what makes it great!

  13. @Blair

    Dude, seriosuly??? Pumping for one and nursing the other? Yikes!! Yeah, thats why I felt like I HAD to keep doing it. I was a milk machine!!