The amount of pressure put on women to breastfeed these days is a little out of control. We get it. “Breast is best.” However, some things that are not “best,” are moms who find breastfeeding so miserable making, they can’t enjoy their babies.
That was me.
Before I quit breastfeeding, every time the guys needed to eat, which btw, was A LOT, I would feel an overwhelming wave of dread and panic.
I started out with the best intentions. I planned to breastfeed exclusively for six months. In the hospital, the babies had to get small amounts of formula because I was too sick, but as soon as I was able, I got them on the breastesses. And there they stayed for about 11 terrible weeks.
Newborns, for the most part, are a screaming, prune faced bunch who want to fed, and they want to be fed now. So with one baby, I can see how it might be easy and convenient to just whip out a boob and get ‘er done.
However, with twins, things get a little more tricky. One experienced mother of twins said that breastfeeding twins is a fools errand. My determination? She was right. For me, trying to latch two insistent chomping shark mouths at the same time was like some sort of human MENSA puzzle. The Breastfriend Twin Nursing Pillow didn’t help for shit. Some friend.
And then there was the burping, which was like a Chinese circus performer trick (like, you know…you’ve been to a Clippers game, right? the guys? with the dishes?) Balance one baby, who can’t support his head, in an upright position and pound on his back while you keep your other baby, who also can’t support his head, attached to your nipple. Easy! Yeah, okay.
Also, with twins, you gotta pump to make sure you get your supply up from the get go. So your days look something like this: breastfeed, pump, breastfeed, pump, breastfeed, pump. You get the picture. And somewhere in there, you need to eat and drink a shitload. PS It’s actually really hard to find time to eat 3000 calories a day (the estimated amount of calories a breastfeeding mother of twins needs) when you’re constantly hooked up to mouths or machines 24 hours a day. Literally. 24 hours a day.
Breastfeeding can start out being super painful. And you don’t know what you’re doing and neither does your kid and you’re all like in this weird awkward dance where one party things they’re gonna starve to death. But then it gets better. At least it did for me.
That’s the thing - the pain subsided. I didn’t have supply issues. I got that when my babies screamed for me, it wasn’t that they were dying, but that their crying helped my body know to make more milk. I understood that during growth spurts, they’d be more fussy and need to eat even more.
And I still hated it.
For me, breastfeeding was not a bonding experience. I found it stressful and anxiety inducing. It wasn’t just the logistics that were hard. I mean, I feel like I could have overcome that. It was more how every time I would have a letdown, my heart would race and I would start to sweat and feel sick to my stomach. Weird, I know. But like the title of the this post, breastfeeding really just wasn’t for me.
Once I switched to formula, my life improved tenfold. And that means life also improved for my kids. Almost instantly, I was able to relax into being the kind of mom I knew I could be.
The guys started sleeping better. I started sleeping better. No more freaking out every time they needed to eat because I didn’t know how to juggle them by myself. No more emotionally trying let downs every time any baby, anywhere, cries.
Best of all, freedom was achieved. We’re able to leave the house together. I’m able to leave the house alone. There’s so much more time now - time we use playing and singing songs and reading books and going for walks.
Everyone’s happier. Everyone except the peanut gallery.
They think I’m a selfish bitch.