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Breastfeeding Success!! ~ Dionne's Story
When we had our first son by c-section, I had some trouble nursing him, mainly because neither of us knew what we were doing. I got mastitis a couple of times, had sore and bleeding nipples, and had trouble getting him to latch on. I had plenty of milk, though, and really wanted to do it, so we stuck it out. One funny thing happened -- I tried to pump some since I was so sore and the milk had this lumpy stuff in it. Neither my mom or I knew that it was fat so we skimmed it off before giving it to Matthew, so he got some lowfat milk! He nursed until he was 17 months. I had been dropping a feeding at a time and one day when he nursed for just a couple of minutes he quit and said "all done". I knew it was over!
When Matthew was almost five, I delivered twin boys at 38 weeks by c-section. Of course it was harder getting started with the c-section, but I knew a little better what I was doing. Joshua nursed fine from the beginning and at 8 pounds he was obviously used to eating. Caleb was sleepy and didn't want to nurse. He was just 5 pounds 6 ounces, still a good size for a twin, though. They took him to NICU, just for observation, but his blood sugar was low and just wouldn't come up. I couldn't go nurse him there until the next day, and I had Joshua to take care of, too. The second night I would wake up to feed Joshua, then drop him off at the nursery, go to NICU to feed Caleb, come back and sleep for about an hour and do it all over again. That was not going to work! He still wasn't interested in nursing. They started doing gavage feedings with him in NICU (through a tube in his nose) so at least he wasn't getting a bottle. This was still going on when Joshua and I had to leave the hospital. We lived just outside the county limits, so we were able to stay at the Ronald McDonald House with Joshua. I would nurse Joshua there on one breast while I pumped on the other, then take the milk over to Caleb to go into the tube feedings. Each time I would alternate sides and Joshua didn't seem to mind nursing next to a machine! Finally they starting weaning Caleb off the gavage feedings and onto a bottle and finally let him try nursing again. He latched on like a pro and was my easiest to nurse baby of them all. They wanted me to stay overnight so they could continue to monitor him, so Joshua, Daddy, and I went back and spent another night in the hospital nursing them both at the same time. We took them both home at two weeks!
They both continued to nurse well and almost exclusively until five and sixth months. Mostly I fed them together in the football position. A nursing pillow is essential for nursing twins. I kept a chart for a couple of days about when each nursed and slept. That helped me figure out what they needed and it was a nice reminder in their baby book about those early days. They nursed until they were between 17 and 18 months old. Caleb wanted to a little longer, but it was an easy transition for us all.
Now I am expecting #4, a little girl in February. I hope my nursing experience with her is just as memorable as with the boys.