Folks have been emailing and asking me whether I’m still breastfeeding.
The thing is I never quite started. Well, successfully that is.
The one thing I want more than anything in the world is to fully breastfeed the twins for as long as I possibly can. I am not oblivious to the wonderful benefits of breastmilk. But I have SERIOUS supply issues. I just cannot supply.
I have visited the lactation consultants several times. I’ve tried breastfeeding continously, I’ve tried feeding whatever i had then pumping, I’ve even tried the Supplemental Nursing System (SNS) to keep the twins on the breast long enough for me to produce more milk. But it has all been unsuccessful.
And yes, I also tried to eat/drink everything that was recommended. Someone said oatmeal helped her, so i ate oatmeal. I had green papaya, fish head, spinach. I drank mother’s milk tea. I even got my Gynae to prescribe me extra months of Domperidone which was supposed to double your milk production. You name it, I’ve tried it. Yet, my supply remained at 35-40ml everytime I pumped.
The end result was unhappy, hungry, crying babies and a desperately miserable me.
So i gave up.
What i do now is express twice a day. Each time I get about 40ml, and I give whatever I can produce to the twins. This didn’t help remove the total despair I felt for not being able to breastfeed. It was horrible. Although I stopped crying every evening when hubby came home, it took just the shortest article on breastfeeding in a magazine to set off the tears. It didn’t help that everyone, absolutely everyone I meet would ask if I was breastfeeding. I always struggled to explain why I’m not breastfeeding, always choking back the tears.
I’ve only recently got a grip of my situation. It took a trip to my Gynae office- my 3 months check up. When checking my uterus, Dr Tham told me that my ‘monthly visitor’ would not be coming back for some time as the uterine lining was still very thin. I exclaimed to him, ‘Its amazing how such miserable and miniscule breastfeeding can still keep the monthly visitor away huh?’
He replied, and I love him dearly for this, ‘ Just shows how hard your body is working to try and produce the milk. It probably was and is the stress of taking care of the twins that’s hindering the milk production.’
I could have crumbled into a pool of tears there and then. A wave of relief washed over me. I know I’ve been trying my best. That I know. I know it could have been stress that was stopping me from being able to breastfeed (after all, I stress over the littlest things), but to hear it from my doctor. It was just what I needed.
So it is what it is. I pump twice a day now. And even if I can squeeze out a mere 10ml of breastmilk I will do so. Because it is so precious to me. And it means everything that I can give even a tiny drop of milk to my babies.
You mummies out there who have a decent, not to mention an abundant supply, I hope you count your blessings every single day. I’d do anything to have had your luck and experience.