Here I am nursing Liam and Brielle. River is getting a bottle next to me. I really thought this would be the image 8 times a day...
My breastfeeding journey is nothing like I had imagined. If you are pregnant with triplets please do not let my story sway you or think it will reflect your experience. I know so many triplet Mamas who successfully breastfed/breastfeed their babies.
I have done everything right. I had Brielle at the breast in the OR, pumped within 30 minutes of being in my room. Pumped every 2-3 hours after the babies were born. I have used the prescription domperidone and the herbs fenugreek, goats rue, shatavari, mulliggnay, milk thistle, blessed thistle, fennel, dandelion, nettle, red clover, red raspberry leaf, hops, oatstraw and several hoppy beers. I am beginning to realize and trying to accept a different nursing life than I thought I would have. It is so hard and sad for me. I am pretty tough and crying for me is uncommon, but every time I stop and think about my lack of milk I cry and get so very sad. But, I must accept what is life. I breastfed Kai for almost 3 years and throughout my pregnancy with Kian and Kian for 2 and 1/2. I was even nursing until 12 weeks into the triplet pregnancy. I never imagined I would not have enough milk. I did everything right.
Tonight is the first night that my exclusively nursing daughter lost weight. Now that is serious. She has not been gaining as fast as River, but Brielle lost 3 ounces in the last 2 days. Now nursing is a gamble. I will still nurse my little gal, but will start supplementing. I nurse Liam recreationally, he is still having strength issues and cannot draw much milk and what is there does not flow enough to keep him interested. River I try everyday, but the flow is too low and she has an aversion to nursing.
It saddens me so that I do not have enough breastmilk for my three little ones. I am so sad that they will miss out on the benefits of breastmilk and all the positive aspects of nursing. I write this to try to deal with the sadness. Brielle, River and Liam will be 6 months old on Sunday. I have kept hope that one day my breasts would turn on. Well it has not happened and most likely will not.
I feel sad for all the time I spent with the breastpump, time I could have been playing with Kai and Kian. That is wasted time that I will never get back. I just kept working thinking the milk would finally come through. For whatever reason my body is/has not cooperated.
Here I am realizing that there will have to be a new normal and with each day I will have to accept the fact that there are so many positives to life with these three little ones and the years of nursing while so important will eventually lead to growing little ones and these early years while always remembered will have details that fade.
I hope that the formula they receive will give them all they need. I add a lot of fish oil and probiotics. River and Brielle are eating avocados and bananas and I hope to use less formula. My poor little ones have the worst eczema all over there body and I know it is because of the formula. We did make our own formula for a week, but after talking with the pediatrician we will wait for a month and start again.
I think I am writing this more for me and as a way to feel better.
I wish it was different, but it is the way it is. I am so thankful for my five little ones, they teach me something new everyday.
Last night we went somewhere and stayed out late. I thought Sidney would sleep better in the other room since he would only get a few hours of sleep before work. I had all of my little ones in the same room. Kai, Kian, River and Brielle were in bed with me. Liam was in the crib that is attached to the bed. All five of my sweet little ones were next to me and one time I was touching all of them. It is amazing that I am a mother to all of them. They are so special and I truly love each of them entirely and wholeheartedly.
I am off to go read the chapter I never knew I would need. The chapter in attachment parenting about bottle feeding. I can still be an attached Mommy.
Some may read this and think it is frivolous and wonder why it bothers me so much. Well unless you have nursed a toddler going through the stomach flu, nursed a toddler after he got hurt and fractured his teeth and nursed a little one all night as you co-slept in the hospital you may not understand. The deep relationship a little nursling has with his/her Momma cannot be equaled or compared to anything else. It is amazing and I am so thankful I lived it with my two older boys. I will keep nursing and occasionally pump. I will keep the supply that I have up and also hope that one day I wake up engorged and ready for a new nursing adventure.