Alessandraby Aoife Anderson
My twins arrived seven weeks early and the only thing I could do for them while they were in the NICU was pump. I was pumping sometimes 12 times a day. It was insane.
Around their expected due date, I decided to try breastfeeding. I didn’t really know what I was doing; it was obviously stressful, I had two crying babies and it was chaos. I ended up getting a lactation consultant to come to our house. One baby was better at breastfeeding, so then began the insane cycle of pumping and nursing. Feeding became my life. The hardest thing was feeling like my breastfed baby was getting more special attention than my other baby.
After about six weeks of that whole nightmare, I thought I’d just pump. I needed 60oz of milk a day to feed them. Every minute I wasn’t trying to feed or change them I was pumping. I barely had time to snuggle a baby and it was draining the joy out of me. We started having to supplement with formula a little bit.
I decided to fully switch to formula before taking a family trip when they were 4 months. Giving them their last bottles of breast milk the night before, I was distraught. I felt like it was the biggest, most selfish, expensive decision. I remember begging my husband to make the decision for me because I didn’t want to be responsible. After a few months, I never thought about it again. Looking back, I wish I had been a little kinder to myself.