Thursday, July 31, 2008

Thing 6: Sticking to my guns

My breastfeeding journey has been a relatively smooth one till recently. I recently shared with a group moms-to-be my experience of nursing twins for 13 months. Objectively speaking, it's quite an achievement. But as I was reminded quite bluntly, I never do things in halves even if it's to my detriment so I'm pretty blase about it and basically tell everyone I expect nothing less of myself.

But recently, my resolve has been tested. First, there was the clogged duct, then there was the blood in the milk and then there was yesterday. Yesterday was when there was excruciating nipple pain and every time I expressed or let Baby J feed, it felt like the milk was carrying in its flow tiny tiny shards of glass and that in itself was obstructing regular milk flow, adding a congested backed up feeling to the pain.

Obediently, I went to the doctor and let's just say, there was a needle and drainage involved in the treatment, to spare the gore.

Of course, I was inundated with well meaning advice. To stop breastfeeding, mostly since I have after all nursed them for an entire year and a month. That it was my body's way of telling me to quit while I was ahead. Some well meaning people told me that I should pray and ask if it's a sign to stop. Generally, all went along that strain. Except for the doctor.

She told me in no uncertain terms that if I stopped right now, I would get more infections and since there was still enough milk for both kids, I should just go on. That was good enough for me though once again, the others in my life try to champion the good things about stopping now. I gain my life back. I get to wear underwire bras ( I miss them so much!). I won't be so moody. I get to spend more time with the kids. I get to sleep through the night (a nice idea!) and so on.

I agree. Some of the good things espoused make my eyes light up. But there is something intrinsic in me that is hedging. I'm not ready. I'm not going to give the excuse that the babies aren't ready. I think I'll be able to keep them on breast milk for maybe another 6 weeks from the day I stop with whatever I have stored. I'm not going to say that it's because I just ordered a whole bunch of milk bags online so I'd better be able to use them still. I'm not going to say that I like the fact that I burn an excess of 500 calories a day, although I don't need very much encouragement beyond this point.

Whatever it is, I feel like I'm still doing good by the kids while I keep them on full breast milk and I aim to be able to do it till 18 months or when I run out, whichever comes first. Whether I do it beyond that? Unlikely. Because I'm fundamentally against nursing a kid that can probably go up to a stranger and go "I like drinking from Mommy's breast". I know too many people who still nurse school going kids. That, is something I can't imagine doing.

But for now, I'll take the antibiotics. I'll put on the cream. I'll keep Baby J off that side and hopefully, I'll get through this and still be nursing. Till then, I'll just have to wince every time I express and the suction pulls at the injured nipple. Not fun.

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  1. Hi there! I come to your blog often as I have a pair of boy-girl twins like you. Just felt that I should give you some encouragement that you are continuing breast-feeding. I stopped breast-feeding after a month my kids are born due to breast infection. I went through about 4 - 5 times of needle aspiration to draw out the pus. And upon the bacteria check on the pus, it seemed that I have contracted some rare-form of bacteria that I have to be put on some really strong anti-biotics. Since then I have stopped my breastfeeding as my kids cannot take the milk and by the time my breasts have recovered, the milk supply have dropped to near zero. Plus I do not want to go through the ordeal again if the bacteria comes back. I envy you to be able to breastfeed your kids for so long. Hang on!! hugs.