If you've ever had the experience of being told you are carrying twins, you know what shocked feels like.
We'd decided to give having another baby a try late last April. I figured it would take a few months. I was wrong.
The first day I missed my period a few weeks later, I took a pregnancy test. It was 3 or 4 in the morning and it was positive. Yes! I don't do well with waiting.
This time around, I needed to switch doctors. The doctor who delivered me with Rylee is a little too far away for me now and I didn't totally love my experience with him anyway. I waited the standard 8 weeks that most doctors require when you are pregnant.
We were so excited! We loved the new doctor (who came via recommendation from a friend) and he was on board with me attempting a VBAC. And yay! We get to have a quick sonogram to check everything out! I laid back with anticipation. The warm goo was coming, I've been here before. I remember how this felt. And then when the wand touched my stomach and the image appeared on the screen, something unfamiliar was there. I knew something was different. The funny thing is, as my new doctor held my hand to lay me back on the table, he said, "okay! let's see if you are going to be the next Octo-Mom!"
I saw the two sacs on the screen but had no words. The doctor said, "well guys, looks like we might be changing your plans a bit but hold on, I need to get my nurse. She just loves twins." I knew when I saw the screen that there were two sacs but Rodney just thought he was looking at a blob of mush on the screen. It wasn't until the doctor said "twins" that he knew what was going on. I will forever remember the look on his face. His very pale and white face.
And internet, I'm not going to lie. I cried.
I don't know if I cried because I was happy or sad or scared. Maybe all three. Plus 9 thousand other emotions.
The next few minutes were a bit of a blur. We were sort of rock-stars for 5 minutes. There was some blood drawn, another appointment made and then we were walking back outside the doors of the hospital. We looked at each other. "We're having two babies. TWO BABIES. We need a new car. we need a new house!" I'm not sure which of us said that but one of us did and it was real all of the sudden.
I spent the next 6 months preparing for Logan and Hadley. It's nice that we have some close friends who have boy/girl twins who were (and still are) willing to lend some knowledge on the subject.
I decided that I was going to breast feed these babies. I read a lot about it. I knew that it would save us a TON of money and let's face it, I need all of the money I can get. I HAVE TWO FREAKING BABIES COMING. Not to mention a 4 year old with an affinity for the finer things in life.
Of course life doesn't always go the way you planned it, does it?
Pumping Questions Answered
How long should I pump for?
Generally you should start off pumping 30 minutes plus 10 more. You want to pump until your breasts are completely empty. The extra 10 minutes tells your body to produce more milk. Eventually you won't need to pump that long. I pump on average about 15 minutes these days. In the beginning you will need to pump longer to empty the breast because your body is still learning to produce what it needs.
I typically have 2-3 "let down's" during a pumping session. If you are not having 2-3, don't worry! As long as you have at least one in the beginning, you are doing good :)
What kind of breast pump should I use?
I'm not an expert on breast pumps by any means but I've always used Medela and it's been great for me. You want to make sure you are using a hospital grade pump, no matter which one you chose. I think most professionals recommend Medela, Ameda or renting one from your hospital. The hospital grade pumps provide the most suction and work best long term. They are expensive but worth it in the long run. I have the Pump in Style version from a few years ago and it's held up great. They do have the smaller versions out now and I would love to have one! I just can't justify buying another pump when this one is still working so well.
Do I really have to sit here and hold these things?
Yes and No.
When I first starting doing this, I felt completely helpless! I sat holding the flanges/bottles up to my chest, back hunched over, no use of my hands. I was going down fast. I thought, if this is what I have to do 8 or 9 times a day, I'm not doing it.
I researched to see if anyone made some sort of holder-thing. And yes! They do!
But whoa! I am not spending that kind of money on a bra.
I went out and bought a decent sports bra and cut a small hole in each side (about the size of a quarter). This would all me to fit the flange through the hold and attach the pump on the outside of the hole. Voila! I'm hands free! I can type, I can update my Facebook status, read TMZ, chat about politics with a friend, I can post on my blog just as I am doing right now! I'm kidding. I'm not pumping right now but I could if I wanted to!
The nice thing about the newer hand-held pumps is that they are battery operated and you can actually walk around with it, which attempting to do chores or get other things done. While that is nice, I feel like a pumping session should be reserved to some quiet time for just you.
(I eventually grew tired of having to change bras a million times a day and soon figured out that I could just insert the flange into the bra I am wearing and the bra would hold it in nicely. Easy!)
This hurts, what am I doing wrong?
Is there anything I can take to increase my supply?
What's the best way to store my milk?
I'll also answer any questions you might have if you'd like to leave them as a comment here!