Getting to bond in the magic that was breastfeeding with our 2 older boys, I experienced weeks of depression once the twins arrived and I wasn’t able to nurse them. I tried, and I fought and forced what I could, but to my own detriment. They were so tiny and I just wanted to keep them close on me and protect them in our own little bubble. But my body was in despair and needed 100% of my attention and nutrients to be their mama.
I had the most amazingly healthy and happy pregnancies with my babies. Some of that could be that we lost 5 babies in 5 years beforehand and once we started being blessed with babies in our arms, it was difficult to feel anything but happiness. It could also be that, I always knew I would be a mama. Even when we gave up. Even when I started looking into lifestyles choices for us that did not lend well to children. I just knew. I also knew that I’m an on-the-go person, so being miserable and pregnant really wasn’t going to work. I hustle, and say yes to many and all adventures on the fly so not having painful pregnancies was a lot of mind over matter.
2 natural births later and I felt very in control of this whole birthing babies thing. I truly cherished nursing my boys, and when we found out our 3rd baby was in fact, two babies, I researched the shit outta nursing twins. What to eat, how to do it better, more efficient, what to do if they were in the NICU, and all the other crazy possibilities. But when I had preterm labor at 24 weeks, I knew this time around was gonna be different. It was going to demand more of my attention and a lot more rest than I’d like.
Despite some more than stellar twin pregnancy hiccups, the 3 of us got to our growth and term goals, just a few days past it actually) and a routine appointment ushered me into an immediate c-section for our preemie twins. Not so immediate feeling, since I was having contractions holding onto a wall, while waiting for the surgery prep, but you get the point. As if that isn’t traumatic enough, I came out of surgery really struggling, and a few days later my doctor let me know I was suffering from something they called “post- eclampsia”- what the fuck is that?! It’s basically like pre-eclampsia but after delivery. I was on a rash of meds for heart, blood pressure pain, inflammation, and fluid retention. I was so determined to nurse that I was pumping and dumping on the regular. Convinced that I would get better and be able to nurse the twins full time without risk of my medications getting into my breast milk.
I was run down, and felt like I was getting worse. I developed crazy nerve pain in my back and anxiety and mini panic attacks began to creep in. I went to our trusted family acupuncturist who we consider our primary care doctor. She took one look at me and said, “You’re asking your body to do too many things. Get better! Breastfeed! Take care of 2 toddlers and 2 infants! Get back to work! Lose the baby weight! I know you don’t want to hear this, but I truly believe if you stop trying to breastfeed, your body will be able to concentrate on healing you, so that you can be a mother and get better.” I said nothing. She covered me in nettles, left the room and I just cried. I knew she was right.
I went home and surrendered to all of it. I put the pump away. Packed up all the breastmilk supplies & even setup giving them away to a sweet expectant mama. Sure enough, the very next day, I began to heal, both physically and emotionally. The intense swelling was noticeably down after weeks of being painful and increasingly worse. My mood was up and for the first time since the twins were born, I wanted to write in my gratitude journal again.
Meanwhile our preemie twins were more than ok, they were thriving! Our tribe had stepped in and was here at our home helping non stop feeding and loving on all of our babes. Its felt so good to come out of my dark cloud and be able to see and appreciate all of that. It was magical and we were so grateful to have the help and extra love during that time!
We have always been huge proponents of alternative health and better, cleaner options for our family and we had found that years ago with a little company called Kabrita out of Holland. They make this amazing goat milk formula and with our broker business we were honored to help grow the brand here in the states when they first hit the market. 4 years and 4 kids later, they are a trusted, thriving brand, (you can find their formula online from Costco like we do.) I knew exactly how I was going to get the next best thing to nursing for the twins.
As a licensed holistic health practitioner, I’m always advocating for our children to consume more nutrient-dense foods. We aren’t milk drinkers here, so it was important for us to find a cow’s milk alternative that is nutritionally suitable to support the babies rapid growth and development. I have found that Kabrita Goat Milk Formula provides the important nutrition I’m looking for. It delivers 5g of protein per cup (8 oz.) and is fortified with 22 vitamins and minerals, including vitamin D, B12, iron, folic acid, and DHA and ARA, essential fatty acids that support vision and the nervous system.
Its my hope that every mama would get to experience breastfeeding, but if you don’t, I hope you find a great brand like we did to trust and nurture your baby while you snuggle and nurture them. There is no better feeling in the world than feeling like you are doing the absolute best for your baby. This is what helped make me feel like a mom boss, and I wish you the same! You got this.