I knew I was in for a rough ride from the moment I was told my twin pregnancy was high risk and my babies might not make it due to having Twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS) and Selective intrauterine growth restriction (sIUGR).
I always had in my mind that I would breastfeed, but I knew that if we did make it, they were going to be very early and breastfeeding wouldn’t be possible.
At 27+6 I had an emergency cesarean, things had taken a turn for the worse and our little ones needed to be delivered. Malia was delivered first weighing 2lb4, followed by Eden, weighing 1lb6.
In recovery I was shown how to express colostrum
As soon as I was taken to recovery the midwife helped me express colostrum, which I thought would be impossible as they were so early. I was then shown how to use the hospital pump. This pump was to become my worst nightmare, yet my best friend. I was to use this pretty much 10 times in a 24hr period with 3am pumps for the next 3 months.
As soon as I was taken to recovery the midwife helped me express colostrum, which I thought would be impossible as they were so early.
So many questions were running through my mind
The day after my babies were born Eden was transferred to another hospital for surgery. How was I going to get my expressed milk to her? She couldn’t take anything through her oral gastric tube for 10 days due to her surgery, but then what? I had to stay with Malia who did need my milk through her tube, and I was producing such small amounts, how was I going to do this with the end goal being to breastfeed them both? A lot of hard work, pain and determination that’s how.
As time passed by my milk supply was increasing, some milk was being transported to Eden, while I was expressing like crazy on my visits to her to leave as much milk as possible. They were on such small amounts but I knew I needed to build a reserve.
Eden had to be given formula
Eden was having issues with her liver now. She wasn’t growing as her body couldn’t process the fats in breastmilk. She was going to have to be given formula. As she was so premature I knew she was at high risk of developing NEC. Which she did. She became so unwell again.
She was put back on breastmilk after another 10 days nil by mouth. My poor baby. As the weeks went on she was put back on formula. I was terrified but it was out of my control. Her liver wasn’t functioning properly and she needed to grow.
My twins proved how strong they were
In the mean time I was receiving lots of support from the infant feeding team and Malia was starting to breastfeed. Still fed through her nasal gastric tube but having breastfeeding top ups. At 3 months, just before she came home her tube was removed and she was fully breastfed. What an achievement.
Eden had started searching for the breast when we were having skin to skin and to my surprise, latched first time and started taking milk. Such a strong little baby. A few days after she came home we removed her tube and she was combination fed. I was so happy that she could still experience breastfeeds and that connection whilst also receiving my antibodies.
Eden had started searching for the breast when we were having skin to skin and to my surprise, latched first time and started taking milk.
Cluster feedings were a nightmare, and mastitis was even more of a nightmare. I wanted to stop after a few months. But I had worked so hard for this. They are 11 months old now (8 corrected) and I can proudly say I did it!! I am breastfeeding my twins!