Well, the time has finally come to officially wean my babies. I have a mixture of emotions. On one hand I'm so proud of myself for making it this long. On the other hand I'm sad it's over. I never produced enough milk for the girls. We had to supplement with bottles starting in the hospital. I was totally okay with that. With having twins through the whole process I've just known I needed to just go with the flow: Do my best but not worry if there needed to be a change of plans. The girls have always nursed so, so well.
It was hard in the beginning when I was nursing, bottle feeding and pumping. After I stopped pumping (except for before I went to bed at night or Sunday mornings) it was much easier. The girls have progressively needed more and more formula. I'm not sure if I would have produced enough for just one baby but I was definitely not enough for twins. I nursed them and then gave them bottles or solids. When we booked our trip to KY in July I knew I couldn't travel while feeding them the way I did (using my twin size breast friend). I knew it was time to start weaning them. I was afraid of the pain, the engorging, etc. The gradual tapering worked very well, however. I had no pain. I'm surprised how quickly my body adapted. Every few days I cut out nursing them from 5 down to two feedings a day until I was just nursing the first and last meals of the day. While in KY I cut out the last feeding as well. Since I couldn't travel with my pillow I nursed them one at a time. For the most part it worked out okay. I wanted to keep nursing them as long as I could. I know that not all women are able to nurse. I've enjoyed it so much and I'm sad to be moving out of this phase.
Nursing twins was such a sweet experience. At first, of course, they weren't aware of each other. As their awareness grew they enjoyed making sounds, holding hands, and reaching for one another. As they grew that turned into poking their sister in the eyes, grabbing clothes and pulling each other off as well. It wasn't just a bonding experience for me and my babies but for them with their sibling as well.
In the beginning it was hard to nurse two babies at once and I'm so grateful for my mom and my sweet husband who were more of a help in the process than they wanted to be. It got easier and easier until they got mobile and started trying to throw themselves off of the pillow.
I'm now entering a new phase where they are no longer dependant on me. They never have been 100% and if they needed always took a bottle if I had to miss a feeding. But I feel nursing gave me a special connection to them. They relied on me. My body was still a tool in providing for them as it had been in the womb. What I did to my body would affect them. I stopped bleaching my teeth, using an eyelash product, using a lotion for wrinkles (don't judge), worrying about taking cold medications, etc. I can now do whatever I want, take whatever I want. I can now fast again after being "off the hook" for over a year and a half. I now have my period again after being "off the hook" for that as well for a year and a half.
I know I am still the main provider and care giver to my babies. I'm just kind of sad to be closing this chapter. I made it much longer than I thought I would in the beginning. 11 months is a good number. It is what it is.
Are these thoughts normal? What did you experience when weaning your babies?
I'm so grateful to have had that experience to nurse my sweet babies for so long. I'm now just moving onto new experiences with my little miracles. :)