"How Can You Have Too Many Children? That's Like Saying You Have Too Many Flowers" ~ Mother Teresa

A Peek Into Our Hectic, Crazy & Loving Family of Eleven


Monday, January 25, 2010

A Call For Help, Input, Guidance, Support, Info or.....

whatever you wanna call it. I need HELP tweaking this breastfeeding routine. Especially at night. It is so not working for me. Time wise it does, but for my long term goals, it doesn't. It just does not fit into this picture in my head. I'm trying to look ahead to when the girls are just a smidgen older, and what I am doing now, isn't where I want to be in 2-3 months.

My goal: To be bottle free as much as possible. Maybe a bottle here and there if necessary. IF. And to only have to pump 1-2's a day (just enough for those occasional bottles)

My routine now:

Daily: Most feedings, tandem 2, bottle one. They are all on the exact same schedule. Nice, but making this difficult seeing as I have only 2 breasts and 3 hungry babies. Sometimes. One baby will sleep just enough longer to nurse all 3. But not very often. As soon as feeding is over, I pump.

Nighttime: Same waking, all 3 at once, but instead of tandeming 2, I bottle all 3. Why? I'm not sure. Mostly to be sure they get a really good amount to give me a decent stretch of sleep at one time (and by decent, I mean about a 2 hour chunk by the time we change diapers, feed and pump. I usually get 2/2 hour chunks a night. 3 if I'm really lucky) Also, because I am so tired, I have a hard time staying awake even for the bottle feeds. So what I do is heat up the bottles that Aaron prepares before he goes to bed. Change all 3. Prop all 3. Burp all 3. Settle all 3 back to sleep. Pump. This process takes about an hour to an hour and a half. Repeat every 3 hours or so. You do the math. I get about 2 hours of sleep per chunk.

It does work. But I'm getting no breastfeeding in at night. Nighttime is the best time to build up your supply, as the baby will linger on the breast for longer periods of time. I need to figure out a way to breastfeed 2, get them FED and back down, they nurse the 3rd as long as she wants to while I sleep. I miss that the most. Latching the baby on and going back to sleep. I loved that. I got sleep and the baby got fed and comforted all at the same time. It was awesome. Am I naive to think that it's at all possible with triplets? Is there a better way?

Last night I tried "Plan A". (My first, I think, of many attempts to get this right) The plan was to hope that one would stay asleep for just a few extra minutes. One did. I changed 2, bottled 2, burped 2 and got them settled. Or so I thought. Baby #3 awakens. Changed her and layed down to nurse her and get some sleep. Babies #1 and #2 were not having that. They start crying. Alot. It is impossible to nurse laying down while trying to quiet 2 other babies. Can't be done. Believe me, I tried. I unlatch poor Baby #3 to quiet down the other 2. You can imagine how well that went over. End result? All 3, bottled, as usual. Pump, as usual. Plan A, down the drain.

Aaron and I practice Attachment Parenting. We co-sleep, cloth diaper, breastfeed, selectively vaccinate, child led weaning and baby-wearing to name a few things that we do as parents. It's very relaxing and we love it. That is why scheduling food is so hard for me.

My gut instinct for feeding is to feed on demand. When a baby is hungry, feed her. Is that even possible with triplets? I would be like a 24 hour Breast-au-rant. It would actually be ok with me during the day, but at night? I don't see it. Is it possible to feed on demand during the day but not at night? Everyone keeps telling me that they have to stay on a schedule to keep me sane. Um, yeah, too late for that. I'm long gone at this point. My thoughts are consumed with this breastfeeding stuff. That on demand daytime thing was going to be my Plan B, but I still hadn't solved the bottles at night issue. Is it even solve-able?

I won't even go into the fact that all this stress and inconsistency is causing a drop in my milk supply. A big drop. I like to see alot of pumped milk in the fridge. It reassures me. I'm down to only about 20oz at any given time. Not enough. I am reassured that I have about 2 gallons frozen in the freezer, given to me by fabulous friends. I'm eating oatmeal, drinking gallons upon gallons of water, inhaling Fenugreek
(an herb to help produce more milk) tablets like they are candy, and it's still dwindling. I just ordered some More Milk Plus pills. Basically, it's Fenugreek on crack. I'm praying it helps. I may even call the Dr. to get some Domperidome.

So you see, I gots to get this figured out. Any HOM mom's out there with some advice? Any singleton moms that are really creative? Anyone? Hit me with your ideas! I've got nothing left to do but TRY!


  1. You and I are IN THE SAME PLACE!!!!

    I am also an AP kind of mommy, and I don't believe we can demand feed three babies and still pump. It would make it so that we'd come back from pumping to nurse a hungry baby with empty breasts, right? I am so frustrated by this scheduling BS, but I think we have to for now.

    I am struggling with getting two of my three to take full feeds- they are not there yet, so I still have to pump 7x/day for a while. It is so hard with no end in sight.

    The worst, most awful thing is I sometimes feel like if something doesn't change, I cannot keep up this schedule either. I hate that if I see any drop (like you) I lose my mind and obsess about it ALL day and night. I have nightmares about it, actually.

    For me, at night, I bottle feed two and nurse one laying down but I have a helper. In my opinion, I would bottle them at night until you can stagger them a bit more as they grow, so you can hang on to some sanity. We really need to sleep as much as we can.

    I am so with you. We should REALLY have a conference call! Let me know if you want to talk sometime- we are totally in the same place of having a picture in our mind that reality doesn't match. I am not sure how much to let go of the picture?

    Thinking of you, friend!

  2. I forgot- I am reading a book called "Making More Milk" that was recc to me by a nursing twin mama. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/007159857X/ref=s9_simi_gw_s0_p121_i5?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=1E3YGTHA8YK57529P27J&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=470938631&pf_rd_i=507846

    It suggests and herb called Goat's Rue for production... I am going to start it this week I think. I am just about even with my guys and I want to keep ahead of them! They take about 90 at each feeding so I have my work cut out. :)

  3. THanks for your thoughts Carrie. :) Before I reply, I jsut ordered this: http://store.motherlove.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=MHC&Product_Code=5902&Category_Code=
    It has Goats Rue in it. PLUS all the other stuff. Its worth a try. I think my problem is stress. I decided today to try to skip all the pumping and just demand feed, then force the schedule back at night. Ill keep ya posted on how it goes. So far so good. No pumping yet, boobs feel ok, and babies are eating on demand. Best part? Im still sane. The way I see it, I wouldnt schedule a single baby, I would feed her around the clock if needed, so whats the difference? The only issue I see is when they all 3 want to eat at once. Then Ill pull out the bottle. IF NEEDED. A few weeks ago I ditched the scale. I figure they will eat when they are hugnry. If they are gaining weight, who am I to say what a "full feed" is? Maybe they just arent so hungry that day? Im leting them take charge for a few days to see what happens :) SO, to answer your question, Im not letting go of my picture, Im letting go of the BS schedule. To a point. :)

  4. I think you should go with your gut and try it! Hope your nights go better.

  5. I cannot wait until my two are able to get more at the breast and I can follow in your footsteps and ditch the daytime pumping. I am jealous- but two of my guys aren't there yet-one is and he basically demand feeds and nurses in bed. Sigh.. can't wait til they are all there. We are working hard on it and met with an OT and an SLP who had some great info in addition to the lactation ladies. Until then, I have to keep up the f-ing pumping. ;)

    I am so glad it is going well!!! Enjoy the sound of your pump NOT running!

  6. Ok, yeah scratch that. It didnt go well. My toddlers didnt handle it well, babies were fussy ALL DAY and now Im a mess. I give up.

  7. This is difficult. I am by no means experienced in BF more than one, but thought I would add in some thoughts/ideas in case I maybe could help. I hear you on the schedule thing: can we move just one of the girls schedule about 20 minutes behind the other two. That way you can feed two and change them before #3 is awake and ready to feed. Could your husband pick up and change #3 to give you time to finished with the first two (I know he has a hectic schedule and needs sleep....). Then you could nurse the third one and pump at the same time on one side. That may eliminate some of the awake time in the night.

    positive outlook: my sister was in a similar boat with her twins - milk going down/trying to figure out how to feed both/pump. She was able to BF almost exclusively for over a year!

    Hugs to ya. high five for being determined to nurse.

  8. I know you don't know me, but I came across your blog on diaperswappers and I just want to say what an amazing Mommy you are. I think it's amazing that you even want to *try* and not have a schedule. If it doesn't work out, you know you did your best trying to demand feed them.