I couldn’t wait to be a mother. Even though I didn’t realise it was an actual term, I was really looking forward to attachment parenting. It just seemed the natural thing to do. To be honest, I didn’t realise there was really any other way to parent.
We had a fairly rough start to parenthood. When couples start thinking about having a baby, infertility never comes to mind. Unfortunately for us, it was a subject that we soon knew a lot more about than we had ever expected. Thankfully, after 8 soul destroying rounds of IVF, and one twin miscarriage along the way, we finally able to announce to the world (OK…….Facebook!) that we were having a baby! I couldn’t wait to have a water birth, delay cord clamping and respond to the beautiful newborn cry. Plus co-sleep, baby wear and breastfeed my single baby. Oh, hang on….its twins??? Really???? OK, our bedroom will only fit a queen bed, how we will all fit in there? I have three bulging discs so I won’t be able to tandem carry them, and what do I do if they are both crying??? How will I possibly breastfeed two babies at once?? Everyone is telling me I won’t be able to have a natural birth or breastfeed???
Unfortunately at 31 weeks my waters broke. Medical intervention occurred and they managed to keep those precious babies inside until 34 weeks. Suddenly I needed an emergency caesarean and our boy twin was born needing resuscitation (there went the water birth and the delayed cord clamping!). Left alone in the ward, and not being able to walk to visit my babies, I had no idea I should be hand expressing my colostrum for them to feed it to my babies via a tube. Why didn’t anyone tell me this??? I had been planning on having extended skin on skin on time with them and letting them find their own way to the breast. Now I had to try to hand express my own colostrum for it to be fed via a nasal tube to them?
Bringing our twins home from the Special Care Unit
5 weeks later (with me expressing every three hours around the clock) we took our babies home. With very strict instructions to feed them three hourly, as they were still tiny (there went that idea of breastfeeding on demand). Co sleeping was also not going to happen, as I was too petrified of these two fragile tiny babies, plus I was exhausted from getting up every three hours to pump. We compromised by placing an open cot at the foot of our bed, so I could easily access them and breastfeed during the night without getting out of bed. When they were about 6 months old and their weight was finally steady I decided to attempt at feeding on demand. I think I had a grand total of an hour and a half of sleep over two full nights. As one baby would wake, feed and go back to sleep. I would lay there trying to go back to sleep. I would fall asleep and the second baby would wake five minutes later. I simply had to go back to “one up, all up” and feed both whenever one woke. Thankfully we had a fabulous breastfeeding relationship, and I fed them until they were 18 months old. I even expressed and donated some additional milk to other families.
I did manage to do quite a bit of tandem baby wearing (wearing one carrier on the front and one on the back) but unfortunately my back just wasn’t up to the task. There are some really amazing twin baby carriers out there now which I wish had been around as it would have been much easier.
Attachment parenting twins or multiples is possible
So while my initial attachment parenting beliefs may not have been fully met, I couldn’t have asked for a better experience with my twins. I soon learned that having multiples meant I did have to modify some of my initial parenting thoughts. But that was OK. We were all happy and healthy, and in the long run that’s all that really mattered!!!
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