Thursday, January 5, 2012

Wherein We Leave the Pediatrician Speechless

Yesterday, we took Ezra and Elliott to the pediatrician to be seen for thrush. Nathan and I were fairly excited for the appointment because it meant the babies would be weighed again for the first time in three weeks. We can definitely tell the boys are bigger, so we each made guesses as to how much Ezra and Elliott weighed on the way to the office.

Nathan thought Ezra was about 7 pounds and Elliott was 7 1/2  pounds. I added half of a pound to those amounts, guessing that Ezra weighed 7 1/2 pounds and Elliott weighed 8 pounds.

We were both way off.

Ezra weighs an impressive 8 pounds 8 ounces, while Elliott weighs a staggering 9 pounds 6 ounces!

Let me tell you about their furious pace of growing and remind you of their weight history. Less than three weeks ago, Ezra weighed 5 pounds 9 ounces and Elliott at 6 pounds 6 ounces. They weighed 4 pounds 10 ounces and 5 pounds 5 ounces at birth, but Ezra lost down to 4 pounds 1 ounce, and Elliott went down to 4 pounds 11 ounces before coming home. That's a lot of numbers, but essentially, they have nearly DOUBLED their birth weight! Most babies do not double their birth weight until 6 months, so this is a big deal.

We were shocked. The pediatrician also couldn't believe it.

She walked into the examination room and gasped when she saw the boys. She kept saying, "These aren't the same babies! These are Michelin babies!" (referencing the Michelin man). She then looked at the boys' measurements and was nearly speechless. She kept trying to find a way to convey her shock, but mostly said: "I can't believe it!" and "How!?"

I'll tell you how....endless feedings! That's how!

I let her know we had been feeding them pure, unfortified breast milk (despite her suggestion). I explained that we had used formula one day (while I was on Lortab) and had supplemented their night feedings with formula for several days while I tried to recover. Other than that, though, we did not rely on formula. I also informed her that we were no longer charting their feedings due to the fact that at last count, each boy was eating over 40 ounces a day. There was no question in my mind that 40 ounces of milk a day for a 4 week old was enough nutrition, so I stopped tallying everything.

The pediatrician said no one would ever believe our babies were born prematurely. She then said the words I was dying to hear: "Well, you certainly don't need to use formula at all. Your breast milk should be fine." (And added I was essentially feeding four babies, instead of two.)

Validation! Yes! And yesterday, I really needed it.

While we probably will continue to intermittently use formula, I really needed some sort of morale boost when it came to nursing. I have been in agony for nearly a week now. And yesterday (and particularly the last two nights), I was in unbearable pain throughout the day. Mastitis, thrush, and a clogged milk duct had kept me awake all night. n.

My routine was hot compresses, hot showers, pump, nurse, try to rest, repeat. It was so bad I could not sleep at all on Tuesday night and by the time my shift was over, I was in tears. I told Nathan I wanted to give up nursing and that it wasn't worth the pain and frustration. He has repeatedly told me (and so have several other people) that breastfeeding doesn't equal mothering; I can still be an amazing mom without nursing.

I have had a hard time accepting that, though. I know it is true, but I have put a ridiculous amount of pressure on myself unnecessarily. By yesterday, I had reached my obvious breaking point and was willing to concede defeat. Hearing the pediatrician say the boys were now in the 75th percentile and above the 95th percentile snapped me out of my depression and helped ease feelings of doubt and hopelessness.

So, I'm not giving up yet. Feeling positive about the situation has made me feel like a new person today.  I've also let go of the self-pressure to make every single feeding breast milk. If they have to have formula for some reason, it isn't the end of the world. They are big, and they are healthy. Look at these chubby cheeks!

And sorry my blog is only about breastfeeding these days. When you are feeding twins every two hours, it is really the only thing on your mind. Everything in my day revolves around it. Maybe in a month or so, I will find other things to talk about :)


  1. You're awesome Celia! Your boys are almost a big as Hazel was at 4 weeks... and she was 8 lbs at birth! It's nice to see when your hard work pays off, isn't it?

  2. those are some delicious cheeks!

  3. As I read the part about the pediatrician I just kept saying, "Mmmmmhmmm". ;) Yeah, these boys...HUGE! I just love their chubs. Also, you are an amazing mom. The strength you have (even if it's out of necessity) blows my mind. I love you!

  4. I bow down to your breastfeeding skillz. Because HOLY CRAP.

  5. That is awesome!!! There is a reason they call breastmilk "liquid gold!" I, unneccesarily, feel the same way about formula. Annabelle has been offered formula twice...both times within the first 3 days of her life at the hospital when my milk hadn't come in yet. You don't have hip have boob attachments! Good luck! You're amazing!

  6. Way to go mamma! I totally had the same feelings about nursing. I had thrush, mastitis, then thrush again, all in the first two months. It got way easier after that, so I'm hoping that goes the same for you. I'm really glad I stuck with it. I'm proud to say we have not bought any formula (we received some free formula that I've used on occasion, but not on our dime). But I totally agree with Nathan that being a great mother doesn't mean you have to nurse. As tough as it is, you'll be glad you stuck with it.

  7. 1. Second Kayla
    2. Stop putting so much pressure on yourself and just do what you can do
    3. I started taking soy lecithin on Cait's recommendation and I haven't had a clogged duct since. Something to look into.



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