After I gave birth to my triplets, I experienced some complications in which I was rushed back to the OR for emergency surgery. My Doctor told me I was at risk for extreme blood loss because my uterus stretched so much during my pregnancy and it might be hard for it to contract back to normal. I didn’t think I would have any problems, but I did. The C-section itself was a success and I had no signs of any complications until about an hour or two later as I laid in recovery with my Mom. My nurses kept pushing on my tummy in which blood clots the size of golf balls were coming out of me. I was so out of it, not even aware how bad things were. I was losing blood quickly and was in need of a blood transfusion immediately. My Doctor was barking orders like crazy not even sure if an OR was available. She told my Mom “Find Ryan, and be praying.” I had lost two liters of blood and was given a vaginal pack to help the bleeding stop. Ryan’s high of sharing the joy of our triplets with our family in the NICU came to an extreme halt as my Mom shared with him what was happening to me. My memory of the night is pretty foggy, but I do remember waking up to Ryan feeding me ice chips. I was desperate to meet my babies, but in no condition to get over to the NICU.
As the night progressed, I was finally transferred to another room. Ry laid in the chair next to my bed and ran back and forth to the NICU getting pictures and FacetTiming our babies so I could meet them. The wait to hold my babies and meet them for the first time was burning a whole in my heart.
Doctors came and went all the time and nurses came in to check blood levels every couple hours. I was told I may have difficulty producing milk because of the intense stress my body had been under… But Like my entire HOPE journey God showed how incredible He is. I began producing enough milk for all three of my babies PLUS! It was amazing. When I first found out I was pregnant with triplets, I didn’t have high expectations of breast feeding because I didn’t think I would be able to it with three babies and after my c-section, I thought it was probably a loss cause. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
I finally received the greatest joy in my heart about 24 hours after the babies were born when I finally got to meet my darling hope babies that I had been dreaming and longing for for so long. Charlize was the first baby I held. And I was able to nurse her right away. I put her on my boob and she immediately latched on. It was beautiful and amazing. As the days passed, my milk production only increased more and more! I felt so proud that I could do this for my babies. And I treasured nursing them, as well.
I learned to multitask in the NICU. Pump and snuggle!
My first time tandem feeding!!!
I nursed my babies while they were in the NICU and for about two weeks after we had them home. And then I resorted to pumping. I pumped ALL the time!!! And it would take FOREVER because of all the milk I had. I pumped every couple hours and if I skipped once my breasts would get engorged and it was incredibly painful! I would stand in a burning hot shower to loosen up the milk. My boobs were HUMUNGO. Somedays it seemed like I walked around with my breasts out all day long pumping and feeding babies. Why even get dressed? I would get so mad at myself when I would spend 40 minutes pumping and accidentally knock over a bottle or find it two days later underneath my bed!
As the weeks passed pumping became exhausting. It wasn’t helping with my sleep deprivation either. I would have about a 45 minute break in between feedings and pumping around the clock. I felt like a milk machine. My anxiety was at an all time high and my babies were suffering from severe reflux issues–all three of them, which made feedings and nights depleting all the time. I felt like I spent more time hooked up to a machine sucking milk out my breasts rather than actually being able to spend quality time with my babies, or even clean, shower, eat…anything! Pumping really changed my view of breastfeeding. It was not enjoyable and by 12 weeks I was ready to stop, which was not an easy decision for me. I felt like I was given a gift–the gift to give all three of my babies breast milk and I was choosing to stop. Some moms are desperate to to produce milk and unfortunately it just doesn’t happen for them. Here I was producing an overflow and had just hit a wall. I know how great breast milk is for babies and the fact that I was producing enough for all three was a miracle in itself. I felt horrible for wanting to stop breastfeeding, like a failure Mom. There was so much shame and judgment that clouded my heart. I remember I told a friend that I was ready to stop breastfeeding. Her mouth dropped to the ground as if I was not proving my babies with the best care I could possibly give them. I will never forget the mortified look on her face. However, I knew choosing to stop breast feeding was one of the first steps I needed to take, for myself, to see some changes in my sleep deprivation and postpartum anxiety.
I finally made an appointment to see my postpartum Doctor because at this point I knew my anxiety felt like a loose cannon and I felt completely deflated. This was a HUGE step for me in my PPD season and truly not an easy step to take. I told her my desire to quit breastfeeding and how shameful it felt for even considering bringing my breastfeeding season to a close.
One of the first things she told me to do was to stop breastfeeding! She was surprised that I was still pumping at 3 months in. She even wrote a prescription for me:
Her support was relieving to me. I was so proud of my breastfeeding season and impressed that I lasted as long as I did, but my time came to an end, and that is OKAY. There are so many opinions about breastfeeding and we are too hard on each other as Moms. Breastfeeding one baby can be exhausting, and with three, it was just too much for me. Ultimately, it was taking a tole on me and in order for me to be the best Mom I could be for my family, I needed to stop and it is okay that I stopped when I did.
To all the Moms who breastfeed your babies, you are my heroes!! It takes a lot of dedication, commitment, and time. And to all the Moms who don’t breastfeed your babies, you’re my heroes too!! Sometimes we don’t breastfeed because we have tried everything and it is not working, no milk is coming, or you’re just ready to stop… And it doesn’t make you any less of a Mom.