Breastfeeding Triplets

It’s World Breastfeeding Week. To acknowledge the importance of breastfeeding, I thought I would relate my story of breastfeeding triplets.

The breastfeeding journey started immediately in hospital, I’m thankful that all the midwives at my hospital assumed I would breastfeed and were very encouraging with getting the whole process underway. I know this is not always the case, so I was fortunate there. I had decided while I was pregnant that I would like to breastfeed, I wasn’t really sure how this would happen, so I read up as much as I could find on the internet about breastfeeding triplets, it wasn’t very much and I think even since I’ve had them, there is already a lot more on the internet now as well as Facebook groups for Mums (or Moms) breastfeeding triplets which can be very helpful. I had somewhat of a plan in my mind but when I was in hospital, the midwives actually suggested a much better routine, so being a flexible person I happily adjusted my plans.

I’ve already written in more detail about Beginning to breastfeed the triplets during the first week, so feel free to go and check that out. I’ve decided to give a broad overview in this post of our experience breastfeeding triplets for 14 months. This is just my experience. Everyone’s breastfeeding journey will be different, but if you are pregnant with triplets, be encouraged that it is very possible!

Initial Feeding Cycles
For the first four months, we managed to breastfeed exclusively. The first few days in hospital we needed to give them formula, but as I’ve explained in my first post, once they began breastfeeding, they took to it really quickly. By the time we left hospital, the babies were breastfeeding in four hour cycles. They only did that for a few days, and then they slipped back to three hourly feeding sessions. I was pretty well constantly breastfeeding. It would take around two hours to feed all three babies. In that one hour before they next feed I would rush around, going to the toilet, grabbing something to eat or if it was night time – sleeping! I was so tired. During the first few weeks I was averaging four or five hours sleep, and all of that was interrupted.

breastfeeding triplets
Jayden and Toby tandem feeding together for the first time. 

Reflux and Cholic
The babies also had bad reflux, so they often would find it difficult to get to sleep. They liked to be held in an upright position, and most nights Alex and I would be holding all three babies between us until 11pm at night. As the weeks progressed, they got better at sleeping for longer stretches, and got back into waiting 4 hours in between feeds after 11pm. When the first baby woke, I would get up, feed that baby and then wake the next two if they were not already awake and feed them. The ideal was for me to wake them to feed them, because when they woke up altogether hungry and waiting for a feed, Alex would also have to get up and hold a crying baby while it waited for the other two to be fed. I was so grateful for his help, but I would feel bad for him too though, because he needed to work the next day, and accounting requires you to be switched on all the time and he had to remain alert with also suffering severe sleep deprivation.

Breastfeeding triplets
Alex holding 1 month old reflux and colicky babies. Can’t you see how tired he was?

Single Feeding vs. Tandem Feeding
Some triplet Mums say they need a third boob. My kids and I only needed one boob really. Right from the early days in the hospital the triplets and I all agreed that we hated the breastfeeding pillow. I hated how big, bulky and awkward it was. I really felt like I was a walking hot dog stand/milk bar with it wrapped around me and protruding.  “Fresh milk, get it here. Roll up, roll up and nuzzle on in to milk on nipple.” I never got used to it.  As young as they were, the triplets began to display sibling rivalry when they were on the pillow. They would often pull off and look at the other baby, (not common behaviour for newborns!) they would wriggle and fuss and generally not settle. I decided that feeding them one by one would work better for us. It of course was more time consuming, but they were so much more content feeding individually, and I quite liked spending that one on one time with each baby. If two (or more) babies were really hungry at the same time I would drag out the breastfeeding pillow and we would all endure it because you have to put up with inconveniences when you are starving hungry. Over the months I worked out that if I held one baby as if I was feeding normally and then tucked the other baby under my arm in a football hold with a cushion propped under him or her, it was a tandem feeding compromise. Especially once we got older, it was even more rare to feed more than one at a time.

Feeding Routine and Record Keeping
Our method with feeding was to feed Baby A the right side, Baby B the left side, Baby C both sides and then pump afterwards to try and get a store of milk. Then we would rotate everyone so they all had a go at the different breasts and getting the hind milk and the fast flowing side. In the first couple of months, I began to get a nice little stockpile of expressed milk. This was useful particularly at night when two babies woke at the same time so Alex could feed one and go back to bed. The only thing was that we never knew when that would happen, so we still had to thaw it out before he started feeding. We had a little stockpile, but it was hard work getting it, so I didn’t want to use up EBM (Expressed Breast Milk) unless we really needed to.

I had a great little book that I bought from the US and a friend sent it over for me. That way we could keep a track of which baby needed which side, it gets confusing after awhile, especially when you are heavily sleep deprived. (You can buy the book I used here at Just Multiples)

Breastfeeding triplets
12 week old triplets. Life was just starting to get more of a rhythm.

Supplement Feeding
When we went to the paediatrician for the triplet’s four month old check up, Toby wasn’t gaining enough weight so she said we should start
supplementing his feeds and give him the breast still, but top him up with some extra formula at the end of each feed. I didn’t really want to, but I decided that I didn’t want my baby to be hungry just because of my pride. I was already taking motilium to increase milk supply, and I didn’t think I could do much more to increase what I was already producing.

Toby seemed very happy to accept the extra milk. He always had the weakest suck, and he seemed quite happy to accept the bottle. (They were already familiar with bottles because of having EBM in it.) A week or two later I noticed that even after the other two had drunk their fill from the breast, they still seemed hungry, so I tried giving them extra milk, and they guzzled it down and started putting on extra weight. By now, I didn’t have any extra milk to express after feeds and didn’t have all that much milk when the final baby fed both sides. We started feeding the third baby both sides and then breastmilk and rotating them so every third feed a baby would get the majority of their milk from formula.

Toby very abruptly stopped breastfeeding at 11 months. He just didn’t want anything to do with the boob anymore and wanted his bottle instead. It was a bit of a shock. By this stage they were in a good routine with breastfeeding. Once they were older, every third time a baby would have formula and they would still rotate having left and right breasts. By that stage we were down to two breastfeeds in a day, morning and evening. Because it had all worked out smoothly, I didn’t think I would finish breastfeeding until at least the 12 month mark. But Toby had other ideas. Since he has always been the smallest, he is probably the last one I would have chosen to finish first. However, right from the start, he was always the child that found breastfeeding most difficult, particularly latching on in those first few months. I don’t know whether he always got less milk then the others?

The other two finished feeding at 14 months. Once they were over 12 months, I thought I would just continue while it felt OK. Especially they were a little smaller than other children their own age, even though there was nothing to be concerned about. When they were 14 months, I went away overnight with some girlfriends. I took my pump with me and expressed and Alex had some EBM to feed each of them while I was away. (Even though Toby finished feeding at the breast, he still received EBM regularly.) When I got home we were at a child’s birthday party and after that we raced over to a park for the local Carols by Candlelight. I breastfed Jayden and Imogen during the carols, but they didn’t have a good feed because they were distracted. It turns out this was their last feed!

Breastfeeding triplets
Waiting for the Carols by Candlelight to start the before Jayden and Imogen’s final breastfeed!

The next day we were very busy and at the end of the day the children were tired and grumpy and not wanting to be held so I put them into bed with their bottles, thinking they were fine while I was away anyway. The next day after that, they were asking for bottles at bedtime, and I realised there really wasn’t any need to feed them. Because they were used to bottles, weaning was a non-event for them. (Weaning them off bottles was another story.) I had been growing tired of breastfeeding and it just seemed like the right time. A part of me wanted to have one final feed when I knew it was a final feed, but when I offered, the two of them weren’t really interested, so I decided it was far less of a drama to run with what had naturally happened! The oddest thing was that I had no problems whatsoever with weaning, unlike the older two boys where my breasts were very painful after finishing. It was ironic, because I didn’t ever breastpump, or even own a pump before the triplets. Now that I did have one, and still had children using a bottle, there really was no need to use it. I expressed a few times with the pump, just to leave some milk in the freezer, but I was getting very little milk even then. Maybe that’s why the triplets were happy to stop, they may not have been getting too much in the end anyway.

I’m so glad I had the opportunity to breastfeed triplets. It was relatively easy for me, (apart from the physical tiredness) and I’m grateful for that. Others have not found it easy, but have persisted and have successfully breastfed for extended periods of times, so it’s definitely worth giving it a hot shot. Read my friend Jennifer’s breastfeeding story at Growing Up Triplets if you want to hear how one woman’s persistence paid off when breastfeeding higher order multiples. Jennifer has also just launched an e-book, so that is going to be a great resource for HOMs. Some HOM’s would like to breastfeed also, and like so many women, it really doesn’t work out. Those women need our love and support also.

I find it such a comfort that my babies were able to receive those extra nutrients and antibiotics from breastmilk. Do you have a breastfeeding story?

Linking with Essentially Jess

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Breastfeeding Triplets – The Beginning

Breastfeeding triplets is a task I accomplished and I’m extremely proud of myself and the babies for doing it.

Feeding my tiny, beautiful six week babies was precious. They were so tiny and fragile, yet they had an inbuilt mechanism to instinctively seek nourishment from me, their Mummy. The first baby to feed was Imogen. I was cuddling her on her third day of life. I had heard that premmies mostly take awhile to learn how to feed and their first experience is often just ‘nuzzling’ around the breast. While I was holding her, she just looked like she wanted to feed. I wasn’t sure whether I was ‘allowed’ to let her nuzzle, (sometimes you get like that in special care!), but the nurses were busy, so I thought I might let her anyway. Lo and behold, as soon as she went near the breast, she latched right on and started sucking effectively. Clever little girl! When the nurses came by they were amazed to see her sucking away.

Feedling little Miss Imogen

After that, I gave the boys a chance to feed the next time I held them. They were also champion little feeders, although Toby, the smallest of the crew, didn’t have a very strong suck for the first few days. He still did very well, better than a normal premmie of his age. Imogen was definitely the best feeder.

One of the babies biggest challenge was staying at the nipple. I’ve got quite a large nipple, so a supersized nipple was not really great for a premmie mouth. I had to really stroke the babies chin and get them to open their mouths really wide before they attached, otherwise they would just slip off. Because they were little, they would tire out very easily if they couldn’t attach in the first couple of turns. I was desperate to keep them awake long enough to breastfeed so that they didn’t have only a formula feed through the tube attached to their nose. Not only did I want them feeding well, I also needed the extra stimulation of their mouths to help me bring in more milk. I definitely produced more milk when they fed compared to when I was just pumping.

By day 5 I tried twin feeding for the first time. It was an amazing feeling having two babies drinking away at my breasts. Once they were all settled and attached that is. It was a bit awkward before then. I had used the hospital’s breastfeeding pillow. I hated it immediately, and I never did grow to like it, even though it was a necessary evil,especially at the start. The babies were so tiny, and they kept falling down and getting stuck in between a little gap in between my body and the pillow. I used to fold up nappies or blankets, stuff them in the holes, then I would cover the vinyl pillow with a bunny rug or towel so it was not so cold and uncomfortable for the babies before trying to get them to attach. It was quite a routine even before the babies were ready. The midwives were great at giving me helpful hints and tips on how to do things, and laughed with me about how silly the breastfeeding pillow looked. (Still didn’t help me feel any less like a goose when I had it on.) One of them joked that it looked like a hotdog stand. That’s pretty well how I felt, like it was Mama’s Milk Bar. There were two midwives there the first time helping. One was helping to show me the position to put them on, making sure they were attaching from that position and helping the babies to latch on. The other nurse was also giving hints, but was changing babies, and getting them ready to feed. At one stage I had a midwife either side of me trying to get the babies mouths to stay on the nipple and not slide off. There really is no dignity during that period after childbirth! Once they were attached in sucking well, the feeling was euphoric.

Feeding Toby and Jayden for the first time.

I ended up taking Motilium the entire time I breastfed. It is a drug that is often used to combat nausea, but it also helps increase the milk production in lactating mothers and is safe for the babies. I had enough milk for two babies, but I just needed a little bit of extra help to push the milk up a little bit more. There were times that I wished that I could just make the milk without assistance, but I figured it was better to receive that bit of extra help then to lose the chance for my babies to breastfeed.

In those early days, it felt totally demoralising at times trying to get the milk levels up. It started in the middle of the night the day that I had the cesarean. I midwife woke me up saying that we needed to start trying to get some milk for the babies. I had always wanted to try breastfeeding, but I hadn’t really considered how I would need to start the process while the babies were still in humidi-cribs. So, it was a complete surprise to me when the midwife literally started milking me! She hand expressed colostrum straight into a cup then took it down to the special care nursery. This happened again first thing in the morning and then after I had a shower (Ugh. The memory of all those yucky firsts…) I was taken in a wheelchair to see the babies. I think I started hand expressing in the special care nursery then. I’m so glad that in the hospital I stayed, it was just presumed that I would try to breastfeed. I’ve since discovered that this is the norm, and a lot of women are told they won’t be able to. I would have fought to at least try to breastfeed if I had been met with opposition, but I’m glad this is a battle I did not need to fight during a very full on time anyway. Plus, the midwives were able to give me a lot of hints and tips that I did not know. I had tried to research how to breastfeed triplets, but there was very limited resources available.

Hand expressing during those first days could be completely demoralising. Because the babies were not at my breast, the milk was not flowing as readily as it had with my first two babies. I never had the feeling of the milk coming in with the triplets. It was always a struggle. This was a surprise because I had no problems whatsoever feeding my two eldest children. I found the midwives could often get more milk than I could, so I would often let them hand express after I had tried. I can remember seeing the little medicine cup with three mls in it. It was less then the milk the two other mothers had expressed, and they only had single babies who born on the same day as the triplets. I can remember thinking that I may as well slit my wrists if I didn’t get more milk next feed. (I wasn’t literally planning on carrying the thought out, but it was my lowest moment where I just felt completely depressed.) And then my tiny minuscule amounts of milk would need to be shared times three. The midwives assured me that even such a tiny amount was good for the babies and still giving them extra strength and antibiotics that could help them grow and give them protection. Luckily the milk production did pick up.

My precious view.

Once the milk started to increase, I started expressing by using the hospitals pump. It was still small amounts. After we tipped the little bit of milk (maybe 20 mls) into the needles to be used with the feeding tubes, a nurse would get a needle and would suck every last drop from the side of the bottle, and then she would get every last drop that was stuck in the express pump too. No drop was wasted. “Liquid gold” is what I was told repeatedly by several different nurses. Especially when it was shared three ways. Every drop mattered.

While I was in the hospital, the babies were feeding three hourly. It normally took me two hours feed them, and then I had an hour ‘off’ until the next feed. I had asked for a room change because my room was right outside the nurses station so it was very busy and I needed the sleep. My room change was the closest room to the special care nursery, so that was very convenient to not have very far to walk. I tried to sleep in between feeds as much as possible. I didn’t have very many visitors in hospital. I love getting visitors in hospital, so it felt a little odd, but it was also a little weird because this time I had no babies to show off. Only close family were allowed two at a time into the nursery. I was able to sneak a few friends in if they came at the right time when the nursery wasn’t busy. The reality was that I was in the special care nursery so much, that if I had more visitors, I probably would have missed them, plus I was so tired, so it was a relief to have a rest in between feeds.

One of my biggest regrets was not being able to stay in hospital a day or two longer. I was very emotional one day and told the nurses that I wanted to stay longer, because I knew that as tiring as it was getting up throughout the night, it was helping increase my milk production. The nurses listened, and then rang my insurance company to get more time. They did approve an extra two nights, but the nurses advised that I should use one of those nights at the end of the babies stay in special care for a rooming in. This is when Alex and I would have stayed overnight in hospital with the babies, but would have the luxury of pressing the buzzer if we needed assistance during the night. It would be like a practise run. At the time I didn’t see the usefulness of this, and I said as much, but the nurses were very insistent that it was crucial and very necessary. So I stayed the extra one night and then went home. I never did use the second night. Later I was talking to the special care nurses and discovered that it wasn’t crucial and that many experienced mothers didn’t use that night. I should have talked to the special care nurses that I had built a relationship with and knew more about premmie babies then the ward nurses. We received so much help and advice during our time in the special care nursery, and not being a first time mother, we were more than ready to take the babies straight home rather than staying an extra night.

I’m still mad that the nurses would consult the insurance company rather than doctors. If I had my normal doctor, I would have felt free to talk to him. However, if you remember my birth story, my obstetrician was away and then his replacement went fishing the day the babies were due to be born so there was a third doctor who delivered the babies. The second doctor was lovely, but I was feeling to shy to directly ask to stay in hospital for longer. I did hint at it every time I saw him, and I really wish that I had been more direct. Finally on the last day he approved me to stay the extra night, after the nurses had talked to him and told him what the insurance company had said.

Insurance companies should not run hospitals. I only say all this in case another soon to be Australian triplet Mum is reading this. If I were you, I would speak to your doctor, hospital and the insurance company prior to admittance about the length of stay. I was very grateful for the time I had at home while the babies were in the special care nursery, I didn’t want to stay in hospital the whole time. I just wanted to stay a little longer and work on getting the supply up before I was unable to breastfeed the babies overnight.

Anyway, I’m sorry. I’ll end that rant.

Once I had more milk and the babies had started feeding, my routine was to feed each of the babies one breast each. We rotated the order that the babies were fed. That way they each got a chance to get the most milk during the first feed. If one baby was always fed third, he/she would have been normally only getting the leftover dregs. I always have one breast that flows better than the other also. That was the golden breast that all the babies preferred, so every third breastfeed they got a chance to have the full flowing liquid gold! After I fed all three, I would express. This helped increase my production. It also meant that the hospital had a stockpile that they could use if I wasn’t there for a feed. I always tried to miss one feed overnight and let them use the stockpile of EBM (expressed breastmilk). Having those extra few hours to sleep, I was assured by the nurses, helped increase the milk production, they really did know best, as it worked! I also found this valuable when I went home while they babies were still in hospital. This was really a chance where I got extra rest, even though I was still getting up to pump throughout the night and brought little containers of EBM into the special care nursery the next day. Whatever EBM the nurses didn’t use got frozen. When I was discharged, another mother of a single baby born the same day as the triplets was also going home. She went home with a great big box full of EBM. I had a miserly four containers!

When I was no longer an in patient, I would go to hospital in the morning, Alex would drop me off on his way to work. Then he would come into the special care nursery after work. He would say hello to all the babies, and help with any feeding if the babies needed any top ups with formula. It was only just before I got home (after I had started taking motilium) that I had moved onto exclusive breastfeeding the three babies. Then we would go and pick up the older two boys from Grandma and head home. We were so grateful during those busy days that helpful women from the church had been making us meals. It would have been far too exhausting to make a healthy family meal after arriving home, sometimes after 7pm.

Daddy feeding Jayden

While I was at the hospital, the babies were still feeding three hourly, until the day before they were discharged when they moved to four hourly. Most times it took 2 hours to feed, change, express. During the hour between feeds I would eat, read a book (a luxury for me) and sleep. The midwives were j

ust obsessed with getting my milk production us as I was, and my favourite midwife was very insistent that I sleep. I can remember her marching me into the family room one time when I had an hour and a half break before the next feed, handing me a blanket, pointing to the couch, pulling the curtains and telling me that she would wake me when the babies were ready to feed. I was very grateful for her, I slept so easily (Normally I am a person who never sleeps in the daytime unless I’m sick), and Dee woke me up at the very last moment when the babies were all changed and ready to go. Hey presto, the fountain flowed freely after the sleep, so it inspired me to really concentrate on getting more rest to allow my body to have maximum energy to do it’s superpower and make milk! I also drank litres of water to help boost milk production.

So, that’s how I did it in those early days. It was a good start and I was able to continue breastfeeding until they were almost 14 months old. It’s such a good thing to be able to breastfeed your babies, and I’m glad that there is a lot of encouragement in Australia to do so. This is my story. There’s a little bit more information on how I breastfed once I got home here. The more I come in touch with women who breastfeed, the more I know that every mother has a different story. There are certain rules to follow such as attaching the child to the nipple. However, there are many different styles, so it is a case of a mother finding what works for her. Even within the triplet community, different mothers tackle how to order the breastfeeding different ways. Some feed all at once on their own twin feeding then single feeding. I preferred to have someone on hand to change and pass me babies and fed them one at a time. Nobody is right, nobody is wrong, you do what suits your own capacity.

Being so little when they started life, I’m sure that the health benefits for the triplets having breastmilk really did assist them to a great start in life.

What is your breastfeeding story?

Today I’m linking up with Essentially Jess

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Breastfeeding Triplets – Starting a Routine: Reality vs. Expectation

This is a post that I have wanted to write for a long time. This morning I saw a “Mom to Mom”, (or Mum to Mum in my Aussie vernacular), blog hop about Feeding and Scheduling for Multiples. It’s the perfect motivation I need to finally write about the topic.

When I was pregnant with the triplets, I had some ideas of how I might breastfeed the babies. I was prepared to change should it be necessary, but I had to feel prepared within myself by having some sort of mental plan, even if it was to be broken. I’m flexible like that, and I changed my plans very quickly while the babies were in hospital after talking to the midwives and finding out what worked best for me. What I didn’t take into account, was that The Accountant was still wanting to carry out the original plan, and his mentality wasn’t as prone to change plans.  That was one hurdle we had to jump in the early days. I had The Accountant prepared that he was going to have to bottle feed all throughout the night and mentally, he was ready to do it. As it turned out, I was fine breastfeeding all three babies in one session, but if all were awake at the same time, I needed his arms to hold a waiting baby. The Accountant could see how tired I was and could feel how tired he was, and just wanted to give them a bottle. I wasn’t prepared to give them formula at the start, especially when I had enough milk. I knew that once I started feeding them formula, my production would decrease, so I didn’t want that to happen. It also seemed pointless expressing a feed before (like my original plan) because in reality it didn’t save any time. I could understand how it was frustrating for The Accountant getting up in the middle of the night and just holding a baby. He felt like he was doing nothing. Of course he wasn’t, I wouldn’t have been able to do it without him. It just took awhile for us snapping and fighting with one another before we worked out that it was our different mentality to following a plan. Generally, when Accountant’s follow a plan, there is seldom reason to deviate from the original plan. Once we had recognised this and had a discussion of what we needed from one another, it got a lot easier. Once again it was proof that communication is vital within a marriage.

The early days. A tired Accountant, on the home front job, holding babies.

I had thought, (and if you’ve been around this blog for awhile, you may remember me saying), that I planned to twin feed two babies then express a bottle for the third baby. I thought I would rotate the babies so that one baby would be getting an expressed bottle from the previous feed at the same time that the other two were breastfeeding every third time.

What I didn’t take into account, was that this would not be timesaving in any way, in fact it would be longer if I needed to express and feed the bottle by myself. And with multiples, as Finn McMissile says, “Time is of the essence.” I had been basing this on the fact that my first two boys took at least an hour to feed each session as newborns. In reality the triplets would take 30-20 minutes each. I find I don’t let the multiple babies muck around as much. It’s straight down to business when there is mass feedings! A midwife had advised me that the best way to go would be to feed two babies one side each and feed the third and last baby both sides. I was doing this in hospital and continued when I got home.

I had also expected that I would introduce a very tight schedule feeding at particular times in order to cope with feeding three babies. I was rather dreading this. I had trialled this when J Boy was a newborn and hated it. It just wasn’t my style.  I found that I tended to resume a similar pattern of feeding to what I had done with the first children. I would give them a full feed, and then try not to feed them again before they had made the three hour mark. Of course sometimes, they were desperately hungry and this didn’t work. If they were sleeping, I never woke them, but would feed them when they awoke, so if they chose how much longer they would go over three hours.

Before they were allowed to come home from hospital, the triplets had to have a four hour feeding schedule. They went from three to four hours quite easily in the special care nursery. I was pleased, and very keen to continue feeding four hourly when I got home. I had fed four hourly with the big boys, and had watched friends feeding three hourly and thought it was incredibly draining (and that was with one baby!) It just doesn’t take very much time for three hours to roll by, at least with four hours, you have a little bit of a chance to get something done in between feeds.

Within a couple of days, one by one, each triplet started sliding back into the three hourly routine. I tried to convince them otherwise, but they strongly disagreed. It was easy to give into their demands when you looked at how tiny they were. I figured extra milk, especially when it’s split three ways, would probably be helpful to the little darlings anyway.

In order to breastfeed triplets, you do need to mentally prepare yourself to exist on very little sleep. You need to mentally be committed to it, and continually think of how this is benefiting the babies, and to a large extent push your own feelings to one side. After all, it’s only for a time. The season will pass, and you must remind yourself that eventually them and you will be able to sleep throughout the night once again. (8 months later, and I’m still hanging onto this concept!!!) Even with the quicker feeds, breastfeeding was often taking 1 1/2-2 hours per session. That left me with 1 1/2-1 hours sleep. In the evenings the babies were very unsettled, reflux made sure of that. We were often not getting to bed until anywhere from 10pm-12am. Most evenings I was averaging a total of 4 hours interrupted sleep in the early days. (Sometimes more, sometimes less.) This still happens occasionally, but it’s more likely for another reason, such as currently the babies are sick, so they are waking more at night. Sometimes I would catch a nap in between feeds during the day if I were really exhausted. Most of the time I didn’t feel comfortable doing it with people in the house, even though they were there to make the burden easier. It’s a really weird feeling leaving someone in your house and just going to bed.

The early days. Even though I had a house full of people, my hair wasn’t done, no make up and trademark bags under the eyes.  People would always comment with a note of amazement that I was still smiling. It was a statement that I still find baffling. Take a look at that angelic face combined with the feeling of utter contentment having a tiny baby sleeping and snuggling into you and tell me that’s not worthy of smiling.

I’ve got plenty more to say on this topic, but I think this might do for now. If you are a mother, can you remember (or are you currently in) the newborn mother’s haze of sleep deprivation? What did you do to cope? Are you a rigid sched

ule feeder, or do you prefer to have a bit more flexibility?

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