I have been pumping full-time now for almost 11 months. We are not talking once or twice a day, but enough times to establish a milk supply and provide enough milk to feed 2 babies for the first few months of their lives (about 7-8 times per day). I was hoping to get both babies breast feeding before leaving the hospital, but unfortunately Ashlyn was not able to orally feed until she was 6 months old. By that time, it was too late to introduce the breast and she would only take the bottle. And so the pumping continues! I made the decision early that I would provide breast milk for her as long as I was giving it to Caelan, because I want them both to have the same benefits that it provides. My views about pumping have changed dramitcally over the past few months though and I no longer hate it like I once did. It is, however, extremely time-consuming, especially since I can't feed the babies at the same time. My routine consists of feeding Caelan by breast, pumping for Ashlyn and then feeding her by bottle. I have been pumping so much that I have actually worn through the motor on my hospital-grade electric pump...I am sure not many people have done that! Luckily it was warrantied and I received a brand new pump. I plan on continuing this routine until they are at least one year old for their corrected age (December), but at least with the introduction of solids last month, I have been able to cut my pumping time in half. I think I am through the tough part and am pretty proud of myself for persevering.
One other note: For those of you that can't breastfeed...many people talk about the strong bond that mom and baby develop as a result of breast-feeding. I just want to say that I do not feel a stronger bond with my breast-fed baby than I do with the one that is bottle fed. The bond is the same and it makes no difference!
Caelan pushed up onto his knees for the first time this week. I am entering a new era where the babies never stay in the position I leave them on the floor anymore. Caelan usually finds himself trapped in a corner somewhere and starts screaming for help.
Caelan has developed quite a little personality in the past few weeks. He loves to play and laugh, especially with his sisters. He now has 3 teeth, with one or two more about to break through. He still loves to eat, although vegetables are not his favorite thing in the world. He is quickly gaining size on Ashlyn and probably outweighs her by 4 or more pounds.
Thank you for all of your prayers! Ashlyn's last bronchoscopy showed that her left vocal chords are working! They are still sluggish, but there has been a huge improvement in their movement and we have been officially discharged from ENT (ear, nose, throat). She is also feeding very well and has decided to eat like a normal baby. She cries when she is hungry and eats as much or as little as she wants. This may seem trivial, but to us it is a huge milestone. No more fighting and screaming when it comes to eating time. She is still suffering from reflux. I tried weaning her off the medication, but she started vomitting frequently...so we are back up to full strength Ranitidine. That is our next prayer request.