LLL Love Multiplied
Titusville, Florida, USA
From: NEW BEGINNINGS, Vol. 12 No. 6, November-December 1995, p. 186
We provide articles from our publications from previous years for reference for our Leaders and members. Readers are cautioned to remember that research and medical information change over time.
To say I was in shock would be an understatement. Imagine my surprise when the carefully orchestrated home birth of our anticipated ten-pound-plus boy turned into the at-home hot tub birth of two beautiful little girls. Erin Jeanette, followed by our "bonus baby," Elizabeth Lorena, slipped their way into our lives in September 1994. Thirteen minutes is not a lot of time to change your thinking from single to double.
We felt so blessed, but also dazed and confused. Since I breastfed my older two children, Lee, now six, and Colleen, now three, and had halfway finished my LLL Leader Accreditation, of course the twins would be breastfed. But I must admit I was quite overwhelmed by the prospect—after all this wasn't in the plan! My dear friend and LLL Leader, Kari, came to my rescue once again. She had helped me when my son was four days old, plus a number of other times over the years.
Now she really sprang into action. On the second or third day (it's all such a blur now) when the babies were sleeping too much and the diaper count was getting scanty, Kari arrived. For the next two to three days, she sat with me, handed me babies, kept track of wet and soiled diapers, and helped to syringe- and spoon-feed my milk to my two little sleepyheads until they became more proficient at nursing at my breast. I felt so relieved she was there. I was tired, overwhelmed, and literally couldn't think. Kari breezed right in and became my "doula." Every new mother should have someone so knowledgeable and caring.
My husband really showed his true colors at this incredible time, too. I feel so much closer to this wonderful man. The night after the birth, he lay awake on the bed with me all night gazing with love at our two little miracles. He was nothing but encouraging. I was really moved to watch him patiently syringe-feed one baby at a time. What a proud papa!
My mother-in-law stayed with us the first week or so; my mother flew in from California as soon as she heard. Between the two of them the house was immaculate, the laundry was done, and there were always extra arms to rock babies. Whew!
Another dear LLL friend and Leader, Sandy, helped by bringing me an electric pump to keep up my milk supply for the syringes needed to feed the babies when they wouldn't nurse. She was an endless source of support and was downright gleeful at having twins in our Group. She is our local WIC breastfeeding coordinator and on the day I took the girls to the clinic to check their weight gain, she couldn't have been prouder to show all her co-workers breastfed twins.
The women in my local LLL Group also were a marvelous source of support, meals and clothes. One LLL mother, Chris, a mother of six-year-old twins herself, brought me books and magazines about twins. Pat, my Area Coordinator of Leader Accreditation, called and helped me complete my accreditation by phone. Otherwise I might never have become a Leader!
My twins are now almost four months old, exclusively breastfed, and gorgeously healthy! I can't imagine feeding them any other way. My kitchen space is limited even without bottles to clutter it up, and my time with my older children is at a premium without cleaning, sterilizing, mixing. Nursing Erin and Elizabeth is the easiest aspect of their care.
La Leche League is invaluable. I hope I will be able to help others as much as I have been helped.