A BABE Mom's Story: A Good Mother

Here it is, 4 a.m., and I just finished our MOTN (middle of the night) feeding. Apparently a tornado came through my living room, the twins are super cranky, and I… I am super emotional. Yesterday was one of those days that later in life I will realize wasn’t that big of a deal, but for now it’s a HUGE deal. Its official, my 32 week (now 3 ½ mo.) NICU babies, who have struggled to nurse and I have struggled to pump for, had formula. Ew. In the words of my two year old, “thAT’s di-GUSTing,” in the cutest improper pronunciation way possible. I feel heartbroken, defeated, and downright sad. I want my twins to be at the breast and exclusively breastfed MORE than I wanted twins. No really, the first thing that popped into my head when I found out I was having twins was “I can’t wait to breastfeed them.” Selfish? Maybe, but I know how important my milk is for them. I know how beneficial it is for my health to nurse them. Frankly, I just want to breastfeed and I am pretty stubborn when it comes to things I want. Breastfeeding is the ONLY way to go. It’s all or nothing. Here I am, studying to become an IBCLC, following my dream, pursuing my passion - to help breastfeeding mothers - and I can’t even breastfeed. I am a failure. What kind of LC am I going to be? What kind of mother am I?

A good one. What am I thinking? I tell mothers every day that it’s NOT all or nothing and that EVERY DROP COUNTS, because it’s the truth. My babies are getting mostly mommy milk. It’s not selfish of me to want what is best for them, it’s selfish of me to want to give up. I am doing the best I can and that makes me a good mother. The time I have spent working to get my twins to the breast, working to build supply, working to pump, working towards everything I want, wasn’t for nothing. This journey has taught me that I am being too hard on myself (as most mothers tend to do). My babies are FED! They are growing, thriving, and they are healthy. I am no less of a mother than those who exclusively breastfeed. I am a good mother. So are you.  

- Madi