Hello, Mamas! We're excited to welcome you to another Motherhood Chat Unfiltered here in this space. As always, it's our hope that the words you read and the stories that are shared bring you comfort and encouragement in your own motherhood journey!
We're so thrilled to have Allie join us here! Grab a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy her journey!
-What was one of your greatest challenges in motherhood?
Since the twins were born, we’ve been in varying degrees of survival mode. One of my greatest challenges has been trying to balance everything and not lose myself in the mix. My husband works night shift and we don’t have family close by, so those first few months were the hardest to adjust. I feel like I’ve made myself last on my priority list for the past year and now that I’ve recognized that, I’m working on taking better care of myself too.
-What was one of your greatest joys?
While it’s so bittersweet, one of my greatest joys this past year has been watching our babies evolve from tiny newborns to little humans that call us mama and dada. I love that in an empty room or a room full of people, they look at us as their safe place. My heart could burst when they look at us and smile.
-Tell us about your postpartum journey. What caught you by surprise? What was your greatest struggle and how did you work towards overcoming it?
I was induced at 38 weeks and planned to have a vaginal delivery. Both babies were head down and to be honest, C-sections were so scary to me. I had everything prepped at home for a vaginal delivery recovery, but after a rough 24 hours of labor it was time for a C-section. I was surprised that the pain of such a major surgery could be dulled by the overwhelming feeling of love and adrenaline rush you have after your babies are born. I was also surprised by the postpartum hormones and how you could be in a state of bliss one minute and in the next, crying over anything and everything.
My greatest postpartum struggle was feeling completely foreign in my own body. I felt so empowered my entire pregnancy and was amazed at how it grew and gave life to two babies, but after they were born I barely recognized who was staring back in the mirror. It’s taken time to overcome feeling this way and sometimes I still feel it, but reminding myself that this is a season to heal and be gentle to myself has helped keep my perspective positive. Also, acknowledging that everyone’s postpartum journey is uniquely theirs has helped me stay focused on my own and not get too lost comparing myself to others.
-Tell us about your breastfeeding journey. Something you learned, something you struggled through, something you loved?
Breastfeeding twins has been a labor of love! The beginning of our breastfeeding journey was the biggest struggle - when the babies were first born I would feed one, feed the other and essentially start right back over. We had latching difficulties initially so I was breastfeeding, pumping, giving bottles, and sometimes supplementing with formula while my supply came in for two babies. I did this for about 4 weeks before having a mental breakdown and considered calling it quits. After meeting with a lactation consultant and having a week long “couch vacation” where all we did was latch and nurse, we finally started getting the hang of it and have been tandem breastfeeding ever since!
I knew breastfeeding was going to be physically demanding, but I learned how mentally exhausting it could be too - always questioning if my supply was enough, if the babies were gaining enough weight, ect. I love that breastfeeding is my special time with the babies and love the cuddles and closeness we get to share together. It hasn’t been easy but it’s been so worth it!
-Have you heard of the benefits of breast massage and did you give it a try in your breastfeeding journey?
I’ve been breast massaging from the very beginning of our journey! For me it has been extremely beneficial while pumping. When I was pumping those early first weeks I would be engorged and get clogged ducts and massage was the only way to relieve and help stop this from occurring. Now, I’m still pumping at work and utilizing massage to help initiate my let down and empty completely.
-What one piece of advice would you give to new moms?
Being a first time mama to twins has its own unique challenges, and connecting to other mamas with multiples has been extremely helpful for me. I encourage new mamas to join groups and seek resources they can relate to - having friends to talk to makes such a difference.
Remember there is no better mama for your baby than you! Trust your instincts and give yourself grace as you embark on this new journey. Some days are harder than others, but there are so many more good days to make up for it. At the end of the day we are all doing our best and we should be incredibly proud of ourselves for embarking on our own special journey!
Follow Allie's journey on Instagram @al_spink