Longstanding readers (hi Mum) will recall that
I had considerable difficulty breastfeeding the Princess. To be honest, I didnÂ’t rate my chances of
breastfeeding twins. I decided that I
wouldnÂ’t feel guilty about it. But I
do. The other night I dreamt (in the 20
seconds of sleep granted to me) that my babies were taken away from me because
I wasnÂ’t breastfeeding them. Funnily
enough, not by the militant breastfeeding lobby but by a woman who I know bottle
fed her baby. Call Dr. Freud. My guilt is in no way assuaged by reading in
the Observer that Tilda Swinton (actress and next door neighbour to the Glam
PotterÂ’s extraordinarily rich and, er, glam sister) breastfed her twins for 14
months. Maybe I should stop reading the
Observer, it only makes me miserable.
Before the boys were born, people asked me
whether I planned to breastfeed (right after theyÂ’d checked whether the twins
were IVF babies) and I used to joke Â“IÂ’ll breastfeed one and feed the other
formula and see how they turn outÂ”. I
didnÂ’t actually expect this to happen.
But it has. Daniel eats like
nobodyÂ’s business; breast, bottle, probably fish and chips, if offered. Michael is still trying to determine how
bottles actually work (despite this, on our recent visit to the paediatrician,
Michael had put on more weight than Daniel; heÂ’s presumably raiding the fridge
when weÂ’re not looking). So, during the
day, I breastfeed Daniel and give Michael formula. I also express a couple of bottles of breastmilk
for Michael. If youÂ’ve never seen a
breastpump in action, you may not understand why I prefer to do this without an
audience and spend my time scurrying from room to room with an odd contraption
attached to my breast trying to avoid G or Faith on the days they are here.
At night they both get formula. God knows what they put in that stuff but
compared to breastmilk, it really knocks them out. To digress slightly, this reminds me of a story
that my mother-in-law tells. She used
to be an air hostess in the 60s and when they had a mother and crying child on
board, they would offer to heat the babyÂ’s bottle. They would then add a tot of brandy to the
heated bottle and give it back to the unsuspecting mother whose baby would, of
course, be conked for the duration of the flight. Anyway, maybe they put brandy in the formula
Â– that would explain the
exorbitant cost. Formula feeding at night has led to the
problem of milk oversupply (oh come on, you know what I mean) putting me at
increased risk of mastitis Â– itÂ’s not just for cows, you know Â– and making our
bed an even more pleasant place to be doused as it is in blood, sweat, tears,
formula, vomit, wee and now breastmilk too.
Please, donÂ’t let me put you off having children.
But feeding two babies, however you go about
it, is a little challenging. If itÂ’s not
one of them, itÂ’s both of them. So
youÂ’re either trapped under one feeding baby or panicking about how to feed both of them at once. My father describes being an anesthetist as
hours of tedium interspersed by moments of panic Â– itÂ’s a bit like that. (By the by, while IÂ’m dissing doctors, do you
like this? To be an orthopaedic surgeon
you have to be strong as an ox and twice as intelligent.)
But you know, despite all my moaning, it is
rather nice having two little babies, I mean even apart from the presents. I quite
enjoy peering adoringly at them. And, I realise
I am prejudiced here, they have very appealing little faces and a range of
entertaining expressions. And IÂ’m quite
looking forward to venturing out when Michael hits 3 kilos and showing them to
an appreciative public. And another
thing, mirabile dictu, my bump has retreated and I no longer look 6 months
pregnant. Really, you should have kids
of your own, theyÂ’re great.
on 21 October 2005 at 20:25
on 22 October 2005 at 04:30
on 22 October 2005 at 09:23
on 22 October 2005 at 14:27
JD, haha indeed.
FT, well, it would help to pay for your pension.
Well, Negrito, since we’re almost neighbours, I do think that this is most likely. Though you, as befits your status, live in the chic end of the neighbourhood.
on 22 October 2005 at 22:08
I am full of admiration for you, by the way, it sounds as though you’re coping really well with the two princes.
on 24 October 2005 at 09:55