10th April 2014
“I had decided from the day I found out I was pregnant that I wanted to breast feed, I had very bad morning sickness from about 7 weeks and then at 13 weeks on my dating scan it became apparent as to why, I was carrying twins! After the shock had passed I decided that I was still planning to breast feed, I thankfully had a relatively uneventful pregnancy and was induced at 39/4, and following 14 hours of labour and reaching 9.5cm the doctors decided that I wasn’t progressing and needed to have a C-Section, our girls were born healthy at 39/6.
I really struggled to get the girls latched on and had to syringe feed them my expressed milk for 3 days which was exhausting but I am so pleased I persevered, on the 3rd day I was told by a midwife that I had to make a decision as my babies were not getting enough milk and if I couldn’t feed them then they needed formula, I was devastated by her comments and wanting to prove I could do it I spent the next 5 hours putting my girls to my breast to encourage them to feed, thankfully at the end of the 5 hours they did, I cannot really put into words how this felt.
We took our girls home after 6 days and spent the next few weeks finding our way like any new parents, at the time I was feeding the girls on their own and felt like I was pinned onto my sofa feeding all day. At 4 weeks I decided to venture out to my local breast feeding support group where I found another mum who was breast feeding her twins but in tandem, I guess this was a huge turning point for me as I felt I was getting some time back and was able to get into a routine, the lady who ran the support group managed to get me a dual breast pump from the NCT so I could get into a routine in the evenings with my husband being able to feed one of the girls.
The support group on a Thursday was such a lifeline for me and after a few weeks I was really into a feeding routine and managing to express twice a day from both breasts, I had built up quite a stock of frozen milk so much so that my husband would comment that it was taking over our freezer!
After relaying this conversation at the breastfeeding support group they asked if I had considered donating my milk, to be honest I didn’t know you could, given the lack of support I had received when I was struggling to feed the girls I wasn’t aware the service existed, I would have bitten off someone’s hand if this had been offered to me.
So I got in touch with Lynda who arranged for Jane to visit my house, Jane took some blood and went through all of the details of what becoming a donor meant and how I would be helping, I was overjoyed when the result came back and I was accepted as a donor. I carried on with expressing twice a day as the routine suited me and I meant that I had plenty of milk for my girls and also to donate, I know I was very lucky to be able to produce this amount of milk and this just spurred me on to ensure I was able to do some good with it.
I still remember my first collection, when the driver arrived he passed me a cool bag which I managed to fill and I proudly handed it back to him, I then had a regular collection in place which carried on until the girls were 8 months old, I did get some strange looks from people when I told them what I was doing and I know this was because they weren’t aware like I wasn’t that the service existed. My decision to stop was a difficult one but we were taking the girls on their first holiday abroad and I knew I wouldn’t be expressing, I tried to re-establish expressing when we returned but the volume of milk had significantly reduced so it seemed the right time to stop.
I have no idea how many babies benefited from my donations but just knowing that they did and how important that is for them and their parents is why if I had the opportunity to donate again I would in a heartbeat.”