On day 4, my lactation consultant came. I recommend all moms of multiple have one on speed dial just in case. She evaluated both girls prior to feeding and after. After about an hour, even she mentioned the “F” word, formula. She knew that I was absolutely committed to breastfeeding, but she had to follow a protocol so that Phoebe would be okay. We were at home, not in the hospital. So we started hand expressing and syringe feeding Phoebe what we could. Marley would get some too, but Phoebe was the main concern. Marley’s birth weight was 6lbs. Phoebe’s was 4lbs 14oz. Phoebe’s sucking strength was pretty good, but she was so little that she was just burning too many calories nursing. She would suck, suck, suck swallow instead of suck, swallow.

We decided on a plan of action. I promised that I would pump, hand express and syringe feed both of them after every feeding. She said she would come back in 24 hours and we would reassess whether or not the girls, especially Phoebe, needed a can of ABM (artificial baby milk). The thought of formula makes me cringe. I know some baby’s need it, but I have a real issue with the marketing tactics used. I really felt that I could trust my body to do what it needed to do.

After my lactation consultant left, I felt so overwhelmed. How in world and I going to turn things around. I did what I knew how to do, pray. I prayed like crazy. I knew that the milk was there. I could feel it. However, it was just in the transitional phase of no longer colostrom, but not quite flowing either. I put every ounce of energy I had into feeding my babies. I got my trusty breast pump out, my Medela Freestyle. My hubby sterilized all the parts and I got to pumping. I nursed, did skin to skin, pumped and hand expressed anything that was left all night long. Then syringe fed them both, Phoebe got more though because she needed it. This went on literally for 24 hours. I was tired, but I think I had so much adrenaline and determination, it really didn’t phase me. I did what I had to do…sleep deprived and all.

The next afternoon, my lactation consultant came to weigh my girls. She wrote down their weights in grams for supreme accuracy. Then weighed them again because she was in disbelief. Marley had gained 33 grams or just over an ounce and my little Phoebe had put on 66 grams, over 2 ounces! My hubby was at the store and got home just after I’d received the good news. While the weight gain was nothing short of a miracle, I knew that this was just the beginning. I would have to keep pumping, hand expressing and syringe feeding them until they no longer needed it. We ordered a scale and weighed them daily to keep up with their progress. I felt like I had climbed Mt. Everest or something!

After a few days of nursing, pumping and hand expressing, I was seeing these results!

After a few days of nursing, pumping and hand expressing, I was seeing these results!