Milk & Honey

We were promised milk and honey. His specific words.
We've endured seven months of transition, barely any income, and yet we wait.

We've been blown away at his provision.  We have not wavered in faith.  We know that he cares for us, that he loves us, that he will not let us go hungry.  And we are far from hungry!

I was chatting with him the other day. Pouring my heart, my concerns, asking for patience in the unknown.  I told him how excited I was for the "milk and honey" he had promised.

...Nothing like a little slap on the wrist.
He answered in his way, "What makes you think that this, right now, is not your milk and honey"?
Kindly lifted from all of the ugliness of self.

I was running at the time.
I stopped.  I opened my eyes to what was around me.
I had a large, beautiful family to walk into.
They are healthy.  Thriving.
I have a community that is absolutely amazing, and I am a part of that.
A group a friends--solid as a rock.

While we may be reliant on every single penny that enters this household, we are more reliant on him.  People have been blessing us left and right.

Both of us, bringing near-equal incomes in, it may be a long road.  We've recently accepted that.  This is our milk and honey.  The fruit from this time, we will choose to see it now.
I will never get this moment back.
I shouldn't be aspiring to push through it, I should be grateful to be in it.

Since our little "adjustment" conversation, I have been choosing to do just that.  And you know what... there is milk and honey flowing every which way.  I'm going to share one example that is such a silly little story, but confirms just how much God loves me. :-) 
 Our family left town to flee from the thick cloud of smoke (another story I need to catch up on)... we headed to the in-laws to have some clear air & what we called our "evacucation"... anyway, I was driving alone with the kids home.  We had made several stops and I was exhausted.
As we passed a town about an hour from our home, I kind of sighed, wishing I didn't have the kids with me because there was a thrift store I loved hitting up on road trips.

The Lord told me to go in.
I wrestled with silly, over a thrift store!
I really didn't want to take them all out of the car, bring them in, just to find nothing (as thrift stores are so extremely hit and miss).  I had $10 left in my wallet for the rest of the week. I told him that.
Obviously he knew. :-)

He told me to go. So obeyed.  I went in.
On the rack, in the children's section was a group of GAP skinny jeans, size 3T!  Four pairs.  There was also a few vintage tops and dresses all for Lulu.  It happen to be the day that clothing was half off.  I left with 9 items, and paid $8.96.

Just prior to leaving town, I had cleaned out her closet.  I laughed with him that he knew she had outgrown all of her summer clothes and needed an entire season of clothes. He knew. He had already placed them there for me.
Milk and honey.

You know, it's been prosperous.  Milk and honey can mean provision. Yes.
But the growth, it's been so nutritious and so sweet.
I am finally getting to see what he means by it.
I'm honored that he would choose for us to do this, with such a large responsibility of feeding and clothing five kids, but I guess he knew we would listen.  
 And on a complete side note... aren't they becoming so fun?  Wrestling with their "bubba" is their newest favorite thing to do.  They were so loud when I put them down for their nap, I decided to see what the laughing was about!  So blessed!

Breastfeeding Twins

This is for all of the expectant Mommas out there, shocked that they are carrying twins and searching for more information via-web on breastfeeding twins. The twins, of course, were a bit of a shock for me. I wasn't too overwhelmed with the idea of caring for them, but the breastfeeding of two infants had me a little unsure. 

 I am a routine lady, and all my babies have been on routines, so I knew I wanted to feed them tandem, but I just didn't know how I would manage it. I'm just going to break it down for you based on our experience. I am not going to lie, the first few days were absolutely frustrating. The babies were both in the 5 lb range, very very tiny with tiny little mouths. I had read a lot about nursing preemies and twins and was prepared for the frustration. But after easily nursing three larger babies, it was somewhat disappointing and stressful.

I was actually going to have to work at nourishing my babies. 
The amazing nurses at the hospital knew my goal was to be tandem feeding them by the time I left. They did everything to assist me, including offering an SNS (supplemental nursing system) to help the babies latch on. The SNS is a bottle of pumped milk or colostrum attached to a tiny tube that you place on the nipple. It requires very little work to get the milk to flow out, so a preemie or small baby that tires easily doesn't have to work hard to get fed, but at the same time are learning how to latch on. Of course, the SNS and the tired baby don't encourage much milk to come down, so then you must pump after to demand more milk from your body. 

It was days of pumping and stuffing tiny tubes down itty bitty babies' mouths, while trying to do it in tandem...sound frustrating? It was! However, it's as if the babies knew of the chaos at home and the lack of attention that they would be getting to their feeding needs, because the moment they got home, they latched on and ate efficiently. Whew. 

 I write that to encourage Moms that just because your baby tires while breastfeeding does not mean that you need to supplement with formula... this may be advice that some doctors or nurses give you. There are other ways to meet your tiny baby's nourishment needs! Plus, any bit of supplementation with out pumping is not going to demand milk from your body, leading to more supplementation and less milk. It's a bad road to go down unless you have an exact plan and understand the relationship between supply and demand. 

 I had purchased a twin breastfeeding pillow, but that required a lot of work and a lot of pillow wedging to get the twins adequately placed... in the end, a standard Boppy worked perfectly for positioning them. It also helped to be on a low couch or floor pouf so that my babies were at the correct angle for breastfeeding. Believe it or not, I donated the pillow because I still use the Boppy, even now with their 11 month old bodies!

(breastfeeding the twins at 11 months--in front of a tee pee, naturally!)

My midwife came by to check on the babies after we arrived home and learned that August was not gaining as much as he should have been. Again, I was used to plump, bigger babies who were able to last 2-3 hrs between feedings and gain weight. Well the little guys were a different story. They were so sleepy and I was distracted with the other children, that at times, I would look at the clock and have to wake them at 3 hrs because they slept the entire time. 3 hrs was just too much time. So her and I agreed that I would breastfeed every 1.5hrs until he reached 8lbs. That took weeks. But I watched him gain and that was extremely encouraging.

With raising twins, you read a lot that keeping them on the same routine is extremely beneficial.  I support that statement 100%!  On the days that the babies were opposite, it was stressful, busy, and hard to see the positive in raising twins.  While I did appreciate the one on one time with them, I felt that my entire day revolved around nursing, changing, and caring for them.  I had other children that deserved my love and attention.  I hear that identical twins have an easier time staying on the same routine, and for that I am blessed, because for the most part, they have always managed to be in sync.  Many days I would have to wake one since the other woke up, etc., but it always worked out.

Never once have I questioned if I had enough milk for the babies.  Even when people doubted me or suggested for me to supplement so that they would sleep longer at night... it wasn't an option.  They deserved the best nutrition possible and I wasn't going to change that because I needed a few extra hours of sleep.  They would figure it out, and they did.

This is not to guilt anyone for supplementing twins. I can absolutely understand the stress involved.  I imagined often if they were my first babies at how much I would doubt myself and my body because of fear or unawareness.  I am grateful for them being my 4th & 5th because I was so much more relaxed and confident in my body and in the boys' survival instincts to thrive.

This is simply just to encourage one who may be facing the fear of the unknown... you CAN do it!  Your body is capable.  It is hard. Possibly one of the hardest things I have done in parenting, but the difficult part ends and from there it is nothing but natural and primal.
The body is an amazing thing.  Trust it!  Trust yourself and your goals for your babies!

Feel free to email me with any questions regarding breastfeeding twins.  It's my passion for babies to get the best nutrition possible, so I would love to help!
-jodimockabee at