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My Nursing Journey

Lyndie Monarch and her girls

Lyndie Monarch, Los Angeles, California

I assumed breastfeeding would be an easy and natural thing. I was so surprised when, after I had my daughter, it wasn’t easy for me. I was in so much pain.  She was two weeks old, and when she was hungry I would cry because I knew how much it would hurt. I kept putting on lanolin and didn’t realize that I was allergic to it until I was itching all over and miserable.

My mother was very involved with La Leche League; however, she had early onset Alzheimer’s and was bedridden in a facility so I couldn’t call on her for help. I felt like I was failing her.

I reached out to Renee, a dear friend who is also a La Leche League Leader. She gave me tips on different positions and latching and suggested that I consider contacting an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), too.

I walked in crying in despair and left crying with relief and joy. I was producing plenty and learned how to latch her and just felt so supported and cared for. I went on to nurse my daughter, Maddie, for 18 months.

Then I had twins – identical twin girls born at 36 weeks! I figured that I knew it all now. Nope, I struggled! I got in touch with Renee and the IBCLC again. Sure enough, I was taught how to tandem nurse and left with a solid game plan. Renee told me about the La Leche League nursing multiples Facebook group, and they were my lifeline!

I tandem nursed the twins for each nap, bedtime, and all through the night. I practiced bedsharing with them as they were colicky and had reflux and wouldn’t sleep without each other. I offered cow’s milk just after a year and they hated it. They hated every type of milk, so thankfully I was still nursing them!

They weaned from daytime nursing at around 18 months. I night weaned them just after two years.

I dropped their bedtime nursing session at 26 months. It felt like the right time as they were usually distracted and not focused anyway. I then prepared myself to drop that last session, “Morning Milks.”  I prepared them and talked about how they were going away. That one was hard—not for them—but it was hard for me.

These are my last children. My connection with my children and my connection to my mother (she passed away when the twins were seven months old) was changing and ending. I survived three bouts of mastitis, clogs, milk blebs, you name it.  I nursed everywhere and never heard a bad word about it. People were amazed that I could feed both at once. We nursed on set (the twins were on Days of Our Lives and some other television shows), in the car, at auditions, and even at a paint your own ceramics store.

I was not against formula. I kept it on hand. I was ready to quit nursing multiple times, and knowing that I had a backup is why I could keep going.

So, I am done. We are done. I have given them the gift of health, connection and love. I found my “village.” I nursed a total of 45 months. Three kids. I know that my mother is looking down at me and smiling.

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