Monthly Archives

February 2010


More Baby Wearing

Some of you asked for a photo of the baby wearing. We went out again on Wednesday with me wearing Grunter in the Moby. You have to look really close, but there is a spot of baby you can see. I swear he had plenty of room to breathe, there is a big open ‘pocket’ at the top. He was as happy as can be!

I walked more than I’ve dared since the C section–1.3 miles round trip! We walked all the way to the big box baby store where we had to return a few gifts. I also bought my very first nursing bra! Yeah, I know almost 5 weeks into this….it took me awhile. I do have a nursing tank, but I only wear that when we have visitors. Otherwise, I’ve been sporting the ‘hiking up my tank top’ look. Not ideal, but it works.

I’m really glad we got out that day–for an hour and 1/2–because it was snowy and rainy all day yesterday and now for the next couple of days we are looking at nothing but snow, snow, snow and freezing cold temperatures. We will not be venturing out with the babies in this weather. Thank god we can get everything delivered.

I am still at the tail end of this very bad, never ending cold and it’s hit Chicken full force. It has been really hard splitting the duties when both of us just want to sleep. I think she’s a bit luckier because she gets to take cold medicine and I could only suck on cough drops. Either way, we are both more than ready to stop the coughing and feeling crappy.
Getting sick and twin baby wrangling do not mix!

Is it Spring yet? I’m ready for long walks, farmer’s markets, shopping for gorgeous organic produce and having time to make some healthy meals, ready for our CSA farm share to begin and ready for some warmer weather. Oh Spring….you can’t get here soon enough.

Chicken Mommy wearing Whoop Whoop inside. I snapped a gas smile!

Me wearing Grunter in the Moby Wrap

New Pediatrician, One Month Check Up, Baby Wearing and Public Transport

Best to just get jump in and try to cover everything! I’ve got a “Dear Boys” one month letter in the making, but damn, finding the time to finish it is escaping me.

The boys turned one month a few days ago. I still can’t believe it. I read back on a few of my posts and already what I’m describing from just a few weeks ago is so blurry and fuzzy. It seems so long ago and yet it has passed by so quickly.

Two days ago, I decided that I felt good enough after 4 weeks post C Section that I would give baby wearing a try. Chicken has been out and about a couple of times in the ergo w/ the infant insert and in the house she often calms a fussy baby (usually Whoop Whoop) in the Moby wrap.
I felt bad that Grunter wasn’t been worn as often and also….I was jealous that Chicken was hand’s free and mobile.

Let’s face it. At this point, I am (almost) nothing but a milk maid. I sit on one spot on the couch with my double breast feeding pillow and then I move to the recliner to pump. I do this anywhere from 8-12 times a day. One day it was 14 times. FOURTEEN feedings.
I never feel too mobile. In fact, what I feel is my ass spreading on this couch by the day and I’m more than a little bit anxious to get back my mobility and strength.
As I was put on modified bed rest for over 6 weeks pre-birth and have been told nothing strenuous and no exercise for 6 weeks post birth–well, that’s THREE months of not doing much of anything. As someone who is very physically active, this is making me a bit crazy.

I’ve gone out for short walks when I can. But that hasn’t been many (3? 4?). Just getting out of the house is a giant undertaking when their feeding schedule is so unpredictable. Last week, I didn’t leave the house for SIX days. Not a single step out of the front door.

Monday, I tried on the Ergo, popped a baby inside, realized Chicken already had the Moby on and we looked at each other all wide eyed and said “Let’s go somewhere!”
Now, we could have done this with the stroller as well. And we have. Twice. I don’t know why, but it’s just so much easier to be wearing them than to do the stroller out the door.
So, off we went–not only to the post office, but the drug store as well! Ooh la la! Both of these are within a 2 block distance of our apartment, but god, the freedom. The mobility!

The next day was the one month check up with our new pediatrician. As you may recall, we weren’t really digging our first choice. The office was not as near as I thought nor as easy to get to as I thought. There was no direct line of public transport to get there which left us hauling car seats in and out of cabs. (Well, I didn’t do any hauling, so it was very hard on the Chicken.)
It was also across town and the cross town traffic is a nightmare. One day we paid almost $20 to get home and that is crazy combined with the $10 ride to get there and the $80 co-pay.

In addition, the office was down a flight of narrow stairs in a brownstone building. Very hard with twins and I couldn’t imagine doing this myself someday. They have no stroller parking inside which means you have to lock up your (expensive) stroller on the side walk outside and carry two babies down the stairs. In the snow or the rain. The office was tiny, the rooms were tiny….oh and we didn’t like the Doctor.
If you are going to charge us twice because yes, we have 2 patients, then we’d better get double the time–which we never did.
She gave me horrible advice about breast feeding (I know, she’s not a lactation consultant, but still…) and while we had brought up some issues with Whoop Whoop twice, (he coughs while feeding, pushes himself off, is a fusspot) she was always very dismissive and said everything was perfectly fine. No problems.

We wanted to change to another practice after our very first visit, but due to insurance, we couldn’t change and have it covered until their one month check up. Hello one month. You couldn’t come soon enough.
Our new practice is much bigger, with many doctors, which initially I balked at, but now I’m happy with. We were assigned a doctor that has consistently been rated one of the best pediatricians in the city and the offices are just a block away from NYU Medical Center. All of the doctors are NYU affiliated, the office is 15 minutes closer to our house, there is an elevator, indoor stroller parking, a sick waiting room and a well waiting room, there are weekend appointments for sick visits, and the waiting area is spacious with plenty of toys for kids.
I can walk up here with the stroller in 20-25 minutes. I could do this by myself when Chicken goes back to work.
I have no idea why this was not our first choice. I think I was swayed by “West Village” versus “Murry Hill”. I guess that makes me a neighborhood snob.
The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem.

The day of our appointment, the forecast called for rain and I simply could not bear the thought of another episode of ‘put the baby in the car seat, hail a cab and baby wrangle in and out of a NYC taxi’, I suggested we both wear a baby and take the bus (it’s still too far for me to walk right now).
Toot Toot. That’s my personal horn.
That was a fucking awesome idea. I loved it and I felt so…normal! Somehow we both managed to shower yesterday morning, do a feeding right before we left, grab a baby and an umbrella and hop on the bus. Good thing I held on to my maternity coat. It was perfect to fit around the Moby.
It was the first day where I felt like the haze of the newborn Ground Hog day was lifting.
Not to mention all of the babies in the waiting room were fussy fussy fusspots having been taken out of their strollers, but our babies…? Quiet and content all nestled into the wraps and carriers.

And our new Pediatrician? LOVED him! He thought it was so cool that I carried Chicken’s eggs and he heartily laughed at my joke “I get to say my wife knocked me up! You don’t get to say that very often”. Yes, I am a giant dork.
He spent well over 30 minutes with us, talked to us about everything from developmental milestones, delays, daily schedules, feedings, you name it. Our old doctor basically weighed them, declared they’d gained weight and left the room. No wait, the nurse weighed them. Our old doctor looked at the chart.

He declared that they are fine looking boys, thriving in every way and perfect. He listened to our concerns about Whoop Whoop and determined he has reflux…which is what WE had suspected for the last two weeks. Poor guy has been so fussy and now he has Zantac which he should have been given weeks ago.
Despite his reflux, Whoop Whoop is a good little eater and is chunking up quite nicely.
He has gone from his birth weight of 5 lbs, 3 oz to 6 lbs, 15 oz in one month!
Grunter is not far behind with birth weight of 4 lbs, 15 oz and is now 6 lbs, 5 oz!
They are both starting to really look like normal little babies instead of wrinkly old men. Although I’m sure to those of you with 8 and 9 lb newborns, they still look incredibly tiny!

I had been worried about my milk supply and if they were getting enough from breast feeding (plus one bottle of formula at night). I guess the answer is yes! I have been really, really hard on myself in regards to the breast feeding, but after a emergency tear-filled call to my lactation consultant after reading this post and then seeing their weight gains, I have been assured by all parties I am doing an excellent job and to go a bit easier on myself. It’s the hormones. They make you crazy.

And one last bonus…the boys went for 3 hours in between feedings yesterday!!! OMG. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. We made it through the first month and already I see great changes. We are going to make it!

PS–Please send healthy vibes to Chicken. Two days ago, she caught my cold and is feeling like extreme crap. I am feeling better, but I need Chicken. We cannot do this without Chicken.

One Month

Wow, that went by in slow motion and on fast forward all at the same time.

We made it one month, kids!
It is really incredible to see how much you have changed and how much we’ve learned in such a short amount of time.
When we came home with you, it was a bit chaotic, but after a week or so, we got into the groove of things. The first week was pretty smooth sailing as you slept a lot, but then again your mommy was still on percocet for pain management, so that probably had something to do with it. The second week wasn’t too bad either. Sure there was lack of sleep and I was trying to get the hang of breast feeding, but we thought we had this mommy thing down. But at the end of the two weeks…you woke up!
I’m sure if I were born 4 weeks early, I’d want to sleep a bit longer as well.
We couldn’t be happier even as we have suffered through a cold and more sleep deprivation than we thought humanly possible.
You are both so incredibly different. You look different, you are different sizes, you cry differently, want to be held and soothed differently. Twins, yes. But same same? No.
Max, you have gone from having the name “Grunter” to being nicknamed “Barker”. Kid, you have a set of lungs on you! You don’t cry it out like some babies (your brother). You bark it out. You can be perfectly content and all of the sudden you let out a huge, earsplitting bark of a cry. It’s as if you are saying “What are you people doing?! I’m a baby, pay all of your attention to ME.”
Sometimes, you let out a bark and then that’s it. You just had a bark in you. It meant nothing. Carry on.
You are not too fond of the bouncy seat just yet, but you enjoy being swaddled (well, you hate the process, but you’re happy after we’ve done it) and put in a boppy pillow to hang out or in the car seat swing. Mostly, you would just like to be held or worn, but sadly this is not always possible.
Your brother, on the other hand, well….when Sebastian cries you’ll better pay attention. Or as we say “I need you. He’s about to blow.” Sebastian, you will scrunch your face up in pain and start out a slow wait that crescendos immediately. It is a cry that could be recorded to remind teenagers to always use condoms. It is SUCH a sad cry and you get yourself incredibly worked up. Your face and practically your entire body turn beet red and we hate to see this.
Thankfully, we can *usually* calm you down by putting you on our chests. For this, you have gone from the nickname Whoop Whoop to Tree Frog.
Oh little Tree Frog, to be splayed out on a mommy chest, that is your favorite thing in the world. If you are really going beserk, we let you suck on our thumb and that’s heaven to you as well. We tried giving you a pacifier twice but both times we had problems with breast feeding afterwards, so no paci for you mister. Not yet anyway.
If all else fails, your Chicken Mommy has been diligent about trying all five “S’s” of the Happiest Baby on the Bl.ock and she is a great baby whisperer. Much better than me.

Dirty Little Ditty

We like to make up songs and sing them to the twins.

This is my newest breastfeeding song which I swear I did not set out to make it sound like the dirtiest song ever….but when I sang it to Chicken I realized it was! Hee.

“Suck, suck and swallow
Don’t bite it!
Just suck it!
Suck, suck and swallow
And you’ll grow up big and strong

They are like hungry little animals when they breast feed. No matter how exhausted I am (and oh how I am especially since I’ve been sick now for…this is the 6th day) when I get them latched on and see their dark little eyes wide open, hear their little baby animal noises, the grunts and swallowing…well, it really is just about the best thing in the world.
I really do love breastfeeding them, even though sometimes I cry on top of their heads because I’m so tired of doing it over and over and over.
I am just waiting for the day when they consistently go 3 hours in between feeds and not the unpredictable hour and 1/2. Three hours. Ah, that would be nice.
But they are gaining weight and growing so big.
We are so happy.


Inducing Lactation in the Other Mother

Who has done this?

What method did you use?
How long did it take for the milk to come in?

You might guess where we’re going with this…..
Yesterday while holding Grunter, our little Barracuda decided to lunge out and latch onto Chicken (they were enjoying some naked Kangaroo care) and now…she’s wondering about breastfeeding as she’d really like to do this, too.
There’s also an SSRI in question, but I’m doing research to figure that one out.

Thanks for any information–there’s a lot out there but I’d like to hear from some women who have done this first hand.

Foie Gras

I’ve been trying to escape a cold for the last couple of days and yesterday the cold won.
Sleep is elusive and I need it badly in order to be healthy. I have no idea how I got sick; I haven’t been out of the house in a week.

In a moment of desperation last night we decided we would start “topping off” after BFing. I had enough breast milk pumped to do this plus give them their bottle of BM in the middle of the night.
It worked! They slept four hours with nursing and the top off, then I slept through the next feeding while Chicken gave them their BM bottle.
I got an entire 6 hours of UNINTERRUPTED sleep. This is the most sleep I’ve had since they’ve been born.

I nursed for the next 2 feedings, at 5:20am and 6:45am, pumping for 30 minutes after each session, so you do the math…not really much down time. Grunter was fussy and I was getting delerious.
When they were ready to eat again an hour later, we broke down and gave them a bottle of formula so I could sleep.

It was the first formula they’ve had in almost 18 days–since I started exclusively breast feeding them with the help of my lactation consultant.

I felt like a horrible mother, but god I needed the sleep.
When Whoop Whoop had the worst reflux–he’s been having some issues–and projectile vomited all over himself, well then I really felt like the worst mother ever, because this has not happened since we switched to breast milk only.

Urgh. So while we tried to fatten them up like little foie gras in an attempt to get some much needed sleep, it worked…but with consequences.

I know it’s not the end of the world…but I just want to be able to feed them 100 percent.
And get some sleep. And stop coughing. Oh, and my sore throat needs to go away so I can eat without pain.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


Oh Yeah, This is Hard. You Want to Know How Hard?

Did I say we were going through a growth spurt? Because seriously, it just keeps getting more intense. When does it end??

There is no time for anything other than feeding, pumping, sleeping and eating in this past week or so!!
Anything else is impossible!
A nice hot shower to relax? Got that once on Saturday morning when our friend Fab C stopped by to help baby wrangle. Thank god for good friends. Even so, it only happened because the timing was right and she wasn’t here only when I was feeding or pumping.
A walk outside to clear my head? The last time I went outside was last Thursday–that’s 6 days ago.
Any venture outside or a luxury such as a shower is at the expense of a nap and right now, we need the sleep more than anything.
Yesterday, Grunter nursed FOURTEEN times in a 24 hour period.
Let’s say it’s 12:30 pm and the natives are getting restless.
You get the ‘milk bar’ set up on the couch positioning yourself with the double breast feeding pillow–making sure you have a bottle of water, your iphone, the remote control, the log of their every move to write down the start/stop time of the feeding and which breast as well as any poopy/pee diaper and a blanket to prop them up on the pillow because they are still too small to reach your breasts without some help or you leaning over and killing your back.
You announce the milk bar is open, slinging your tits and aching nipples out. Your partner brings out a baby, let’s say it’s Whoop Whoop. W2 takes a few minutes to latch on because he insists on tossing and turning his head from side to side while arching his (very strong) neck and throwing his head back. He goes in any direction except straight ahead for the boob. In addition, he loves to have his hands in front of his face, wildly sucking on his fingers as they blindly hit his mouth–thus preventing you from getting the boob in his mouth.
You call for back up “hands” and your partner–who is either trying to wake up Grunter, who is asleep, so that you are on the same tandem feeding schedule OR is trying to calm the crying/barking/screaming Grunter who is demanding to be fed RIGHT NOW–has to hold back W2’s so you can get him latched on.
It is now 12:37.
Grunter is much easier to get latched. However, he is a barracuda feeder and you must be aware that if you set him down anywhere near your nipple, he will lunge for it, chomping down inappropriately causing you to scream out “fuck, get him off, get him off!”
You or your partner break the seal of the barracuda whilst simultaneously trying to hold W2’s head up so he does not fall off and you have to start all over again.
If you have to start all over again…you think about crying and start to get very sweaty.
The good news is that you are taking so much Fenugreek to increase your milk supply, your sweat smells like maple syrup–a nice unexpected herbal side effect especially since you don’t shower much these days.
Your partner holds up the head and back of the neck of W2 so you can get Grunter latched on. If you are lucky, this is quick.
It is now 12:38.
You jam the blanket around and under each one rising them up and positioning them so that hopefully you can have at least one hand free to eat/drink/read/work the TV remote.
If you do not achieve this, you can count on holding them in the “football position” for 30 minutes. If you are thirsty, have a hair in your eye, an itch…you’re SOL. It will have to wait.
Therefore, getting the blanket rise technique just right, is extremely important as it gains you some freedom, 8 to 12 to 14 times a day.
At this point, your goal is that both babies want to feed for 20-30 minutes. However, sometimes W2 is done after 10-15 minutes. Or Grunter falls asleep. Trying to wake up one baby to suck while another baby is feeding requires tickling, undressing, blowing in his face and lastly, employing a cold, wet washcloth swept over his face and head. If none of these work…you are SOL and he is going to want to feed again very soon.
If you manage to have them nurse for 20-30 minutes, now they need to be burped. This could take a while or a minute. You cannot predict the timing.
It is now 1:15 pm.
If your partner is not napping, she/he can help you with the burping and you will be lucky to hand off the babies for this task, plus the cuddling and swaddling to follow.
However, it’s quite possible that your partner is asleep and rightly so. You either yell for her and she will come running or you take pity on her sleep deprivation and let her sleep.
Somehow you manuvuer both babies into their separate Boppy pillows on the couch beside you and pray that neither of them scream when you put them down.
W2 will usually scream. Grunter will probably have the hiccups and be bright eyed and smiling and looking around.
You have to pump. It is impossible to hold a wriggling, screaming baby (like W2) while attached to the breast pump and having your C-Section being kicked.
You yell for your partner. Your partner either sits on the couch and soothes W2 or puts him in a Moby wrap (the only baby carrier we’ve found that works for babies under 8 lbs) so she can be mobile to make a much needed cappucino. You don’t get any caffeine because you are breastfeeding, but you are allowed 2 drinks of the contraband. It is one of the highlights of your day.
It’s 1:25 pm.
Hopefully someone has remembered to wash and sterilize the pumping equipment from your last pumping session (after every feed from 6am-10pm) and it’s all ready to go. You go to the kitchen, rub lanolin on your nipples, put on your bustier hands-free bra and attach the phalanges and milk storage containers to your bra.
If your equipment is dirty, you must first wash it in hot, soapy water and then sterilize it in the microwave for 3 minutes, then assemble.
While in the kitchen, you decide to take advantage of the fact you can now eat and make a snack before going to the living room to pump.
You should probably make a break for the bathroom as well.
It is now 1:40pm.

Milk Drunk on V Day

They are eating every one to two hours today. Lord help us! We need sleep!
Thank god they’re cute to look at when they nurse.
Oh, we had to put little mitts on them because we haven’t had time to file their nails and the hungry little animals were clawing up my titties.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


It’s After 7pm and You’re Still Cute!

It’s like a different world in our house today. The babies have been great and so far…not a single fusspot episode. Of course, the night is still young, but by 4pm yesterday I’d had my first breakdown.

They have had some separate feedings, but the last couple have been right back on track together which makes it so much easier.
In fact, we had a friend come over this afternoon right as I’d finished a feeding and because of the timing, I was able to take an HOUR nap! OMG, it was heaven and I felt like a new mommy when I got up.
I’m still only getting about 3.5 hours of solid sleep during the night. I can get this because I pump just enough during the day that Chicken can give them a bottle of breast milk during the night while I skip a feeding and sleep. It’s awesome. If I can pump more, my goal is to skip two feedings and get some extra sleep. We’ll see….
In the meantime, I try to grab a nap where I can, but sometimes that works and other days it never happens. Somehow, the body manages on very little sleep. I don’t know how.

Chicken is great for taking the night shift and letting me sleep with earplugs and a sleep mask. It makes all the difference. When we transition to the ‘day’ shift, I take them to the living room and let her sleep for a good 4-5 hours in the bedroom.
So far, this is working really well.

We’ve ordered Indian food, we’re going to watch the Olympic opening ceremonies, the boys have had a bath (the mommies have not!) and life is good.
Our friend even went to Trader Joe’s for us and the groceries were just delivered. If you’ve ever been to a TJ’s in NYC, you’ll know this is a gift in GOLD as that place is a madhouse. Let’s put it this way–sometimes there is a line forming out the door of people waiting to shop. CRAZY. I didn’t think we’d make it there until the boys were 3 months old because it’s just that much of a huge trip!

Thanks for all of your supportive comments.
I cried this morning reading all of them and realizing I didn’t have any tissues nearby, I had to dry my tears with a breast pad.
Today I feel like I can do this.