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February 2010


Growth Spurt=Ground Hog Day

I remember reading a twin blog from 2 Girls and Their Family from the first two weeks and they were all “hey, this isn’t so bad!” and then right after that…it got really bad.

Yeah, I could write a post sort of like that.

The first two weeks were pretty smooth sailing. They were good, good babies. Everyone said so.
When we first came home, my mom stayed with us for a little over a week which was about 7 days longer than she was actually useful. When you have someone come to help you, make sure that person is a nurturing person who is actually helpful. Not just someone who is there to ‘hold babies’. Because seriously? That is not very helpful with ALL of the other things we had going on. I had tried to tell Chicken it wasn’t going to be all wine and roses with my mom and finally, after 9 years, Chicken saw what I was talking about with my mother. She did not attempt to take care of me at all, nor was she willing to run the vast array of errands that needed to be done. Anything that we needed her to help with, like laundry or food shopping or just feeding the cats, we had to ask for. Over and over and over. And every time, she acted extremely put out, because, I guess she was here JUST to hold babies.
Her stay here, while I recovered from major surgery and tried to establish breast feeding with newborn twins, just reminded me of how selfish she can be and how she never took care of me when I was growing up and as the days wore on, I became increasingly angry with her.
What does it say about me that I can’t stand the sound of my own mother’s voice?

After my mom left, things actually got better. Chicken and I were able to be ourselves again and bitch freely about my mother instead of seething and whispering about it behind closed doors. We got into the groove and had ourselves a nice little routine going on. The house was clean, errands were being run, we were able to shower, the laundry was clean and folded, we were getting out of the house (her more than me) on a daily basis, fancy cappuccinos were made every morning (only a sip for me) I was pooping and we were even getting some sleep. Good times. We’ve got this mommy thing down and are puffed up and feeling pretty damn proud of ourselves.
Many of our visitors remark how laid back and calm I seem and indeed, I feel this way. This isn’t nearly as hard as I thought it would be. We are lucky!

And then this last Tuesday, they hit a growth spurt. Tandem feeding, a life saver for establishing a routine and getting any kind of sleep, went out of window. I was feeding on demand around the clock and Whoop Whoop was getting increasingly agitated.

I have noticed in twins, that you often have a fusspot and a non fusspot. It took me a little while, but when I mentioned to Chicken how high maintenance Whoop Whoop was, she looked at me a little bit like I was crazy. “You’re just now realizing this? I figured that out the first day they brought them down to us in their bassinets.” “Really? Hmm. I was on a lot of drugs. I just thought ‘oh, babies!’ “

Grunter is a happy, calm, laid back kid. Except for the bark. When he wants something he has a barking way of going about it. He doesn’t cry. He BARKS. And for that we have affectionately dubbed him “Max, the incredible barking baby”. He also conducts invisible orchestras from his boppy pillow if we don’t swaddle him up. He does all of these things with the sweetest, crazed looks on his face, so the barking is just adorable because he’s so laid back about it all. He’s a funny little baby and he cracks me up all day.

This is helpful, because his brother is making us both a little crazy in the past couple of days. He doesn’t bark, he simply cries. Loudly. And yesterday, he cried almost the entire day and there was little we could do to console him. We tried everything, holding him, swaddling him, unswaddling him, kangaroo care, Moby wrap, bouncy seat, rocking, shushing, white noise machine, walking around. You name it. If it calmed him down at all, it was temporary and then out of no where his face would scrunch up and he would BLOW.
He has been having some gas issues, the guy is Farty McFarterson and so we’ve also tried Gripe Water.
Again, nothing seemed to be working.
Chicken had to run to the drugstore yesterday afternoon and that was when I lost it.
By the time she came home, which was only 45 minutes later, I was a pool of tears holding two babies and trying my best not to completely break down.
For the rest of the evening, we would switch back and forth between who was crying and who was trying to be brave and strong for the other party.
There was a point around midnight, when we hadn’t had any sleep for way too long when I was absolutely convinced I and had another break down.
Chicken then went out at midnight to get Mylicon drops for the gas as the gripe water didn’t seem to be doing anything for the poor guy. He would work himself up so much he couldn’t focus on anything, his face would turn beet red and then finally…we’d hear him fart. He must be in so much pain. I can’t stand it.

To make matters worse, we had introduced him to a pacifier a few days ago during one of our attempts to soothe him when nothing else was working. And he LOVED it.
But then…yesterday, he refused to breast feed on my left breast and was having a bit of trouble that he’d never had on the right. All day long I fed on command and he would NOT take the left breast. Finally around 2am, I got him latched on the left. We have since done a lot more reading on the pacifier issue and have taken it away. We ‘thought’ we had breast feeding ‘clearly established’ and that was enough, but upon more research, they say not to give a pacifier until after 6 weeks if you are breast feeding as it can cause a lot of problems. So, I’m pretty certain the paci was the culprit as he’d been feeding fine before this introduction.

Now it’s morning…we survived the night. They finally went to sleep at some point during the night and were both up and ready to feed at 5am. I put Whoop Whoop to the left breast and after a minute or so he was latched and feeding, so I’m going to put that down as a good way to start the day. They’re both swaddled back up now, with no fuss in their cribs and I’m pumping.
When I’m done, I’ll go back and try to nap until they wake up and then we do it all over again…and again…and again.
That’s the part that feels like Ground Hog Day (you know, the movie?).

I know this is the worst part and right now we are just in survival mode. I know this will all get better. I know this. But in the heat of the moment, it is intense and overwhelming.
We love these two little guys with every thing we’ve got and it’s all worth it, but DAMN. This is the hardest thing we’ve ever done.

38 Weeks vs 18 Days

Dear Maximo and Sebastian,

This past weekend would’ve been my 38 week due date. Full Term. Exit strategy employed.
One way or another, today I would’ve been holding you in my arms. As it is, nature had other plans for me and my body–with the end result having the pleasure of getting to know you 18 days earlier.

It’s true what they say about forgetting what your life was like before a baby. I remember…but in fragments. Everything now revolves around you, my sons. We didn’t know we were having sons. In fact we thought for sure we were having a boy and a girl. Or maybe two girls, but we didn’t really entertain the idea of two boys.
You see, your Chicken mommy cheated. Yes, she did and we kept it a secret from everyone for six long months. At the NT scan in August, Chicken looked up at the screen that gave the final results and she was pretty sure she saw an “F” in the box marked “sex”. I reasoned that could be the box for me, the mommy, but she reasoned back why would they need a box for that, all mommies are female. True that…
Even so, I never let myself believe 100% that we had a girl in there, that our Chicklet really was a girl.
When they called out that Baby A was a boy we looked at each other like “huh?” Both of us thinking, “well, then Baby B must be our girl”. You can imagine we were pretty shocked when they yelled out mere seconds later that we had another boy!
And then I started crying. Because I was so happy to have two boys. So happy to just have two healthy babies and of course once you were here I wanted nothing but two little boys.
Even in my drug induced haze, I remembered the fortune teller’s prediction that “I would have two boys but they wouldn’t be mine” and told the entire OR staff the story which they found incredible.

You are both so precious (and so different!) and I can’t imagine our life without you. We are so incredibly lucky that even though you made you way into this world earlier than expected and your mommy had more health problems than anticipated, we all came out perfectly fine at the end of it all. You came early because you were ready and we were ready to meet you. Sometimes I think we’re really quite lucky because we get an extra month of baby wrangling. You won’t be this small very long and we are eating up every moment of being with you right now.
Sometimes I hold you and just burst into tears and cry hot salty tears onto your little head because I am SO overjoyed you are here. I have wanted to be a mother for so long and you complete me.

Welcome to the world boys, it’s going by too fast already.

Because Pregnancy is Beautiful

Nine weeks ago I was playing dress up–or rather dress off–and nine weeks later I was giving birth.
I felt so beautiful and sexy during pregnancy–especially this stage–and I’m so glad we did a photo shoot to always remember those happy days of twins in the belly. I look at my boys daily and still can’t believe we made them, they were inside me and now they are ours.
Pregnancy was beautiful and Motherhood is amazing.

What a difference nine weeks can make.
Mamma Puff, Grunter and Whoop Whoop celebrate 2 weeks of life outside the womb!

Show Me the Milk–My LC and Breast Feeding the Twins

My newborn twin boys are 2 weeks old tomorrow (born at 35 week, 5 days) and I was advised in the hospital to breast feed but to also supplement with formula.
It was not really pushed on me to be breast feeding exclusively nor pumping on a set schedule.
I was so out of it from the drugs/C-Section/gas pain, that I went along with it.
Once I was home I got more serious about breast feeding and pumping, but was doubting whether or not I had ‘missed’ the window of my milk coming in.
So, we continued to supplement with formula for the rest of the week.

I asked my pediatrician about it at the twins one week check up and she told me to STOP breast feeding except every 3-4 feedings and to pump every two hours around the clock.
I doubted this advice, but tried it out for 2 days. I still did not produce enough to feed them my breast milk and was starting to get really down on myself for not getting it right.

Finally, 9 days after they were born, I contacted LC, Sheri Bayles, who was horrified at my Ped’s advice. She had me start to exclusively breast feed that day and pump 10 minutes after each session from 6am-10pm. From 10pm-6am, just breast feed.
The goal was to get them eating every 2.5-3 hours from the breast. Max is a super sucker, so we put all hope on Max to ‘bring’ my milk in as his brother was not going to be our sucker champ.

I have been doing this schedule now for 5 days and it’s working! My tits have milk in them after all. I have them on the same schedule and do tandem breast feeding at every feeding. They are pretty good at letting us know when they are hungry and if they go past 3 hours, we wake them up.

If one wakes up but the other one is still asleep, we wake them both up–otherwise I would not get any sleep at all and everything I’ve read said I need to have rest to produce my milk.

I’m still not getting that much from pumping, sometimes 1-2 cc, sometimes up to 10cc’s, but either way, not very much. So we have ‘topped’ off with formula a couple of times in the middle of the night (2 nights), but that’s it.

Hopefully, if I keep this up, my milk supply will continue to increase and I can get enough from pumping we will have a bit of a back up supply to ‘top off’ with instead of the formula.

I’m also eating steel cut oatmeal every morning, drinking Mother’s Milk tea, taking Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle 3 x day and drinking about 1/2 gallon of water daily.

However, at their Pedi weigh in yesterday, she wanted to see more of a weight gain. They haven’t LOST any weight, but Max has only gained 1 ounce over his birth weight and Sebastian has gained two. Of course, she is a doctor and they seem to always seem to be hell bent on ‘fattening them up’, which of course, I want them to gain weight, but I also want them to be breast fed and not have to rely on formula if I can help it.

I also just found out that my thyroid levels are wacked out again. My TSH is 5.76, where it has been between 1-2 for the entire pregnancy. I have an appointment with the endocrinologist tomorrow to re-adjust my meds and see if this makes a difference in both my energy level (maybe it’s NOT all just sleep deprivation!) and my milk supply.

Any other advice would be very much appreciated.


How’s It Going with the Twins?

Sebastian aka Chicklet aka Whoop Whoop and Maximo aka Shadow Boxer aka Grunter

We have been home almost one week and I think we’re getting into a rhythm. Thank GOD!
It takes a little while and it’s all consuming, but we’re getting there.
Thanks for all of your suggestions and comments regarding the poopy post.
I’m pleased to say that everything kept on…….coming and today I had THREE, yes, count with me now, THREE poops! And all have been unassisted with anything but a great diet and a bit of prune juice.
I took two stool softeners on Thursday and drank the Smooth Move tea once and that’s IT!
Looks like my body is getting back to normal. Whew.
I’m keeping a food journal to make sure I’m eating properly and every 3-4 hours. That has helped tremendously.

Oh and thanks Jen, for reminding me about the post partum night sweats. I had no idea what was going on until you commented about that. Oh man, do these ever SUCK. I am sleeping with a towel under me now, but I still wake up drenched and freezing.

I think as far as the C-Section itself, I’ve been SUPER lucky. From the first day home I’ve been able to reach down and pick up the babies, get them in and out of the crib, swaddle them up, change the diaper, bend over to do things (not things on the ground). My ‘wound’ has never really hurt other than the first days in the hospital and I still think that was mostly gas pain.
I tore all of the tape off today and feel like it’s healing nicely. I remember (in my drug induced haze) in the hospital every time a nurse or Dr. would come in to look at it, they would comment “Oh that’s a nice one”. Bullet dodged. What do they say to the ones who got the crappy looking ones??

Tomorrow, my goal is to get these little baby animals into their double stroller and out for a walk. The weather isn’t supposed to be too cold and we haven’t been out of the house since Thursday (Chicken has, but not the twins and I). I’m feeling ready to move!
Also, I’ve already lost 25 pounds. What the hell? In eleven days?? There was that much baby, placenta and fluid in me?!? Only 15 more to go and I’ll be super happy and almost back to my pre-pregnancy weight.

Next up: I talked to the world’s best Lactation Consultant over the weekend and am on a new plan of action.
Short story: I doubted with all my gut what the pediatrician was telling us, felt there had to be a better way, have tried out the plan from the the world’s best LC and the babies haven’t had ANY formula in over 30 hours. Turns out my tits DO have milk in them!
More on this for the next post, but guess who is probably changing pediatricians tomorrow…?

I love this community of bloggers, thank you all for giving me so much support and advice!