Monthly Archives

March 2010

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Toe Hair Tourniquet

Grunter and I spent some time in the Emergency Room last night.

Wow, those are words you never want to write about your nine week old son.

Do you know about hair tourniquets? Amazingly, I had only read about them just last week. Randomly in some…baby thing. I’m always reading some baby thing and there it was. My friend Lisa was over on Friday and she has really long hair that the babies were grabbing and I even mentioned it to her as I’d just learned about it.

Basically, a single hair can get wrapped around a baby’s toe or finger so tightly that it cuts off the circulation. It goes from red and swollen to black and blue very, very quickly.
In the worst cases, a baby/child can lose that digit.
There have also been cases where the hair tourniquet can be around a penis and one little girl lost her clitoris because of a hair tourniquet.

I’m going to admit here that I don’t spend a lot of time looking at my boy’s toes. We tend to keep them in footed sleepers or little leggings with socks. Diaper changes are so quick because there’s always another baby waiting that you suit them up and move right along.
We don’t linger long naked during or after a bath because they get cold so quickly and start crying.
Fingers on the other hand? Well, I look at those closely at least 8 times a day as I’m breast feeding them. I would notice immediately if something were wrong with their fingers.

Last night I was changing Grunter’s footed sleeper and something compelled me to stare at his feet.
Maybe his toenail scratched me and I thought, “Oh it’s time to clip or file those little toenails”.
I don’t know. All I remember is looking down and thinking “His toe is a little deformed. That’s a shame. I never noticed that before. Too bad he doesn’t have perfect toes. Wait, what IS that?”
Because it wasn’t just ONE toe, it was THREE. Two of the three middle toes had hair wrapped around the bottom and the other one around the top, just under the toenail.
It was TIGHT, cutting into the skin making it look like there was a line around it (well, there was, a line formed by the hair) and red and swollen.

Instantly I remembered what I had just read and how serious it was. Chicken and I tried to find a loose end of the hair to unwind and it became obvious how much this hurt him.
Interestingly, he had been uncharacteristically fussy the last couple of days and we’d remarked that this was so unlike Grunter who is always quite happy-go-lucky. However, he’s also had a very slight bought of diarrhea and we chalked it up to that.

We finally got some blunt edge tweezers, soaked his foot in warm water and I held him while breastfeeding him as Chicken tried to unwrap the hair.
I have never felt so desperate in my entire life.
While I have loved these boys from the day they were conceived, last night it reached a whole new level that I cannot explain. If you are a parent, you know what I am talking about.
The urge to protect him from anything harmful was so intense and I was so overwhelmed that I couldn’t make him stop hurting. I felt even worse knowing it was probably my hair and why hadn’t I been diligently checking his toes.
I knew since it wasn’t black and blue it hadn’t been there too long, but how long??

We did manage to get some of the hair off, 2 small strands but it had cut in so deep that we honestly couldn’t be sure it was all gone. I called our pediatrician who urged me to take him into the ER immediately. I’m so glad I called. I almost waited until the morning when I figured we’d take him to the office.
This is how serious a toe hair tourniquet is: I was called first in the pediatric ER even though there were others ahead of me. The doctor had a huge sense of urgency to make sure Grunter was treated immediately. It can get bad SO quickly. He was relieved to find out the toes were not black/blue.
He and another doctor came in with a huge magnifying glass….and couldn’t find any hair. They were amazed that we had gotten it all, but apparently we had. Many times, they have to lance the toes and stitch them back up. This is some serious shit.
I was sent home with instructions to keep a close eye on the toes to make sure it didn’t get worse.
It will take awhile for the swelling to go all of the way down, but it does appear to be getting better and is definitely not getting worse. Whew.

I’ve never felt more scared and helpless. Oh, this little baby who is totally dependent on me for his happiness and safety and I felt I’d failed him. I took him home still wrapped close to his mommy in his Moby and we nursed one on one in the recliner. Even then, I didn’t want to let him go. I just wanted to hold him all night and let him know how much, how fiercely I loved him.

I’ll admit I didn’t know how my bond would be as these are genetically Chicken’s boys, but WOW. I am overwhelmed with emotion for my boys. They are MINE. Chicken even says she feels like they are more mine than hers because I carried them, I gave them life, I feed them with my body everyday.
Oh boys, how I love you. I promise I will do everything I can to protect you from harm.

So ladies and gents, check those little toes, fingers and private parts daily.
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We Got Smiles!

We thought we might have them last week….but we weren’t sure.

But this week, oh yeah, we got smiles.
So completely awesome.
They are right on track for a one month old (their adjusted age).
The boys are also now interested in their bouncy seats and the world around them and finally…..
They see mommy!
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Brave or Crazy?

Chicken and I are a bit fearless at making sure we get the twins out and about.

Neither one of us can stand being cooped up inside for too many days, so when the weather is nice–out we go.
Usually these outings have to be quite close to home, at least within a mile, because we only have a limited amount of time in between feedings until we have to race home again. No one wants a public meltdown!
City living doesn’t get you any car escape when the baby cries, it’s all out there for everyone to hear–and make judgement against. You have no idea how many people give you dirty looks when your baby is in the stroller crying. It’s only happened once, but that was enough for us to make sure we watched the clock like hawks. We often joke as we’re speed walking back home that we feel like vampires racing against the sun.

Since the boys are still eating anywhere between every 2.5 hours and 3 hours, we have to be ready at the 2.5. If you consider it takes about an hour to feed, burp, and get ready to go, that doesn’t leave us much time ‘out’.
Today, after being inside for a few rainy, cool days, we woke to find the sun shining and a lovely 60 degrees.
An executive decision was made that we would do our afternoon outing of wearing the babies, but pack a bottle of breast milk for Grunter and I would breast feed Whoop Whoop since we’re still not doing bottles with him after the nursing strike. Yes, it’s now been almost 2 weeks of around the clock breast feeding. We are exhausted, but if we don’t go outside, we’ll be exhausted and crazy.

We decided to get a latte to split at our favorite coffee place, pick up sandwiches from theCambodian sandwich shop, and head for the Highline on the west side.
Our plan was to breast feed W2 in the park and give Grunter the bottle. Then we’d walk along the Highline and eat our sandwiches. If it was too chilly, we’d head around the corner to our friend’s art gallery, visit with him and feed the boys there before heading back home.

This gave us a HUGE block of time. We leisurely strolled over and by the time we got there admitted we were both exhausted and we’d have to take the subway home. Seems we’re both a little out of shape these days as this was a walk to and fro we’d have no problem with before.
But, in all fairness, we previously weren’t carrying 8 lbs of baby and a diaper backpack either.
Plus, it is over a mile and 3/4 just one way….so I think we did quite well!
(Yes, this activity level is probably why I’m still bleeding…but Doc says it’s all perfectly OK).

The wind was blowing off the Hudson and it was a lot windier and cooler than we’d anticipated. There was no way we could take them out of their carriers and feed them up there, so we headed to our friend’s gallery….only to find a note on the door saying he’d be back in an hour.
SHIT. By now, the natives are getting restless and we don’t have a plan C.
This is about the time we start wondering if we are crazy, horrible mommies.

This neighborhood, the Meatpacking District, is home to high end shops and restaurants, not exactly the kinds of places you pop into for a discreet nursing session while ordering a drink just so you can sit down. Shit again.
I remembered a trendy-ish diner a few blocks away so we headed there, got a booth in the back and had our first ever session of both public bottle feeding (easy) and breast feeding (not so easy!).
It was a brave undertaking since we’ve had so many problems with getting Whoop Whoop to latch on, BUT he loves the one-on-one side cradle hold, so I was just praying it would go well. I took one arm out of the Moby, draped a pashmina over my shoulder and his face and tried to position him.
Oops. Just flashed my nipple. Clearly I need some practice at this. Thankfully no one saw!
We finally got it and he nursed for a good 25 minutes. Getting him back in the Moby without re-wrapping the entire thing wasn’t easy, but we did it!

Whoop Whoop under wraps

Now that Grunter has eaten, it’s one handed eating for Chicken

After that we braved the subway for the first time and got a LOT of looks. I don’t think many people see babies in a hands-free Moby wrap out and about and since he’s almost completely covered, I’m sure they are more than a little curious. I want to wear a little button that says, “yes, it’s a baby and yes, he can breathe”.
Plus Chicken had a light scarf over the ergo, so you coudn’t really see Grunter either. We are just two ladies with strange bumps on us!

It didn’t go quite as planned, we never even made it up to the Highline, we never got to eat our sandwiches (now dinner!) because we ordered at the diner and we hadn’t counted on not being able to walk back home, but overall, it went well.
It was an exhausting afternoon, but I’m glad we did it. We just have to keep pushing ourselves to go outside our comfort zone and I think the sooner we do it, the better. No doubt about it, twins are hard work!

I have no idea what my life would be like not only without these boys, but also without Chicken and I as a team with these boys. We are so lucky she has this much time off to bond with her boys. I don’t know of many twin parents who both get to spend this much time with their babies. There’s not a day that goes by when we don’t say grace for how lucky our lives have turned out to be. It was a hard road to get here, but my god it was all worth it.
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For Those of You Who Had a C Section

Humor me and tell me how long you bled?
Because I feel like I’m working on a world record here as it will be 9 weeks in 2 days.
I left the hospital with enough mesh panties and pads to last 6 weeks because I expected that…but this is getting ridiculous.

Plus, I’m not a butt panty kind of Puff. I remember when I got pregnant one of my bf’s told me about her fave maternity panties that I just had to have.
I let let her know that wasn’t going to be necessary as I was a thong kind of girl thank you very much.
She said…just you wait.
I never bought those maternity panties.

I miss my real panties, the tiny ones. How long till we meet again? Nine weeks is a mighty long time.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

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2 Months and the First Day of Spring

How did this happen, boys?! I can’t believe you are already two months old.

Little Babies, Little Boys
You are getting so big now and really looking like little babies. We look back on photos of you from last month and can’t believe how tiny you were. Even now, you are tiny, but to us you are looking very big indeed.
It was a rough start to this month. You both had reflux that made you very unhappy. Whoop Whoop, it made you super fussy and screaming and Grunter, it made you vomit most of your meals which caused you from achieving a proper weight gain.
Now that we’ve got that under control, Whoop Whoop is not as fussy and Grunter is finally gaining some weight.
At your last pediatrician appointment at 7 weeks, you were exactly 1 lb apart with W2 at 7 lbs, 12 oz and Grunter at 6 lbs, 12 oz. Your new pediatrician is the best and he says you are perfect.
It’s crazy that 8 weeks into this life, you are finally filling out your newborn outfits. W2 is actually close to outgrowing some of them. We got our monies worth on that size!
Soon, we’ll actually be wearing size 0-3!
Breast Feeding
Your mommies also had a rough start to month two as we were both sick. I was sick for almost 3 weeks from Valentine’s Day into March and that time is a little blurry for me as I look back. Sleep deprivation and a bad cold will do that to you.
I continued to breast feed you even though I coughed all over your little heads all day and night. You never got sick, thank god.
During this time, your Chicken mommy would feed you bottles of breast milk during the night so I could get some sleep. This was good for me, but W2, you realized that eating from the bottle was pretty fast and easy and a couple of weeks later, you went on a nursing strike.
Oy vey. You are a willful one and you certainly keep us busy!
Activity Mat at 6 weeks, black and white
Bouncy seat at 8 weeks
Noticing your mommies at 7 weeks
Bath Time
Discovering your mobile on your 8 week birthday
Out and About
Your first road trip
Cats
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Road Trip Part One

We made it! It took us an hour to pick up the car, bring it back and load it up–all while W2 was having an awesome meltdown!
Good times let me tell you.

I thought we had timed their feeding ok to get on the road, but by the time we got packed up and going we got ALL the WAY to the west side before pulling over on 10th ave to feed them, haha. In other words, we didn’t even make it out of the city.
I BF W2 in the cradle hold, which he reacts to very positively and Grunter got a bottle of BM from Chicken.
Success. No fighting me.

It was raining most of the way up there and lucky for us the boys loved their car seats and the ride and slept like little angels. I got a nice nap in as well.

We had to pull over again @5pm and once again W2 reacted very well to the single cradle hold. Whew!

By the time we made it to the dad’s we had just enough time to say our hellos before setting up the milk bar.
The boys were so chill from the car ride, it was great!

We are learning the key to keeping W2 from getting all riled up about BFding is to position him before he starts showing true signs of hunger.
For example, right now we know he’s eating @ every 3 hrs, so we bring him to the milk bar 10-15 min early. Once he starts telling us he’s hungry, it quickly goes downhill.
So far it’s working and I’m tandem feeding for the second time tonight and I haven’t even had to use the milk teaser.

The EZ to Nurse dbl breast feeding pillow is the only way to go!

Both boys were pretty fussy last night, so I hope tonight goes a little better. We all need some sleep!

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

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Nursing Strike!

We’ve been in full blown crisis mode over here at Chez Puff.

Whoop Whoop suddenly decided last Thursday afternoon, his 7 week old birthday, that he was no longer breast feeding thank you very much. That was almost 5 days ago if you’re counting.

Nursing strikes are very real and they are more common in twins than in singletons.
Very often you will find that a twin prefers one breast over another–W2 really likes the right.

Thank God Grunter is so easy going because he is constantly having to wait while we try to get W2 latched on or switch sides on him because of his brother.
W2 is Mr. Super Sensitive High Maintenance Fussy Pants!

After talking with my Lactation Consultant, she recommended what I’d already started doing. Feed them one at a time–stop all tandem feeding for now and just concentrate on W2,
NO MORE BOTTLES and the pacifier is not the problem.
Chicken has been giving both boys bottles of breast milk in the middle of the night feedings so I get some sleep for 2 or 3 weeks now. It’s been great for me but apparently our willful son has figured out “hey, why am I working so hard on the titty, when I can get it here fast and easy?” Smart one that kid.
But he’s only 7 weeks old. He does not get to make this decision!

Of course, feeding them separately (feed, feed, pump) even further decreases any down time I have for, oh I don’t know…SLEEP. Plus, we can’t have them one right after another because they are not ‘that’ regular with their 3 hour increments and god forbid if they went over their timeframe b/c then I would have two hungry babies at once screaming.
So, it’s more like, feed….then 20 minutes down time, but maybe 50 minutes who knows, another baby wakes up, feed….gauge the clock…do I have enough time to pump before the other baby wakes up….do I want to waste precious sleep time pumping….argh.
Over and over and over.

Whoop Whoop’s biggest problem is that he goes from 0 to 1000 in less than 30 seconds. He gets himself so worked up that he can’t even focus. There is super sonic screaming involved and his poor little body goes beet red, he has tears and his body is rigid. He is ANGRY. There is no way he can focus and we have devised a little trick to help him.

Since they are both on zantac now for reflux, we have the Munchkin Medicator. It’s like a pacifier with a thimble on the end for your meds. Very good product!
We fill it up with my breast milk and call it a ‘teaser’. I give him a taste of the teaser and it will usually calm him down enough for him to focus, giving me just enough time to whip it out of his mouth and shove the tit in.
Feeding this child is a 2 lady job as he puts his hands in front of his face and quickly moves his head from side to side. Chicken has to hold his hands back while I have to forcefully guide his head to the breast.
It is a workout and he is strong. Staying calm and positive while doing this over and over is a true test.

He seemed to be getting better as the days went by, so much so that when on Sunday they naturally got back on the same feeding schedule (how do they do that?) I tried to tandem feed them and it worked.
Not a bad day…things are looking up.
But then at this morning’s 6am feed, he had a meltdown I have never witnessed. 20-25 minutes of hysterical screaming. So sad and scary to watch. Nothing comforts him.
Finally, the teaser worked and I got him on.
Poor little guy. I don’t know how long this is going to take. The LC thought maybe 48 hours or so….
We are well beyond that.

To top things off, it’s their first real road trip today. We are leaving in less than 3 hours for what could be a 5 hour ride up north to the grandparents. I am going to be dealing with this in a car at a rest stop. It would be so nice to give him a bottle and make him happy….but I can’t do that if I want to breast feed them both.

This mommy thing is wonderful and wonderfully HARD all at the same time. Nothing prepares you for this. NOTHING.
Wish us luck. We need it. Last night, I even found myself praying to a god I don’t really believe in.
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The Final 10

Lucky Little 13, who is in the final 10 weeks of her twin pregnancy, has brought it to my attention that I never posted any belly shots after 30 weeks. Hmmmm. I think this was around holiday/hospitalization time and after that everything happened very unexpectedly and quickly around here.

So, here’s the belly progression, plus a bonus shot.

30 weeks pregnant with twins, 144 lbs

31 weeks pregnant with twins, 145 lbs

32 weeks pregnant with twins, 146 lbs

33 weeks pregnant with twins, 148 lbs

34 weeks pregnant with twins, 148 lbs

35 weeks pregnant with twins, front view (holy moly!)

35 weeks pregnant with twins, 150 lbs

6 weeks post pregnancy with 6 week old baby in arms!


I had gained 43 lbs total by the end of 35 weeks. I wouldn’t have minded gaining a bit more but by the 3rd trimester, my appetite was waning and it was really hard to eat a lot. I’ve very thankful to have given birth to healthy babies, despite the earlier than anticipated birth date.

I am also in my own final 10. That is, I’ve lost all of the weight except for 10 pounds. Go breast feeding!

However, as people had warned me….that weight has been redistributed in an entirely different way than it was before.
None of my pants/jeans from pre-pregnancy fit me. As in I can’t even get them over my hips. I can’t imagine they will fit me 10 pounds from now either.
My maternity jeans, which were too tight during the last month of pregnancy, are about to fall off.
I have no idea what to do or what to wear. I was a size 0 when I got pregnant. I wasn’t that size because I tried to be or did some crazy diet. I eat sensibly, I exercise. I was that size because that’s how my body is.
Now, I don’t know what size I’ll end up. I’m perfectly fine with never being that small again, but I’d like to know when it’s safe to go buy some new clothes. I hate to spend money on something that I’ll only wear for another month or so…but at the same time, I have nothing to wear.

What has everyone else done for clothing options in these in between days???
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9th Life

Last night we each strapped on a baby, gave our old, wonderful cat Savina all the dry food she wanted (it was a forbidden luxury. she only got 3 pieces a night as a treat when she got her meds), put her in a carrier and walked to the vet. Our former 18 lb baby cat was light as a feather.
During the past week she did not get better. Everyday that went day we had to make a decision; today?
There’s never a good day. Even as I made the phone call yesterday a voice inside my head was crying “I don’t wanna”. But she was not happy and I could tell getting more and more uncomfortable.

I adopted Savvy from the Dallas SPCA in summer of 1992. She was around 6 months old. I had gone there with my gf at the time for her to get a kitten. While she was looking in the kitten room, I went to the older cat room. I saw this cat with beautiful green eyes and the friendliest personality. She came up, meowed at me and stole my heart.
My gf didn’t want an older cat, but you can tell who won that argument.
We found out that she had already been rescued once. An old man used to go around to the city shelters on kill day and rescue the animals he thought he a chance to be adopted at the big SPCA. He saved her life and now, I was saving another life as it was her last day at the SPCA.

We had brought her home to be a friend to our other cat, Bunny, who was already 6 months old. From the day she arrived he wanted nothing to do with her. And yesterday, 18 years later, he wanted nothing to do with her.
But we had other cats through the years and she was an excellent mother to all of them; bathing the other cats and taking care of them.

I taught her to fetch and come to her name when called. I would throw mardi gras bead down our long wooden hallway and she would run to get them, slide, and trot back with a string a beads dangling between her legs. She loved crinkly hard candy paper and would fetch those as well. Furry toy mice were always a big hit being thrown high in the air and attacked.

When the gf and I broke up, we argued over who got Savvy and I won. Great decision as I know she wouldn’t have had such a good life. My ex was pretty messed up and only went further downhill from there.
We moved, all the cats and I, from Texas to Florida to Massachusetts to New Jersey and finally New York. I believe we covered 12 apartments in those 18 years. She was horrible in the car, but nevertheless survived me driving her across the country on various journeys.

Savvy was the kind of cat who won over people who don’t like cats. She was a cat dog and the sweetest kitty. She wasn’t a lap cat very often, but she did want to be right beside you at all times. Even up to the end she laid beside me on the couch, as close as she could.

She preferred to lay on top of your head during the night and that was Chicken’s introduction to the ways of Savvy. The very first night we spent together, Chicken had a cat on her head. She already was suspicious that I might be one of those older, crazy cat ladies (I had four cats), but Savvy and the gang won her over and from that night on, Savvy was hers and she was Savvy’s.
She spent the next 10 years sleeping with Chicken, on top of her head and bathing her hair.
I taught her “kisses” where I could say the word, bend down my head and she would lick my forehead.
She loved to rub up against just about anything, but stinky shoes were her favorite. You could often find her splayed in the closet on top of a pile of shoes. It was her heaven.

Savvy had a ton of health problems through the years and we did everything possible to treat her and get her better. Time after time she amazed us by rebounding and staying with us.
We had known for quite a while that she was going down and it was just a matter of time. I had sort of hoped that she would go before the babies came, so that she still had my undivided attention. I hated the thought that her last days would be spent feeling bad and not getting all of the love she was used to. I feel pretty guilty about that.
But, she had a great life for 18 years and we did everything we could for her up until the very end.
Goodbye Savvy. I thought I heard you meow this morning when I stepped out of the shower and I cried all over again. You were so loved.
Last night we watched the light go out of your beautiful green eyes as your life faded away. We’ll never forget you.

Last night, giving me one last kiss goodbye.

Better days, fat and happy.