A Twin Update!

It’s been a while! I thought I would do a post on here, my old blog, because I’ve noticed I continue to get new followers. Infertility is such a taboo topic, and since I “came out” on Facebook after having the babies, people have been coming out of the woodwork to tell me that they, too, suffer from infertility and want to talk about it. It’s a really good feeling for me, and I don’t mind sharing at all. I wish it was discussed more, actually.

Anyway, I stopped this blog because after having the twins, I wanted to start fresh. So if you’re looking to find out more information regarding babies and postpartum issues (there’s so much I’d like to write about, if only I could carve out some time), you can check out my new blog, Two Little Champs

So the babies are 8 weeks now, and they go for their two month appointment in a few days. I dread the shots! Hopefully it isn’t as bad as some make it out to be.

Bug is suddenly this humongous little baby. He’s probably around 11 pounds, which I know isn’t big at all for an 8 week old baby, but he just seems huge! He just moved into size 1 diapers and will soon be out of newborn clothes. He eats like he’s famished every time. Yesterday I realized that he eats at least 30 ounces a day….and for his size, I think it’s supposed to be more around 26 or so. He could eat more, too. The kid is always hungry. He seems to be kind of a serious baby (but who really knows). He seems to enjoy music and lights. We’ve successfully moved his naps to the Pack n Play, so that he’s on his back completely. At night, he still sleeps in the Rock n Play, which I’m okay with. He’s got super long arms and legs and big hands, so I’m wondering if he will be a tall kid. All things considered, he’s “easy”. He goes to sleep by himself and he’s not really all that fussy. He’s gone up to 6 hours sleeping overnight, but averages more like 4. He’s starting to like tummy time more and more. I’m excited to see how much he actually weighs next week.

Goat is growing as well, but at a slower pace than Bug. She’s probably around 8.5 pounds or so, from the 4 pounds she weighed when she left the NICU 6 weeks ago.  If her newborn personality is anything like what she will be when she grows up – watch out. She’s kind of a spitfire. All her emotions are high – whether happy or angry, whereas Bug’s emotions are all dulled down, very chill. She loves to be rocked (our swing is a godsend) and likes to look out into the world, rather than snuggle up like Bug does. She takes a little more effort to get her to sleep, and with all the spit-up she has, her naps are still in the swing, and bed is in the Rock n Play. She has been smiling, just occasionally, and I’m still not sure if it’s gas or the real thing. But it’s really, really cute. She’s a little peanut 🙂

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I don’t know what having one infant is like, so I can’t compare. But having two is ridiculously hard. It’s exactly what I wanted, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything, but wow. The worst part of the whole thing is the sleep deprivation. With a little sleep, everything changes. But they don’t sleep much, and when they do, it’s not at the same time. Therefore, my husband and I can’t take turns in the middle of the night. We’ve tried all kinds of routines – each taking one baby all night, taking both babies depending on what time it is, rotating back and forth…and we continue to try to find something that works. Last night, they both happened to wake up for food at the exact same time, both at 2:00 and 5:30, so both my husband and I got up. Each feed takes, from start to finish, an hour, so It’s just crazy.

There’s so much we are learning. I’m trying the EASY method (eat, awake, sleep…your time, which is total crap). So the EAS method. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. The odds of both babies waking up right on time, sleeping the right amount of time, and staying awake long enough are slim to none. Yet, I crave some sort of routine. At this point, letting them both eat on demand is so taxing on me – it’s around the clock feeding. Feeding them both together is stressful in the moment because it’s very tough to do well, but after, they tend to nap together, and then I have at least a few minutes to myself, to you know, eat, change my clothes from what I’ve been wearing for days…that kind of thing. So basically, I’m not concerned with the exact times they sleep and nap, but I’m attempting to at least develop the routine of being awake after eating, and then taking a nap. At night, it wasn’t clicking for me when exactly “bedtime” started. If they wake up every 3-4 hours around the clock, when it is actually bedtime? But I’m going through the motions, turning off lights and loud noises, feeding, then rocking for a few minutes in the dark. In addition, there are a few things I do to get them to sleep that I couldn’t live without. They are the swaddle, music, and white noise. Every time I decide not to swaddle, like if they fell asleep on me after eating before I’ve gotten a chance to swaddle, I regret it. Within a few minutes of putting them down, they wake up, hands flailing. Take the time to swaddle. I still suck at blanket swaddling, but my husband is good at it. Instead, I burrito them in the SwaddleMe sack, with velcro. SO much easier. For music, Bug especially seems to enjoy it. The swing has music built in, and so does the bouncer. But we also have these stuffed seahorses that play music when you squish their stomachs. It’s not offensive and every time they are sleeping and one turns off, they wake up. We don’t do music overnight, but just for naps. Finally, white noise. The louder (as not to hurt ear drums of course) the better. My favorite? Download the app “Baby Shusher”. You won’t regret it. Yes, I have an ipad hanging off the side of the swing, or in the Pack n Play, or on the edge of the Rock n Play. Yes, I hold my phone as I pace the house at midnight, rocking Goat to sleep. Love that app. In addition, we have our air conditioner or fan going at night. Either way, there is noise nonstop when the babies are sleeping. And I think it works. A few weeks ago, we were battling Goat’s extreme nighttime fussiness. She’d cry from 9:00 pm until at least midnight or 1:00 am. We’d try everything to get her to sleep and it was very taxing on us. It still happens occasionally but not nearly as much, and I attribute it to a growth spurt, and our not picking up on her sleepy cues. We’d miss the fact that she’d be just hanging out, alert, and then start flailing, eyes going blank, etc. I wasn’t watching for those signs. Now, if she actually goes through the cycle of eating, playing, and sleeping, and we pick up on the first sleep cues, she’s much less fussy.

So we’re learning. I’ve been happy when a twin sleeps more than four hours at night, but there’s a downfall to that and I don’t know what the answer is. When they sleep longer than that and then finally wake up to feed at say, 3:00 am, they are WIDE AWAKE. As they should be, they just got a full night’s sleep for an infant. But I’m not going to wake a sleeping baby in the middle of the night. Yes, I tried a dream feed. AWFUL. They both wouldn’t wake up – like, at all, so finally I unswaddled them, they woke up, ate, and stayed wide awake. And when they finally fell asleep, they still woke up an hour later to eat again! So no thanks to the dream feed.

I’ve continued to “research” sleep related topics and there’s just so much out there. Everyone has an opinion and a right way. However, I’m very aware that my twins’ adjusted age is three weeks. THREE. I’m desperate for more sleep, and that’s what it comes down to. But I’m not sure I can control any more than what I’m already doing, and even that goes out the window most days. Ugh.

So our biggest issue is sleep. The second issue has been Goat’s feedings. She has always had issues eating, in terms of her suction and latch. I actually just went to the doctor’s today, and she does not have a tongue tie. In fact, she latches onto breast and bottle great – for about 30 seconds. Then it’s all downhill, clicking, slurping and drooling, which causes choking, gagging, and she stops breathing for a few seconds. My husband and I tend to rock, paper, scissors over who feeds her in the middle of the night. It’s just stressful. Because it happens on breast and bottle, I know it’s not me. Anyway, when I took her in today she of course ate like a champ, with only minor clicking. But the doctor thought her stomach seemed a little distended, and her breathing a little fast. She sent us for an xray, which we did. That doctor commented to the tech that it looked like her colon might be a little distended. I have no idea of the details of this – she poops often, and it’s all liquid, so she’s not backed up. But I think her lungs looked fine, so that’s good. When I got home, I did a little more research and found that other people’s kids who were such messy eaters actually had low muscle tone in their lips or tongue. That makes sense to me. I’ll bring it up again when I take her back on Thursday. I guess I should have known that my little preemie might still have some issues, and that’s fine as long as they aren’t too serious. She’s an 8 week, 9 pound baby. She’s tiny, but she packs a wallop.

In terms of feeding, I breastfeed and supplement with formula. It’s about 1/3 breast milk, 2/3 formula. I sometimes am still disappointed I couldn’t go about this the way I’d always planned, but there’s not enough milk there. Maybe there could be, if I pumped in addition to feeding both babies, and drank more magic tea, but I just can’t fit it into my day. It is what it is.

As for my recovery, it really wasn’t bad at all, especially considering I was on bedrest for 11 weeks. I don’t have the strength I used to, but it’s not bad. Unfortunately, I don’t eat and drink enough during the day when I’m alone with the babies. I literally cannot fit it into my day. That sounds crazy – how could I not even have a free minute to do that? But it’s the truth. When I get up, it’s to immediately start taking care of babies. Sometimes it’s hours before I even go to the bathroom. I’ve had many a shower at midnight because it just doesn’t fit. I tend to wear tanktops overnight that I wore all day. Yes, I’m aware that’s gross. I’m hoping things settle just a little bit in the coming weeks – just enough to know when the babies will approximately need my undivided attention.

My dogs – the transition for them back into my house, after staying with my mother for a month, and having two new babies in the house has been tough. I can’t give them the attention I used to. Riley is okay with it, though she badly needs exercise. Sadie on the other hand is driving me crazy. She won’t eat. She’s been a picky eater for years, off an on, and I recall even writing about this right before I went on bedrest. But when she stayed with my mother, she ate her dried dog kibble just fine. Since then, she won’t touch it. She also won’t eat chicken and rice, wet canned food….even steak. The dog won’t eat. We’ve kept her going on peanut butter, and  – baby food. Yes, baby food in the blender with mushy kibble. It’s a liquid diet. She likes the flavor, but she won’t eat that off a plate. No, I have to hand feed a liquid mush to her, off my finger. Obviously, this is no way for a dog to live. There’s nothing wrong with her physically because she eats crunchy treats before bed. She’s just a little mentally off. I swear I take more time in my day to feed the dog than myself. Babies, dogs, then me.  I am taking her to the vet this weekend and might fight for doggy drugs. She plays and poops fine. She just won’t eat.

Goat is up and ready to feed, so that’s my update for now! The last two pictures show just how far they’ve come – from these tiny little guys to where they are now. I’m a proud, happy, sleepy mom.

 

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5 thoughts on “A Twin Update!

  1. Krista says:

    I love them, sooo much! So adorable! All I have to say, is that I am in awe of you. You went through so much, not only during the 9 months of pregnancy, but through the past few years. But after seeing you the other day i know that if teaching was what you were made for, motherhood is so much even more so. I am so overcome with joy for you and Nate! I wish I had some world shattering advice for you, but after having two kids myself and seeing many friends have their own kids, I know that there is no right or wrong thing to do. You will develop your own routine and find what works for you if you give it time. And after you get into that routine, one of them will just up and change it on you. That’s just how it is! But as teachers, we know that kids are forever growing and changing and so we change right along with them. I can only tell you what worked with my kids, but keep in mind there was only one of them at a time. Babies eat every three hours or so, which means they need to eat about 8 or so times a day…so pick a time at night that works for you and make that bed time every night. Then try to do as many of those 8 feeding as you can from a “normal” wake up time until bed. Sometimes that means waking them up from nap in order to eat. Which of course is hard because you also want to get in a “full feeding” and not just have them snack and fall asleep after a few minutes. No one said this was easy! But if you work on it for a few days/weeks, you’ll eventually get the majority of the feelings in during the day. That way, the babies will eat so much during the day, they can go longer periods at night. But, like I said, I have no clue how that works with two! So good luck and I do know for a fact that before you know it, all of this worrying about eating and sleeping will be a distant memory, even though that seems impossible right now.

  2. Kate @ Infertile First Mom says:

    Hooray for Bug and Goat! Thx for the update:) Though it sounds like you are definitely rounding that learning curve and encountering some big hurdles along the way, things sound like they are going well! Both babies are happy, thriving, and beautiful. Sleep deprivation is so hard… it seems like yesterday that I was there. Ugh. I’m still tired as hell, but not like that otherworldly fatigue that makes it hard to do much beyond the bare necessities. Hang in there… it does get easier and just more and more amazing!

  3. Amber says:

    I’m so happy to see your precious twins and that they are both home from the NICU and growing. I’m sure you’ll find a what works for you and the husband asap. With the quads, when one woke in the night, we woke the other three and eventually they synced up to a common schedule. That’s the only way we ever got any sleep! Those early sleepless nights are rough, but they don’t last long in the scheme of it.

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