Coconut oil is my jam.

Adding fresh to the list of “hippy” mom things I’ve decided to undertake, I now…

Make my own baby wipes.

But before I get into that – let’s just talk about coconut oil for a minute. Who knew such a product would have 5,000 different uses? It’s like a miracle oil.

The forums are all abuzz about coconut oil so I decided to give it a try. We already had it in the house as my husband likes to cook with many different healthy oils. It comes as a solid lump, so I plunked the whole jar in a warm pot of water and waited for it to liquify. After a few minutes, I poured the oil into a small tupperware container that would make it easier to access when it hardened up again.

Then I got to work using it on my cloth diapers. Now, cloth diapers can’t tolerate your typical diaper rash creams. That was unfortunate, since I have 3 bottles of Desitin in my house. But they won’t come clean off a cloth diaper and would eventually create a barrier resulting in leaks. And the only way to solve that one is with dish soap and a toothbrush. No thanks. In an emergency, crazy-bad diaper rash situation (like the one I had last week), I still resort to Desitin since I’m new at this whole “natural” products game. My options were to throw down a liner on top of the diaper (fleece liners – I do that for every diaper anyway) and then wash the liner in normal laundry, throw out the liner, or use a disposable diaper.

Well part of the cause of B’s nasty rash was from sitting in acidic poop all night in a disposable diaper, trapping moisture like woah. So I wanted to use the hemp overnites for a while until it all cleared up. But after a few days of lots of air and Desitin, it wasn’t clearing up too much and I thought – let’s go back to coconut oil. I had been using it as a preventative measure and sort of as a natural replacement for Vaseline (again, can’t touch cloth diapers). Now, a week later, the rash is basically gone, and I’m applying coconut oil for both babies at almost every diaper change. This is GOOD stuff.

I’m also using it for dry skin on C’s legs and hands, chapped lips  – and cooking.

I’m still getting into the craze, but basically, anywhere you would use 1) oil, 2) vaseline, or 3) moisturizer, you can substitute it with coconut oil. For kids or adults. It’s thin and easily spreadable, and no grease stains whatsoever. I use the back of my nail to scrape a little out of the tupperware, and then put the chunk on a q-tip and apply. You know what’s in it, so no guessing there. It’s good for babies and their skin. One jar lasts a long time. I’m impressed!

Back to the wipes – the wipes we were using ran out. I busted out some old wipes we had on hand, and B got a rash from it. Clearly he has sensitive skin. Most wipes have a lot of chemicals in it, which, I’m not concerned about in terms of the long-term health of my kids, but I do think it could have an adverse effect on skin -too drying, allergic reactions, whatever. Plus, it’s a hassle to constantly have to buy more wipes.

I decided to make my own. These are disposable, not reusable. Good for some people, but I just can’t do it. Nasty. I’m using cheap paper towels (from Costco – working fine!); Bounty is generally recommended on the interwebs. I’m also using select-a-size – the perfect wipe size.

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These are my ingredients – tea tree oil was my big expense off Amazon, then the baby shampoo I already had and was using, the coconut oil I was already using (we still had a little left in the jar), paper towels and a container from the dollar store. Voila!

The recipe I’m using comes from Quad Mom Amber, so you can check her out there. I didn’t use any lavender or other oils as I didn’t have them  and don’t mind the smell of the tea tree oil, and instead of baby oil (it irritates the crap out of B’s skin – no surprise there) I’m using coconut oil. Otherwise I followed her recipe exactly. It literally took me less than 5 minutes to make start to finish.

To get the tube out of our paper towels, I poured the liquid on the bottom of the container first, then put the roll in, let it soak for a few minutes and it came right out. However, my over-sized roll from Costco was wider than I think is typical, so instead of the 5-10 minutes it would take for the liquid to completely absorb into the roll, it took more like 3-4 hours. I also had to add another 1/4 cup of water. I had a feeling the roll would dry out and would be a giant fail. Well, at the end of the week, we’ve still got some roll to spare, it’s not even close to dry – in fact the more wipes we use, the wetter they are. They smell clean, no mold or grossness (that’s the tea tree oil), no drippy mess, easy to come apart from the middle, like cleaning wipes – I love it! And CHEAP! That’s the biggest pro as far as I’m concerned.  And now I have wipes.

With B’s sensitive skin, I’m always trying to find products that don’t bother him. So far, I’m finding that scents and chemicals do irritate his skin, and I’ve absolutely NO problems with coconut oil for any use, and now, baby wipes too.

So hooray for simple at-home methods that feed into my laziness and are good for the skin!

Maybe I should make my own cleaning wipes too as we go through a million a week….is that crossing the line?

Twins – 30 Weeks

They will be, at least, on Sunday. I don’t blog much anymore – not because I can’t make the time at night but usually because I’m scouring the internet for advice on this or that random baby issue, rather than putting my own information out there. But I have noticed this blog getting a good amount of traffic, and I read many blogs myself of those with kids, so I thought an update might be in order. I did find that the majority of people’s searches that led to finding my blog have to do with infertility, charting, temping, implantation spotting…etc. What I remember about that dark time is the amount of questions I had – what does it mean when there’s spotting? What if there’s not? What if I’m 10 DPO and _____ happened? Oh no, I feel a pain! Oh no, I don’t feel a pain! I remember those questions being so exhausting, taking over my entire self. And so, if that’s where you’re at as you come across the majority of what this blog has been about so far, I feel you. It sucks. It sucks even more when it’s not exciting to pee on a stick anymore. When it’s something you dread, or maybe worse, you become numb to doing it at all. Hang in there.

I do have a baby blog, but I found that I’m connected more through this blog with others out there whose journey’s I’ve followed, which is why I tend to revert back here.

So my babies, Mr. B and Lil C, are changing so rapidly. It seems like it’s every day that something new happens, even small, and the following day was nothing like the day before it. Today’s small event was that the babies reached for a toy while on tummy time. In fact, I positioned them so that they both reached for the same toy, in the middle between them.  Yesterday’s event – Lil C finally figured out spoon-feeding. It means you have to open your mouth.  And now, hmm, she likes it – though she prefers if you give a loud “nom nom” sound as you airplane the spoon towards her. My days are like that. I’m extremely lucky, so lucky, to be staying home with them for as long as I have and as long as I will be. It’s not something I take for granted, and if I ever have more than a minute of “I really wish I could relax and take a baby break” – I remind myself that if I was at work (doing a job I do enjoy, by the way), someone else, someone my babies don’t really know, would be watching them and playing with them. While that day will be coming this summer, if I can avoid it now, I will. And so I seriously cherish every minute, even the moments of crying babies, poop explosions, and the spit-up that went right down my shirt today, all the way down my neck. And I couldn’t shower for another few hours. Just another perfect day.

I don’t know what it’s like having one baby, but with two, it really does get so much easier. I mean in a way it’s actually more exhausting – never sitting down, constantly bending over carrying some heavy weights – it’s like teaching, being on your feet nonstop! But I can put the babies down and go to the bathroom or make a sandwich. Now that they are sleep trained (mostly), I can put them down for a nap and not have to rush up there the first second someone squeaks. It really is easier.

The beginning of my pregnancy through the beginning of my twins’ lives was very much out of my control. Infertility, bedrest, preterm labor, C-section, NICU time, preemies…all out of my control. Not having enough of a supply to breastfeed my babies exclusively..mostly out of my control. I could’ve pumped more, I could’ve drank more tea, I could’ve put those babies on me around the clock and I didn’t. But I didn’t know what I was doing wrong and so in that way…it was out of my control. And those are all things I wish had been in my control. So NOW, now I get to make parenting decisions that are in my control, that make me be the parent I want to be, and that feels awesome. I feel like I’ve waited my whole life for this. Because of that, I’ve fully enjoyed in the last few weeks switching to cloth diapers, starting solids with my twins, and starting up baby sign language. It feels so good to make choices that I think are right for my babies. Being a stay at home mom right now suits me.

Cloth diapering could be an addiction. I don’t have that kind of money but it’s actually…kind of enjoyable. I switched because I was running out of disposables, and I had always wanted to CD, but wanted to use up what I had first. And to be honest, those first few months were such a blur, I felt helpless and I didn’t know what I was doing. I didn’t have the brain power for a cloth diaper. But around 5 months, I felt like I had a good grip on everything. However, I was so used to disposables that I didn’t want some complicated thing you have to fold 8,000 ways and all of that. I wanted easy. So for daytime, I went with the BumGenius Freetime All-In-One. It’s just like a disposable – just snap and go. The snaps are adjustable, fitting babies up to 35 pounds, which for most kids will hold them all the way until potty training (except for Mr. B who is a whopping 21 pounds already). And my kids obviously share the diapers. If I ever have another child (not even going there right now), I will use these same diapers for them, and then I’ll sell them. I do a load of laundry every day and a half, which is just a rinse and then a wash, and I hang dry (but they can go in the dryer). They are dry by morning. It is so much easier than I thought it would be. As for poop clean up, I didn’t want to buy a sprayer, but I didn’t want poop all over my bathroom (which was my vision). I bought at walmart cheap fleece, cut it up into strips and lined each diaper with it. When the babies poop, I take the liner out, and the diaper is wet but not poopy, and I clean the liner in the toilet using rubber gloves. I don’t have to dip a giant diaper in there – just a thin piece of fleece which comes clean quick. No stains, no smells…piece of cake. And the colors of the diapers are addicting. I just purchased a nighttime diaper, the Pooter Hemp Fitted, but they haven’t come yet. So that’s CDing in a nutshell. Major money saver with more than one kid in diapers. My diaper trash can actually smells better than when I had disposables in there, if you can believe that. And by better, I mean you can’t smell anything at all, because it all gets rinsed out in the toilet. And for the most part – no diaper rash since I’ve switched.

Solids – so much fun. I make my own in our food processor because 1) it’s fun, 2) I’m in control of what’s in it, and 3) it’s super easy. So far, we have introduced peas, avocado, sweet potato, carrots, green beans and oatmeal. Butternut squash is on tap for this weekend, followed by the fruits. So far, the babies seem to like avocado, peas and green beans best. I assumed the sweet orange foods would be a hit, but they haven’t been as much. I skipped the rice, knowing Mr. B gets constipated easily, and went to oatmeal instead – and they both really like it. After I make a big batch in the food processor (not the oatmeal), I freeze them in ice cube trays and pop them out as needed. They thaw in a little plastic cup for a bit before eating and voila.

Baby Sign Language is my newest internet search. I’m really, really interested in it, though it seems like this passing fad right now. I love the idea that the babies can communicate with me and each other before they have the words to do so. I also would like to alleviate some of their fussing when they aren’t sure what’s going on. For example, Mr. B has lately burst into tears every time I put him down on the changing table. I don’t know what the deal is, but as soon as he realizes I’m just changing his diaper, he calms down. So, I introduced the sign “diaper”. Obviously, any sign I introduce right now means nothing to them because I’ve just started. But hopefully, if I’m consistent for a few months, not only will they understand what it means, but they might do it back to me. Until they start to get it, I’ve only introduced “diaper”, “eat”, “more” and “all done”. I don’t know who thinks I’m crazy more, the babies or those who come into my house and see my husband and I doing this but maybe someday, they’ll do it back.

And don’t get me wrong – there’s absolutely nothing wrong with making different parenting choices. What I like best isn’t the choices that I’ve made, but the fact that I’m able to make the choices. I get to feed my babies what I want them to eat, and I get to prepare it the way I want to. I get to see what they do all day, and decide what toys they will play with. And I can carry them around the house (though usually not at the same time) with their heads on my shoulders and snuggle. I just REALLY, really like being a mom.  Not to get too sappy, because who needs that, but I knew all along that I wanted and needed to be a mom. Infertility got in the way, I wasn’t my finest self, I felt changed, I was cranky and miserable. But now, that hole that has really always been there, that I’ve tried filling with students, with travel, with..you name it, has been filled and I seriously just feel like a complete person. Totally fulfilled. And I’m SO lucky to be in this position.

Anyway. Mr. B is 21 pounds, as I said. 90% for weight, 50% for height, 97% for head size. Lil C is 17 pounds and certainly much more petite, but also with a big head (90%). But Lil C oddly has newborn sized feet. To me, her legs and feet aren’t really growing, but the rest of her body is. She’s very short, and like I said – those feet fit in newborn size shoes, size 0. But it’s hard to compare sometimes because B is a big boy. I don’t know who is more average. They are completely the stereotype of a boy and a girl, which is weird considering I’m not exactly a stereotype myself. Mr. B is extremely physical – he’s closer to crawling, he rolls more than C does (she really doesn’t yet) – he can’t. stop. moving. His legs need to be straightened, he wants to stand, he wants to fall to the ground, he wants to bounce. He jumps and jumps and jumps. He can do this for a long time, and he zones out, staring off into space. He babbles his consonants and chews on anything cloth but those feet always move. Lil C is the exact opposite. Her body is very calm. She will sit there (the first to sit, because B can’t stay calm long enough), lay there, be held, be carried around, but she needs to be talked to, she needs to see what you’re doing. She wants to watch you explain to her how to make a sandwich, or why the dogs are barking. She doesn’t talk as much, but she feels with her hands – she wants to hold your cup, your food, your shirt…she tries to grab the dogs’ ears. She sticks her hands out so the puppies can lick them, and then giggles hysterically. Whereas B laughs like crazy when the dogs fight, and roll around, and make a lot of noise.  B loves his lovey, and I didn’t realize at such a young age a baby could love an object that wasn’t a person. He doesn’t take a pacifier, doesn’t suck his thumb, so when it’s time for sleep, the lovey is where it’s at. C still takes her wubbanub, but mostly only for falling asleep.

Teeth must be coming soon, because they are both chomping on their hands non-stop, with more drool. I still don’t see any white yet though.

I still dream feed Lil C, as I’m preparing her bottle right now. 99% of the time, she sleeps through the rest of the night. B eats all the food in my house during the day, he doesn’t need any overnight.

So here they are:

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I’m completely in love. This must be what all the new parents talk about, and I’m just so lucky to be experiencing it.

4 Month Sleep Regression

…is the WORST. It has brought me out of blog-hiding just to announce that it is worse than the chaos that comes with a newborn. Or two. The WORST.

Some people say that there’s no such thing as a sleep regression but explain that to Lil C, who has just about hit the sleep “rock bottom”, and this all started a good month ago. And Mr. B isn’t much better, he’s slowing losing it too. It’s awful. But what it does bring are new and cool things my kids can do. B is a few weeks ahead developmentally, but even he is starting to sit better, though still with help. And he’s grabbing toys and putting them in his mouth. C, she’s just starting to love standing on her feet, touching toys, and paying more attention to her little world. They try to sit up in the Rock n Play (a sure sign it’s gotta go soon, but that’s another story), they shove their hands in their mouths, talk non-stop and they’re growing. B is in 6 month clothes, just about 18 pounds, and he’s only 20 weeks. C is 14 pounds, in 3-6 month clothes.

So those are the good things. But the bad things just keep coming – naps have completely gone to hell, just completely. They aren’t sleep trained and C can’t put herself to sleep. She wants to be held and that’s the ONLY way she’ll sleep – which is great and all except I have another baby who also needs my attention during naps, if he wakes up. I spent 45 minutes today with my lips pressed to her forehead, bent over the crib. My legs went numb. And it worked – until I lifted my head. And bedtime is just mad – we’ve tried a later time, an earlier time, and no matter what, they pass out only to wake 45 minutes later, or in C’s case tonight, about 5 more times and she’s only been in bed for 4 hours. Like I said, they can’t put themselves back to sleep, especially C, so I’m bent over the rock n play, one hand on her head, one hand holding the paci in her mouth, rocking the thing with my elbows with my eyes shut, every hour for a half an hour each time. This is crazy!

And the newest, worst part of all? C (my big crier) will only stop crying for me. Not for my husband, not for anyone else. I’m trapped in this house. I’m running on no sleep. She wants my arms, my hand on her head and won’t tolerate anyone else’s. And if she doesn’t get that (like if I’m not home) she will cry until she throws up, which I really don’t want her to do. Since when do 4 month olds have separation anxiety? Ugh.

I keep scouring the internet, looking for some answer to this problem that I haven’t read yet, but it seems there aren’t any. If your kid was sleep trained before this, congrats, it won’t be that bad or last that long. If not, you’re stuck because you can’t sleep train them now, not until it’s over.

And I’m not going to be able to do CIO (cry it out) with C, she can’t calm herself down. She gets beyond hysterical REALLY quick. And they aren’t in cribs yet, they still get swaddled and she loves her pacifier. I am DOOMED when it comes time to sleep train. B – he’s  little easier but he’s outgrowing the rock n play quick, and the swaddle is the biggest size they make.

I just have this terrible feeling that the sleep issues will get worse before they get better and I am really sleepy and ready for a change, please.

Anyway, that’s all I’ve got. I feel better when the internet tells of people’s stories going through this hellish time. Like I said, worse than the unpredictable chaos of a newborn.

But they’re so darn cute. 🙂

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Is it time for sleep training yet?

Yes, I’m thinking about it already and no, I’m not actually doing it. I just can’t wait. I can’t WAIT to sleep train these twins. My head is spinning, though, over the sheer amount of information out there on sleep training. Every “professional” out there has a method, and I’ve been reading up on them. They make it seem complicated. Check after 5 minutes, pick up, put down, pat, sshhh, pacifier, no pacifier, cry it out, modified cry it out, extinction. It’s just too much.  And what about the TWIN component?

In the past two weeks, I have thought more about my babies sleeping than almost any other topic. When you’re sleep deprived and it’s been almost 3 months…you’ll do just about anything to gain that sleep back. We have had some successes, some failures for sure, and I still have many questions, but the one thing I can’t wait for is when my twins are sleep trained. Bring it on. I decided to post this on both blogs to reach a larger audience because the more I google, the more I realize that every sleep deprived parent has their two cents to offer, or their own questions to ask. Figuring out how to make a baby sleep is a freaking math equation. This amount of wake time (WT) + this amount of overnight sleep – minutes of nap = perfect formula to get your baby to sleep, except math isn’t my specialty. It’s such an exact science. I pore over my babies’ logs and my notes on a daily basis, to figure out what I could change or keep the same in order to increase their my sleep. I just need to sleep.

This is how it’s been going down in my house as of late:

Successes: (Always start with the positive).

– 99% of the time, my twins only get up to eat once in the middle of the night.

– We have the babies on the same eating schedule and therefore, they go to bed together (ish), wake up to feed in the middle of the night together, and wake up in the morning together. While we always have to wake up a baby in the middle of the night, it’s worth it the next morning, as my sanity is saved. IF all goes according to plan, both babies then nap together, giving this mom a chance to stuff her starving face and occasionally blog. And breathe.

– (Not related to sleep) Playtex Ventaire Wide bottles have changed the way Lil’ C eats and that, combined with Zantac and her growing maturity, has led to way easier feeds. She still spits up, but she doesn’t choke as much and is coordinating the breathing and eating thing much better. As long as she is burped into oblivion, she has relatively few issues, and I barely even think about her eating anymore.

– Big success – we moved the babies out of our bedroom. B grunts and groans so loud, he was waking C up. I was up all hours, reaching my hand over the bed to rock a Rock n Play and slowly losing my mind. Now they are upstairs, in two separate rooms for now, and we have two monitors going in our room. But otherwise, it’s so nice. I no longer have to bite my lip in frustration when one of my dogs shakes her collar tags and it wakes a baby. All baby sleep is now on a different floor.

– We have implemented a bedtime routine. Although I was never one to give a baby a bath daily, I now do because it passes the time. Sounds awful but for now it helps with the fussy, before-bed stage. Granted they start screaming as soon as they are out of the bath, so I need to make sure bottles are warmed and ready, but otherwise, they love the bath. So baths, followed by lights off, no talking, work that Baby Shusher app, a big bottle, swaddle, a little rocking, off to bed. Upstairs, we’ve got their nap swings in each room and their Rock n Plays as well, and I use as much white noise as I can get my hands on.

– B is no longer a preemie. Well, neither of them are, but wow. B is 12 weeks old and a large 14 pounds. He’s a big, happy boy. C is a dainty 11 pounds of cuteness.

– They smile a lot and coo.

Fails:

– I swear the creaks on the stairs get louder EVERY time. I know exactly where they are and I try my best to avoid stepping on them but sure enough, I always do. I curse the stairs. My twins are the LIGHTEST sleepers, especially C. If I even move a single toe as I’m laying on the ground, rocking her Rock n Play so she can’t see my eyes…she opens her eyes. And fidgets. And wakes back up. UGH.

– On a similar note, why do my dogs have to bark at the UPS truck? And the school bus? And the kids on bikes? And the squirrels? And heaven forbid a dog goes by. I run in there as fast as I can but sometimes it’s too late – a baby wakes up.

– Babies waking up briefly might seem like no big deal but when they are overtired, and you’ve spent a half hour getting them down, one noise or interruption sends you right over the edge. Or maybe that’s just me. The power went out the other day for 30 seconds. But B was JUST closing his eyes…and his swing turned off. And the white noise. Guess who didn’t end up falling asleep at ALL and went from like 1:45 pm to 8:00 pm on no sleep? That was fun.

Nothing drives me more crazy then when a twin wakes from a nap prematurely. The other day it was B, now it’s C. It’s that dreaded 45 minute hump into the deeper sleep cycle. I don’t know what to do. If I let her cry it out, she’ll wake B, even though they are in separate rooms. But if I go in there, and mess with the pacifier, put my hand on her stomach, etc., she seems to wake up more. It makes me so mad. The thing is, she (or he) isn’t done with sleeping. They aren’t waking up happy and smiling, they’re fussy and yawning. I inevitably have to pick them up if the hand and paci trick don’t work, and rock them. I did it this morning with C on her first nap. 45 minutes later, she went back to sleep and I brought her back to her swing.  It drives me crazy because 1) it messes with her schedule for the day, and she’ll be constantly overtired if she doesn’t go back to sleep, and 2) it messes with the twin schedule I’ve got going on. Yeah, I know, deviating from the schedule is going to happen, and I’m fine with that, to an extent. I’m not saying it has to be down to the minute. But my free time, and my sanity, is at stake here. They need to have at least some overlapping nap time. Otherwise, it’s around the clock baby care, and I just can’t do it!

– BedTIME. When should it be? I’ve consulted the forums for babies at this age (almost 3 months) and the consensus is anywhere between 6:30 and 9:30. Well, we’ve tried both. 9:30 is clearly too late, so we learned that lesson, but when I try the 6:30, when the babies are so tired they can’t keep their eyes open as they drink the last bottle – they treat it like a nap! We learned that the hard way the other night and it sucked. Finally sitting down to eat, maybe going to sit on the couch, when B woke up, then C woke up, and it was only a half hour into bedtime. They thought it was a nap. Then they were WIDE awake, and we were rocking them to sleep for hours. HOURS. (This doesn’t take into account the explosive poops B had, all over my husband, or the projectile vomit all over the couch.)

– With the topic of when bedtime should be comes the topic of naps. My current question as of late is this: C wakes up from her third nap around 4:00. Should she have a 4th nap, or a super early bedtime? We tried the 6:30 bedtime, she thought it was a nap. It didn’t work. But it’s too late FOR a nap. See the issue?

– Let’s just talk about the couch for a second. We bought it when I first got pregnant and it was the best investment we ever made. SO comfy. Great for my 8 weeks of home bedrest. It’s the only piece of furniture we have in the house that’s new and not used. However. It has ENDLESS dog hair on it, and the residuals of dog spit, baby puke, formula (the bottles ALWAYS fall over), and B’s explosive poop. Our couch is destroyed.

Clearly we’ve got some great things going on, and some things I’d love a conclusion to. My last post was pure LUCK. I have no IDEA what I’m doing. I’m trying different things and hoping for the best. Good days and bad days. That said, I am SO glad to be home with these smiley babies. They smell good, they’re really cute, and I love (almost) every minute of it. I dread going back to work.

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Baby sleep (or lack thereof)

I believe all the little nuances with my twins can be traced back to eating and sleeping. The eating issue I think has been mostly solved, but the sleep – not so much. Help!

My little C is a bit high maintenance. In her defense, she has reflux. Weeks of eating issues have been somewhat solved by Zantac, a new bottle (Playtex ventaire), and a new way to burp (higher on my shoulder). So, this post isn’t about feeding. It’s about sleep.

Here’s something that’s going right and is probably cause for celebration: the twins have revealed to me a nighttime pattern that they’ve stuck to now for a few weeks. We do a feed around 9:00, try to stuff them as much as possible, in bed at ten-ish, and magically they stay asleep until 3.30-4:30. B even made it to 5:30 once. They are fed, and sometimes only breastfeeding is enough, and back to sleep. They wake up between 6-8. So. One thing is going right. Bedtime is in the rock n plays in our bedroom.

But the naps – oh, the agony.

There is no rhyme or reason to their naps.

B is actually a good napper. The duration of his naps are at least 1.5 hours long and sometimes up to three hours. However, there isn’t a pattern to them. With the exception of his first nap soon after waking up, I don’t know when he will nap. Many times he falls asleep on my shoulder after eating and then I put him down. But I’m putting him down asleep, which isn’t good I know. In addition, for naps only, I’m breaking the number one rule of sleeping – on his stomach. Here’s the thing – he has a flat spot on his head, and the doctor told me he can take naps on his stomach to help correct it as long as we are watching him. Of course, I was terrified to do this but his naps were more like cat naps and I was curious. So I put him down on his stomach in the pack n play in the living room, and watched him like a hawk. He LOVED stomach sleeping. Ever since then, his naps are on his stomach in my living room. I wouldn’t do it upstairs in his crib because then I couldn’t watch him. But that also means he isn’t getting used to his crib. These stomach naps are deep sleep naps. Hence why he is suddenly a good napper. I hate breaking this cardinal rule but I check him constantly and it was doctor-ordered. And now his naps are great. Just no pattern to them.

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B boy loves his stomach naps. I stand over him and bite my nails.

So that’s B. Now C here, she’s another story.

Her naps are horrible. Maybe once a day she will sleep 1.5 hours (usually the first nap) but after that and especially in the afternoon and evening, she cat naps. And by that I mean she throws major tantrums and screams while I try every position, pace the house, rock her, swaddle, pacifier…etc. And maybe after a while she will finally fall asleep, but as soon as I put her down she’s up again, screaming. She seems like the lightest sleeper as well. And the answer to B’s sleep issue won’t help her – she hates being on her stomach. Don’t even get me started on tummy time, another battle. I can get her to sleep. I have options. I could put her in the Ergo carrier. I could drive around the block. I could push her in the stroller. But I’m not doing that every afternoon and evening – that’s crazy. She becomes super overtired and then becomes so fussy. But she’s not naturally fussy, she’s just tired. And of course I end up rocking her, usually, so she falls asleep in my arms and that’s not good either!

I feel like we are developing some bad habits and I keep getting mixed pieces of advice from the Internet. The twins’ adjusted age is only 5 weeks. Shouldn’t they be sleeping all the time? Should I make the room dark for naps? Bright so they see the difference between night and day? They are too young to cry it out. I pick them up, rock, back down. But for how long? How do I get C to take a deep sleep nap? As I type this, she is cat napping on my knees as I rock them back and forth but at least she’s not crying. Last night at this time I paced the house, putting her in every position until it was time for the bedtime feed.

Then there’s the issue of getting them on the same schedule but when it comes to sleep, that seems virtually impossible. Should there be a nap schedule at this age? They are 10 weeks. And how do I get lil C to actually nap? And how much trouble am I in when I let them sleep wherever they will, since when I put them down in their cribs they wake up when their legs rise in the air? Currently I’m having good luck with them falling asleep to the vibration in the bouncer…ugh. Why can’t they just – nap?

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Yes, I even brought the bouncer outside. Fresh air seems to calm her down and she ended up falling asleep in the front yard. I’m not trying that at 8pm though.

And because I love them, and they are the best thing that ever happened to me (besides marrying my husband of course – did you see the sweet post he wrote? Made my day.) here are a few pictures of them just being cute.

Future posts I want to write – baths (ugh), tummy time (ughhhh) and endless spit up.

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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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They’re here!!

On Sunday, July 14th at 10:06 pm, Bennett Weldon (on the left) arrived at 5 lbs 6 oz, while his sister Charlotte Gene came in at 4 lbs 8 oz, both by c-section. We are totally in love!

The birth story is kind of crazy. It’s true that nothing ever goes the way you think it will! In addition, I was so determined to make it to 35 weeks – and I was 2 hours short! So you know what – I’m just telling people they were born at 35 weeks. Close enough.

Here’s the short version of the birth story, and I may or may not go into more detail at a further time. As you know, I had been on hospital bed rest for 3 weeks, hanging out at 5 cm dilated and 100% effaced. So it was no big deal to me when I was having a few more contractions than normal. It had happened many times. I also had a total meltdown the day before when a young resident came and woke me up at 5:30 am to let me know that they would like me to get to 38 weeks. After 11 weeks on bed rest. I cried for 3 straight hours. Anyway, it didn’t happen and it all is trivial now.

So around 8:30 pm a nurse came and checked on me and I was telling her I had 5 contractions in the last hour, felt kind of off, etc. when all of a sudden I felt a huge “kick” where Bug’s head was. It was very painful. It also came with a pop and I felt leakage. It wasn’t the whole “soda bottle on the floor” thing, more a decent trickle, but yes, my water broke in bed as I was talking to the nurse.

That was 8:30. What ensued between then and 10:06 were increasingly painful contractions. And I was already 5 cm so I didn’t have too far to go. Everyone was kind of taking their time and I knew this needed to go fast. It was so painful!

Long story short, they finally realized I needed this to be on an emergency level. By the time I was sitting up on the OR table to get my spinal, I was ready to push. I had gone to 10 cm immediately. A nurse later told us that while she was rushing to get the catheter in, she saw Bug’s head crowning. I didn’t even have time to put a gown on or change from my old clothes. At the same time, doctors were also considering putting me completely under because I had eaten a meal only a few hours prior. So really, it could have been any type of birthing experience. And while all get you to the end result, we weren’t prepared at all for any type other than a c-section.

Thankfully, this happened at night and my husband was with me because I don’t know if he could have made it here in time. The whole thing was so fast.

3 days later and we are all hanging in there. Neither Bennett nor Charlotte needed any assistance breathing or eating, which was great. Since it was late at night they kept them in the NICU to assess, and Bennett joined us in our hospital room the very next day. Charlotte is still in the NICU but not for any serious long term reason. She was small and because of that she’s not quite eating as much as they want her to, and likewise with keeping her temp up. Once she’s done that she’s good to go. I expect and hope it’s no longer than a few more days. I’m in some serious c section pain but hoping it gets better every day. Because of this pain, I can’t get up and change diapers, feed, etc. I’m attempting breastfeeding, especially with Bennett, but the milk isn’t in yet. My husband has learned how to take care of a newborn very quickly, since I can’t do much, and he’s done amazingly. He did already get both peed and pooped on, but that’s part of the experience! I’m looking forward to being able to help him, especially when Charlotte joins us!

At this point I am transitioning to my new blog, which will take the form of updating about babies more than anything else. It’s been a long road to get here.

You can find the new blog at twolittlechamps.wordpress.com.

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