Thursday, May 8, 2014

Life (so far) With Twins

Let me just say... nothing can prepare you for the huge change in lifestyle that comes with welcoming home twins.  I've always considered myself maternal, I love babies and children, and I've obviously daydreamed about having babes of my own for years.  I just thought that two would be a little more of a handful, but nothing I couldn't handle.  Well, I couldn't have been more mistaken!!

Don't get me wrong, though--we are absolutely in love, and I can't believe these two bears are ours!  They are so funny and cute and squishy and adorable.  But they are hard work.  (As a little boy at Phoenix Children's Hospital warned me one day at work when I was looking at his twin baby brothers in their stroller.  "You're having twins?!  Well they are whole lotta hard work!")

In the hospital, both boys lost too much weight, about 10% of their birth weights, so we were told that they needed to be supplemented with formula on day 4, I think.  At that time, the doctor was also concerned about their bilirubin levels.  We really didn't feel like we had a choice, nor did we want to stand in the way of our boys gaining weight and being healthy and whole, so we agreed to supplement with formula.  They both gained weight and the jaundice cleared overnight, so that was great... but it seemed like ever since they started taking the bottles of 1 oz of Similac after nursing, their latches and interest in nursing waned.

Then we came home and it was apparent that nobody had any interest in nursing anymore!  For the first week, I was spending upwards of 20-30 minutes to get a baby to latch on and then nurse; then I'd nurse the other; they would both need an ounce of formula to supplement afterwards, and then I needed to pump to keep my milk supply coming in.  Needless to say--it was exhausting, frustrating, and defeating.

But again, at their initial doctor's appt and weight check a few days later, they both received praise reports for gaining good weight.  Meanwhile, my milk supply did not seem to be increasing much.  The first week home was kind of a blur, but somewhere around day 7 or 10 I started thinking about exclusively pumping.  Now Zachary will nurse but Benjamin seems to have absolutely no interest whatsoever.

It's tough to make such a decision... but right now, I am pumping every 2-3 hours around the clock and feeding the boys half breastmilk, half formula.  It's really helpful, too, to be able to enlist help in feeding them since they're taking bottles.  I am getting Zachary to nurse 1-2 times a day, and I'm still trying Benji every once in awhile.  I've read a lot of blogs and forums and emailed a lot of twin moms about this issue, and it seems like nursing twins is really difficult across the board.  And making the decision to power through it or pump or use formula is a tough one but really important for mom's sanity.  You know, I decided that I was losing my mind and patience, and I would hardly be able to leave the house if I kept at the nursing thing.  I just want the boys to gain weight and be healthy.  But of course, the guilt sets in that I'm not doing "the best" for my babies and I'm giving up.

Pumping by no means is easier, either!  I have to pump every 2 hours, and I'm still not producing enough to sufficiently feed 2 babies.  We'll see how everything goes, but for now, this is what we've decided will work for our family.

Well the babies are only 3 weeks old, so I can't expect much from them!  But they're waking pretty much every 2 1/2 hours overnight.  I also need to go pump after they eat, so I'm getting about 1-2 hours total of sleep in intervals.  Sometimes less if they're fussing and not sleeping.  I'm somehow functioning, but when the morning rolls around I get pretty grumpy and discouraged.  But by 9 or 10 I'm better and back into the swing of things somewhat. 

We obviously want them on the same schedule, so if one wakes and the other is still snoozing, we sadly wake that little lovebug up too.  Usually Benjamin is the better sleeper overall, but sometimes he's the one who wakes up crying to eat.  It all depends.  And fascinatingly (word?), their cries don't wake the other up!  Hallelujah! 

They're sharing one of their cribs... their room is literally 3 steps from our room, so it's not like they're too far away.  We had them in our room for the first night, and that was it!  haha.  We figured since we have to go to their room to feed and change them, they might as well start sleeping in there... not to mention we hardly slept that night. 

I went to a lactation support group class at the hospital today, and the lactation consultant said I could go for a period of 5 hours without pumping once during the day, so I'm hoping that Andy can take a feed overnight and I can get some sleep!!!  Oh how nice that would be.  I've fed them simultaneously before in the Boppies, so hopefully he can get the hang of it. too :)

For now, we're feeding them every 2 1/2 - 3 hours throughout a 24 hour period.  The first morning feed is around 6:30 am and the last evening feed is 10 pm.  I'm trying to keep them on a loose schedule from Babywise so when we can really get it going, they'll already be used to it.  So, we're also trying to get them used to the eat-activity-sleep routine of Babywise, as well.  So far it's working pretty well, although they're not falling asleep during the day as easily. 

Believe it or not, they are rolling around some!  Zachary rolled onto his tummy from his back the other day!  And Benjamin rolled from his tummy to his back.  Needless to say, they both seem pretty strong and are starting to show off their neck muscles, too.  So, we're trying to get in tummy time everyday, which they don't seem to mind too much.

We've gone for several walks to the neighborhood park, and I have successfully taken them to LIfegroup, the doctor, the hospital for the lactation class, Andy's softball game, and my parents' house.  Success to me equals mommy not having a meltdown and the boys eating and staying alive :)  My next big outing is to take them to Phoenix Children's Hospital to introduce them to everyone at the clinic.  (Speaking of... I return to work the week the boys turn 10 weeks, on June 23rd.  I can't even think about it...)

Well, that's all I can think of to write now.  I haven't even read over this and and wrote it over a week, so hopefully it makes some sense to me some day!
Zachary smiles a lot!  And it doesn't seem to be with gas... but I guess it probably is.  Oh well, it's cute!

At Shelly's birthday party--the children were abundant!

Sweet brothers chatting.

 I just think they look adorable here.

Tummy time

Moby wrap!

Auntie D came to visit!!
Vic about to leave :*(


  1. You're doing such a great job! Once they start sleeping for longer stretches, life will seem a lot better.

    1. Thanks, Holly! I'm hoping they'll stretch out their nights here soon.

  2. We have been pumping exclusively, and the I did fenugreek and blessed thistle to help until my milk was at a good place. Totally helped! He's now six weeks and nurses! I think we just needed time. And now he takes breast or bottle, so my husband can feed him at night. Hang in there and it will be an asset they can take both. Also, someone told me to keep my pumping parts in the fridge so I didn't have to clean them each time between pumping, because it was a ton. That has cut my time down so much.

    1. That's encouraging to hear that he now is nursing! Zachary will nurse, so I do that every once in awhile to keep that up, but his latch is still not great. I didn't know you had a baby! Congratulations :) And yes, I put my parts in the fridge, too! Totally saves time.

  3. You're awesome - I am so proud of you! =) I agree about definitions of successful outings and with nursing versus formula - you being sane is VERY important. Did you guys end up deciding to do cloth diapers? How's that going? Great coupons on lately if you decided to do disposable. Love you!

    1. Hi Junie! We're definitely doing disposable--and buying a TON of diapers! I'll get those coupons--thanks! Love you! Hope we can catch up soon.