Friday, August 7, 2009

Ramblings of 2 very exhausted mommies...

OK, we admit it. Parenting is hard. Really hard. There is a reason we have not posted a real blog in 3 weeks.

Today the girls turned 4 weeks old. Although we can't really believe it, we also can't remember them not in our lives. But a lot has changed in 4 weeks - both for better and worse. After what we call the "honeymoon phase" ended (when the girls were about 10 days old) life with twin newborns showed its true colors. The "sleep all the time until you wake me for my every 3 hour feeding and only cry a little cry when I want food" has ended. The girls have found their cries and holy cow - they are LOUD! Turtle's face turns bright red and she screams, no... SCREAMS so loud, most of the time, just to be held. She is the very affectionate one and likes human contact and attention. Birdie can also scream with the best of them.

We're tired. We've had a rough 48 hours where Birdie has slept only about 5 hours in total and lucky for us, when one baby cries, it now will cause the other baby to cry as well. UGH. We take turns caring for the two in the middle of the night. If M has Birdie, J has Turtle until one of us needs a break from an inconsolable baby. Like last night for example, there was nothing we could do to calm Birdie - she was fed, had a clean diaper, held, put in her swing, put in her vibrating chair, swaddled, and walked for miles around our living room in figure 8's strapped to M in the Baby B.jorn but to no avail. It wasn't until 5:30am as the sun was coming up that she finally closed her eyes only to wake to the same screaming inconsolable baby 2 hours later. We feel so bad for her and want to cry ourselves when we don't know what she needs or how to help her. Today Turtle joined in the fun of constant crying. We tried going for a walk with them and a car ride but only the b.jorns quieted them down. We had determined by late afternoon that Birdie's problem might be gas related as the past couple of days she had been spitting up more and had almost every diaper leak poop all over.... EVERYTHING. We called our pediatrician and she told us to take Birdie's temp - which we did, thankfully no temp, and then said try Mylico.n drops. We have given Birdie 2 doses so far and.... as you have probably figured out since we have time to write this blog, she is FINALLY SLEEPING!! They BOTH are finally sleeping! We were just joking that Birdie might sleep until tomorrow morning as she has a lot of sleep to catch up on. We totally just jinxed ourselves. We are literally staring at our video baby monitors with our breath held hoping that the little sleeping swaddled babies remain sleeping.

Another crazy thing that has happened in the past 48 hours is that Birdie now breastfeeds?! Since she was born she absolutely refused to take breastmilk from the boob - even with countles lactation consultants helping us in the hospital. She would only get her breastmilk from the bottle. So today J has been breastfeeding them both at the same time - GO DOUBLE BREASTFEEDING PILLOW! J had pretty much stopped breastfeeding Turtle over the past 3 weeks as it was just easier to give her expressed milk since she was pumping for Birdie anyway. Enter S-O-R-E nipples... all over again! Will it take another 2+ weeks for them to "buck up"? Since we never really breastfed Turtle solely (we always supplimented with a bottle of expressed as well) we aren't sure how much milk the two are getting or when to stop feeding them. When they "fall off the nipple" are they done? They seem to fall asleep right there on the pillow and if you try to move one, they wake up and start rooting again. How much is enough... or how long is enough? We feel like we are back at stage 1 with this breastfeeding thing but are trying to figure it out, all while completely exhausted and with very cranky babies. We also still have some latching on issues that we are trying to work through.

It is funny how we "nested" and cleaned the heck out of our place before the girls arrived. It didn't take long before everything was covered in either breastmilk, poop, pee or spit up. Paints a lovely picture of our house doesn't it ;) We have received a crash course in the tough lesson of "going with the flow."

Aside from the babies, J's incision seems pretty much healed. She still has very sore abdominal muscle from them being cut through and now healing. She also is still bleeding - 4 weeks later. We didn't even realize that she would bleed after her c section. We thought that was just a vaginal birth thing. How nieve of us - of course J's very large uterus will have to shed. After not having her period for 10 months, J is definitely ready for this month long period to end.

Now on the the BETTER part of life with twin newborns (Puffer - just pay attention to this part!). They are adorable. Simply adorable. No matter how little sleep we get, no matter how cranky they are, no matter how messy our place gets, we couldn't be more in love with these two little babies. They have really shown their different personalities over the past 4 weeks and we can't wait to learn more and more about them as the days, weeks, and months go on. In the past few days, Birdie has had amazing eye contact. It is like the newborn hazy has been lifted and she will just stare into your eyes with her big beautiful almond shaped blue ones. Turtle loves to hold our finger or our shirt or just have her hand on us in some way. It is so cute! We read that they will actually be able to smile within the next month and we can't wait to see Turtle's dimple and Birdie's eyes smile along with her mouth.

They both love to fall asleep on our stomach/chest but before they doze off, they will lift up their heads and look you in the face. We cheer them on as it is just another version of "tummy time" but also find it adorable that they look at us before laying their heads down.

Speaking of laying heads down, we should really be catching up on some much needed zzz's as they girls will probably be up shortly for their next breastfeeding adventure! To those that have breastfed/are breastfeeding - do you and your baby get covered in breastmilk during the process??? We definitely have some much needed practice coming our way ;)

We'll end with a couple of pictures of our little angels.

Turtle fell asleep during some light reading

Clean Birdie!

Birdie throwing her gang sign

Apparently Turtle is going to be a boxer


Strawberry said...

Yeah, those first few weeks were really, really hard...and that's with just one baby. You both are doing great!

Try to keep the girls awake during breastfeeding by tickling their head/ears/arms/legs or blowing lightly on their faces. If they've nursed a good amount of time and then pop off, you can try giving a pacifier when you transfer them to their sleeping place.

I know what you mean by the screaming thing. I cannot believe how utterly ear-piercing those screams can be. I actually have to wear ear plugs when I'm comforting our baby sometimes.

Finally, leaking all over the place while breastfeeding is normal. You can try covering the areola you're not feeding off of with a re-usable breast pad/wash cloth/burp cloth to keep you and the baby from getting soaked. Also, you should take a look into Lily Padz, although if your supply is super-strong, you may leak through those as well.

Your girls are beautiful and sound like they're doing wonderdfully!

Craving of Motherhood said...

I am learning so much by reading your posts! Thanks for being so honest.. I know you are tired.. get some much needed rest.. I'm sure life at your house never really stops! Your girls are beautiful. I can't wait to meet our little one, and I'm sure she will scream as loud as your girls. I should enjoy our quiet house for now. :)

Pufferfish said...

You're right, we are very scared now!! We both looked at each other with big eyes right before you called me out and then we started laughing b/c you KNEW you were freaking me out!! Haha!

I do feel for you two, it sounds incredibly HARD. It's great that you found out about the gas and now you can ALL get a little R&R. I hope it gets easier--I know it will--but I hope it's soon!

Would love to come out next week and see the fam, let's discuss off line.

Laurie said...

When did the girls turn 4 weeks??? I feel like they were born just yesterday! It sounds like you guys are learning a lot. I look forward to reading more as they continue to grow!

Jackie said...

Sounds like you gals are doing a great job with your little angels. They are beautiful. Congrats!

The Amily Diaries said...

It sounds like a page out of my life recently :] Yes, the ear piercing cries are hard to get through. Our son doesn't have an in between cry. But when he is sleeping or awake and content we watch him for hours because he is just so cute!
I agree with Strawberry about the breastfeeding. I keep him awake during nursing on the first side (about 15-20 mins) then burp him, give him the gas drops, swaddle him and then let him nurse on the other side.
And the leaking is all too familiar. I uncover both breast while feeding and place a burp cloth under the breast not being used.
Keep up the good fight! The girls are precious!

Anonymous said...

Two babies is more work than I can imagine and you two are doing a beautiful job. I know it must be so hard but also so rewarding. I know you will get the hang of the breastfeeding in no time and I wish I could offer you advice. Instead I will just wish you some restful sleep.

The girls are gorgeous!

jilliebean said...

They are stunningly beautiful!

Our honeymoon lasted until about 21 days. Then I wondered who replaced our sweet girl with this crying baby? She would cry and cry and cry. She still does sometimes. The My.licon drops help some. You might try "Gripe Water" if you ever find that the gas drops don't help. You can get it at Walgreens or CVS... it's expensive, but a life-saver sometimes. It's for babies with colic. Not sure if my monkey has colic, but I know this stuff helps to soothe her when nothing else helps.

R said...

Just beautiful!!

Two Moms, Two Monkeys said...

Hi! Just found your blog. Congrats on your beautiful baby girls! We just had our twin boys in April (they were due in June but came 2 months early), so I know how exhausting it can be. Hang in there it gets easier, you girls are doing awesome!

Next in Line said...

I just found your blog through Poppy. You two girls look like a lovely handful. I am sending you a facebook message.

Carrie said...

more updates, more updates! :) :) :) im following your story like crazy, since we just found out we're having twinnage! any tips on products for home, tips for pregnancy, etc?

Carrie said...

hey there- wondering if i could pick your brain. we're trying to put our twin registry together, and I'm so lost with strollers and car seats. Do you have any recommendations on the best double stroller with detachable car seats? i'll find the perfect one, then I see a review saying it's bad for preemies. sigh! feel free to email me at cpeterson at h0tmail

Laurie said...

How are you gals doing??

Pufferfish said...

Is this my future as well...a lack of blogging....? At least I follow you on FB!!
Can't wait to see you both this weekend!

jelly said...

Adorable babies!!
Yes, parenting is the hardest job in the world, that is for sure.

I've got a middle schooler and high schooler at home now...and it can be really tough at times.

Hang in there.