This is my first blog ever! It will be rough, raw and honest. I am not a typical stay-at-home mom and have a hard time relating to them. I also do not know ONE single twin mom my age. And if you are a twin mom you know that singleton mothers (especially the ones that say I have two kids in diapers–give me a break!!) just do not understand the difficulties that having twins entails. On top of having two bundles of joy I am also an exclusive pumper. This is a topic that can be “controversial”. And by controversial I mean people judge you. Why don’t you breastfeed? Why not just formula feed? I mean who really damn cares how I feed my babies as long as they are getting fed, right? I am pretty much trying to figure this out on most days by myself as my husband works and is on call quite often. So, I am starting this blog to potentially help any twin mothers, vent, relate, and to give tips on products that have made keeping my sanity possible and managing two babies at one time! So, enjoy. Feel free to comment or ask questions and I will be more than happy to respond. This is a work in progress, so bear with me but there will be more to come.
Today is a very, very exciting day and hopefully I am not jumping the gun. Today marks two days since I have pumped. I have weaned down very slowly and then skipped a day, pumped 2 mornings ago for about 8 or 9 minutes and its been two days since.
I pumped, and not just pumped but exclusively pumped for my twins for 12 months and 3 weeks. And today I hang up my pumping cups and say goodbye old “friend”. I have written about exclusively pumping but I want to reiterate how hard it truly is.
For around 4 or 5 months in the beginning, starting while I was still in the hospital from having the bubbies, I pumped every three hours around the clock. Let that sink in for a second because it is easy to just read past that. That means I got up in the middle of the night not once but twice to pump. But back then I wasn’t just pumping. I was also feeding babies. So I would feed a baby and back then it would take them oh I don’t know 30 minutes to eat a couple of ounces, put them back to sleep and then hook up the pump for 15-20 minutes. So basically I slept for about 1.5-2 hours and then would feed and then pump in a never-ending cycle. When the babies came home from the hospital, my husband barely had a week off work and then I was on my own. And I mean literally on my own. No one else was here. So, besides feeding the babies every 3 hours, I was left to some how take care of the babies while trying to pump. There was many of times I would have them surrounded around me with boppies as I tried to get them to take a pacifier (although that never really stuck but one less thing I had to break later on so I am okay with that but it might have made my life easier back then).
After the first 4-5 months, I dropped one overnight pump and was able to sleep a bit more. But I also encountered 2 rounds of mastitis and one round of thrush. Making it harder to just stop because well when you get mastitis from a clogged duct you can’t just stop. I may have been faced with having to drain abscesses, so to me it only made sense to keep trudging along. After that I started slowly dropping a pump here and there, up until last month when I dropped down to one pump a day and then dwindled down that time. It was so painful to drop down. I had worked so hard in the early months to get a good supply in order to feed these babies that I think it was hard for my production to slow down, even with all the tricks I tried such as Sudafed, cabbage leaves and ice. So, here I am 12 months and 3 weeks later and I think (I hope) that I am done.
Now, above I mentioned how hard it was but let me not mistake you that I could not be prouder of myself. I am proud because I provided all of that breast milk for my tiny 5 pound babies (size at birth) and now they are 24 pounds and some change. I obviously cannot attribute that to all my breastmilk but I am sure it had a lot to do with it. Also, I set out to do something and I saw it through. I have been notorious in my life for starting something and it only lasting a month or so but this I held to my convictions and saw my journey through even though it was hard as hell.
Along the way I got a lot of slack for exclusively pumping. I know a lot of people don’t know exactly what it entails or understand it but many, many people along the way said why don’t you just latch them? Why don’t you just give them formula? Well because they are my damn babies and this is my damn body and I will do whatever the hell I want to do is what I wanted to say. The honest truth, I didn’t want them to latch. I didn’t feel comfortable. But in the beginning Gabe was not a good eater, it was nice to see and be reassured by seeing how much he consumed with the bottle but the main reason is I did not want to nurse. People would get frustrated because I refused to really go anywhere in the beginning or hang out with anyone because I was pumping every three hours. Many times I would pump in the car if Kyle and I would go somewhere but I did not want to do that around any one else. In a way I don’t care if my friends or family understood. It’s a small part of my history and if someone couldn’t understand that then they are just selfish. It’s over now and a year later, I am no longer a prisoner to my pump.
Also, there is not much information on exclusively pumping, lactation consultants don’t educate people on that being an option and misinform people that they will never be able to maintain a supply by doing so therefore I found it important to learn, teach myself and write some about it in my blog in hopes that I could help just one person. Because exclusively pumping is possible with dedication. If that is what you chose to do set a good schedule and you may be able to accomplish the same (although I know not everyone’s body is the same so it may not be that easy).
Although before I wanted to go Office Space and smash my pump with a baseball bat, I will put a little birthday hat on it for now and say thank you old “friend” but hit the road. I am ready to close this chapter, be able to sleep in a bit more and spend more time with my bubbies because they are growing so fast I don’t want to blink and miss any of it.
As a first time mother to twins, I know that I am super neurotic about some things and probably lax on some things that a more experienced mother may not be. One thing that still gives me the heebie jeebies is when strangers come up and touch my babies. The grabbing their little feetsies I have gotten used to. It’s usually older women and I mean who can resist baby feet. That is not really what irks me. Here is what happened yesterday at the park and you can tell me if I am irrational.
Yesterday my husband took off work . I had a follow-up with my rheumatologist and he later had an appointment for a follow-up for his work-related accident. Well I usually sit at the rheumatologist for hours but got out of there in record speed. So, when I got home we had some extra time. Minus the puke incidents of the day before the boys seemed to be doing better so we took them to the park for fresh air. We took them for a walk around a trail and they LOVE to swing and they were open so we took them over. The boys were having a blast. All of a sudden a little girl around 5 or 6 appears and she says i want to say hi to the babies. So, I slowed the babies down for her to say hi. All of a sudden she tries to hug them. I said, “oh, don’t do that be careful” (because they were still swinging). She then starts to grab both of their faces and starts to kiss them. On the lips. I told her please don’t do that and I start to look around for the little girl’s mom because well I really don’t like correcting other people’s kids. It’s not my job. Well about 60 feet sitting on a picnic table under a tree and woman starts to yell, “she goes crazy over babies. She has baby fever.” She starts to go for a second round of kisses and I tell her no again and she finally walks away. I understand this little girl meant no harm. But how would you all feel if someone did that? Well my husband could tell I was disgusted so he asked if I wanted to go around on the trail again and I said yes. He seemed to be unbothered about what happened. He asked me what the big deal was. I said I hardly ever kiss the babies on their mouths (because lets face it babies are gross and I don’t think they have stopped drooling since they were in utero) and I find it weird that a stranger would kiss our babies on the lips. I said what if they were immuno-suppresed? That little girl could have put them in danger and I thought her mother was rude. He said he understood but that was probably man talk for you are being irrational. As we passed the lady heading back to her car she gave me a dirty look. Whatever, not my problem if she had a problem with my reaction to her daughter’s actions.
However, this isn’t the first time it happened. We went out to dinner one night and a waitress actually picked up one of the babies and kissed him on the mouth. I was dumbstruck. The baby was laughing and having a good time so I kind of brushed it off.
But what do you all think about this? Does this happen to you? How do you react?
Welp you guys…its happened. I have a walking baby. He’s on the move!! I will be writing something profound this week (yeah right, me profound?!) but of course for now I’m full of excuses for not writing. I’ve also been slacking reading some wonderful blogs on here, which makes me sad. So I have some catching up to do.
But for real, 1 of 2 babies are walking. And when I say walking I mean he is obsessed with it. If he’s out of the playpen it’s in full swing. He wants to walk and you must be there to help him or he will have a hissy fit. So, that’s been fun.
Also in the news this week, I had a really scary mom moment. Yesterday I put the bubs down for their morning nap. No big, right? Well I noticed some dust building up in our bedroom. I mean who really dusts the door frames? Oh but they needed it. So, I got to dusting and their room is like 5 feet from our bedroom. Well about 10 minutes into it I realized I hadn’t turned on the monitor. So I turned it on and found Gabe sitting up. I thought well that’s odd but they had been fighting their morning nap. So about five minutes later I look back and he is still sitting in the same position, unmoved. I walk over and crack open their door and he is sitting their with his eye closed and I notice white stuff all over him and on top of his head. I rush over to him and pay him down. No movement. I started to shake him a bit and he starts moving around. Scared the shit out of me. I guess he got sick and didn’t want to sleep in it. But is sleeping while sitting up a thing? Anyone else? He ended up getting sick several other times throughout the day, same with his brother. So I guess it’s a tummy bug. Poor guy.
Anyways back to the walking. Any advice on this milestone, besides drinking? Great suggestion, except I don’t!
I did it! I did it! Last Thursday my twins turned a year. Let me tell you I deserve a damn trophy. The first year is no joke people, especially being my first. It was literally a never ending repeating cycle of diaper changes, feedings, naps, baths and bedtimes. Over and over and over. It went by super slow and in the blink of an eye all in the same breath. I feel some relief making it through the first year, although I know it’s just the beginning.
I would love to give a list of profound advice for surviving the first year. Some will say alcohol, but I haven’t touched it almost two years so I can’t say that’s the answer. Also, I won’t feed you the bullshit of sleep when they sleep. I hate when people say that. What does that even mean? It means the house would never get done, bottles would never have been washed and that meant for me that my babies wouldn’t have gotten any pumped milk. Everyone just wants to throw that phrase around as gospel and it drives me mad. Honestly, I think the only advice I can give is to roll with the punches. Every day is going to bring Some thing new. Once you figure one thing out, life is going to laugh in your face and it’s all going to change. Once I would get a grasp of my schedule and the babies mood everything would change. They are constantly adapting and learning Some thing new. It’s amazing to watch but frustrating at the same time.
Also, enjoy it. They grow up so fast and I was so eager for them to hit their milestones and to learn but really I just want to swaddle them and hold them again. Now they are wild little boys that are toddling around. But this time last year we had only been home a couple days, Gabriel had just gotten out of the NICU and they were tiny little jaundiced babies.
I feel so incredibly blessed and beyond excited I made it through this year. I’ve cried, been a walking zombie, made sweatpants my clothing of choice, cried some more and laughed more than ever. I also have more than realized that my husband is my person and we make one hell of a team. It’s amazing I can sincerely say that being twin parents will either make your relationship or break it.
I’m having one of those rough patches I have encountered along the way in this long but short year of being a twin momma. This week I feel extra lonely and underappreciated. One can only care so much for others before they lose sight of their own needs. I realized I don’t have much for myself. When the babies go down for a nap that’s my opportunity, right? I squandered that time by cleaning, laundry, reality t.v. repeats and staring at the baby monitor praying they stay asleep even though the asshole down the road with the orange truck he’s been trying to get to run for a year is revving his engine. How silly of me. Some thing I have always taken a great passion in since I was young as a way to escape reality in a healthy way (as in I didn’t go out and use drugs) was reading. That fell to the wasteside in my twenties due to hustling with working two jobs to pay rent. I have been out on my own since I was 18 and it wasn’t always easy.
Two years ago I started a second book in a trilogy I started. I picked up that book on Friday and didn’t want to put it down. I feverishly started reading and at first I realized my comprehension was rusty. I spend far too much damn time texting and scrolling social media (as I write this on my phone standing in the kitchen so babies keep playing nice in their playpen). The books is a series by Greg Iles and it’s the Burning Natchez Trilogy. It’s so damn good, I’m on the book called the Bone Tree. It’s perverse at some parts and filled with the ugly historical truth at the foundation of this country. I was a history major so I understand that this book may have some vulgar truths in it. I can’t wait to finish it and I already ordered the next book in preparation. It was time to take back a little of me.
Have you read any good books lately?
Happy Monday blog readers. I hope that you are having a great start to your week. A week or two ago I had a woman comment on one of my blog posts and she said I made her glad she didn’t have twins (by no means is this any thing against her comment, it just made me sad I would make someone feel this way). Maybe I have bitched a little too hard in my posts. I did not want to give anyone that impression. My goal for this blog was to have some people gain understanding that raising multiples is a whole different ballgame and also to connect with other twin mommas that may be going through some of the anguish I did in the beginning. However, I never for a second don’t cherish my boys more than I can put into words. So, I want to apologize to any readers that may have gotten the wrong impression about me, my writing or my feelings. So, I really would like to take a few seconds and name off some reasons I find it amazing to be a twin momma:
- There is always enough bubby love to go around. While my husband was off work we took full advantage of getting one-on-one time with the babies. In the mornings to wind down and get them ready for a nap we would both sit with one in our laps and just watch them melt. It was the first time they the babies had really cuddled back since they were wee little babies and it was absolutely wonderful and an amazing experience. And the best part? We didn’t have to fight over a baby, we could each have one. This morning I had both babies in my lap while rocking in the rocking chair and I loved every freaking second of it. Until I sneezed and ruined it.
- Even if one baby is crabby there is a good likelihood that you will have one baby in a good mood (unless there is that chance you have two cranky babies but that is a different discussion). Even when one baby is crabby and whining there is a good chance you can look over and the other baby is smiling and laughing.
- They have a built-in friend for life. Sometimes when they playing together in their playpen I will look over and see them interact with each other and it melts my heart. I see their glances at each other and the little noises they make and I know that they are communicating with each other. As of right now they aren’t the kind of twins that freak out if they aren’t right by each other and they can go their separate ways and play but you can see in their eyes that their connection is deep.
- There is never, ever a dull moment. My days are filled with screams of joy, excitement, impatience, frustration and well sometimes screaming for no damn reason at all. It’s full of laughs, silly noises and cries. But sure enough there is literally never a dull moment. I wouldn’t trade the opportunity to be home with them during this time for anything.
- They are always learning different things in different ways. It is positively amazing to see the way that even though they are identical twins how different they are and especially in the way that they learn. Noah usually does things first and Gabriel isn’t too far behind. Gabriel has his own way of doing things that are completely opposite of Noah. Noah has been traditional in the way that he has picked up new skills. For instance, Noah learned how to crawl on his hands and knees. Gabriel kind of army crawled across the floor dragging his legs. Noah is very cautious when learning how to pull up and how to drop. Gabriel? Well he is freaking reckless. He just pulled up on anything and everything and would fall like a tree yelling timber.
- Lastly although there is a million reasons why I love being a mom but that wouldn’t really differentiate from being a twin mom. But I do want to add this one that any mom could truly relate to. These babies have taught me how to love in a way I wasn’t sure ever existed. I look at them and my heart is filled with love, protectiveness and pride. These babies are amazing and I am lucky to be their mother.
I always want my blogs to be true to who I am and what I am feeling. This blog seems a little sappy but it’s no bullshit. As a twin mom my days have been filled with some trials and tribulations but it’s also filled with much love and laughs. Unfortunately sometimes the darker days cloud the good days and maybe I have focused too much on that and for that I do apologize. So, I hope you enjoyed some of the gold that at the end of the twin rainbow.
I have been slack-a-lackin’ on blogging the last month. I apologize for that. I could use the excuse that my husband had his work accident and we had visitor after visitor. All of that would be true. But the truth is I was soaking up all the time I could with my family. I had a whole month of my husband being home to be with us and the boys. The truth is he was in a lot pain while he was home and had a hard time getting comfortable between his back and 7-8 broken ribs (the hospital never gave us a full actual count but it was 7 or 8). But we made the most of it. Last night while he was giving Noah a bath in the sink and I was occupying his brother I heard him say to Noah, “This has been the best month of my life.” That made my heart swell and overflow with love. I have very much enjoyed him being home. He was here during big huge milestones for the boys as well. They learned to crawl and crawl well, pull up and are jabbering. It was really neat to have someone else here to enjoy all these milestones. We had a visit from the bubs’ nurse on Friday and she told us that she would have killed her husband if she had been home with him for a month. Me? I cried this morning saying bye. First of all I have thoroughly enjoyed spending time with someone who gets me and our situation but I was scared too. I don’t ever want to get a phone call like I did on June 5th. I had never been so scared but also so thankful. Thankful that my husband was okay.
So, this morning now there is three and I am outnumbered again. So far our morning has consisted of screaming and crying. And that’s just from me. Just kidding. I had a few tears when my husband walked out. But the boys have been on a 9 out of 10 on the crazy scale. Their play pen is up again two giant windows. Noah climbed the fence and stared out the window as his dada walked out. Then it turned into both bubs standing up and screaming at me while I tried to wolf down my breakfast. Finally after 25 minutes I gave up trying to let their hissy fit play out. So, I let them out of the pen and tried to get their breakfast going. They are obsessed with the cat’s food. Rather than just picking it up I have been trying to work on setting boundaries with them. So, while I was cutting up their banana this morning, they both took turns going for it. And while I was looking at them they obeyed and as soon as I turned my back they would go for it again. Before I was a stay-at-home mom and before I was a paralegal, I was a dog training for a few years. It’s amazing to me how much of parenting is the same as dog training. They didn’t associate with obeying the rules when my back is turned so we will be working on that. They were good during breakfast but after that was ridiculousness. I am now a one woman jungle gym to them. They are hanging on me constantly. And Gabe is so reckless. He will stand up and then act like he can walk away and crashes if I don’t recover him in time. I hope he gets the hang of this quickly. But is this normal? The hanging on me constantly. For the love of God tell me it is a phase. Even if it’s not just tell me it is.
So, here’s to the first day back in the swing of stay-at-home momhood. And here’s to more blogging in the coming days!
Happy Monday everyone.
This is late but between guests and my husband’s injury I was late to blog this. But June 27th marked 11 months of exclusively pumping for my twins!! I had blogged before about wanting to stop ASAP from pumping. But not to be totally dramatic, I have some major anxiety about getting mastitis a third time. So, I have been trying to slowly wean down. I am down to two pumps a day and my milk is dwindling. My morning pumps used to yield well over 12-14 ounces. This morning I got barely 8 ounces. Which really plays with my mind because I am still pumping but not making enough to sustain their milk intake. So, it’s time to break out the freezer stash and we will be doing regular milk in just a few weeks. I am hoping that I can fully close out this journey in a week or so fully unscathed. No more mastitis, no more thrush just finish it out happy and successful.
I didn’t make this blog to just pat myself on the back for making it 11 months. I never in a million years thought I would make it this long. First off, it was so hard to pump in the early days with two fussy babies and at that time I was pumping every 2.5 to 3 hours, even through the night. Trying to keep up with the needs of two babies was more than I though my body could endure but I pushed through. Trying to find the right combination of water and calorie intake and supplements to boost my supply. I had to supplement with formula throughout the journey but there was never a time not even after having surgery that the babies got more formula than milk. That in and of itself is a huge accomplishment. People along the way have ridiculed me for not latching or not just doing formula. They insisted that this was too much work and they didn’t understand why I was doing it. There were times I sacrificed time with my family and/or friends to leave to pump and fitting my day around pumping. They just didn’t understand. And guess what?! They don’t have to understand. It’s not their body, it’s not their decision and the babies certainly aren’t theirs. I did what I thought was best for my babies and nobody can take that away from me. I am happy about the decisions I made. Would I have done it the same way if I had to do it over again? I’m not really sure. But I can tell you one thing we would not have been able to afford formula with my staying home with the babies. So, I may not have a choice but to do it this way if I had to choose. So, it is what it is and I am proud of my accomplishment.
If I can give any words of encouragement to pumping moms that are struggling here are some:
Screw what people think. It’s none of their damn business.
You can do it.
Drink lots and lots of water and don’t skip on meals or calories. You need them.
Take a calcium supplement. Due to the pregnancy and pumping my calcium has depleted and I am dealing with a lot of issues including chipping and breaking teeth.
Know that no matter what you chose to do you are doing a great job not just for you but your baby or for some of us babies!
And you are a freaking rockstar!
Here’s to my 11 months and the home stretch of a long amazing journey!!
This morning as I am feeling bloated and disgusting and getting down on myself, I needed a reminder of how far I have come. While I was pregnant I gained either 72 lbs or 74 lbs I cannot remember for sure so I don’t want to lie to you. I will not give you numbers but I was up there. I was miserable. I never imagined gaining that much weight. I was slow and steady in the beginning but after my second trimester it came on so quickly. I suppose when I stopped regurgitating everything that I was eating. Looking in the mirror this morning I was disgusted with what I saw. My tummy still hangs and is marred by the mirage of stretch marks. However, like I said I needed a reminder. So, I pulled up this picture my husband had put together. On the left is the day I came home with the bubs. For some reason after I pushed out the babies I thought I would lose all the extra blood, water and weight from the babies. WRONG. I came home looking huge still. The picture on the right I am four months postpartum. As you can tell the bubs are in their Christmas jammies. I was down 67 pounds at that point. Only 7 lbs away from my pre-pregnancy weight.
Today I am down 84 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight about 11 pounds lighter than when I started. Yet most of my clothes still don’t fit. My jeans are tight around the stomach and my shirts don’t fit over my milk filled breasts. It’s hard to look at the reflection in the mirror some days because I look so different. I did not start this journey out skinny. I have never really been skinny and always “struggled” with my weight. I will not make excuses for the size but eating healthy was never ever a priority growing up. At one point when I was on a teenager I decided to exercise and eat healthy everyday and lost a considerable amount of weight. So much so that I was able to spend that summer in a bikini. It felt amazing. I am not really sure what went wrong but I stopped what I was doing and gained the weight back rapidly. And my weight has fluctuated since then but pretty much stayed the same. However, I am tall and my frame is not small so even though I was considered overweight I looked proportionate at times and I am convinced I carry a 1/4 of my weight in my bra. My point is that before I got pregnant I worked really hard on my self-confidence and I felt good. Now, at times, not so much.
However, the picture above needs to serve as a reminder of how far I have come. I need to accept the reflection in the mirror. It is mine and my body has gone through a lot. Twin pregnancy is no joke. My body is still left with the hardship between a bladder prolapse, constant back pain and I’m pretty sure they depleted all my calcium leaving my teeth aching and brittle. I am proud to say that I have lost the weight even if my body isn’t left in the same condition. All that was endured is a labor of love to the two little miracles that I am left with. I want to continue to work on myself. I contribute a huge part of my weight loss to pumping 8 times a day. And maybe the 30 flights of stairs that I climb everyday since their room is on the second floor and their playroom is in the basement. That may have something to do with it. But I am down to two pumps a day and I am not sure how many calories that all burns so I probably need to start watching what I eat more. In addition to that the babies are starting to eat real people food. Like I said earlier in this blog I didn’t have a good foundation for healthy eating. I grew up around junk and diet sodas. I want my kids to know what healthy food choices are and I really hope that they don’t even know what soda tastes like. I only drink soda now maybe once every other month when I really, really crave a Cherry Coke from one of those fancy soda machines like they have in Wendy’s and Qdoba. Other than that I have my coffee in the morning and lots and lots of water. I don’t want my kids struggling with their weight from an early age. No kids should have to endure that if it can be stopped.
I am not really a vain person, that is not what this blog is about. It’s about wanting to be healthy and to accept the person that I am and the reflection that I see in the mirror. I worked hard to get where I am. I need to look past the flabby skin and stretch marks and realize that I worked hard to get where I am and I will continue to try to work hard on who I want to be from here on out.