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.
I don’t normally blog on the weekends, however, I have had a rather frustrating evening, my husband isn’t home and I would like to vent.
My day actually started out nice. The boys took a decent morning nap and they had a play date at the park. The bubs were fairly good and they enjoyed their time out of the house. They of course cannot tell me that but they seemed rather pleased. They were also inseparable today. In the picture for this post is them just staring at each other. So cute!
They woke up early from their second nap and my husband got sent home from work around noon. I didn’t like what was in the fridge for dinner and lets face it, it’s Friday I don’t want to cook AGAIN! So, I thought why not try to take the boys out to an actual dinner. We should go to Texas Roadhouse. My husband is on call this Memorial Day weekend and before we left he called his office to see if had gotten busy. They told him no (he does HVAC). So, we loaded up the boys and headed to an early dinner. It was already busy at the restaurant even though it was only around 4:00 p.m.
It started out as a disaster. In hindsight we should have just walked out. I didn’t care for the high chairs. They were tiny little high chairs that go on the bench in the booth and slid into place. So, I put Noah in and my husband had Gabriel. The straps on the one that Noah was in was broken. So, we had to ask for another one and do the whole process over again. The boys are loving actual food and oddly refusing their bottles. I don’t know if that is a phase or if they are just ready to be weaned but that’s a whole other story. So, we have the boys some of the rolls to keep them occupied. They of course loved it.
As soon as we placed our orders, my husband’s phone rang. He had four calls for emergency service. I started to cry into my side salad. This may seem dramatic but honestly I take care of the twins at least 85% by myself. By Friday I am emotionally and physically drained. I yearn for help. I get excited when it’s Friday because I am no longer alone and my partner is there. And if no one has had twins they cannot say they understand the struggle of putting twins to bed. So, I knew at that moment sitting at the table I would be putting the babies to bed alone. For some ungodly reason our bedtime routine consists of baths, bottle and story time. It’s the routine and has been for probably at least five months. I am scared to mess with that. I have done it alone before but this week everything changed. I have one baby that has mastered crawling and another that is belly crawling.
We decided to finish our dinner. Well then Gabriel sounded like he was choking. I cannot quite describe how he sounded but he sounded like he had something in his throat and couldn’t get it up and he was turning bright red. We smacked his back and he laughed. So, he was obviously okay but I thought maybe he had something in the back of his throat and he didn’t know what to do. So, we have him a drink of water. My husband even took him outside to get a better look at him since it was dark in the restaurant he was fine. He was doing it for attention and he wanted more food. I had brought baby food with me so we decided to feed them. At that point Gabriel started spitting his food all over, hitting me and getting all over my shirt across the table.
I was over it.
We packed up our entrees and asked for a the tab. At that moment the woman sitting behind my husband (I can see her) hocks a loogie (I am not quite sure that is how that is spelled but it’s not in my common vernacular) and spits it into a bowl. I shit you not. Who does that? Is that normal?
I will not go into detail but bath time with one baby crawling was an epic disaster. I have to wash them one at a time because one baby won’t sit up in the bath tub because he is too busy playing with his boy parts (which isn’t a big deal when there are two of us–we have an awesome routine). I had one baby crawling all over me while bathing the other and it was just an epic shit show.
But both babies are bathed, fed and asleep as I write this. So, my job is done.
Sometimes I really do feel alone. The worst part is that no one truly understand this unless they have twins. The struggle of two babies at the exact same age is unreal sometimes.
I am having a pity party tonight, can you tell? I know the silver lining is hey he is getting overtime but honestly I don’t care about the money. No amount of money will make up for missed time with family or my sanity but I guess if it has to be that way that is the silver lining.
On a different note, this is Memorial Day weekend. I hope everyone takes a minute and really thinks about the meaning and remembers those that have died for our country. I will take an extra few minutes this weekend and remember happy moments of my brother. I have written of him in the past he was in the Navy and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and he killed himself on Christmas of 2014. He sacrificed his mental health for this country and he will always be remembered as a hero in my book regardless of how we went out.
Also as a side note, my husband is in the service industry and they do run emergency service calls to service people’s air conditioners and heaters. Prior to meeting him I never thought about tipping service people who come to my home, granted prior to this I did live in an apartment. But he is taking time away from his family on holidays. He was on call for Christmas last year and got called out quite a few times. It’s amazing how many people do not tip but even something small goes a long way when someone has to take hours away from their families on holidays or weekends.
Anyways, I hope that everyone has a safe holiday weekend!
I’m sure that any twin momma may relate to this post. Going anywhere with twins is always an adventure in and of itself because, well you are getting yourself and two infants ready. But what makes those trips out even harder? Other people!
The question is how to address people who follow you around the grocery store asking you asinine questions while you are just trying to pick out cereal. I have found a barrage of funny memes that I post to my Facebook wall that I would love to say to them.
It would go:
Them: “Are they twins?”
Me: “No, I just found one in the parking lot.” or “No, I just use the other one for spare parts.” or “No, they are triplets but I leave the ugly one at home.” or “Shit, where is the other one. Tommy!!!”
But let’s face it that is rude. Except they aren’t intentionally being rude but I would be.
So, instead I usually just grin and bear with their questions. After people ask if they are twins the next question is are they boys or girls? Well, they aren’t in dresses and wearing blue not that means anything but to me they are obviously boys. Then it is usually followed up with a story about their great uncle once removed was a twin. I don’t know why people feel the need to tell you about every twin they have ever met. But none of this is as annoying as the personal questions that I have gotten.
Here are some of the off the wall personal questions I have gotten:
“Do you breastfeed?”
“Were they natural?”
“Did you want twins?”
And then there are other questions like, “do you have a favorite?”
Why! Why would you ask a stranger these questions? I want to shout I’m just trying to buy some damn noodles leave me alone. I am already an awkward, shy person so I don’t like small talk let alone small talk with strangers asking personal questions.
So, how do you deal with this? I usually just smile and nod and try to make a break for it at the earliest opportunity. I try not to be rude and the truth is I have limited time at the store. I am usually there in between baby naps and feeding and just need to get in and out. People obviously don’t mean any harm. I guess since I have twins I don’t see the allure but people seem to sometimes think of them as a sideshow. Kudos to mommas out there that take triplets or quads out of the house. I can only imagine the spectacle.
Also, let this serve as a PSA for those that see twin mommas out there. Let us be, we are running on limited time and have shit to get done!
What’s the weirdest question you got asked by a stranger?
Ok so it is happening. I have a crawling baby. Last night he was slowly mastering it. He crawled across the bedroom during bath time to flick the door jamb (which he just thought was hilarious by the way, I will have to get a video of it). This morning he has just taken off.
This is making me realize all of the things that I haven’t quite baby proofed. I’m sure that there will always be something that they will find even if you think that you have baby proofed 100%. The first thing that I have found is the floor lamp. It’s already been knocked over twice but not from him crawling, from them ramming it with the baby walkers. We don’t have ceiling lights and won’t be able to put them in without undertaking tearing up all the sheetrock to wire it.
What is scarier than one crawling baby? Two crawling babies. However, I am not quite there yet. It’s a little sad that Noah is crawling all over the place and Gabey is not quite there yet. He hasn’t gotten up on his knees yet. He has pulled himself and wiggled forward dragging his little legs. This is completely different from how Noah started. I know, I know. No comparing babies but it’s so dang hard.
The sad part is that Noah keeps crawling up to Gabey and stealing his toys. Although I am not quite sure he is one to be bullied, he can usually dish it right back.
So, now the fun begins. My new diet plan will be corralling babies. I have noticed that Noah seems happier now that he can get over to what he wants to. At least for today that is the case.
For those with twins how long did it take for your other baby to learn to crawl?
As a new mom I have experienced milestone mania and anxiety because of the same. I have found that there is extreme importance put on your baby meeting milestones in a timely manner. My doctor has a program that you log onto and you take the quiz to se if your baby has done the things that are “age appropriate”. Every time I get ready to take the quiz I get anxiety. Are my babies okay? Are they doing everything that other babies their age are doing? They haven’t done that yet? Is something wrong with them?
I guess a big part of my anxiety stems from the fact that I know nothing about babies. So, I constantly question am I doing enough to engage their abilities. Do I give them enough floor time? Did I give them enough tummy time? Should I show them how to crawl? Should I show them how to pull up?
Another part of my anxiety stems from the fact that Gabe was born with a prolapsed umblical cord. They had him pumped with oxygen from the second he came out. So, we always question whether he had lost any oxygen. If he was born without a hitch like Noah we probably would not worry so much.
In the beginning the babies seemed to excel at their milestones. They smiled appropriately, they rolled from their tummies to their backs quickly and they were really good with their hands. They passed toys back and forth with ease. Then things started to slow down. It took them awhile to find their feet and to roll from their backs to their tummies. Even now they are almost ten months and Noah is just now trying to crawl on his hands and knees. Gabe isn’t even really trying yet. They aren’t pulling up yet and they aren’t getting into the sitting position on their own. In fact Noah is on a sit strike. As soon as he started to try to crawl he refused to sit. I find myself and my husband saying you only have a couple of weeks to crawl. Where did we get this deadline? At our last doctor’s visit she told us she wasn’t concerned about them not doing these things until they are 10.5 months. So, there’s our deadline.
This is where it gets confusing, the boys were born at 35 weeks. Five weeks early, so in a sense we can calculate the meeting of deadlines based on their “adjusted age”. So, in real time the babies are 42 weeks but if you go by their adjusted age they would be 37 weeks. So, you can determine milestones by their adjusted age.
What I have really found is that my babies do things when they are damn ready to. I tried to force them to find their feet. I would pull them up to their face and make happy sounds. They just looked at me like I was crazy. Then I would help them roll over from their backs to their tummies. This would just enrage them. Then one day they just started to do both. I can see Noah try to crawl and he screams at the fact that he isn’t coordinating his legs with his arms. He wants to do it so bad and he gets frustrated that he is so close but not quite there. I think these babies will be just like their mommy and daddy. I do not like to be told what to do. Not in the sense that I have insubordination issues, it’s just if someone tells me I need to do something a certain way it makes me not want to do it at all. I want to do things my way. I think my husband is a little bit of the same. I see this in my bubs. They just aren’t ready to crawl or pull themselves up yet. But tomorrow they could wake up and be ready. Does this mean that I am not going to help foster their growth and help them? Absolutely not. Noah tries to pull himself up on me and I allow him to. It’s just I am not trying to force something he is not ready to do yet.
People ask all the time: “Are they crawling yet?” And I respond not yet. And they will say back it will happen, almost in a pity voice. I find myself retorting they were born 5 weeks early, they have time. But when you look at a wide range of babies you will find that no baby starts walking at the same time. They can start super early or well past a year. There is so much pressure on something that you just cannot control. I feel like it is just another reason for mothers to be shamed. There are so many other pressure points and things to worry about than putting so much emphasis on whether your baby will meet the milestone at the exact point that “they are supposed to”.
I know the milestones are their in case their needs to be early intervention for something that may be wrong. My point is just that there is too much pressure in some instances where there does not need to be.
Anyone else’s babies take their time in developing?
Just a small post today just to say I slept through the night last night. Well from 9:00 p.m. to 4:45 a.m. due to early morning thunderstorms! As I’ve stated earlier this week I’m just getting over my second bout of mastitis and now have thrush in my ducts causing severe breast pain. So, I’m trying to close my pumping chapter so I’m dropping pumps and reducing time. I finally said good riddance to that middle of the night pump. It was wonderful. Well except for the morning engorement. I woke up to 17+ ounces. So, here’s to hoping I can close this quickly and smoothly as possible.
I feel a sense of closure and clarity this morning. Maybe it’s just the fact that this is the first time in 9.75 months since I’ve slept through the night! Why didn’t I do this sooner? Just kidding I know why I didn’t.
However, I am trying to safely dry up my supply a bit. I’m really trying to not get mastitis again. I’m currently eating peppermint Altoids. I’ve read about sage and cabbage leaves. Does anyone else have any suggestions?
I hope that everyone has a fabulous weekend!
I had been pumping for 9 months without any major issues, I mean except for the fact that it’s been exhausting. In the beginning I was pumping 7-8 times a day for 15-20 minutes a session. There are many things in my life that I have quit prematurely. I was bound and determined to make it to the end of my pumping adventure. Prior to having my babies I literally knew nothing. I guess I kind of figured by 6 months it would be time to wean. Wrong! So, then I didn’t have a date to stop it was just when the time came to wean the babies. So, the pumping continued. But then I became absolutely physically exhausted and started getting sick. I have autoimmune issues (not really classified as anything right now) and the lack of sleep from getting up in the middle of the night to pump and not being able to fall asleep was taking its toll. I got a large stockpile of formula and then came a fork in the road. Continue pumping or transition over to all this free formula? I decided to pump awhile longer. It is absolutely amazing to me that my small 5 lb babies have turned into 21 lb almost 22 lb infants. I mean I am it’s not all because of my milk but in my head I know that I helped get them there.
Then came my first round of mastitis. I don’t think I had ever been so sick in my life. I know I had never had a fever as high as I got then or at least to my recollection. I also had a severely clogged duct. So, then I had to keep going. From the advice of many people on an exclusively pumping group, I bought some lecthin to help with clogged ducts and the pumping continued.
Then a week and a half ago came the second round of mastitis. Not as bad as the first. I caught it early and started antibiotics. My fever didn’t go over 100.4 this time.
Then on Friday I noticed this deep breast pain. It traveled from my nipple through my breast tissue up into my armpits. It didn’t feel sore it felt electric almost. I tried changing bras, I tried heat and ice packs. Nothing was helping. So, you know being an internet expert I googled my symptoms. It all pointed to trush. That night I came down with a horrible yeast infection. SORRY IF THIS IS TOO MUCH INFORMATION. With almost certainty that I had thrush and having a new tube of Nystatin, I started treatment. After pumping I applied a solution of vinegar (one cup water to 1 tablespoon of vinegar) and Nystatin And then using olive oil to wash away the Nystatin prior to pumping. I asked for advice on the pumping group, 5 people confirmed that my symptoms sounded like thrush and they suggested that I also buy a good probiotic to restore what the antibiotics destroyed. So, I started that Monday. Yesterday everything still felt bad, my breasts still hurt and my yeast infection had no improvement. I called my OB/GYN’s office for advice. I spoke to a nurse and before I could explain what was going on she just told me she would call in an all-purpose nipple cream to the pharmacy. I told her that I thought the trush was in my ducts because I was having extreme, deep breast tissue pain. So, she called in a 2 week supply of Diflucan and more Nystatin. It was disappointing to me that my doctor’s office was so dismissive. Wouldn’t you want to make sure that was what was going on before putting more chemicals in me? I tried to go the non-medication route, but it just wasn’t cutting it. So, that was really disappointing to me. Since giving birth I have had a couple of issues with my OB, so I think I might be looking into a new one. I guess postpartum care isn’t of worth their time. Makes me glad that I was under the care of a maternal fetal specialist for my twins.
But I digress, my point in this blog post is that I did not want to end my journey like this. My breasts are in more pain than I let on, yet I continue to pump. I went 9 months with no issues and I wanted to wean slowly, dropping a pump every few days. I am just disappointed that I have to end on a bad note or at least a memory that my last couple months were really rough. I am not stopping abruptly. I plan on continuing to drop pumps slowly because I do NOT want mastitis a third time. However, I guess due to the trush my supply is tanking. I used to be three days ahead in the fridge now I am just pumping for the next day. I am just severely dismayed. I know that I did good up until this point though and the babies will be 10 months on the 27th, so its about time to cut back and wean anyways.
But this isn’t a poor me post, it’s just exclusively pumping is damn hard. So, kuddos to all the mommas out there sacrificing your nutrients to feed your babies!
I hope that everyone had a wonderful Mother’s Day. I spent the day taking a step back and letting my husband take over. It was a nice day. We got to go to the park and let the bubbies stick their feet in a creek for the first time. They didn’t know what to make of it. Now it’s back to reality!
Last night I was cleaning off my dresser (you now putting away the pile of clothes that I threw on top of the dresser instead of actually putting away…oppps) and there I found a little relic. I bust out laughing when I saw it. And I realized I cannot believe I haven’t told ya’ll this story yet! Now if you don’t believe in this kind of thing I am sure you will think I am crazy.
Flash back to October of 2015!
My husband and I were on our kind of honeymoon (I say kind of honeymoon because it was months later and my parents were there). We went to New Orleans and from there we took a cruise to Mexico. It was my first time out of the country and we were having a blast. It was our second excursion day and we were supposed to go to Chichen Itza. I had ALWAYS wanted to see the ruins and I was beyond excited. That morning I had laid out the tickets for the excursion and packed my bag to take. We walked out of our cabin and saw lines. The boat was delayed for one reason or another. We probably waited for about an hour to get off the boat. We were supposed to be going on that excursion with my mother and stepdad. When we got outside we were supposed to line up with our corresponding excursion leader. I looked at my husband and I said do you have the tickets. He said I thought you had them. I panicked. We asked to get back on the boat and they told us no. My mom and stepdad handed us their tickets and said they would figure it out and meet us there. I felt so bad. I expected them to just get on the next bus. To make a long story short they did not make it on the next bus. I felt like a horrible daughter but they had been insistent about us going. So, my husband and I boarded the bus for the long ride to Chichen Itza. I was annoyed at our tour guide for not working with us prior to boarding the bus. We had paid for the excursion through the ship, they should have just made accommodations so when we got to Chichen Itza we did not stay with the group. We spent 10 minutes with the group and he basically talked about himself so we disappeared and decided to explore on our own. We had about 2 hours there so I wanted to make the most of it.
While we were walking around we were stopped by a man with a Mayan calendar. He said free for you. I knew there would probably be a catch but I honestly had a fun time bartering in Mexico. So, he told me the big Mayan calendar was 40 pesos. I said well that isn’t free. Then he said that he would throw in a little calendar and a sculpture for free. So, I said why not. When he handed us the little sculpture he told me it was a fertility statue. I told him I didn’t want that one, but he insisted and put it in the bag. We laughed and took it. We went along with our tour of Chichen Itza. It was truly an amazing place to visit. I am so thankful that my parents had given us their tickets and we got to experience it.
When we got home for our trip I put the little statue on my dresser and didn’t give it much thought.
Fast forward to December of 2015. I kept telling my husband that I was absolutely exhausted, nauseous and every little smell was bothering me. I told him I thought I was pregnant. He thought that I was absolutely nuts. I bought a pregnancy test and it looked negative but there was a faint line. I told him I thought it looked funny. He still told me I wasn’t pregnant and crazy. When Christmas day rolled around I really didn’t feel right. I made him go out to Walgreens and buy two more pregnancy tests. I went abruptly upstairs and took two. Both clearly and absolutely positive. I laid the positive pregnancy tests on my dresser and went downstairs in tears and in shock.
Later when it was time to go to bed, I glanced at the tests and realized they were sitting next to the fertility statue. I laughed. Could it be?
Flash forward to January 15, 2016. We had our second ultrasound. We had the first ultrasound because I was bleeding and we wanted to make sure that the baby was okay. A few days later I had my regular scheduled ultrasound. Low and behold there were TWO heartbeats. We were having twins!
When we got home that day, I looked at my husband and pointed to the statue. I said that damn statue.
We found out that we were having identical twins. This comes as a high risk pregnancy due to them sharing a placenta and resources. So, we were referred to an awesome maternal fetal specialist. He attributed to the identical twins to my husband having “super sperm”. I think he is crazy. It has to be that statue.
So, it is either a giant coincidence or superstition. I have been told by several people that you cannot just get rid of the statue. I thought about gifting it to my best friend for her wedding last year, but she is already pregnant and expecting her first baby in September. I have been told that we either have to wrap it in white and gift it or put it in a stream and let it float downriver to dispose. So, for now the statue remains.
However, I recently started the minipill. We will see how good this statue is. Ha, just kidding. I am not taunting the statue. I swear.
It was supposed to rain today so on a whim my bubbies and I went on an adventure yesterday.
We went to the park to swing…
And then we went on a small walk to check out some new scenery.
For the twin mommas what kinds of activities do you do with your twins?
One thing that I have found difficult since the arrival of the babies is balancing the relationship of my first babies, my fur babies, with my human babies. I have two cats one of which is a typical cat who only wants to be touched if she is given food and that of my precious Lola a.k.a. Woo Cat. Woo cat was used to being number one. She requires constant affirmation and pets. She was my sidekick for five years. When I lived alone my life revolved around her. And I gladly accepted the title of crazy cat lady. Then I met my husband and he accepted her as his own. Here we are at Christmas of 2015:
She is obviously the center of our universe. I was scared when I found out I was pregnant that her attitude would change. While I was pregnant nothing really changed but then came the day we brought the babies home. We left them in their pumpkin seats when we walked trough the door. I was at the hospital for three days so she was right there at the door greeting us. She went over and sniffed the babies and obviously didn’t know what to make of them. Then came the crying. The cats HATE the crying. At first she wanted to constantly jump up and try to what seemed to be “helping”.
Then the cries became ear piercing even for me so then and even now she just runs and hides. However, she seems to be slowly (very slowly) warming up. I catch her rubbing all over them while they are playing. Sometimes they try to “pet” her but they don’t understand and they usually get a handful of her. She doesn’t seem to mind and she has been very tolerant.
I try to maintain a balance, but lets face it I don’t even have time for myself sometimes. But while the babies are napping or at night I sincerely try to make sure that I give the cats, specifically Lola some loving.
How do you balance time for your fur babies?