Monday, September 17, 2012

Weightloss: Good for Mama, not for babies

It is a well known fact that the weight babies are when they are born is rarely the weight they are shortly after birth. This held true for both of our boys. A, our smaller guy, lost some weight but only about 4-6% of his body weight which is well within the normal range. H, on the other hand was reaching toward the danger zone as he was creeping close to a 10% loss. My milk was not yet in, and my colostrum was being split between two tiny mouths. We were advised to offer each of the boys a small amount of formula. Though I wasn't super excited about it, I knew in my gut it was what we needed to do. Thankfully both boys began gaining weight. We continued offering a small amount of formula after every-other feeding up until our first pediatrician appointment.

At our first appointment our doctor told us that we could play around with our feeding a bit and see what worked best for us and the babies. My milk was in at this point and I wanted to try feeding them just breast milk. We went along like this for a couple of weeks until our two week appointment. At this appointment we learned that in one weeks time the boys had only gained a couple of ounces each. Not great. So, she suggested doing one of two things- either meet with a lactation consultant to see what they suggested OR go back to supplementing after every other feeding with a small amount of formula. After some careful thought we decided to go the formula route. It was what my gut told me to do, and I think my mama instincts were correct. We had a weight check one week later and each of our boys gained a significant amount of weight. H gained 10 ounces and A gained 7. Yahoo!

Thankfully the weight gaining saga is on the upswing and we have one more weight check scheduled for two weeks after the last, just to be sure the gain is still happening. Hopefully Wednesday will bring good news of growing boys!

Mama on the other hand is (or rather, was) dropping weight like CRAZY. On the morning of my c-section I had gained exactly 40 pounds from the day the boys were transferred. At my 2 week postpartum appointment, I had lost 42 pounds. I can assure you I haven't in anyway TRIED to lose the weight. Life with twins is busy. I am up and down off the floor constantly changing diapers, breastfeeding two babies, eating whatever is prepared in the fridge and then starting again. It is a busy that I would not trade for any other job in the world- and if it is going to make me lose weight... heck yes! I will add that after losing that first 42, I've lost nothing more and have maybe gained back a pound or two. Life if getting a little easier as I get into a little bit of a routine and my appetite is slowing coming back. Nursing two growing boys several times a day leaves me eating pretty much anytime I am not feeding another hungry mouth :)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

"Is it hard?"- postpartum encounters with an infertile

As part of my postpartum care I had an appointment with the postpartum/lactation care clinic at the hospital where I delivered about 3 days after I was discharged. This was one of our first outings with the babies and we turned a lot of heads with our long double stroller holding two of the cutest (I may be biased) faces on the planet. 

As we were walking into the hospital, a young nurse peeked in on the boys and asked me 'Is it hard?' to which I replied 'yes, but not as hard as I thought it would be.' She then shared with me, a complete stranger, that she was going through fertility treatments and had been told that multiples were a very real possibility. I quickly shared that we'd been there and that every single thing she'd face in the coming months would be absolutely worth it.
We were running late for our appointment and she appeared to be returning from a break, but as we walked our separate ways, we both wished each other luck and I said a quick prayer for her that she'd be as blessed as I've been. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012


The title: If you don't have anything nice to say about twin parenting... keep your mouth SHUT, and other unsolicited advice, seemed a bit long, but that is what this post really should be called.

If you've ever shared with someone that through fertility treatments you may be BLESSED with multiples, been pregnant with multiples or had the pleasure of giving birth to multiples you've surely heard some comments about what your life will undoubtedly be like. Some of these comments will have come from people who've parented twins and some will come from people trying to 'help' who  really have no idea what they are talking about. In both situations, the ass-vice is generally not super helpful. 

I heard a lot of this while I was still pregnant with the boys. I usually just took it with a smile and walked away giving it very little thought. My first dose of post-pregnancy twin 'wisdom' came from the OB who discharged me from the hospital. When she came into my room on that Saturday morning, her first comment was 'are you sure you want to go home?' After we assured her that we were ready, she proceeded to lay out for me how my life was over. You see, she herself has twins, so she surely knows exactly what life if going to look like for us. Not only did she share that her twins have NEVER gotten any easier and they are now 2.5 years old, but also that I'd likely never sleep again. She told me that she 'usually' is still happy she had them. I know some of what she said was in jest, but what ever happened to building each other up as mothers? I'm the first to admit that I appreciate some honesty- even when it isn't what I'd like to hear, but to stand there and tell a woman who is preparing to take her twins home how HORRIBLE it is going to be? Probably not super helpful. 

I'm thankful that my attitude toward having twins has always been- I may have my hands full, but my heart will be equally full. I can't even imagine how defeated I would have felt if I wasn't able to listen to her and laugh as she left the room. 

Let this be a reminder to both myself and to you... If you can't encourage (or occasionally commiserate) with another mother, just keep your mouth shut. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

And then we were FOUR part 2...

Part ONE can be found HERE....

Again, I'm totally not editing this--

The trip to the postpartum portion of the hospital was comical at best. The transfer staff at this hospital left a little to be desired. The person moving me had the paper portion of our chart with us, but somehow neglected to find out before moving me WHERE exactly we were going.... super. So, while she attempted to find out what room I would be moving into for the remainder of my stay she just went ahead and left me in my huge hospital bed right in the middle of the elevator bay. Thankfully I was so blissfully happy to have two perfect boys laying on my chest I hardly noticed how weird this was. 

After making it to my room the same transfer person asked me to go head and move my body from the bed I was in, onto the bed that was in my new room. Uh, did I mention I had abdominal surgery about 2 hours prior and was numb from about the boobs down? Needless to say, NOT the easiest task! It felt like it took me hours to move from one bed to the other inch by inch, but I made it. After we got settled in our new room we allowed our families to come in and meet the boys for the first time. It was fun to watch them as they saw the boys for the first time. 

The remainder of our hospital stay was relatively uneventful. We had fantastic nurses day and night, I seemed to recover in record speed getting up and walking around about 12 hours after surgery and showering the next morning after getting rid of the catheter sometime in the night. The boys roomed in with us the majority of the time, but spent a couple of hours each night in the nursery so we could get some real healthy recovery sleep. I learned to breast feed, pump and generally take care of two babies. I found myself constantly looking at them and thinking about them.

We ended up staying in the hospital three nights and made our way home as a family of four on Saturday morning. The doctor from our OB's practice that was on rotation that morning was a real peach, but that is a post for another day- re: if you don't have anything nice to say about twin parenting... keep your mouth SHUT!

Posts I'd like the write in the coming weeks- if I ever find the time....
  • If you don't have anything nice to say about twin parenting... keep your mouth SHUT, and other unsolicited advice.
  • "Is it hard?"- postpartum encounters with an infertile.
  • Weightloss: Good for Mama, not for babies.
  • Breast Feeding Twins: Didn't I JUST have something attached to my boob?
  • First Four Weeks Favorites- things we never could have lived without.

And then we were FOUR!


I can't believe it took me this long to get back to the computer and write about these sweet little boys who've stolen my heart, made me cry, changed my life and caused me many exhausted days. But, here I am almost four weeks after they were born- loving life as a mommy... the good, the hard and the mounds of diapers and laundry!

I don't want to forget their birthday, so in an effort to document it- here is the run down!

On the August 15th we woke up bright and early around 3:30am. We needed to be checking into the hospital at 5:30 and knowing that the drive would take about 35-40 minutes and we both wanted to take one last non-rushed shower we knew it would be a very early morning! We both woke up super excited to meet our boys and I was still not feeling an ounce of fear about the surgery that would be starting in just a few hours. We got ourselves ready, packed up the car, took a couple final pictures of our babies in my belly and hopped in the car to go meet our long awaited babied!

We arrived at the hospital right on time, checked in and were taken back to our room. I changed into my gown, met the nurses who would take care of me up until my surgery and then they hooked me up to the monitors to check on the boys. Both little hearts were beating and it was time to wait for my surgery time. The anesthesiologist came in, talked to us about the spinal and what to expect and shortly after my OB came in to go over what would be happening in the OR. I was still not even a little nervous, just super excited to see my boys and hear their little cries as they came out of me. Of course, just as the OB was finishing explaining the surgery, his pager went off and he quickly called the nursing station from my room to find out another of his patients was just about to have her baby just a few doors down. He assured me that it'd be quick as 'this is her third baby, this shouldn't take long'- all with a motion as if to say the baby would just kind of slide out of her. Hubs and I had a good laugh as our doctor (who we love) walked out of the room.

We ended up waiting about an hour for him to be ready for my c-section. I walked myself down to the OR, sat up on the table, was prepped for the spinal and then started to lose it. I still wasn't totally scared, it was more that I was realizing the babies were really almost here. I wanted more than anything for my babies to come out screaming so I knew they were ok, and I think that is what I began worrying about in that moment. As I sat there receiving my spinal (which, while a super weird feeling doesn't 'hurt' more than a pinch) my chin quivered, my nose dripped and a few tears were shed. Both my nurse and doctor stood in front of me each holding a hand and a shoulder. My OB talked to me the entire time reminding me why we were there, there the two most important people in that room were my sweet baby boys and that he was going to get them out safely. He probably promised me 10 times in those few minutes that not only would they be perfect, but that I was already a great mommy and my boys would already know that when they took their first breath. I guess after twenty-five years delivering babies he knows what mamas need to hear to make them both cry and feel confident all at the same time.

Shortly after the spinal was in, I was laying down on the table, drapes were being hung and my belly was being tested for feeling. As soon as it was decided I was plenty numb (SO WEIRD!) my husband was brought into the OR. He sat right next to my head and help my hand. We spent a long time just looking at each other knowing these were the final moments of being just two. It was only minutes after he arrived in the room that our first baby was born. He came out just as I'd prayed for months... screaming! My OB brought him around the side of the table so I could see him before taking him to be cleaned up. All I remember thinking was 'He is HUGE' and 'I'm a mama!' Just one minute later little brother was born. He was rather angry to have been pulled from his cozy home at the top of my uterus and screamed in protest. Along with his screaming he came out pee'ing.... not once, but three times before reaching the head of the bed for me to get my first peek at him. The OR staff just kept laughing as they'd say over and over- 'He's pee'ing again!' My first thoughts of baby B were- 'He's tiny and red!' We'd been told for months that the boys were measuring very close in size, so when I saw my HUGE Baby A (7lbs 11oz) I was waiting for another big baby. When Baby B came out at just 6lbs 5oz (big for a twin) we were all surprised.

After both boys were born and the first checks and cleaning was complete in the OR, they and my husband were taken back to our private recovery room to get cleaned up, receive their first shots and under go their first evaluations. I was left in the OR to be stitched up. My totally weird anesthesiologist proceeded to show me random picture on his phone to keep my mind off the fact that my babies and husband had left the room. He showed me his daughter trying on wedding dresses, flowers in his garden and a photo he snapped on his phone as Baby B was being born. At that point Hubs and stopped taking pictures and was just enjoying to moment with me, so it was fun to see the little man being born- especially as I was laying there in a room away from my babies for the first time EVER.

Once I was all stitched up ( my OB and the assisting OB were talking about home improvements as they put me back together) I was transferred back to my bed (super weird feeling) and wheeled back to my recovery room where my three favorite people were waiting for me.

Hubs and I watched as they both had their first bath and received their first shots. As soon as both of those things were done I was able to hold them both skin to skin and try nursing. Both of the boys were pretty sleeping but H did try his best to nurse a little. A (baby B) wasn't hold his temp as well as the nurse would have liked, so he and daddy had to make a trip upstairs for about an hour to a warming bed were he was fitted with little foot heating pads and then his feet were wrapped in diapers.... he looked like he was sporting tiny baby Uggs- made of diapers!

Once A and Daddy returned to our recovery room we were able to all make the trip upstairs to postpartum.

... In an effort to publish this before their first birthday I'll publish in chunks- and without editing, otherwise it could be Christmas before I get this done!