Thursday, August 22, 2013

One Month Update

The twins are one month today! I cannot believe that it has already been a month. I didn't do the best of keeping on top of documenting my daughter's milestones so I am trying to do better this time. I promise all of my posts won't be about the twins and my daughter! Once I can get back to exercising, I hope to start blogging about running and using the blog to keep me on track with training, as well as share some daily insight to my life. 

The Twins One Month: 

   Unfortunately I was unable to keep breastfeeding the twins for a variety of reasons. Since I was able to nurse my daughter until she was 10 months and had an enjoyable experience, it was a challenge for me to accept that I was unable to do it for the twins. However, it has proven to be the best choice for our family and I am seeing the babies grow and thrive so it has eased my mind. On the downside we go through a lot of bottles!

Our nightly bottles ready to go. 
Our sink the morning after. 

 As of now we are trying to keep the twins on the same eating schedule, but they aren't always cooperative. Olivia is hungry after 2 - 2 1/2 hours and Jackson goes about 2 1/2 - 3 hours. My husband and I were trying to keep them on the same schedule and waking or stretching the other baby to keep them together. After many stressful feedings, I realized today that this philosophy wasn't working for us. I understand the concept or making everything easier and I'm sure when they are older it will be worth it to have them eat together. At this point, I need to make sure I'm meeting the needs of each baby individually. From the beginning I wanted to make sure that I treated them as individuals and not just "the twins." I realized by forcing them to conform to my schedule I wasn't recognizing each child's needs. After deciding this today, I found today to be less stressful and more enjoyable. I wasn't anxious about feeding times because I was taking cues from them. 

  Our sleep varies each night, but on average we get 2 1/2 - 3 hour stretches in between feedings. Compared to my daughter who nursed every 2 hours for the first 3 months, I am already getting at least an hour more in between each feeding. During the day, Olivia is more awake. She tends to take a few longer "naps," but sleeps pretty consistently throughout the night. Jackson needs a few more reminders about day and night. He's getting there though! With my daughter she never napped on her own and was more often held. The fortunate part of having twins is that we don't always have enough hands to hold them all. We have been relying on our swings and our infant napper. Both have been pretty successful. If neither of those are working, we resort to the car! I am looking forward to longer stretches at night, but I am just thankful that we are getting some sleep. 

    There haven't been any huge milestones this month. Basically everything the twins do is a huge milestone. I am looking forward to watching them start to smile and become more alert in the next few months. This month we did get our first pictures taken of the twins and their big sister together. I guess this counts as a milestone since my daughter didn't have pictures taken formally until 6 months! I know I'm biased, but they make a cute family  huh? 

Big Sister
     Big sister is starting to get comfortable with her siblings. At first she liked the twins from afar and only liked to talk about them. She's beginning to play with them and is actually asking to hold them. Though holding the two of them is a little scary to her as you can see above! She has her moments of jealously, but we are trying to do our best to give her special time and to include her in as much of her siblings day as we can. I know as they get older and begin to interact more, she may become less cautious around them. 

     I think I could write an entire separate blog entry to just skim how I'm feeling. It's been quite an adjustment and I am trying to take it day-by-day as some are more overwhelming as others. I can't wait until my 6 week appointment and I am cleared to exercise. I can definitely tell when I need a good run or workout and it's killing me that I can't! I feel ready to workout, but I know I need to wait until my doctor's ok. With all the complications I had during pregnancy, I'm not taking any chances! Even though I don't have my usual way to relieve my stress and anxiety, I am very thankful to have the support my husband, family and friends. We are so fortunate to have had so many visitors this past month and extra hands helping out. I would never have survived the first month if we hadn't have had so much support.

 Since the majority of this post is all my thoughts, I thought I'd share with you some lessons that hubs has learned form having twins. It's humorous, honest, and a great representation of the first month.

1. You can never have enough dish soap
2. They spit up more on my clothes than they do their own
3. I have a new found appreciation for families with multiples. If you are a parent of multiples I want to tell you how amazing you are.
4. I have completely forgotten what day of the week it is.
5. I have to buy diapers almost every time I leave the house.
6. Apparently, I do not have enough hands to hold and feed both children, yet.
7. Taking a shower and brushing my teeth can be completed in under 2 minutes.
8. Naps for parents apparently were never part of the "twin" deal.
9. I can't remember the last time I sat down and ate a meal uninterrupted.
10. I wouldn't change any of it for the world.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Becoming a Family of Five

As I finally have the energy and time to sit down and write the blog that I've been trying to write for almost 3 weeks, it's hitting me that we have been a family of 5 for almost 3 weeks! I can't believe how quickly time has flown. I guess when you have 3 kids two years and under, life most pretty fast.

But... I guess I should back up. Our family was blessed to grow by 2 more on July 22, 2013. Although my husband and I knew we were expecting twins, we didn't realize how much our lives would change at the end of June when I went into the hospital with pre-term labor. Fortunately the doctors in Boston were able to postpone my delivery for a little less than 5 weeks and I stayed on hospital bed rest until 37 weeks, full term for twins. I'll share my pregnancy and labor story in another blog for those who are interested. I relied on a lot on other twin mothers' blogs throughout my pregnancy so I hope that my story may give others hope and comfort throughout their own pregnancy.

On Monday, July 22nd my husband and I were excited and nervous that we were finally going to meet the twins. At 6:32 PM Jackson Nicholas was born and at 6:44 PM along came Olivia Marie. Both twins were healthy and good sized babies for twins. Jackson was 7 pounds 2 ounces and Olivia was 6 pounds 4 ounces.  I am definitely thankful for the extra weeks of delayed delivery!

Olivia Marie (Left) and Jackson Nicholas (Right)
From the start our neighbors, family and friends jumped in and helped out in any way possible. I can't even begin to describe how much we appreciated the dinners, extra hands and thoughtful gifts and time spent with our daughter Isabella. We would have had a much more challenging transition home without everyone's continued support. However, this week we've started to settle in our family with less help from others. We figured it was time to start getting our feet wet and figuring how to manage on our own.

We knew it'd be crazy, but it seems like a storm is on the horizon in our house. Between our independent two year old and the frequent needs of the twins, it feels like nothing is accomplished but diaper changing, feeding them and bath time. By the time we get the twins settled, our daughter wants something. Or as soon as we get our daughter settled, the twins are ready to be held or eat! I'm pretty sure that parents of twins should be able to adapt like wild animals and sprout a few extra hands... just kidding.. sort of. We were prepared as best we could be for the whirlwind that became our house, but it's still an eye-opener when you think of how frequently they eat and the amount of diapers that 3 kids go through! Sleep is really nonexistent, but we knew to expect that. Unfortunately you can't bank hours before the babies come.

Don't get me wrong. The past few weeks have been non-stop, exhausting and stressful. However, they also have been the best few weeks of my life. Welcoming Jackson and Olivia into our family has felt like the perfect fit. All 3 of us are filled with love for our new family and are enjoying getting to know the little personalities. It has also made us cherish our time with Isabella more and stop to take any free chance we have to make our time with her special. It's also strengthened my husband and I as a team. We continue to grow as parents and work together to do the best we can for all of our children. Three weeks have almost passed. I can't wait to see how many changes for the better our family continues to go through!