Monday, October 31, 2011

Will the twins be close?

2011-10-24

They spent nearly 9 months next to each other, in utero. They root on each other, whether head, hair, hand, shoulder, or arm. One punches or hits the other while the other sleeps, and vice versa. But, they also nuzzle and love each other. Remember to love and nuzzle your loved ones; life is too short this side of heaven to not do that.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Nursing twins

These days, much of my time is consumed in nursing, not the sort involved in the medical profession, the milk truck sort. I don't mind, really. Involves life long benefits, gifts, I want to give my babies.

This time around (in case you're new to this blog, I already had two children), with twins, I knew tandem nursing was the way to go. Made this decision when the twins were still in utero. Little did I know that one of the two would be a bit slower at latching and sucking. Having the two nurse at the same time has helped encourage that twin with the let down coming from the other twin nursing.

Another benefit of tandem nursing or nursing two simultaneously: I get an hour break between nursing sessions (instead of nursing non-stop).

One product that has been a huge help in tandem nursing, personally is: My Brest Friend's twins plus (nursing) pillow*. While sitting, I'm able to lay each twin on either side without worrying about a baby rolling off the pillow. With a few blankets propped under their heads, I can breastfeed relatively hands free. While I was at the hospital, I awkwardly used loads of pillows to make tandem nursing work.

Those who are working hard to make nursing work, whether nursing one or more, make sure to eat well, drink plenty of fluids, and sleep. It's hard work but well worth the effort.

*My Brest Friend does not know who I am. I'm not being given gifts, perks, or money to speak well of them or their products. I am providing my personal testimony.

Beautifying in an instant

2011-10-19

These days, I sporting newborn spit up, drool, and likely poop. I've experienced my son's projectile pee whilst changing his diapers. A shower is a luxury I often do not get to enjoy but once a week. As a mother of four children five years old and under, I have a few moments to get ready. Being three and a half weeks post partum, finding articles of clothing that fit but don't accentuate my stretched-I've-had-three-children-skin is already challenging. But finding something decent to wear and being ready to go in a moment is all I've got.

Long story short, I do not have the resources - whether fabric or time - to look dainty and beautiful. Since I am not exactly a spring chicken and four babies later, I don't exactly have the knock-people's-socks-off body. So, accentuating with accessories, necklaces and hair pins, is my way of "dressing up."

A friend, whom I know from the seminary and from church, came back from vacation with a beautiful pin for me. Absolutely exquisite. I donned it this past Sunday, making me feel giddy and flowery. Thank you, dear Amy.

Helping

2011-10-18

Part of bringing the family together, especially as the brood gets larger, is to involve family members in assisting. When the second oldest asks to help with one of the newborns, always find a way to answer in the affirmative. Yes! Your help, your company, is always needed.

That is not to say that a three year old has permission to pick up or hold one of the newborns.

But, there is so much the older child(ren) can do. Grab a diaper, get a burp cloth, hold a pacifier in place. The older siblings can also help soothe the younger ones by keeping company, singing, and other activities. Making the older ones feel needed and valued is of utmost importance.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Twins

2011-10-15

Before these twins, we had two other children, one at a time.

Since having twins, along with two other children, I have long decided (in the 3 1/2 weeks the twins joined the world and the 8 1/2 months I was pregnant with them), I have quickly realized that:
  • nursing just one child is incredibly simpler,
  • getting two newborn babies to sleep and stay asleep for more than three seconds is a bear,
  • maintaining any supply of diapers with twins is a laugh,
  • finding time to eat, sleep, or drink involves stealing some time to do these things when a child doesn't notice . . .
I'm wondering how or why I ever complained about the difficulties of taking care of only one baby. Cake.

***

On a serious note, I am not laughing or mocking those who struggle with taking care of their first born or one child. That can be very challenging. For some, the first child joining a formerly childless family or couple brings more marital strife than any subsequent matter; parenthood is not a light or simple matter.

***
Back to the matter at hand, how do I take care of twins and two older children, when sleep is in low supply? Last night was just such a night. Besides waking to nurse, the twins didn't sleep well and kept me groggily awake. We'll talk about survival on little sleep another time. I'll probably be complaining, I mean blogging, about it quite a bit.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Figuring quality time

Since fairly early on in parenthood, I gleaned wisdom from a mother of five young children the importance of spending specifically designated quality time with each child. Each child, she explained, should have a unique activity with the parent that the other children do not share. At the time (and now), I thought, that's a good idea.

As I struggle to balance time amongst the little persons in my brood, especially since two are newborn and since my parents are here for a bit more time, I want to carve out time or activities for the older two children individually, even if there are limitations beyond our control. Given the constant needs of newborns, the twins take much of my time nursing, changing diapers, and soothing. During this newborn period, especially during this newborn period, I do not want the older two to believe they are unimportant or forgotten. I'm really sensitive to that possibility, and I want them to know that I'm trying to tend to their other non-basic necessities.

So, here's the daughter, who up until less than four weeks ago, was the youngest child; but, now, she's the second oldest child. She and I went grocery shopping, and she got to choose which car she would drive.

2011-10-14

I'd say we faired decently. Here she is, on the same day, posing (of her own volition; I did not tell her how to stand, let alone how to pose).

2011-10-14

Interestingly, my oldest is not as interested in riding the new tricycle she got for her birthday. Coloring, drawing, writing, and staying home (with me) are of more interest to her. But on one particular day, when I asked her whether she was interested in riding - just her and me, with no other siblings and no one else - she got very excited.

2011-10-15

I love my little darlings. How precious they are.

Friday, October 14, 2011

My hospital list

Coming soon: my birth story with the twins, who were born October 1, 2011.

For now, I shall tease you with little pieces of information. . .

I carried my twins until 38 weeks and 2 days. 37 weeks, singleton or multiples is considered full term. I might have exploded had I carried to 40 weeks or more.

Here is what I ended up packing for the hospital -

Lily's Hospital Bag contents:
  • 2 cameras - if you don't already know this already, I am a photographer, not by trade but by interest. I couldn't possibly be entirely at the mercy of others to have decent photographs taken.
  • 1 outfit for each baby to wear when going home: hat; one-piece, long-sleeve, long-pants clothing, socks. Wish I had remembered mittens/gloves - something to cover their little hands - so they wouldn't use their long nails to scratch themselves crazy.
  • 1 outfit for me to wear home: a top and a bottom that I would wear at approximately 6 mos of pregnancy, a nursing top, a pair of underwear (nothing new or fancy).
  • some food, just in case I was hungry, that I wouldn't mind throwing up during labor and delivery: gummy bears, Jelly Belly sours, saltine crackers.
  • a journal/signing book, where visitors could leave comments.
  • iPod touch - I had planned on listening to music and perhaps looking at pictures; but my labor and delivery, including the time I was home, was less than two hours.
  • my cell phone and a charger - to keep people posted and to share the news.
  • insurance card and i.d. - for hospital registration purposes.
  • some toiletries - toothbrush, toothpaste, nice smelling lotion (after delivering and feeling gross, just wanted something refreshing), chapstick (laboring makes one's mouth dry)
The less to pack and take to the hospital, the less to worry about taking home. Really, one doesn't need that much at the hospital. Here's some of my reasoning for not taking other stuff:
  • Might as well wear the hospital gown and the make-shift, disposable underwear the hospital provides - no need to messy up my own stuff. Who's really going to care or remember what a mother-to-be did or didn't wear.
  • Don't need to bring pads for post-delivery - use what the hospital provides. After all it's covered or you're already paying for it.
Alright, I must stop here and send what I've written to cyberspace (because my twins are each, um, exercising their vocal chords) or this post might take a few years before it's sent. Ciao.