Twin Adventures

Twin girls now rule the house.

A Day in the Life; Four-month twins.

As follows is a typical day. Sometimes Anton and I are home together, sometimes I’m at work, sometimes he’s at work. There are days where we go see Grandparents or the whole day loses its’ routine for some unknown reason. But, we try to stay on the same flexible schedule every day.

Another smiley baby in the morning!

Smiley baby first thing in the morning!

630am Adults wake up and do the morning thing. I pull out the breast pump, Anton drinks coffee.

7am Babies wake up and get changed and fed.

730/8am Learning time. We go through one category of our spectacular flash cards; letters, numbers, family faces, food, or animals

830am Up Time. Our own term… we put the girls into their Snuglis and do chores. Gets us working and gives the girls some time to be stretched out.

9am Walkees. The girls are loaded up into their stroller and we take Jimmie out for his morning pee. This also results the girls falling asleep in the stroller for their morning nap. After the girls go down, it’s also pump time for me.

Jimmie!

10am Girls wake up and we restart the cycle. Change and feed.

1030/11am Learning time. This time, we use a different category of flashcards.

1130am More up time. Each “up time” usually means a different chore type. Kitchen chores first time around; laundry chores for the second round.

12pm Nap time once more! Pump time once again as well!

1pm Time to wake the babies up! Another round of diapers and bottles.

130/2pm Afternoon walkees. Jimmie goes for another pee and the girls get some fresh air. If Anton went to work, we meet him outside the apartment building.

230pm Another round of chores to go through and some cuddle and/or Learning time.

3pm Girls go back into their cribs for their afternoon nap. I pump. And then we usually play a computer game/watch some tv while the girls sleep.

4pm Change, feed.

430/5pm This is usually our “flex” time. We cuddle, do flashcards, watch Tv, I usually grab my breast pump again. Depends on how much motivation we’ve got going on.

530pm Wii Time! Anton and I each put on a baby and we play Wii games. Table tennis, basketball, frisbee, swords play, etc.

6pm Well, usually this is nap time again, but that seems to becoming less so. The girls do not seem very interested in nap time in the evening. So.. until further notice, this is… Quiet time? We’ve been having the girls join us in the living room but not being too interactive with them. We’ll see what happens with this time frame over the next couple of weeks.

7pm  This is when the evening begins! Between 7 and 715 we rouse the girls and change their diapers. We strap them on in the Snuglis and go for our last walk of the day. It works really well for us. Jimmie gets his last bathroom break and the chilly weather wakes the little ones up and works up a bit of an appetite.

Bath Time!

730/745pm Dinner time! The last pair of bottles before bed!

8pm Bath Time! Anton gets our bath ready while I undress the girls. Each girl gets a turn and while Anton bathes the second one, I dry and dress the first one. Then while I dry and dress the second one, Anton dumps and rinses the bath.

815pm Massage and cuddle time. The girls looove to get a massage after their bath. Head to their toes, nice and gentle.

830pm Finally… Bed time! Our girls aren’t too bad about going down for bed. Some nights are worse than others but all in all, not too many complaints.

For the most part, we don’t get up during the night. Maybe once every few days, but mostly just to give one of the girls a soother or a quick back rub. Each day follows the same schedule, but can change. We may start a cycle a half hour later or take a nap right after a meal instead of doing Up Time first. But, it seems that the babies have learnt the routine, and love the routine!

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Best. Husband/Daddy. Ever.

Anton.My three favourite people napping.

He is, by far, the greatest man ever. Sorry every other male on the planet but… it’s true. And, I can’t believe that I managed to snag him.

Throughout the Wanting-to-Get-Pregnant stage Anton was extremely supportive and kept me positive about our chances. He always made sure to comfort me when I thought it seemed like I wasn’t getting any closer to my goal of having a family. When the Getting-Pregnant part of our adventure finally became a reality, Anton took my dream on as if he had been the one who decided to get pregnant in the first place. He loved really enjoyed our trips over to the island. Spending hours in the car together, just enjoying each others company. I think this was our “Alone Time” before the girls got here. No need to go on a pregnancy honeymoon… we’d already had some mini-road trips together. Anton was always by side, helping me with injections and making light of what some would consider a stressful and emotional undergoing.

/rawr

And, once pregnancy rolled around, Anton was a loving pain-in-the-ass. He’s got this sense of humour about him.. showing the opposite of sympathy but in such a way that you can’t help but giggle and love him for it. Pregnancy was a great experience with Anton. He bought me a foot massage, and rubbed my tummy, and gave me as many pillows as he could find. There was nothing he wouldn’t do for me. Except for midnight iced cream runs. None of those…

Since the birth of our girls, Anton has been the best ever. Because of my c-section I couldn’t really do anything by myself. Getting out of bed was a ten-minute endeavour in itself. So, it was up to my baby daddy to tend to the babies while we were in the hospital. He was up every hour with them; changing them, feeding them, cuddling them. He was a super-dad. And it was only his first days! Once we got home, it was more of the same. Anton got up with me almost every time during the night. He helped change and feed them. And he was always willing to give me a break if I needed or wanted it. I’m still sure that he’s changed more diapers and prepared more formula than I have

I know that he’s constantly thinking of new things to do for the girls. He wants the best for them and I love that he comes up with the greatest ideas of how to give them the best. I can’t wait to watch him continue to grow as a daddy. I can only imagine how much greater it’s going to get as the girls grow up. He can seem a little meh sometimes. But, it’s the small things that he does that show me he is really the Best. Daddy. Ever. Well, husband too.

So… Shout out to Anton. You rock my socks.

And, my little babies socks.

/heartmelt

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Breastfeeding

The road to giving our babies the best hasn’t been the easiest one.

Anton and I are fairly practical. Before we had the girls we thought everything through, going through best and worst case scenerios. Our plans were to breastfeed and do formula but worst case, only formula. We were hoping of course that the breastfeeding would go off without a hitch, even going so far as discussing how I was going to breastfeed twins and experimenting with pillow arrangements on the couch to get the best positions figured out ahead of time.

Unfortunately, the nursing didn’t go as well as we’d hoped. Shula never opened her mouth wide enough to get anything more than my nipple inside, and that was only successful about a third of the time. Maretta never seemed to know what to do once she had latched on. So, we moved on to supplementing with formula. We ended up doing a lot more formula than we had planned, but that’s the way things go. Things were a little tense in the hospital with the nurses, but I tried not to let it get to me.

Once we got home, breastfeeding kinda fell to the wayside for the first couple of weeks. But, after we had gotten into the swing of things, I decided to give it another go and we bought a manual Lansinoh pump. It worked great for me; although it didn’t take long for my wrists to start bothering me! So, I would pump every two hours, whenever the girls ate. It swallowed a lot of time and I was not producing anywhere near what I should have been producing. A good day was getting 50ml per breast; for the entire day. It was a little heartbreaking, to tell the truth. I gave up for a while, not being very diligent about pumping and getting easily frustrated when I didn’t produce as much as I wanted to. I never felt like a bad mom.. just felt like I was not giving the girls the best they could have.

After a while, we decided to splurge big time and get an electric double pump. A Medela Pump In-Style Advanced. Worth the $400.00 spent. It’s so easy to use and being able to pump both sides at the same time is fantastic. A 15-minute job. We gave the new pump a couple of weeks to see if it could increase my production. Unfortunately to no avail. We had to go for slightly more drastic measures. Made a doctors appointment and had my GP set me up with some Domperidone. Two pills; four times a day. It works!! I am now making upwards of 200ml a day, per breast. Still not enough to feed the girls exclusively but it is a huge weight off of my shoulders. I’m hoping that as they start eating solid foods in a couple of months we’ll be able to get rid of the formula all together and just give them the breastmilk in addition to their solids. Fingers crossed.

I still pump every two hours, to make sure I keep the production going as best I can. I’m not always the greatest at remembering to pump, so my two hour could easily turn into three or four, but I am over the moon about the progress me and my boobs have made. I plan to keep the pumping going until the girls are a year old. I’m grateful that I won’t have to worry about weaning them. And, for anyone who has doubts… I feel just as close to my baby girls even though I haven’t nursed them. We’ve still had tons of skin-to-skin time and I doubt they have suffered at all from not being given breastmilk exclusively. “Hah!” to the public health nurses that refuse to accept that formula is not the most horrible thing ever.

Daddy dual-wielding!

As a humongous side note… I am so extremely grateful to Anton. He pushed me to pump and not give up. He never judged me for getting frustrated or made me feel worse than I already did for not breastfeeding exclusively. My knight in shining armour. I probably didn’t give him all the credit he deserved at the time, but I probably would’ve given up by now had it not been for his motivation and support. And, isn’t it just fantastic that Anton can participate and contribute to feeding our girls. We can all bond over feeding!

“Breast is best, but bottle ain’t bad.” – Anton, genius, fantastic daddy, wonderful husband.

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Our Hospital Stay

We gave birth at Lions Gate Hospital, in North Vancouver.

The staff at the hospital was, for the most part, awesome. They gave us all the peace we wanted but were there in a flash if we needed anything.

Our prep nurse was a good sport; she let my family (Four adults, two kids) stay in our pre-op room up until it was time to deliver babies. The nurses in the delivery room were all very nice and supportive and even offered to take one of our two cameras to take pictures from the other view, including when the babies were delivered, and weighed, and took a great “First family Picture”. Our maternity ward nurses were great also. We never needed them too much. Anton and I had been prepping and gearing ourselves up for whatever was going to be ahead of us in the hospital, and I also had my mom there the whole time (except for during the nigh) so there was always a family member around to give us a break, if we needed one.

New Daddy catchin' some Zzzz...

The only complaint I really have is the constant badgering about breastfeeding! Now, to give a tiny bit of context here… I was more than willing and happy to breastfeed my babies. Anton and I had discussed feeding a lot throughout my pregnancy and we had decided that we could go 50/50 breastmilk and formula. There are advantages to both, no matter what some people will tell you. We wanted to give our babies the best, and that meant adding a bit of formula to the mix as well. Also, right after we gave birth and the pediatrician came in to congratulate and check on us, he told us that “No matter what your feelings are, you’re going to need to supplement with formula. At least for the first little while.” I was two weeks early and my milk hadn’t really started producing.

So, whenever the babies were hungry, I put them to my bare chest and we gave breastfeeding a try. My little girls did not have “latching” down; at all. Shula didn’t open her mouth wide enough, no matter what kind of tricks we used. And Maretta didn’t seem interested whenever she had a nipple in her mouth. Kinda just.. sat there and stared at me. But, this one nurse was bound and determined to make breastfeeding work for us.

After twenty minutes of Anton and I trying on our own, she would come in and make us all sit and try again for another twenty minutes. Don’t get me wrong! I appreciate the help! But.. I was exhausted and frustrated. My babies were exhausted, frustrated, and not to mention… Hungry! The nurse kept explaining to us  that we needed to get the babies some breastmilk otherwise they would wind up in the NICU with low blood sugar. We kept asking about supplementing with formula, but she wouldn’t hear it. At all.

Eventually one of the veteran nurses stepped in and brought us some formula to start feeding them. Thank god. I was happy to not see that one nurse again for the rest of our stay. In my opinion, she was too set on breastfeeding. Anton and I decided on our newest catch phrase… “Breast is best, but bottle ain’t bad.” Because, we aren’t bad parents for giving our girls formula and the Public Health Nurses shouldn’t make us feel that way!

Four Generations...

We didn’t get any sleep at ALL the first night. It only occured to me a few days after we left the hospital that we probably could’ve asked the nurses to take the girls for a few hours so we could get some sleep. Anton did most of the work for the hospital stay, as I could barely get up to use the washroom, let alone bend over and pick babies up! He was a super dad right from the beginning and I’m not sure I would’ve been able to cope without him there with me!

Most of my family and a few of my friends made it to the hospital to see our newest additions. Even my grandmother in-law endured a 2 hour (4 hour round trip!) car ride to come see us. It was great to see everyone’s support.

The hospital stay actually passed by really quickly, which was nice because I couldn’t wait to get back home and settle in with our two new bundles!

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