Twin Adventures

Twin girls now rule the house.

Aquarium Trip

A few weeks ago we went on our first real outing. We met up with Anton’s parents and headed out to the Vancouver Aquarium. I’ve wanted to go for a while, but between work and the lack of motivation to plan something it just hasn’t happened. So I finally checked hours, phoned to see when their least busy time was and called up the in-laws.

The Plan

Going out with twins requires a bit of planning, especially with our routine. We decided that the best plan of action would be to do the first feeding at home (7:00am) and then get everything ready and hit the road. Prep time plus the drive would fill up the chunk between the first two feedings. The drive there would also give the girls ample room for “nap time”. By the time we got to the Aquarium it would be Brunch time (10:30am). That would give us three hours before the next time the girls needed to eat. We figured that would be more than enough time to spend at the Aquarium. Then we would feed them lunch (2pm) and hit the road to go home. And once again, giving the girls their naps. The car ride would be a bit longer than what they would usually nap for; hopefully that would make up for the nap that they’d miss during the visit.

To be prepared, we decided to bring both our Snuglis’ and our stroller. We figured we would mostly carry them around in the Snuglis’ but didn’t want to be caught needing the stroller and not having it. In the end it was nice to have both. Anton’s dad pushed the stroller around (what a man!) and the girls were more than happy to be up with Mommy and Daddy. Near the end of the afternoon, the adults sat down to grab something to eat and that’s where the stroller came in handy. One doesn’t realize how much work it is to eat food while you’ve got another person strapped to your front!

The Execution

You will be amazed to know… everything worked out perfectly! The girls were very co-operative for all of their meals, including the ones we did in the car. We managed to not hit any kind of rush hour traffic or road construction (very common in our Lower Mainland). We didn’t forget anything at home and the girls managed to push through the entire visit in a good mood; even though they missed out on a nap!

The attention span of an eight month old is not very long, so we didn’t spend a lot of time in one place. But, Shula seemed to get a kick out of the Sea Otter swimming laps around his pool and Maretta really enjoyed all the colourful fish going around in circles. We walked through the Amazon, listening to parrots screech and getting wet from all the mist. Coulda sworn Shula had just had a bath judging by how wet her hair had gotten!  Both girls liked watching the Pygmy Marmosets (dwarf monkeys) jump across their trees.

By the end of our afternoon Maretta and Shula were both looking pretty worn out from all the excitement (and lack of nap). They never got cranky though… all smiles and happy the whole time we were out. It’s hard not to brag about it, but our girls are perfect little monsters. I’m not sure if they ever made one unhappy noise! The six of us all really enjoyed ourselves and I think that going to the Aquarium will definitely be a regular thing. It’ll be nice, as the girls get older, to see them get more out of the shows and attractions.

Maybe it’ll become a “tradition” to go the Aquarium with all the grandparents!

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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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