Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Twin pregnancy

   First, let me start with I am not a medical professional. I am just a woman with a "cervix of steel" and carried twins to 38 weeks despite doing jumping jacks at 37.5 weeks to try and avoid induction. I also got lucky. Honestly, a huge part of it is just luck.
   A common question I get is what was my reaction when I found out I was having twins. When I was pregnant with Chase I didn't worry at all. Having a miscarriage combined with hearing so many sad and difficult stories, my first reaction was worry. I tell a lot of people I honestly worried about my boys until they were in my arms and healthy.
   The best piece of advice I read when pregnant with the twins was to turn your worries in to goals. So, I did. I made it a goal to stay pregnant until 37 weeks. I made it a goal to have them vaginally. I made a goal to nurse them for a year. I can't remember if there were any more goals. But these were the ones that were important and I made them!
   The other piece of advice I listened to and have heard other twin moms say to moms pregnant with twins is listen to your body. I had to stop substitute teaching at 20 weeks. I couldn't stand any more without pain. Sitting with your legs up is not a good look for a sub. It is common for twin moms to go on maternity leave around 20 weeks. Don't beat yourself up about it. It was hard for me. If something feels off CALL YOUR DOCTOR!
   I know a mom pregnant with twins that has older children and a nurse told her not to lift her older children. I picked Chase up all the time. He was still in a crib until after the babies were born. Listen to your body. The same mom was told by the same nurse not to exercise. I had an active 2 year old and was in a tri level house. When I experienced pain and swelling I put my feet up.
   I used a maternity support belt when I had back pain and when my hip hurt I wrapped an ace bandage around my hips. I always drink lots of water but if you don't, start.
   I ate whatever I wanted. The twin pregnancy advice book said to eat lots of small meals. Like eat breakfast, then a snack, then lunch, and a snack, then a snack and dinner and a snack etc. I ate when I was hungry. There was a lot of clam dip. I gained about 36 pounds. My dr never said anything about my weight gain. I worried about gaining enough weight when I was pregnant with Chase and my dr said don't so I didn't ask this time.
   Baby A was 5lbs 14ozs, Baby B was 7lbs 1oz. They spent 0 minutes in the NICU. They were both delivered vaginally. If you want to read the birth story go here.
   I was asked this morning if I slept a ton. I had a 2 year old. I don't even remember being as tired as I was when I was pregnant with Chase.
  Don't compare it to previous pregnancies. Don't try to be super mom. Get a maid. Sit on your couch and cook those babies.
   Advice from my moms of multiples friends:
  • if you need to vent or tak to someone talk to another mom of multiples. Singleton and twin pregnancies are worlds apart and no one can relate like a fellow MoM.
  • getting in a pool helps tremendously with relieving the pain from carrying all that weight.
  • don't beat yourself up if you don't achieve your goals. Enjoy your time with your babies because it goes SO fast! Take lots of pictures and videos. Be flexible. Be kind to yourself. Be willing to say "no" or "help". 

Monday, March 16, 2015

Watch our videos on youtube!

I'm uploading some of our fave videos to youtube. We think our kiddos are pretty hilarious and adorable and thought you might think so too. Subscribe, view, and share please! https://youtube.com/meags7827

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Sleep training twins

We survived night one of sleep training twins!

Background: My one year old twins are exclusively breast fed. Around 6 months old their sleep got really bad. Most nights they would nurse several times a night and end up co sleeping. Co sleeping with twins is tough and lots of wake ups is tough, so we decided to trade down sleepassociations (link to isis parenting webinar. I don't think this is the one I watched but I'm sure it has the same info). Our bedtime routine was to nurse them to sleep and put them in their crib asleep.

Night 1-
Time for a new bedtime routine! We knew trading down sleep associations could take awhile so we wanted to get our good sleeping 3 year old singleton in bed first. We did baths. I nursed the twins with the lights on while Daddy and 3 year old showered. When the twins’ nursing slowed, I unlatched them. They both looked at me and I asked if they were done and they signed all done so I put them down and we got the 3 year old ready for bed.

We read a book together and said prayers. We relax our 3 year old before we leave his room at night. He wanted just Daddy in the room for that so I went and sat on the couch in our room in the dark and waited for him. I relaxed the twins while sitting on the couch.

Daddy came out of the 3 year old’s room and we gave the twins good night hugs and kisses and put them in their cribs. The crying started immediately. We let them cry for 5 minutes and then went in. The goal for the first night of trading down sleep associations is for the child to fall asleep in their crib with you rubbing their back. You can take them out of the crib and comfort them any way you like.

We each took a twin and comforted and put back in the crib. I could tell Daddy was getting frustrated with his twin so I reminded him we have to be patient and switched. Twin B fell asleep pretty quickly after that. A few more back rubs from Daddy and Twin A was asleep. It only took us 30 mins!!!

I couldn’t believe we were done so quickly. I figured they learned how to go to sleep now and are probably tired they will sleep for a long time. No. There were several wake ups before 11:30. Luckily it only took a few minutes of back rubbing to get them back to sleep.

There was a chunk of sleep from 11:30-3:00.

I felt guilty about night weaning them cold turkey. I had decided if after 3 am it was harder to get them to go back to sleep I would nurse them.  Twin B woke up at 3:00 but pretty quickly went back to sleep and stayed asleep. Twin A woke up around 3:30 and Daddy couldn’t get him back to sleep so I brought him in the bed and nursed him and once he was asleep for 30 seconds put him back in his crib and he went to sleep.

Twin B woke up at 5:30 and took awhile to get back to sleep and then woke up quickly after so I brought him in the bed and nursed him. I think I fell asleep. No clue what time I woke up and put him back in his crib.

They were both up for the day around 7:30.

I’m honestly not that tired. I probably get that much sleep every night anyways. I’m so proud of my boys. They really did awesome. Every child is different but on average the first time you try to trade down sleep associations can take an hour.

Our plan is to do the same thing tonight. We plan to eventually trade down to just one person alternating rubbing their backs and we may even trade down to less soothing than that. It’s so different with twins. With my singleton we would rub his back for like 20 minutes until he was asleep. Can’t really do that with twins.

Night 2
Twin B- no crying as long as someone was rubbing his back.
Twin A was still upset but went to sleep in less than 30 mins

 No wake ups until 1:15! So amazing but they did not go back to sleep quickly. Daddy came to the rescue and got Twin B to sleep. I really don't think twin A would have ever stopped crying. After 30 mins or more I decided to nurse him.

I put him in his crib after and thought he would go to sleep. No. So daddy to the rescue again. He went to sleep pretty quickly this time.

 5:20 twin B awake but back to sleep pretty quickly

 6:30 twin a awake and I was over it. Brought him in bed with me and nursed him.

7:45 twin b awake for the day

 No nursing for twin B all night! And no wake ups until 1:15. I'll take it! Hoping it keeps getting better! We have to get them used to one person soothing them. When I tried at 1:15 it was tough. 

Night 3-

twin A still not a fan and taking awhile to fall asleep but he slept 9:30-7. I heard some crying but ignored it and it stopped. I was tired!

Twin B woke up at 4:20 and after 15 mins I decided to see if he would sleep in our bed. Nope. Nursed him and had to rub his back to get him to sleep in his crib.

One twin slept through the night and one wake up?! I'll take it!!!

Night 4-

Time to trade down to just one parent in the room. I put both babies in their cribs after story and prayers and turned the light out. Twin A started crying right away. My plan had been to get Twin B asleep and then deal with Twin A but Twin B wasn't crying so I soothed Twin A. He fell asleep pretty quickly!

I was rubbing twin B's back and he wasn't crying so I decided to try to trade down his sleep association. I decided the high would be rubbing his back and singing to him and the low would be not touching him or singing to him. It took a little while but he eventually fell asleep.

Twin B had a few wake ups. His nose is kinda stuffed up so I'm wondering if that caused it. He woke up before we went to bed and daddy went in and quickly got him back to sleep. There was a wake up at 12:30 too.

2:30 both babies awake. Finally got Twin B asleep. Twin A seemed like he was asleep but would cry after I left the room so I nursed him in bed with me. When I put him back in his crib he went back to sleep until 8 am. I'll take it!

Twin B slept after the 2:30 wake up until around 6 am I think. I just brought him in bed with me and nursed him and he slept until 8 am.

Proud that I got the boys to sleep on my own. Tonight is Daddy's turn.

Happy Birthday Austin

Chunky monkey,
   My baby, the younger bigger one, the big guy. You, baby b, were such a stinker when the doctor was trying to get you out. I watched the video of your birth today and when they finally got you out put you on my chest all cleaned up I called you chunky monkey. Once you were out you had a lot of fluid in your lungs and they almost had to take you to the nicu. The nurses worked really hard to keep you with us. It was scary and a little dramatic. You can still be a drama baby.
   The instant you spot daddy or papa you insist they pick you up or the world will end. You are also very dramatic if they put you down or if someone takes something away from you.
   This year there have been many times you have reminded us of your big brother Chase. You started off looking a lot like him. We often say you are his clone or mini me. You hit a lot of your milestones around the same time as Chase. You were both walking across the room on your 11 month birthday and you both love balls. You are both pretty silly. One of your favorite things to do was stick your tongue out and make a bbrrppff noise.
   You are always following Chase around and trying to throw him a ball.
   You are such a cuddle bug. You love to sleep in mommy and daddy's bed. I honestly don't mind but sometimes Kyle needs mommy too and it gets a little crowded or you get jealous that he is getting milk.
   You are a pretty happy and easy going guy.
   Daddy and I wanted a family with 3 babies. I knew you were a boy and I wanted all boys. The second I saw you on the ultrasound screen I fell in love and was so worried about you. I thank God every day for giving you to me. Our song is "Wanted" by Hunter Hayes because I want you to know you were always wanted.
And I just wanna wrap you up
Wanna kiss your lips
I wanna make you feel wanted
And I wanna call you mine
Wanna hold your hand forever
And never let you forget it
Yeah I wanna make you feel wanted
Baby I wanna make you feel wanted
You'll always be wanted
   Oh, my sweet chunky monkey, I pray you continue to be silly and love your brothers and the rest of the family. We wanted 3 babies, didn't expect 2 of them to come at the same time but we are so grateful that you did. I look forward to seeing your relationship with Kyle and Chase grow. We all love you so much! Happy first birthday!

Happy Birthday Kyle

Kyle the Crocodile with a smile,
   My middle child, the older smaller one, little guy. You, baby a, were always the one giving us problems when you were in my tummy. You would be difficult when they were trying to get certain measurements and lazy during the non stress tests. I watched the video of your birth today. After the nurses cleaned you up, weighed you, and I gave birth to your brother, they wrapped you up and placed you on my chest. You were so calm and content and looking around. I'm not really sure when that changed. You, my sweet boy, can be high maintenance some times.
   You are overall a pretty happy kiddo. You do love to smile at everyone. But if you are unhappy you let us all know. There are times you did not enjoy the car seat. You started off being a mama's boy.
   I hesitate to talk about your torticollis and therapy but it has been such a big part of this year. When I was watching your birth video I pointed out to your daddy your indented jaw. We knew right away that your neck muscle was tight. We started therapy at 12 weeks. That was our special mama and Kyle time. Plus all the time I spent with you at home stretching your neck. You have been awesome in therapy and your neck is getting so much better.
   You think everything Chase does is hilarious. I love watching the three of you play together.
   Daddy and I always wanted 3 babies. We were ready to give Chase a sibling pretty quickly. You and your brother had your own plans, God's plan, and I wouldn't change a thing.
   I thank God every day that he gave me you. I'm so grateful that we were blessed with 3 healthy, adorable and perfect babies. I love that you are a cuddle bug just like your brothers. I'm so lucky that I have been able to stay home with you this year and that you are exclusively breast fed.
   Kyle, I hope you continue to share your smile with the world. I pray you continue to be healthy and happy. You are so loved our middle boy. Happy first birthday!

*maybe some day I will have time to add pictures!