I slept an hour and a half last night!
And I feel AMAZING! In literally 36 days, I haven’t slept a consecutive hour and a half during the night. Neither has my mom who has stayed with me since their C-section birth, (where she stayed with me in the hospital for four days while I INSISTED on breast feeding EVERY SINGLE FEEDING of the day AND night to be sure I established latching for both babies, every two hours). And last night, after a month now, I feel like we MAY have crossed a much needed goal line. Because after that hour and a half, I woke up, in complete disbelief, fed a baby, burped him, rocked him back to sleep, washed all of the dirty bottles and nipples and my breast pump attachments from the night feedings, cleaned the dishes left in the sink from the night before, folded laundry from their room left on the chair in the living room and kissed my husband good bye by 5am. All before passing my mom in the hall who had another baby ready for his bottle. Why? Because I felt like a ROCK STAR. And my mom agreed, she did too. Then we went on to have the discussion that maybe, JUST MAYBE, we might each get to have an additional hour if we staggered the next two feedings BEFORE my 22 month old daughter Mattelyn wakes up. MAYBE…
This past month has been CRAZY. I intended to write about a TYPICAL night in the first two weeks of having twins. I AM going to do it because it is so important for others to read! If you can garner ANYTHING from what I have learned, finding the time/making the time to write this is ALL WORTH IT (as I sit at 3:30am pumping and typing)!! I have had so many surprises and I have learned SO MUCH that I didn’t know. And for all of you that know me personally and for those of you who’ve gotten to know me better through my blog, you know I am a planner and I like to know what to expect and be PREPARED. No such luck at all.
There wasn’t enough preparing for the twins. There was just so much that no one told me, that couldn’t be planned for, that the doctors didn’t tell me, that I didn’t read about – and I read 8 books…not counting Websites and blogs…
I can’t believe it’s been ONE FULL MONTH since they arrived. I am still in disbelief daily that they are mine. And Christmas?? New Year’s 2015?? When did all of that happen? I know I didn’t sleep through it and yet it’s all over. I think I have gotten maybe 20 hours of sleep in 36 days. I sleep about an hour a night (maybe? intermittently with one eye open the whole time).
But first and foremost, THEY ARE HEALTHY AND THRIVING BABY BOYS – thank the Lord and we are so very blessed to be able to say this.
They were born at 37 weeks (full-term for Twins) on December 4th, 2014. They passed their APGAR tests both with all 9’s. Perfectly healthy and no one had to go to the NICU. BLESSED.
Maxton William – Twin A – born 5lbs. 9oz. NOW weighs 7lbs. 9oz.
Carson Armin – Twin B – born 5lbs. 4oz. NOW weighs 6lbs. 15oz.
They are officially off their Apnea monitors (monitoring their breathing and heart rates) and have passed all of their first month growth goals (and surpassed them with weight gain!) Their pediatrician has been thrilled with their weight gain and with the fact that they are breast fed. One baby has been diagnosed with colic and one baby has been diagnosed with acid reflux – if you know anything about either, both SUCK! Mattelyn didn’t have either so I wasn’t aware of what to do about either circumstance. Add that to premature manisfestations, and you’ve got yourself a handful.
Instead of writing about everything in detail that I WANT to write about, I thought I would share what I DIDN’T know or learn from books or friends or family or doctors PRIOR to having the twins. Things that I DEFINITELY know now and want to share and pass along to others! Each of these things have a STORY that eventually I would like to blog about to bring awareness. In the meantime, here are my thoughts and learnings.
Things I didn’t know, things I couldn’t live without and products that were life savers in this first crazy month of their lives…
- We go through 196 – 245 diapers a week just for the twins – not including our toddler that isn’t two or potty trained yet. At least 12 diaper changes a day not counting extras that are peed on and pooped on as soon as you change them. Times two! That’s 28-35 per day not including tummy aches.
- Onesies – these newborns need to have an additional layer under their sleepers to cover their core because they can’t regulate their own body temperature yet. These are essential for newborn winter babies especially.
- Preemie flow nipples – bottle feeding pumped breast milk in the beginning because the boys were too small and/or weak to nurse – they had to work too hard and would fall asleep before getting full. We needed them to gain that weight in the first two weeks.
- Swaddle me sleep pods – SO IMPORTANT! These made their sleeping increase by at least an hour. I will write a post SOON about the two we used in this first month so far already. They are expensive so understanding the size was key for me. My boys were little and the sizes are way different than the packaging indicated. Before you spend $50.00 on two, read my recommendation.
- Palmolive baby bottle, toy and dish soap and Babyganics foaming dish and bottle soap. We wash bottles and nipples times two, 12 times a day. Make someone a designated bottle cleaner if you can.
- Really good lotion for washed, dry, cracked hands
- Room darkening blinds or curtains for longer naptimes
- About 5 sleepers and onesies a day per baby. And changing pad covers and burp rags and bibs and sleep swaddles and receiving blankets…Tons of laundry boys pee on everything.
- Different weight receiving blankets and different sizes – make a big difference for swaddling and covering
- Car seat covers – so important!
- Nursing cover for guests/visitors
- Large display clocks for all rooms that you and your help are between at night and during the day – WRITE EVERY FEEDING DOWN ASAP. If you do nothing else, do this!!!
- Simethicone drops (gas relief for babies)
- Samsung baby monitor – this literally saved Maxton’s life in the first week
- Especially for winter babies, diaper wipe warmer
- American Red Cross baby scale for weighing daily in the beginning, then weekly for growth goals and then for breastfeeding counting ounces producing and eating
- Pack and play sleeper crib for sleep – Twin Sleeper? Pros and cons
- Pack and play crib for changing
- TwinZ pillow for napping and feeding
- Sound machine
- Large dry erase board to keep track of their day/night feeding schedule so everyone involved knows where you’re at with feedings
- Double stroller that fits car seats for dr appointments especially with their apnea monitors that they are in the winter
- Soothies pacifiers – the ones you get in the hospital are perfect because you can insert your finger into the front of the pacifier and let them clamp down on your finger massaging their gums and helping to soothe them. I love these pacifiers and have gotten a lot of use.
- Diaper genie – two – one for each room changing occurs in. They fill SO QUICKLY and I even put soiled diapers in the garage.
- A smart phone has been key for me. The same way I used it at work for scheduling, planning, note taking, photos, email and texting, I use it now.
- “Notes” on iPhone or the “Evernote app” for jotting down notes you need throughout the day – which you will all day long. Also for store lists, weight reminders, on-going questions for your next dr. visit, last breast pump, etc.
- Make sure your significant other or helper knows to take notes while at dr appointments and also puts next appointment in phone because you will be taking care of babies and you will look at each other a week later and say, “Now, when was their next appointment??”
IMPORTANT things to bookmark in newborn books and Websites:
- Read up on how to perform CPR on a newborn and what to do when a newborn is choking
- Premature baby manifestations – including small esophagus, esophagus spasms, premature tear ducts, clogging and eyes matted shut, shallow breathing, apnea monitors, baby acne, etc.
- Car seat testing in hospital for babies born under 6lbs – it takes 90 minutes and HAS TO BE DONE before you can leave the hospital
- Colic and a colicky baby
- Acid reflux symptoms and what to look for
- 37 weeks is full-term for twins, but still premature babies – for twins that don’t end up in the NICU – what they don’t tell you (I never found this information)
- Baby acne in the first month due to mom’s hormones after birth
- How to increase milk supply
- The mathematical formula for figuring out how much milk is needed per feeding based on babies weight – this is INSANELY USEFUL and I used it with Mattelyn and have now used it over and over again for the babies – Take the baby’s weight, multiply by 2.5 and divide by the number of feedings in the day. For instance, if they are 5lbs, multiply by 2.5 =12.5 divided by number of feedings (either 8 or 12 depending on every 3 hours or every 2 hours). So for a 5lb baby eating every 2 hours or 12 times a day, they would take 1oz (1.0416).
- Cluster feeding
- Communication with your help