Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Your Cup Runneth Over....My Pump Runs Dry

I am now sitting at my computer ten months after my babies were born.  In my freezer lay 5 little plastic baggies with 1.5 ounces of breast milk in each one.  7.5 ounces.  That was all I ever managed to get.  And that does not include all the empty bags that ended up in the trash after nothing came out.

Unless you have super boobs, do not expect a bountiful supply of excess milk in your freezer when you have twins.  Your twins will suck you dry.

Yesterday we went to the doctor, and my boys' weights had fallen.  We were advised to supplement.  It is like going full circle.  We supplemented the first few weeks they were here, and now we are back at it again. 

We decided to start with their last feed of the day.  Lately it has taken so long that I am kind of glad to give it up.  The result?  One happy daddy who now gets a chance to feed a tired, snuggly baby.  And, one happy mommy whose babies didn't spend a half hour each trying to get the last few drops out.

Now I just need to get that bottle drying rack back from my sister in law.....

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Cosleeping Times Two!

My 9 month old twins sleep next to me in their crib (and occasionally in our bed). They originally slept in a large cosleeper until they outgrew it. I can’t imagine any other arrangement when it comes to dealing with two babies at night.

The benefits of cosleeping with twins:

1. You never have to get out of bed at night. You simply pull them out of their cosleeper/crib, feed, return them to bed, and roll over to go back to sleep.

2. You will hear them in their early stages of waking up rather then screaming through the monitor. That said your babies are less "awake" when you feed them, and thus return to sleep easier.

3. They can easily be pulled into bed when sick. Depending on your stance about sleeping with a child in your bed, I can say that a sick baby sleeps much better snuggled up to you than alone. I am not sure if it is just me, but my babies (who sleep on their stomachs in their crib) always sleep on their backs when in bed with me. Thus, when they have colds, their noses drain much better. If they are in their crib, they constantly wake up from being unable to breath.

4. You can enlist your husband's help when needed. Enough said. Until about 6 months old, my husband was responsible for night-time diaper changes. Now that they only get one change, we share the job. (What a keeper he is!)

5. Breastfeeding is much easier. This also relates to #2 - only it is much easier for you to return to sleep.
Non-Cosleep process:
 You get up, throw on a robe, walk into a cold room, get two babies out of cribs (which logistically is quite hard once they are mobile), breastfeed, burp, return them to bed, go back to your room, and crawl back into a now cold bed.
You sit up in your cozy bed. You pull one baby into bed and lay them next to you. You place the other one in your lap. You or your husband places the second baby into position. You breastfeed both babies at the same time while leaning back against a soft pile of pillows already in place. You burp the babies, and then lay one next to you in bed. You then return the first baby to the cosleeper, followed by the second. Finally, you roll over into your warm, yummy bed and fall fast asleep.

6.  It is easier to let them cry.  Lately my babies have tried to establish 2 am as "play time."  This required that I let them cry it out a little for the first time.  It was actually easier than I thought, because I could see their sillouettes in the dark and I knew they were OK.
I am a little biased towards cosleeping. Can you tell?

(Thank you to my new twin mom penpal Sarah for inspiring me to write this.)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Drop Zone

I knew I had to post early on about the "Drop Zone." Without this, I would not have survived the first 6 months of raising my twin boys. The drop zone is as it sounds - a place to "drop" the babies. When you have twins you can’t sit there with them all day, or hold them as you go about your business. You need a solution.
The drop zone started when I no longer had family help during the day (6 weeks). When I was done breastfeeding, I needed somewhere to lay one down and then the other while still providing an incline. My babes had major spit up issues at the time and had to be upright for at least half an hour after eating. Since I fed them on the couch, the drop zone was built at one end.

I took a pillow to cerate the incline needed, and laid it against the arm rest. Then I folded a quilt into a 3'x3' square and laid it over top. I took a small quilt and rolled it up. I laid that roll under the quilt square at the edge of the couch to keep the babies from falling off. Viola! Instant happy babies!

The drop soon became the place they napped and were read stories to. Over time I removed the back cushion to make it bigger, and built up the bumper as they started to roll. Once they were able to get up on their hands and knees, the drop zone was no more.

While the drop zone is a lifesaver, I feel the need to tell you in really small print , "Do not leave babies unattended. There is a risk of fall, etc....."