Monday, March 22, 2010

I'm Sorry, So Sorry...

Poor kid.  There you are changing a diaper, feeding a baby, etc., when the inevitable happens.  The other twin starts to cry.  Whether for some unknown reason, or they have fallen over and bumped their heads, the wailing begins.  Do you rush over right away like the mother of just one child?  Do you set your toddler down and rush over like a mother with older children? Or, do you just yell across the room, "I'm Sorry!" as you finish the task at hand.  If you are the mother of twin is is likely the last option.  Unless you are an octopus with extendable arms this may become one of your most used phrases.

But, I believe that the use of this phrase has created somewhat patient little babes (I know, I know - I am not yet at the terrible twos).  After months of yelling "I'm Sorry" across the room and feeling just awful, the other twin will now come over and just rest their head on my leg or knee until I am done. 

I'm telling you, this twin raising thing definitly has some perks. to run... my twins are screaming their heads off upstairs refusing to nap.  Oh well.  I can't win them all.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Diapering Twins on the Cheap

The doctor tells you those two little kidney beans on the screen are twins. Whoa! How exciting! Two babies to love, to snuggle, and kiss, and feed… and clothe……and…oh God…diaper. Two babies to diaper at the same time. “Doctor, are you sure?”

I think one of the scariest thoughts about having twins is the amount of diapers you will need. As you peruse the diaper aisles and read your baby books, you slowly come to the realization that you will be spending THOUSANDS of dollars on diapers alone. Yes, thousands and thousands.

What I haven’t yet told you is that not only am I a stay at home mother, but I am married to a math teacher. Yes, that’s right. Math teacher = underpaid, hardworking, wonderful man. Oh, where was I… Right. Thousands of dollars.

My boys are now 11 months old and I have spent maybe 300 dollars total on disposable diapers. Huh? Now here’s the crazy part. If my youngest twin didn’t have such sensitive skin – that figure could be less than $100.

The answer is cloth diapering. The secret to cheap diapering is to buy used cloth diapers on Craigslist, and then reselling them when you are done. I have to admit that cloth diapering is not for everyone. If you are freaked out by poop, then you have no hope. Me, I sing songs about poop all the time, so it is no big deal. (Bumgenius makes a fabulous hose that attaches to your toilet to blast all that poo right down the drain.)

Here is a breakdown of how I did it. Feel free to comment if you need more details.

0-4 months
I bought 40 Kissaluvs contours and 6 x-small Thirsties covers from a fellow twin mother for $200. I resold them as two sets for $100 each.
4-11 months
I bought 40 Crickett’s newborn sized diapers and 6 small Thirsties off Craigslist for $300. (I am currently washing them to resell for the same price).
11 months +
I just bought (gulp) $600 worth of Bumgenius diapers (60 diapers) from two ladies on Craigslist. I think I bought too many, but I plan to sell all the pink ones I got right away. The rest I will sell when I am done.

Ta da! In the end I will have paid NOTHING (or close to it). The reason I have spent $300 in disposables is because I use them at night. Otherwise my little man gets a rash. Oh, and he requires expensive, hypoallergenic, disposable diapers. He would make it cost me something!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

You put your right breast in, you put you right breast out….

Figuring out how to breastfeed two babies simultaneously feels like trying to get two limp wet noodles to act like…I don’t know…non-wet-noodles? Let’s just say that the rules for breastfeeding one baby are pretty much out. Before the boys came I read all about how to co-feed two babies. Looked easy enough…. But, none of the books mentioned how to do the positions with two babies that lack the ability to hold up their heads. It took an EZ-2-Nurse pillow and a lot of blankets to get them into place.

There is a photo of me in the hospital with two babies nursing in the football position. I have the most naive smile on my face. That hospital bed must have been magic, because it was never that easy again.

I am not trying to depress you. But, I do think that learning to breastfeed twins was by far THE hardest and most emotionally trying time for me. Did it ever get easier?      Yes.     I did need help getting them in position for the first six weeks. But, once their heads were stronger I could manage it on my own.

Here are my stages of feeding:

1. Football hold on the EZ-2-Nurse pillow (that lasted a few days).

2. One baby in the football hold, the second in the traditional cradle hold. The baby in the cradle hold had its feet down the hole between my stomach and the nursing pillow. (This lasted until 6-8 weeks).

3. Double cradle hold (11 months and counting!)

Double cradle hold:

At first I had to figure out how to position the babies by myself. I would lay each baby on the couch on either side of me. Then, I would put the EZ-2-Nurse pillow in my lap. I would place each baby onto the pillow, slide their legs into the hole between the pillow and my stomach and Voila(!) - double cradle hold with elbows supported by my pillow. As time progressed, I was able to push the pillow away, and then stop using the pillow all together.  My boys refuse to nurse together anymore during the day. But, at night, it is just the three of us.

Did I mention they hold hands?

(Thanks to my sister for her amazing photo of me:

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Twins Sharing One Crib

OK. So, I bought two cribs. One sits next to my bed. The other.... well, let's just say it has a nice layer of dust on it. It sits in their equally dusty nursery that my parents worked so hard to finish before the boys were born. Sorry Mom and Dad.

My boys are almost 11 months now, and they still fit well in one crib. I have heard some mothers of twins say they only kept their twins together for three or four months until the twins started rolling into each other.  My boys started waking each other up about that time too. My solution was to lay them at opposite ends of the crib- feet to feet.  It worked for me, but all babies are different.

Funny thing is they have suddenly started squirming back together the last two weeks. Last night I went to bed to see them lying side by side with their butts in the air. So cute. What made it even cuter was that they were also holding hands. Now, that is something only a mother of twins gets to enjoy.