2 Month Old Twins

The twins are 2-months now! Whoa. How did that come so quickly?! Every day when I look at these two sweet boys I get such a feeling of amazement and love. I still can’t believe Ryan and I were so lucky to be blessed with twins. It’s two months now and still, I am surprised.

Both boys are continuing to grow so big and are getting adorable rolls all over. Especially Leo. That boy loves to chug his milk, which then causes the inevitable spit up of milk afterwards. Ha ha. Leo is now 9.14 lbs. He was born 5.4 lbs. Dylan is 9.3 lbs. He was born 5.12 lbs.

Dylan continues to break out with big smiles. Leo is a little more conservative with his smiles but man, is he a chill dude. He will just sit back and relax while Dylan darts his eyes around and tries to make sure doesn’t miss anything. It’s the cutest thing watching these two and seeing how they respond.

Let’s see what month 3 brings!

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1 Month Old Twins

(This was written when the twins were a month old but posted here at a later date)
I can’t believe the twins are already 1-month old! Time flies.

Both boys are doing great. I have them on the same feeding schedule which makes life more manageable for me. Tandem nursing is no walk in the park but after four weeks of practice I feel like a pro. Its always easier to breastfeed them when I have someone helping because then the babies are handed to me after I am all set up on the couch with my twinz breastfeeding pillow. But when I am home by myself, which happened after only two weeks, I have a great system going. I prop on baby on the couch far from the edge so there is no danger of rolling off. Then I sit down with my twinz pillow while holding the other twin. I lay the baby Im holding down on my right side, in the football hold, then reach over (while keeping the baby with me stable) and grab the other baby and prop him on my left side. Then I get one to latch (whoever is the most fussy first) and then get the other to latch and away they go! I am surprised at how well these two eat. They are very efficient eaters! They are done eating after only 10 minutes, sometimes less! At first I kept burping them and trying to get them to eat more but they would be done and just spit up on me, so finally I realized, yeah, they just eat really fast and they are full so stop trying to feed them. They continued to have lots of poops and pees and have developed nice fat rolls all over.

This is so different from my firstborn, Ian. Ian was the slowest eater and would take up to 45 minutes to an hour to eat and then I would have to do it all over again an hour later. I was pretty much always on the couch with him. Of course, this was also due to him being a preemie and being way underweight and so small. We had to feed him every two hours for months whereas with these twins I feed them every three hours and it seems like a walk in the park! I guess having Ian first really prepared me! Definitely grateful for that.

My husband and I have been watching the personalities of the two little guys. Dylan seems to have a more aggressive (i.e., angry) cry while Leo’s seems more sensitive. Does this mean Dylan will be more aggressive in life and Leo the sensitive one? Ha ha who knows. It’s just so amazing to watch them and see their little differences.

Dylan has these eyes that are very curious and searching. Leo is a snorter and likes to grunt when he eats. It’s cuter than it sounds. Both are cuddlers (of course).

Right now they sleep a lot and have about 20-minutes twice a day of active awake time. They are starting to smile a little bit and their eyes turn to me when I speak. When they are on their tummy Leo can lift his head a little to turn it and Dylan kind of just squirms around. Leo can also almost turn to the side which is impressive.

Can’t wait to see how these two grow in Month 2!

First Day Home with our Twins and Toddler

Our first day was so exciting. We had been looking forward to it for so long and the day had finally arrived!

After the twins were in NICU for five long days, we were finally discharged from the hospital a week after the twins were born. It felt so good to be taking them home!  We arrived home at noon with just the twins. Our 3-year old son Ian was with Ryan’s brother Mike and his wife Julie. He had been staying with them during our stay at the hospital. We were so grateful to them for taking care of him and Ian had so much fun with his three cousins. Mike and Julie planned to bring him home later in the afternoon so we could get settled at home first. I was glad we chose to do that.

Our first few hours at home were so peaceful and sweet and we were able to get the babies settled in before our whirlwind toddler came home. We also got to try out how I would tandem breastfeed at home since when we did it at the hospital I had a nurse helping me with handing me the baby. Luckily, I was able to do it by using the couch. I would lay one baby in the corner of the couch (far from the edge) and then hold one baby and sit down with the twin z pillow around me and then prop the baby I was holding on the pillow football style and then lean over and grab the other twin and put him to my other breast also football style and it worked great! Phew! I will describe more in depth how tandem breastfeeding went in another article soon.

Mike and Julie arrived with Ian and their kids around 3:00. Everyone was so excited to see the twins and hold them including our little nieces and our nephew. After an hour Mike and Julie headed home and we got settled into our first day at home with all three boys.

Ian was so happy and didn’t seem at all jealous that there were two new additions to our family. He was almost too excited and kept wanted to push them in the mechanical swings hard, or squeeze them. But we kept reminding him to be gentle and he would adjust and be a little less rough. It was so heartwarming to see how much he cared for his little brothers.

The rest of the day went well with dinner and then Ian was put to bed by Ryan. We have a two-story home with the bedrooms all being upstairs so we decided it would be easier to have the twins just stay downstairs through the night so that we wouldn’t be keeping Ian up. We had the bassinet already set up in the living room as well as a pack n’ play that had a changer attached. I had loaded up the pack n’ play with clothes, diapers and wipes so that we wouldn’t have to continually trek upstairs every time we needed to change a diaper or an outfit.

That night Ryan and I each took shifts so we could grab four hours of unbroken sleep each.The babies eat on a schedule of every two and half to three hours so we just timed it so Ryan would just do one feeding by bottle using breastmilk I had pumped. This worked well though I didn’t quite get the full four hours because I ended up coming downstairs when I heard both babies wailing. Ryan had it under control but when it’s your babies you can’t help but be there anyways, so I helped him get them settled with changing them and propping them up on the twin z pillow for their bottles. Once they were settled I went back up to bed.

When I was with the babies that night I was planning to sleep on the couch when they slept so I would end up with at least 6 hours of broken sleep total but Leo is a squirmy one and needed a pacifier often and to be rocked a bit so naps just didn’t happen. I ended up watching a lot of old Survivor and Ryan got a lot of writing done on his book which he was very happy about.

In the morning, we both felt wonderful and very accomplished. We had gotten through the first day and it went surprisingly well! No freaks out by any of the kids (or adults) and we didn’t feel crazy tired. It could have been that we were still on adrenaline but I can say now, four months later writing about this, that we did genuinely feel great about it all and that the feeling has stayed. The only thing that was a little hiccup was that the babies went through a ton of outfits. They kept leaking through their diapers! We couldn’t tell if we didn’t know how to put on a diaper any more or what. Eventually after a few days we got it down and there was less leakage happening. Success!

My Twins – Birth Story

My two boys were born on Sunday, September 18th in the morning at 10:12am and 10:14pm respectively via cesarean. Oh and I never went into labor. My water broke and about 16 hours later the babies were here with nary a contraction in sight. I was hoping for a VBAC but with no signs of labor, a cesarean was the way we had to go. Here’s what happened:

When I was 35 weeks and 5 days pregnant my water broke Saturday night around 6:30pm while having dinner with my husband Ryan and adorable, precocious 3-year old toddler Ian. Ryan and I were sitting at our dining table watching Ian sing some silly songs. All of a sudden, I said, “uh oh” and Ryan turned to me, eyebrows raised.

“Um, I think my water broke. But I’m not sure. I’ll be right back.” And I darted off to the bathroom. What I had felt was a little gush, almost like I was having my period. I sat down on the toilet and took a look. I happened to have a panty liner on because as most pregnant ladies know, when you are that far along you just start to secrete quite a bit down there. My panty liner was soaked with a clear liquid and didn’t have any sort of smell that I could discern. It wasn’t soaked through my underwear though and I thought when my water broke it would be really obvious and be a big ‘ol gush.

I went back to Ryan and told him that I think it’s okay but then every 30-minutes or so it kept happening. After some googling and going back and forth with Ryan about what to do while putting Ian to bed I called our on call doctor to seek his advice. He wasn’t sure by my description if my water had broken or not, plus I wasn’t having any contractions at all so he said it was up to us whether to come in. If my water had broken he said I should come in so I don’t risk infection for the babies. Ryan and I discussed further and decided we should be safe and go in.

My doctor told me to go to Fairview Southdale hospital which we had never even toured before so we were a little nervous about that. Regardless, we didn’t have any choice in the matter anyways so we just had to go with it. Our hospital of choice, The Mother Baby Center at Abbott was not accepting patients in Labor and Delivery due to a strike, and this was a big bummer since we had had Ian there and had absolutely loved their service. What really made me nervous though was that I was going to try for VBAC with twins and the doctor on call said he had never done VBAC with twins before. He didn’t say he wouldn’t do it, but I knew that a cesarean was likely with him. It’s not like he would just be like, “Yep, today’s the day I am going to do a VBAC with twins!”

My primary doctor was on call on Monday and it was Saturday night so a part of me just wanted to stay home, and try to keep these babies in till then so I could try for VBAC. I told Ryan this and he said he would do whatever I wanted to do. If I didn’t think my water broke then we can just stay home. But as the next couple hours went by and more water trickled out I became more sure that it was my water that broke. Around midnight I decided to call Julie, my sister-in-law and see what she thought. She had three kids so had plenty of experience. She told me she thought it sounded like my water broke and so we decided to be safe we would go to the hospital and get checked out. Julie would come over to our house and spend the night and be here when Ian woke up in the morning and take him over to her house to spend the next few days there while we were at the hospital. We are so lucky to have Mike and Julie just four blocks from us, Ian loves to be with them and play with his three cousins, Olive,age 7, Parker, age 6, and Will, age 4).

As we began adding the last items to our already packed hospital bags I began to have doubts again about whether or not my water had really broken. I googled it (again for the like the 50th time) and a lot of posts said that you had 12-24 hours to get to the hospital if your water broke. After talking with Ryan more, I changed my mind and decided it would be better to get a good night’s rest and then go over in the morning if I was still having water trickling out.

Trying to sleep that night proved very challenging. My mind was racing and I had to pee every hour, since the babies were really pressing on my bladder. Whenever I peed more liquid would come out and by 4:00am I was pretty positive that this was my water breaking all through the night. I woke Ryan up and we decided I would call our Doctor again. After talking with my doctor he said I should come in. Since it was 4 in the morning I asked him if it mattered if I came in at 6:30am and he said a couple hours wouldn’t make a difference and it was fine (since I’m not in labor). He also told me not to eat anything in case we ended up with a cesarean which was looking more and more likely since I didn’t even have any contractions happening, plus there was the fact that he had never done VBAC with twins.

I called Julie and she said she would come over at 6:00am to be at our house when Ian woke up at 6:30am. Julie arrived early at 5:50 and Ryan and I got our stuff together and headed out the door after hugging Julie and thanking her profusely. We so are damn lucky to have her as a sister-in-law.

We drove to the hospital which was just 15 minutes away. The sky was still dark and just starting to brighten and there were not many cars on the road since it was Sunday morning. Ryan and I kept talking about how surreal it was that this day was finally here. You see, we had never experienced the whole going to the hospital thing due to water breaking because Ian was a preterm baby and we were sent to the hospital to have him when he was only 33 weeks. So everything we were experiencing that day was really new to us.

We got to the hospital and didn’t know where to park of course and ended up entering the wrong wing and being directed all the way to the other end. Luckily, I wasn’t in pain so it didn’t really matter! Ha ha.

Once we arrived to the birthing area, they checked us in and were expecting us since the doctor had let them know. They did a swab down there, and yep, my water had broken. Dr. Wavern then came in to go over my options. Basically, since it had been a good 12 hours since my water broke it was important we got the babies out. And with me not going in labor, he did not thinking inducing was a good idea since, 1. I have never given birth before given that Ian was born via cesarean, so the labor would be long and hard and would most likely end up with me having a cesarean anyways and 2., since it was twins it was double the risk. Unspoken was the fact that the doctor had never done VBAC with twins but we all knew that so it was a given since we had talked about it before.

We decided on cesarean because I wanted to make sure there were no emergencies with my babies and that they delivered healthy and not stressed. Plus, I didn’t want to run the risk of having one vaginally and then have the other via cesarean since the recovery would be so much harder.

With that I was told the cesarean would be scheduled for 9:30am. Holy shit. It was happening. I turned to Ryan after everyone left and asked if I really had to do this today. I wasn’t ready or mentally prepared!

“Um, yeah…” He told me bemused. I told him I just really couldn’t wrap my head around the idea that the babies were going to be here in two hours. It seemed so strange. He squeezed my hand and tried to comfort me the best he could but man my heart was racing and I was getting a serious case of anxiety. Plus, I was starving and I was told I couldn’t eat until post surgery and even then it would hours till I could eat solid food! I wanted a bagel so bad!

The nurse came in and was really excited for me and we began to talk about what to expect during and after the surgery. She told me I would be able to hold both babies right away as long as they were healthy and breathing on their own which right now seemed very likely, and she also said they would be with me in the recovery room and I could start skin-to-skin and breast feeding as soon as I wanted too. This made me get excited and the anxiety began to lessen. Holding those babies right away was so important to me, and to hear I would still get to experience all that was just what I needed to hear.

The next two hours went by surprisingly quick with nurses and the anesthesiologist coming in and prepping me and then Ryan’s parents showed up all of a sudden which was unexpected but I didn’t mind. I knew how much they cared and wanted to be involved. They gave us lots of love and said they would come back in a few hours after the babies had arrived.

Then there I was, being wheeled down to the operating room. Ryan had to stay behind which sucked but he was going to join me in about 15 minutes after they got me ready. Time went by quickly, and then there was Ryan and boom, the cesarean was going. The anesthesiologist did a great job with the drugs since last time when I had a cesarean I had felt so much pressure on my chest and got nauseous and also was shivering. This time I was numb down there but didn’t have all those other side-effects which I was told were common but they try to keep them from happening.

The babies soon arrived, first Leo at 10:12am. When I heard his cry I knew he was okay and my heart was ready to burst. Ryan went with the nurse while they did the apgar test on Leo and the doctors continued to work on getting baby B out (Dylan). Two minutes later out came Dylan and he took a second or two to start crying and I was very scared for a moment because all I could hear was the doctor saying, “c’mon little fella, catch a breath,” or something like that. But then there was a howl and all the nurse and doctors were like, there he goes! Meanwhile the nurse next to me was updating me saying both babies were looking great on their tests and shortly after Leo was brought to me and laid on my chest followed by Dylan. I looked at my two babies and couldn’t believe how big they looked! I was so happy they looked healthy and they were so cute and wrinkly. I was told by the special care nurse they would be able to go with me to recovery and they did not need to go to NICU and I was so happy and proud.

The babies were taken to go get some more things done and get cleaned up and the doctors stitched me up. Then the babies were brought back and laid on my chest and I was wheeled over to the recovery room with Ryan.

The nurse asked if I wanted to do skin-to-skin or if I wanted to wait and rest. I was like, “hand me those babies NOW.” Ha ha. But I said it nicely. They were both put on my chest and we immediately began to see if either was interested in breastfeeding. I said yes I was, and that I wanted to try tandem breastfeeding. I didn’t think either would latch but Leo immediately nuzzled around and opened his mouth and latched! I couldn’t believe it! The nurse seemed impressed too. We then began to work on Dylan. Dylan moved his little face around, grunting but kept his mouth closed. Sometimes we would get a quick latch but then he would quickly let go and cry a little. He seemed a bit confused and quickly got frustrated, gave up and fell asleep. Ha ha. He would need a little extra help for sure. Leo had taken a few sucks and seemed satiated and had fallen asleep during all this.

After the hour in recovery I was wheeled up to my room, with the birthday song playing as I went down the hall and nurses clapping. It was very sweet. Everyone ooh and ahhhed as I passed with the twins. Double the cuteness!

Unfortunately later that day Dylan’s blood sugar dropped and he was taken downstairs to the NICU. Leo followed shortly after. They spent a week there getting their blood sugars level which is normal for preemies to have happen. Still I was disappointed because I had really wanted them to come home with me when I was discharged. Luckily thought they did come home only three days later.

What a happy moment loading up the babies in the mini-van. I never felt so proud. We were like a parade walking down the hospital corridor wth our twins headed home. I almost felt like there should have been a band following us, announcing our departure.

When We Found Out We Were Having Twins

My husband and I decided mid-2015 that January 2016 we would be ready to start trying for our second baby. Ian, our firstborn, turned 3 in August and we felt it was time especially since we wanted to have at least three kids. We made good use of 2016 and had lots of dates and parent getaways so when we had the second child we would be ready to be cooped at home for the next couple years following.

We got pregnant very quickly again, just like how it was with Ian. We were ecstatic. I let my OB know since our first pregnancy had had complications. He wanted me to come in at 6 weeks to get an ultrasound just to make sure all was well.

Ryan and I walked in excited to see our little baby and listen to his heartbeat. Little did we know that there would be TWO BABIES!

The ultrasound lady broke the news to us in the strangest way: She had me all set up with the wand up my you-know-what and then she pointed out on the screen. “Okay, so here is Sac A. The heartbeat looks good and strong. Sac B also looks good and the heartbeat also is strong.”.

What? What is Sac A and Sac B? What is she talking about? I looked at Ryan. I looked at the ultrasound lady. She kept on talking and going through measurements of the amniotic fluid or something.

“Wait, what do you mean Sac A and Sac B?” I asked.

“You’re having twins.” The ultrasound lady told us calmly. And continued her measurements.

Me: “Ha ha, you’re joking right?”

Ultrasound lady: No.

Me: So there are TWO heartbeats.

Ultrasound lady: Yes.

WHAT?!!!!!

Ryan and I stared at each other.

Me: How did this happen?!

Pregnant pause (pun intended) as we all know what happened.

Me: But I don’t have twins in my family. Do you? I asked Ryan.

Ryan: No, not that I know of.

Ultrasound Lady: Oh these twins are fraternal which means its passed through the mother’s side. You don’t have anyone in your family that has twins?

Me: No! Well, wait… I guess I have a cousin who has fraternal twins. But that’s one cousin out of 30!

By that time the ultrasound lady had realized that we were shocked (although why she thought we wouldn’t be is beyond me). She took a break on her measurements so we could take it in.

Ryan and I talked about it more and then Ryan all of a sudden said, oh god I need to sit down. The ultrasound lady hurried and guided Ryan to a chair. He sat down with his head between his knees. “I literally feel like Im going to faint.”

I felt better knowing that Ryan was definitely on my level right now with being beyond shocked.
After we had calmed down some. The ultrasound lady continued on and finished all the measurements and said all looked good and healthy.

Ryan and I walked out of the ultrasound office and stared at each other. TWINS…

What a life changer. We got home and looked at our new house that we bought a year ago and saw how small it was. We cant fit twins in here! Our cars. This wont work! My job. Say goodby to that!

It actually was like we won the lottery. We bought a beautiful new home when I was 6 months pregnant, in the perfect neighborhood with plenty of room for three boys (yes, all boys!) to grow up in. We also bought a new mini-van and I told my job I would not be returning after birth. And the best part of all – we always wanted three kids and now we had them. No third pregnancy needed! All-in-all not too shabby! Plus, of course we had two adorable babies at the same time. How cool is that?

My First Baby, My Preemie

My husband and I expected our first pregnancy to be easy-peasy. We are both pretty healthy people, exercise regularly and rarely got sick.

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We got pregnant fast which was not expected but we loved it. But was really surprised us was how much anxiety and complications that would come along with being pregnant.

At 5 weeks pregnant I started spotting. I was so scared that I was losing the baby. I called Ryan while at work and he told me to call my OB right away. I called and they wanted me to come in that day. Ryan left work and picked me up and we drove to the doctor’s office. It was there we got to hear our baby Ian’s heartbeat for the first time. It was the most beautiful sound I had ever heard. We were so relieved to hear that he was there, alive and thrumming. I was told to take it easy the next few weeks until the spotting went away. No exercise and no sex as a precaution. It was so hard to adjust to both of those things! I loved to work out and I love sex! Ha ha. But I did it, of course, with just a minor amount of whining.

The real scare came at the 20 week ultrasound. We were told that our baby was measuring small for 20 weeks. We went in again at 24 weeks to see how his growth was and he was still really small and was diagnosed with Inauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR). At this point I was also barely showing. My husband and I joked that the only reason why our baby was small was because he was being compared to the rest of America which tends to be overweight. But really, we knew this was serious and we were scared.

We were referred to a Specialist and man, did we pull in a horrible one. The first thing she did was list out to us all the horrible possibilities of why Ian was so small. Down Syndrome, missing chromosome, infection in the stomach and on and on until finally at the end Im just in tears and the doctor excuses herself while I bawl on my husband. Ryan held me and then said, Really, she didn’t even point out what was wrong with Ian. She just said these were all possibilities that they have ruled out. I was like, wait what?

The doctor came back in and Ryan pinned her down with a pointed statement. Are you really just telling us all of things that could have caused Ian to be small but they are not because from the ultrasound you can see that and that Ian is small but otherwise perfectly healthy?

Yes, the Doctor responded, as if we knew that. I was like, say what! Seriously I could have strangled her. Why couldn’t she have started the conversation out with a statement saying your boy is healthy but small? Argh, so bad.

We switched specialists after that. Our new doctor was much better and really did a wonderful job of calming my anxiety by constantly reassuring me that our baby was doing fine and they were just monitoring to make sure he continued to grow.

We went into the specialist every two weeks and all was well and we were beginning to feel pretty confident about everything until 33 weeks when we got slapped in the face so hard. My blood flow had changed. I needed to be admitted to the hospital NOW. I couldn’t believe it I was so scared. They gave me a steriod to help my baby’s lungs develop and the next day my boy was born via ceasearean at a whopping 2.12 lbs. He cried right away and was able to breathe on his won which everyone was surprised by.

They thought most likely he would need to be on breathing tube.
Our boy ended up going to the Special Care Nursery for 3 and a half weeks. He did so well and was bottle feeding and nursing at the same time within a week and a half. He had a little jaundice the first couple days but other than that, just had a feeding tube and needed to learn to eat on his own and then we could take him home. Being at the Special Care Nursery was hard. The hospital was amazing, the nurses so sweet and caring but I just wanted to be home with my boy.

Finally, when Ian was 3.5 lbs we were able to take him home. He was so tiny even preemie clothes were huge on him. Looking back it now, I am like, how did we have this little tiny guy at our house and not freak out. Instead we took it all on the chin and nursed him every two hours for 4 months straight and eventually he got bigger and bigger. He was smaller than all the other boys until he was about a year and half but developmentally he always did so well. Only on the physical developmental milestones he would do things just a month or so after his compadres.

Having a preemie is hard, challenging and scary but he is such a lovely, strong, bright boy. He was back on the growth charts by the time he was about one and by two he looked like the typical two year old. The funny party about all of this is that Ian is extremely healthy and rarely gets sick. We didn’t take Ian to the doctor the entire time between 2 and 3 years old. He didn’t even catch a fever. And his brain! Man is he smart! He has such imagination, tons of energy and walks around singing his little heart out.

I’d say we lucked out.

Xoxo

 

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