Exercising After Giving Birth to Twins, Post Cesearean 

One thing that I had looked forward to all through my twin pregnancy was being able to exercise. I love to run, bike, workout and be active. Of course, it was nice to take it easy but by the end I was so ready to get back out there in my running shoes. Little did I know that recovering from a second cesarean would be completely different from the first one.
I delivered the twins via cesarean so I figured I would have to wait to get back in the saddle the requisite 6 weeks and get the doctor’s okay. No big deal. I received the okay but the idea of running just sounded crazy to me. My body was still bloated from all the fluids (I cannot believe how much my feet and legs swelled up – it was several weeks until they looked somewhat normal and even now my feet are a size bigger than before.) Plus, I was still having major cramps and my incision was very sore and tender. Almost none of my clothes worked for me because the rested on my incision, especially my low lying running pants. No way was I putting those on! 

My bloated feet. Sorry for the visual. 

When I had my first son, Ian, I felt like my recovery from cesarean was so much faster. Looking back now, Im realizing since Ian was in the hospital for two and a half weeks and I was getting a lot more rest than I did this time around. I was able to go home every night and get 10 hours of sleep those first two weeks while Ian was in NICU. But this time with newborn twins at home PLUS a toddler PLUS living in a house with two stories whereas before we were on one level it was just insane. Additionally, after talking with other moms and my doctor I found that the second and third babies are a lot more painful to recover from. Something to do with the uterus contracting more and causing more cramps. Basically, by week 6 I was nowhere near running and was finally feeling well enough to go for walks. I didnt want to push myself and get injured so I gave myself 4 months to completely recover. Thats a long time but to me, it was worth it. I did do small little runs at 3 months and some light yoga but that was it. By the time January rolled around my body felt better and I really did feel ready. 

My first 4-mile run in January was such a challenge but felt great. I didnt have pain (well, cesarean pain – the breath rushing through my lungs again was the regular exercise “pain” and I was happy to push myself through it.) I ran the whole shebang. My miles were slow and slogging at around 11 minutes a mile but I did it! What a great accomplishment. 

From there, I have been running two to three times a week and slowly my pace has increased and I have felt those wonderful endorphins feel me up. It is so freeeing to go for a run when you are stuck at home with three kids, especially in the winter! People may say, why would you choose to run on your free time but that’s the point. Its freeing to do it! It clears your mind, you feel accomplished and plus, your body loves you for it.

Last week, Ryan and I took all of our boys for a run on one of our first warm spring days. I pushed the twins in the Bob Revolution stroller and got an arm workout along with the 5-mile run. Ryan pushed Ian in the Burley. As we ran around the lake, we got so many looks of amazement from others walking around the lake. Our little train was the main attraction so to speak. Like, I keep saying, having twins is like winning the compliments lottery. Everyone wants to look, say hi and wish you well. Its lovely. 

At the end of our run, we stopped at the park and Ian got to play and the twins went in the swings for awhile. We finished it off with a picnic and I nursed the twins while Ian ate and then played with his daddy in the basketball court. It was a wonderful Saturday morning. We’ll be doing this often through spring, summer and fall.

Here’s to exercise and playtime all in one go. Cheers.

It’s getting better…. I think? 

Okay, so sleep MAY be improving. I’ll put the emphasis on “may”. It’s been four days  of the boys being asleep at 7:15pm and having only one or two feeds in the night and less fussing from Dylan. I’ll take it. 

Our night routine now is something like this:

6:40 – Upstairs to the nursery with the twins, singing while I change them into their PJs. I used to do this all downstairs but I think doing it all upstairs in their room where it’s nice and quiet really sets them up for bedtime. 

6:50 – If they aren’t too tired then I also will read a couple books while they sit in their rock n plays (the rock n plays are off)

6:55 – We have started to do bottles at night of 8 ounces of formula or breast milk (if I’ve pumped) mixed with a little rice cereal to see if this will help sustain them longer through the night more than nursing. Although the last two nights Dylan didn’t want the bottle so I nursed him and gave Leo a bottle. 

7:00 – Burp them both and lay them each in their own crib and turn on their Fischer Price Aquarium. I love these aquariums. They will just stare at the fish and lights until they fall asleep. Very little fussing. Sometimes I have to give Dylan his pacifier if it drops out but that’s it. 

(Here’s a link to the aquarium if you’re interested: http://www.fisher-price.com/en_CA/products/ocean-wondersaquarium-with-remote-control )

Dylan usually wakes up and fusses around 9. I first try giving him a pacifier and sometimes that works and he goes back to sleep but if he continues to fuss I burp him and he normally he lets out a big one. I then and lay him back in the crib. If he continues to fuss in the next hour I transfer him to the rock n’ play (with out it rocking) so he can get more of an incline while sleeping. I’m hoping as he gets older this gassiness will go away and we don’t have to do this. Amy one have other ideas on how to help with Dylan’s gassiness? It seems to turn on only when he’s laying down and happens every night. It also happens during his long nap in the afternoon. 

For the night feeds I end up feeding them both around 1:30am and then 5:30am. They wake up for the day around 7:15am and eat at 8:30ish. 

This is our current schedule, and it seems to be working so far.  The best part is we have our evenings to ourselves after all the babies are in bed and Ian is in bed. (Ryan puts Ian to bed at 7:30). 

The next step is to eliminate one of the night feeds. We shall see how we go. Last night we did push Leo to only eat once even though he woke up crying at 2am. I asked Ryan to rock him back to sleep. Normally we just give in and feed them. But it worked! And yes, eventually we want to not have to even do that but right now it’s baby steps! We don’t let our babies “cry it out” it’s just not in our hearts to do it. It was the same with Ian. So yes, we’re doing this the long and hard way but really this is just a short time in our lives and eventually they will be sleeping through the night! Until then… we persevere! Onward. One day at a time. 

Again, any tips and tricks for Dylan’s gassiness is appreciated! 

Swing-a-ling 

Our sleep deprivation continues with Ryan and I waking up almost every hour last night. Luckily Ryan was home! On a happy note it was warm a couple days ago and I took the twins and Ian to the park to meet up with Ian’s buddy’s (and  their mom’s who are my buddy’s 😜). 

My friend Anna mentioned that the twins could go in the baby swing together and I was like, “oh my gosh, they can?! They’re already big enough?”  Brilliant! They loved it in the swing and Ian had so much fun pushing them.

Also, another first: I nursed both twins at the park while Ian played. My friend Megan held Leo while I nursed Dylan and then vice versa. It went great and I felt like Super Mom. 


And of course Ian had a blast with his buddies during it all. Here’s pictures of Ian with his buddies:



So overall even though I have been struggling at night with the constant wake ups, day-to-day life is great. I have a great rhythm and routine going with Ian and the kiddos and overall we have so much fun together during the day. This lack of sleep time is such a short moment in our lives and I constantly have to remind myself of this and that I am so blessed with what I have and the help and support. Having twins and a toddler is hard work but so rewarding and I love it!!! 

6 Month Old Twins

Wow this has been my toughest month yet. The twins have gone through a sleep regression and I feel like I am going through the day in a fog. I’ve been mixing up appointments left and right due to this. The other day I drove 35 minutes out to Maple Grove with the twins for Leo’s helmet appointment and it was the wrong day. Yep, that happened. 

The twins wake up frequently in the night and I know it will go back to one feeding a night but WHEN? It’s been weeks now. I will say the last two nights were better. So maybe it’s already changing. Fingers crossed. Just two feedings each last night. One at 2am (Leo woke up first so I fed him, then I woke up Dylan to feed him once Leo was done). Then both of them again at 6:00am. I almost consider that last one to just be a morning feed. And no wake ups from Dylan in between feedings during the last two nights and that is huge! He normally fusses from 9pm to 12pm and requires a lot of pacifier-ing (I just made that word in to a verb). So maybe we’ve turned a corner! 

Along with all the sleep stuff, Ryan’s traveling has really picked up and he is gone for two to three days every week. The evenings are hard without him not only for help but also for companionship. I’ve been roping in a friend at least on Friday evenings to come provide me with some social conversation and be an extra set of hands. Shout outs to Flea, Sarah, Anne and Ashley and my sister-in-law Jackie.  Any of you in Minneapolis want to get in on the action let me know. It’s fun to catch up and have you hang with my babies and Ian. 

But anyways, this post is supposed to be about the twins, not about me! 😂

Dylan has been rolling back to front for a while now and Leo joined the rolling parade. Now when I have them on a blanket playing they roll all over it and sometimes onto each other. Ha ha. 

They also both love the bouncers. Leo recently started using them but Dylan’s been using them for awhile. It’s safe to say that Dylan’s favorite position is being upright! He just wants to go go go! Dylan has also started to scoot backwards and if I don’t keep an eye out he may scoot under the couch! 

Another first, I have just started to introduce food two days ago. I started with Greek yogurt. Dylan was loving it and leaning forward for more; Leo was very unsure about it. His face was priceless. We’ve also tried banana and that wasn’t a hit. We’ll keep introducing foods and let them choose what they want. 

The boys continue to grow and are almost ready to move into 9 month clothes even though they just turned 6 months. I don’t tandem nurse as much because they’re getting too big. It’s nice for the one on one time though and they’re such fast eaters (6 minutes each is their average) that it’s not a big deal. 

Also Leo got his helmet a few weeks ago and his head is starting to look more round already. Yay for round heads! 

I think that about covers it. 

Month 7 please be easy on me!

Sleep, Sleep, Sleep

Please stop waking up, dudes!

Okay, I am going to tell you a little secret. I was feeling pretty hunky dory about myself and my husband in regards to sleep. We have twins and a toddler and I thought the minute our twins were born we would say goodbye to sleep for the next 2-3 years give or take. Well, by the time the twins were 4 months old they were down to one feeding a night. While we were not sleeping through the night yet, we were so damn close, I couldn’t believe it. Look at us, we have twins and a toddler and we were still getting 7-8 hours of sleep (albeit broken sleep). Not too shabby, not too shabby. My husband and I would look at each other and nod. We got this. 

Well, I think I jinxed us because now my little dudes who are now 5 months old, have reverted from just having one feeding a night to having two each and since I had switched to nursing them individually, that means I am waking up four times a night not including the wake ups where they just need a pacifier. And then, add on to that, my little toddler is waking up a couple times a night from bad dreams or something. Aw, man. WTF. Someone is playing a cruel joke on us. Or its just a cold dash of reality slapping us in the face. We had a lucky break for awhile there I guess. 

My twins are two totally different sleepers. Dylan will go down in his crib fully awake with a pacifier in his mouth, Ill turn on the Einstein Aquarium I have attached to his crib, shut the door to his room and leave and he will be asleep within 5 minutes. Its phenomenal. The only problem is, that he startles himself awake often and needs one of us to come put the pacifier back in his mouth to calm him down. This would be fine if it was just once or twice but he has like five of these wake ups around 9 to 10pm sometimes with one of them being a full blown meltdown. I don’t know what that is about. How do I get him to stop startling awake? Any suggestions Mama’s? I have him already in the Baby Merlin Miracle Sleepsuit (he looks like a giant blue marshmallow) that is supposed to muffle his reflexes a little bit and it seemed to work for a little bit but now it doesn’t seem to do anything plus he is so strong that he can move around in it including turn to his side so its not even usable any more. 

Meanwhile, Mr. Chill Leo, is actually the more high-maintenance one when it comes to going to sleep. Leo is a bit of a night owl and always falls asleep way after Dylan does, and generally needs to be rocked to sleep in my arms. Sometimes I can put him in the swing and he’ll fall asleep on his own and every once in awhile, just straight to the crib works too. But then once Leo falls asleep he is pretty much asleep until he is ready to eat around 2 am and now recently, again at 5:30am or so. Used to just be one feeding a night but now he wants two in this last week. Dylan also.  

I was feeding them at separate times because there had been two occasions where each of them had not waken up for a feeding so I wanted to encourage this and not wake them up. Well, now that both of them want to eat twice, this means I’m up four times a night. Gahhhhhhh. The ONLY saving grace is that these boys nurse really fast and are done in 5-8 minutes tops. I just grab whoever is the one wailing (luckily the other twin normally sleeps through his brother crying) and sit in the recliner, nurse him and go lay him back down and BAM he’s back asleep. So that’s a big relief. Ian was nothing like that. He took awhile to go back down when he woke up, plus he woke up a lot more often at 5 months old than these two do. So in some ways, maybe that’s why we thought we had it so good. But now with it being four times a night, plus, Ian’s wake ups, these last few nights have been rough! I am really hoping its just a phase and that by TONIGHT they are back to one feed a night. Especially since Ryan is going out of town for three days and two nights. I don’t want to go insane but I may if the nights continue with how they have been. 

 Wish me luck.

Who Knew Babies Need Helmets?

I don’t know what it is, but for some reason, two out of my three boys have needed helmets to round out their heads. What, do I breed soft headed children? I didnt even know this was a thing until I had kids. I thought we all just had round heads. But now apparently some of us need helmets to get that nice round head. How American.

My first Ian, was a preemie, as I mentioned in my earlier posts. He was born at 33 weeks. By the time he was 4 months old, Ian had developed a definite flat spot on his head. And even worse, it was a lopsided flat spot which was making his forehead push out more on one side. My pediatrician referred me to Gillette Children’s Specialists and from there we got a helmet for our little man to help round things out. Leading up to when I had to get the helmet, I was so nervous and racked with guilt. I felt like I should have been more “on it” with Ian’s tummy time and prevented the flat spot from developing. Luckily, the Gillette people were so nice and quickly dissuaded me from my guilt. Preemies are born early and end up having a tendency to develop flat spots because they are sleeping all the time those first few months and we have to have them sleep on their backs. There is nothing I really could have done since SIDS requires babies sleep on their back which causes the flat spot to develop. Its so first world of us though I think. Luckily, there is a remedy for it and it is the helmet. The technical name for it is actually CranioCap which sounds very technical and like its more serious than it is.

Part of what was causing the anxiety was that I was worried that when Ian was wearing his helmet strangers would stare at him and think he had some medical issue and pity us. I know, I know…who cares what people think right? Well, I do. Its just something I know about myself. I don’t like to be pitied. Anyways, it turned out that Ian getting a helmet was really a blip in our little lives. He had it for a little over two months, from the time he was about 6 months old to 8 months old. Ryan painted Ian’s helmet to look like a Minnesota Viking’s helmet and it turned out so adorable. People would stop and say how cute Ian looked in his Viking helmet all the time. I have to say I was impressed with it myself. My husband and I are not crafty at all and I was amazed at how good a job my husband did. Anyways, the time went by so fast and all of a sudden he had a nice round head and we were done with the helmet! Here’s a few pics of cute Ian with his Viking helmet.

Now, its Leo’s turn. Apparently, he is a very good sleeper, per our doctor because his head is perfectly flat in the back which means he doesn’t not move a muscle when he sleeps. This is totally true by the way. When Leo is out, he is out, while his twin Dylan, is just rolling all over the place and turning his head every which way and waking up almost every hour sometimes. (Thanks Dylan for those wake ups.) But at least Dylan doesn’t need a helmet! I guess all his rigorous night exercise was actually a benefit!

Leo also has mild torticollis, which is when there is a tightening of the muscle on the side of the neck. Leo kind of tilts his head to the left a little which the muscle is very tight. I was given some stretches to help loosen the muscle and they expect it resolve in the next month or so. Nothing to worry about really and he is not in any pain. Just want to make sure the tightening doesnt get worse which those stretches will help with.

Today I just got back from Leo’s first fitting and he is going to start wearing his helmet in 1 hour increments throughout the day, then 2 hours tomorrow, then 3 hours and then full time with 2-4 half hour breaks in the day. I have to say that I am glad that Leo is the one who ended up with the helmet, not Dylan. Leo is so chill that I get the feeling that he wont even notice it on him, whereas I could see my passionate Dylan getting all irritated.

Ive decorated Leo’s helmet with some vinyl stickers I happened to have on hand from leftover playroom decorations so that was lucky. In a month, we will be dropping the helmet off at this guy’s business who does vinyl printing out in Rogers, MN. His grandkids had to get a helmet a couple years back and they are just plain white so he decorated his grandkid’s helmet and people everywhere loved it so he decided to offer his services for free to anyone who gets a helmet at Gillette and would like it decorated. This must have happened after Ian had his helmet because I wasn’t told about it then and we just decorated it ourselves. You just have to call the business and make an appointment and you drop it off in the morning and pick it up that afternoon and its all decked out. The man has a ton of designs you can choose from. They are way booked out though so our appointment for Leo’s helmet isn’t until 5 weeks from now so which is why I just added on some bling myself for now. I will just take the stickers off when the five weeks is up and get it professionally done then. At least now, it still looks cute!

 

5 Month Old Twins

5 months is here already! Wow. I can’t believe they will start eating solids soon. Speaking of eating, the twins are doing the cutest thing ever. When I nurse them at the same time they reach over and hold hands. It is the sweetest thing to behold. Just nursing away holding hands. I wish I could post a pic but that would be weird. Right? Yes, I’ll just answer that myself. It would be weird.

Dylan has now started rolling from his tummy to back and vice versa. He is very strong and seems like he can almost push up to his hands and knees.

Leo, on the other hand, is Mr. Chill. He doesn’t feel the need to go anywhere so has not been rolling. Only just today did he roll on his side. It’s just so funny how personality has to do with why Dylan is moving all over the place and Leo just wants to relax right where he is. I’m 100% positive that Dylan will be crawling and walking before Leo. And Leo will be perfectly okay with it (and so will I). 😜

Leo gets his helmet this week to round out his flat head. His doctor told me he can tell Leo is a good sleeper by how perfectly flat the back of his head is. I was like, you’re right, he doesn’t move a muscle where as Dylan is rolling all over his crib. The doctor said that 12 hours of deep sleep every night is what created Leo’s flat spot and that made me feel a little better. I was thinking I hadn’t done enough tummy time even though I had done a ton. Anyways, if you’re a mom you just get this guilt and that helped relieve it a little.

Both boys’ eating habits and naps are more on a schedule which is really nice. They eat four times a day and usually just once at night. Their long nap actually lines up with my 3 year old’s most days so that is when I get my coffee break with some reading or whatever else I want to do. I try not to do chores even though I feel like I should because I feel like my sanity it more important. 😬

Looking forward to what month 6 brings!