Saturday, September 26, 2015

Why I Won't be Fat and Happy

Recently I was with a group of ladies when they started talking about a popular diet. No one in the group was currently doing the diet discussed, but several had tried and given up for various reasons. Then the discussion turned to "Eh, who cares if I'm fat. I'll die fat and happy!" Of course, none of them were really "fat" but just perhaps a little "fluffier" than they once were. While yes, we should be happy in the skin we're in, maybe we shouldn't always settle. I'm not saying this to make women mad, but more to defend why I am working on my own appearance. Many compliment how great I look, especially after twins, but only two people see what I really look like, and one of these people has an opinion far more important to me than anyone else to me. {By the way, those two people are my husband and myself. just to be clear. lol} When my husband married me, I looked different than now. Yes, I've been pregnant, and my body has several times since our wedding day. I started out at 110 pounds three months after our wedding. {My first prenatal appointment} At the end of my pregnancy I was 170. I've fluctuated between 125-175 with three pregnancies. I have been stuck at 135 for the last five months. While most would be okay with it and just learn to live with it, this is not the body my husband married. I know he wouldn't complain about my body, but why shouldn't I do what I can? After all, he works out five days a week for me. He woke up from a bad dream one night over a year ago that I had left him for someone with a better body, and he's gone to the gym ever since. Just for me. Why shouldn't I do the same for him? Isn't he worth fighting for? With all the scandals lately with Christian men being caught cheating, shouldn't I do everything in my power to keep him interested?

I've recently become a BeachBody coach. I drink Shakeology every morning and work out {most} every day. The shakes are ridiculously delicious. Even my super picky husband thinks so. They come with recipes to switch up the flavors. Just the other day I added a banana and peanut butter to my chocolate shake. Mmmm. They're also filling. I have a shake at 8 am and I don't get my normal mid-morning munchies. Usually around noon I start to get hungry again. They're so good I crave them for an evening snack, but I try to save them for breakfast so I don't run out too soon. The workouts are usually only about 30 minutes, depending on the program you choose. Programs include, P90x, PiYo, Insanity, 21 Day Fix, and Brazilian Butt Lift.

If you are happy with your body the way it is, great for you! I am not. My husband works every day to better himself for me, so why shouldn't I do the same for him? I don't expect to ever see 110 again, but I'm interested to see what my body can do. Parts have shifted, expanded, grown, shrunk, whatever. I'm ready to see what my new body will look like. Join me?

I'd love to know your own opinions on this. Please be kind. :)

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Diary of an Unborn Baby

I came across this as a young girl. My church had a booth at the county fair every year supporting the Lifesaver's Ministries. If you've never heard of them, they are a pro-life pregnancy ministry. I remember at our booth we always had models of babies in the womb, and tons of literature. I later found out that the man I eventually would marry was adopted through that very same ministry. The following is the same thing I read from that booth as a little girl, found online from this website. I thought I would share it after all that's been going on in our country lately. It's hard to read, especially as a mother now, but it renews my determination and opposition in this area.

October 5: Today my life began. My parents don’t know it yet, but I am here. I’m a girl; I’ll have blond hair and blue eyes. All my genetic imprints are present, also that I will have a weakness for flowers.

October 19: Some say I am not even a real person yet, and only my mother exists. But I am a real person, just like a crumb of bread is bread. My mother exists, and I do, too.

October 23: Now my mouth opens. In about a year I will be able to laugh and speak. I know what my first word will be: Mommy.

October 25: Today my heart began to beat. From now on it will beat for the rest of my life without ever stopping to take a break. Only after many years will it stop beating and I will die.

November 2: Every day I grow more. My arms and legs are forming, but it will be a long time until I can stand on those tiny legs and run into the arms of my mother, until I can pick flowers with those tiny arms and hug my father.

November 12: Tiny fingers are starting to grow on my hands. How small they still are! One day I will be able to stroke my mother’s hair.

November 20: Just today the doctor told my mother that I live beneath her heart. Oh, how happy she must be. Are you happy, Mommy?

November 25: Mommy and Daddy are probably trying to come up with a name for me. But they don’t know that I am a little girl. I would love to be called Susie. My, I have already grown so much!

December 10: My hair is starting to grow. It is soft and with a beautiful shine. Wonder what kind of hair Mommy has.

December 13: Soon I will be able to see. It is dark around me. When Mommy gives birth to me I will see sunshine and flowers. But the best will be to see my Mommy. I wonder what you look like.

December 24: I wonder if Mommy hears the whispers of my heart. Some children are born ill. But my heart is strong and healthy. It beats evenly: bum-bum, bum-bum. Mommy, you will have a healthy little daughter!

December 28: Today my mother killed me. She just killed me.

Dear Mommy,   
I am in Heaven now, sitting on Jesus’ lap. He loves me and is close to me. I would have loved to be your little girl and don’t quite understand what has happened. I was so excited to find out that I came to be. I was in a dark but cozy place. I realized that I had fingers and toes. I was quite developed, although not quite ready to leave that cozy place. Mostly I just thought and slept. From the very beginning I felt so connected with you.... Sometimes I heard you cry and I cried with you. Sometimes you yelled really loud and then you cried. And I heard how Daddy yelled back at you. I was so sad and hoped that you would feel better soon. I have always wondered why you cried so much. One day you cried all day long. My soul was hurting so much. I could not imagine that it was I who made you so unhappy.

It was this very day that something terrible happened. A mean monster came into this warm cozy place that I lived in. I was petrified and began to scream, but no sound came over my lips. The monster came closer and closer and I kept screaming, “Mommy, Mommy, help me, please help me!” All I felt was horrendous fear. I screamed and screamed till I could no longer scream. Then the monster ripped my arm off. It hurt so much, what excruciating pain. And it would not stop. Oh, I begged and begged for it to stop. I screamed with horrific pain when that monster ripped out my leg. Despite inexplicable pain I knew I was dying. I knew that I would never see your face or hear from you how much you loved me. I wanted to stop all your tears, and had so many plans to make you happy - now I couldn’t do this anymore; my dreams were shattered. Although I felt inconceivable pain and terrible fear, I felt mainly my heart breaking. More than anything I wanted to be your daughter.

But it was all in vain because I died a horrific death!

I could only guess what they did to you. Before I went I wanted to tell you how much I loved you, but I didn’t know the words you could understand. And soon afterwards I did not have the breath to say them. I was dead!

I felt how I rose. I was carried by a giant angel to a large, glorious place. I still cried, but the physical pain was gone. An angel brought me to Jesus and sat me on His lap. Jesus said to me that He loved me and that God is my Father. I was happy. I asked Him what this thing was that killed me. He answered, “It was the abortionist.” Then He said, “I am so sorry, my child, I know what that feels like.”

I am writing to tell you that I love you, and how much I would have loved to be your little girl. I have done all in my power to live. I wanted to live. I had the will, but I couldn’t. The monster was too strong. It was impossible to live. I just wanted you to know that I tried to stay with you. I did not want to die! So, Mommy, please stay away from this monster called abortion. Mommy, I love you and I don’t want you to go through the hell I went through.

Please take care of yourself!
your Baby.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Confessions of a {SAHM}

You would think that staying at home all day every day, my house would be in immaculate condition and there would always be a hot meal ready. Oh, and why not throw in a fresh batch of cookies right out of the oven! There's no excuse not to have the time for that. Well. Try keeping four small children alive and on top of that, nurturing their minds and teaching them how to be a respectable person. In other words, I need a maid. I still aim for the pristine house and nice home-cooked meals. But it can wait a few years. Then I'll see if it's a reality yet.

  • My boys {frequently} pee through the bars on the railing, outside, onto the stones.
  • I've rinsed out the bowl of the small potty in the sink.
  • My house can go a month between vaccumings.
  • Most days I don't eat real food until 2 PM. {nap time}
  • If I do eat breakfast, it's because I'm super starving and it's usually leftover dinner because that's all I have time for.
  • Sometimes my boys go a week {or more} between baths.
  • I watch one or more Toy Story movies on an average of every three days.
  • My boys eat yogurt for breakfast 90% of the time.
  • I vegetate in front of the t.v. or the computer more than I should when my boys are sleeping.
  • Today I let my two-year-old go bottom-less outside for about an hour.
  • I think I've actually cooked a dinner maybe once or twice a week for the last two months.
  • My three-year-old is excellent at running errands around the house for me.
  • My boys eat peanut butter sandwiches for lunch 95% of the time.
  • I've watched all three Toy Story movies in the same day at least 15 times.
  • My two-year-old {who barely talks} can recognize almost any quotation or beginning of a song from Frozen.
  • I really don't like taking my boys to play on their swing set. It's too far from the house.
  • I start potty training early because I'm lazy.
  • When my baby spits up I don't use a burp cloth. I use my own clothing.
  • Sometimes when I take a shower my t.v. is the babysitter.
  • I seriously love nap time!
  • But even more than that I love my crazy boys, and even though everyone always says it, I really wouldn't change it for the world!

Must-Have Baby Products {Twin Edition}

We've all seen posts for what is really needed for a baby. {My version} You've also seen what not to get. {Also my Version} But, {usually} only if you've had or are about to have twins have you seen a lost of must-haves for twins. Trust me, there are a lot out there. I looked at so many mostly to compare the lists to see what products matched. Some are very similar to my singleton {I'm a twin mom, I'm allowed to use that term now} while others are brand new to this mama.

  1.  Co-sleeper. Some moms have used one before, but I haven't. I used to just use a rocking bassinet. {Which I LOVED} Two weren't going to fit in it, and it rocked when they moved, so one might roll onto the other in his sleep and it just seemed too dangerous. Almost every twin-mommy-blogger recommended one. Not just the mini one, either. The big ol' grand-daddy original. The mini is only rated for 15 pounds. The bigger one can hold up to 30 pounds. We thought maybe we could get away with using the bassinet part of a regular pack 'n play, but those aren't rated for the higher weight either. It is truly worth the investment! We used it for about four months before we moved them to their own rooms. Now it serves as an extra pack 'n play. We found ours on Craigslist, but it took a long time!

     2. Nosefrida. This one is useful no matter how many babies you have. It was wonderful for one, and it was even better for two. As long as you can get over the ick factor. {My husband can't even be in the same room when I use it.} You get much better suction, and your babies are mad at you for a fraction of the time. In fact, when the twins had RSV last winter, it definitely was worth it! I've used it for four children and not once has a booger made it even to the tube. No worries.
     3. Vibrating Seats. These are great for any baby, but it seems that the necessity of a lot of things becomes even more so when there's more than one baby. In the beginning, when we were still trying to figure out how to keep everyone alive, we tried the babies sleeping in these. It just so happened that our babies just didn't like sleeping anywhere in general. But they definitely are great throughout the day. There's just something about the vibrating. I keep the bar of toys off while they're real little, but when they're ready for entertainment, just pop it back on. My ultimate favorite way I used this in the first few months was during my shower. I'd try to sneak in the shower when only one twin was awake. He'd sit in his little chair in the bathroom and I could peek in on him as needed. Very rarely did they cry at this time. Eventually I brought both chairs and both babies in with me. The downside to using these with twins is that they're not as easy {as with one} to just take into the other room. Two trips. But then again, nothing is easy with twins.

4. Rock 'n Play Sleepers. Thank you, Jesus for allowing these to be invented. Best. Invention. Ever. {!!!!!} I don't know how I had two other babies before without using one of these! Seriously! From the time we brought them home, we put them in their "rockers." They are so portable. These bad boys went all over the place with us. Eating dinner? Bring the babies in their rockers. Watching a movie? Bring 'em. Big boys in the playroom? Rockers came along. Giving the big boys a bath? You know it! They finally out-grew them at about 6 months. They'd stiffen out, roll over, and just be too wiggly. But these things were so wonderful. Also, for the newborns, they kind of provided a snuggle-feel. We'd swaddle them and place them in, and they'd be nice and cozy. Love, Love, Love this!! Oh, by the way, the big boys love these, too. They'd sit in them next to each other to watch movies. I always joked that we needed four.

5. Jumpy Seats. My boys love their jumpers. They jump away until their hearts are content. It's real fun when they get in sync with each other. We don't have an optimal doorway to use the Johnny-Jump-up version, so we have the stationary one(s). Even still, at almost 11 months old they LOVE them!


6. Boppy Pillow. I had never really needed to use a pillow during nursing. It wasn't any more comfortable to me. When I had my twins, though, it was a different story. I really wanted to use the Twin Double Z, but really didn't want to pay the $99. (Even though my husband assured me I could get it.) My sister has a handmade children's goods business, so I asked her if she was up for the challenge as my baby gift. She made a look-alike, {she's really good, I might add.} See for yourself. Sometimes a good, old fashioned, regular boppy was easier. I definitely used them more with my twins than my "singletons." {I always feel silly using that term.} And to quote one of my boys' favorite movies, "If you don't have one, get one!" {Toy Story, you know...}

7. Snap 'n Go Stroller. Another lifesaver. It's in the name. Just snap it in and go! I've used this at the doctor's, the mall, or anywhere you don't want to carry two heavy buckets. It's useful for as long as your babies are in those car seats. It is very long, though, and I feel like I'm driving a semi-truck, backwards. It's fine once you get used to it.

Another product that was super handy more this time around was my pump but usually you can get a prescription and insurance will cover it.
Things I didn't need two of are: swings, and bumbo seats. Neither of mine cared for them. Of course that is totally depending on the baby. I know lots of people who swear by them!
What products could you absolutely not live without for your twins?

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Exclusively Nursing Twins is not for Everyone - and that's okay!

Like every other crunchy mother, I was determined to nurse my next baby longer than the last. When I found out I was expecting twins, I began to worry about nursing in general. How on EARTH does one nurse two babies?!?! A twin mommy who was a year ahead of me in the game had warned me that her C-section was the blame for not being able to nurse her twins. With this in mind, I was totally prepared. I bought essential oils, made lactation cookies, and everything else imaginable to prepare my body to nurse my babies. I was determined to nurse my babies. I was NOT using formula! So I ended up needing a C-section anyways, but I was ready. In the hospital I was drinking at least a gallon of water a day, eating oatmeal for breakfast, and pumping 'til my heart's content. My little boys didn't quite get the complete hang of nursing in the hospital, but the lactation consultants were hopeful. I would take 45 minutes in every three-hour cycle to {try to} nurse, bottle feed, and pump. Before I left, I was filling those little bottles on each side. They were impressed. My milk came in nicely. My fear was gone. 
Well after a while, we discovered one of the boys had at least three food sensitivities. THREE! I had dealt with one not digesting dairy very nicely, but this was different. I'm a healthy person, so the foods I couldn't have were so not cool. We couldn't have eggs, oats, or coconut. My food restrictions became more than I could bear. That added to being way to busy to remember to drink enough water. It sadly was becoming too much. Still refusing to use store-bought formula, I looked into other options. I knew goat's milk was the most similar in make-up to breast milk. I found the Weston Price recipe, which seemed too much. This was supposed to make my life easier, not more complicated. So I kept searching and found This recipe from Freshly Grown. We ended up using it and loving it. My "under 5th percentile" babies gained weight and thrived! I eventually realized it would've been selfish of me to continue exclusively nursing them. I was at the point where I was only doing it because I can be stubborn and determined. They needed something else. I still nursed a few times a day up until their adjusted age was 6 months (they were 7 months old). I did {and still do} feel sad about not nursing them anymore. It was such a nice cuddle time, but it was just too much with two. I love my twins and all, but twins are no joke, people.

Goat Milk Formula Recipe
(I made this by the quart at first, and eventually three quarts at a time)
32 oz. filtered water
4 scoops (2 Tbsp. each) Powdered Goat Milk
2 tsp. Gelatin Powder
4 Tbsp. Turbinado Sugar
1 tsp. Molasses
2 tsp. Olive Oil
2 tsp. Coconut oil (I replaced this with Kerrygold butter because one couldn't have coconut)
2 tsp. Nutritional Yeast
1/4 tsp. Powdered Probiotics
Vitamin D drops (A few)

I liked to make sure all the ingredients were organic. But obviously that can be up to your own personal preference.

1. Boil 8 oz. of water. (Don't boil the rest.)
2. Add all ingredients in a blender, except probiotics and vitamins.
3. Add last two ingredients, and store in a glass container in the fridge.

It's really super easy. Unless you have twins. Then, sorry, but nothing is easy. Just kidding. I'm sure there's something easy.

Below are direct links of the exact brands I used. The links will take you right to Amazon. {I used to be sacred to click on links like that and purposely would type in "amazon" on another page and search for the exact ingredient because I was terrified of viruses and stuff. I don't know much about computers Lol. I promise these links will take you right to where you need to go without effecting your computer.} Plus, if you use my links, I get referral credit! :)

If you have questions, click on the link with the original recipe. It's more detailed, and set up very nicely.

Monday, May 11, 2015

How I Should've Prepared Myself for my Four Little Boys

January 20th, 2011 this oldest of three girls was informed that in a few months her first-born would be a boy! I'm pretty sure the first thing I asked was, "What am I going to do with a boy??" I only know how to play with girls. You know, dress up, Barbies, dolls, play house.... What do boys play with? Dirt? {actually, yes} Someone should've compiled this list for me.

  1. Hide sticks and rocks in various nooks and crannies in your home. Or keys into random cracks. You know, so you can figure out all the hiding spots first and know where they'll be. Get ahead of the game.
  2. Play a recording of loud yelling/talking/crying all day long. Boys will be loud. My dad's side of the family tends to be extra loud. One of my boys seems to have inherited the "talk-very-loud" gene. Like dude, I get it. You're 3 inches from my face. You don't need to talk that loud.
  3. Have someone turn it off at random. Get worried. Yeah. you'll probably find someone drawn all over, or your bedroom completely white from baby powder, or butt cream smeared on the wall. Just to give a few examples. I won't tell you how I got those specific ideas.
  4. Hide sandwich crusts in seat cushions/under the seats/smashed in the carpet of your minivan. yes, your minivan. First of all, minivans happen. Second of all, we eat too many meals in our van. Third of all, most kids don't like crusts. You may even look back at your two year old munching on an old crusty crust he found and not know how old it is. Yum.
  5. Worry about the color or every drinking vessel given to you. Cry if someone gives you blue instead of green. Heaven forbid you forget which child likes what color.
  6. Fill your cupboards with only snacks. Finish your plate. Put it in the sink. Ask mom for a snack..... seems legit.
  7. Keep an eye out for big machines. You know, diggers, and things that push dirt all around. My boys know where they all are and always let out an "OOOOOOooooohhhhhhh!" when they see one.
  8. Learn their names. "Mommy, silly, that's a backhoe, not an excavator!"
  9. Get 100+ matchbox cars and dump them all on the floor. Or legos. Or both. Gives you an extra challenge, right. Obstacle course in your own home!
  10. Wait until the very last minute to use the bathroom, but make sure you're blindfolded so you can't find the toilet as easy. It's always going to smell like pee. Just give up on trying. Put the energy into something more constructive. Like eating oreos while brushing your teeth.
  11. Clean your toilet just before explosive bodily functions. Happens every time. Without fail. Every. Time.
  12. Visit a nudist colony. Might as well. A boy's natural state is naked. I had to explain to my three year old today that he had to wear something in the kiddie pool in case someone was walking down the road.
  13. Every time someone releases a bodily function, laugh. Every. Time. One of my boys was no older than seven months when he had his first tooting contest with his brother. He won.
  14. Forget to eat until 1 PM. Let's see, it's 1:35 right now. All I've had to eat was the peanut butter I licked off my lips from the kiss my son gave me before nap. You'd think you'd lose weight faster that way, but somehow it doesn't happen like that.
  15. When you do eat, make sure to finish within 2.5 minutes. "Hey look, Mom just sat down to eat, I'll poop for 15 minutes, while the baby cries, and you drop something breakable."
  16. Learn to share all the best food from your plate. They're like vultures.
  17. Bring an audience to the bathroom. No son, I do not need help wiping. Thank you for the one square of toilet paper though.
  18. Get a dog and a cat {because it's going to happen eventually} and brush their fur. Disperse said hair all over the house. Run around the house super fast to blow the hair around into even better hiding places to be sure it's literally. Every. Where. Gotta have something to keep me busy. Wouldn't want to get bored.
  19. Pee on the sheets the day after you change them. That's why I changed them, right?
  20. Try to gently place a 10+ pound fragile sack of flour into a tall garbage can without dropping it. Good luck getting the sleeping baby into his crib if you can't do that.
  21. For added practice {you can never be too prepared} try two sacks. One word: Twins.

How should you have prepped?

Monday, May 4, 2015

How to Survive the First 6 Months With Twins

I feel like I should be reading this article for advice, but guess what! My boys are turned 7 months this week! And we're all still alive! So I'll tell you how.

  1. Blink. Seriously. Weren't we just in the hospital? {Well, technically yes, but that's totally unrelated.} Sometimes {actually most times} the nights feel so long because you're awake more than asleep, but before you know it, you're months down the road. I hate when people tell me this, but enjoy it. If it's not enjoyable, such as being awake all night or changing 18 million diapers, isn't it better to do it happily than to be a crank about it? You still gotta do it either way.
  2. Ask for/Accept Help. You know how everyone says, "If you need anything, let me know." I'd always respond, "I'm writing that down!" You will need help. Unless you're super-mommy. And I've been called super-mommy, but I still needed help. For the third trimester of my twin pregnancy my doctor told me to do as little as possible. My husband is a super worry-wart sometimes and he basically put me on bedrest. I sat on the couch with my feet up all day. My 15 year old sister came and stayed with us to help with my boys and take care of me. That was definitely a big help. My mom came also for the first three weeks. Basically all I did for that time was nurse, bottle-feed, pump, and change diapers. I definitely needed the extra hands. My sister stayed with us until the twins were four months old. By that time, everything was manageable. My husband would come home, and the house would look like ground zero of some natural disaster, but all four boys were fed and happy. {Not necessarily clean, but hey, they're boys.} What helped me was this: My oldest was potty trained. He could take care of most things that came up if I was tied down {nursing}. My second was potty training, but still in diapers for when I was unavailable to just take him. The twins didn't really have emergencies. They just got hungry or uncomfortable. If I was occupied with the older boys and they were coming up on their two hour feeding cycle, they weren't starving. Just hungry. They just ate two hours ago. They could wait a few minutes. There weren't any emergencies. And nap time became my reward. If I could get all four to sleep at the same time, I won. Even if it was just for a half hour.
  3. You aren't a failure if you quit nursing! I wanted to be the crunchy mom who nursed her twins for 18 months and impressed all the other moms. My milk was best and nothing else could compare! Yeah well, after my help left, it became harder to do it. I just needed a break. It was too draining to do it. I wasn't eating enough calories, {who's got time to eat anyways!?} wasn't drinking enough water, {seriously, no time} one of the boys had food sensitivities, {I couldn't have eggs, oats, or coconut} and I had to chase the older ones around.  The problem was, one of my twins couldn't have store bought formula. It made him miserable. The other twin couldn't have eggs
  4. Schedule. I know, everyone says that. Really though. Especially in the middle of the night. I remember I'd wake up from one baby crying to eat. Then think, the other one is sleeping, so I'll just let him sleep. I'd lay down, and close my eyes. Ahh.... The other one would start. So what could've taken 20 minutes {to nurse both at the same time} ended up taking an hour. Just to wake up again to the first baby in another hour. Just wake the second one. You'll regret not doing it. At least for the first few weeks. When they get to about four months I started letting the other one sleep, and it worked some of the time, but not at first, so please, for your own sanity just wake him if the other one wakes! Now that mine are six months we've settled into a daily schedule. I know every family is different, but I like to see examples of other family's schedule.
 They wake up between 6-7. {yay me} I won't give them bottles before 7. If they're hungry, I nurse them before 7.
7 AM - Bottles
8 AM - Big boys eat breakfast {usually something easy like yogurt and fruit}
             Get everyone dressed
9 AM - Bottles
             Babies' first nap
             Shower for me while big boys play or watch a movie
10 AM - Snack time
               Play outside if it's nice/work on project
              Housework if the children permit
11:30- 12ish - Bottles when they wake up
12 PM - Lunch
              Walk around the block with all four if it's nice
1 PM - Nap time for big boys
            Exercise {if I find ambition}
2 PM - Bottles
            Babies' second naps
            Drool on myself I can't write that!
3 PM - Big boys wake up
            Snack time {when they both wake up}
3- 4 PM Babies wake up
4 PM - Bottles
            Try to look like I've been constructive all day and start dinner
4:30 - See if husband had any ideas for dinner
4:31 - Ask husband to bring home dinner
5 PM - Husband comes home and all is right with the world
6 PM - Bottles
7 PM - Babies' dinner
8 PM - Bottles
            Bed time for all boys under 4 ft.

{Nightly schedule activities vary depending on the night}
Keep in mind that this schedule didn't get settled until around 6 months. None of my babies were in a good schedule until around 6 months.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

A Twin Birth Story

I woke up Sunday morning, September 28th around 5 am. It was a strong one.

Since 28 weeks I was restricted to mostly relax on the couch. I had many Braxton hicks. All the time. I drank lots of water and avoided heavy activity. My husband wouldn't let me do anything fun. Like garage saling, going to the fair, attending church. I just sat on the couch and caught up on tv and facebook. Talk about boring. I also crocheted over 50 projects. Hey, if I was going to sit there and do nothing, I was going to make some money. I had my teenage sister staying with me to help with the boys during the daytime.

So Sunday morning I woke up and started my contraction timer app. It was actually consistent. Every 4-6 minutes for 45 seconds to a minute each. After an hour I took a shower, then called the doctor. I told her that they didn't all hurt, but they were consistent. I was 36 weeks 4 days. She said as long as they're consistent, come in. We stopped at Tim Horton's on the way in, because I know they don't let you have any food while your in labor. On the way to the hospital I noticed the contractions were slowing way down. Oh great, I'm going to get sent home. I know it. But we continue on. We get there and I'm 1 cm. Woohoo! I wasn't any before that so something happened! They left for awhile to see if I progress more. They gave me a few hours. This whole time I worried I was going home. I didn't feel contractions anymore. My husband kept assuring me there were some contractions registering on the machine. They came in around noon and I was at 2 cm!

We had agreed to a C-section. Baby A was head-down and baby B was breech, which was fine and do-able. The problem was that baby B was bigger, so there was more risk of complications. We didn't want to do an emergency C-section after delivering the first one vaginally, so we decided to only have only one area to heal.

They said I was in labor and they could start prepping for the C-section or they could send me home until I dilate more. So obviously we didn't want to go home and wait. They came in and asked me a few questions and who knew you couldn't eat for 8 hours before surgery?! So we had to wait until 2 pm to go in to the operating room. Oops. It was okay because it gave us time to make some phone calls and for my husband to change in his scrubs.

They wheeled me in and I'm not sure why, but I started crying when I got in there, and could not stop the entire time. They rolled me over for the epidural, which by the way, hurts more each time. They were prepping equipment and getting me ready. I could see them doing things to me but couldn't feel any of it. They brought my husband in, and soon after that, out came baby A, at 2:23 pm. He was on the other side of the room getting cleaned up and I heard them announce baby B's arrival at 2:24 pm. Shortly after, they assured me both babies were doing well. Baby A weighed 5 pounds 8 ounces, and baby B weighed 6 pounds 4 ounces. My husband brought them over to me, and I fell in love.

After they finished stitching me up I was brought to a recovery room. It took a while for me to recover from the medication they gave me. I was finally able to hold my sweet babies after I could sit up without being dizzy. They didn't take to nursing right away. They said it was probably because they were preemies. They also had to be monitored more closely due to their gestational age.

It's a huge eye-opener the first time you're left alone with two newborns. I enjoyed being in the hospital this time. I was recovering from major abdominal surgery. The nurses brought the babies to me when it was time to nurse. {I couldn't quite walk across the room for a while.} The nurses even changed all the diapers! Being so small, they did have a few difficulties with their temperatures, weights, glucose levels, and nursing.

For the first few weeks I had to {try to} nurse, bottle feed previously pumped milk, then pump. Every three hours. That was exhausting. After about three weeks they stopped taking bottles, and kept gaining weight, so we quit them. That was a huge break.

In the end, I'd have to say I'd do it all over again. I don't want to, but I would.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Life with Twins

"Your hands are full!" Yes, my hands are full. Actually, my arms are full. I carry them in my arms. It's getting easier to do now. It'll be nice when I can carry them both on my hips at the same time. Actually, it'll be nice when they can just walk. {Wait, maybe it won't.} That's actually quite scary.

"Do they sleep through the night?" Um..... no. C was sleeping through the night. Then he stopped. D was getting up once each night. Now they both get up at least once to eat, usually around 4 am. {Which makes it 8 hours, so maybe they do sleep through the night. Ha. Cool.} But they wake up several times for their pacifier. Each. Oh, and they got moved to their own room down the hall a few weeks ago. So that's about five trips down the hall each night. Before 4 am. On a good night. Soooo I'm tired.

"How are you feeling?" I don't quite understand this question. The babies are 4 1/2 months old. Should I still be in pain?? I don't know how to answer this one so I always honestly answer, "Tired. Very tired."

"Did you know it was twins?" Seriously? Of course I did. I know not everyone gets ultrasounds, but how often does a twin pregnancy not go noticed? {I know it does happen.} Or maybe you meant before the ultrasound? I had mine at 8 weeks. No I did not know before my ultrasound. Strangely enough though, my husband did.

"Do twins run in your family?" They do now. Give them a year or so and they'll be running all over! My cousin does have twins, though. But it's from his wife's side. That's too much explaining to do to complete strangers, so I usually just say no.

"Are you going to have more?" This one shocks me the most but I usually say, "Not today." They laugh, and say, "No, really, are you going to try for a girl?" {I have four, yes 4 boys.} "It depends on the day. After today, no. Tomorrow if I see a cute baby girl, yes. I don't know." I don't like this question because it kind of seems personal. I always wanted a big family. Seriously when I was a teenager I wanted 15 kids. {Mostly because I had 15 names I liked. yeah.} But, I want to be able to enjoy my kids while they're little. Get on the floor and play with them. Chase them around the house. I couldn't do that for most of this twin pregnancy. I was on bed rest for the last few months. And now, they'll want me to play with them but I can't because I'm nursing. I'm always nursing. I kind of want a break. Most people assume because I've had four kids in three years that I'm trying to compete with the Duggars. Maybe I'm done with four. I like my boys. Yes, I've always wanted a girl, but... I was one once, and I'm not sure I want a teenage girl. Just a baby one, please. So, as of right now we're done. Maybe in a few years. But not anytime soon. So please don't watch my left-over-twin-baby belly.

Most days I don't mind the attention. I think when people see I have twins, they give me more sympathy. I've probably asked some of these same questions before I had my own. I love having my twins and watching my older boys interact with them. They are awesome big brothers. They are very loving and tender-hearted toward them. Even R, who is a big clumsy brute, tries to pick them up and burp them. L, 3 years old, is the biggest helper. If I'm staying home with the three youngest, I'll often ask for my oldest, too just because he's such a help.
No, my older boys do not use pacifiers... they just like to steal them.