Posts Tagged ‘multiples’

The truth.

October 2, 2009

Thank you to all who responded yesterday. It is always a pleasure when people reach out to help me, particularly as I have never been one to say when I needed help – at least prior to my training as a counsellor/therapist, anyway. That changes things, or at least it changed me.

I think one of the problems is that I have been treating Coconut and Snort as singletons, at least in relation to eating. But it is inescapable that they are not singletons. It’s interesting to talk to moms of singletons versus moms of twins. Twim moms talk about crying a lot whilst both babies are crying – who do you go to? How do you prioritise? Twin moms also talk about all the different things they have tried – different routines, different feeding techniques – all the ways they have fumbled along before time or ‘routine’ was a success. Singleton moms don’t have the same need for routine.

Let’s say it takes Snort, on a good feed, about twenty minutes to have his bottle. Then ten minutes of burping or whatever. That’s right quick, indeed, but sometimes he manages it. So then he’s awake for awhile. But Coconut and her snacking (think I have it figured out – she is part vampire. She is ‘snacking’ during the day as he does at night, when he doesn’t need as much to eat. We need to keep her AWAKE during the day, for god’s sake.) – it could take her 20 minutes to eat a little bit. An hour later and she needs another 40 minutes or so.

When you look at my ‘schedule’ as a whole, I am feeding one baby for about an hour. There may be a slight overlap of sleep or play time, say ten minutes (like right now!). Then the cycle starts again with the other one. This is what comes of being baby-led. I’m not saying I want to turn into a drill sergeant, but in some ways we HAVE. Going out? We have bags packed, bottles ready, feeding sorted as best we can. If hell breaks loose when we are out, TMD and I have ways to immediately manage (of course, this would be different should I be alone).

The thing is, the one adult to two newborns ratio has some inherent problems, and it’s going to take me some time to sort it all out. The mini goal for today (though it is probably quite a challenge) is to get them used to going flat on their backs after eating, instead of passing out in their bouncy chairs. Snort in particular will resist this. I am scared of it with Coconut, because DAMN can she vomit – and being tilted helps. That being said, I have thrown her on a pillow on the ground, and she is merrily kicking away. No vomit to be seen.

I feel there was a lot more I wanted to say. To vent, to figure out, to explain to other people.

It’s nice to read that other twin moms find it really hard. There are also some who choose to take the hardness, and use to to help those that follow. It is a community unlike others, though ‘mom communities’ seem to me to be more welcoming, inclusive, and understanding than many I’ve belonged to. Twin moms just have the added level of knowing how fucked up it sometimes gets.

Me? I think I am a person dedicated to herself. Suddenly having snatches of time here and there for me, which I devote to updating this blog and keeping my sanity, is something I am unaccustomed to. As is working this fucking hard. My GOD, is it hard. Even as I am admiring Coconut’s stunning eyelashes, a small part of me is glancing at my chart to see when Snort is due to wake up. It’s like a constant little ball of dread, of oh fuck, of ‘I just need a break. Please.’

My life will never be the same again. I think I am only just starting to comprehend what that means on a very basic level. I think the tears rolling down my cheeks for about 3 hours straight yesterday were due to this being the first week on my own – and yesterday was the first day without any visitors. My SPD is still bad. Really bad. I have not properly slept in the seven weeks since they were born. I am also not one who does well emotionally when she is stuck at home; I know this about myself from long before I was even pregnant.

Crap. Snort waking up. Coconut doing some intermittant crying. Hope she settles soon on that blasted pillow. Need to go feed him. I am not done with this entry, not by half. But will post it now as not sure when I’ll get another chance. And if I post now, maybe I will get comments now?

I am lonely.

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Feeding: how do you do it?

October 1, 2009

I’m hoping moms of singletons, twins, or more (!) will reply to this. Essentially, how the fuck do I feed these kids?

Textbooks say they should be eating every three hours, but that formula fed babies might eat every four. Mine do have alarm clocks in their tummies, but these ring about every 2.5 hours…sometimes every 2. During their six week growth spurt, they did eat every three hours and in massive quantities. Now they are eating a good deal less, but more often.

Do I stretch things out and make them wait?

My goals:

Have them efficiently eating when they DO eat, preferably at least three hours apart.  Have them eat most of their calories during the day, so that they need to eat less at night.

I worry that Coconut is all jacked up. She is eating every 2.5 hours today – but a tiny, TINY feed followed by a normal sized feed. Is she sick? Has the snacking nature of these shrinking feeds fucked with her? A mom on Twitter suggested I stretch things out, and this will make them eat more when they do eat. I think this is solid sense.

But the second Coconut cries? Bam. Bottle. Sometimes she has to wait and she screams the whole time. Snort is also eating every 2.5 hours, but still normal feeds.

I just spent some time with her in the kitchen singing an Existere remake of a song that goes like this….

Damn, you’s a sexy baby,
damn you’s a sexy one.
Damn you’s a sexy baby.
Damn damn damn damn.

Somehow I don’t think the parenting books would advocate this method of childrearing, even though I sang it in a very cheerful voice while dancing around with her. She stared at me, a bit perplexed as to why the room was spinning around so rapidly and I was singing/swearing at her in such a manic way. Still, it was more effective than my earlier:

You down with OPP? Yeah you know me.
You down with OPP? Yeah you know me.
You down with OPP? Yeah you know me.
Who’s down with OPP? ALL the babies!

So. Questions. (Please answer any or all!)

Do I stretch things out? How do I manage this, realistically, with twins? Do I feed them one after the other, forcing them onto some crazy schedule, or keep following their lead? What about cluster feeding in evenings? Is there an effective way to actually tandem feed? How much SHOULD they be eating? How often can one expect them to go between feeds? What else have I forgotten to ask?

Push it real good.

September 28, 2009

We’ve had those lovely, but gassy, baby smiles for a few weeks now – particularly from Coconut. On a few occasions, I have wondered if they were real smiles….usually this was followed by her puking on me, or pooping everywhere. Today, though, holy crapamoli.

I was holding her. She was all cosied up from feeding and cuddles. I made my mouth open and close very slowly like a fish. Cue baby smile. I did the fish thing again. Another baby smile. At this point, I got a little interested. More fish, and then a BIG baby smile, including squinting eyes (my mother and I both squint like crazy when we smile – we lose our eyes). I was wondering if this was it. It seemed a more social smile (or series of smiles, I should say), though of course she had just eaten and was sleepy.

Then Snort started screaming to be fed, and I had to put Coconut down without more smiling experimentation. I guess this is a downside of multiples. I HAVE taken some killer pictures of a particularly hectic twenty minutes though. Will post those soon.

First day alone is going really, really well! Have done laundry, made bottles, talked to Aussie for 525920 minutes, and..oh yeah…kept two babies alive. Am hooked up to the TENS machine and haven’t turned it off yet. Only thing I feel bad about is lack of one-to-one time and playing. Also making them live in the bouncy chairs – I know it’s not good for their spines, but TMD made me promise. It’s hard to move around today, really hard, and the priority is keeping me well enough to be able to walk around with a baby in my arms.

On a side note, I may be becoming immune to baby crying. Facial expressions, especially now that real tears are making an appearance, kill me. But crying? I barely hear it. This is a relief as I remember a fateful multiples antenatal class where the instructor played a CD of one baby crying and I almost jumped out of my skin. The glorious, and terrible, thing about facial expressions and baby awareness: the way Snort looks straight at me, expecting me to help him out, while I am feeding Coconut. He just fixes me in his stare – sometimes seeing me and having me talk from a distance can settle him, though it mostly unsettles me.

Been listening to hip hop & r&b today, and have to say that it enables me to get a kick ass rhythm going when I am kicking a bouncy chair to keep it moving. Also, one of the babies had their little fist out last night, and I put my fist against it and went ‘boom.’ I explained this was how all the cool kids said hello (the fist punching, not the booming). I am raising little gangsters….but cute gangsters.

24 weeks pregnant with the babies! Bump pictures.

May 5, 2009

Aussie and P-Dawg (her boyfriend) came over yesterday. This resulted in eating loads of chickpea enchaladas and belly comparisons. Yes, I know you don’t know her, but…BUT….Aussie is pregnant! 13 weeks with one teensy tiny baby.

Here we are, along with our three (!) babies:

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I have her full permission to post this entry, which I’ve been wanting to post for like, let’s see – 9 weeks. See how good I am at secret keeping? Way better than that fucker Wormtail. I’m telling you, if the Potters had known me, they would still be alive today.

So, how far along was I yesterday?

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And here’s some more bumpage:

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And me and TMD – who looks smaller and smaller in each of these pictures, as she is stood next to the Amazing Growing Womb/Woman.

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And if I was 23 weeks 6 days yesterday, guess what that makes today? 24 WEEKS. Yes, the magical number everyone strives towards, the wonderful world of viability. I do know the babies are actually a day younger than they were dated at (thanks to the magic and precision of IVF), so tomorrow will be the ‘real’ viability day. Still, wahoo! 24 weeks!

I’m going to make a point of not googling the likelihood of survival. If there is one thing pregnancy has taught me, it’s that google can often be more harm than help. My eyes are natually drawn towards all the horror stories and Worst Possible Causes for various symptoms. See? Not helpful.

At any rate, everyone is back at work today, and I’ve got myself eleven interviews to do this week. I plan to do none on Friday because that is Scan Day!!! (Put it in your calenders and underline it several times. Also please start crossing your fingers now that we definitively find out what little baby Torre is.) I need to start ringing these people up, though tearing myself away from the riveting world of daytime tv paternity tests will be challenging.

*mwah*

Oh, one more piece of good news. You know how I wanted to gain 24 pounds by 24 weeks? Accomplished as of yesterday, exactly on track. I’m really noticing the weight on my hips, thighs, arms, etc – but keep reminding myself that I wanted to gain all this weight – and in fact needed to. With multiples, the more weight gained by 24 weeks predicts better birth outcomes, including birth weight and the babies staying put for longer. With twins, it is recommended to gain at least 24 pounds by 24 weeks.

Considering how fucking sick I was for the first 16 weeks, this is a grand accomplishment.

If I have to leave the house on my own, I will need Crocs because shoes and socks are beyond me at this point.

April 16, 2009

Just booked our one-day multiples antenatal class. For some reason I was having a minor freak out about booking it – so picked up the phone and did it that way. Yesterday I rang these people to join their Exclusive World of Multiple Babies and they were lovely, and they were lovely again today.

Yesterday when I registered I was really impressed by how gender neutral the woman was. She didn’t ask for my husband’s name, she asked for my partner’s name. Now, I know over here ‘partner’ is a widely applied term – but so handy that it doesn’t imply a sexuality along with it. Today I was asked for my husband or partner’s name; I think these people have undergone some training or something because as soon as she said ‘husband’ she kind of choked up and quickly replaced it with ‘partner.’ Nice.

The weird thing?

She referred to TMD as my ‘birth partner’, but she MEANT ‘wife.’ As in, ‘Is this your birth partner’s first child/children as well?’ and ‘Are you the one carrying the pregnancy?’ She also groovily said (not in a nosy way – it was a question I had to answer for the antenatal referral), ‘I assume you used fertility treatments then?’

Anyway. Class booked. Next step is to book into the local hospital’s free class. No doubt it will be …uh….well, you know, I’ll shut my mouth and hope for the best. I don’t think or know if we will sign up for this other series of antenatal classes (private classes through a national charity – everyone in the world goes to them) as the hospital stuff might cover it anyway. I find it all odd as while I would certainly prefer a vaginal delivery, I just don’t know how things will turn out on the day – it’s like this for multiples. I won’t know for a couple of months yet. Maybe one of you can come over and just teach me how to breathe or something.

Other thing is that I heard back from the local multiples club – they have a meeting tomorrow. While no one believes I am a social hermit because I am so fabulously sparkly with people, I totally hate going along to stuff like this without a friend in tow. I was warned by the email lady that tomorrow might be a bit ‘manic’ as it is school holidays so lots of older twins will be there. Yikes.

Apparently there are a few new twins moms there, though, so it would be quite good to get to know people in the area. I was assured that people ‘forge lifetime friendships’ – normally a churchy cult statement like that would put me off, but actually, I wouldn’t mind a few local lifetime friends. But the meeting’s in a church. Gross.

I am really cooking with this whole babies thing. I am also not moping around or hating bedrest as much this week. In fact, I’m starting to enjoy it. I’m now in a dodgy area where I have outlasted my doctor’s sick note and have not extended it – not even sure where it is. Work has not contacted me and I haven’t contacted them, aside from some emails about my scan and a phone call from Green. I had a tearful half hour earlier this week about missing work, but this is what it is.

I’d rather be successfully cooking babies than struggling to make it through the days at work.

I still have some pretty big stuff to sort out – and the first thing(s) are getting a solicitor so we can make a will, as well as taking legal advice about securing TMD’s parental rights. The law here is changing and if we had conceived a few months later we could have both been on the birth certificate. As it stands, we have to work really hard to make sure our family and babies are safe.

I also need to find a dentist. Yuck. I don’t trust dentists here…but then again I’ve never gone.

….Really grey and gloomy outside today. Hardcore mist coming down into our jungle of a back garden. Regardless, I have done more stuff in the past two days than I have in the past two weeks. I also called the clinic yesterday and found out we will receive our donor’s pen sketch when the babies are born. I also asked about the woman I donated eggs to – waiting to hear back about that.

In the meantime, I may go make myself an ice cream cookie sandwich. They don’t have them in this country (horror, shock, disgust!), but I find they are actually a ‘recipe’ that is within the parameters of ‘things I can cook.’

Love to you all.

(Pictures coming later, assuming I can hook up our new memory card/camera to the laptop with no struggles.)