Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Bits and Pieces

--Strawberry fruit bars are good. So are lime fruit bars.

--My boys are officially TOTAL fussers. They are rarely awake and content. Maybe this is normal, but today, I got my first 1/2 hour taste of complete meltdown mode while on my own (Mom was late coming over), and I honestly don't know how I'm going to handle it. How do you do it? I mean, seriously: Logistically, how is it done? If you have two children who SCREAMSCREAMSCREAM if they aren't being held or fed, how do you make it through the day? I get the idea that mine are going to be porkers, because I'll just shove a boob in their mouth to make them stop screaming...

--Newest nicknames for the boys are Barfy and Bang Bang (He.nry's our big barfer, and J.ack likes to slam his head into our chests when frustrated, i.e. ALL THE FRICKIN' TIME). I expect this to be the name of their first garage band.

--My mom bought me a massage, and I spent the entire time worrying about whether or not I was going to be able to relax enough to enjoy it. Yes, I spent a full hour being rubbed and pummeled and all I could do was fret over whether or not I was going to be able to relax. Stupid. However, when I got home, the boys stayed asleep in their car seats for 30-45 minutes, and those were the most productive 45 minutes I've had in forever. I got laundry sorted, and I fixed our wireless internet, and hooked up our new printer (went to get printer cartridges, and found that it would cost almost $70 to get new ones for the old printer OR it would cost $25.50 to buy the new version of our printer WITH cartridges... so we bought a new printer. Totally wasteful, but saved so dang much money it's absurd.) and got some cleaning done, too. WHY I didn't snooze is beyond me, but I think it almost felt better just to get some random chores done. WTF happened to me choosing chores over sleep? Sigh.

--We are considering getting an inflatable nursing pillow, because I cannot nurse without my special nursing pillow (again, MAJOR thanks, Tracy!), and I would like to possibly travel at some point. At what stage would I expect that a nursing pillow will no longer be as big of a benefit as it is right now? I mean, at what point will they start being a little more helpful in their participation in the nursing relationship? When would they likely be too big to keep using the nursing pillow? I ask only because I don't know if we will have a need to travel before then. Truthfully, we just need a second cover for the pillow we have, but I thought I might kill two birds with one stone and buy the travel pillow (so that I can wash the cover for the other pillow and still have a functioning pillow to use).

--Man, HOW is it possible to nurse twins without tandem nursing them? I would have completely given up nursing by now if I had to nurse one and then the other, especially as they generally get hungry at the same time. It's not the easiest thing to pick up on, and luckily, Jac.k is a champion feeder (Hen.ry's a little tougher to latch and stay latched), but it's almost become second nature to me to feed them at the same time.

--Henr.y is heading towards ten pounds (per bathroom scale-- (Me + He)-Me= something between 9.5 and 10 lbs). Jack is heading toward nine (between 8.5 and 9). My boys are getting so big! No wonder my back is killing me. Someday, I'll build the strength to hold them, I hope.

--I had more to say, but Screamer the Second just realized that I was not giving my full and undivided attention to him while he was sleeping, so we are again in full meltdown mode. Sigh. I know it gets better, but I just wonder when, and whether we'll make it that long.


luxzia said...

you will survive... the next few months might make you feel like you are going to go insane and not sure about the light at the end of the tunnel...

again, with all child advice, it's second-hand. I think the first year is hardest on moms - not just the breast feeding, the lack of baby verbal ability, etc, but the isolation that is sometimes imposed due to raising a child (or in your case children). find a mommy group for as soon as your mom leaves. the adult company alone is worth it, but think of the connections you can find - recommendations for good babysitters, random advice and stories, even just relishing in the sisterhood of fellow moms. women are best when we stick together, and there is great comfort always in the common experience of womanhood (something that took me a long time to appreciate... but most of my SF friends are women - and every day I'm sooo glad for each of them and every amazing woman I've ever had in my life such as you).

i have no advice on barfy babies however. i suspect as time goes on it will get better.

nursing the twins as they get older... a mom I know out here with twins nursed until 9 1/2 months. after 3 months, she would put one down and hold a bottle with either formula or pumped milk with to one while holding the other and nursing and then would switch off. rebecca's babies were about as big as yours, so this should work. i suspect it takes practice, but rebecca seemed like a pro when she was nursing, so it does seem doable.

Ellen K. said...

You're surviving already. Welcome to the madhouse!

I tried to tandem-nurse and couldn't -- neither could my mom, who is also small chested. The nursing pillow didn't help. I think it takes big boobs AND strong babies who weren't low birth weight and are good nursers. This seems to be the experience of other twin moms online, too.

Anonymous said...

At 6-weeks all things changed for us...for the good. We all started to figure out each other. They were awake more and alert. So you're almost there. Don't get me wrong they still howl like banshees if both are hungry at the same time but as long as I'm within eyeshot it's usually not too bad. Try other distractions: move to a different device (bounder to swing, etc), try singing or dancing with or without holding, shake toys, make faces, read a book, play a game, do tummy time, calmly join in the screaming yourself. It's all about distractions. Sometimes just taking off the outfit worked.

Sorry no advice on the nursing stuff. It sounds like they're growing up great.

Anonymous said...

i'm still tandem nursing (with a pillow) at 10 months. i can nurse without one if i need to, but only one baby at a time. it is still easier to nurse them both at the same time right now and they are inching toward 20 lbs each!

like other people said, at 6 weeks some type of magic happens, i swear. they get better, you feel better, etc. then it happens again at 3 months. seriously.

i remember holding each of them for 2 minute intervals when all three of us were crying and alone. sometimes though....i would just laugh. try to appreciate the humor of the situation. it IS a little bit funny, right? lol. also i would do an "activity" for only like 5 minutes at a time: tummy time, singing, gym time, bouncer, swing, repeat. :)

you're already a great twin mom!!!

Tracy said...

Try not to spend too much time figuring things out, because mark my words, in two weeks it will be different. At least that was my experience. The best you can do is put your head down and power through.

I had a friend that didn't tandem nurse, and she rarely slept. It was hard, but she was glad to have the one on one time with each of them. Not for me...but it worked for her.

Be careful of the chest-head butting. It's not an issue now, but my sister's second child did that and as she grew she got stronger. Eventually she broke my sister's sternum from her constant head butting. OUCH.

I stopped nursing at 8 weeks, but even by that point they were more helpful than they were in the first month. It WILL get easier every month.

Head down. Power through. That's my advice. :)

Tracy said...

Oh, and your arms and back WILL get stronger. I can carry both of my 28 pounders up stairs when I need to.

amy said...

Please tell me which pillow (and any other products - diapers?) have worked for you! Of course mine look like they'll be coming much earlier than yours. I really don't have any advice, I just held my daughter constantly bc I was sick/confined to the bed or couch anyway. Not helpful in your case nor with twins! Sorry.

Marie said...

Barfy and Bang Bang made me snort out loud. Too funny. I didn't do two so I hate to give assvice. Plus I don't really remember that foggy sleepless time. I think that is a defense mechanism for moms. Hopefully you won't remember this time either when they are content to sit and watch the wiggles and giggle at each other.

It gets better!

As far as the boob thing. I don't think I would have survived the first couple of months without my hooters. They are the best pacifiers evah!


jill said...

You can do it! Sending some strength your way :)

Katherine said...

My son was also a screamer, only content when held, breastfeeding or sleeping in a upright swing. He had horrible acid reflux. In retrospect, I wish I had started him on the meds earlier (prev.a.cid). A big indicator for bad reflux is if the baby cannot sleep flat.

I agree with luxzia that mom groups are the best to help to feel more balanced. And if getting out of the house is still incredibly hard, try some online groups. I joined the yahoo group AustinMama. It's good for advice, fun stories, and how people cope when everything descends into chaos :)

Anyway, I am a lurker, but just wanted to say that I love your blog. You have an amazing writing style and a great sense of humor. And some very lucky little ones. You are doing a great job, and like everyone says, it goes by fast.

Serah B. said...

I can't remember when I stopped using the pillow for my singletons, but it was around the time they could hold their heads up steadily, because at that point the nursing pillow was permanently on the play-mat for tummy time.

I am currently experiencing just a sliver of what twin parenting must be like...I am taking care of my nephew while my sister is on bedrest, and it is really, really maddening to have two toddlers. It's so hard when they're both upset, or fighting over toys...and trying to get them both down for naps--nursing one and giving a bottle to the other (I'm thinking my sister would frown on me nursing him--but I swear, if it would solve naptime, I'd totally do it;-) I've been thinking about you all week. Two is a gazillion-bajillion times harder. And at the same time, sometimes it's so nice because they play together and love on each other...taking them to the zoo today way lovely. They got each other excited and would point out things to one another, and it totally multiplied the glee.

I hope you get lots of the glee-multiplication factor going on.

the Babychaser: said...

Hurray for the tandem feeding! I had so much trouble with both babies that it took me two months to get the tandem feeding down. Then, after about two glorious weeks of doing 4 tandems a day, they suddenly stopped tolerating it. I think it was the awareness of their surroundings--the presence of a distraction (baby next boob) was just too much for them and they kept yanking away (without letting go--OW!). I almost gave up, but I managed to get through the next two weeks until I got back to work. Now I just try to put one in a happy place (play yard or jumperoo) while I feed the other in the nursery, with white noise on, rocking, etc.

For me, it was just a metter of getting to the point where I could go back to work (this week) and pump. I'm hoping they get past this and go back to the tandem feed, but I'm not sure it'll happen. There's also an issue of positioning--they're too big now to do football unless I'm sitting at the edge of the couch. Otherwise they kick the back of the couch and pull away (again, taking the nipple with them).

My babies got harder as they got older, but that's because they were pretty chill in the beginning. A friend of mine who had a singleton at the same time, however, had a fussy screamer--sounds a lot like yours. At about 6 weeks something switched with him, and he's generally pretty cheerful now. So a lot of it is just time. I know that's not an easy answer, but it's the way things are.

Hang in there. You really can get through this. Remember that the screaming won't hurt them, or scar them emotionally. They aren't "sad" people--they probably just aren't fully accepting of being out of the warm, dark, cozy womb. So do what you have to do to get through the next few weeks, and it will improve.

And it's totally okay, btw, to put them in a safe place while they scream and go take a hot, noisy shower where you can cry it out youreself in peace.

Shinejil said...

You are doing amazing! I'm so impressed w/ your bfeeding.

Stacy said...

Hey Girl- I'm delurking here but have been following you for quite some time. I don't have twins but my baby just turned 3 months. I found that she got so much better at about the 6-8 week mark. She also has GERD and your symptoms sound exactly like hers. She is currently on Zantac and that has helped tremendously with the pain after eating, however the medication only helps with the pain, not the spitting up. She barfs all the time and my doc says they normally don't grow out of it until almost a year. It's because their insides are not entirely developed yet. I found that keeping my baby propped up for at least 30 minutes to an hour after eating would help with the spit up. She used to barf up everything she just ate if I laid her back down after eating. We also had her sleep in her swing at night because she would barf in her bed and then roll her head around in it (gross). I feel for you and know that it's twice as hard with twins. Hang in there! Another thing.... check to see if your hospital has any breastfeeding or new mom support groups. That's a great way to meet other moms. Also, another great place to go is www.mamapedia.com or www.momslikeme.com to meet people in your area online. Have a great weekend!