Thursday, November 29, 2012

Something Happened...

Yes, something very big indeed. My colicky baby with reflux who has been known to cry for hours for no reason is suddenly a happy smiling boy! 4 pm was the time he'd typically lose it-I felt like I was on death row and 4 pm was my time to head to the electric chair. Honestly, that's how much I dreaded 4 every single day. Not anymore!! Evan's smiles are incredibly meaningful. I can't tell you how important they are to me... I felt like I didn't have a bond with him because all I did was feed him, change him and have him scream at me. It was very difficult and I felt myself getting frustrated and angry. I had to set him down and walk away to cry/swear/yell more than a few times... All of this is in the past (hopefully) and I feel a connection with him FINALLY!

I don't know if it's him growing out of the colic stage (they are 10 weeks old currently) or the Zantac medication for reflux or a combo of both. Whatever it is, I am NOT complaining. My life got a whole lot easier all of a sudden. I guess all those people that kept telling me 'it get's easier' were on to something!

Our babies could not be any more different. We have nicknamed our fussy Evan the CEO because he wants what he wants NOW! He's definitely a morning person (the CEO in him says 'the early bird gets the worm!' according to my husband) and he smiles endlessly and giggles in the mornings. What a delight! Ella is not a morning person at all, she prefers to eat and go directly back to sleep. It works out perfectly because I get 1:1 time with happy Evan and when Ella wakes up in the later morning, I can spend 1:1 time with her.

It's amazing how fast they are growing up! Both LOVE play mats (if you have a baby and don't have a play mat get on the internet and order one now!). Both of them are reaching for and grabbing objects (they love links). Ella is all smiles every single time she sees one of our faces. She is the happiest calmest baby ever. She's so content... Evan is still demanding, but we're getting him figured out and it makes a huge difference. The only time he loses it is when he is overtired. Usually I can see it coming and I can swaddle him and set him down for a nap before it gets too ugly.

They are sleeping like champs!! Ella has been sleeping through the night some-she had a three night streak this past week!! Evan is up once around 2-3 for a feeding and if Ella gets up this is usually about the time she gets up. They have gotten so much faster at eating. What used to take 1 hour to feed, change and put the baby back to sleep can now be done in under 30 minutes. Both of them go to sleep well too. It used to take 1-2 hours to get Evan to calm down and go to bed at night. Now we have a routine and both go to sleep without fuss. They are still sleeping in their Rock N Plays in our room...I'm just not ready to move them to a crib yet. Their bedrooms are so far from ours!! It's a long hallway...seriously.

During the day these two are eating about every 2-3 hours; we're having more and more 2.5-3.5 hour stretches in the mix. It is AMAZING!!! I can get so much done with their longer nap times. We have a nice routine down of eating, playing, napping. Repeat. If only I could get a nap...I have taken less than a handful of naps since they were born, and that was while we had family here to help! Those people that say 'sleep when the baby sleeps' are crazy.

My favorite part of the morning is bath time. They get up around 6-6:30, eat and then play (Ella usually goes back to sleep). After their next meal around 8-8:30 I give them both baths. I put on Pandora and we sing Christmas carols (well I sing, they look at me like 'geez this lady has an awful voice'.) Both of them LOVE bath time. They are so calm and happy during and after the bath. I also love the 1:1 time I get to spend with each of them. I was doing baths every other day, but I changed them to every day because we all seemed to enjoy it so much. My husband thinks I am crazy for giving them baths every day. Am I? I'm a very clean person (I could NEVER not take a shower once a day) and I think there's nothing like a freshly cleaned and lotioned baby. Maybe I am crazy, but it makes me happy so I'm sticking with it!

I'm feeling great! I'm truly enjoying my new role as a mom (this wasn't always the case..I had a lot of dark teary times when I felt inadequate). My husband is so great!! He is the epitome of a father. I would not be this happy without his help. He will do anything I ask of him. He's always asking how he can help me. He's willing to take both babies so I can get out of the house or just go upstairs to catch a break. He gets up in the middle of the night without complaint. These kids are incredibly lucky to have him as a father...

Saturday, November 24, 2012


The holidays were always particularly difficult for me when we were still in the trenches of battling infertility. For those of you still muddling your way through, know that I am hoping and praying for you to get the amazing opportunity to have a family.
It was surreal to kick off the holiday season without the usual angst and despair I'm used to feeling. We have so much to be thankful for this year. So much!! 
We have our family....this is the good life!!
Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Shoulding All Over Myself

 Whenever I have a free second (honestly I do get minutes here and there but it FEELS more like only a second), I feel like there is something I SHOULD be doing. Both babies are sleeping-I should throw in a load of pukey baby clothes, I should vacuum the cat/dog hair off of the wood floors (I wish we had carpet to hide the hair these days), I should figure out what we're going to eat for dinner, I should pump, I should schedule the follow up appointment for our dog (we don't have our hands full enough these days...our dog has been sick as well), I should write a blog, I should call the Pastor about the  baptism, I SHOULD I SHOULD I SHOULD!!! AHHH!!

My grandma (who I swear must be part angel she is that wonderful) came down for a week because I was drowning. Grandma to the rescue-I had a frustrating few days (we have a baby with colic/reflux/random constipation to boot. UGH!) and at one point I found myself sitting on the stairs crying and fantasizing about running away to Denver to visit friends and ski. Then I felt guilty for wanting to run away because we've waited so long for these babies and then I cried more. Shouldn't I just be happy all the time because we have our family? I feel like I SHOULD, but I've had a lot of frustration over the past few weeks. It was at this point that I sent out a desperate text to my mom and she immediately started booking my grandma's flight down. She came at a time when I/we needed her most...

I've been feeling guilty because Evan is so fussy and neither one of us can figure out why. It's heart breaking to watch your baby cry and listen to him scream (another reason I want carpet-sound absorption!) and NOT be able to stop it. It's an energy, happiness and time drainer. My grandma, bless her heart, reassured us that we are doing everything we can to help him. Some babies just cry. She also drove home the idea of me not feeling like I should all the time. She admitted she had no idea how busy we truly are (I think this goes for most people...they think 'I have kids, I get it' but unless you have twins and one with endless crying fits you really don't get it.) She told me it was okay to let the laundry go, let the floors be dirty, let the dishes sit in the dishwasher instead of rushing to put them away. All of these are difficult for me to let go and I have been driving myself crazy over the upkeep of the house. I like a clean house. I can't stand to have things lying around and/or dirty, but it's impossible to keep everything the way I want it. It's been frustrating... Hearing from Grandma to let the shoulding go was what I needed to hear. Sure, the husband has said the same thing, but coming form an outside source made all the difference. Am I completely over trying to keep everything perfect? Nope. I'm still thinking of many things I should do, but I'm better able to accept what I can't get done. My grandma's week long visit was amazing. She's the kindest person I know. I need to keep working on letting the shoulding go because it's driving me crazy.

It will get better. I've heard this about 4 dozen times and I'm waiting every day! Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of fabulous things going on and we laugh daily over what the twins are doing, but it's not all rainbows and butterflies. We have Evan on Enfamil A.R. formula.  It has rice starch in it so it's thicker and helps with the reflux. When he was on breastmilk he would scream and cry through every feeding. He'd grab at his face and eyes in pain and feeding him was an awful experience. We also started him on Zantac twice a day. He's also drinking 1 oz prune juice to 2 oz water combo once a day to help with the constipation (side effect of the thicker formula). Things have improved. He doesn't scream through every feeding (I felt incredibly guilty about him not being able to have breastmilk) and he doesn't scream and grunt for an hour before he has a bowel movement anymore. He's still generally fussy and has periods of crying for no reason, but colic is supposed to be over around 3 months and we're only a few weeks away.... Colic is horrible. There have been evenings where he cried on and off for HOURS!! I can't tell you how frustrating it has been. I feel like I'm having a hard time connecting and bonding with him because he seems to only sleep and cry. Thankfully our Ella is a dream come true! She is the easiest baby in the world!! Whenever I feel myself getting edgy from dealing with Evan for an extended period of time, I'll see her smiling away at me and it makes everything better. She's quite the flirt these days:) 

I have so much more I want to update about, but this is all I have time for today because Mr. Evan is fussy and I need to go tend to him. It's a short week with Thanksgiving, but it seems like it's been a full five days for me. Family has caused some disappointment for us this week and Evan has been extremely fussy...

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!! We have so much to be thankful for this year!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

How Amber Got Her Groove Back

I know I have been absent from here for a while. To those of you following our journey, please forgive me! I hope you are still interested in what we've been up to!
We have survived 6 weeks with twins! Wow. For the first six weeks I would describe our lives as living in a canoe with several holes-we were bailing water just to stay afloat! It had it's bright moments and trying moments, but at the end of the day we're all in this together and we're still floating. The first few weeks can only be described as chaos-we had no idea what we were doing and the babies were feeding around the clock! However, now, I feel like we are FINALLY getting into the groove of things. We're starting to get this thing figured out. I have made it through an entire work week with the babies by myself without crying!! (I didn't cry that is. The babies cried of course.)

I'm starting to truly be able to appreciate and enjoy our family (I had a tough time adjusting initially and always felt overwhelmed-there were some endless days in the past 6 weeks and many tears). I still feel mommy guilt about the babies crying. Sometimes it's impossible to keep both happy at the same time when I'm here alone. There are two of them and only one of me!! I feel guilty because if there were only one, they would get my undivided attention. However, since there are two, I have to divide and conquer and someone is left crying longer than I'd like sometimes (feeding two babies at once is NOT easy and this is where the bulk of my frustration is centered). I have to learn to accept that this is my life now. I have to acknowledge it's okay as long as I do the best I can. My husband made an excellent point that has kept me sane during the crazy 'two babies crying times'-he said to think about what kind of attention they would be getting at daycare..I am able to provide more attention to the two of them then they would get at a daycare. I am incredibly lucky to be able to take care of them myself during the week and avoid daycare. When one babe is crying because I'm busy with the other, I need to go easier on myself and remember how fortunate I am to have two babies who need me. A friend also gave me great advice-babies cry. It's what they do. Don't worry if you can't get to them right away to make it stop.

So what is a day like in my life right now? I honestly don't think family/friends truly understand how incredibly busy we are during the week. The people with kids can slightly relate, but raising one child at a time is completely different than raising two. It's insane, but I'm falling in love with the insanity!

I usually get up around 5-6 am to do the morning feedings for both babies. This allows the husband to sleep in a bit longer before getting up for work. I do the feedings and get the babies settled in again. I then pump and have breakfast and see the husband off to work. I try to sneak in a load of laundry before it's time to feed again. 

We do another feeding upstairs and then I bath and dress the babies and get them ready for the day. I also find time to hop in the shower and get myself ready (I'm putting that whole 'I don't care if you fix your hair or wear makeup thing' to the test with the husband because I rarely have time to blow dry and straighten my hair and put on make up. It turns out when he said that, he really meant it.) I try to sneak in more laundry/cleaning of the upstairs if time permits and I have another round of pumping.

I then move everything downstairs-this is quite a few trips when you consider their Rock 'N Plays (best baby item we own!!), pumping equipment, books to track their feedings, breast milk I have pumped, extra bottles leftover from the night before etc.  Usually we are fully relocated downstairs around 11 am. The babies are usually awake at this time and they get some snuggles and play time in. Evan LOVES play mats. We have two and it's hilarious to watch him smack the animals and yell out when he does.

It's usually time for another snack around 12-1 when the husband is home for lunch. I love having him home for an hour to help out. It makes a huge difference!! Many days he has been up to his elbows in baby business and had to scarf down his lunch before heading back to work. The man is a saint and never complains about having to jump in while sacrificing his lunch.  Most days, we have lunch while the babies go back to playing, swinging etc. I usually pump around this time as well.

Before I know it, it's for another feeding and then they usually go down for a nap. This nap has become longer and longer (much to my delight!) I try to figure out what we're going to eat for dinner, do some cleaning, take out the babies for a walk if weather permits and pump during this time.

Before I know it, 5 rolls around and the husband is on his way home! We chat about our days and attempt to eat-we're getting to eat together more and more these days :) 

After dinner is cleaned up, it's usually time to eat and pump again. We then get them changed into their pajamas and start to watch the clock for much awaited bedtime because we're both exhausted! Usually around 8-9, depending on how their feeding schedule is, we pack up everything and head upstairs for the night for the last feeding and bed time. We're in bed around 9-10 depending on how long it takes them to eat and settle in. I do a final pumping and we're off to sleep!

At night, they have been waking up around 1-2 for a feeding. We both get up for this one typically and each feed a baby since they tend to wake up at the same time. We get them settled in and we start all over again! 

They have been on a eat every 2 hours schedule during the day which is exhausting because by the time I get both fed, changed and settled (Evan can be quite colicky), I have about 30 min (if I'm lucky) before it's time to start over again! However, they are finally starting to sleep for longer and longer stretches-at this moment they have been sleeping for 3 hours!! I got a few loads of laundry done AND a blog written? Ahhh living the good life!!

When I type it out, caring for two babies seems much easier than it actually is to live! It sounds so cut and dry, but there is a lot of gray area amidst our schedule. I get an immense amount of help from Collin and I could not do this without him. He has kept me going and assured me I'm doing a good job when I thought I was failing. Evan is still quite fussy and has periods of screaming/crying for no apparent reason. Colicky babies are difficult!! He has reflux issues and it's been quite the experience trying to get them under control. We've tried several different things, but currently he is on formula that has rice starch in it. It's a thicker formula and stays down better. He was literally screaming/grunting/crying through every feeding and it was heartbreaking... Yup, formula. Initially I had a hard time stopping breast milk and giving him formula, but when I saw the difference it made I didn't mind one bit. I want him to be healthy and happy. At their two month appointment we are going to talk to the Pediatrician about adding rice cereal to breast milk. Does anyone have experience with this?

That is what we've been up to lately! I'm feeling a heck of a lot better about this whole twins thing than I did three weeks ago! I'm far from perfect, but I'm doing my best and giving my all. I'm getting in the groove and managing things. I'm enjoying this. I AM A MOM! What a dream come true!!

I had several other things written in this post, but I cut them out and I'll add them on to another post.I haven't had time to blog so I guess I had a lot to say. Back to the babies I go...