Here we are, THREE MONTHS IN with the twin babies. As with every phase of motherhood, it has gone by so fast, yet we feel like we’ve had them forever. I never thought I would say this, but the pregnancy — with all its discomfort, sickness, and pain — is a distant memory. Funny how it always works that way.
I’m going to divide this update into three separate posts by month and try to be as succinct as possible. Here we go!
My memory of this month is a tender blur of their week-long NICU stay, SO MUCH PUMPING, middle-of-the-night bottle feeding, doctors appointments, Joey’s two-week paternity leave, and just the happiest baby cuddles. Once I got over the shock of their earlier than expected arrival, I settled into gratefulness that they were here and healthy, and we quickly got into a predictable (yet tiring) routine.
Their NICU stay felt like an eternity. Of course, looking back it was just a blip on the screen. They had a couple days of being on CPAP to help out their lungs, along with a couple days of being tube-fed, and then the rest of their stay was all about practicing bottle-feeding every three hours (6, 9, 12, 3 round the clock) and gaining weight. One of the days they also had to spend 24 hours doing phototherapy to bring down their jaundice levels.
We ended up staying four days instead of three at the hospital so we could stay as close to them as possible, then we had three days of spending the day at the NICU and then driving home to sleep — er, I mean pump.
THE PUMPING. We rented a fancy pump from the hospital at the recommendation of the lactation consultant, and I pumped every three hours to the best of my ability for that first month. Day and night. This was a LOT of work, but I knew it needed to be done if I had any shot of being able to provide breastmilk for them long-term. They were able to nurse, but very inefficiently. The NICU nurses recommended only nursing once a day for a while so they could gain weight quicker since drinking from a bottle burns less calories for them. So, once we brought them home, it was all about pumping and bottle feeding. We kept to the 3,6,9,12 schedule as best we could. In the middle of the night we would wake up to an alarm (though I overslept these alarms sometimes), warm up bottles I had pre-made, each take a baby and feed them, change diapers, re-swaddle and put them back in their crib, and then I would pump for 20 minutes then put the pumped milk in the refrigerator. Go to sleep, REPEAT. And then in the morning, wake up to a LOT of bottles and pumping parts to clean and sanitize. Here’s a picture of the aftermath of our first night with the twins:
Cleaning and sanitizing all these bottles and parts took about half an hour, and then we would repeat this process at night before going to sleep.
I have sweet memories of these first weeks because it was a time of bonding for Joey and me. We were teammates, strategizing and tag-teaming and encouraging each other. We were both tired, but we were in it together to share the load so it felt doable. After a few weeks we started to take shifts at night: Joey would do the midnight feeding and I would do the 3am feeding, then Joey would take the 6am feeding and I would do the 9am feeding. This worked really well for us and gave us each a much-needed break.
Overall, I could not have asked for a smoother start to life with newborn twins than what we had. Even the NICU stay, as hard as it was, proved to be helpful because we had time to rest in the hospital and then when we took them home we had a specific routine to follow. We had amazing nurses, both for me and for the babies, and overall my memory of the hospital stay was very pleasant. Both of our sets of parents took great care of our big kids during this time too so we could focus on the babies, which was so helpful. Another thing that made a big difference was how well my c-section recovery went. I’ll post more about the delivery and recovery later but let me just say that, for me, c-section recovery was a piece of cake compared to that of my vaginal deliveries. Because of this, I was able to focus on the babies better and not have the stress of bed rest or horrible pain to distract me. I felt so focused, alert, and happy those first weeks, running on adrenaline and baby cuddles.
Clara and Ruby slept most of the time during those weeks, maybe being a little fussy here and there after feeds because of gas. I don’t remember many rough nights of having to work hard to get them back to sleep after eating. We probably had a few but I can’t remember them. We enjoyed each having a baby to cuddle and get to know (and we tried to switch babies every feed). This is another thing that was different than our experience with Arden and Jane: Joey was able to be much more involved. He said he doesn’t even really remember cuddling Arden and Jane that much when they were newborns because they were always with me nursing or cuddling to sleep. This is another part of having twins that has been so fun and unique!
Favorite memories / milestones:
-Meeting them for the first time, in the middle of the night about 12 hours after they were born
-Holding them for the first time the next day
-Holding them BOTH for the first time, the day we got discharged
-Bringing them home!!
-Finally cuddling them together at home
-Feeling like Superwoman as I figured out how to feed them and burp them at the same time all by myself
-Surviving my first full day with ALL FOUR KIDS
-First Mother’s Day as a mom of four
-Ruby’s now-famous birth mark showing up. You can barely see it here; I didn’t even notice it until the pediatrician pointed it out to me at their 2-week appointment!
-Them starting to “wake up” a little
-Making them cuddle together…a lot :)
-First photo of all four kids
-Going on a date on their one-month birthday!
Stats at 1 month
Weight:7 lbs 14 oz (C), 8lbs (R)
birthweight: 5lbs 10oz (C+R)
Length:20.75 in (C), 20.5 in (R)
birth length: 18.75 in (C), 18.50 in (R)
S L I D E S H O W