In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. ~ Proverbs 3:6

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Parenting Twins - The First Year (Month 1)

I can’t believe my babies are already one month old!  The past four weeks have flown by! We went to the doctor today for our one month checkup, and my little preemies are no longer preemies.  Aaron Elijah was 5lbs 3oz when we brought him home from the hospital.  He has now surpassed his brother in weight and is 6lbs 14oz.  Ethan Matthew was 5lbs 8oz when we brought him home, and today he weighed 6lbs 12oz.  It’s crazy how fast they are growing.  The clothes that they once swam in are now getting snug!  Two weeks ago, we were in preemie clothes.  Today, their newborn clothes fit perfectly.  Before I know it, they will be wearing their 0-3 month clothes. 

So how has the first month of parenting multiples gone?  One word…SURVIVAL.  Truthfully, it’s gone just as we expected.  We’re just trying to survive and take one day at a time.  This is a huge life change for us.  While taking care of two babies all day has its challenging moments, I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Here is a summary of our first month with twins.

Week One:

The first part of the week was spent in the hospital. We definitely tried to rest while we were in the hospital.  As far as taking care of the babies, we had it pretty easy this week, because we had nurses.  While in the hospital, we kept the babies with us during the day.  At night, the nurses took the babies, so we could sleep.  They would wake us up to feed them and then take them back to the nursery for us.  After not sleeping much the week before delivery, and then having such a long labor and delivery, I had no idea how exhausted I really was.  Due to having a c-section, we could have stayed one more night in the hospital, but I decided I was ready to go home.  In hindsight, I wish I would have stayed one more night.  It would have been really good for me to get the extra rest and take advantage of the nurses' help for one more day before going home.

Bringing the babies home was quite the adventure.  I remember the day we were preparing to leave the hospital.  Matt was running around like crazy trying to get everything ready.  I asked him why he was acting so funny, and he said that he was anxious but also nervous.  For him, taking them home was when parenthood began.  We were on our own.  No more nurses.  It was just us.  He drove home at a ridiculously slow speed, careful of every bump in the road.  All I could do was smile.  To me, it was precious to see him react this way.

Our first night home was our new reality.  Sleep…HA!  There was no sleep.  Feedings every 2-3 hours and lots of crying in between.  This was our new life, and what a wonderful life it was.  I would have never dreamed a year ago, that I would be losing sleep because of two crying babies. 

As far as my recovery, it was really rough the first week.  I was not prepared for how much I would hurt after a c-section.  I literally relied on Matt for everything that first week.  He was Super Dad that week, as he had to take on a lot of the responsibilities by himself.  He did great, but it was really hard for me to let him do everything, while I sat back and tried to heal.

On top of recovering from a c-section, I was struggling with breastfeeding.  The babies were doing great, but my milk never came in that first week. We had to supplement with formula, due to the babies losing too much weight by the time we took them home from the hospital.  That was really hard for me.  I felt like my body was failing me again.  I was not prepared to not be able to experience breast feeding my babies, nor was I prepared for how much work and time it would take to try to bring my milk in.  My life revolved around feedings those first couple of weeks.  Newborn babies eat every 2-3 hours, and it was taking me an hour to nurse, bottle feed, burp and change two babies.  I was literally feeding babies for eight hours a day.  Plus I was trying to pump in between feeds for stimulation, in hope of getting more milk. 

Week Two:
Matt had to go back to work after one week, but my mother-in-law came to visit during the second week.  It was nice to have the help.  The babies still had their days and nights mixed up during her visit.  They would sleep all day, and then keep us up all night.  It was a huge blessing to have my MIL cook for us, drive me to the doctor, or even watch the babies so I could shower or take a nap. 

By 10 days postpartum, my swelling was starting to go down, and I had lost 30 of my 60 pounds.  My incision was still pretty sore, but I was getting around ok.  My milk had finally come in, but it was very little.  I started taking herbs to help with my milk supply, which did help some.  In the end, my doctor prescribed me a medicine to bring more milk in.  I was leary of it, but after taking it I was able to produce 2 oz of milk every feeding.  That was enough to feed one baby, not two babies. It was still an improvement for me.  We still had to supplement with formula, but at least the babies were getting some of my milk.  From this point on, all feedings were half breast milk and half formula.  Plus, I was able to pump during the day and nurse at night.  This cut feeding times in half for us. 

Week Three: 

Week three was by far my hardest week so far.  My MIL had left and my mom was not able to come visit us that week like she had planned.  I was on my own, which would have been fine had my babies not started to get a touch of colic.  They would cry unsoothably from the 11am feed to the 8pm feed.  I knew it was because of gas, so I tried eliminating all sorts of things in my diet to see if that would help.  I even stopped BF one day and fed them just formula, as well as just BF another day and stopped feeding them formula.  All was an effort to figure out what was giving my babies tummy aches.  I'm still uncertain what the cause was.  We tried gas drops that week, as well as gripe water.  Neither helped too much.  It didn't help that my babies don't like their swings or vibrating chairs.  It was just me and two screaming babies all day.  I admit, I had a few breakdowns.  I lived for 6:00pm when Matt would get home to help.  At times, I just had to walk away and let them scream.  I hated that I could not soothe them.  It was a really rough week for us. 

On the bright side, the babies were sleeping better at night.  We also discovered that we could get long weekend family naps in between feedings, if we let the babies sleep in bed with us during nap time.  Plus, my church family has been great.  Every week someone has visited us and prepared a meal for us, which has been a blessing.


Week Four:

Week four was better than week three. Several people told me to try gripe water with dill in it. I found some on Amazon, and it helped with the colic and tummy aches. It didn't resolve all of our gas issues, but it helped. The doctor is giving us new formula to try, so we'll see if that helps too. Overall, the babies are doing much better than they were in that third week.

The babies also discovered car rides. Since I have no luck with swings and vibrating chairs, car rides have become my sanity. The babies fall asleep almost instantly. I can't drive until six weeks postpartum, but once I can drive, car rides will be a daily experience for us. Daddy and I now run errands for hours on the weekends just to get some peace and quiet. I think car rides have become our weekend dates. Such is our new life with twins, I guess.

My mom was also able to visit during the fourth week. What a blessing that was!  Life with newborn twins is so much easier with two adults, especially when one of those adults is Grandma. I'm trying to talk her in to visiting me for 2-3 days once a month. We'll see how that goes. 

Four weeks into parenthood, and it's safe to say we are pretty tired.  I'm recovering nicely from my c-section.  The wound is still tender, but I'm moving around like normal.  I've lost 40 of my 60 pounds.  The last 20 pounds will take some work to come off, but I know I'll get there. We're getting the hang of things around here and are adapting nicely to a solid schedule with the boys.  Part of me is looking forward to feedings that are more spaced out and being able to sleep through the night.  But those milestones mean two growing boys.  Right now there are challenges, but with those challenges come these two teeny tiny little human beings.   They are only this small for so long.  As tired as I am, I want to take in every second of it.  When I look back on this, the beginning of their life, I want to say I cherished every moment of it.


  1. They are SUPER CUTE! Congratulations on your successful journey! (I came across your blog today as our 1st IUI is Monday so google is my new obession). :)

  2. Perfection is an understatement. I love these guys! What a gorgeous family!