Saturday, October 26, 2013

Due Date

October 15th was my 40 week due date. I started this post the day after but hadn't gotten around to publishing it yet. It's tough to find the time to write a post and then go through and edit. That much time is hard to find these days and I'd rather spend it snuggling with my girls than editing an old post.  

The girls are 7 1/2 weeks old now. Time is really passing quickly. 

 The girls turned 6 weeks old on their due date. Lucy celebrated her due date by latching and nursing without a shield for the first time. I was busy getting Clara on the other side and Lucy got impatient and decided to just go for it. She nursed for about 20 minutes without the shield and it was a huge milestone. I was so proud of her.

As much as life would be easier without having to clean and use the shields all the time, it's also super easy to get them latched and let them go once they are on. I joke that I have more free hands when I'm nursing two babies than when I'm bottle feeding one. 

The nursing is still going well. The thrush is finally better and we aren't having to sanitize as often. It took some convincing to my dr and a prescription of Diflucan, but it's hopefully gone. It was pretty unpleasant, but hopefully behind us. 

 Breastfeeding is getting easier, but I'm still pumping after feedings. I want to cut back and not have to pump after feedings, but I'm worried about changing things. Initially I was pumping after feedings in the NICU as the babies weren't eating much or emptying my breasts consistently. It was also to build up my supply some so I was prepared when the girls started to eat more. I spoke with my favorite LC q few weeks ago and she said I could start to cut out pumping sessions by skipping every other and paying attention to how full I felt after. She said if the girls didn't eat much at a feeding it was still important to pump. The thing is, we are freezing at least 20 oz a day. It's nice to have a bit of an oversupply and feel prepared for when the girls have bigger appetites, but I'm a bit sick of pumping. As sick as I am of it I know things are going really well. It's scary to change something when it's going so well. I'm so worried about not having enough for them. I typically pump for about 20 mins after a feeding and get anywhere from 2-4 oz. We recently stopped giving a bottle in the middle of the night so rarely even used the pumped milk. It generally goes into the deep freezer. Basically I'm making enough milk for 3 babies. 

I use a double nursing pillow and the girls are such great eaters (as long as they have the shields). I tandem feed them about 98% of the time. I always try them without the shields first and then offer them. We've had quite a few nursing sessions without them, but using them is really no big deal. It's actually quite easy at this point. I know though that the girls are getting bigger and better at nursing without them so I should really work on it more. To be honest, I just use the shield right away at night. It's much easier than trying to get frantic hungry babies to latch on to flat nipples. 

The girls are doing so well. A week ago Lucy weighed 5 pounds 12 ounces, up from 3 pound 15 ounces at birth. She is a little grunter and makes so much noise when she eats or sucks on her pacifier. It's so funny. She also makes the funniest little faces and is able to open her eyes so wide it amazes me. She's getting so strong with her neck and moves her head all around during tummy time. She is mellow and easy-going most of the time unless she has gas. When that happens she cries for under a minute and then falls back asleep. She isn't falling asleep too easily the past few nights, but rocking her tends to help. She's very laid back. 

Clara is a little squealer. Last week she weighed 6 pounds 11 ounces, up form 4 pounds 11 ounces at birth. She likes to be held more and is more fussy overall. She loves her swing and looking intently at faces. She's starting to look and feel less like a preemie and more like a newborn baby. I'm not sure if her eyes will stay blue as they are pretty dark now. She loves to cover her face with her arm while she is nursing. We have started to talk about the possibility of reflux as she spits up a lot and is generally very unhappy about it. Quite often within a hour of her last meal you will find her screaming and it's very hard to console her. She will even spit up out of her nose while she is eating sometimes. She makes sounds like she is trying to clear her throat and a few times and choked and coughed because she spit up. She's such a little piggy she can't even stop eating to throw up. When she's upset the only thing that calms her down is walking her around the whole house or rocking her in the glider in her room. She's definitely not as easy going as her sister. 

W is such an amazing daddy. It worked out well that he lost his job. I never thought I'd say that, but the timing was really great. His last day at his job was actually the day I delivered the girls. He's been off since then and will start his new job next Thursday. I'm both scared and excited to fly solo with the girls. It's crazy that my husband got more time off than a lot of women do when they have their babies. I am so grateful that we got all that time together as a family to bond and figure things out. I don't know what I would have done without all of his support. He really is so much help and I know I will miss him terribly when he goes back to work. He does a lot of burping and diaper changing. I think things are just going to take a lot longer when he's not here to help. I'm a little worried about what I will do when both babies are screaming, but I also realize that some of that it to be expected. There are times when both babies want or need something and I'm only one person. Luckily, both mine and W's mom's are just a phone call away. We still need to figure out what we will do at night, but I think only time will tell how much he's able to help or not. 

We got a new car yesterday. It's an SUV with third row seating. W's dad attends automobile auctions and got a great deal on it. I can't wait to drive it! It's a Mazda cx9 and has a lot of really nice features. I still really miss my Subaru, but I was going to get a new car anyway. We were just going to sell W's car and he was going to take over my Subaru. I'm sad I don't have the option to drive it at all anymore.  

I also had my 6 week check up with my ob this past week. W came along and we brought the babies so the dr's and nurses could see the babies they helped deliver and get here. I didn't think I would need a full exam given the fact that I only had a c section, but I guess I was wrong. I was glad I had devoted some time to shaving my legs that morning. Everything was great and I was cleared to resume all activities. W and I had sex for the first time last time since the early days of my pregnancy. When I was pregnant we were both too worried of something going wrong so we didn't have much sex. It was short lived last night and a little uncomfortable, but it felt nice to feel like adults together again. I've lost most of the weight I gained while pregnant but definitely don't look the same. I'd like to exercise some but I don't know where I'll find the time and I'm nervous about it affecting my milk supply. It's getting much colder here so I'm not sure about taking the girls for walks when it's so cold.

Time is passing so quickly and my girls are getting so big! No more preemie clothes around here, they are both in newborn. Switching to cloth diapers definitely helped to make that jump. We are likely going to donate all of the preemie clothes to the NICU so other babies can wear them. I know Clara and Lucy wore a lot of their clothes while they were there. 

W and I are trying to enjoy our last few days home together with the girls. Hopefully I'll figure things out quickly once he goes back to work. 

I'll leave you with some photos from around and on their due date. 
Big girls on their due date.
With my friend Tamara's baby Carmine on their play mat. 
My brother (Uncle Sean) holding Clara
Cloth diapers and leggings are so cute, especially x2. 

mmmm....your head tastes delicious!
A picture of them as 5 day old embryos. So, who is who?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

4 Years

On Thursday, 10/10 W and I celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary. Both of our moms came over to our house to watch the girls while we went out to dinner. We went to a fine dining Italian restaurant and had an amazing meal. It was weird to leave the girls and go somewhere without them. When we left both grandma's had a baby in hand and when we returned they were still being held but they had switched babies.

We've been through a lot the past 4 years. When we got married we never thought things could be so difficult. We went through 3 miscarriages, 2 IUI's, 5 IVF's, 3 FET's, and 19 embryos before we got our girls. It wasn't easy, but we went through it all hand in hand, supporting each other every step of the way. I feel so lucky to have such a wonderful husband and the girls are so lucky to have such a great daddy. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

1 Month Old

I can't believe Clara and Lucy are a month old today. I can't say enough times how grateful I am for them and how lucky I feel to be their mommy. 

Today we took them to the grocery store for the first time. W had Clara in her carseat in the cart and I wore Lucy in the Moby wrap. So many people stopped us and had to talk to us. As we were checking out about 5 different employees (all women of course) came over and had to talk to us and look at them. 

Yesterday when we went to the pumpkin patch an employee was so amazed by them. She said what a miracle they were and said how it made her want to cry. She then turned around as she teared up.

 I look at them in complete awe multiple times a day. They are just so amazing.

Lucy- You are still our little peanut. From the first time I laid eyes on you I was so amazed by how much you resemble your daddy. Your cheeks are getting bigger and last week in a matter of 3 days you gained 5 oz. You grunt quite often and we lovingly refer to you as "old man Lucy" as you grunt, have a receding hairline, have no teeth, fart a lot, and furrow your brow often. We joke that you are a glimpse into W's future about 50 years from now. You are getting better at figuring out how to work your eyes, but make so many funny faces all the time. You love looking at yourself in the mirror on your play mat and are starting to look at our faces more. You love to pee when daddy takes off your diaper and you really like the bath. When I put you into the moby wrap you sigh with such contented sounds. It's one of the cutest things ever. You love your paci and get so mad when we take it away. Your really don't like it when we put Clara squishes you. I guess you had enough of that with her being on top of you for 34 weeks in my belly. Your skin is absolutely perfect and you have such dainty little features. Your eyes are really blue and I'm hoping they stay that way. I'm so amazed by you and love you so much. Daddy is so proud of how much you look like him. 

Clara- You are starting to feel heavy when I pick you up. You love to eat and sometimes hardly even open your eyes before you start eating. You're getting better at eating from the bottle and chug and choke a little less. You squeak all the time and love to snuggle with mommy. It always calms you down when you are upset. You are looking more and more like me every day and really resemble your cousin Benny. Your Aunt Kate can't believe how much you look like him. You love looking at our faces and I swear you are so close to smiling at us. You smile all the time in your sleep. Unfortunately, you seem to have gotten more of my hormones and your skin is breaking out a little bit. You've had sensitive skin since you were born and it peeled a lot while in the hospital. You also got thrush but it's improving. You always get so calm when we put your next to Lucy and when you're upset and crying my voice almost always calms you down. You also love your bath. You are so amazing and we can't believe how much we love you.  

It's amazing the connection the girls already seem to have. They love to grunt back and forth and will often do it from across the room. They sleep together in our room in a cradle and really seem to like being with each other. They are both sleeping well at night and we often have to wake them up to get them to eat. I can't wait until we can let them sleep for longer periods of time. 

This past month has been one of the best ones ever. It took a lot to get these girls here but it was all so worth it. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Would Have, Could Have

Yesterday was October 1st. This was the date that we would have scheduled my c-section had I made it that far. 

I was attached to the idea of October babies. We got married in October. We bought our house in October. Good things have happened in October. I loved the idea of my girls having their birthday in October. Unfortunately it didn't work out that way. 

One of the things I learned through my job and working with young children and families is that part of being a mommy is feeling guilt about a variety of things quite frequently. It's not the best part of being a mommy by any means, but it comes with the job. 

I still feel guilt about how the babies were born. When crashed my car I was talking on my phone to my sister. I'm not sure where you live, but in the state of NY it's illegal to drive and talk on your phone. I'm sure it was part of why I was distracted and didn't react quickly enough. I feel guilty that my poor decisions lead to the early birth of my children. 

I haven't told many people that part of the story. 

I'm hoping that since the 1st has passed I will start to feel less guilt. They would be here now had they not been born 4 weeks ago. 

There's no way to know how much longer I would have been pregnant for. I may have only made it another day and my body may have decided it was ready. Or, it may have gone another 4 weeks past that day. 

I'll never forgot rubbing my belly and feeling the girls move for the last time inside me as they wheeled me down for my c section. 

I hope I feel better as time goes on and that I stop blaming myself for how things unfolded that day. If anything, I certainly learned not to talk and drive any more. 

Last night I dreamt I had a horrible car accident. One of the girls was bigger and waiting for me at the end of the road when I lost control and crashed my car really badly. 

I'm sure things will get better in time and the day will fade as the girls grow. But, for now, I can't help but feel guilty about it all.
W's mom knitted these adorable pumpkin hats. 
We took them to the pumpkin patch today. Expanding the yearly tradition to include them is amazing!
I can't believe Clara and Lucy will be 1 month old tomorrow. I feel so lucky to have them in my life.