Friday, December 27, 2013


I'm a little late in getting this post together, but I still want to document it. 

Another Christmas has passed. We are exhausted from all the coming and going and we have all acquired some new and wonderful possessions. 

 For Christmas eve we were invited to my in-laws for dinner. There were a lot of people there including our good friends C,  J, and their 3 year old E who continues to adore my hubby W. We had a great dinner and visited with lots of family. We tried to give the girls bottles and enjoy our dinner at the table with adults, but they had other plans. Clara completely refused and only nursed when I left the room with her. Lucy took an ounce or so from the bottle but then also ended up nursing. We really need to work on giving them bottles more since Clara especially is starting to refuse them. Nursing is definitely easier and more convenient, but it would be nice to get a break every so often. I guess I figured since they'd taken bottles fine since birth that they would continue to. I assumed wrong. 

A few months ago our friend C told me that they were going to start trying for another baby. Their first baby was a whoops baby so I figured it wouldn't take them much time. Well, I was right. On Christmas Eve C told me that they are expecting and that she was about 12 weeks along. This is the first pregnancy announcement for me for a while. Immediately I felt so happy and excited for them. But then that old jealous feeling crept back in. I'm not jealous that she's pregnant and I'm not. For the first time in a long time I'm ok with the fact that I'm not pregnant. What I was jealous of was the ease with which they got pregnant. I'm pretty sure it happened the first month. He's a teacher and they timed it perfectly like all great fertile teachers. Just in time for summer vacation their bundles arrive. Like I said, I'm so happy for them. It was just a new and different mix of emotions for me. I don't think jealousy towards extremely fertile women will ever completely go away. 

Christmas morning we went to my moms  for brunch. We opened presents and visited with more friends and family. After brunch my in-laws came over and we opened presents. The girls got lots of books and I bought them each a new wubbanub. We didn't go crazy because there wasn't much point. I got W a new hat and a cell phone case I made him with pictures of the girls. He got me a gift certificate for a massage at a nearby fancy spa. 

We were invited to christmas dinner at W's aunts house and were all dressed up and ready to leave when we got a call saying a child family member had a high fever. We breathed a sigh of relief as we unpacked the girls and slipped back into our jammies, ready to spend Christmas evening home together as our family of four. 

Christmas was wonderful. And exhausting. It was everything I imagined my first Christmas with babies to be. I can't say it enough, but wow, what a difference a year can make!

Now I better start working on a New Year's post before it's March. 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve

I can't help but reflect on how this Christmas is so different from any other. Sure, I'm more exhausted than I've ever been and I missed most of my dinner tonight because I was busy feeding the girls, but I wouldn't change it for the world. 

I got the best presents of all this year and my heart is so full of love for my little girls. Merry Christmas to everyone. Hoping you have a great Christmas. 

Monday, December 23, 2013


Last weekend was the first time we traveled with the girls. We went to Albany to visit my dad and sister and celebrate Christmas with them. The drive was a little over 3 hours each way. 

On Friday during the day my in-laws came over to visit with the girls. This allowed me to do laundry and get most everything packed while they watched them. After they left my mom stopped by briefly, allowing me to take a shower before W got home. I fed the girls around 4:00 and pumped while W packed the car. 

The drive out was great. The girls slept until about 7:30 when we pulled over and woke them up to feed them. I was able to use my double nursing pillow in the front seat and tandem nurse at a rest area in the front seat of the car. Yay for our giant SUV. 

The weekend went pretty well. On Saturday afternoon we went to my step-mom's house to hang out and eventually have dinner. My step-sister, her boyfriend, and their combined 3 kids out of 5 came over. At that point things got pretty chaotic. About mid-way through dinner the girls decided they wanted to eat. Since Clara was awake and crying first I figured I'd nurse her first and then do Lucy after. Feeding one at a time is much lower profile and its what i usially do when I am out. I tried at the table first but it was just too much so I went to the computer room. Clara did great, but Lucy woke up mid-way through and also wanted to eat. I didn't bring the pillow or bottles so W tried to hold her off a bit. 

I guess with all the chaos this made her upset. When it finally came time for her to ear she was just screaming when I tried to get her to. This lasted over an hour of calming her down and then trying again to get her to eat. Finally she did, but it was super stressful getting her to that point. I know W only wanted to help, but he definitely added more stress to the situation. 

Most of the other feedings this weekend went well. I learned there are times when it's better to draw attention to tandem nursing than hold off your daughter from eating amid chaos. 

On Sunday my sister's house was like grand central station. My mom, step-dad, and brother stopped by first on their way back from Massachusetts. Later my dad and other step sister stopped by, followed by my sister's in laws, and then some of her friends also came by. It was nice that everyone got to see the girls, but it was super busy. 

I also got to spend a lot of time with my nephew. Baby proofing is not my sisters forte. He was into everything! At 10 months he's crawling everywhere. He took quite a few independent steps as well. My sister doesn't really have him on a schedule so he's up around 8 or 9 am, and then doesn't go to sleep until about 10 pm. It's exhausting just watching him. He was so good with the girls. When he first saw them he spontaneously gave them hugs. It was so sweet. He's so cute and turns into a total ham when the camera comes out. He really liked the activity table I bought him for Christmas but I think he also thought it was a walker as he pushed it around the whole house. It's hard to believe how much the girls are going to be doing in a few months. I'm happy to stick with smiling and cooing for now. I'm not ready for mobile babies. 

We left Sunday evening around 4 and got home about 8:30. The drive home was pretty good. For about the last half hour Lucy decided she had enough of her car seat and complained, not cried, until we got home. It's so interesting to me that they are really starting to differentiate their cries. 

Overall, our first weekend away was hugely successful. The girls slept great in a foreign environment, traveled well in the car, and handled all the many people like champs (for the most part.) 

Traveling with babies is exhausting. Everything is so much more work when you are out of your home environment. It was a real reminder of exactly how exhausting infant twins are. As tiring as it was, I wouldn't change it for the world. 

Saturday, December 21, 2013


I found some baby pictures of myself and W. 
Clara is on the left, me as a baby on the right. 
Lucy is on the left and W is on the right. 

Think there's a resemblance? 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Failure to Thrive :(

My little Lucy is still not gaining weight well. After our appointment on December 2nd we started her on reflux medication. We were giving her Prilosec ,and within a few days things definitely improved. I wasn't a huge fan of this medication because it obviously contained red dye, but I was glad it was working and she was eating well again. Within a week we were running low on the medication. In an effort to avoid the red dye I brought the prescription to a different pharmacy that was able to compound the medication. We picked that up last Tuesday and started it on Wednesday.

Last week Lucy started to come down with a little cold. At first I thought she wasn't eating well because she wasn't feeling well. I also noticed that Clara wasn't eating as well but didn't connect it. I thought maybe she had been going through a growth spurt previously and just didn't need as much suddenly.

By Saturday I put the pieces together. Clara was pulling off during feedings and spitting up more. Her fussiness also returned. Lucy started to arch and cry during feedings and then refusing to eat beyond 10 minutes. It appeared the reflux was back and the new medication, despite being the same thing, wasn't working. I called the first pharmacy with the medication that had red dye and they told me we had a refill of the medication but that it wouldn't be available until after 5 on Monday as it needed to be specially ordered.

The weekend was really rough and I was so grateful W was around to help. On Monday things were horrible with Lucy's feedings and I just told myself I needed to make it to 5:00 and I could pick up the prescription. I knew that one worked and that once I started to give it to her things would improve. Even though Clara wasn't eating as well, her behavior wasn't as extreme and she persisted with feedings despite crying at times and taking frequent breaks.

Monday night I made it to the pharmacy and was told there was no prescription to pick up. When they told me that I stood at the counter and asked why as my eyes welled up with tears. The girls weren't eating or sleeping well and were both incredibly fussy. It was obvious they were both in pain.

The pharmacist looked up the order and under that prescription it said it wasn't available. She was unable to tell me when it would be available. Incredibly upset we spoke and she looked through the prescriptions. In mid November our pediatrician had called in Prevacid as we talked and I wasn't wild about the red dye. I had never filled it. The pharmacist told me it was equally strong to the Prilosec so I decided to give it a try. A $50.00 co-pay later I left the pharmacy with the new prescription in hand and renewed hope.

Tuesday the home health nurse came again to weigh the girls. We weighed Clara first and she had gained 7 oz in the past week, a great gain. I nervously put Lucy on the scale and my heart sank when the nurse told me she had only gained 1 oz in the past week. We talked about different ideas to help with her feedings but I was so discouraged when she left. After I thought about it for a few hours I called the pediatricians office. After speaking with the nurse she said the dr wanted to see her so I scheduled an appointment for yesterday. Both girls continued to be completely miserable. It was rough. I went to bed feeling as exhausted as the first few days at home.

Yesterday we saw the pediatrician. They first weighed her which was the what the nurse had her at the day before with an extra half ounce. Then we waited for the dr to come in. We first talked and told him about the history with the reflux medication. Then he examined her. He said she looked healthy and not like she was sick or malnourished in any way. She smiled a big gummy smile up at him as he was looking her over. We then made a plan. The plan was to add human milk fortifier to pumped milk a couple times during the day. This would up the caloric content of the breastmilk from 20 calories per ounce to 22. We would also give the new medicine some more time to work as she had only been given 2 doses at that point. He also wanted to send her for basic blood work to be sure he wasn't missing anything obvious. We will return the first week in January for a well child visit and recheck her weight then. If at that point she still isn't gaining he would do more involved blood work including a urine sample. If everything from that comes back normal and she still isn't gaining he will send her to a GI specialist.

It eased my mind that both he and the nurse the previous day reassured me of how healthy she looked. She's doing great developmentally and is actually more advanced than her sister physically. Lucy loves tummy time and holds her head so high during these times. Clara still prefers to cry with her face in the blanket. I know she looks fine, but it still breaks my heart that she is now being considered a baby with failure to thrive.

Yesterday and today her feedings have been going really well. She's cried and arched a few times after meals, but she's eating for so much longer. I tried to go to a pharmacy to get the fortifier, but they told me they were unable to get it. The dr warned me that might be the case. I was told if I was unable to get it that they may have to order it for me.

I'm still not sure how I feel about the fortifier. I will do whatever it takes to get my little girl gaining weight, but I hope that is just getting her to eat better. I'm still waiting on a call back from the LC at the NICU who has helped me problem-solve so many other issues in the past. For now though I'm just feeling more positive about her reduced reflux symptoms and longer feedings. I hope we are on the road towards making progress with her weight gain. Her sister's amazing growth on my milk is testament that great gain can be achieved on my milk alone. It's always nice to have a "control baby".

Saturday, December 14, 2013


I'm pretty sure sleep is a huge issue with most babies. Before the girls came W and I both read parts of the book Babywise. We had some idea going into it how we wanted to do things. 

Night time sleep has always been fairly good. The girls nurse before bed around 10:30. We swaddle them and put them down drowsy yet awake in order to let them fall asleep. Lucy needs her pacifier most nights to fall asleep, but Clara generally falls asleep quickly and without any help. After their first stretch of 6-7 hours they wake up, nurse, and then go back to sleep for another 3-4 hours. I have zero complaints about our nighttime routine. It's SO much better than the early days where we got about 2 hours of sleep at a time. 

My issue unfortunately has to do with daytime napping. The girls don't really sleep well during the day. They catnap here and there somewhere downstairs (in the swing, in a rock and play, on a boppy, etc.). These little naps last about a half hour max and rarely occur at the same time. They are unpredictable and short. I was starting to lose my sanity.  

This past week I decided I needed to do something about our daytime routine. I needed to put my foot down so I picked back up my book and started to read. I laughed when I saw I had left off on a chapter about napping. No wonder I had no plan or idea of what I was doing. So I read and decided the next day I would enact our new routine. It wasn't rocket science, but it consisted of a pattern of eating, playing, and then sleeping. 

The first day for our first nap I tried to put the girls down in their cribs. That was a total no go since they are still sleeping in our room at night (Clara in a cradle at the foot of our bed and Lucy in a rock and play next to the bed). For the next nap I tried to mimic our nighttime routine as closely as possible. I swaddled the girls and then put them down where they sleep at night. To my surprise, they slept. At the same time. For more than a half hour. 

I started this routine on Tuesday and have continued it since. So far it is going pretty well. There are times when one girl refuses to sleep or times when I have to go back upstairs to put their pacifiers back in their mouths, but things are so hugely improved. I have some time to myself. I am able to eat and sit down without a baby attached to me. 

We shall see how things progress, but so far I would consider my first week of operation napping to be a success. Our next mission will be operation sleep in the crib, but I'm not sure I'm quite ready for that yet. They are probably more ready than me. For now though I'll just take it one step at a time. 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

3 Months Old

The girls turned 3 months old on Tuesday. I honestly have no idea where November went. I can't believe how soon Christmas will be here. The babies are doing really well and I'm loving being their mommy. It really is the hardest yet best job in the world.
We are getting out and about more often with the girls. We've been to friends houses, the mall, restaurants, and lots of different stores. I'm getting out more by myself and working on my "twinceps" aka the muscles you gain from carrying 2 carseats. We have a double snap and go stroller that is a lifesaver. I can't recommend it highly enough for future twin mommies.

The girls get lots of attention when we go out and about. We went to a play date at a friends house and everyone wanted to hold them and get their picture taken with them. I'm always happy to have extra hands to hold them though.

My mom comes over most afternoons when I am home. She is a huge help and loves to cuddle with the girls. I've starting working a little bit doing evaluations. W and I went to a movie on Sunday and left the girls with his parents. It's hard to leave them but I also enjoy a little time to myself or just with W.

Lucy- You are still such a little peanut. You weighed 7 pounds 8 ounces on Monday at your appointment, were 20 1/2 inches long, and your head was 14 1/2 cm around. You open your eyes so wide and do it when we blow raspberries. It's one of the cutest and funniest things ever. You love your paci so much and won't fall asleep at night without it. The past few weeks you've given your mommy a lot of stress with your eating. It seems like we've solved the problem with reflux medication and you are making up for all those bad feedings the past few weeks. You adore your daddy and can't take your eyes off of him when he is within your line of sight. You will even crane your neck to watch him if he moves across the room. You track objects and faces, stand up on your feet, hold your head so high during tummy time, and smile at times. It's not consistent yet, but you've definitely done it quite a few times. You are cooing and are generally a very mellow baby. You love your mobile I made you above your crib and will stare and talk to it for quite a while. You are finally enjoying your carseat rather than screaming your head off and foaming at the mouth while in it. When you cry you have the saddest face ever and real tears often come out. You found your hands and are obsessed with them. They are almost always up around your face or in your mouth and you love to flail your arms around. Sometimes when I nurse you you will wave your arms around or hit me or yourself by accident with them. You are such a cutie and we love you so much!
Clara- You are getting so big! You weighed 9 pounds 7 ounces on Monday, were 22 inches long, and your head was 14 1/4 cm around. You are smiling like crazy and love when we kiss or squeeze your cheeks. You love peek-a-boo and music. Singing to you almost always calms you down. You don't like to sleep during the day but are a champion sleeper at night. You go right to sleep without any problem most nights. You love looking at faces and eating. Even if you are asleep you will wake up and pig out. No wonder you are gaining weight so quickly. Your eyelashes are so long and thick and we are hoping your eyes stay blue. You like your swing but prefer to be held. You aren't a big fan of tummy time and will often fuss when we put you on your belly. Your reflux is so much better and you are much happier. You track people and things, stretch your arms out and grab onto my clothes, stand up on your feet, smile all the time, and you lose quite a bit of head control when you are milk drunk. You look like a bobble head when you do that. You are starting to fuss when your diaper is wet and are so dramatic over little things. We call you a tea kettle as you squeal in such a high pitch when you're upset. You look almost identical to my baby pictures with your daddy's chin. You are so amazing and we are so lucky to have you.

The girls have very distinct personalities. They are definitely individuals. I can't wait to see how they will grow and change over time. 

We celebrated Lucy and Clara's first Thanksgiving surrounded by family. We hosted at our house and had my mom, step-dad, brother, sister, brother-in-law, nephew Benny, dad, mother-in-law, and father-in-law. My dad did most of the cooking but the guests also brought food. The girls got to meet their cousin Benny for the first time. He is 6 months older than them and I know they will all cause lots of trouble together in the future. We took the babies to a photo studio to get their pictures taken and they came out really cute. 

I've started to work a little bit here and there doing evaluations. When I go I'm only away for a few hours at a time and I miss the girls terribly. Getting a little break does help a bit with my sanity and it's nice to feel like I can contribute a little. 

The girls are sleeping pretty well at night. They go down around 10:30 after an extra long feeding. They then sleep for about 6-7 hours, wake up to eat again, and sleep another 3-4 hours. It so much better than at first. During the day they eat every 2-3 hours, typically closer to 2. 

Time has a whole new concept. For the longest time I wished for the days to pass. I counted down to the next shot, appointment, cycle, or test. I crossed each day off on the calendar. Now I wish time would slow down. The girls are already growing and changing so much. I want to soak up every baby moment because I know these days are fleeting. 

I'm a different person than I was last year. We were both at the bottom last year. I was ready to give up trying for a baby. Last Christmas was tough. I just read this post from last year and teared up. It's crazy how much things can change in a year. I find myself singing Christmas carols to the girls. Songs I haven't sang since I was a child. The magic of Christmas has returned. I have 2 beautiful girls in my life, something I really wasn't sure was going to happen last year. I'm really truly happy for the first time since W and I first got married. My heart is healed and I feel complete with my little family. It's amazing the difference a year makes. 
The girls with their friend Carmine. He's quite the ladies man!

Benny the ham

They weren't too into our photo shoot

Monday, December 2, 2013

I Had No Idea

I had no idea how much I could love and worry about something so little. The past few weeks have been busy. They have brought huge milestones to our house but also tons of worry. It's nothing huge, but as their mommy I worry about them often.

Lucy and Clara are no longer that close in size. When they were born there was a 12 ounce difference between them with Lucy being the smaller baby. I jokingly refer to her as the "little big sister". The first few weeks at home they gained at about the same rate of 7-10 oz per week. Then Lucy stopped eating as well and for as long as her sister and the weight gap started to widen. Lucy is definitely noticeably lighter and smaller than her sister.

Unfortunately the dreaded thrush returned. I'm pretty sure we never fully got rid of it, but within the past 2 weeks it's been back full force. The pediatrician made me bring the girls in to be seen on a Friday and again questioned whether it was thrush. Every time they try to tell me it's milk residue. First off, I've never seen babies with such white tongues, and secondly, I had all the symptoms once again(burning nipples, shooting pain in my breasts, and shiny and red nipples.) Attractive, I know. Well, after 2 co-pays and $60.00 I convinced them to prescribe Nystatin again and we headed out. By Wednesday I was getting concerned about Lucy's feedings or lack there of. Their tongues didn't look any better and she would latch but then quickly pull away and cry out as if she was in pain. I couldn't get her to eat for 10 minutes with any feeding. She was getting upset and so was I. Finally I called and explained what was going on and the Dr called in a stronger medicine.

Their tongues started to look much better but this behavior continued. The past few days I have been beyond stressed out. I have a plugged duct from the girls not eating well that I'm trying to get rid of. Lucy and I have both shed quite a few tears over this feeding fiasco. 2 days ago she skipped 3 feedings in a row and cried and cried as I tried to get her to eat. It wasn't any better with a bottle, the behavior was exactly the same as soon as the milk was in her mouth.

Today we went to the pediatrician for their 3 month (!!!) appointment. Lucy had only gained 2 ounces since her last appointment 11 days prior. Clara had gained 6 oz. I asked the pediatrician if he was concerned and he said her gain wasn't ideal. There is now a 2 pound difference between the girls. I explained what had been going on and his best guess was that she also has reflux. We decided to try the same medication as Clara and started it tonight. I really hope this helps and she starts to gain weight like her piggy sister. 

I'm just so tired of worrying so much about her. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for better feedings and better weight gain.