Thursday, February 27, 2014

GI Specialist

A few weeks ago Lucy's reflux behaviors returned. Around that time we had increased the Neosure from 1 tbsp a day to 2. Slowly the refusals to eat returned along with the pulling off, arching, and crying as if she was in pain. She also started to sleep in a very stiff and arched position. 

I spent a day making phone calls. I felt desperate because my baby, who had been labeled "failure to thrive" wasn't eating well and likely wasn't gaining well. I called the La Leche League and left a message, I called the lactation consultants at the hospital where the girls were delivered, the home health nurse who offered to come weigh her, and I called the pediatrician. The weight check confirmed what I suspected; another week of below average weight gain. She had only gained 2 ounces. I've been told they'd like to see at least 4.

I also called my chiropractor and made an appointment. 

When I finally spoke to the pediatrician that afternoon I asked for a referral to a GI. He asked me a few questions and basically said it couldn't hurt. 

We stopped giving her the Neosure suspecting it was the dairy and she couldn't handle it. I cut out the small amounts of dairy I had started to reintroduce. The LLL put me in contact with another lactation consultant. She had some insight and ideas. She thought that what started as reflux pain turned into an oral aversion. 

We have good feedings and bad feedings. Good days and bad days. Sadly, there are times when he have an entire bad week. But, we've always gotten through it. We always get to the good at the end of each bad cycle. 

The good feedings returned. The nurse came this past Tuesday and Lucy had gained 4 ounces. I was so relieved and happy until the behaviors picked back up again shortly after her weigh in. 

Lucy may be the most stubborn little baby ever. When she's done eating, she's done. If I try to get her to continue she turns her head away. She's to the point now where she won't even look at me when she's finished. This is probably because she knows I'm going to try to get her to eat more. 

Yesterday was our appointment with the pediatric GI. W met me there and I was glad he came along. We waited a long time to see the dr but when we did I was surprised by what she said. She examined Lucy and felt her stomach. She charted her weight and length on a growth curve and told us she was steadily following her own curve. Her weight and height followed the same curve and she didn't seem concerned. She said she seemed healthy and looked good. She asked if Lucy had a mind of her own and asked at what times we saw the arching. I also told her she has started to arch when frustrated or mad too and that was definitely behavioral. 

The Dr said that it likely wasn't reflux because of when it was occurring. She said she didn't doubt she was a colicky and fussy baby and that she did have some reflux. But, what she was doing was all behavioral. She called Lucy a "naughty baby" in a joking way. She then suggested adding rice cereal for calories. She told us adding 1 tbsp to an ounce of breastmilk increased the caloric content from 20 calories to 30. We had only been fortifying with the Neosure to 22 calories. She said we could add the rice cereal to a bottle and give it to her like that it or spoon feed it to her. She said if she started to arch and cry during feedings to back off and offer her to eat again in a little bit. 

As the day went on and Lucy continued to not eat well I got frustrated. It's easy enough to offer a baby to eat more frequently. She happily accepts many times if offered again in an hour or two. The problem is, she's not my only baby. I want them both on some kind of schedule. I need some kind of break from babies for my own sanity. Yesterday when I offered Lucy another feeding Clara started to cry. As Lucy will stop eating if even my arm moves or she hears a sound I couldn't get up to tend to Clara. Instead I had to listen to her cry while Lucy ate. When I finally picked her up her eyes were all red and puffy. I felt guilty and horrible. I felt like I had to choose between my babies. 

Now the pediatrician and GI have told me to give rice cereal. The problem? I really wanted to do baby led weaning. We were going to skip spoon feeding and puréed foods. I wanted to skip rice cereal altogether v

We could put it in her bottle but I'm afraid she'll hate the taste or texture. Something as simple as that could lead to a complete refusal of bottles.

It makes me sad how many things I've had to compromise on because I have twins. It dictated my prenatal care, the birth experience I had, and honestly, the type of parent I have become. So, do I give up on wanting to do BLW? Do we introduce rice cereal but also then whole foods when they are ready? Do we just add the rice cereal to bottles and hope she continues to take them?

I'm not expecting anyone to have the answers for me. I'm just trying to figure things out. 

The LC I've been talking to lately sent me this link last night:
It's nice to know I'm not alone but I can't help but wonder if we created and reinforced those behaviors for her. It's eye opening for sure. 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Are We Crazy?

In a recent post I mentioned how we didn't get to take a vacation last year. We spent most of our money on a super expensive IVF cycle and W took all his time off during that time. We were broke and out of vacation time. Also, I was pregnant with twins and unsure if traveling far. 

This winter has been long. It's tough to get out with infant twins and almost everything we could do costs money. I miss the fall where at least we could take walks outside. It's been too cold for that. We've had a constant cover of snow and very cold temperatures since November. 

So, we took the plunge and booked a vacation. At the beach. With sunshine, and pools, and frozen alcoholic beverages. And I am SO excited!

W is scared about the traveling with the girls. I'm a little concerned, but I know we'll be so happy we did it. 

So, anyone have any tips for traveling with babies?

32 days until we leave for Mexico!!

Don't they look excited about vacation? 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day

Hoping your day is filled with lots of love. 

Saturday, February 8, 2014

One of Each?

Whenever I take the girls out I get the same question. Most times the girls are dressed in the same thing yet I hear, "A girl and a boy?" 

It seems everyones idea of the perfect set of twins includes one of each sex. Well, I have 2 girls. That is the perfect set of twins in my eyes. 

W and I did not have the same first reaction to the sexes at our anatomy scan but I think each on our own time we  spent some time being disappointed we weren't going to have a boy. It didn't hit me for quite a while where he felt it pretty quickly. Don't get me wrong, I have a sister and know how amazing a sister bond is. I'm so happy my girls have each other. I wouldn't change anything about my children. It's just I'm sick of everyone asking the same question and them seeming disappointed when I say it's 2 girls. It's like reliving that moment over and over again. And it's not my proudest moment. 

The other thing is I don't love pink. I'm not a girly girl. Big surprise, when grandma offered to knit for the girls I didn't choose pink and purple. I chose my favorite shades of turquoise and she added pink buttons. As much as I don't love girly stuff I do love cute headbands. As cute as they are, we when go out my girls are wearing warm hats, not cute headbands. 

I guess the flip side is that if I had one of each I'd have to hear other people tell me how perfect that is and how I'm done having children. That would probably drive me crazy too. Oh well, I guess I either better get used to it or come up with a good response. 

Friday, February 7, 2014

5 Months Old

Wow, I can't believe another month has passed and my girls are 5 months old. It's crazy how fast time is passing. My little girls are growing and changing before my eyes. 

I feel so blessed to be able to be home with them every day. I get to watch them learn as discover new things constantly. Some days are tough, but I very rarely wish I was at work instead. I miss the social aspect of working, but that's about it. 

Developmentally this month brought some big changes. The girls started reaching for things, grabbing them, and bringing them to their mouths. They love their play gym area and can amuse themselves there for short periods of time. One night we were able to eat our entire dinner uninterrupted while the girls played away. Most nights we are holding babies while eating or soothing babies while our food gets cold. 

The girls really started to notice each other this month. They hold hands constantly and love touching each other. They smile at each other and will sometimes chat. 

Lucy- You haven't grown into a giant this month, big surprise. Of course I'm worried you haven't gained enough, but the nurse came yesterday and you had gained just about a poud. You were 9 pounds 5 ounces. Sure, this is tiny for a 5 month old baby, but you weren't even 4 pounds when you were born. I think you are doing great. 
You feel a bit heavier and are definitely longer. You are no longer fitting in most newborn clothes, but 0-3 is a great fit. You are a skinny yet strong little girl who loves her tummy time. Sleeping has not been good. Some nights you'll last relatively long in the pack and play before you end up in our bed. You like to sleep in my arms the most and haven't been a great napper. I started feeding you again at 3/4:00 am and you almost always eat well then. It's a good chance to get an extra feeding in you. I think this has helped you gain well the past month. You typically sleep from 11 pm-4ish, eat, and fall right back asleep. You eat again with your sister around 7 and go back to sleep until 10. From that point you eat about every 3 hours. Most evenings we try to squeeze in an extra bottle with Neosure. So, most days you eat 2 extra meals than your sister. You certainly wouldn't know it by looking at you.
 You are a baby that likes things to go exactly your way. When they don't you get so upset. This is most often seen at feedings. Overall though, you've been eating so much better this month. You had a bad week but that was because you had a cold and weren't feeling well. 
You are most certainly a girl who knows what she wants and doesn't care if the world knows it. You love looking at the lights and I'm pretty sure you have the placement of every light in our house memorized. You like "flying" above mommy and almost always smile when we do this. You still love getting your diaper changed and this is when you smile the most. Your pacifier still ranks highest in your book and we figured out this month you prefer to sleep on your side. 
This past month you've been working on rolling. When you are on your tummy you want to roll so badly and just need a little nudge to do it. You've successfully rolled from your back to your side and from your side to your tummy, but you haven't put it all together yet. 
You are a high strung little thing who is almost always moving and flailing. This month has been another great one with you Goosey. 

Clara- Nobody would believe you are the younger sister. You are turning into such a big girl. Last month you weighed 11 pounds and yesterday you were 12 pounds 7 ounces. You are fitting in 0-3 or 3 month clothing. I've tried a few 6 month outfits and they fit with some sleeve rolling. 
You are such a great sleeper. You also love sleeping in our bed but last almost the entire night in the pack and play. You'll sleep from 11-7 most nights and then chow at 7. After the feeding at 7 you'll chat for a bit and the sleep until 10. Just like your sister from that point on you eat about every 3 hours. Lately you are such a good napper and fall asleep within a few minutes of putting you down almost every time. You love your glowing seahorse that plays you music in your crib. 
You are a much more easy going baby that your sister. You love music and sitting on anyone's lap. You are so happy when we just hold you. You love your play gym with your sister and we often find you watching her play with her toys rather than doing it yourself. You love your sister and are often the handholding instigator. At first she didn't like you in her space all the time but she's recently decided it's ok. You still love your bath so much and W is convinced you start to anticipate when he undresses you and carries you to the bathroom. You would stay in the tub all day if we let you. Tummy time is still not your favorite and it's generally quite short lived before you get super upset. You are getting stronger though because despite your complaining we still make you practice. You started to like the bumbo seat this month and you like to play with toys while sitting there. You don't like to wait. When you decide you're done with something we better come rescue you right away. When you want to eat you will scream until the nipple goes in your mouth. At that time you immediately get silent. 
You figured put how to giggle this month and you found your voice. Yesterday for the first time you also blew raspberries. You are so vocal and have SO much to say. Sometimes I think it's scares Lucy off from talking since you are so loud. 
You are another month bigger, smarter, and stronger and I'm so lucky to have you as my daughter Miss Clara. 

So, there you have it. Another month has come and gone. I can't believe next month they will be halfway to a year. Time flies when you're having fun!

Yogi Babies

Throughout my pregnancy I tried to attend prenatal yoga as frequently as possible. Around the time I got pulled out of work at 31 weeks it got a lot harder to keep going. I would do a few poses at home, but wasn't able to make it to class. There was so much baby in my belly that just moving was uncomfortable. Forget about tying child's pose when there's an entire baby in your ribcage. 

The same instructor also offers a mama baby yoga class. It's so nice because the same people you practiced with and saw every week during pregnancy are now at this class. 

Since the class is only offered twice a month, we don't get to go that often. Also, it's about 45 minutes away and at 10:15 am. We aren't early risers around here. 

The first time I went my mom came along as an extra set of hands. I didn't get to do much yoga because the girls decided they wanted to eat during class. It was great to be around so many babies and mamas though. 

Last time I went I went by myself and it was great. The timing was perfect feeding-wise and the girls were happy to watch me do yoga and hang out on my mat. I had a great time and was able to do enough yoga to be sore for a few days after. 

Yesterday I wasn't planning to go until Clara woke up about 3 hours early, crying to eat. I knew our day was going to be off so decided to go. I was able to push it until 8 and feed the girls. We got ready and left. Unfortunately as soon as we started to really get into the yoga the girls started to act hungry. I tried the pacifiers but knew it wasn't going to work. So instead of doing 25 minutes of yoga I sat and fed my girls. At first I was frustrated. But then I remembered the real reason I go: to be around other mamas and babies. To try to branch out and make a few mommy friends. Despite my missing out on the yoga, we still had a great time. We got out of the house and socialize with other adults. We were able to run errands and eat lunch after with a friend. All in all, it was successful. I'm kidding myself if I think the real reason I go to a yoga class with infant twins is to practice a lot of  yoga. I think I need to leave them home to accomplish that. 

Thursday, February 6, 2014


IAll day yesterday Lucy was trying to move. I'd put her down one way on her back and return to the room a few minutes later to find her turned around facing another direction. 

She was moving by arching her back and scooting her butt. When W got home from work yesterday we were hanging out with the girls. I wanted to show him how Lucy was scooting. She managed to work her way off the blanket and half way across the room. I started to go downstairs to grab something when I heard W call my name and tell me to come. 

I came back in the room and saw that Lucy was on her tummy back in the middle of the room. W said he put Clara in the bumbo and turned around to find Lucy on her tummy. She had rolled over for the first time and we both missed it. 

I am so not ready for a baby on the move. 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

2013 in Review

I started this post last year, I swear. I've been trying to find the time to turn it into a photo bomb post (like most of my posts these days) and I think I can finally publish it. 

By far, 2013 was the best year in a long time. January came with lots of trips to NYC for our ivf cycle with a successful transfer on the full moon of Jan 21st. 

In early February we found out we were expecting not only one, but TWO babies! I was so surprised and shocked that I didn't successfully wrap my brain around the concept of twins for a few months. 

March and April brought my changing and growing body as well as fears about my pregnancy. I had my first official ob appointment We got to Skype with my mom in Costa Rica to tell her the exciting news. I also told my work and families I was pregnant. Apparently I wasn't hiding it as well as I thought. 

In May we found out we were going to be having 2 girls. It was one of the best and most exciting days of my life. Prior to the appointment we said we were going to wait to find out what we were having. Big surprise, I couldn't wait. 

In June we celebrated reaching viability at a cousin's wedding in NJ and I started to get really big and uncomfortable. 

July was hot and exhausting with work, but I survived until about the first week of August before getting pulled out. In a weeks time we celebrated my 30th birthday with the purchase of a fancy camera, I stopped working, and W found out he was going to need to find a new job. It was a bit scary at times, but W quickly lined up a new job. 

The summer was spent being lazy and large. I did a lot of crafting for the girls (quilts, mobiles, dresses, etc) and napping. Life with leisurely and relaxing. 

On labor day my sister came for a visit. We celebrated W's birthday and debated going to the state fair. 

On September 3rd I was heading to the fabric store with the dogs when I got into a car accident. Immediately things changed as my water broke and I was rushed to the hospital. 3 hours later my beautiful girls were born and rushed to the NICU. 

The next 18 days were spent primarily at the hospital. I lived out of a suitcase at my in-laws house and spent as much of my waking time possible visiting my girls. 

On the 21st of September, exactly 9 months after our full moon transfer the girls came home. 

W was home with me until Halloween, and most of October and November were a blur of feeding babies every 3 hours around the clock. We had some outings, but mainly stayed home. 

December brought our first out of town weekend and our first Christmas with the girls. And now another year has ended. It's amazing to me how much changed in my life this year and how fulfilled I feel now. 

So now I'll use my usual template for new years. 

1. What did you do in 2013 that you'd never done before?
Became a mommy 
Sewed clothing
Started a new carreer and quit my old one (for now)
Became an aunt to my nephew Benny
Regained some confidence in my body

2. Did you keep your resolution's, and will you make more for this year?
I kept some abs wasn't so successfully with others. I helped W in the kitchen like I said for a few weeks. Getting hugely pregnant didn't help but it's also a convenient excuse for me. 

I continued with my yoga practice and attended a prenatal yoga class for a majority of my pregnancy. I loved going and even met a new friend. I'm hoping to get back into doing yoga again soon. 

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? 
This was a big year for babies. My sister had my nephew in February and 3 of my close friends had babies. 

4. Did anyone close to you die?
My sweet grandma passed away in July at the ripe age of 94. She was so positive and such a wonderful person. I miss her and wish she was able to meet the girls. 
5. What countries did you visit? None! We spent a lot of money and vacation time on our ivf cycle in January that brought us our girls. Totally worth it but I miss the beach!

6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013? 
A beach vacation. Please??!!

7. What dates from 2013 will be etched upon your memory, and why?
January 21st-full moon transfer of our embryos 
February 8th- found out we were pregnant with TWINS!
February 23rd- my nephew's birthday 
May 8th- found out we were going to have 2 girls. 
August 3rd- celebrated my 30th birthday
September 3rd- the birthday of my girls 

September 9th- The day I first held my girls together. 

September 21st- the day we brought the girls home from the NICU

October 10th- our 4th wedding anniversary 
October 15th- the due date for the girls 

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
 Growing and giving birth to 2 perfect little girls. I also view breastfeeding them as a huge achievement. Having these positive experiences with my body has given me renewed confidence that I definitely lacked the past few years. 

9. What was your biggest failure?
Not having the birth experience I wanted. Due to the accident I needed an emergency cesarean section. This was done under general anesthesia because I was on blood thinners. This meant I didn't get to hear my girls cry for the first time and W wasn't able to be in the room. Also, their prematurity felt like a bit of a failure. Avoiding the NICU would have been ideal. 

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
No, we were very lucky. I had a pretty uneventful twin pregnancy that was only complicated by gestational diabetes. Even that was easily controlled through my diet. 

11. What was the best thing you bought?
The ivf cycle that got us our girls and broke the bank, a new car (Mazda CX9), and lots of fun stuff for decorating and putting together the nursery. 

12. Where did most of your money go?
Expensive ivf cycle in NYC, nursery, mortgage, new car, savings

13. What did you get really excited about?
This is getting a little redundant but obviously my girls. The most exciting days were finding out they were both girls, holding them at the same time for the first time, and bringing them home. Since then, every little milestone is exciting; sleeping through the night, smiles, rolling over, giggles, etc.

14. What songs will always remind you of 2013?
For like the third year in a row I'm going to say Mumford and Sons but also the songs Mercy and Sweet by Dave Matthews Band. I also played the song Home by Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes to my belly while I was pregnant and play it for the girls now. I love the chorus, "Home, let me come home. Home is whenever I'm with you." 

15. Compared to this time last year, are you:
Happier or sadder? Immeasurably happier!
Thinner or fatter? Much thinner. Thank you breastfeeding!
Richer or poorer? Poorer! I'm not working much at all these days. Financially things have changed but I'm beyond grateful that I get to be home with my girls every day. 

16. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Relaxing and lying around before the girls got here, living in the moment, trusting myself, and traveling to see my sister and nephew. 

17. What do you wish you had done less of?
Worrying about every little detail. 

18. How did you spend Christmas?
Christmas eve we went to the in-laws, Christmas morning we slept in until 10 and then went to my moms. We managed to get out of dinner on Christmas and stayed home in our jannies. For new years we went to dinner at my in-laws and had lobster and risotto. After we went home and both fell asleep on the couch before midnight. Having infant twins is so glamorous!

19. What was your favorite tv program?
Breaking bad, the new girl, Generation Cryo, and I watched a lot of a really crappy show called Dr 90210 on Netflix when I got pulled out of work. 

20. What were you favorite books of the year?
Ummm Babywise? Maybe the Baby Nane Wizard, Love You Forever, Raising Twins? I need to get back into reading for myself and enjoyment. I don't have the time yet, but maybe someday. 

21. What were your favorite films of the year? 
The Hunger Games is the best I can come up with. 

22. What did you do on your birthday and how old were you?
I turned 30 this year which was a huge milestone. That same week I hit 30 weeks in my pregnancy. We were supposed to have dinner at my moms but she cancelled as she wasn't up for it. We went to the mall to look at cameras, went out to lunch, and then W's parents hosted dinner instead. My MiL made a nice cheese dessert as I had my GD test the next morning. 

23. What's one thing that would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Carrying my girls full term but oh well. 

24. What kept you sane?
W, my sister, and all my great friends who had been through infertility and pregnancy, especially Tamara.

25. Tell us valuable lessons you learned in 2013:
My body is better able to do things I doubted it could do.
Pregnancy is everything it's cracked up to be and I feel so grateful I got to experience it.
Trust your gut and pursue everything you think is necessary to accomplish your goals. Find a doctor who you trust and believe in.
 I should trust things will be okay.
I have zero control over things I like to try to control.

This year was so amazing and I feel so grateful to have found Dr. Braverman. I can't believe I had 2 little girls this year. I can't wait to see what this year has in store for us.