As you may recall from my last real post, life took a turn for the chaotic. I was feeling very overwhelmed with the enormity of raising our little beings and all the constant tasks involved with said raising. To quote from The Birdcage: “I (felt)l like I’m riding a psychotic horse through a burning stable.”  I got to a place where I really needed some peace. Joey and I had a long talk about what we could do to make life more streamlined and manageable. We made tough decisions and now I am seeing life in more grey tones rather than black and white. No, my house is still not tidy and no, we still cannot muster the energy for sex. But hey, life is better now.

What happened:

1)      Perspective: Aiden had his surgery which was a smashing success. He was such a trooper! We were housed on the mylo-suppression floor of the children’s hospital (read: cancer floor) so it was hard to feel too sorry for ourselves. A mom cannot feel too bad walking to see her healthy baby when she is met by the bright shining smile of a little girl with no hair bowling in the hallway. Yes, I said a prayer of thanks. My gratitude at having healthy babies cannot be measured.

2)      Letting go: So we aren’t breastfeeding anymore. I know, I know. Breast is best and we are terrible awful mothers. But we had to make a decision that allowed us to have some rest as we care for our boys. Here was our routine: feed boys with bottle (as they never latched), hold boys up for reflux, change boys, perhaps a bathroom or drink break for the mom, put baby into swing or carrier and begin to pump. Immediately upon hearing the pumps start, our boys would cry. So we sat and pumped next to whatever we had the babies sitting/laying in. then we pumped and soothed as best we could. This is not a helpful way to get your milk to let down! Repeat pattern in 2-3 hour shifts. Not to mention that it was really hard for me to take enough and long enough breaks during my workday to pump. Also Joey would only get about 3 oz per pumping; whereas I would get 2 oz followed by half an ounce. The constant failure was untenable. Please do not send hate mail or leave nasty comments about this. Our children are on formula and they are thriving.

3)      Standing up: Our pediatrician was not responsive about the reflux our boys were experiencing. We talked about it every visit and she was taking a “wait and see” approach. After a night of pain-filled screaming from Aiden, I called the office to *ahem” “request” medicine. The nurse offered me an appointment. I said I had no need to pay yet another co-pay to discuss the same issue I have talked with the doctor about every visit (pretty much 1 weekly). Through clenched teeth, I again asserted that I …..just…needed… a….prescription…..called in TODAY. I think I frightened the nice lady because we did get a prescription for zantac that day. It helped….a little. Then when we had Aiden’s follow up appointment after surgery, we ended up with a different doctor who was actually helpful about the reflux. She gave us better meds and some actual helpful suggestions. Blessed relief!! Now my poor baby is not spitting up half of what he eats and screaming with his whole body stiff from pain. A mom cannot watch that happen and keep sane.

4)      Help: We have finally hired a nanny who will come to our home 3 days per week to take care of the boys so that Joey and I can work. I will work from home on Mondays and Joey will work from home on Fridays. We are beyond excited. Our nanny is experienced and oh so kind. Of course paying her will hurt—shudder. But she is worth every penny. You have no idea how many crazy people are out there wanting to keep children: people I would never let be responsible for my pets! Some favorites: the woman who talked about getting laid off from her job for most of the interview so now she is “trying childcare.” When asked her about how she felt about letting babies cry, her answer was something to the effect of—- “it’s good for them.” My other bad favorite lives by the town dump and offered to keep the boys in her home with her own child too……. For $35 per week total!  Now I am all about a good deal but this bargain basement pricing frightened me. Seriously, $11.67 per day? 5.83 per child per day?

5)      Success: We are expert cloth diaper-ers. We love it and it saves us so much money. The boys are quite happy in their CDs and they are vocal about needing a change. We have tried several kinds. We have favorites. I plan a longer post on this later.

6)      Medication: We are both on our “happy pills” again. I hate that I need them but I do. I am better and nicer on meds.

7)      Reveling: We came to the conclusion that these are precious days we will likely never repeat with other children. We made a decision to enjoy every moment. Our boys are lovely little humans. They are already 12 weeks old! Seth smiles almost all the time. He is rarely fussy. He will tolerate being held by numerous family members. He is happy being left in a swing. He loves to make eye-contact with his mamas and he busts out with what is nearing a laugh. He has gorgeous blue eyes that are sure to break hearts some day. Aiden is living up to the meaning of his name: little fire. He refuses to be put down most of the time. He cries most evenings for what appears to be no good reason. He is easily over-stimulated and he loves his Mamas! He snuggles so close and listens intently to singing and talking. He smiles the best little smiles and he adores bath time.

Truly, being a twin mom is not for the faint of heart. But oh, the lessons we are learning.



Filed under twins, Uncategorized, whole new you

18 responses to “ch-ch-ch-changes

  1. reproducinggenius

    It really sounds like you are finding your way and making some great decisions to keep yourselves sane and everybody happy! These are good things, and I’m so happy you’re finding your groove.

  2. Sounds like you are doing better! We formula-fed I & N and think it has many benefits, not the least of which was that anyone could pitch in and help. We used T.arget’s generic and saved 60% off name brand. And yes, I am all about the happy pills. Antidepressant use is extremely common among mothers of multiples. It certainly has worked for me. Wishing you much luck with the nanny! Glad surgery went well, too.

  3. Claire

    I don’t know if I missed a post, but what surgery? I think you are stars for using CDs. I think if I had twins I’d be using formula too – totally don’t blame you! I’m still trying to get started on CDs! Great that you have a nanny!!! Sounds like you are doing a great job of getting everyone’s needs met. Good for you! Your boys are one week ahead of Isobel:) sweet! Hang in there, ladies, you’re doing great!!

  4. Super-duper hooray for you and Joey! I think its AWESOME that you decided to take control and make the changes for the betterment of your family. And hey, you tried the breastfeeding thing. People who have either never done it or never had a problem with it are the ones who persecute those who just can’t do it for whatever reason. Yes, the boys WILL thrive on formula. My son has had 90% formula diet (plus food) and he is big, healthy, smart, babbling and trying to walk. So send anyone who gives you a hard time to me!
    Kudos for standing up and getting the reflux meds. Always be your own best advocate!
    And you are sooooo lucky to have a nanny! I hope she works out wonderfully. The bad-nanny horror stories are scary as hell.

    Keep on keeping on. You guys are doing fabulous!

  5. I am so happy that things are getting better and easier for you guys! I’m glad Aiden’s surgery went well, and he is doing better with the reflux. Good for you for standing up to the doctor! As you know, Dylan is on formula as well because of problems I had with breastfeeding, and he is doing great! Super strong for his age, and a healthy boy. You and Joey are doing the right thing for everyone. Yay on finding a great nanny!

  6. So glad to hear that you have found some relief and that the boys are doing well. Keep up the good work mama’s! Don’t let anyone tell you that you are a bad mama because you made a decision that is best for you and your family!

  7. So so happy to see your update and your family taking control of its well being.
    On 1: What what what? Surgery? Hospital?
    On 2 : No judgement here, just an interesting article you’ve probably already seen regarding different types of formulas (as if you didn’t have enough to worry about):
    I’m still looking for the actual Journal article. I’m not sure if the sample size was worth drawing conclusions over, but…
    On 3: Ugh, I’m so sorry you even had to deal with that.
    On 4: DUH! You need help, sanity, etc.
    On 5: The cloth diaper fairly is smiling broadly! I think we should start a blog together titled the Cloth Diaper Fairy…I’ve already reserved the name on WordPress if you’re interested.
    On 6: I firmly believe in better living through chemistry, particularly if you have as much stress as you two do!
    On 7: 🙂 They are absolutely beautiful.

  8. I’m so glad you’ve found some balance amid the chaos. These are the good days!

  9. Glad to hear this update- sounds like you’re getting into a much better groove, and even with just one baby, that can take the full 12 weeks to accomplish. Funny to think that in the 50’s, it was seen as a crime to breastfeed and not use formula, and now it’s the other way around. I say, you do what you’ve got to do. And good for you for finding what works. Considering how difficult breastfeeding can be (and believe me, we at Vermillion remember well), it’s nice to be able to have formula to fall back on. Oh, and hooray for finding a good nanny!! That is going to be so nice for you both. Just one small request now…more pics please? 🙂

  10. I am so happy things are getting easier. Giving up breastfeeding sounds like a fantastic decision. Being at home and feeding babies that latch is still a lot of work but constant pumping for twins sounds like way too much. I found that there is something about pumping that makes babies fuss and cuss.

    I loved your daycare interview stories. How the heck do you work at home with twins?

  11. oh, man! i was all set to fire off a good ZOMG U R KILLING UR BAAAYYYBEEEEESSSSSSSSS anti-formula missive, and then i got to the smiling and the snuggling and it seems like maybe you’re not killing them at all, but actually doing a pretty damn terrific job.

  12. tbean

    Breast is only best if it is working for everyone–moms and babies. If it isn’t working for someone in that equation (even if it is the moms and not the babies) than how can that make for good parenting to your boys?

    Glad things are starting to find their groove. Keep writing, it’s like small glimpses into my future. 😉

  13. It sounds like you’ve figured out what works for your family. Pumping is a bitch–I can totally sympathize with dropping it.

  14. good for you guys for finding the best way to make things work for your precious family.

  15. I think you are a rock star for going through all the work it takes to induce lactation and then pump–for the experience of breastfeeding your babies.
    There is no way Chicken and I could have both been pumping at the beginning AND taking care of the newborns, so you should both be very proud of yourselves.
    I’m also very impressed that you are cloth diapering. I really wish we had a W/D and that option. Good for you!
    We went through reflux hell for one month with a dismissive pediatrician. Finally we changed pediatricians and got the help the boys needed. You know how much of a difference that makes!
    Overall, sounds like you are hitting your stride. Took us about 3 months as well. It’s hard, hard work. You are right that these days are precious and they go by oh-so-fast.
    Enjoy your time with them. You worked damn hard to get them here!

  16. poppycat

    I can totally relate to so much of this post. The breastfeeding and pumping is a soul sucker for sure. I fantasize about giving it up all the time. Oh I can’t wait for that day! What would I do with all my extra time???

    We also have a fusser/high needs baby and a mellow baby. I remember all those evening cry sessions where they just went on and on for no apparent reason and it was exhausting. Those sessions should be fewer and fewer now that they are getting older and esspecially since you have some good tips for the reflux. Button was/is our high needs baby and she had terrible reflux if you remember. The meds helped a little but I think she eventually just outgrew it. Thank gawd!

    Well mamas, you are doing great! I know how very tired you are (boy do I know) but you are wise to enjoy these moments while they last. They grow so fast that they are literally different people from one day to the next. Today rolling over, tomorrow running.

  17. poppycat

    PS – How could I forget??? So glad the surgery went well. Phew.

  18. inlocoparentis

    I am just catching up with you guys – what a beautiful family!

    I exclusively pumped for six months. It was truly the most miserable six months of my life. I did not enjoy that time at all, and often wonder if things would have been better if we would have made the switch earlier. Just FYI, Christopher is now a year, has been in full-time daycare since 3mos, and has never had a single cold, ear infection, or other illness. I was petrified that he would get every bug once we moved to formula, but it didn’t happen. He thrived on both bm and formula, but pumping nearly did me in. I have major respect that you guys did it with twins.

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