Friday, January 24, 2014

Bed rest, unrest


FAQ's while I was on bed rest...

1) Will my pregnant belly burst at the seams? I stuck out so far forward with twins that my skin did split. Even though I incessantly coated my tummy in Palmer's Cocoa Butter, I still got stretch marks. The marks shrunk down after a few months, but they're still there. It's a daily reminder to me of the miracle of life. 

2) Will I need to buy two of everything? We saved all of our two year old's baby gear. We did end up having to purchase one more of everything. So, if the twins came first, then yes, we would've had to buy two of everything. 

3) Will I be able to have a VBAC? It was always my plan, but baby B had a different plan. He was breech. I didn't have a choice. This is still a touchy subject for me. Argh! 

4) Will I be able to nurse two babies? This was my biggest fear. I tandem nursed for a while, but my babies were such different nursers with high needs that I ended up having to nurse them separately. They were bottle fed and breast fed. Their pediatrician had me add calories to my pumped milk in a bottle. I learned that breast milk is approximately 15-18 calories per serving. Adding a teaspoon of Similac Neosure, made my milk 22 calories per serving. That might not sound like a lot, but it did make a difference in the twins weight gain. 

5) Will the babies be on the SAME sleep schedule? In the beginning, my babies were not on the same sleep schedule. During the day, it was great. I could feed one while the other slept, and by the time his feeding was done, it was time to feed brother. Nighttime was a different story. We fed both twins at the same time. When one woke up, we would wake the other. We were trying to maximize our sleep. My kind husband would heat up my milk for one, and I would nurse the other. Bless his heart! I would've NEVER made it without him. 

6) Will I get sleep? If you added up the 30 minutes here and 40 minutes there, I would sleep on average three hours per night for the first six months. My body adjusted and I was able to survive this way without being exhausted. At the time, I felt sleep was a distant memory. It was like remembering the first time you had great pizza. You know you loved it, but can't really place it. 

7) Will I ever leave the house? Our babies were preemie and born in the winter. We were doomed to the indoors until spring. I do remember finally being able to leave the house. It was a glorious day! In the beginning, I wouldn't leave the house without my husband. As all mommies know, it is a process to actually get out the door. It took an hour to get the babies and all of their "stuff" ready for an outing. It wasn't until the babies were 10 months old that I ventured out with all three of my kids by myself. Now we make it a point to get out of the house 3-4 days a week. I attribute the success of our outings to our City Select baby jogger Stroller.

8) Will my 2 year old feel left out? Initially my 2 year old felt very left out. Rightfully so. A friend of mine put it into perspective for me. She said, "How would you feel if your husband brought home a younger, cuter wife?" Before the twins, he was literally a perfect child. After they came home, he would throw a temper tantrum at the drop of a hat. I quickly learned that Joey would need an outlet for his anger and anxiety. I realized that his anger and frustration was valid. Instead of hitting his baby brother, I would tell him to go into his room and get angry at his pillow instead. We didn't exhort to "thinking time" or harsher punishments for the first 6 weeks they were home. Once we were back into somewhat of a "normal" routine, we made it clear that baby brothers weren't going anywhere. That didn't stop him from asking if we could take them back to hospital. Or better yet, "mom, put them in the basement with the dogs." My husband and I did our best to set time apart each day to spend with him. By the time he turned 3, he was a full fledged protective older brother.

9) Will I be able to give enough one-on-one time to each baby? Some days I hold one baby more than the other. I think it's completely normal for one baby to feel needy while the other is happy. When both babies need mommy at the same time, especially when they were newborn, I would take a deep breath and pray that I could give them what they needed. Now I get down on the floor and let them crawl all over the top of me.

10) Will my body ever go back to "normal?" I don't think my body will ever be the same as before I had twins. Getting in shape and feeling good about yourself are two different things. I am okay with the fact that my body is different. I had a friend once tell me to not be so hard on myself and realize the trauma my body has gone through. I've also heard that it takes 9 months to gain the weight, but with twins you get 18 months to lose it. haha!

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