If there is one thing I’ve learned since we got home from the hospital, it’s that I could not do this without lots and lots and lots of help.
My hubs is awesome, as a support of me and as a parent of twinsies. He feeds/changes babies as soon as he gets home at night. He cooks dinner every night. He tells me all the time how awesome I’m doing as a Mom (haha). He washes pumping supplies and bottles. He uploads our meticulous notes on their feeds into spreadsheets every morning so we can see exactly where they are. Etc etc etc etc etc. He’s awesome.
And my MIL….words cannot express how grateful we are for her help. She is a retired Labor & Delivery nurse (!!!) and has been flying into town for a few days at a time here and there to cover night shifts + a couple of hours in the afternoon (she’s subletting an apartment a few blocks away so we can have our “space”!) so I can either a) run to the grocery store, b) take a walk, or c) lay down and shut my eyes. AMAZING. She’ll be doing this for the next six weeks, and it’s pretty much the awesome-est thing in the world.
The rest of the time, hubs and I split up the night shifts. He’s more of a night owl so he’ll cover the babies from 11 until 3 or 4am-ish. Then I’m on for the rest of the night/day and he sleeps until about 7 or 8 before getting up for work. It seems to work pretty well. At night, we keep both babies in their bassinets in the nursery and the person on the night shift hangs out in the living room, doing whatever (watching TV, surfing the web, laundry, etc), while keeping an eye on the video monitor. Because a baby often needs to be fed every hour of the night, it just doesn’t make sense for the on-call person to be in the bedroom with the sleeping person right now. I really miss sleeping in the same bed as hubs (especially since I can now snuggle him without my big pregnant belly!), but I know this is not forever….
Of course, most of the time no one is here to help and it’s just the babies and me. I am in heaven with them—cloud nine. The hardest part? When I’m feeding one baby and the other one is hungry and crying and rooting because he or she is now hungry, too. Ohhhhhh, how that hurts my heart. With twinsies, you can’t be there for both babies at once all of the time….you have to crises manage each situation. Do I cut a nursing session short to attend to the next baby? Interrupt it to get try to get the second baby to latch on, too? Rearrange everyone and set them both up in Boppys for bottle feeds? And so this triage situation happens. Over and over and over. When hubs gets home in the evening, it is out of control how exhausted I feel. (This definitely tops the summer where I was training for a Half-Ironman. Ooof!)
I have never been happier, or more tired. 🙂
In an ideal, very efficient, world, I would tandem nurse them. But, so far, I’ve found that really hard to execute. For one thing, they’d both have to be hungry at the same exact time. I know someday in the future we’ll get them on the same feeding sked, but for now, we’re maximizing weight gain and that means feeding a baby whenever he/she is hungry, and at least every two hours. For another thing, it’s hard to get two babies situated on a Boppy when you’re alone. And lastly, while they both have it in them to be excellent nursers, none of us are great at it just yet…..while I can almost always get one baby perfectly latched and sucking, it’s pretty much hitting the lottery if I can get them going simultaneously.
So, I do a combo of attempting tandem feeds, taking turns nursing them, feeding them bottles of pumped breast milk, then pumping to drain my boobs, then cleaning everything up. (Sometimes all of that happens in one session, haha.) It’s not a perfect system, it’s pretty freaking inefficient, but it’s working for us right now: They are definitely chubbing up and looking more rolly-polly-ish and that makes me SO SO SO happy. 🙂
We take them outside for walks on weekends….they’ve seen Lake Michigan, been to the park, and hung out at our fave sandwich shop. They’re such a handful and I’m soooo obsessed with feeding them the MOMENT they look like they’re thinking about food…..so I’ve never taken them outside all by myself. That has got to change soon! I know maternity leave will be a lot more fun when we’re all mobile…
The best hours are the ones where one baby is happily snoozing and I have the other one on my chest for cuddles and individual QT. They melt me!!!! I try really hard to give them each as many one-on-one snuggles as possible throughout the day. Sometimes, if the timing is just right, I can put them both on my chest and they’ll nap together while I stare at them, mesmerized and blissfully happy. Sweet, sweet babies.