A day in the (maternity leave) life

I want to remember what these idyllic maternity leave days have been like recently….

530am-ish The babies wake up and coo like crazy in their (new big boy and big girl!) cribs. Honey is always ravenous and begins shrieking for food somewhere between the diaper change and the walk to the kitchen for her bottle. I drop her off with hubs in our bed and he begins feeding her while I go attend to Champ’s diaper and bottle. I turn on the coffee machine. (Yes, I drink caffeine while BFing.) I bring him back to bed and pump for 30 minutes while I feed him. (Why don’t I nurse them now? Because my boobs release a rocket stream of milk in the early morning hours and the babies choke and cry with frustration.) Sometimes the babies wake up as early as 430am, sometimes as late as 6am.

6am We play and snuggle with the babies. Honey starts squealing with fatigue and Champ rubs his eyes. If I am feeling really ambitious, during this nap-y time for the babeis, I will pull on my workout clothes, plop them in their car seats and carry them both down the three flights of outdoor back stairs of the apartment building to the communal basement. I’ll drag out the jogging stroller, strap in the babies, hide the car seats out of sight (they hang out in them while I get the stroller set-up/folded down), unlock the back gate, and head for the lake path. They nap while I jog (ahem, shuffle) along pushing the stroller. I think I’m going to have to do early-morning-jog–thing more regularly if I hope to get any exercise when I go back to work. The cool thing about it is that they would nap during this time if we were home, so I don’t feel like, once I go back to work, I’d be sacrificing play time with them for a workout. Honestly? The biggest deterrent is the physical and mental challenge of getting them up and down the stairs. Those car seats are freaking heavy!

8am We get back from the workout, settled in back upstairs and I feed the babies again. I put them in their swings and talk to them while I wash all of the dirty bottles and breast pump supplies that have stacked up since 1130pm.

8:30am This is when the day starts to diverge into a crap shoot. Because their napping is currently taking precedence over feeding them together (which was a break-through for me at 7ish weeks), they don’t eat at the same time like they were from 7 to 13 weeks. I juggle naps and playing with/feeding them together or alone for pretty much the rest of the day.

Play time, story time, laundry, chores, etc.

10am Another feeding, hopefully nurse one baby while the other one naps.

Play time, story time, laundry, chores, etc.

11:30am I pump again. Maybe I nurse a baby if the timing works out. In which case, I pump afterward.

12pm Another feeding. Then play on the back porch with one baby while the other one sleeps. I’ll eat lefties for lunch at some point. Then maybe we meet a friend for a playdate. Maybe we take a walk outside. Maybe we go to the grocery store for a few items so I can make something fun for din. (Tho I usually won’t take another walk if I’ve already jogged with them in the morning because it’s so dang exhausting!) At any rate, I try to get them some fresh air around now.

Play time, story time, laundry, chores, etc.

2pm Ideally, a nursing session with the other baby so they each get at least one per day. I always offer them bottles after nursing tho—because they don’t seem to get as much off the boob as they really need.

3pm The witching hour begins. Seriously, once the clock strikes 3pm, things get intense….bedtime is on the horizon and the babies start to cluster feed. (A word I learned in blog land!) Instead of eating every 2–3 hours, they eat every 1–1.5 hours for  total of three feeds between 3pm and bedtime. Naps ensue. Sometimes Honey will want to sleep as late as 530pm. (Yeah, nutso.) That used to terrify me, but now I’m happy when it happens because it usually means she’ll last until 7pm to go to bed.

4pm I pump again. I used to do a 2pm and 6pm pump for 5 total each day (down from the 6-8/day I was doing until 10ish weeks), but recently nixed one knowing that I can’t pump 3x (11am, 2pm, 6pm) when I’m back at work. Pretty sure this decision cost me at least a few ounces a day, but I’m okay with that.

530pm Honey has had enough and wants to go to bed NOW. I sing for her. (I have a horrible voice.) I dance for her. We bounce on the bed. She alternates giant smiles and doing I’m-a gonna-meltdown-annnny-second–squeals. It’s heartbreakingly funny. Champ gets fussy, too: He juts out his lower lip and puffs his cheeks and my heart melts for the dozenth time in one day.

545pm Prep bottles—the babies get formula before bed. I’m producing about 40oz of breast milk a day so there’s not enough to give both babies b-milk at every feeding.

6pm It’s all I can do to keep them in good spirits at this point, they are really zonkered. Now it’s bath time, I (quickly) bathe both babies every night as part of their “wash off the day, it’s almost bedtime” routine. I keep one in the Baby Bjorn bouncer in the bathroom while I bathe the other. I also keep a car seat in the bathroom so I can feed the clean and jammie-ed up baby with a propped bottle while I bathe the other baby. I’m trying my best to begin the bedtime routine at 7pm—in the hopes that I can be home from work for it more often—but usually they are so incredibly cranky by 6pm that we start now.

6:30pm I put them to bed. If hubs is home and not working on his dissertation, he will help by feeding one baby and putting him/her to bed while I’m feeding the other. Like I mentioned (um, a few times now!), would really love for this to happen at 7 or 730pm, but I’m following their cues and this is when they like to go to bed right now. I wash all of the bottles and breast pump supplies that have stacked up since 8am.

730pm Hubs and I are on red alert listening for crying and general angst in the nursery. The babies are going down easier and easier. (Please no jinxies, sleep gods!!!!!!) We usually begin making dinner around now. I read/comment on blogs and mess around on my new obsession, Pinterest.com. Maybe do the laundry that never got done during the day. Clean up around the apartment.

830pm We eat and watch TV. Clean up din. I prep the next morning’s bottles. Etc.

11pm I pump for 30 minutes.

When I write it all out, it really doesn’t sound as tiring as the way I feel by 11:30pm. (Notice nothing happens with the babies between 7pm and 430am-630am ish?!?!?! This has been our blissful blessing since 13.5 weeks. PLEASE no jinxies!!!) Yet somehow, despite the fact that I am getting a heavenly 5-7 hour stretch of sleep each night, I am so freaking exhausted every night. And I know this is a golden period, because I’m not working, the babies aren’t running around requiring me to chase them everywhere, etc etc etc. Is it the pumping that wears me down? The constant  feed-play-etc attention the babies require during their waking hours since their naps aren’t overlapping right now? (Newsflash: I’m going to be tired for the rest of my life! That’s okay! I know I’m very very very lucky!!!!)

Anyway, that’s the drill. I am currently doing some dry runs of our new “working Mom” routine so things will be tweaked. I’ll update this once I’m back at the office. AHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

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12 Comments

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12 responses to “A day in the (maternity leave) life

  1. sienna

    babe – you are a freaking rockstar. i’m exhausted just reading this. i can barely manage to bathe pippa by myself without being stressed (she’s so afraid of the water that she tenses bigtime and doesn’t make a peep, then takes a big pee on the changing table afterwards every time while she’s still being dried off). you must be burning 49 trillion calories a day with this routine. AND you guys cook at night? you are my hero. i do about half of this (not even) and look like i’ve been hit by a truck every day. keep up the great mommying :o)xoxo.

  2. OMG Egg, I need a nap after reading this. I give you so much credit for how well you and hubs are doing. I’m scared to death to do it with one in a few more weeks and you’re doing it with two!!! Go you!

    I think it’s great you’re starting to prepare now for going back to work. Yes it’s going to be difficult, but I have no doubt you’ll be able to handle it and still give your babies all the mommy-love they get now:)

  3. Doesn’t look like a lot? Egg, this looks EXHAUSTING! I’m amazed at what you accomplish in one day and what I don’t accomplish in a week

    You sound like a mama rockstar and I’m sure you, Honey, and Champ will all do great with the end-of-maternity-leave shift. I’m sure there will be growing pains, but it sounds like you can handle anything.

  4. Jen

    I can’t believe you make it until 11 or 11:30 when they get up at 5:30 without a nap during the day (or 2!). You are a rock star. I am also exhausted just reading this! Man.

  5. phew sounds exhausting! my day is kinda like that too except we don’t have much of a schedule, more of an eat anytime nap anytime poop anywhere deal. we probably have to try sleep training soon, blah. sounds like your little fam is doing great! post more pictures of the cuties please!

  6. Wow. Twins sound like a lot of work. I’m amazed that you ever make it out with the jogging stroller because the thought of climbing up and down those stairs with TWO car seats is tortuous in itself. At least you’ll have great biceps! I can’t believe you’re going back to work in two weeks. I’m pretty sure you’ll breeze through the job part, even if the missing babies part is hard. Good luck!

  7. I LOVE this post! I’ve been secretly wondering how the F you do it, and this gives me an amazing little window onto what it’s like. Of course, it’s not news to me that I’m waaaay lazier than you are, but still. I sounds actually quite grueling! The part that kills me is where you have to tote the car seats down the stairs…

    By the way, my best wishes to your husband for finishing up his dissertation. It’s not easy under the best circumstances, and I’m betting it’s extra tough with these delightful little distractions. I hope it goes really well, he gets an amazing job, and you guys get to move to a house or apartment where you don’t have to drag things down stairs every day!

  8. Ceejay

    I love seeing your routine laid out! I always wonder how moms of twins do it, seriously. And I still don’t know–how do you make it through that kind of day with even 7 hours of sleep? I also think the constant threat of disruptions can be wearing–even when the babies are napping, you’re always listening and ready for that cry, so it’s hard to relax totally. At least for me.

  9. I love this! You are doing so well and have so much in order…you might not feel that way, but I promise it is enviable! And, 40oz a day…I need tips on this. When did your supply increase to that amount? I am BARELY keeping ahead of Poppy and Daphne and just started Reglan to hopefully increase my supply further. Ay yay yay!!! I cannot wait for the girls to be home and for us to have a regular schedule like this one;)

  10. Mara

    I love this post too! You are doing such an awesome job, Egg. I also cannot believe you make it until 11:30 after getting up at 5:30. I get up at that time and am passed to the out by 10 at the latest. I am also seriously impressed that you carry them BOTH in their CAR SEATS up and down the stairs!!! You must have some serious guns!

    We told had/have the same witching hour issues. This is one thing that I found hard about going to work – he’s in such a good mood when I have to leave him and not happy at all when I get home, so excited to hang out with him.

    I drink caffeine too. 🙂

    This is just my experience, but I’m not actually more tired with working than I was on maternity leave. There are demands during the day, but different ones. I actually am finding I’m more tired on the weekends these days, maybe because it’s BABY ALL DAY instead of baby work baby. Not that I still wouldn’t rather be home.

  11. You are awesome. One baby is tiring enough but to be able to keep up with 2 the way you do is…well, awesome. You have such a great routine worked out and it sounds like it’s going very well. It’s a good thing you get that stretch of sleep at night because I can’t imagine how tired you’d be if they were getting up a couple of times a night.

    Best of luck with figuring out a good work/baby routine. I’m sure you will do fine.

  12. I love this! As a new twin mommy, I seriously hung on every word. You, my friend, are awesome and a wonderful mommy!

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