Tag Archives: breastfeeding

This too shall pass

Oh, hi. 🙂

It’s been for-evah. Ay yi yi yi yi yiiii! Lots and lots of love to my all of my bloggie friends, I’ve been reading on the bus to and from work, but have been 200% sucking at commenting with my current schedule.

I come seeking positive vibes. My hubs is proposing his dissertation today and I want him to be pleased with its reception so very badly.

In case you are keeping track, this is the dissertation he put off proposing last fall, right after we found out we were pregnant (thank you lord!) with our sweet little babies. At the time, he didn’t feel awesome about the state of the paper, and he felt—and was advised—that another year to come at it from a different angle, with added data, would help his job market prospects. (In retrospect, we have learned  he would never “feel awesome” about the state of this paper. Le sigh.)

It’s quite the understatement when I say that it was tough news last fall, because it meant yet another year of living on just my income—except with two babies to feed and clothe, too. It also meant there was no option of me not going back to work after the babies arrived.

I think we’ve done our very best, given the circumstances. I freelanced like mad before the babies arrived. He worked hard on his research, and took on a new research project in the meantime to account for the extra year he’d be spending working toward his PhD.

But lately, it has gotten so hard. Let me preface this by saying that I 7000000% know these are GOOD WONDERFUL AMAZING problems to have, and I am incredibly lucky to have them. But here’s the vent session. Hubs has been working on his paper constantly since I went back to work in July. The tough thing about this period in his life—and I have such super-duper respect for all of you academic bloggies out there, who have these pressures—is that he never gets to “turn off” his work. It is always there, always hanging over him. There is always something else to do on this dissie. A new set of data to consider or crunch. Calling it all-consuming would not be an exaggeration. He works all weekend, every weekend. He stays up until 4am, every night. He is OVER it. Sick and tired of this paper. Stressed. Burnt out. Tired. Blah. Nervous. On edge. Irritable. Ready for the next thing. (Hopefully, working.) But it’s not over yet.

The problem is that this means 99.9% of the childcare falls to me, when I’m not at work. I wake up with the babies at dawn every morning (since hubs has just turned in for his night of a few hours of sleep!), feed them, play with them, prep them for their morning naps, prep the day’s bottles, do dishes, laundry, then rush to get myself ready for work and out the door. (Weekday mornings became soooo hectic that I finally threw in the towel on pumping once the babies turned 6-months old, sniff, and now that they are three days away from being 7-months-old, I have officially weaned them and my formerly-ridiculously-ginormous-and-now-normal-size boobs.) I spend every moment of every weekend with them….do all of the bottles and solid food feedings and diaper changes and outdoor adventures and naps and bathtimes and bedtimes. The babies are my charge, and it can be overwhelming and exhausting. Obviously I love every moment with them, and they are beyond fun and cuddly and miraculous in every way, but it’s also hard.

Side note: I am stuck on percentages lately. I use them 50% too much. Haha.

Plus, I just miss spending time with hubs and wish he could be with the babies more because they are freaking awesome. 🙂 I know he wishes he could, too. And I wish I could be a bigger support to him. His research is TOTALLY over my head and so all I can do is check in (but not, you know, TOO often), listen (though he rarely wants to talk about this) and tell him the truth: I believe in him and we will get through whatever happens.

I feel a little helpless and frazzled and feel no right to whine about it and have no place to take my angst…. newborn twins + full-time job + a PhD candidate husband in his final year = no one understands.

Okay, rant over.  I know it’s a temporary thing. Another six-ish weeks of insanity as he takes today’s feedback into account and preps his applications. Then—hopefully—things will settle down a bit. Or, at least, settle into a different type of stress (him traveling for interviews—please lord—and both of us praying a job offer comes through). And hopefullyhopefullyhopefully he will be gainfully employed in several more months.

So any good vibes would be awesome.

20 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Ugh. Yip! Ugh. Yip!

I’ve been back at work for 2.5 weeks and have started to write about what it’s been like at least 3 times now and have ultimately decided this: My opinion changes hour to hour. Seriously. Ugh. Yip! Ugh. Yip! That’s kind of how it goes. In the same 24 hour period I have felt giddily grateful to have a job that I love, coworkers I enjoy interacting with, the ability to leave the house and do something that stretches me mentally, and a loving husband and awesome nanny who make it all possible. Later the same day, I’m bitter and tearful about how late I’m stuck at the office, I am heart-achingly missing the babies and literally contemplating how we could make a go of it with two babies and zero salaries (my hubs is in grad school, muhahahahaha).PS That last one isn’t going to happen. PSS I feel really lucky to have a job in this economy. And even better, a job that I  really love. (It would be totally soul-crushing to leave your baby/babies every morning to go to a job you don’t love.) I apologize for sounding like a jerk if it seems I’m whining about work or the fact that I miss my babies, because I know how incredibly, insanely lucky I am to have these things to talk about.

So yeah. Work. For the first couple days back I was like, “Awesome! This isn’s so bad, I can do this!”  But then….it turns out it’s pretty darn hard to be away from them all day. And then it’s morning again and time to get into the office and I miss my bus and then the train and the next bus and the next train because I literally can.not.say.goodbye.to.these.babies. And then I’m rushing rushing rushing home at night, trying to catch a half hour with them before they go to bed. It’s a lot of rushing around—and trying to find peace and quiet with the babies and hubs in between. I think it will get easier and I’ll get used to the fact that every night when I come home they honest-to-god look bigger and different than when I left then in the morning…..right?

Anyway! Some bullets….

  • They are up to 50th- (Champ) and 25th-percentile (Honey) for weights as of their 4-month appointment (non-adjusted!). I’ve stopped obsessively weighing them so much because they are such chubsters. But we still track their milk intake pretty rigidly.
  • Champ’s flat head on the right side was enough to cause concern, but nothing nearing “he needs to be in a helmet.” We were given some strict orders on how to turn his head to prevent it from getting any worse. I’ve read this happens more often in multiples (harder to turn their heads and prevent flat spots when you’re trying to focus on two babies at once)…but now it’s priority number one. Hubs tweaks his head position a half-dozen times a night!
  • Pumping is going….pretty well. The cons are that it takes away from how wonderfully unrestricted feeding time could be at dawn since I’m hooked up to a pump. And that Honey has totally lost interest in nursing (I 100% blame myself because I just couldn’t give her enough time on the boob to get thru a disinterested spell once I went back to work). And that it’s kind of a pain in the you-know-what to carry around my little cooler bag to and from the tiny, cold, dark supply closet they have me set up in. But whatever! The pros are that it feels awesome to DO SOMETHING for the babies (you know, besides bringing home the bacon) while I’m at work. And that Champ is still into nursing. And it burns a zillion and one calories. I am trying to make it to 6 months but we’ll see…..
  • I feel guilty that I can still nurse Champ 1x/day (more on the weekends) and not Honey. Sad face.
  • There are a few preggos in the office right now. It’s wonderful to not feel jealous. But I do look at them and think about how much I miss being pregnant. (Minus the anxiety!)
  • I feel like my work has been SO COLORED by IF or pregnancy and it’s SOOOOO weird to just BE at the office without that pain or anxiety. I can’t believe I’m going to leave it at that but it’s too complicated to say much more at this point.
  • Speaking of, this has been a really emotional few weeks for me and I’m not sure if it’s the work thing or the many anniversaries I’m finding everywhere I turn…..beginning of the cycle that worked, IUI day of the cycle that worked, IVF consult anniversary, wedding anniversary, weekend the babies probably implanted, etc etc etc. I think these anniversaries will be with me forever.
  • Our nanny is wonderful. Loving, nurturing, kind. There are teenie tiny things I could point out but I’m not going to because the truth is I could not ask for a bigger blessing: the peace of mind that our babies are safe and loved while I’m at work.
  • Honey rolled over from tummy to back on my first day back at work. (It seemed like a cruel/funny joke from the Universe.) Champ followed her 2 days later. Then a week after that he went from back to tummy. (Here’s hoping Honey might just be saving her first back-to-tummy roll for a weekend with Mama!) Honey loooooves to walk around as we hold her hands—it is out-of-control cute, she laughs and her eyes twinkle and she gives us the most ginormous gummy smiles. Champ folds into a little puddle when we try to put weight on his feet (hahahaha). They are talking up a storm, grabbing toys, grunting, giggling, clasping each other’s hands, and generally doing all of these incredible little-person–like things that absolutely amaze me.
  • Just when I think the babies are as cute as they could ever be, they are even cuter when they wake up the next day. Oh, my lord. It is just too much, it takes my breath away how sweet and innocent and happy and curious they are. They are good good little eggies.
  • I don’t get to put the babies to bed Wednesday, Thursday or Friday nights because of my work schedule. I think that has been the hardest part about being back at work. I won’t say more or I might never hit publish. 🙂

17 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Confessions

Tons of random ramblings at 9-weeks-old….

  • It’s dangerous for me to go to the baby section at Target….everything is so cheap so I go a little too crazy! Can’t resist sundresses for Honey and polo onesies for Champ.
  • I remember when I was on bedrest, a lot of folks IRL and in blog comments told me the worrying never ever ends when you have kids. This is definitely true, but I must say that the relief that the babies made it into the world safe and sound still has not worn off. I do not miss the intense anxiety of pregnancy one bit.
  • Whenever someone asks me the babies’ birth weights, I tend to add a disclaimer along these lines: “But I ate a ton of cheeseburgers and sheperd’s pie and milk shakes and protein during pregnancy!” I need to let it go.
  • Even though I was anxious most of the time, I loved every moment of being pregnant. I was pretty worried I’d get the baby blues after birth, but I didn’t. I think being so grateful to be able to walk around and do chores and lift things again took the edge off (since I’d been on bedrest for weeks).
  • I’ve been getting phantom kicks since the babies came out.
  • The babies are tiny celebrities whenever I take them out. People go crazy for twins. They deserve the attention, sweet sweet things!!!!!
  • I’m still amazed and grateful and over the moon happy that I can breastfeed. I was so so so so so worried I wouldn’t be able to.
  • I love bonding with the babies while nursing, and I love providing nutritious breast milk for them, but pumping all of the time takes. a. toll.
  • Plus, I miss my small boobs. They never grew or got sore during pregnancy, then BAM, right after giving birth, they arrived. I can’t fit into any of my button-up shirts or old tops.
  • But it is pretty cool that hubs mentions how “awesome” my boobs are at least once a day. 🙂 I have a serious rack, it’s out of control.
  • Even though we’re NOWHERE close to thinking about more kids, I do hope and pray that my cycle/period magically comes back when I stop breastfeeding. I want it to work again. (Pregnancy has been shown to “re-set” the body in some anovulatory women.) I think about that way too much.
  • Even though I’m BFing AND I’m anovulatory, hubs and I are using condoms just to be really really really safe. It seems so strange to use protection, considering the lengths we went to for our babies.
  • Condoms suck.
  • I REFUSE TO GO BACK ON THE PILL. I still blame it for my anovulation.
  • I wish I was skinny for my college reunion this weekend. I know that’s totally vain, and I just had twins, and yada yada….but I just don’t feel comfie in my bod right now. I have these huge boobs, a mushy tummy, a soft jawline…it’s okay, it’s just hard to be on display, if that makes sense? OF COURSE our babies are 200% worth it.
  • Even though I miss my pre-IF figure, I will say that breastfeeding burns a ton of calories. I’m almost at my pre-pregnancy weight—which is insane considering the amount I eat these days—everything just seems to be situated totally differently.
  • I’m running (shuffling) a few times a week, too. I sent an excited text to my little sister last week that I was up to running for 33 minutes straight and she wrote back, “Only that long, are you injured?” Uhhhhhhh, thanks? She doesn’t get that even though I’m “a runner,” you can’t take this much time off, give birth, and then have the muscle strength or fitness to bang out a five-miler. Kids!
  • I picked up the babies’ birth certificates downtown yesterday afternoon and tears welled up when I saw their names on those official documents and after signing for them as “Mother.” Wow wow  wow. It will never ever get old, I am in awe of my amazing luck and life.

I think that’s enough random-ness for one night! xoxo

17 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Home again home again, jiggity jig

I survived the wedding weekend and the 40 hours away from Champ and Honey and hubs! It ended up being really fun, and I am SO HAPPY I was able to be there to support my friend and watch her take this huge step of marriage in her life. I did miss the babies constantly and I called/texted/emailed hubs a dozen times to check on them. I brought one of Champ’s swaddle blankets with me and cuddled up with it on the plane rides and at night so I could smell their sweet baby smell while I was away. And anytime a wedding guest asked if I had pics of the babies, I whipped out my phone and showed them a few of the three hundred pics I have saved on there of the babies. 🙂 Their ears must’ve been ringing alllllllll weekend long.

I realized that it’s been FOREVER since I was truly in a social setting. Hubs and I went out to dinner on February 13 (his brother was visiting) and then the next morning the pre-term labor stuff happened and I was put on bedrest for five weeks, and then the babies came and I’ve been a hermit who only leaves to take walks, etc. Of course we’ve had friends over to visit, and we went out to dinner on my bday last month, but I haven’t been ACTIVELY social in about three months. I walk around the hourse in my lulu pants and glasses. I live on coffee and granola bars. It felt like I was being released into the wild! A blow out! Make-up! Pictures! Dancing! Small talk with six other bridesmaids! Cocktail hour! A sit-down dinner! A seven-hour long wedding reception in which to meet new people and catch up with old friends!

I felt like I went from being a hermit to a social butterfly. It was crazy and overwhelming but actually completely wonderful.

And OH MY GOSH was it amaaaaaaaaaaaaaazing to walk in our apartment door yesterday afternoon and to find my chubby babies waiting there. I felt like my heart was going to burst. We spent the ENTIRE afternoon snuggling and cuddling together in my bed. 🙂

I’m glad I got the social rust off, as we are heading to our 10-year college reunion in a couple of weeks. AHHHHHH!!!!! I reserve the right to change my mind, but the current plan is for all four of us to fly (!!!) to the East coast and set the babies up with hubs’s parents and spend the first night at their house. Then hubs and I will head to campus for a day and night sans babies. Then hubs’s parents will bring the babies up to campus on Saturday so we can introduce them to our friends. I actually ordered Honey a dress and Champ a polo shirt in our school colors, so I think this is really and truly happening.

If you had told me, when they were born at under 5 pounds, that we would be able to (physcially and emotionally!) take them on a plane trip at 10-weeks old and introduce them to our best college friends, I would’ve thought you were crazy. But their ped has given them 110% clearance to travel. And I think it’s going to happen….

So yeah, basically I have two weeks to try to get my body in a place I feel good about. Honestly? I just don’t have the time or energy to exercise and lift like I need to in order to get my figure back. And I eat even more these days (breastfeeding makes me super hungry) than when I was pregnant. It’s not a good time to diet. (Of course, I don’t really need ice cream at night, but that’s another story!) Being a couple months postpartum and seeing tons of peeps you haven’t seen in 10 years = not ideal timing. I’m going to do a post on recovery from bedrest and birth + exercise + eating, etc at another time. But these babies are (of course!!!!) worth this soft body with its ginormous boobs!!!

13 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

One month old!

The babies are four weeks and 3 days old!!!!!!!! We took them to their one-month check-up this morning. It’s crazy thinking back on making the first trip to the ped exactly one month ago. I was so exhausted (I still am), the car seats felt so heavy (they still do)….but everything else felt more manageable today. I still have no clue what I’m doing 99% of the time, but I feel muuuuuuch more comfortable toting them around and it doesn’t take nearly as long to get out of the house. The appointment was great, all of the babies’ hard work at feedings was reflected on the scale. (YIP!) We have two butterballs (hahaha) weighing in at a whopping 6 pounds 11 ounces (Char.lie, he gained 1.5 pounds in 2 weeks) and 6 pounds 2 ounces (Lu.cy, she gained 17 ounces in 2 weeks…and it seems to be allllll belly, haha, sweet sweet girl). Great job, babies!

Lu.cy has some serious gas or possibly reflux issues that I will address in another post, after trying out a couple of fixes the ped recommended. The good news is that she’s not crying 24-7, she’s just grunting/groaning/semi-wailing most of the time (unless she’s eating or cuddled onto my chest). Poor little thing. I feel so bad for her that she’s so uncomfortable. And I feel so lucky that Char.lie is currently quite mellow in the digestion department (no jinxies!!). We are so incredibly happy and also so very very grateful for these sweet sweet babies: Along with hubs, they are the lights of my life. 🙂

Okay, here’s a little glossary of the terminology being thrown around in our house lately…

Last chance feeding – The feeds on the morning of any ped appointment, when we encourage the babies to really really really suck down that yummy breast milk to tip the scale a tad higher at the weigh-in. A la “last chance workouts” on The Biggest Loser…except with the opposite goal.

Piranha – A strong latch on the boob. When I’ve got a baby on me, if hubs is in room, he’ll look over and ask, “Piranha?” Also can be a verb if the sucking is especially vigorous, as in, “Oh my gosh, he’s really piranhaing me right now!”

Cookie monster – A very hungry baby. Also can be a verb, as in, “is she Cookie Monstering?” if the baby is rooting around like crazy.

Magical forest – Their play mat. It has cute little animals hanging all over it. We like to do tummy time on the mat and we also put them in their Boppys so they can reach for/observe the forest creatures up close.

Spa day a.k.a. bath time. We still do sponge baths on the changing table with the babies, even though their umbilical cord stumps fell off weeks ago. They, umm, don’t really enjoy being cold or naked, so we turn on the sound machine to rainforest or ocean sounds and regale them with stories about the luxe spa treatment they are getting. 🙂

Current most-used nicknames for Char.lie: Chaz Ma Taz, Bright Eyes, Butterball, CW, C-Man

Current most-used nicknames for Lu.cy: Lucy Pie, Luce Ma Goose, Honey, Baby Doll, Lucy Lou

19 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized