Thursday, October 16, 2008

Crying It Out

Though there are many things difficult about parenting I think getting kids to sleep is at the top of the list. I am writin this as my baby girls "cry it out" upstairs for the fifth night in a row. UGH!! I absolutely HATE it! However, with two babies you can imagine how elusive sleep can be. Up until this week I hadn't really been able to talk to my husband unless a few stressed words over crying babies counts (it doesn't in my book). My DVR is at risk of not recording because it is so full since I have been running up and down the stairs pushing binkies into two crying mouths. It seemed once one baby was asleep the other would wake and around and around we'd go. That would be my night. I'd end up feeling a combination of resentment (if my husband had his turn downstairs) or guilt (that he was stuck up there). So, after we decided to consult a child sleep specialist (Kim West, author of Good Night Sleep Tight), and I read Dr. Marc Weisbluth's Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child; I decided to let them "cry it out". It doesn't seem to be progressing as well or as quickly as I thought. It took our son about a week of max thirty minute crying to get it. That was after he nursed himself to sleep for a year then suddenly decided that he wouldn't fall asleep that way anymore. That was a year of a bad habit. I am starting this early thinking that it can't possibly take that long! But you see, they get stubbornness from both sides of our families. Why couldn't we just have easy, lay you down and you look around and whammy you're asleep. Ahhhh, the challenges of parenting twins!! I guess there is one good thing - they will usually fall asleep for naps without the screaming. Thank God for small blessings!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sweet Singing

Tadhg and I have been taking Music Together classes since he was nine months old. He always seemed to respond to music from birth, so naturally I thought he would enjoy music classes. He started out swaying and "dancing" to his music. He then moved on to playing instruments, to chanting or just speaking the words of songs, he would finish a line of a song if I started it. We had to take a brief hiatus from class while I was pregnant and I was anxious to get back. We started last week and the new music collection is lots of fun. It includes some classics like "Itsy Bitsy Spider" and "My Bonny Lies Over the Ocean". Well, I was awakened by the sweetest sound this morning, my little guy singing "Itsy Bitsy Spider"! He was singing with great pitch and sang the words so clearly! It was so cool and exactly what I've been waiting for for the last year and a half. He gets very shy if you ask him to perform though, so I'll have to listen for those moments when he thinks no one is listening! Trying to catch that on tape should be interesting!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Smiles and Babbles

As the girls have started to smile and babble it got me to thinking about Tadhg. I remember when he started to babble. I wondered what his first words would be and even how his little voice would sound. Well, he's just the cutest little talker now! His gestures and pronunciations constantly crack us up. In fact more than a few times I've been caught smiling or laughing when he is being corrected. This cracks him up, and makes for lackluster dicipline to say the least! I have resolved to get the video camera out to capture all the girls' little sounds as well asTadhg's many words. It's just so much fun to watch yoour kids grow!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

My Last Babies

It's so interesting the things I think about while trying to fall asleep. I mean really, you'd think I would be out as soon as my head hit the pillow! Maybe it's the fact that lately I've had a fussy baby in my arms as I try to catch a catnap as she falls asleep enough to move her back to her room, but I digress. I was thinking about a comment I've heard from many mommy friends when they have decided that their family is complete. They talk about relishing this tiny baby as it is the last one they will have. Relishing includes rocking, feeding, and just general cuddles. I'm envious of this ability to relish this time in the above mentioned ways. I realize that I just can't cuddle two at a time in the same way. There are four eyes to stare into, instead of two (it makes it really difficult to make eye contact at the same time). Granted I do get a little time when I'm nursing them or they or needing to be in my arms to fall asleep. But I mostly find myself just wanting them to fall aleep already so I can catch some rest! When you read emails from fellow multiple moms asking when it gets easier the responses go on about how much easier it is around 4-5 months, basically because they are needing less of that one-on-one attention. So yet again I fear I am just wishing away the last moments I will have to cuddle my last little babies.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Two Month Check - Up

So we went to the doctor yesterday and the girls are growing like weeds! They've gained 3 pounds in a month! Pretty amazing. I read somewhere that mother's milk changes composition to nourish a premature baby. I really believe it! My milk is really fatty and the girls are clearly gaining well! I am just in awe of how the human body can adjust itself in such a way. Amazing!

We're starting to nap upstairs in the crib and have even moved in there at night. Last night was the first time they have not slept in the bouncy seats. I am hoping it was not just an easy transition because they were so out of it due to the shots, we'll see what tonight brings!

I'm happy to say that life is beginning to return to a new "normal". At least Tim is back upstairs and getting a decent amount of sleep. It's nice to have him back!

All By Myself

So I've had a couple of Wednesday all by myself. It hasn't been too bad. The first day we trekked to the neighborhood playground with the "Big Caboose". I think I was pushing around 100 pounds! I really didn't think it through prior to leaving for the walk. As I'm heading downhill I am realizing I need to push this thing back up the hill to get home! I managed, but that ten minute walk home was a serious workout! I think I will stick with walking at the park where there is a slightly more level path! All in all it was nice to get teh kiddos out and meet up with some other neighborhood moms. I still love my help the other days of the week!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Where Does Milk Come From?

I must share this. Before the babies arrived I posed the above question to my son expecting this answer: Cow. This is the answer I received: Mommy's boobies. How funny! I may have mentioned breastfeeding in passing to get him ready for when I feed the babies. Now that they are here, Tadhg is fascinated by my feeding the babies. He is fascinated by everything to do with breastfeeding. He is very interested in my pump, and wants to help if I'm pumping (by help I mean push buttons and turn dials when he shouldn't). It's a good thing I'm not bothered by his intense interest in all things breastfeeding. Hopefully he will be very helpful to his wife one day should she choose to breastfeed my grandbabies!

One Month Check - Up

The girls had their one month appointment on Friday. They are doing great! They're both around 7lbs., now. The doctor was impressed that they are breastfed. She said I must be making heavy cream - too funny! The green poop is normal according to her. We're keeping an eye on the reflux. Sleeping in the bouncy seat or swing is fine until they are three months. If we are still having issues and they are uncomfortable to be oin their backs in the crib then we may consider meds for the reflux. The girls are starting to stretch out their feedings to three hours during the day and night. Sometimes at night they have even almost made it four hours - Woo hoo!! So things are looking up. And it's a good thing, as my husband says, our day of reckoning is coming soon. My Aunt is here next week. My mom for the week after then we're on our own except for a weekly visit from my mom and our family friend, Ms. Ann. It's amazing how fast the six weeks goes!

I'm an Idiot!

Okay. I am very unlucky with illnesses once I bring my babies home from the hospital. When I had Tadhg I woke up at 2:00am (the night we brought him home) with a horrible stomach virus. Not lots of fun after a c-section. It lasted a couple of days, during this time I was unable to nurse or even pump. My poor husband and mother had to finger feed my little guy formula.

Here we are now 2008. We get home with the girls and I'm feeling great and so happy not to be hit with any stomach virus this time. Fast forward four weeks. I've been having some mild symtoms of a UTI, but am waiting for my OB follow-up on Monday the 4th. Bad move. On Thursday afternoon I am suddenly very fatigued when it is time to head downstairs. Once down there I started to get terrible chills. I took my temperature, 99.9, unusual for me. Take some ibuprophen. Still have the chills, take temp again up to 101.4. I realize something's going on for sure. It's after doctor's hours. I call Nighttime Pediatrics. I go for my appointment at 6:20. They get me in pretty quickly. I'm feeling like total CRAP, my back is hurting on top of my fever and headache. When I go back to see the doctor they take my vitals. My temperature is up to 102.8, after taking ibuprophen at 4:00! The doctor comes in and asks a bunch of questions. So, a lightbulb goes off when I realize that my night sweats and extreme thirst is probably from being sick and running a fever I didn't know I had! I'm such an IDIOT! Why did I wait to see someone? Now, my blood pressure is stroke high (170/106) and my pulse is up to 122 (I'm lethargic and sitting completely still). I have a UTI/bladder infection as well as a kidney infection! I have to get an injection of antibiotics and a prescription to start the next day. If my temp is not down to at least 100 by the morning I have strict instructions to head to the emergency room! WOW! I really did it didn't I?

It's now Saturday. I'm happy to say, I'm feeling much better and am on the mend.

Apparently we have to have some mommy drama after we bring home baby!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

On My Own

So I'm starting to think about how things are going to be when I am all by myself with the three kiddos. I still have help for the next three weeks since I have to wait to take the stairs frequently, and not do any heavy lifting. I plan to practice doing things on my own the last week when my mom is here. It should be very interesting as my son is really exhibiting two year old behavior these days! He is all about doing things on his own, and has started to throw more tantrums when he can't have his way. I'm hoping some of his less than enjoyable behavior is from lack of "mommy and me time". We are going to take music class again in the fall while someone stays with the girls so that should help a little. It will definately be a circus here much of the time!

Mystery Solved?

Well, we've had a couple of better nights here, thanks to the use of carseats. I have tried putting the girls in their carseats or bouncy seats. Seems to make them more comfortable. I'm thinking they have reflux. The doctor said to keep an eye on it. Ciara has started to spit up after eating and they both seem to fuss or scream after eating when they are laid flat. I have actually had a couple of nights with an hour or two stretch of sleep. They've even gone three to four hours between a couple of feedings! It's not super consistent on the sleep side of things but not having them crying most of the night and sleeping even a little has been wonderful! They have their one month check on Friday so we'll have to see what the doctor says.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Bring on the Night

As I write this post I have a baby in my arms. Apparently we just don't like to cooperate with mommy after the sun goes down. After an extremely long night of screaming, and painful tummy aches (and needing to call for reinforcements AKA Grammy) we went to the doctor. The girls are both continuing to gain weight and are otrherwise perfectly healthy. Their green poop, and discomfort through the night seems to be a virus. I'm not convinced and am planning to cut out some potentially offensive foods to see if that will help. It's also possible we have some colicky new additions to our clan (I could so do without that). The doc said we'll hasve to wait a few more days to see if a pattern emerges to determine that. So while we wait to get things sorted out, I've decided to embrace the night and take the opportunity to catch up on my blog as well as email. If I'm having to nap all day anyway I might as well find a way to enjoy the darkness. Hey, if you're a night owl and feel like chatting let me know, I'll give you a call!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Wishing Away?

Sleepless nights suck! I have to say that I am so ready for these girls to get their schedules together, and to start sleeping consistantly at night. They seem to be very fussy and uncomfortable at night. The miracle blanket doesn't seem to be working any miracles. They don't get out of the swaddle which is great, but they aren't sleeping any better with them. I sit in the rocker at night, eyes bleeding from lack of sleep, and keep telling myself that this will pass and soon they will sleep better. I feel like I am wishig time away, but it's so hard to enjoy this time when you are so tired. I long for a little normalcy. I miss hanging out with Tim at the end of the day and catching our favorite shows. Our DVR is so full at the moment! I am so sick of being upstairs and having to nap throughout the day just to survive. I know I will look back on these days, will it be with fondness or greatfulness that it's over??!!!

Two Week Check -Up

We had our two week check on Monday and I must say I am really proud that both girls weighed in at 5lbs. 9oz. The doctors want babies to get back to their birth weight by this check and they exceeded that expectation! It is really awesome to know that I am giving them what they need to grow. It makes the sleepless nights a little more worth it. I hope to continue to have plenty of milk and to make breastfeeding work for all of us.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

No Instant Miracle

There was no miracle in my house last night! We got the blankets washed them and started using them right away. They are super easy to use and you definately get them swaddled and they can't get out. However, we still had a problem with them trying to get out. This led to much grunting and frustrated screams. We kept them in there figuring they will eventually just give up. That didn't happen last night, but hopefully in a few days. The package did mention that babies might be fussy when you first start using the blanket but after a week they "will relax at the sight of the blanket" - we'll see...

Of course they are sound asleep as I write this. I have decided to open the blinds, not be so quiet and see if we can get them to have more awake peiods during the day. We need to start helping them tell day from night. The problem with this is that I may not get to nap as much. I'll have to get my helpers to take them downstairs if I really need to sleep and just hope they catch their hunger cues before they are going nuts to eat!

I just keep reminding myself that in a few weeks this will pass.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Up All Night

So, we've been home about a week now. I can honestly saw I hadn't really gotten my head around how tough the nights would be. The girls just seem to take turns being fussy at night - so much fun for mom and dad! They seem to get real annoyed at being swaddled. They just grunt and fuss until they break out! Thank God they don't wake each other up. I really think there were at least two nights where I maybe got an hour or two of sleep. I'm so glad that I have mastered nursing both girls at the same time. I have become skilled at sleeping in the rocker feeding them. That has given me a little more time to sleep, (theoretically). We just need to get these girls to stay awake a little more during the day and sleep more at night. We just purchased something called the Miracle Blanket to swaddle the little houdinis. We're hoping it will help us get more rest tonight - we'll see...

Tim goes back to work on Monday. My mom will be here, so that will be great. We have worked out a schedule at night that allows Tim to catch some zzz's downstairs, and then he comes up later to help me. I have luckily gotten down a routine where I can get both changed and feeding by myself.
Right now I am upstairs most of the day so I can rest. The real fun will begin when we move this show downstairs during the day and I have to learn how to balance the babies and Tadhg. Thank God for helpers as we make these transitions!
The troops are stirring - could it be time to eat again already??

Thursday, July 10, 2008

My Little Guy

I never expected to be filled with such emotion over managing my time between the new babies and Tadhg. I am brought to tears often these days just looking at him. Yes, it probably has a lot to do with hormones and lack of sleep, but I really miss him. Since February I have had to have help with him and haven't been able to pick him up. We had to stop our music classes, and I wasn't able to take him to swimming lessons. I know with time things will return to a more "normal" routine and I will be able to get back to spending time with him. I just hope I will be able to find that balance between his sisters and him.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Little Miracles, Watched by Angels

The truely amazing thing about having these two little girls is the fact that they have their angel sisters watching over them. What are the chances that we would conceive two sets of fraternal girl twins? It really blows our minds. What's even more incredible is that Maura and Ciara were born on their big sister's due date! Is that a sign from above or what? Some have asked how I feel about these babies being girls. I'm thrilled that we have two healthy babies, I don't really connect the two sets because they are four seperate people. I do have a fear that others will not see it as such and might look at Maura and Ciara as replacements for what we lost. I guess we will just have to deal with those comments as they happen, if they happen. Regardless, we feel truely blessed. When our children are old enough to understand we will share the story of their sisters and celebrate their short lives.

Monday, June 30, 2008

They're Here!

Last night I had a very restless sleep and after getting up and weighing myself I anounced to my husband that I didn't think my body could handle another pound. Funny, too because I gained five more with my son - go figure! So I started about my day (slowly, very slowly), getting Tadhg his breakfast and then planted my self on my couch while I awaited a dear friend who has been helping out with Tadhg a couple of days a week since February. I felt a couple of Braxton-Hicks contractions and didn't think much of them as they were a frequent occurance. A little while later it occured to me that they were happening more frequently and were becoming painful. I had an appointment at my OB that afternoon but though I'd better call. So I do and they tell me to come to Labor and Delivery. So I scramble to call my husband and see if anyone close by could take me to the hospital (crazy me wanted to drive myself but the nurse said I shouldn't). Tim gets home around lunchtime and we grab our bags kiss our son and head off. Thank goodness I have had help since I had a cerclage put in in February, not having to find someone for my son was one less thing to worry about. Now mind you I am not really thinking we're going to have these babies, I'm only 34 weeks. I'd been told I probably wouldn't make it to my scheduled C-section but my personal goal was to make it to 35 weeks. Well, those little girls had other plans. I was indeed in labor, they tried to see if contractions would stop with IV fluids. My labor became inactive and we were given the choice to go home and come back when they became more intense or, (the doctor's recommendation) to deliver that night. While we were concerned that it may be too early, and not wanting to have our babies in NICU if they were too early, we finally decided we'd go with the doctor's recommendation. I'm so glad we did because I couldn't imagine how on edge we would have been waiting for things to become more intense. Good thing too, because when the doctor removed my cerclage, I was 4 cm dilated - they were coming that night either way!

And so they did, we welcomed our beautiful little girls at 8:23pm and 8:25pm.
Maura Christine weighed 5lbs. 1oz, 18 inches
Ciara Anne weighed 5lbs. 3oz., 18 inches

They were healthy and didn't need to go to the NICU - pretty amazing for 34 weekers!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Let's Try This Again

I let the ball drop in a big way on my blog. Call me crazy but I thought it would be great to start up again as there will be tons of good material now that we have added twins to our brood.