Friday, October 6, 2017

The Twins 5 Month Update

Well the past month has been a little too exciting! I honestly don't feel like reliving it which is why I will just keep it short and sweet.

"Can you believe we are 5 months old?!"

In summary, Cullen and Everett did indeed have undiagnosed TAPS at birth (a form of twin to twin transfusion) which caused Cullen to become severely anemic. That's why Everett was red and Cullen was so pale. Cullen got a blood transfusion a few weeks ago and his hemoglobin levels have increased and are heading in the right direction. I will feel much better once everything is in the normal range.

Now for the fun stuff! These boys are both rolling all over the place. They also are trying to crawl by tucking their knees up and then pushing. They grab their toys with their hands and put them in their mouth. They're such big boys I can't even stand it. They also both sleep on their bellies at night now (although Cullen starts off on his back and doesn't turn to his tummy until after midnight).

- Cullen -
Still my prince charming but definitely more lively now. He is catching up to Everett quickly. He rolls onto his tummy almost as soon as we put him down. He has started to do this long yell thing if we aren't paying as much attention to him as he would like. He loves to make me laugh and smile. 

- Everett -
Still a mam's boy and a cuddler. He is getting so big and so strong. Everett has started this growl thing that is hilarious. I always know when it's him crying now because it has a loud growl at the end. He is a little beast. He also loves his brother and will lock eyes with Cullen and try to get him to play. 

They are still so happy (almost) all the time. We got Everett to laugh a few times and Cullen is nearly there. He gets a giggle out every so often but not quite a full belly laugh. They both love to be tickled and surprised. They interact more and more with each other every day it is seriously just melts me every time.

I think they have begun teething because everything is going in their mouths and they have tons of drool.

Sleep. They were rockstar sleepers! They went to bed at 6:30 pm and only woke up 1-2x around 12 and sometimes again at 4 before waking for the day at 7 am. But...they have started to wake back up every 90 mins - 2 hours for the first half of the night (noooooo). I am experimenting with when to give their iron drops to see if that was causing some tummy issues leading to the wake ups. Wish me luck!

I just can't believe they are already 5 months old. When my hubby get back from work next month they will be eating solid foods and probably nearly crawling! Time is in warp speed around here.

I am still adjusting to the mom-of-four thing. I just cannot do everything I want to do. I haven't been to the gym at all since Cullen's hospital stay. I told Brandon that lately it feels like I'm failing at everything all at the same time. I need to wrap my head around the fact that I won't be able to live my life to the same standards that I used to. For some reason, that's a really hard pill for me to swallow. I want my house to be clean, organized. I want healthy, homemade meals every night. I want to be in great shape again. I want to be a great mom who loves playing and spending time with her kids. Unfortunately, most days it just feels like whack-a-mole where I am just running ragged but not actually solving or finishing anything.

One day at a time. I am experimenting with new systems to simplify things and help me get back on track. That's all I have time for now so I will leave you with more cute boy pictures!

Friday, September 1, 2017

The Twins 4 Month Update

We celebrated having the twins in our lives for 4 months!! These two little hams are the light of my life. For real. It seems like somewhere after 15 weeks we just hit warp-speed. They are doing new things every day. They are both so happy and smiley. . . and the biggest thing is THEY FINALLY NOTICED EACH OTHER!

(sister walked in)

It seems like every time I write a blog post, things are going really well. And then the day after I hit "publish" it all starts crumbling around me. haha So I'm going to do my very best to go back and remember this entire last month- without my love-infatuated rose colored glasses.

Right on the Wonder Weeks App schedule (based on their actual birthday- not due date) my baby boys started Leap 4. This one is a doozy. {side note: if you have a baby and don't have the wonder weeks app download it right away} The babies brains make a huge leap and they change so much this month. They started to roll from back to belly and back again, they grab their toys, they follow me across the room with their eyes and in case you missed it above...the NOTICED each other. LOL

Before this leap, they were always together. They liked to snuggle but they only interacted with me or their daddy or sisters. Now they look at each other and smile and talk to each other. It is just as freaking adorable as it sounds. 

One of the funniest things happened the other night. I had just finished the boys bath and had to run downstairs to get their swaddle blankets. I put them in the crib together and when I came back upstairs Cullen was yelling in frustration. I took a peek and Cullen was trying to suck his thumb but every time he got his thumb in his mouth, Everett would swat his hand away. Then Cullen would yell and Everett would have the goofiest smile. And Repeat. These BOYS!!!

Related to that is both boys have started to suck their thumbs. I've never had a baby who sucked their thumb before. It's pretty nice because they can soothe themselves back to sleep or down for a nap a little easier. If they stick with it, I'm sure it will be a hard habit to break...can't just throw away their thumbs. But for now, I think it is adorable. 

Cullen is still the chiller easy-going one. If both babies are hungry and I can only feed one, he doesn't mind waiting. He will also unlatch himself when he is full and put himself to sleep on his own. 

Everett usually will nurse himself to sleep and even when he is fully asleep he won't let go. That probably explains the nearly 1 lb weight difference.

We have recently undergone the dreaded Four Month Sleep Regression! If you have kids then you know why it's in bold. Yuck. They were super cranky and had a really hard time sleeping for a while. They would only nap for about 10 mins (not even at the same time) during the day and were waking up 4-5x a night. I was so tired. I just kept telling myself that it was just a phase, I am in survival mode, the cleaning and laundry and cooking can wait. Our only goal was to survive. And guess what - we did! Praises!

They are back to taking slightly longer naps. Usually about an hour. They still won't nap in their room during the day and prefer to nap in the Rock n Play in the living room. Well actually they would prefer to nap on me but I have stuff to do. They have fallen into a predictable night routine where they cluster feed from 6-7pm and then sleep until 12:30am, wake up again to eat at 4:30am and then up for the day at 6:30am. 

I've been pretty worried about my milk supply lately. In the afternoons and evening it seems to tank. The boys are fussy and latching/unlatching and yelling in frustration. I do my best to drink tons of water and Lord knows I eat a ton. It makes me scared because they still won't take a bottle so even if I am told to supplement - I can't. I just need to trust my body to keep up but at this point it feels like a full time job. Exclusively breastfeeding twins is no joke. Of course feeding twins in any manner will be a challenge so don't think I'm complaining. Just saying that this is one area that twins are twice as much work. 

Lastly I will touch on my 4 month postpartum hormone crash. My hair is coming out in clumps. There is so much hair falling out that I always think it must be about to stop. .. but it doesn't. I now have about a 3/4' white line around my face where there used to be hair and now there is forehead. Wonderful. Another part of this hormone crash has been - well, my hormones. I started to feel depressed for the first time. It completely caught be off guard. It started with feeling like there was a lump in my throat. I always felt like I was on the verge of tears. I was also nauseous a lot. If I didn't know better I woulda thought I was pregnant. Anyway, it got worse and worse until I was sort of paralyzed by it. I couldn't really think of what I needed to do (make girls food, clean etc) and I couldn't even hold a conversation. I made no sense. It freaked me out. My brain was like scrambled eggs. So I decided to start taking my Placenta Pills again. Whoa! They worked within a few hours. The first day I took them I took two. I broke into a full body sweat about 2 hours after taking them and within 3 hours I felt like myself again. I've been taking at least one a day since then. I forgot to take them a few days ago and that afternoon I started crashing again. I am SO GLAD I have them. I don't know what I would do without them. If there was any doubt on the difference they made after I just gave birth- that doubt is gone now.

So that is the best I can do to recap the last month. I'm sure I have mentioned this every month but I don't think I will ever get used to the comments people make to me. Most of them are sympathetic in nature. They feel so sorry for me or want to help. The worst is when they act like having twins is the plague and that they would never want that to happen to themselves. I mean - part of me gets it. I stay awake at night sometimes and regret so many of the thoughts I had when I first found out about them. I was so scared. I didn't see it as a blessing, all I saw was WORK and HARD and NO SLEEP. So I know that's what these people see when they see me. But it is still a little hurtful when people talk about your children like they are some sort of disease. 

Yes, all my children have required me to become less selfish. They have required me to become a better version of myself. They have required my heart to double and quadruple in size. They have required me to love more and laugh more and dig deep when I feel like nothing is left. They have made my life better in every possible way. I could cry. They have been the biggest blessing and the greatest gifts (well except age 2). And PS my sanity is brought to you by Jesus Christ and the YMCA.

I could imagine my life without them. It would be more organized. My house would be cleaner. I would be about 20 lbs lighter and have a ton more hair. I could wear clothes that don't have an elastic waistband. haha But they are SO worth it. Worth every wrinkle, every gray hair, every tear, every sloppy kiss and goofy smile. So when someone tells me they could never "do that" and point to my little squad I wish they were given the opportunity to try and to succeed and to impress themselves by simply keeping everyone alive by the end of the day.

That's it for now - Everett is hungry (again)., Talk to you in a month!

Sunday, July 30, 2017

The Twins 3 Month Update

How has it been 3 months already? At the same time, I don't remember what it was like to wake up without these adorable faces smiling at me!

They are definitely getting big! I don't have exact weights because I returned the baby scale and we don't have a doctor appt until their 4 month check-up but they are filling out their 3-6 month clothes quite nicely. They are in size 2 diapers but can wear a 3 for overnight. We are about to have to transition out of the SwaddleMe's as well (sad face). They wake themselves up at night and bust their arms out.

Nightime is about the same. I do their bedtime routine at 6:00 pm. I bathe them together and sing to them while I put on their pj's. Then I swaddle them up and nurse them both until they let go. I've started to have to separate them for sleep in the middle of the night but I still put them down to bed together. They will usually sleep from 6:30 pm until 10-11 or even 2 am sometimes. After that, they are up to nurse every 2-3 hours until morning. I'm still doing well with the lack of sleep (surprisingly).

 One of my big fears when I learned I was having twins was them going through the hard stuff at the exact same time. Thankfully, that hasn't been the case. When they hit a growth spurt, one baby will be fussy and wake up frequently for a couple days and then the other one will start. So I guess the length of fussiness is a bit longer but overall it's less stressful because I don't have 2 miserable babies at the same time.

Even in their hard times, they are still such easy-going and good-natured babies. I can be in a grumpy mood and changing their diaper and they just look up and give me the gummiest, happiest smile. Ahhhh I just melt every single time. They are the BEST!!!

Okay let's talk about their little personalities...

Cullen is still my little charmer. He is so stinkin' cute and sweet. He is super ticklish and tries to laugh when I tickle him. He absolutely loves when Isla or Avelyn come torture him. Even though it freaks me out, he loves to play with them. He is usually much more happy to hang out and look around, listen and watch. I can tell he can't wait until he can really get in the action though! Cullen is fun waiting to happen.

Everett is my little sweetheart. He has a little more reserved personality. He is still just as happy and easy going but he likes to cuddle and watch it all from the comfort of my arms. He doesn't like to be alone too long but will lay on my chest all day. He is so sweet and gives the dreamiest, meltiest smiles you've ever seen. 

I can't wait to see them interact more with each other. I think that will be coming in the next month or so.

It never ceases to amaze me how much people have to say about twins when we are out and about. You hear some pretty interesting things. For the most part, people feel bad for me and make the comment about my hands being so full. I'm sure I probably said the same thing before I had all these kids. But can I just say that these babies are the absolute BEST thing that has ever happened to me? They light. up. my. life. I couldn't imagine my life without them. We still haven't hit the wall or the "hard" that I keep expecting to. Maybe it will come and maybe it won't. But I really am the lucky one! 

I feel bad for not talking about my girls much. I guess it's so much easier to notice the changes in the babies from month to month more than my bigger girls. I will try to get a post about each of them out soon.