Well, another milestone will be here (tomorrow to be exact) 6 months ago I had taken a day off of work for ‘not feeling well.” I went to my OB to be sure that I had nothing to be worrying about, and my OB confirmed that I was 1) not dilating 2) not effaced so not exhibiting ANY signs of spontaneous labor starting anytime soon….
Boy were we wrong, that’s why tomorrow, my fraternal boys Marcus Gabriel and Kieran Michael will be turning 6 months old (from birth) and will be an adjusted age of 4 1/2 months due to their 6 week early arrival. Continue reading
I just wanted to send a shout out to any of the readers that may happen to come across our site and check in once in a while. We have ambitious goals for our blog, but have not had the focus to build it as quickly as we hoped. Parenting is exhausting and time consuming but we will persevere and get back on track. Please bear with us. We will try to be better about posting more frequently and with that have more to offer you. Please let us know if you have specific questions or concerns about raising your twins and multiples. We would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you kindly.
I just received this card in the mail from the Mothers Milk Bank and it kind of blew my mind.
Because Alora and Mira were in NICU for three weeks and it took them a couple months after arriving home to finally be able to nurse completely without any more bottles, I had pumped milk every three hours for several weeks straight. Early on the girls were eating a few cc’s per feeding and I was pumping a few ounces at a time, so my stores in the freezer quickly grew to more than was necessary for us to keep. We hung on to it all for a while not knowing if my supply would suddenly drop off or if we would need it for some unforeseen reason. Eventually though we realized that most of the milk Continue reading
Make these cookies to have around on the days when you feel extra stressed or when you just need a little treat for yourself. I even stored some in the freezer and thawed them in the microwave a few seconds to make them warm and gooey! The flax, oats, and brewer’s yeast all help your body to produce more milk. But don’t worry, if your husband or children eat some, I promise they won’t start lactating! Unless of course you want the cookies all to yourself, then feel free to tell them they will! Continue reading
1. A double nursing pillow
The My Breast Friend Double Nursing Pillow was what I used and LOVED it. It made bottle feeding, nursing both single and tandem all very easy. It has a fairly large surface so that both infants fit on easily, and a handy dandy pocket on the right side for some of the later listed “must-have”. It wasn’t until our girls were four to five months old that they started to get a little cramped. But by that point, it was starting to be easier and less time consuming to nurse them individually rather than tandem all the time. If you are a member of a twins club, check with them to see if they have nursing pillow to borrow. I know our club does and it is nice to try a pillow out to make sure it works for you before you make the investment to buy one.
I was extremely dedicated to breast feeding all three of my children. The numerous health giving benefits, both physical and emotional, were well worth any sacrifice I was going to have to make. When Alora and Mira were born I knew that I was going to do everything in my power to nurse them until I was ready to wean them or my milk supply died, whichever came first. I was concerned in the beginning that my supply would not be able to keep up with the demands of two infants. Boy was I wrong….Chris joked about me being able to feed all the babies on the block because I produced so much.
There are a few key things that made breastfeeding our twins a success. I want to share Continue reading
I know Callie and Chris have talked about how looking back on the first few months things are such a blur… they really are. Our twins, Marcus and Kieran just turned 4 months old on April 17, 2012. We had their well baby visit on Friday April 20th (Marcus 12 lbs 10oz and 24 inches, Kieran 12 lbs 5.6oz and 24 inches)
I do not remember much of the month of January at all.
- I was struggling to get in my full “twin” milk supply for breastfeeding
- We were still bottle feeding one baby while I would nurse the other
- The boys could only nurse with a nipple shield, including all the challenges Callie talks about with using one
- Sleep exhaustion was pretty prevalent, causing my husband and I to be overly “snippy” with each other
One thing that helped me through the early months to keep track of who fed when, etc was I bought a small 1 subject spiral notebook. Continue reading
A twin pregnancy brings with it extra risks no matter the type of twins they are. Twins that share a placenta bring with them a significant extra risk. The day we got the news of expecting twins, we weren’t given much information. See, our initial plans were to have our baby at a midwifery center, so our prenatal checkups were scheduled with a midwife. Immediately following the ultrasound, we met with one of the four nurse midwives to discuss the results. She happened to be very new to the facility, and wasn’t familiar with their practices, so there wasn’t a lot to discuss. With our appointment being after five o’clock in the afternoon, the only thing we knew at that time was that they were the same sex (although we didn’t know what), and there wasn’t anyone around to ask more questions.
Early the morning after our ultrasound, Callie received a call from the midwifery center to let her know that we needed to have another ultrasound, this one a high resolution with a perinatologist, or maternal-fetal medicine practitioner. It was at this point that we were told our babies were identical twins and shared a placenta. What the standard ultrasound couldn’t determine was whether or not the babies shared an amniotic sac. The ultrasound was scheduled two days later, and this is when we found out about the risks of a mono-di pregnancy, one of which is twin to twin transfusion.
Twin to twin transfusion is a dangerous, and potentially life threatening (to the babies) condition. It is brought on by what is typically referred to as a shunt (shortened pathway) developing between the two umbilical cords in the placenta. This shunt can allow blood to flow equally in either direction or more in one direction than the other. The situation becomes problematic when the blood flow is only in one direction. When this happens, one baby receives all of their oxygen and nourishment as well as a portion of the other baby’s fetal blood. This situation is equally dangerous for both the little ones, just in different ways. For the baby giving up some of the fetal blood, the obvious concerns are lack of oxygenation, undernourishment, and underdevelopment. In the case of the receiver, there can be enlargement of the heart and potential heart failure if the situation gets too bad.
The condition is typically diagnosed via ultrasound measurements of the babies’ sizes, as well as the relative measurements of the amniotic sac size. If you are pregnant with twins sharing a placenta, ultrasounds will occur on a regular basis, with increasing frequency the later in pregnancy you are. As long as the babies continue to grow at the same rate, and their isn’t a large discrepancy in the size of the amniotic sac, these will be rather uneventful, and even somewhat enjoyable from the standpoint that you get to “see” your baby more often. In the case that either of the two aforementioned signs begin to show, your perinatologist may want to see you more frequently, but that may only happen if the discrepancy shows a marked jump between appointments.
There are interventions your doctor may recommend that are possible to slow or stop the TTS, but this often depends on the gestational age of your babies. One intervention is to perform an amniocentesis to remove some of the fluid from the receiver baby. This takes pressure off of the heart, and equalizes the relative pressures between the amniotic sac for a period of time. There are pregnancies where an amniocentesis will be performed multiple times if the TTS begins early enough. Another, much more intrusive, remedy is to perform inutero laser surgery to close off the shunt.
Our pregnancy began to show signs of TTS at about 28 week’s gestational age, with a noted difference in both fetal size as well as that of the amniotic sac. This situation continued for about a month until a little past 32 ½ weeks. At that particular appointment, we had met the “threshold” or the situation where it starts to become more dangerous for the babies to be in the womb than outside of it. This threshold is typically when the babies are at or greater than 10% different in size. In our case, they were slightly over the 10%, and baby A had very little amniotic fluid while baby B had a very large, very full amniotic sac. At this point, we were told that these babies would be Continue reading
Although no one could have prepared us completely for the life altering, insanely challenging task of raising premature twins, we thought we had a pretty good handle on things that first day we brought our twins home from the hospital. That is, until we pulled into our driveway and realized that the 24 hour nursing staff wasn’t going to greet us at our door to make sure that everything was going to be A-okay for the next eighteen years! I don’t mean to scare you, but nothing can really prepare you for the struggles that you will face when bringing home two or more newborn babies, no matter how many other children you have had. Actually I have to be quite honest with you, I have a really difficult time remembering the first few months after Alora and Mira came home. There are bits Continue reading
Having a happy healthy relationship, and finding time for your significant other, is enough of a challenge in today’s fast paced society. Trying to keep things in perspective, and maintain a marriage with young children becomes even more challenging. When there are two infants (not to mention a two year old) demanding care around the clock, a healthy adult relationship becomes a near impossibility. Finding time for private adult discussions often happens in the middle of the night, when you are both pretty much incoherent. Feelings of loneliness can surface due to the lack of significant interaction with your spouse. Keeping “the flame” alive during these months is more challenge than one could ever know.
Even though this may all be the case, all couple’s first priority needs to be to each other. Without a thriving relationship the teamwork that is absolutely necessary during what I can only describe as one of the most challenging years of my life becomes overly difficult to sustain. As with success in any venture in life, communication between spouse’s is key to helping each other survive the first year with multiples. Our Continue reading