Wednesday, April 28, 2010

One month old!

I can not believe our babies are one month old.

(Or rather that they were yesterday...but Momma had a crazy day at home by herself with the babies and did not get around to posting yesterday, so this is a day late)

In some ways, this has been the longest month of my life. But on the exact same page, I can't believe it has already been an entire month!!

I can not believe there are only 11 more of these and the twins will be a year old... I am so not ready for time to be going by this quickly.

It has also been one of the hardest months of my life. I say the hardest with extreme humility. Being a new mother has rivaled any other experience in my life in regards to being humbled. I spent some time pondering why this is so, and I think I have a decent answer...

I am humbled by how much help I need. I assumed - very naively- that I would just fall into some super mom role where I could keep up with both my babies every need, keep up my house to a high standard of cleanliness, and keep up myself physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally. I just assumed I would be able to "step up" and do all of this, and that I would have no problem.

Why I assumed this, I have no idea. I am pleading insanity.

I am humbled by how un-natural it seems at times.

David has complimented me on more than one occasion on how prepared I had our house for these babies, how everything just "makes sense" where I had set it up.

I knew how to prepare for babies.

I grew up with 3 younger sisters. I started babysitting in the 5th grade. I even nannied for multiple families.

Preparing for their daily needs as far as diapering, feeding, clothing, bathing, etc...that I can do. It's logical to me.

What I did not prepare for is that these babies are people. They are individuals. I think it hit me the first time I picked one of them up when they were crying and I could not comfort them right away. I was honestly shocked. I had just assumed because I was there mother and they were my babies that we would just know each other perfectly right away.

Yes, they know me, to an extent. They know my voice from the womb. They are comforted by it somewhat. They do calm down -even if only for a moment- when I sing to them the special songs I sang all the time while I was pregnant.

And I know them, to an extent. When Luke gives me is little full body wiggle, I smile and remember all the times he would do that at 4am when I got up to go to the bathroom. When Abbey gets the hiccups multiple times during the day, I remember vividly how it was the same when she was inside of me. Or when she moves her arms and legs around slowly yet purposefully, it reminds me of the "Tai chi" she used to do in my stomach.

But they are still individuals, and they have likes and dislikes that I am learning about daily. And really, they are too. We are learning each other. And what I had been missing was a healthy respect for the time that can take.

We are learning more and more about each other every day though, and it's so special to see us "getting" each other. They hold our gaze now with their eyes, and that is incredible. They turn towards the sound of our voices sometimes. I can pick them up when they are freaking out, pull them towards me to nurse, and they almost always settle right in and calm down...and that makes me feel like a Momma =).

David and I may be overwhelmed a lot of the time, but we are incredibly grateful for these two little miracles.

Some stats:

-Luke you weighed 8 pounds 11 ounces today at the doctors

-Abbey you weighed 7 pounds 10 ounces...you were just under 2 pounds smaller than your brother at birth, and now just shy of 1 pound smaller, you sure are catching up!

-You are both still in newborn diapers

-You are both still in newborn clothes (although Luke some of your pants don't fit around your casts)

-You are both nursing really well, and as of today the lactation consultants said we could reduce your supplement to only TWO OUNCES A DAY...this is down from SIXTEEN a day when you came home from the hospital. HOORAY! God is so good and I am so thrilled that nursing is getting easier and my supply seems to be building to meet your needs.

-We don't need to go into too much detail for the entire world wide web to read, but Abbey you have your daddy's stomach and Luke you have your momma's. Enough said.

-You two play with each other and sometimes hold hands while I am tandem nursing you...it is the most precious thing ever.

-Abbey, you tend to be more of a whiner than a screamer. You can get worked up for sure, but most of the time you give us plenty of warning with bird like squawks (which your daddy and I find adorable) and general fussiness before you go into full on freak out mode. But when you do, look out =). You turn so red and your fists clench and you just flail your arms and legs around, it's so sad to watch! We just try and hold you close and whisper to you to comfort you. And when you do settle in, oh you are such a cuddler, it's Heavenly. You have the most beautiful big blue eyes and such delicate, feminine features. Your hair is getting lighter everyday, and almost looks strawberry blonde lately. Your daddy and I think you are just gorgeous. You are the more chatty twin, making little noises at us that are just too adorable. We can already tell that you have a lot to say =)

-Luke, you are the more tolerant twin. You handle things like your casts like a champ. But, you are a 0-60 kid. You tend to only give us 1 or 2 warning whimpers and then you are MAD. There is very little middle ground for you kiddo. Luckily you usually calm down easily. You love the binkie and if you aren't in a deep enough sleep you will cry every time it falls out. You are a snuggly little guy who loves to be held, and we sure do love to hold you. You could sleep for hours on end as long as one of us is holding you =).You have amazing neck muscles! You are so strong and you lift your head up all the time. Your hair is a little lighter than birth, but still pretty dark. It's so long in the back, and we are going to have to do something about that mullet soon buddy =). You have the most beautiful eyelashes that just slay me! They are so long and full...oh what a charmer you are already. You love to grab things and are happy to be playing with daddy's goat tee or holding one of our fingers. You make a lot of facial expressions, and we both swear you are so close to smiling...we can hardly wait!





This past Sunday was Luke and Abigail's first time at our wonderful Church. We love our Church so much, and it was really great to finally take our babies and introduce them to everyone who had prayed so faithfully for them for so many months.

The babies did great during Church, which was such a blessing. Abbey hung out in my arms and napped the entire service, and Luke slept in his daddy's arms while he ran the sound for the service.



And now some random pictures...

Momma & Abbeygirl


My mom's sweet friend Pam bought these outfits the very day we found out we were expecting a boy and a girl...



Little Lucas napping with Momma
Trying to get some use out of the swing...=)


The little twins in their matching bear outfits...couldn't you just eat them up???

Momma attempting to burp both babies at one time post nursing session...


Abbey in her cute little outfit =)
And Luke in his...=)


Happy one month babies, don't grow up too fast...

Monday, April 26, 2010

Redemption

I know, I have written about redemption before, here.

This is a continuation post in some ways to the first one.

In November of 2006, David and I lost our first pregnancy. In December of 2006, David's brother Tony and his wife Risa lost their first pregnancy.

It was a rough holiday season for our family.

Some might say it even made for a rough 2007.



Flash forward to Spring of 2010...

March 26th, 2010 when David and I are in the delivery room waiting to meet our children, and we find out Tony & Risa finally have an official court date to finalize their adoption...

March 31st, 2010 when David and I bring our babies home from the hospital, and Tony and Risa bring their children home (while still in the Ukraine for a bit) from the orphanage...

April 24th, 2010 when our children all met each other for the first time...


That is a picture of the Lord's sweet redemption.

Three and a half years later, we have 5 children between us.

We had ordinary in mind, and He had extraordinary.

The Lord led us on very different, difficult, beautiful journeys. And I know I speak for all 4 of us when I say that every second was completely worth it.


"My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you-I, whom you have redeemed" Psalm 71:23

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Look whose feet are back in view...

That's right...Luke's.


When we went back to the doctor for his first set of casts to be removed and his second set put on, the doctor was amazed at the progress of his feet. He at that point told us he was unsure if they were truly clubbed, or if it was just a positional problem from how he was during pregnancy. There was a greater chance of it being the latter given it was a twin pregnancy and therefor less room in utero and more squishing =). And seeing as how almost every ultrasound we had showed Luke pretty much head down in one position and Abbey sitting on him, we are tempted to believe this as well.

The doctor told us at that visit that Luke may not need the surgery after all, but that we would do 6 weeks of casts as planned, and then see how things looked. "Possibly" we could skip the surgery and second 6 week stint of casting, and go right to the braces/special shoes to wear for nights and naps...

Then this week we took him back in to have his second set of casts removed and third ones put on. They cut his casts off, and we had a bit of time to wait before the doctor came in to check him out. It was so sad to see how happy our son seemed. He kicked his little legs and wiggled his feet. He winced when we gently rubbed his little legs...they were so dry from the casting. He even had an open blister in his knee-pit, poor little guy.

We both enjoyed playing with him a bit while he was cast free. Then the doctor came in to take a look...

"What week are we on?"

"This was his second set..."

"Second?!?"

"Yes, he is here for his third set"

"Hmmm...." Doctor moves, twists, and turns Luke's feet all around, and then he says "Ok, I want to see you back in a week."

We both look at him and say "Sure, so now are we ready to start this weeks casts?"

And the doctor surprises us by saying "No, I am beginning to think we are over treating the situation... let's give him a week off and see how his feet do..."

I started crying right away. Had there not been a big exam table between us I would have jumped up and hugged the doctor.
(Probably a good thing there was a table...that doctor does not seem like the hugging type)

We were - of course- given precautions that Luke's feet very well could tighten up over the next week, and when we go in next we will find out that he does need to continue the casting. We are prepared for that.

But in the meantime, what a blessing.

That very night we came home and Lucas-Poocus and I took a nice bath together.

The very next day we had our newborn photo session, that had been scheduled 3 weeks prior.

The amazing thing about that is I had tried to get the photos done sooner, but we couldn't coordinate schedules with the photographer before this time...which ended up working out beautifully. The photos of our family include our son's chubby little legs, and adorable little toes, and no big ol' casts...glory to God.

Thank you to all who have so faithfully prayed for our sons feet. We have been preparing ourselves since we found out at 17 weeks pregnant for a long road of casting, surgery, more casting, and braces. So many of you -like my dear sweet bloggy friend Lori - have so faithfully prayed for a healing.

This may or may not be a healing completely, but this weeks reprieve feels like a big win. And we are not afraid to hope for this to be the end of our visits to this doctor.

Thanks be to God.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Pictures =)

Thank you so much for all your input to my last post...some great suggestions! I just LOVE blogging and the network it opens up!

I am so relieved that the overwhelming response was NOT to let them cry it out, I just don't have it in me =). I understand when they are older that may be something we need to do, but right now they are just so tiny and helpless and I just them to feel comforted when they need it. I want them to always know their needs will be met!

We still have a long way to go, but I am hopeful to try some of your suggestions. Abbey took at least 45 minutes to fall back asleep after each and every feeding last night. I tried something new each time...but nothing did the trick. She falls asleep when she is done nursing, stays asleep for like 10 minutes in the crib, and then is up...and not able to be settled...trial and error I suppose...and time =)

Sunday we had a super angry Abbey most of the afternoon and evening. Tried some gripe water (thanks for the tip Sally!) and that seemed to help some. David was able to comfort her with the "5 S's" of Happiest Baby on the Block (haven't read it or watched it in it's entirety, but we did catch some of it back in November at our feeding and care for multiples class). Later in the evening Abbey and I took a bath together...it was so nice. Not only was it soothing for her, but the skin to skin contact so good for us both after feeling like we were frustrated with each other during the afternoon =).

Anyways, here are some new pictures from the last few days...


I think Lucas looks like a little turtle here (an adorable turtle!!)



Luke trying to nurse on Daddy's nose =)


Daddy and Abigail


How he can nap like this I have no idea...I guess he was just meant to be a father of twins!



During one of Abbey's fussy sessions Sunday afternoon we put her in the bouncy seat with her brother (they like to be close together) and she fussed and fussed for a bit, and a minute later we looked down and saw this...


they had linked up arms..."come on, we can get through this together!"

Oh be still my heart!!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Polling the masses

Two posts in two days?!

I know, I am shocked too =).

But I was up this morning pondering a new parenting dilemma and thought to myself...I have a wealth of information just a few keystrokes away!!!

Not only are so many of my bloggy friends parents, but I know my family and lots of friends read this as well, and I am hoping to get some advice from you all...


I can't seem to settle the babies into their crib at night. Here is the typical scenario...

Babies wake up at 5:15am to feed. I get them, nurse them. They fall asleep on and off while nursing, and I do my best to subtly wake them so they nurse a good 45 minutes, stopping to burp once or twice during a feed. They both fall dead asleep. It's 6:00am on the dot. I pick Abbey up, burp her, set her down next to me. Pick Luke up, burp him, set him down next to me. Get up, swaddle Abbey, gently rock her and pat her back as we walk back to the nursery....

As I am doing this, Luke starts to stir, and by the time I am getting Abbey settled into the crib he is in full FREAK OUT mode.

Settle Abbey in the crib, come get Luke. Swaddle him, pick him up and gently rock him, pat his back as I walk him back to the nursery.

He takes awhile to settle back in, even with a binkie in his mouth.

Just as I lay him down, Abbey gets going again.

No, they are not waking each other up, I promise. One can be SCREAMING in the others ear and they don't budge.

I pick Abbey up, try and comfort her... she just won't settle in.

Before you know it, it's 7:15am.

I have now spent over an hour trying to settle them back to sleep.


What's a momma to do?

They both calm down when I pick them up, so I know they just want to be held. But the bottom line is I am physically unable to sleep with a baby on me. David can sleep with a baby on his chest or at his side, I just can't.

Do you let newborns "cry it out"?? I am not a big fan of that idea this early...they are just so small and I want them to know their needs are being met...plus they just seem to crescendo...not settle in.


Please understand I know these babies are newborns and I by NO MEANS expect them to be sleeping through the night or anything like that!!! It's just that at 7:55am Abbey was up again to feed...so I got less than 30 minutes sleep. Which would be FINE except I just don't understand why it is taking me so long to put them to sleep after they eat...especially when they FALL ASLEEP while eating!

If you hold them after they eat, they will sleep for 4 hours...yet they say you can't spoil a newborn...????

We've tried putting them to sleep with binkies, but then they both just seem to wake up the minute they fall out.

I figure I can't be the first Momma out there with this problem, so I am polling all of you =)
How did you transition your newborn from falling asleep while feeding to their crib?

I am about an hour away from ordering "The Baby Whisperer" on Amazon.com...hoping you all can save me the $20 =).

Saturday, April 17, 2010

3 weeks old!

Today our sweet little miracles are 3 whole weeks old! It's crazy how in one moment you can think "3 weeks has gone by SO fast!" and in the same moment "what did we ever do without these babies?". It's only been 3 weeks, yet we simply can not imagine life without them already =).

We saw the lactation consultant on Thursday and had a really good visit. God bless that place!! The lady we have seen the last 2 times is a really strong Christian and she is SO encouraging, which helps me so much. I was praying on our way there that God would help us learn something new and that the visit would be uplifting, and He subtlety reminded me that I needed to be grateful and give thanks for how far we have come.

At least He was gentle about it =).

So true though, we really have come a long way in the nursing department since we have been home. And I can't thank you enough for your prayers!!!!! When we first got home, they were having such a hard time latching on, and staying on, they were nursing separately and it was taking about a half hour a piece, then supplementing 2 ounces of formula after each and every feed. The whole process would take about an hour and 45 minutes, only to wake them to feed an hour and 15 minutes later. OH and I was supposed to pump at least 4 times a day for 10-15 minutes...ugh.

Now they are latching on well most of the time and staying on pretty well. Unless of course they are overly hungry...then it's like they can't see the forest through the trees =). But we are learning tricks to get it done then too. They are tandem nursing every feed now, and nursing for 30-45 minutes. We got new parameters from the LC since they both are gaining weight so well. We can now reduce to 6 ounces of formula a day, she doesn't care when. So that means if they are feeding 8-10 times a day, there is feedings we don't have to supplement at all! Plus we take one feeding each night where David just gives them 2 ounces of formula and I sleep through that feeding. That means I get almost 4 hours of consecutive sleep!!! It also means the feedings before and after that one I can just nurse and not have to do bottles too which means I don't need help and David can sleep, so we each can get decent stretches at night...praise the Lord!

I am so grateful for how far we have come. I am doing better taking it a feed at a time, and not getting overwhelmed thinking ahead too much. I realize we may always need to supplement some at bedtime or something, and I am ok with that. It's just SUCH a blessing to not have to supplement EVERY time after they nurse. It makes me feel like I am really doing this nursing thing!!! =). We are going to weigh both the babies at Luke's casting appointment on Wednesday (they weigh him in between casts so we can get a true weight...this past week he was 7 lbs, 12.5 ounces!) and call the lactation consultant and she will possibly reduce the supplement even more depending on their growth.

God is faithful.

And so are you my sweet friends and family! Thank you for lifting us up in prayer.

We are now working on getting them to settle in after a feed and go back to sleep at night time...they seem to fall asleep right after eating, and then wake back up about 10 minutes after we lay them in their crib and be awake forever! Last night went better though...tight swaddles, hats (a tip from the LC, she said they like to feel snuggled in all areas), and making sure they are good and out before we lay them in the crib seems to help. It's just hard for us to know what fussing is going to turn into a full blown cry and which ones aren't. "They" say you can't spoil a newborn, and we hate to hear them cry, so we do get them when they wail, but at the same time "they" say you are supposed to let them self-soothe...so we are trying to find a balance that works for all 4 of us.

I am sure God is laughing right now, as it will be a lifetime of figuring out balance that works for all 4 of us =).

I am doing better at settling in and enjoying the babies, instead of feeling like I am just surviving them, if that makes sense. I know the little bits of more sleep is helping, as is time and prayers. Just this morning Luke was so wide-eyed for a long time, and we just chatted =). It was so nice to just sit and lock eyes with my son and talk to him.




Yesterday was the first day it was just me and the babies for 8 hours straight. I had been so nervous about this, simply because there are 2 of them and only 1 of me. I HATE to hear them cry, but I am going to have to get used to it. With only 1 adult and 2 babies, sometimes someone just has to cry. I handled it pretty well- I didn't even need a turn crying =). Logistically it's hard to tandem feed them without someone here to hand me a baby. I have to set 2 boppies on either side of me, go change one baby, bring him out and set him in a boppy. Go change the other baby, bring her out and set her in the other boppy. Get the giant tandem nursing pillow situated, and then pull up one baby to me, get them to latch, and then try and maneuver the other baby up to me with only one arm and without disturbing (i.e. knocking in the head with my elbow!!) the other baby. It's difficult with Luke's casts, he is hard to lift with one arm. But, this is an area we will constantly be figuring out tricks in as they get older.

My hives seem to be getting better too. Did I write about those? Can't remember. Anyways I have been randomly breaking out in hives for over a week now. Don't know if it's the herbal supplement I had been taking to increase my milk supply (More Milk Plus), the hormone changes, or stress. They didn't go away when I stopped the supplement, and Claritin didn't make them go away either. So my doctor said I could start the supplement back up, and I have and haven't noticed an increase in the hives. They still come and go, but rarely a real nasty flair up, and they don't itch too terribly.

Last night David and I had a couple from our Church come over and stay for an hour and a half while we ran out to grab dinner between feedings. It was so weird, but so good for us. A few months ago I would have probably judged new parents who left their babies so early, but now I see how important it is. It was really hard to leave them, and I missed them and worried about them while we were gone, but it was nice to get out and see the world and get some fresh air to clear my head and get some perspective. It was also nice to miss them =). And I want to make sure David and I are always making our marriage a priority too.


I have tried to steal away at least a few minutes a day and spend some time with the Lord. One thing I really feel Him impressing upon me is FAITH. I am having a hard time trusting Him in some areas, and I feel Him calling me to have the courage, the determination, and the strength to have more faith. He gently reminded me of the prayer request I had my entire pregnancy...that David and I would be parents that pointed our children to Christ by our words and actions in everyday life. I guess He wanted to hit the ground running in this area =). I have felt SO inadequate to be these precious babies' Momma. But He reminded me (via my sister Natalie) that He CHOSE me to be their Momma. I was His first and only choice...what an honor. So He must think I can do this =) Also Natalie sent this quote that I put up on my bathroom mirror "humility, selflessness, and freedom await us when we embrace our inadequacies and rest in the shadow of the Perfect One..."
Amen. Lord, help me to do so.




And of course here are a few pictures...

Our pretty little Abbey-girl =)


Little Lucas with a binkie in his ear =)



Twins...=)



Momma and her little loves...



Sweet boy...


Sweet girl...

And a funny video..Luke was just 7 days old here...and milk drunk =)
video

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Hi all!

Just thought I'd jump on here real quick and say hello and of course post some pictures. We are hanging in and doing our best to get a good sense of our new "normal" =). The babies are doing FANTASTIC. They are such good babies, we are so blessed.

They had their 2 week follow up at the doctors on Monday and both babies were declared to be "thriving", praise God! Abbey is up to 6pounds 5.6 ounces! YEA!! We couldn't get an accurate reading of Luke's weight due to his casts, but we should this afternoon at his casting appointment. They said they would weigh him in between taking the old casts off and putting the new ones on. He seems to be getting bigger by the minute, so we aren't worried =).

Nursing is going pretty well. The babies tandem nurse pretty easily each session, which is a huge blessing! Sometimes one or the other will have a hard time latching on or staying on, but we can usually figure it out =). Everyone keeps telling me it gets easier with time as we all 3 get the hang of nursing, and I am clinging to those comments!! They are down to only needing one ounce of supplement after each feeding, which is down from two when we left the hospital. We have another appointment at the lactation clinic tomorrow and I am hopeful to decrease that even more.

I had my two week post c-section visit with my doctor on Monday too, and it went really well. I was able to really talk with her about so many things. One thing we had to discuss was my blood pressure, it was 162/something...way too high. She said something has to give. I told her how I am having SUCH a hard time sleeping, and really relaxing in general. It isn't so much that I am worried about the babies, I trust they are ok, it's that I can not shut my mind off for the life of me. I am constantly thinking about when the next feed is? are there enough diapers in the basket? did I switch the laundry to the dryer? what appointments do we have tomorrow and how will the feeding schedule work around them? did we pay the phone bill? should I be holding the babies instead of sleeping? are the babies about to wake up?....etc. Whether they are sleeping next to me in the pack-n-play or I am in a different room from them, I am constantly on "high alert" for them to wake up, even if someone else is "on duty"...it's so frustrating!! I don't understand why I just can't relax. She diagnosed me with anxiety induced insomnia. We talked at length about different ways to deal with this, and I am going to go back and see her in 2 weeks to check back in. Prayers for Momma to chill greatly appreciated =)

Anyways, like I said, the babies are doing so great. They are just so adorable and we fall more in love with them everyday. Here is a glimpse into the past few days...

So far neither baby has been wild about the swing...but here Luke gave it a good 10 minutes =)


Dave and I took the babies for a quick walk down the street to the park on Saturday. They LOVED the stroller! They were out like lights the minute we started rolling and stayed asleep the entire time =).
Seriously, how cute are my babies????



Lots of nap taking happening around here...


Daddy and Abbey after bath last night...



Thanks so much for all your love and prayers! We appreciate you all=)

Friday, April 9, 2010

Two weeks...

Two weeks ago, on our way to the hospital...


Momma getting so excited to meet her babies...




And oh what a two weeks it's been...





Daddy and Luke...


Momma and Abbeygirl...



Dueling babies =)...



Look how cute we are in our matching jammies...




Bath time!!!



Daddy has got this twin thing down!...



Last day to wear shoes =(...


Little buddy and his big ol' casts...
(he seems to be adjusting to them pretty well, sweet boy. He can lift his legs now and move them a little, which I think makes him less upset about the whole thing =) )


Photo session in their adorable outfits!! Momma bought these special when she was pregnant =). It was so fulfilling to actually dress my babies up...they really are here!!!!!!


One blessed woman, two loved babies...

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

11 days old!

Hi all!

Thanks so much for all your sweet comments =)

We are hanging in there!

Our babies are so sweet and they really are such good babies, we are so blessed.

We gave them their first bath last night (pictures to come soon!!) and that was just hilarious. We thought they would both fit in the little baby tub together, with each David and I bathing one (and Auntie Natalie on the paparazzi duties), but that wasn't our best plan...it was crowded in there! Now we know. One baby at a time =)

I have had a really rough week emotionally, and all I can say about that is thank God for Christian girlfriends. Being a mother is so incredible, but it also has been the most demanding week of my life emotionally, physically and spiritually. Recovering from 12 hours of labor, 2 1/2 hours of pushing, and then surgery, only to dive into caring for two newborns has been so incredibly draining. David had to go back to work last week -as in while we were still in the hospital!- so that has been hard too. He is a teacher at a local university and spring break was over and it's not easy for a teacher to miss the first week of a new term. Luckily he has a limited schedule right now, so he is not gone full time. I could not have survived without help. People have offered to come over, run to the store, bring meals, etc like CRAZY. I have been so humbled by how much help I need. I guess I just assumed I would bring the babies home and just stare into their eyes all day. Not so much =). We have appointments 3 out of 5 days this week, but nowhere to go for the weekend, so that will be so nice.

Thank you so much to all of you who have been lifting us up in prayer. Again, I am humbled by how much prayer we have needed, but so grateful for so many people willing to intercede on our behalf, and grateful for a God whose mercies are new every morning.

We had another appointment with the lactation consultant yesterday and it went really well. I even tandem nursed the babies! It was really cool!! Of course, they haven't really had a successful tandem nurse session since we left, but I am hopeful. My sister ran out and got me one of those twin nursing pillows off of craigslist today, and I am excited to try it out. Luke has totally got the hang of it, Abbey not so much. She gets SO MAD and fights me every time I try the football hold with her. It just tears me up inside. I HATE fighting with my baby girl like that! Not to mention we still have to supplement them 1 1/2 ounce of formula after each feed (but that's down from 2 ounces!! we are slowly getting there!), and it's SO HARD for me to struggle with her for 20 minutes to nurse, and then pass her off to my sister or David to finish her off with a bottle and "comfort" her. Today I spent an hour between feedings with her just buttoned up skin to skin against under my jammies, we needed that =)

We would be trying the tandem again tonight, but I decided not to since Luke got his casts today. Poor little guy. They are SO big and cumbersome. It just breaks our hearts! He did SO good during the appointment, we were so proud of him. The doctor said his clubbing is not very severe at all, and that the structure and placement of his ankles and everything is really good, so we were happy to hear that. The casting itself only took about 15 minutes, and our sweet boy just laid there with a binkie in his mouth and his Momma whispering in his ear and took it like a champ. I was so proud of him and kept telling him that over and over. Since we have been home however, we can tell he is frustrated. He will grimace his face and wiggle his toes and we can tell he is trying to lift his legs and he just can't and it's so sad I can't even type about it without crying! The casts come up his thighs and are just way thicker than I ever imagined they would be. After they were done we put Luke in his carseat and David just held me while I cried. My sweet boy. We know this is what's best for him, and it's only for a maximum of 12 weeks, and we know he will get used to it, but man it's so hard to hear him cry with a new frustration he didn't have this morning. Just hard. He just looks so pathetic with these giant legs now...I will post a pic sometime soon.

I will post lots of pics soon! We have taken like 786. Ok not that many, but a ton. I just haven't had time to download them, but I will soon, I promise. I wouldn't even have time to write this long post if it weren't for my sister and ALL she does around here! I have to fight the thought every day of how I am going to do this on my own after our help leaves...

One day at a time.

Time to feed again, better go=)

Thanks for praying for us - keep it up!

Much love,




Sunday, April 4, 2010

Some rambling and then a whole lot of cuteness!

(I started this post yesterday afternoon, so when I say "today", I am referring to Saturday =) )

Wow.

We are home and settling in, and totally overwhelmed! Having 2 newborns is demanding for sure.
We sure do love them though =).

Today has been a better day. It is so nice to have David home all day and not have to go anywhere.
We got home from the hospital Wednesday afternoon, and turned right around Thursday morning we had to be at the pediatrician at 8:30am, and that was a long visit. Then Friday my mother in law and I went to the lactation consultant for 3 hours. But that was TOTALLY worth it!! She was so so so helpful.

Nursing has been going ok, but it is not going as well as I had hoped or naively assumed. Lucas was having such a hard time latching. He would cry and fight me every time. But since the visit yesterday, he has done great! Praying he keeps it up. I have been feeling a ton of discouragement in this area. I SO want to nurse these babies, and it has been defeating that we have had to supplement them with formula right away. We had to start supplementing with Abbey pretty much right after she was born due to her low blood sugar from the stress of her birth. Then Luke lost 10% of his birth weight pretty quickly, so we had to start him too. That immediately made me concerned about being able to produce enough to EVER meet their needs. I still am nervous about this, but was greatly encouraged by my time with the lactation consultant yesterday. She wants us to wake and feed them every 2 1/2 hours, with one 5 hour break allowed a day. We can't allow them to just let us know when they are hungry since Abbey is still under 6 pounds. She is such a tiny little peanut!!! It is SO time consuming to wake, change, then nurse each baby for about 20mins, then feed each baby formula for about 10-15, then burp and put each baby back down. It can take over an hour...only to start again 1 1/2 hours later!!! We tried this last night and Abbey just isn't awake enough to eat every 2 1/2 hours ( we had been doing 3 on the recommendation of the hospital pediatrician). She wouldn't latch and just slept so soundly. So, we made a judgement call and went back to 3 hours. I see the LC again on Tuesday, so we can go over that then. We tried to make the 5 hour stretch from 12:45am-5:45am, but Abbey started fussing around 4:40am. Still that's 4 hours!!! It felt SO good to get that much consecutive rest. And I can't tell you how great it feels to just be HOME today.

My incision is healing pretty well. It was doing some funny things yesterday, but luckily my mother in law is a nurse and she was able to check it for me. We paged the on call doc last night because it was just a little funny looking, but he said it all sounded fine. It is becoming less and less painful every day too...thank you so much for your prayers. I was in SO MUCH pain those first few days, I just couldn't see it ever getting better.

We are sure loving being home as a family. I can not believe what a natural daddy David is. He just has such a grace about fatherhood, it's stunning. His instincts have been dead on with them, and I am so glad to have him as a partner in this. Plus, I just fall in love with him all over again when I watch the babies just melt him. =) He has been so supportive of me also, as I have been a weepy mess the last 5 days! He has been so patient and encouraging of me. I am grateful God gave me such an amazing husband.

Motherhood is wonderful. I really do love it. It's just been surprising to me how little time I had before today to just enjoy it. There has always been something to do every second of the day and I often can't tell which way is up. So much conflicting advice out there..."sleep when the baby sleeps" hard to do when you have so many places to be!! "Just hunker down at home and take your time to settle in"...again, we have had places to be, "try and do something for yourself everyday"...with what time? It seems like every break between feedings I have to evaluate what to do with the limited time...shower? Nap? Pump to build my supply? Eat? Get a few things done like laundry or blog? It's a constant process of deciding what will make me feel best. I feel like I have just been maintaining (barely) and not relaxing and enjoying them. Again, today has been so much better.

I also don't think I have fully processed all that happened at the hospital. I think I need to grieve missing Abbey's delivery. After I pushed Luke out, they showed him to me briefly and then rushed him over to a warmer to focus on getting Abbey out since she was in distress. And then she couldn't be turned and her heart rate dropped severely and the last thing I remember is begging God out loud to please save my baby girl as the doctor said "she's gotta go under"...I just never in a million years imagined that the first time I would see my babies would be hours after they were born, in the OR recovery room, with warm blankets all around myself due to the horrible shaking from the anesthesia. It was a strange way to begin all this, and I don't think I have fully recovered from the "shell shock" of it all.


Thank you so much for all your prayers for us, please keep praying for us as we settle in to being a family of four.

Please pray that nursing gets easier. I know everybody has different things that work for them, and it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world for the babies if I quit...but I don't want to. I REALLY want to do this. I am so hopeful for the day when I can meet their needs with breast feeding alone, and when we can just feed them when they wake, NOT having to wake them to feed.

Now, enough of me rambling...here is what you REALLY came for...

Abbey coming home...isn't she tiny!?

Little Luke all ready to go!!


They LOVE being snuggled together!

Back to my babies now!

Happy Easter- He is Risen!!!