MicroblogMondays: One Month Old

We blinked (and have had many sleepless nights) and the twins are already one month old.

Time goes by fast when all you do is to feed the babies, rock the babies, change diapers, and figure out why they fuss.  The biggest thing last week was all about Okra.  In light of the feeding problems, he saw our pediatrician who told me that the formula the babies had been on is one of the most gas-inducing ones.  I brought the gas drop that someone bought us off the baby registry.  Dr. Easygoing gave him the right dosage and right away the gas seemed to have dissipated when he listened to Okra’s tummy.  So baby boy has been put on the sensitive version of the same formula the last few days.  Baby girl is also using the same formula because it’s just easier to switch them both.  The doctor said that since Okra gained over 2 pounds in three weeks, he’s doing really well health-wise, so he is not worried about the baby.  So off we went to switch formula.  The new kind seems a lot foamier and I still don’t know how suitable it is for them.  All you can do is to try, right?

Two days later, Okra all of a sudden developed this congestion.  The advice nurse on the phone told me to use saline nasal spray and the bulb syringe or Nosefrida to clear his nose.  Lo and behold, some huge snots came out two different times.  So I thought he was okay, but the next morning, he was again congested with some audible breathing when he was eating.  My mom instinct told me to make an appointment that day with the pediatrician’s office just so I would feel better.  At most we’d make a trip for nothing and waste our copayment, but I had to know if he was okay.  Dr. Easygoing checked his lungs and he was all clear.  He didn’t have an ear infection or a fever.  His O2 level was good.  Upon checking his nostrils, Dr. Easygoing said that his left one was good but the right one might have a bit of a cold.  And the breathing sound that resembles an 80-year-old man who had smoked for 60 years?  He said it wasn’t a cause of concern.  I was told to continue the saline nasal spray and bulb syringe, and separate him from his sister.  We originally had planned a family dinner at a Chinese restaurant for the babies’ one month celebration.  Since I really don’t want to expose him to any more germs, we postponed it to another week.  Poor boy, he has been having a hard time breathing at times, so he has been struggling with eating.  He screams his head off during the saline nasal spray but often looks and feels better after it is done.  Sleep has been tough, and poor baby girl has been mostly ignored in her rock and play because everyone has been tending to baby boy’s illness and neediness.

After an almost sleepless night and the accumulated sleep deprivation from the last few weeks, Bob and I reached an agreement to try out a night nanny for three nights per week.  One night nanny’s name keeps on coming up on the FB posts in our local parents of multiples group and many of the parents there vouch for her.  I sent her a text and she immediately called me back.  We discussed the details of her duties and the her rate.  I would say her rate is mid-range, which is fine by me.  She has 20 years of experience helping parents with twins, and many parents in the group gave her glowing reviews.  After a few hours of consideration, we decided to book her on a trial, week to week basis.  She is currently free for us to choose any nights.  The family that has booked her in the future was supposed to start November, but it seems like the babies may come earlier, as early as next weekend.  Since we are starting first, we have first dibs in choosing our nights.  Bob opted for Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday so we can sleep through the night every other night and he can go exercise on Monday, Wednesday, Friday mornings.  I will update you later on our experience with her.  I just feel tremendously blessed that we are in the financial position to do this.  Hopefully it helps with my sanity on a day to day basis, so I feel more productive during the day.  And maybe with the night time help, I will finally have the energy to work on our birth story?!

Here is a glimpse of them napping in their rock and play:

We will see how they do with weight and height at their one-month old check up today!

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First Solo Tar.get Trip

I had my first solo Tar.get trip since the babies came home.  Our new mini-van is super spacious for all the stuff that I had to buy, but it felt kind of funny to be driving it around without the babies behind me.


I am going to try the store brand diapers.  If they are good, maybe we can save on that category.

The first trip away from the babies was good for me.  I am so grateful for my parents who are there to watch the babies.

MicroblogMondays: Feeding, Sleep Deprivation, and Babywearing

The babes are already over three weeks old.  I still can hardly believe it that we brought home real babies that breathe and move around and are packing on the pounds.  Yesterday I weighed them on the scale that my friend Jane used for her cat, and they were 7.84 and 7.64 lbs.  They are definitely gaining weight.  Bunny is on a pretty regular schedule; she eats approximately every three hours and is usually pretty calm in between feedings.  She does clear her throat constantly still and sometimes spits out her milk if I lay her down too quickly.  But she usually eats quickly and becomes content quite fast.  I have to burp her for an extended amount of time but she doesn’t fuss.  Okra, on the other hand, changed from a mostly easygoing baby to Mr. Screamer this past week.  His number one problem is hunger.  He would be sleeping and all of a sudden would wake up screaming.  His screams are loud and dramatic.  We used to go heat up the refrigerated bottle that we pre-make with a Dr. Brown’s Pitcher and change the babies first before we feed them.  I soon found that it isn’t working for Okra.  The longer we wait, the angrier he gets, and the harder to feed him as he has a hard time regulating himself with sucking, breathing, and crying.  Two nights ago, I tried this: at Okra’s first sign of crying, I quickly jump up from bed, heat up the bottle, scoop him up, and feed him.  It works half of the time.  The other times he still screams in the middle of a feed mostly because of air bubbles and he needs to be burped.  He also eats slowly so it takes about 30 minutes to feed him at times.  Okra is more unpredictable in the amount and the timing of his feeds.  He sometimes eats the full meal of 90 to 100 ml.  He sometimes eats a little bit and falls asleep.  At times he still screams for more formula after being fed 90ml.  And he screams even more when I have to warm up the cold milk.  I sometimes just let him drink the cold milk.  He sometimes takes it, and sometimes not.  If he falls asleep after eating only a part of the bottle, he often wakes up screaming in 45 minutes or an hour wanting more.  In terms of schedule, he gets hungry after 1.5 hours, 2 hours, or 3 hours.  It’s really hard to gauge.  So what does all of this mean to my sanity?

I was doing really well the first two weeks of their lives because of all the help that I had.  Bob was home and my parents were around.  And then mom got sick, and Bob went back to work.  My dad helps a lot during the day so I can get some rest.  However, in the middle of the night, I try to let Bob sleep through the night so he has enough energy for work the next day.  I was doing well and going going going for four nights in a row doing all the feedings until 7am.  Then last Thursday night, Friday morning, my body totally shut down at 3am.  The babies woke up crying and I just needed to crash.  Bob woke up and let me sleep for a good stretch of four, five hours.  He was up from 3am until he had to leave for work, and my mom took over after that.  That was much needed.  Over the weekend, they let me sleep from 7am until 10:30 or 11am.  That totally saved my sanity.  Remember last week I told you all that I didn’t feel like I was surviving?  This week at times I did feel like I was surviving.  But, it doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy my life right now.  I enjoy motherhood and these babies tremendously.  Bob asked me if at any time I didn’t enjoy the life that I have right now, and he wanted me to be honest.  Honestly, the one moment that I had the hardest time was that 3am when my body was screaming to me that this could not be sustained.  But overall, I really love being home with my monkeys.  They are such a joy to be with and I can’t imagine not having them around.

The topic of night doula came up over and over again.  The FB group of my local multiples group talks about night doulas all the time.  It feels like a dream that someone would come to your home in the evening, feed and take care of your baby, and let you sleep until the next morning. Well, this dream also comes with a hefty price tag.  I asked a few parents of twins that we know and they all had night doulas.  They all swore by them even though it was pricey.  They told me that the night doulas did much more than just taking care of the babies at night.  They put them on a schedule so that when you take over again, you will be able to follow the schedule.  But, it is still a very large investment and I don’t think we are at that point yet.  Maybe by the time we are at that point to spend the money, the babies will start to be on a similar schedule and we won’t need to spend that money anymore.

One thing that I really start to love is wearing my babies.  I have learned to use the Boba wrap and started to wear one baby at a time.  A few times last week I wore Bunny or Okra out and took a walk around the neighborhood.  I would really like to try to wear both of them at the same time but that will take some practice.  One thing I observe is that you will attract so much attention when you wear a newborn out.  When they are so tiny, people stop you and ask questions.


Top is Bunny.  Bottom is Okra.

Bob and I took the babies out to the mall for the first time yesterday.  We made a goal to get out as a family at least once this weekend and we did it! It took a long time to feed and change everyone, and put everyone in the car seat.  It felt like a lot of work but hey, we did it!  It felt like such an accomplishment.  The interesting part of it was that we walked through the mall with new eyes as parents of twins.  First of all, we parked on the 3rd level of the parking structure thinking that there was a ramp there, but nope, my memory was wrong.  We had to push the double frame stroller to another level.  For the first time, we had to find the elevator of the mall that we have frequented in the last many years.  It was located in the middle of the mall so the journey to the second floor took forever.  Bob who was pushing the stroller got stopped numerous times by curious bystanders who inquired about the twins.  He couldn’t go where I was going in H&M because of the size of the stroller.  The list goes on and on.  It was quite a brand new experience.

Sometimes I stare at my babies’ face and can’t believe that God entrusted these babies to us.  It just feels so surreal still.  When will it feel real?  I don’t know, but I am for sure soaking in my joy of being the mother to these precious babies even in my state of sleep deprivation.

MicroblogMondays: Doing Well

Having newborn twins is no joke.  There really isn’t much time left in a day to do anything else, especially writing a blog post.  There are constant bottle washing, formula mixing, laundry, diaper changing, holding and rocking, snuggling, staring at the babies’ faces and kissing them. As hectic as it sounds, I have been really enjoying my time with Bunny and Okra at home.  I remember what some moms of twins told me a few months ago, that we would survive the first few months of raising twins.  So far I don’t feel that I am “surviving”.  Feeding them over and over again is not a nuisance, even in the middle of the night.  Holding them in my arms, stroking their hair and their faces while they are sleeping is as enjoyable as one can imagine.  I wouldn’t trade it with anything else in the world.  It’s interesting though.  At times it still feels quite surreal to have two new little human beings at home who are totally dependent on us for survival.  I sometimes look at their faces and think, wow, where did you come from?  At the same time, I can’t imagine life without the both of them.  These feelings sound conflicted but they are real.  When I call myself “mama” to the babies, sometimes it feels a little strange.  When other people call me “mama” in front of the babies, I still have this feeling like, “What, you are calling me?” But there is no denying that these babies belong to me.  They are here to stay.  I am sure I will get used to being called mom soon.  I feel truly blessed though.  The babies are so good, so adorable, and so perfect in every way, that their existence does make up for a lot of the losses and sufferings in the last few years.

The babes are growing like a weed.  Bunny were at the pediatricians twice because of diaper rash and clearing her throat constantly (being a first time parent, I had to make sure she was fine).  She weighed 7 lb 1 oz as of two days ago, which surpassed her birth weight.  Okra’s current weight remains unknown since he wasn’t the one being seen at the doctor’s.  At our next one-month well baby visit we will find out their weight and length.  I am  so glad the newborn photo shoot took place last week.  The babies already look different this week.  Here are a few photos from the shoot:

(I still haven’t decided whether or not to show their faces)

 

MicroblogMondays: Settling In

I realize that I still need to write our birth story, but I just don’t have the time or the energy to start one right now.  Let’s just say that everything went according to plan.  The whole process was as smooth as possible minus some minor issues such as Okra’s O2 level fluctuating a couple of minutes after birth so I was concerned.  Eventually his breathing stabilized and didn’t need to utilize the NICU, but it was enough to make me worry for the first hour after the birth.

Home life with the twins has been great especially with my parents’ help.  Honestly, life would be so much harder if my parents weren’t here.  Bob has been home on his parental leave so we take care of the twins together in the middle of the night.  My mom comes to our room at around 6:45am to 7am so we can take a nap for a few hours while she takes care of the babies.  She has become a pro in changing their diapers and feeding them.  My dad arrived from overseas the day after we came home.  Because he drives (and my mom doesn’t), he helps with running errands, buying takeouts, and doing grocery shopping when needed.  We are so indebted to their help.

How about the babies?  Every time I see their faces, my heart melts.  They are absolutely beautiful. Each baby has already developed their personalities.  Bunny is very eager when she eats and gulps down her food like there is no tomorrow.  She often times has the hiccups after a meal and spits up some just because she eats too fast.  She also doesn’t like restraints.  When she wears the sleep sack, I let her arms out because she complains and fusses when her arms are wrapped inside.  She is also the better sleeper.  She has been eating the same amount of formula and sleeping about 3 hours stretches for a few days now.  Bunny makes all sorts of sounds and has many many different facial expressions.  It’s such a joy to just watch her face while she is lying on my lap and see all of her little movements.  She especially likes to put her hands by her cheeks.  It often looks like she is on the phone with someone.  She has these very cute dimples.  She looks a lot like Bob and seems a lot more Indian than Chinese.

Okra is my little Chinese dude.  He looks a mixture of Indian and Chinese.  The first few days of his life we called him Buddha because of how calm he was compared to Bunny.  But he has already changed. When he is hungry, he screams bloody murder within a few seconds and won’t let up until a nipple is on his lips.  When he eats, he paces himself well and does not leak like his sister does. Unlike his sister who flings her arms out whatever chance she has, he likes to be swaddled and probably doesn’t feel a sense of security if he doesn’t have any sleep sack on him.  He’s a pretty good napper but has more of a difficult time at night.  He often eats a little bit and then falls asleep.  He will then wake up in a little while screaming because he is hungry again.  He has been waking up a lot in the middle of the night so this mama has been having a fun time (!) consoling him.

We are proud owners of a mini-van.  We were going to take our time in purchasing one.  The first ride in our Subaru Forester with the babies changed Bob’s mind.  Due to the car seats’ size and position, he couldn’t drive his car and could barely sit in the passenger seat.  The same day we came home, he wrote our friend who is a broker for new and used cars and ordered our first new car together.  Now Bob has room to stretch his legs in our new ride.

Our first doctor’s visit went very well.  They are both very healthy.  Our OB who did the C-section and our pediatrician both mentioned these twins and the twin pregnancy had been the healthiest they had seen in a while.  Bunny was catching up nicely with her birth weight, and Okra was already almost there at his birth weight at that doctor’s visit last Tuesday.  The babies eat well, poop well, and sleep quite well.  We are truly blessed to have these healthy babies and Annie who carried them to term.

It’s been hard for Annie.  With her hormonal fluctuations, she has been feeling all the feelings and missing the babies.  Her incision is healing well but still hurts.  All in all, she is doing well but it may take her some time to get used to not being pregnant anymore.

At times it still feels very surreal that we have babies at home despite them being 10 days old already.  This whole fertility journey was so long that finally getting here feels very foreign to me.  The babies do remind me of our donor, especially Bunny.  She has extremely long legs and is very good at kicking especially during diaper change as she absolutely hates it.  Our donor was a soccer player and a soccer coach.  BUT, this reminder doesn’t diminish my love for my own daughter and son.  They are mine (and ours) and no one can change that.  Our newborn photo shoot the other day was also a reminder that yes, the babies are here to stay.  The preview photo of the shoot takes my breath away.  I look at the photo of the four of us and realize how blessed I am to be able to have my take home babies.  It makes all the sleepless nights all worth it.

I will update when I have more time. 

MicroblogMondays: Going Home Today

Bunny and Okra were discharged from the hospital yesterday.  We spent a night in the hotel all by ourselves.  All I can say is that we are utterly in love with our babies, and are so so sleep deprived already. Haha.  We are leaving town to fly home today.  Hopefully all the supplies we have are enough for the short two-hour flight and the babies are going to cooperate.  I can’t wait to begin home life with them.  I know some of you have asked about pictures of the twins.  I am still debating whether or not to show their faces.  In the mean time, while I am deciding, enjoy the far-away view of them:

I still can’t believe how blessed we are that we get to take our babies home.

Will write more when I have some more sleep.  🙂

They Are Here!!!

Baby A and Baby B are here to join our family!

Bunny, our Baby A, is the girl, and was born at 8:21am on Friday September 15, 2017.  She was 6 lbs 9 oz and 19 1/4 inches.

Okra, our Baby B, is the boy, and was born at 8:23am.  He was 6 lbs and 20 inches.

They are perfect in every way.  We are so so so so in love!

They are more beautiful than I ever imagined.

We are a family of four.

Annie is a rockstar.  She is doing well recovering.  She spent some quality time with the twins today.

My heart is so full.

Happy birthday babies!

Now we learn to be parents.

I will write more when there is time.