Twinfant Tuesday: How Drive Thrus Can Save Your Sanity

Posted on
Categories Parenting, Twinfant TuesdayTags , 25 Comments

8 weeks 057Does this sound familiar? You are driving back from an outing with your little ones and both of them fall asleep in the car. Great! Except now you are faced with the decision whether to continue on home and transfer them to their cribs – which may result in one or both waking up – or keep driving for the length of their naps? More often than not, I chose the latter. After a while, however, driving around aimlessly and exploring nearby neighbourhoods gets boring (and unproductive). Not to mention it could create suspicion as to why the same car is passing their street umpteen times in an hour.

Then I discovered that using a drive thru service can save your sanity! Now I don’t drink coffee or eat breakfast on the go, so my use of drive-thru conveniences was limited until the twins came along. Here are some ways I discovered that using a drive-thru window can be really, really useful and allow Mama (or Dad) to feel like they are making good use of their time. Which of these services do you use regularly?

1) The fast food drive-thru
This one is the most obvious. When it’s naptime for the babies and lunchtime for Mama, there can be a bit of a dilemma. Because we always feed ourselves last, right? With the twinfants snuggled in their carseats, it was time to head to the nearest McDonald’s or Tim Horton’s drive-thru to get some grub… all the while hoping the loud speaker from the drive-thru window would not be heard over the background music in the car.

2) Pre-paying Gas
Okay so this is technically not a drive-thru, but still a useful errand that can be done without leaving your little ones alone. Simply insert your credit card in the slot to authorize gas purchase, pump and away you go, receipt and all! (and loyalty points if you’re lucky)

3) Full-serve gas station
In Canada, we are able to pump our own gas and full-serve gas stations are fewer and far between. However if you can find one, it is totally worth not having to get out of your vehicle during twinfant naptime, wintertime or when you are pregnant.

4) Library book drop-off
Got some library books to return? Check to see if your local library offers a drive-thru drop-off point. The City of Ottawa Public Library does, very handy!

5) Walmart Groceries
Although I have not tried this service, ordering your groceries from Walmart and picking them up at a pre-determined time from your local store is becoming quite popular. I would imagine you could drive there and get the car packed up without waking up the babes (assuming you have some background noise going in the car!)

The only downside I’ve noticed with these drive-thru conveniences is, sometimes a twinfant would wake up if the car turns off for a period of time to pump gas and the like. Oh well it sure beats driving around the same neighbourhood again and again, wasting gas until naptime is finished!

Ambereen is mom to almost 5 year old twins, with a third on the way! Needless to say there will be more drive thrus visits in the very near future. She blogs at 2cute

Share this...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on StumbleUponShare on TumblrShare on RedditDigg thisShare on LinkedInEmail this to someone

Twinfant Tuesday: Asleepyness

Posted on
Categories Parenting, Twinfant TuesdayTags , , , , 34 Comments

I first wrote this post when my daughters were 9 months old.  Looking back on it today is a trip, especially because we just survived a 2 year sleep regression with Emma.  Jane has been a wonderful sleeper, but has dropped naps completely at day care!  Here’s where we stood 2 years ago.

How do you survive the first year of motherhood?

“Sleep when they sleep,” they said.

“Nap when they nap,”  they said.

But what do you do when they rarely sleep OR nap???

It feels like it’s been WEEKS since I last slept through the night.  Between the girls being sick and their 9 month sleep regression (yes, that’s a real thing!), I don’t remember the last time we got a good night of sleep.  Or a good day of sleep, come to think of it.

Needless to say, we are exhausted.  And running out of steam.  Quickly.

So I went on a search desperately seeking sleep advice.  I visited various websites, made about 473 phone calls to doctors and nurses and grandmas and friends.  I felt like I was on a quest for the Holy Grail.  And I may have found some solace.

I stumbled upon a sleep blog where the author’s words caught my eye and made me really think:

“Sleep deprivation… UGH. There’s a reason it’s commonly used as a form of torture!”

SHE’S SO RIGHT!!!  I’ve definitely been suffering from the effects of sleep deprivation.  I’m normally a pretty logical person.  I have a short fuse and sometimes I can be pretty ditzy, but I would say that I can make sense of things and think on my feet for the most part a majority of the time.

But lately, I’ve been feeling sluggish, extremely short-tempered, angry, and desperate.  I realized a couple of days ago that after 9 months of NO SLEEP, I am beginning to suffer from sleep deprivation.

Here’s what I found out.

1.  Everyone goes through this.

2.  It’s all my fault.

3.  It can be fixed.

Let me explain.

We (people) have sleep associations.  When we go to bed at night, we lay our head down on a pillow and pull the blankets up to our chins.  Throughout the night, we wake several times, even if we don’t remember it.  We readjust the blanket, fluff our pillow, and fall back into Sleepyville with little issue.

Now imagine you’re a baby.  To fall asleep, you need your wooby, a blankie, a pacifier or a bottle, and maybe even a session in a rocking chair.  All of these things are supplied by the adult in charge of you, and have been since you came home, since you can’t figure out how to get your little legs to rock the chair or how to make your hands bring your choopie to your mouth.  So your adult provides you with all of these things to help you get to sleep.  Thank you, adult!

In the middle of the night, you awaken, find that your choopie is gone, or that you can’t fall back asleep.  You look for a bottle, but it’s not there.  You try to find your choopie, but that’s missing, too.  And for the life of you, you cannot make your crib rock!  So you cry out, and hope and pray that your adult will bring you one of the things that you have come to depend upon to fall asleep.

I’m totally guilty of doing this to my poor littles.

Luckily, this is a habit that we can break!  It’s not too late!

After speaking with our pediatric sleep specialist, she confirmed all of the information that I had found on the internet.  It is time to readjust our bedtime routine, and take away those sleep props.

Last night, we ate dinner at 5:00, had some fruit at 5:30, and took a bottle at 6:00.  From 6:00-7:00, I changed the sheets on their beds, put them into their pjs and nighttime diapers, and then read them a bedtime story.  Finally, Hershey and I braced ourselves for a fight.  We knew that putting them down in their crib without that bottle that they fall asleep on every night was going to be a war.

We turned off the lights, kissed them goodnight, and placed them in their respective cribs.

They were both asleep before their little tiny heads hit the beds.

Now, we did NOT have a restful night of sleep.  They woke up several times throughout the night.  BUT the awakenings were over by around 2:30-3:00.  I woke up at 5:00 thinking, What did I miss?!

At 5:55, Jane and Emma woke up for the morning.  They seemed happy and refreshed.  Both went down for a nap at around 9:00.  Jane is sitting next to me right now, just finished her mid-morning bottle.  Emma is still sleeping.

I’ve also discovered a couple of other things.

One size does not fit all.  It seems like Emma sleeps longer in the morning, and needs less of a nap in the afternoon, while Jane needs a longer afternoon nap and sleeps for a shorter time in the morning.

Limiting toys with flashing lights and music before sleepy time really does help them to unwind.  Think about if you went on a rollercoaster and then tried to lay down to go to sleep.  Probably wouldn’t work out too well for you.

If they wake up after 20 minutes, play with them quietly for 10, and they will usually go back to sleep.

During this time, they are going through the biggest brain development phase of their lives.  They are busy in their cribs at night practicing new skills in their heads.  Provide lots of time during the day for them to practice their new skills, and once they master those skills, they will sleep better!

And finally, the piece of information that rocked my world the most — THERE IS NO SCIENCE BEHIND STUFFING THEM TO MAX CAPACITY BEFORE BED.  Just because you give them a bottle and put them to bed doesn’t mean that they will happily sleep through the night with a full belly.  In fact, the opposite may take effect (they may be sensitive to pee-pee diapers, in which case they will waken to a sopping wet diaper, begging to be changed).
I hope that you find this helpful, and that you (and I) find some peace soon!  Remember to be patient with them — I often find myself losing my temper because I, too, am exhausted, and I have to tell myself, “They are going through SO MANY changes in those little bodies, and every change is a change to their routine and need.  BREATHE!”

This, too, shall pass.

Share this...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on StumbleUponShare on TumblrShare on RedditDigg thisShare on LinkedInEmail this to someone

Twinfant Tuesday: Sleep Training Twins

Posted on
Categories Parenting, Sleep, Twinfant TuesdayTags , , , 3 Comments

HDYDI.com

Training one’s baby to sleep through the night can be one of the most challenging aspects of parenting a newborn. With twins, this gets even harder as there are twice as many babies to change, feed, burp, and tuck into bed every night. Also, you can’t just close the door and quietly sneak through the house wearing only socks knowing that only a loud sound will wake your baby, because with twins you’ll always encounter that classic problem of one baby waking the other.

Though there’s really no way to get your little ones to sleep through the night before 2 to 3 months of age (at that age they will still require 3-4 hourly feeds), it’s a good idea to get prepared and put yourself into routine for when sleep training is required. Even with a couple of bumps along the road and the odd teething nightmares, we managed to have our twins sleeping through the night (08:30 pm – 07:30 am) from 3 months of age.

Here’s a list of the things we did.

The Nursery

IMG_0274

For the first few weeks the boys shared a bassinet in our room, but as soon as they started waking each other by either moaning or slight movement, we moved them each to their own crib in their nursery with a baby monitor so we could hear whenever they awoke. This already made a huge impact on their quality of sleep. Our own movements and sounds were no longer waking them and neither were they bothering each other.

We also placed heavy curtains in the room to block out any early morning sunlight, which helped them sleep a little longer in the mornings. Not only did it help at night-time, but also naptime during the day. The twins soon learned that a darker room was meant for sleeping and would fall asleep quite easily as soon as we lay them in their cots.

As far as sound went, we had two choices; a white-noise machine or music. Having grown up with music surrounding me, it was the obvious choice to find some soothing classical pieces that the boys would fall asleep to each night. A white-noise machine would probably have worked equally as well.

The music helped the twins in two ways:

Firstly, it provided a steady and soothing background sound that blocked out other noises – car doors, dogs barking, thunderstorms – that might have woken them.

Secondly, we only ever played their classical music at bedtime, signalling to the boys that it’s time to sleep.

Swaddling was one of our go-to things for the twins as newborns. It was our only safe way of providing them with a blanket for warmth and replicating the comfort of the womb.

There are many different ways of swaddling a baby and also some truly amazing products for swaddling like The Miracle Blanket , Aden + Anais muslin swaddling blankets and Swaddle Blanket by JJ Cole, but if like us your budget seems to have shot through the roof, opt for some breathable  receiving blankets and a good swaddling method.

The Bedtime Routine

Babies tend to thrive on routine. It gives them a way of mentally preparing for what comes next. Following the same steps, in the same order at around the same time each night allows you to form a habit thereby easily remembering what to prepare ahead of time. It also provides a series of cues to your little ones stating that it is time for bed.

A nice warm bath – Some parents opt to only bath their babies every second night or so, and I won’t lie, there has been some nights where I simply gave mine a little rub down as well. For us this made a huge difference in the twin’s quality of sleep. They never slept as deep and long if we skipped the bath and would always wake up a couple of times on those nights. So for our bedtime routine, a nice warm bath is a definite must.

Relaxing massage – When putting lotion on our babies, we always gave them a little body massage. It doesn’t have to include essential oils and a massage class (even though that would probably be even more beneficial), but just rubbing their little arms, torso, legs and feet with a slight pressure and a bit more meaning warms them back up and relaxes their limbs.

Soft Pajamas and a Clean Diaper – Dressing each twin in comfortable, soft  and breathable pajamas as well as a clean diaper will allow them to sleep more comfortably.

Full Tummy – Whether your little ones are still only breast or bottle-fed and whether they are already eating solids, always make sure they have their last bottle just before they go to bed. This will allow them to sleep longer and more soundly. Some babies might not like this, but warm milk also has a positive effect on your baby’s sleep.

Bedtime Story – For the first couple of months this turned out to be more counterproductive than anything else as the twins would fall asleep drinking their last bottle of milk and would then wake up as I started reading. However, from about 8 months we were able to include a bedtime story in our routine while the boys were drinking their milk and would then quite easily get tucked in and go to sleep.

Things are bound to change and get a bit chaotic when it comes to bedtime, so if there’s a spouse or an extra set of hands around, take advantage of that.

The Knitty Gritty

Once you’ve got your nursery and bedtime routine set, it’s time to get to the actual sleep training. I’ve never been a big fan of the cry-it-out method and it breaks my heart every time I hear one of my babies cry. So due to that I could never let my kids cry for hours and possibly fall asleep thinking I deserted them. What worked for us was tucking them in, saying goodnight, closing the door and then waiting a couple of minutes. If they were struggling to settle, we would go in quietly and without talking, re-tuck them, reinsert pacifiers if necessary and then leave the room again. Thereafter we stretched the period between going into their room by an extra five minutes each time, until they fell asleep. It took a couple of weeks for both us and the twins to get used to this, but in the end they managed to fall asleep by themselves with maybe one or two “visits” from mommy or daddy.

This way, your little ones learn that you are always there to settle them, but you also give them a chance to settle themselves by extending the period in-between each “visit”. The key factor is to get your babies to fall asleep by themselves without you rocking them, swinging them or any of those other wonderful methods of making babies sleep.

What if one baby starts crying?

We used to be so scared of one baby waking the other that we would dash into the room, scoop up the crying baby and sneak back out, only to have the other one wake up anyway. Little did we realise that it was actually the sudden absence of the crying brother that woke the other. Twins almost immediately become accustomed to each other’s movements and crying and even find it comforting knowing the other twin is near. It was only once we realised what we were doing and waited a while before rushing in that we found that the sleeping baby never even woke from the crying and that by giving the crying baby that tiny little bit of extra time, he learned to self-sooth and fell right back asleep.

What if both babies start crying?

This scenario can be tough on any mommy or daddy, especially when there is no spouse or extra set of hands around. We found that the best way to handle this was to replicate the bedtime tuck-in routine by going in, reassuring each one, tucking them back up and then leaving the room. This is not really something you can try for the first few months as your babies still need regular feeds and would be waking up because of that fact. However, once you have them sleeping through the night or onto 6-hourly feeds, this is a good way of reassuring them and getting them to fall asleep by themselves again.

The Bottom Line

Setting the stage, following a good bedtime routine and knowing what to do in the case of your little one’s not settling are all methods you can use to sleep train your twins. We used all three methods and it worked wonders. I do however realise that each set of twins are different and that all the above might not work out, so in that case, find what works for your twins and follow that as a routine. If you have one really bad sleeper, place his crib closest to the door so you can sneak him out without causing the other baby to wake. If reading makes them more active, skip the story, you can always read to them at another time of day. If you find another means of relaxing your babies other than a massage, then use that. The point is, sticking to a routine that your twins will come to expect and accept.

Share this...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on StumbleUponShare on TumblrShare on RedditDigg thisShare on LinkedInEmail this to someone

Postpartum Depression and PTSD: Here I Thought I Was Fine…

Posted on
Categories Emotion, Health, Mental Health, Mommy Issues, NICUTags , , , , , 13 Comments

This post has been a long time coming, but I have to admit — I’ve been avoiding it like the plague. I started writing this post one year ago and I find that this is still a difficult subject for me to wrap my head around.

Postpartum Depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder - one mother's story.
In college, I read a story called The Yellow Wallpaper  by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. In the story, a woman is taken to a hideaway by her husband and imprisoned there after the birth of their child. During her stay, she slowly goes insane, hearing voices and seeing faces behind the yellow wallpaper. This story is about much more than a woman and a decorating decision gone awry. This is a story about postpartum depression and the fears and stigma surrounding it, much of which still exist today.

Going into my pregnancy, I feared PPD. I have a family history of mental illnesses, and I have some personal experiences to draw from, as well. I was monitored by the high-risk team that cared for me and Jane and Emma throughout my pregnancy, and they watched me like a hawk when I went into the hospital to deliver. I was given a checklist, visited by social workers, and deemed fit to leave with no threat of severe depression after 4 short days.

What they didn’t tell me then was that PPD can strike at any time in the first postpartum year, and, furthermore, that I was also at HIGH risk for post-traumatic stress disorder due to my premature twins’ six week stay in the NICU, something that I didn’t think about until a friend in a similar position posted about the condition on her Facebook page after we had taken our babes home from the hospital.

In my first year home with Jane and Emma, I felt the effects of these two afflictions full force. My husband brought my attention to some of my actions (my anger, specifically), and subsequently I’ve been forced to take a good hard look in the mirror, and to do some serious research. Here is what I have found and how I relate.

Emma

Postpartum Depression

Something that I didn’t think of was that there were multiple ways that PPD could manifest itself. Symptoms range from depression to anxiety and anger. I experienced mostly the anxiety and anger.

Our society definitely does NOT do enough PPD care before/after the babies are born. Even BabyCenter, a site that I’ve always frequented for all things baby-related, downplays postpartum depression. It seems to file it into this “postpartum care” category, and talks a lot about body image and how to balance your life and your sleep deprivation with caring for a new little one. Why the stigma? Why does postpartum care have only to do with “What workouts can I do now that the baby is here?” or “Feeling good about your postpartum body”?

The fact of the matter is, there is so much more to it. While all of that is good to consider, it’s just as important to look at and be very aware of the ugly side.

As a new mom, I never got to mourn my old life. Everything changed VERY suddenly, and, for me, as a mom of multiples, it changed 8 full weeks before it was SUPPOSED to. Attention switched from me to my babies (and rightfully so, but I wasn’t told that I would be a footnote to my children’s lives, and I was not prepared for that), and I (perhaps somewhat irrationally) felt like no one cared about ME or how I was doing.  There was also no longer a “me-and-Hershey”. We were both NEEDED by our babies, and our need for each other no longer mattered. Those early feelings of no longer mattering and the severe feeling of isolation were what most likely sent me into my initial depression.

I spent a lot of time feeling anxious about EVERYTHING. I broke out in hives from head to toe, and was having heart palpitations. I thought maybe I was just anxious about work (if you have been following this Chris Christie fiasco, and not that I’m a teacher in NJ, you understand), but I really couldn’t pinpoint the anxiety. I’ve always been a little bit high-strung, but never downright ANXIOUS.

On top of that, it seemed like every little thing set me off. If things didn’t go as I envisioned them, I would totally lose my marbles.

And I still, to this day, am always nervous about how people are caring for Jane and Emma. I selfishly feel as though no one will care for them as well or as fully as I do, and (while that may be true since I AM their Mama, after all) being with the girls 24/7 took a MAJOR toll on me that I was not prepared for.  I mean, how does one prepare for these things when they decide to start a family, especially when having multiples was never an idea in one’s mind!?!  I don’t know about you, but I was focused on the perfect bedding and the most beautiful and safest cribs, not how I would cope with my own feelings…

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

This is a term that many people relate with war veterans.  And while I would never trivialize the plight of our veterans, after having been through having two children stay in the neonatal intensive care unit at the hospital for 6 weeks, at the end I felt like I had been through a war.

The Mayo Clinic defines PTSD as “a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it.”  Let me tell you something – experiencing having your children in the NICU, not knowing what tomorrow may bring, is both terrifying AND extremely traumatic.

Mayo further goes on to delineate possible symptoms, such as flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety, and “uncontrollable thoughts about the event.”  Check.  Check. Check. Double check.

I remember after I went home from the hospital, without my children who I had carried around inside of my body and worried about for 32 weeks, I used to go into the girls’ nursery and just sit in my glider and cry. I would cry for the absence of my babies.  Cry for the fact that I was home and they were not.  Cry for the unknown.

jane and emma NICU

I would never know what I was walking into when we went to visit the girls.  Once Hershey went back to work, I was making 2-3 trips A DAY to the hospital to the neonatal intensive care unit, most of the time on my own. And you cannot be blind to the other babies and parents in the NICU. I hurt for the other parents who were going through the same thing. I ached for those who were going through worse. I cried for the babies whose parents could not spend as much time visiting them as I did visiting Jane and Emma due to extenuating circumstances. I got to know the other babies. I said hello to them when I got to the hospital if their parents weren’t there, so that they would know that they were not alone.

And the day that I brought Emma home, I bawled leaving the hospital. I was so happy to be bringing home my baby girl, but leaving Jane there for 2 days was excruciating. She was in good hands, and I was grateful to have a couple of days to get settled and get into a routine with ONE baby before having TWO brand new babies at home, but I would have done anything – ANYTHING – to be bringing them both home together.

Once we got the girls home, they were on apnea monitors for about 4 months.  I’ll never forget the terrifying moments when those monitors went off and we would have to jump out of bed in the middle of the night to watch carefully to make sure that our babies would start breathing again.

tiny family pic

Imagine standing there, knowing that your child is not breathing or that her heart is not beating, just waiting for her to “self-correct” before having to try a revival technique.  If that’s not traumatic for a new parent, I don’t know what is.

And to this day, I still struggle with PTSD. Every night before I go to bed, I sneak into Jane and Emma’s rooms and wait to hear their little breaths. And if I don’t hear them, I shake them and make them move.  hat sounds ridiculous, but it’s like waiting for the other shoe to drop. I spent so many months fretting over their survival. From the moment I went into labor, all I could think was They’re too little. They’re not ready.

And sometimes, I still feel that way. Every sniffle, every cough, every puke stain sends my mind into a downward spiral, and I am wondering when I will be able to look at the symptoms of their colds and be able to say, “Ok, we’ve seen this before, it’s no big deal.”

Three-fie

Wherever you are at in your postpartum life, you need to know that you are not alone. Those feelings that you are feeling are NORMAL, and we are all with you. And if you are like many MoMs, you may have given birth way before your babes were fully cooked, and you have faced the terrifying world of the NICU. And Those Feelings are also totally normal.  It’s ok to be sad.  It’s ok to be a little bit selfish once in a while.  What you are going through is a tremendous life-altering experience, but it’s worthwhile, and those babies of yours need you!  Acknowledge the feelings so that you can monitor them.  Be aware of the feelings so that you can put yourself in check when you need to.  Postpartum care is so much more than just being on a “roller coaster of hormones”.

Whatever you do, don’t ignore those feelings that you’re having because the sooner you accept them and address them, the sooner you can get back to being a ROCK STAR Mama.

And if you know someone who is about to have a child (or CHILDREN), or has recently had one, check in with them.  Remember to ask them how THEY are feeling, and if there is anything that you can get FOR THEM.  My husband’s aunt gave me a gift certificate to get my nails done for Christmas this year, and it was the best gift that I could have gotten, because it meant me, a book, and a quiet manicurist making me look beautiful after a year and a half of being puked on and not even being able to blow dry my hair in the morning…and that, to me, is PRICELESS.

How have you dealt with PPD?  PTSD? I would LOVE to hear from you!

This is my personal story and observation.  I am not saying that every person will experience the same aspects of each disorder (I hate calling them that!), but my hope is that this post will enlighten someone, or maybe help someone understand what they are going through.

Jessica is Mama of twin baby girls, Jane and Emma, Wife to Hershey, Teacher at her alma mater, poet, realist, kitty-lover, friend. She decided to blog because during her pregnancy, she could never find anything having to do with twins or multiples. She didn’t come across any advice for registries for multiples, or pregnancy, or life after delivery.  Jessica felt extremely alone, and spent most of her pregnancy in a funk. Today, she is the happiest she’s ever been. She continues to improve her craft (teaching) through various professional development outlets, and learns something new about being a mother every day. Jessica is in love with her girls, with being a mama, with her husband, and with life.  She is the one people go to when they want the truth. Jessica writes all about life with a husband and twins at Leading the Double Life.

Share this...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on StumbleUponShare on TumblrShare on RedditDigg thisShare on LinkedInEmail this to someone

Twinfant Tuesday: From Two Kids to Four

Posted on
Categories Balance, Perspective, Twinfant TuesdayTags , 3 Comments

Looking back on the time that my twins were infants, sometimes I wonder how I survived that first year without significant hair loss and mental duress.

I have four kids. A sixteen year old boy (Trey), a 4-year-old boy (Jonah), and 21 months behind him the twins: 2-year-olds Max and Macy.

Twinfant Tuesday: From Two Kids to Four from hdydi.comI had Trey when I was just a baby myself. I had gotten pregnant my last semester of high school and gave birth to him during my midterms of my freshman year of college. I finished the semester with a 4.0 and nursed Trey a whole year.

After a failed marriage and several failed pregnancies, Jonah came twelve years later. I was a manager at a huge retail store and went back to work within 8 weeks. I nursed Jonah exclusively, so many hours were spent in my office with the horrible sounds of my electric breast pump working itself (and me) to death.

Three months after Jonah’s first birthday, I learned I was pregnant with twins! There was no elation running through my body. All I felt was fear. I couldn’t fathom that I would be the mother to four and I also stressed about pregnancy loss. (I will write my birth/pregnancy story another time.) The further along my pregnancy progressed, though, my fear was replaced with confidence. I figured I survived being a full time student at only 18 and nursing my baby full time. I survived corporate hell and no sleep for a year with a baby and we were great! I could handle twins! Twins were going to be a cinch!

My husband and I decided I’d stay home full time after all the bed rest and child care costs so I was ready to tackle the task! I was superwoman! Ready to conquer the realm of twins with no hesitation.

Well… hats off to all moms out there, but I’ll take my shirt off and give it to you moms of multiples. Infant twins are tough and I’m a proud survivor.

First of all, knowing that it’s going to be twice the work, and executing it are very different. My twins came out with very different schedules and needs. Neither ever wanted to feed together, sleep together, or anything together. I felt my life was a constant cycle of breastfeeding, pumping, changing, bathing, holding and kissing
squirming demons.

I am super blessed my twins came home straight from the hospital, but I wasn’t ready. I couldn’t get Macy to latch on for almost five months. Max was a nursing fool from three weeks on, but my girl needed coaxing. So in addition to eight to ten nursing sessions, I had to pump every three hours. Their toddler brother was very upset he’d been kicked off the mommy milk train and began to throw tantrums at the sight of me doing either.

My house looked like a Babies ‘R Us. I didn’t have much help from anyone because my husband was working constantly and most of my family was far away. My extra hands were swings, bouncers, Boppy pillows and Bumbos. I tried to hold at least one baby at all times because I felt guilty to put them down. I held and rocked my singletons constantly. I cried daily thinking I didn’t bond with my twins the same way.

Sundy with each of her 4 kids.

With twins, I had to learn to just “let it go”. This was the hardest thing to learn and I still struggle with it. My house isn’t the dust free museum of cleanliness it once was. I have relinquished control of laundry, dishes, and pretty much anything that doesn’t need immediate attention. My home is not a pig sty, but my children are evident in every square inch.

The biggest difference of having one infant compared to two was what happened within myself.

I can give lots of advice on what gadgets to use, how to wear twins while pushing a stroller and shopping for six, how to tandem nurse successfully, or how to baby proof anything. I have tons of ‘how-tos’ to hand out.

Those things were helpful to know. The real secret and best piece of wisdom I have though is: Be willing to change.

Be willing to accept defeat. Be okay with crying. Be okay with not being superwoman. You will adapt no matter the circumstances. One baby or three, working or not, single or married. I do so many things I never thought possible.

My twins are now two and it’s a whole new level of difficulty. They run in a dozen different directions every time I blink.

That first year, though… I survived! And so did they.

Share this...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on StumbleUponShare on TumblrShare on RedditDigg thisShare on LinkedInEmail this to someone

Twinfant Tuesday: Double Stroller Drama

Posted on
Categories Attitude, Infants, Twinfant TuesdayTags , 3 Comments

There are a few things that still hold strong in my memory of the early days with Molly & Jack.  Two of the most frustrating were the colic (Molly) and the lack of mobility involved with managing two very tiny babies.  Molly was a colicky infant and as such we spent countless hours trying to soothe what one of our sitters coined as her “siren scream”.  We would rock her, we would walk her, we would take shifts, we would sing to her, we would wear an ipod to block out the noise, you get the idea.

There were three things that seemed to calm the savage beast (sorry Molly, you’re really quite lovely nowadays): 1) Television: specifically the static “fuzzy” channel turned on high volume or hockey. 2) The vacuum and 3) going for long, long walks.

doublestroller

 

In summer and fall it was quite easy to go for lengthy strolls around our fair city of Toronto.  Jack would usually fall asleep or blissfully look around.  As the weather turned cold we had fewer options, so we turned our routes indoors to malls, greenhouses, bookstores and other places that could house our motley crue.

The more time I spent travelling with my double stroller the more I came to realize how many businesses or public places are not well equipped for double strollers (let alone wheelchairs).  A particularly frustrating trip out was when I couldn’t fit my stroller, the store clerk and myself into the elevator of a bookstore at the same time (the infant/children section was on the second floor).  I literally had to run up the escalator so the staffer with the key to operate the elevator could meet me with my children on the second floor. I was exhausted, with limited options and absolutely livid at my situation in general and the store.  This was a place meant for children and I couldn’t access it with my stroller without compromising the care of my children (even if it was just for 30 seconds).

When I commiserated about this with a fellow MoM she told me she had templated a letter that sent out regularly to complain about stroller/wheelchair access issues at businesses that she wanted to frequent, but couldn’t because of her needs.  Because of my unique stroller needs, my eyes were opened to how little effort so many places put into accessibility.  For me the double stroller was just temporary, many other people face these roadblocks daily and for their entire lives.
Nowadays I notice when a business has ramps, automatic doors and adequate door space and I try to reward these places with my business (even now when most of the time my children are walking).  How have your experiences as parents of multiples changed your perspectives on mobility?

Share this...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on StumbleUponShare on TumblrShare on RedditDigg thisShare on LinkedInEmail this to someone

Twinfant Tuesday: The Other Side of “Survival Mode”

Posted on
Categories Twinfant TuesdayTags , 3 Comments

Parenting twins is hard.  The first three months are very hard.  You can call it what you like–“the fourth trimester,” “the trenches,” “survival mode”–any veteran mom of twins will tell you that this period is an uphill battle.

The bear climbed over the mountain,
the bear climbed over the mountain.
The bear climbed over the mountain
to see what he could see.

Photo Credit: dbarronoss via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: dbarronoss via Compfight cc

To be honest, I don’t remember much of that time, which I am heartbroken about.  It’s true what they say, that the time goes too fast.  It’s bittersweet in some ways.  You wish for it to get easier, and then when it does, you realize that you’ve wished away their tiny newborn-ness.  You don’t get to have easy and new twins.  Actually, as a twin-mom, I don’t think you get easy–ever!

The good news about survival mode is that you don’t have to feel guilty about it.  You can’t regret anything you did or didn’t do, because you are just doing whatever it takes to survive.  Maybe I’m being a little melodramatic, but knowing this has been a comfort to me when I start to second guess my new mom self.

The bad news about survival mode is…it doesn’t just go away.  It ebbs and flows.  There are easy times and harder times.

For me, the first three months were a blur.  Then it got better–we moved to Scotland and got settled in, my sister-in-law came to visit. We visited castles and tried new food.  My mom and sister came to visit.  More castles, more new things.  When my mom left, though, I felt like I couldn’t get back on track.  Maybe it was because it was summertime, and the days were literally longer?  The twins were 9 months old and not even crawling yet.  Surely things shouldn’t have been so difficult…right?

And all that he could see
And all that he could see
Was the other side of the mountain,
the other side of the mountain.
The other side of the mountain was all that he could see.

Looking back on it now it’s clear how much I was struggling.  At the time, though, I don’t think I fully realized it.  I knew things were difficult, but I think I just accepted that life was hard and didn’t have much hope that they’d get better.  (Did I mention that my 14 month olds still don’t sleep through the night?)

It’s not all bleak though.  In the past month or two, I really feel like my little family unit has turned a corner.  Naps and bedtime are more consistent, we have daily activities planned.  We went on a vacation, and that really helped recharge me.  Not just any vacation will do it, though–we stayed with my husband’s family and I didn’t cook or clean for two weeks.  And I can’t speak for the babies, but I certainly napped like a champ!

The best tip I might give another mama struggling through survival mode, whether it’s three months or six months or even a year old, is to prioritize.

Oh wait, you’ve heard that one before, have you?

I know it sounds easy–let your house be messy, forget about laundry–those are the easy ones.  What is harder is to make yourself a priority.  YOU need to get yours, mama bear.  Recharge.  Sleep.  Eat food food.  Sleep.

You might not see it now, but sooner or later you’ll be coming down the mountain and enjoying the view.  You’ll look back up at that mountain peak proudly. Now that you’re off that mountain, hell, you might even remember it fondly.

Mercedes and her twins
Mercedes and her twins

Mercedes is an American expat raising her toddling twins with her husband in Aberdeen, Scotland. You can read more about their adventures at her blog, Project Procrastinot.

 

Share this...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on StumbleUponShare on TumblrShare on RedditDigg thisShare on LinkedInEmail this to someone

Twinfant Tuesday: You Are Not Alone

Posted on
Categories Blogs, Community, Family, Feeling Overwhelmed, HDYDI Blog, How Do The Moms Do It, Other people, Twinfant TuesdayTags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Leave a comment

This is based on the first blog post I ever wrote, Me…Start a Blog? when my fraternal twins were 1-year-5-months old. Reading blogs like HDYDI and other MoT, MoM blogs gave me a sense of connectedness, of support and of resources that helped get me through the first-year-and-a-half of parenting our prematurely born twins, who did NICU time in Hong Kong, for 3 and 6 weeks, and then “house-arrest” time for another 5 months.

Once I started the blog, I updated it consistently while in Chengdu, China and even wrote as an author for HDYDI for a while.

For the last year we have been living on a Thai island, a dream come true. Rahul and Leila are 4 now, swimming and running around barefoot with their friends. They go to pre-school and I am doing my yoga practices and teaching again.

I don’t update my blog as frequently anymore, still enjoy it, but there isn’t that same need to get past the difficult, painful experiences of the the NICU time, to express every moment or milestone, to compare with others, or to validate my parenting choices. There continue to be many stories, but for the moment they feature less frequently on the blog.

I have great blogger friends whose ideas and thoughts inspire me, and I found solidarity with many of them at a time when I needed it most, and now I hope some of these posts can do the same for others.

A mother of twins talks about how MoM blogs made her feel less alone in the first year of twin motherhood. from hdydi.com


Me…Start a Blog
Written end of March 2011

Over the last two years my world has revolved around taking care of Leila and Rahul, my almost year-and-a-half twins. So to start a blog now, seems a bit strange. What could I possibly have to say? And when?! I don’t know which regimes are being toppled over, I haven’t seen photos of the effects of the recent earthquake in Japan, I don’t know what yoga workshops are on in the region, don’t know if Federer is still kicking ass, or who presented at the Chengdu Bookworm literary festival; or anything for that matter. Outrageous, I know.

Only a few years earlier I didn’t even know what a blog was until friends in Chengdu complained that they couldn’t access blogspot. Facebook, YouTube, and a number of blogging sites are blocked in China.

After some complications in my pregnancy while in China, I ended up spending 4 months in bed including 7 weeks in hospital, split into 4 different hospital stays.

A number of foreign doctors here, in Shanghai, and Beijing recommended that we leave for the birth, due to the high risk of going into preterm labour and possible lack of high level care for premature babies.

So we went to Hong Kong at 26 weeks gestation. L and R came at 31 weeks, and were cared for at the Queen Mary NICU.

The bed-rest, high-speed internet and open access to all sites meant lots of time on the internet, and my initiation to blogs. But it was only when L and R were five-months-old, after my mum who had spent 9 months with me left, and both of those things coincided with our return to Chengdu that I really got into it.

I came upon some blogs that MoT’s wrote. For the first time in a long time I felt like I could relate. They wrote how exhausted they were, how they only bathed their babies a couple of times a week, rarely dressed them in anything other than pyjamas. I didn’t feel as guilty anymore that L and R didn’t go out everyday. They weren’t the only ones. To have them both ready to go out meant nappies changed, both well fed, not too tired, and a big diaper bag full of provisions.

I remember a post by a father of twins about how his two-year-old girls were finally sleeping through the night, most of the time, anyways. So my two waking up a few times each and every night means I can still be considered in the norm.

One mum wrote about her birth story; similar to mine – it included flights, hospital stays for both mum and babies, pumping pumping pumping, stress, fear, pain, relief.

Then there was one couple that blogged about their micro-preemie twins birth, NICU stay including all the medical details, the obsession with weight gain, the monitors, breathing, digestion, good days, bad days. It wasn’t the most fun blog I ever read. They were born much earlier than L and R, but I could relate to much of it and realised that I would have to deal with this part of R and L, and in fact all 4 of our lives one day, and to be at peace with it somehow.

Reading these stories was like holding a mirror out in front of me, a way to see what we had been through, a way to realize we were not alone – and importantly to let go of it.

There were honest, touching posts as well like the one HDYDI MoT, rebecca, who wrote One Baby Envy. Others complained about the silly questions they got when they took their twins out. If I get started on the questions and comments I got in Chengdu it would never end.

Sometimes the comments on the blogs were funny – MoM’s bitching about how J Lo (on the cover of People Magazine, March 2008) could possibly look as perfect so soon after she had her twins.

I related to these parents and it helped with the isolation I sometimes felt being in China without my family and with no experience with babies whatsoever. Neither of my brothers or brothers-in-law have children. One of my childhood friends has a son in Zambia who I haven’t yet met. I had held one of my friend’s tiny new born baby in Lebanon a couple of times last year feeling clumsy and incapable all the time. So yes, I had that experience.

I had a few parenting books. They only briefly covered twins if at all.

But, we were together again after my 6 month stint in Hong Kong, the 4 of us in Chengdu. That was our main source of strength. I had help from people here. L and R’s nanny or “ayi” meaning aunty as she is called endearingly is a superwoman, a great source of real support and help.

A friend as close as I imagine a sister to be was strong and present when I needed her most.

Another friend lent me lifesaving books at every stage along the way. And there were many others who made up my “village”, both in real life and in my blog life. The crazy thing now is that sometimes my kids both sleep for a few hours at the same time, but silly mama stays up to blog.

In addition to relating to other mums and dads on blogs, I found tips, such as this post that gives advice about choosing a double stroller that works for you depending on it’s use, tips like store big quantities of diapers, wet -wipes, food etc. so you don’t need to go out to the stores until really necessary. Obvious, but hey at least I don’t feel crazy when I walk into my pantry and see the hoarding.

There were videos of calm mums simultaneously feeding their babies. R and L were rarely on the same schedule, so it didn’t apply, but still nice to see how others do it.

So even though I live in this tiny world of eating, playing, bathing, trying to schedule, exploring and sleepless nights, I feel like I am above water now, some of time at least.

I now have the privilege to share my own stories and maybe get some interaction going. Perhaps a new mum, even a MoT will come across it and feel she can relate, find some useful information, or just have a laugh. I would be glad to contribute to that somehow.

These are stories for R and L to read one day if they want to. And if nothing else a way for friends and family to keep up with our lives in China, or wherever.

The other day I read a blog about the therapeutic effects of blogging. That did it for me, a few minutes later I signed up! Not really, I’m exaggerating, but it made me realise that every time I put down my thoughts they rarely came out negative or depressive, but rather I manage to find the “funny” in things, now that I am not sinking all the time, of course. It reminded me of a phrase from a song my dad often used to say to his not so smiley teenage daughter,

When you smile the whole world smiles with you. When you cry, you cry alone.

L and R out in Chengdu. 13 months old
L and R out in Chengdu.
13 months old

 

Natasha is mum of 4-year-old fraternal twins Leila and Rahul. She moved to Koh Samui, Thailand, with her children after spending 7 years in China. Her husband Maher, travels back and forth because work is in China. She has started practicing her yoga more regularly again, and even teaches a few classes a week, after a three year break. She blogs at her personal site Our Little Yogis and at Multicultural Mothering.

Share this...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on StumbleUponShare on TumblrShare on RedditDigg thisShare on LinkedInEmail this to someone

Twinfant Tuesday: Childproofing Tidbits

Posted on
Categories Twinfant TuesdayTags , , Leave a comment

One of the most exciting first-year milestones is when your babies learn to crawl.  The sense of joy that they get from being able to decided where they want to go is contagious.  As fun as this milestone is for the babies, for parents it can present new challenges in maintaining our sanity and the safety of our children.

If your kids are like mine, as soon as they could move they started to cause trouble.  I have been wooed with stories from other parents who have perfectly well behaved children, children who never touch an outlet and never dare to open a kitchen cabinet.  My kids are polar opposites to these [saintly] kids.  Without exaggeration, the very first place baby B headed when he learned to crawl was to the only visible power outlet in the living room.  I genuinely feel like he had been plotting his attack for months and liberated by his new- found crawling skills, he went right for it.  My children’s curiosity did not stop at power outlets.  Since learning to walk they have figured out how to open all the cupboard that have baby proof latches, they have ripped the stove safety latch right off (by pulling on the stove handle together), and they can turn door handles and unlock doors without any trouble.  Their rambunctious tendencies have made me an expert on keeping our kids safe while maintaining our sanity and I want to share some insight with you!

Step 1: Create a safe play space for your twins to play.

For us, it was really important to have a safe play space that we could drop our boys into if we needed to be hands free for a short period of time.  In addition, we needed a play area that kept our dogs separate from the babies (until we were sure that everyone could coexist happily).  In our house, that meant we designated a large portion of our living room to be their play space. Around the time they started to crawl, we purchased two play yards and hooked them together to create the perimeter of “their space”.  We filled the area with foam flooring and toys and used this setup until they started to shake the play yard walls and kept trying to open the play yard door (~ 13 or 14 months, around the time that they became proficient walkers).  Designating an area in our main living space allowed me the freedom to step into the kitchen to prepare food and bottles as needed as well as the ability to play with them in the most open and spacious part of our house.  In addition to their play space, we made sure that their bedroom was a secondary safe place that the boys could play freely (and alone for very short periods of time (e.g. while I used the restroom).  Having two reliable spaces kept things interesting for the boys and gave me a little more freedom than just having a single safe area to play.

B n B play area

Step 2: Have a place your twins can play separately.

One of the most unique challenges that twin parents have to deal with is that we are not only trying to keep our children safe from themselves, but we are also trying to keep them safe from each other.  My boys love each other and are great playmates, but they have gone through phases where they gnaw on, bat at, roll over and generally torture their sibling for either attention or general exploration.  (Side note: I have found that period of teething have been especially difficult.  During these times, sibling biting is usually at a high and it is important to have a place to separate the boys when one needs a break).  In some cases, a separate play space may just be their cribs (sometimes it is fun to let them play in the others bed.  This way they do not feel like it is nap time or you are trying to make them go to bed).  Alternatively,  if you have the space, keeping one (or two) pack n plays around is a great way to create two sanctuaries when your kids need to be separated.  Moreover, keep toys that can used as weapons (mallets, hammers, bats, swords, pull toys with strings) out of communal play spaces until your kids understand how to play with these things.  Some toys that are perfectly safe for singleton babies just don’t work will for twins who play together in small(ish) spaces.

DSC_2569

Step 3: Childproof your whole house.

Affix cabinet locks, doorknob protectors, stove locks, gas stove knob protectors, socket protectors, protectors for the strings on your blinds, gates for stairs and doorways, toilet locks, change the temperature of your hot water heater, bolt furniture and TVs down so they cannot tip, and the list goes on and on.  Assess the risk factors within your home and decided which strategies will work best for you. Sometimes it was just easier to bock off a whole room or a cupboard until the boys learned to listen than to have to childproof the entire room or cabinet if your kids are not going to have consistent access to a specific area.   Your child proofing strategies will change as your kids get older, more mobile, and more mature so this is a constant work in progress.

Step 4: Have confidence in your judgment.

Some things are just not safe for your children to play with or play around.  As twin parents, it is easy to feel like we spend a lot of time saying “no” for the safety of our children.  Make your environment work for you.  The more baby friendly areas your house has, the more autonomy you can give your kids and the more relaxed you can be within your own home.

Share this...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on StumbleUponShare on TumblrShare on RedditDigg thisShare on LinkedInEmail this to someone

Twinfant Tuesday: How Feeding Multiples Makes the First Year Even Harder

Posted on
Categories Breastfeeding, Formula, Household and Family Management, Parenting Twins, Twinfant TuesdayTags , 5 Comments

In my last Twinfant Tuesday post, I talked about the things that make the first year of parenthood challenging: not knowing your kids’ likes and dislikes, not being able to ask babies what they want, the expense, the sleep deprivation. These are things common to all parents, not just parents of multiples.

There are challenges that are unique to us, though, unique to those of us who proudly (or tentatively) wear the badge of the Mother of Multiples club, that exclusive, amazing, inspiring, terrifying club that we find ourselves in. Feeding alone is (warning: pun ahead) all-consuming. Whether you’re exclusively breastfeeding, exclusively bottle-feeding, doing both, or somewhere in between, feeding multiple infants is crazytown.

Touch Saturation

When I recently visited Liggy‘s perfect little ones, we found ourselves talking about how, after nursing for over 12 hours a day, we just don’t want to be touched any more. Even hugs or affection from our pets feel like invasions in those rare moments that our bodies belong to us.

It’s not that we resent the time that our babies are nursing or snuggling. That contact is still beautiful and (once you have the babies’ preferences figured out) peaceful. It’s that nursing contact is the only contact that our senses can handle. It’s as if our bodies are primed to breastfeed and all other physical contact, no matter how otherwise welcome, pushes our sensory capacity over the edge.

Tandem? Sequential? What if We Have More Than Two?

“It’s a good thing you have two breasts,” my daughter M mused the other day.
“True,” I responded. “You know that Aunt D had triplets.”
“I was just thinking that!” M exclaimed. “I guess she had to use three bottles…”
“No, she actually breastfed,” I informed her, proudly.
M was floored. “SHE HAS A SECRET BREAST?”

Sadia is exhausted and disheveled after a marathon nursing session with her pair.
I looked disheveled all the time while I was breastfeeding my pair. I once even managed to go to work with my pants on inside out. Who has time to stop by the mirror?

It’s not just 7-year-olds who assume that breastfeeding more than two babies is downright impossible. While it’s not impossible, it is indescribably difficult. Juggling the babies, consuming enough calories and fluids, getting everyone comfortable, making time for anything else…. People who haven’t experienced life with multiple infants just don’t understand.

Even those who have observed for a few hours can’t possibly imagine what it really means to breastfeed more than one child at a time. You have to get everyone to cooperate. Maybe you’re able to produce enough milk, but if just one of your babies refuses to nurse unless she’s lying across your lap without another baby in the way, there goes tandem nursing.

I like words. I love writing. I just do not have the words to explain how incredibly hard it is to breastfeed two. I know that I don’t have the capacity to comprehend how many harder it is to breastfeed more, and yet mothers do it. Every day. All day.

The Bottles, the Pump Parts, the Washing. Oh My!

Bottles, collars and nipples drying
Photo Credit: if winter ends

When my sister was a baby, we washed her bottles by hand. We also had servants. There was one of her. It was still a lot of work.

I can’t tell you how glad I am to have a dishwasher. We used that thing. A lot.

Word to the wise: if you’re in the dishwasher market and considering having kids ever, buy a model that runs quietly. It was so worth the extra money to have a dishwasher we could run while the babies were sleeping.

Breastpump parts
Photo Credit: aaron_anderer

Now add in all the breast pump parts that need to be washed. There are flanges and adapters and valves. Occasionally the tubing needs to be washed out. Depending on how you store you milk, there may be storage containers to wash.

Even if you use disposable bags for storing your milk, you have to restock those. You have to pull frozen milk out of the freezer to allow it to defrost.

There’s just so much stuff to remember and to do to keep our babies fed.

Shortcuts

There are shortcuts that can make your life easier, things I wished I’d thought of earlier.

If formula is part of your game plan, as it was for us, consider preparing it by the pitcher instead of by the bottle. Just make enough for the day (or the night) and refrigerate it. Alternately, pre-measure you formula into individual containers so you don’t have to think about proportions or deal with scoops all day. Warning: this is another thing to wash!

It took me a while to realize that I could store the nipples assembled in their collars with the lids on. That saved me the assembly. My husband also loved drop-in bag/liners for thawed breastmilk.

If you’re pumping and nursing, you may be able to breastfeed on one side while pumping on the other. I don’t know about you, but I could get about 4 times as much milk from a pump-and-nurse session than from pumping alone. I found that my Medela flanges tucked comfortably into open-front and pull-down nursing bras for a hands-free experience.

I didn’t (and still don’t) remember all that I do in the middle of the night. I had to write down which baby I’d changed and when, who had eaten and when, who’d been fussy and when. Not only did our notebooks serve as a communication solution between my middle of the night zombie self and the awake version, but between me and my husband too. It didn’t hurt to have these notebooks on hand when we went to the pediatrician, either!

We found that one bottle parts dishwasher basket was inadequate, but two was plenty if we washed what we used daily. We ran the dishwasher on the sanitary cycle. We did not skip a night.

Hard? Yes. Impossible? No.

Despite how hard this is, we find a way to feed our kids.

The vast majority of our kids grow into solid foods. They wean off the bottle or breast. Eventually, this becomes a vague memory. What stays with us are just impressions: the smell of the baby on our shoulder, burping while the other continues to suckle; the weight of our children in our arms; the weight of our eyelids; the sight of squishy cheeks; the leap of our hearts when we see our children holding hands; above all, the knowledge that we all survived.

We MoMs did the impossible, rendering it merely improbable.

What is/was hard about infant feeding in your family?

Sadia (rhymes with Nadia) has been coordinating How Do You Do It? since late 2012. She is the divorced mother of 7-year-old monozygotic twins, M and J. She lives with them and their 3 cats in the Austin, TX suburbs and works full time as a business analyst. She retired her personal blog, Double the Fun, when the girls entered elementary school and also blogs at Adoption.com and Multicultural Mothering.

Share this...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on StumbleUponShare on TumblrShare on RedditDigg thisShare on LinkedInEmail this to someone