Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Holiday Update

Well it is December now and the twins are 8 months old, officially tomorrow. GG is just as funny as ever. This morning I woke up to her eating candy canes off the Christmas tree at about 4:00 in the morning. Speaking of 4 in the morning, there isn't a whole lot of sleep happening at our house currently. I swore up and down that MY kids would be in bed (their bed) and that I would be sleeping through the night by now....well apparently I was very wrong and 8 months of sleep deprivation is the proof that things are never what you think they will be, and I swear this lack of sleep is aging us by the second. I have tried various things to get the twins sleeping in their bed through the night and nothing has worked so far. Oh well... On a super awesome note, I am officially done with the semester at Florida State, so I now have 8 more semesters to go before I graduate. Seems like 8 is a lot, but as fast as time is going right now I am thinking that it will fly by. Well that is my little update from Fort Myers. Happy Holidays!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Postpartum Depression

Well, the days that followed both birthing a singleton, and multiples, proved to be emotionally challenging. I pictured having this amazing water birth in my home, with my husband, midwife, and best friend Stephanie here with me, and pictured it being totally perfect complete with rainbows and butterflies....ok well maybe not that perfect but you catch my drift. Well I ended up having to go to the hospital and ended up caving into every intervention in the book while I was there. I really was not expecting to be birthing any of my children in the hospital, but that's just the way it ended up being. The part that I really did not anticipate was the PPD that would follow. I had PPD with Georgia, but do not recall taking any medication for it. I just cried a lot and felt really anxious. I also worried that I wasn't going to be able to protect her. I think that the fears that I had during that time are more related to the experience that my sister and I had with our own mother. I just want to protect my children, and especially Georgia. She is so sweet and innocent, I just love that about children. They are all so perfect.

Well the PPD with the boys was pretty bad and I ended up going to Dr. Punger for help. She suggested doing several things which I think all helped, and continue to help. The few things that I really think helped me the most were: breastfeeding (by now you probably know that I love breastfeeding), baby wearing (I love having the baby close to me), and I take an antidepressant. Those few things really help me. I know that my boys are going on 6 months now, but I am scared to stop taking the medication, because I feel really content right now and I don't want to change that. I know that PPD can affect everyone, especially the baby, which is why I think breastfeeding helps so much. The bonding that takes place between my babies and me is very strong and seeing how happy my baby is when I hold him, makes me happy.

I have included a picture of me and Logan by the marina, downtown. I have to say that I really do love baby wearing. If is very comfortable, both for me and the babies. I had an Ergo until about a week ago. Brad spilled chlorine on it and it literally disintegrated. That was a great carrier too. There are many different types of slings and carriers made for baby wearing. I am a fan of ring slings personally, but you will have to find what works best for you.

Donor Milk

I have been a pumping machine for my little guys since returning to work, but simple math can tell you that the 12 ounces that I get when I pump at work is nothing compared to the almost 40 that they drink at day care. Obviously we needed to I have been on a hunt for donor milk, and seriously "found the mother load" as Mel Fisher would say. I found a generous donor who is out of West Palm Beach. She has been pumping since August and accumulated about 1500 ounces of liquid gold. I had donor milk for a while, then ran out and had no choice but to give them formula. The boys have been getting mostly breast milk, with the addition of 1, 1o ounce bottle of formula a day while at daycare. I know that there is probably some crazy hippy ways of getting my milk to meet the boys demand, but the fact is folks, I am a working mom, a graduate student at Florida State, have 3 kids to take care of, 2 dogs, and a house! So while I wish I could just lay around and breastfeed to build my's not going to happen. So while it lasts, the boys will be 100% breast milk babies again, which really makes me happy. I can tell a HUGE difference in their mood when they have formula. The are so uncomfortable, have excessive gas, spit up more, and do not sleep well when they get formula. If you think about formula, it really is pretty harsh on a baby's bowls. The whole reason behind waiting until your baby is a year old to give them cows milk, has to do with the lining of the intestines. If babies have cows milk too soon, the intestinal walls can become irritated and bleed. And what is formula made from??? Oh that's right....MILK! I don't know about the whole soy thing either. To be honest, all the estrogen in that freaks me out too.

Grad school is a whole other topic. Here is a brief overview of that part of my life. I have been working diligently on all the projects that have come up and am really enjoying my studies. I can honestly say that I feel like I am going to be really happy working as a speech-language pathologist. The projects that I have done so far this semester have eaten up all my spare time, and every weekend since August to be honest. It is hard finding time to do much of anything right now with the kids being as small as they are. Anyways, that's what is new with me.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Looking back......

I have these memories of my childhood that come up from time to time, some are great and make me laugh and some are painful and make me cry. This particular one came to me while I was lying in my bed surrounded by my Egyptian cotton sheets, and comfy down pillow that I just bought that afternoon from Target. I remember as a child wondering if I was going to make it out of the trailer parks and into a real house. I have a great dad and always have, it’s just that my parents were divorced and I lived with my mom and sister Jesse. Jesse was my best friend (and still is for that matter). She is older than me and went through everything first, naturally. We moved A LOT!! And by a lot, I mean every year and sometimes several times in one year. Jesse and I were enrolled in a different school EVERY YEAR. It sucked making new friends all the time, which is why Jesse and I were always so close. I remember her going off to school, and the bus picking her up and dropping her off at my grandpa Dionne’s junkyard (a.k.a. Dionne’s Cambridge Recycling). The bus would pull up in the morning and Jesse would get on happy and excited to see her friends, while I would be so sad to see her go (I was too young to go to school still). So I would spend the entire day around the junk yard counting tea bags, scribbling on pads of paper pretending that I was writing in cursive, making mud pies in the aluminum pie pans people would bring in to get money for, and chasing the many animals around. Then I would sit on the cinder block steps to my grandpa’s office on Georgetown Road, wearing my garage sale- dirt covered clothes, and wait for Jesse’s school bus to drop her off. That bus would pull up and I would be ecstatic to have my playmate, my partner in crime, my sister, and my best friend home. The windows were down, the kids were all yelling, and I could hear what they were saying. “Junk Yard Dog” that’s what I would hear them call my sister as she would be getting off that bus, that yellow ride of hope that promised that she would be something some day. It just made me so sad that she was being picked on. I hated it. I wanted to be on the bus with her so that she wasn’t alone. It seemed like everywhere we went, we were always isolated and alone, just the two of us. We never really fit in anywhere and it never really bothered me that much, but Jesse was always just a little more sensitive to that. We both have come a long way since we were “Junkyard Dogs”. We both have college degrees and good jobs. It’s crazy to think that this was a part of our lives. Jesse always tells me that I remember everything, and its true. I wish I could forget some things but I just cant. Anyways, all of these little things have shaped who we have become and who we have in our life. I hope that my kids never feel like Jesse felt getting off that bus, but if it happens hopefully they can see past it and move forward.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Total Defeat!

I have been doing an awesome job at keeping the twins at the breast, but the last week has been extremely difficult. I have been keeping them on the boob for 40-50 minutes at a time, and when they are done nursing they are still rooting around and cry as if they are still hungry. I really want my babies to be fed breast milk only, but I am quickly learning that I am not going to be able to do that. There are supplements that I can take that will increase my milk supply, but the ones I have tried so far taste awful!!!! And the other one, that my physician recommended, apparently causes breast cancer in lab rats (according to the disclaimer on the website) so I am not going to take that any more. I will take donor milk, but am leery of taking milk from people that I don't know due to the possibility of the transmission of diseases. I began giving the boys 4 ounces of formula a day, after breastfeeding them, and the extra 4 ounces seems to be the right amount. I make lots of milk, it just doesn't seem to be enough now......

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Weightloss Frustration

So this is a picture of me 18 weeks pregnant with the twins. And if I were to post a picture in this outfit, I would look the exact same and its been 12 weeks since they were born. I want my stomach to go back to the way it was before I had my kids, and I want to fit into my clothes again without having my belly hang over my pants. I weighed 180 pounds when I went to the hospital and I lost 30 pounds within the first few weeks, but after that the weight loss stopped. I have lost 5 pounds in the month of June, which I am happy about. I feel like I should be losing more than 5 pounds a month though. I workout every morning, watch what I eat, am breastfeeding, and I drink a ton of water each day. Every time I complain about the weight sticking around, everyone gives me the same response "you JUST had twins." I did have twins, yes.....but they are 12 weeks old already!!! WHAT'S TAKING SO LONG???!!!!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Dad on Duty.....

I can honestly say that my husband is a great dad. Brad has a love for our kids that is greater than life itself. Now, as a mom of 3, I have really started to appreciate every little thing that Brad does around here. Here are a few things that Brad does that make my life easier: he gets Georgia ready for bed every night, changes the boys diapers during the night, gets me several glasses of water throughout the day, makes me coffee every morning, watches the kids so I can workout, does all the laundry, unloads the dishwasher, takes the garbage out, vacuums, cleans the cars, and the picture I have here shows him in rare form- cooking!!! And not only is he cooking, he is wearing a baby!!! I love this man! The point is, I never really thought about how much he contributes until now, and all I can say is that I am lucky. There are a lot of people out there raising their kids as a single parent and I am glad that I have someone that is "on duty" with me through this journey :o)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A day away.......

Well I went to work for 1 week before summer started (I work in the schools here), so I have pumped prior to today BUT I did want to put a quick post up about my milk supply. I have heard from several people about how I "will HAVE to supplement" in order to keep up with my babies demands....which really annoys me for some reason. I have bottle fed my twins with my own breast milk and also formula a couple times (only when I don't have any breast milk in the fridge), not because of a low milk supply, but rather to give myself a break from nursing. I am constantly nursing one of the babies and have had some issues with my nipples getting dry/cracked and they were bleeding at one point. Now when I do "take a break" from nursing the twins, I don't go crazy bottle feeding them because I am still making milk and it has to come out somehow. I don't give them a bottle every day....or even every other's more like a couple times a week. Anyways, I went to the beach today and took an entire day off from breastfeeding and it really was great. When I got back from the beach I pumped and got 15 ounces from just pumping one time. So for every person out there that doubts their ability to breastfeed multiples....right here is proof that you CAN do it!! I have to admit, that when I pump I am honestly surprised by how much milk comes out.....and in a really strange way I am proud of myself.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Choices, Choices

Well I was at the doctor today with my 3 kids and we were discussing vaccines......and on my way home I started thinking about my way of doing things. As a parent it is so hard to know if you are making the "right" choices for your kids. I really kind of feel like our society is a little brainwashed into thinking that they don't have choices with a lot of things that they actually do have a choice with. Society is so good at training us into believing everything that we hear. The most effective way to get people to buy into an idea is the use of fear. Which I have to admit, works on me too, especially when it comes to vaccines. That whole H1N1 thing was crazy! And when I was pregnant with the twins, was questioned by my obstetrician as to why I didn't get the vaccine. But the OB that delivered the twins was really cool with me doing my own thing and did not make an issue of it like some people did. I know that for the time being, what I am doing with my kids is what I "think" is best. I am not saying that it is the best, I said that I "think" its best. For instance, I breastfed G until she was a year old but some people (like my mother) told me that it was gross to nurse a baby that old. I am breastfeeding the twins now and will continue to breastfeed them until they are a year as well, we share our bed with our kids (not my favorite way to sleep but again....I "think" its best for them), we do not vaccinate and after today don't ever plan on it, we had planned home births with both pregnancies (neither worked out for reasons out of my control), and I am all about baby wearing, which to some "old fashioned" people think is dangerous. These are things that I really think are best for MY kids. There are some things that I would like to add to this list, like growing my own organic fruits and vegetables, but neither myself of my husband have that kind of time. I really love that I have choices with how I am raising my kids and am married to someone with similar beliefs. I never thought I would have 3 kids, and I seriously can not believe I am actually parenting children on some days because at heart I feel like a kid myself still. I wonder how many people think that too when they wake up in the morning. Well with all the choices that I have to make now and in the future, I just hope that my kids all know that I did the best I could and it is all out of my love for them.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Pumping ~ It's Supply and Demand

So I was at Georgia's swim lessons talking to a mom who said she wasn't able to breastfeed her daughter because her daughter was "tongue tied," and I asked her if she pumped and gave her the milk in a bottle. She said NO and that pumping makes your milk supply dry up. I thought that was really interesting and wanted to mention it because that is actually incorrect and am wondering how many people out there think that way. Now with that being said, a pump does not replace the latch that you will get from your baby on the breast, nor does it get all the milk out like your baby can, BUT is a great tool to use if your baby "won't" latch or is tongue tied (which by the way there is a small procedure that can fix this offered by some doctors), OR if you have to be away from your baby for an extended period of time. I know of one mother, who has twins, who pumped until her twins were a year old and never had a problem with supply. Every woman is different and low supply can become an issue, but there are signs to look for that will warn you that your supply is dwindling. You always want to make sure that your baby's nutritional needs are being met either through breastfeeding or "supplementing" no matter what. When I say "supplementing" you probably assume I mean formula, but there are actually donors that pump and will give you their breast milk for your don't assume that if you are a mom with a low supply, that you HAVE to use formula, because you don't. There are even little kits that can be purchased to put the "supplement" in that allows the baby to latch on to your breast and get the donor milk (or formula) while still getting that one on one mommy time that is so special. The fact is, pumping does not decrease your supply and is a great tool for the working mom BUT if you start supplementing a lot with others milk or formula, this may cause a drop in your supply. Basically, it's a matter of supply and demand......

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Conquering today....

Well this morning sure started out awesome....Georgia woke up at 6am and decided to make a huge mess in the living room before Brad or myself even knew she was up. Then while we are trying to get her ready for school, her brothers are of course hungry so I have to sit down and commit at least 30 minutes to nursing them. So my poor husband has to get Georgia ready for school (shower her and pack her lunch), which doesn't seem like it should be a big deal but it is because she loves being naked and runs away every time you try and catch her to put her clothes on. So Brad finally gets Georgia in the car, lunch is packed, he thinks he is getting an early start to his busy day and what do I hear from inside the house......a loud bang! Well he forgot that he parked his truck outside the garage last night, and apparently forgot to look in the mirror this morning as well, and he backed our van into his truck. This was all before 8am. So after Brad leaves for work, I pick up the huge mess that G made this morning and remind myself that it is only one day and that I will make it through this day. At least once every day I think to myself "I am not cut out for this...I am not going to make it," then Brad comes home and tells me how patient I am and how he couldn't do this without me and then I don't feel so bad! At least I know that I am not the only one who thinks this whole 3 kid thing is hard!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Common misconceptions.......

The first thing that the nurse says to me at my 6 week follow up is, "Oh you MUST be bottle feeding your twins," and me being the polite person that I am, kindly replied "No, my babies are breastfed." Nothing is more frustrating to me than having people assume that mothers of multiples only formula feed. Its as though there are no mothers out there who are breastfeeding their twins at all, which I know is not the case. With that being said, if you are a mother who uses formula I am not knocking you, I just want other mothers out there to know that breastfeeding multiples is possible and should be considered.