Two Months

Well, actually almost 2 1/2 months because I haven’t had the time to sit down and type this post. I’ll use the twin excuse!

So hard to believe that Jemma and Zoe will be 11 weeks old tomorrow, I know, I know, I say it in every post, but time really goes by so fast.

Both girls are doing great and we are falling more and more in love with them every day. We are starting to get smiles from them, be still my heart! And both girls are finding their voices, Jemma especially, she really likes to be social.

Not sure if Hubby agrees, but I’m enjoying our PEMS group, I posted about PEMS a few posts ago. All of the couples in our group are very nice and it’s great to have other people to share the experience with. We talk about highs and lows every week and luckily we’ve had more highs than lows to discuss.

We have finally moved onto the Playtex Drop-In/Natural Latch bottles, these were the bottles we had originally bought for the girls, but since they had been introduced to the small bottles from the hospital and I wasn’t nursing much, the girls have had a hard time opening wide enough for the Natural Latch nipples to get an effective seal. They finally are able to open wide enough and it has been so nice to have the drop-in bags that are disposable. We transitioned from the small two ounce hospital bottles to the Dr. Browns bottles (which are 5 parts! Too much dishwashing!) and now finally onto the Playtex. The girls take about 3-4 oz per feeding, Jemma sometimes taking 5-6 oz. We are still generally on a 3-4 hour interval with longer stretches at 4-5 hours and unfortunately, some shorter stretches of 1.5-2 hours. The short stretches are manageable except when they are at night!

The doulas we have hired for nighttime care on our work nights have been lifesavers. One of the two doulas comes from 10:30 PM until 6:30 AM Sunday through Wednesday. They are a little costly, but worth every dime to have a functional brain for work. Our original contract with them was for 5 weeks, but we will likely extend for another couple of weeks. The thought of being up for a 2 hour stretch at night (on a bad night) and then having to go to work for 9 hours seems daunting and gives me anxiety! The hope is that by the end of November the girls will give us 5 hour stretches on a regular basis. Both of our Moms are still doing our childcare during the day and we feel so lucky to have them to care for Jemma and Zoe.

Jemma and Zoe had their 2 month appointment on September 19th. Both girls have almost doubled in weight since birth and they were so good getting their 2 month vaccines, hardly any tears.

Jemma:
Weight: 11 pounds 4 ounces
Length: 22.75 inches
Head Circumference: 15.47 inches

Zoe:
Weight: 10 pounds 6 ounces
Length: 22.75 inches
Head Circumference: 14.88 inches

Jemma is a bit heavier than Zoe and she has my big head! Both girls are in the 90+ percentile for length, hopefully they’ll be tall like Daddy!

Both girls love baths, love car rides, love going out in their stroller, smile often, talk occasionally, think glasses on people’s faces are interesting, and love their swings. We’ve taken them out to dinner a couple of times and the louder the restaurant the better.

Jemma likes to be held…..a lot! And loves when you talk to her.
Zoe can “play” by herself and be content. She also loves to stare at your face and just gives you the sweetest look.

They dislike having their clothes changed, getting out of the warm bath and are beginning to startle more with loud noises, so much for doing whatever we please during nap times.

Sorry if this post is rambling on. I’m trying to remember all of the little moments because I know that they come and go so quickly! Hubby and I still can’t believe we were blessed not with one but two little miracles. Jemma and Zoe are more than we could have ever imagined and our hearts have to keep growing to contain the love we have for them.

Two month photo

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Jemma

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Zoe

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Happy time!

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By the way, I’m so happy it’s fall. Bring on the crisp air, pumpkin spice lattes, changing leaves, football games, Halloween and best holiday…Thanksgiving! I’ll try not to get ahead of myself.

xoxo

One Lovely Blog Award

blog award I have been nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award by Plan B Chronicles.  Thank you so much for the nomination!

The criteria for accepting a One Lovely Blog Award are:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you
  2. List the rules.  I prefer to call them guidelines.
  3. List seven (7) facts about yourself.
  4. Nominate 15 other bloggers and let them know you did.
  5. Display the award logo and follow your nominator.

Seven Facts About Myself:

  1. I am a dentist.  My real world friends know this is my profession, but not all of my blogger friends do.
  2. I am an only child.  I knew that if at all possible, I wanted to have more than one child.  I didn’t mind being an only child, but wanted my children to have siblings.
  3. I love Hawaii, it is my favorite place to vacation!
  4. My Mom is from Hawaii.
  5. I eat peanut butter almost every day, can’t live without it!  I hope my twin girls don’t have any peanut allergies.
  6. I love to sing in the car.
  7. Yoga and cooking make me happy!

I know many of you have already been nominated and have done your posts, so I’m going to pass on nominations.  There are many many Lovely Blogs out there and you can check out my Blog roll to see the ones I’m currently following.

xoxo

Back to Work

Happy Labor Day! I hope all of you have the day off work and are relaxing. Even though summer doesn’t officially end until September 23rd this year, Labor Day always feels like the end of summer to me. Maybe it’s because I think back to the school days when school would start back up after the holiday weekend. Pencils sharpened, new school clothes in the closet, football games, anticipation of seeing all of your friends and seeing that school crush. This year Labor Day is bittersweet for me, tomorrow I return to work after a short seven-week maternity leave. I’m going to miss Jemma and Zoe so much after spending almost all day with them for seven weeks, but I am also looking forward to returning to work. I have an amazing team that makes each day great and I’m looking forward to seeing them and seeing all of my patients who I know are eager to hear all about the girls.

The girls are getting so big, we went to rent a second hospital-grade pump for me to take to work and were able to use the scale at the center to weigh the girls. Jemma is up to 9 pounds 9 ounces and Zoe is up to 9 pounds 1 ounce. Jemma is a very good eater and now has a half pound on her sister. Jemma also had a hip ultrasound at Children’s Hospital since she was breech and everything checked out completely normal. We were guessing her hips were okay because she kicks like crazy!

We also had our first PEMS (providing early multiples support) meeting, PEMS is modeled after PEPS (program for early parent support) and enjoyed meeting three other couples with twins. There will be another couple joining the group but they didn’t attend the first meeting, so will be a total of 5 couples. It will be 8 weeks of meetings rotating between homes covering topics such as arrival stories, sleeping, feeding, etc. The girls slept through the first meeting, but you can only imagine how some meetings will go with 10 infants all gathered in the same room!

Last night the four of us went out for sushi dinner, it was a success!
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I’m going to miss seeing these little faces tomorrow. Hubby will definitely have to send me pictures at work this week. I’m glad it’ll be a short week for my first week back.

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I’ll be posting soon, hoping everything goes smoothly tomorrow!

xoxo

One Month

So hard to believe that the girls are over a month old. Even though I see them every day, I can definitely see how much they’ve grown and changed.

Physically they are continuing to gain weight and length. We’ve started doing some tummy time and both Jemma and Zoe are lifting their heads and turning them from side to side. Both girls are much more alert and will look at you with bright and curious eyes. Their little inadvertent smiles are so adorable and just melt my heart.

Jemma has come a long way from being in the NICU. She is a great eater now and gives wide smiles. She loves to look at lights and we even catch her gazing at the TV.

Zoe is so sweet but can be our little drama queen. She likes to cry out when she’s eating, even though she is getting everything she needs. She loves to look at you when you are feeding her and gazes at your face, so adorable.

I’m focusing almost solely on pumping and decided not to take the Reglan. The side effects can be terrible, besides causing depression, it can also cause tardive dyskinesia. The tardive dyskinesia can be permanent. It is not worth a few more ounces of milk to me. I’m continuing to take 6000 mg of fenugreek daily and am drinking plenty of Mother’s Milk tea.

I’ll be back to work the Tuesday after Labor Day, I can’t believe how fast my time at home has gone by. I’m getting a little anxious thinking about leaving the girls, but I know they will be in wonderful hands. My Mom and Mother-in-Law will be sharing our child care duties. All of the little things the girls do will be what I’ll miss most during my time at work. But I feel lucky to be in a profession where I can work three and a half days and have long weekends with my family.

One Month Old! August 14, 2014 Zoe (left) and Jemma (right)

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Sister time Jemma (right) and Zoe (left)

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Happy Hump Day!

xoxo

Learning and growing as we go….

Jemma and Zoe were 4 weeks this past Monday…..wow, can’t believe how fast the first 4 weeks went by. Both girls are doing great, they are good eaters now and are gaining weight! We went in for a weight check yesterday at the pediatric office. Jemma is up to 7 pounds 13 ounces, she went from the 3rd to the 14th percentile. Zoe is up to 7 pounds 10 ounces and went from the 2nd to the 11th percentile. The girls now have chubby cheeks and a little pudge on their thighs, I love it!

Jemma
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Zoe

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Jemma and I went back to the lactation consultant this past Monday. Jemma did quite well at our first visit, but at this visit, she went into full tantrum mode. Loud crying, pushing, kicking and refusal to latch. The consultant said she understood why I was having trouble breastfeeding and why I found it to be stressful for both Jemma and myself. She asked what my goals were and I said that giving the girls breast milk was my main goal, she said that I can still do that with pumping and to do whatever made everyone happy. It was validating to hear this from a lactation consultant and helped me move on from my ongoing internal debate about whether or not to push the breastfeeding issue.

So, at this point, we are still trying to latch/breastfeed 1-2 times/day, but not spending more than 5 minutes trying to do so. Only breastfeeding for as long as the girls are actively swallowing and focusing on pumping and giving the girls pumped breast milk. The consultant said that if I really wanted to work with Jemma we could take her for an oral evaluation and then to try the catheters attached to my breast. With going back to work in 2-3 weeks I just didn’t feel like it was realistic to go through all of that. I really just want to enjoy the rest of my maternity leave to its fullest.

When I feed the girls alone (without the help of my Mom or Hubby, which I do at the 3 AM feeding), I utilize the Twin-Z Pillow and I feel accomplished and happy! Why not do what makes everyone happy!?

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Today was my postpartum visit, my doctor says I’m healing well and can resume normal activities. I’m very excited to get back into yoga. Also, the doctor prescribed Reglan per my request to help increase my milk supply. She did let me know that some people experience depression with it, so I’ll take it for a couple of weeks and will see how I feel. I would rather have a lower milk supply than be depressed. Sleep deprivation is enough! Anyone have experience with Reglan?

Tomorrow the girls will be 1 month, post and pictures coming soon!

Happy Hump Day!

Ups and Downs

Jemma and Zoe are almost three weeks and both are up to a little over six pounds. They are starting to show us their little personalities and are definitely more lively than they were even a week ago. People have told us that babies change up the routine at about two weeks and almost like clockwork, ours did. They are no longer sleeping the predictable three to three and a half hours and they are taking more and more breast milk and formula. We’ve almost graduated from the small two ounce bottles they had given us at the hospital.

So far the girls have had two doctors visits, had a newborn photo session, gone on their first walk in the stroller and have continued to melt our hearts.

This past Sunday we booked a photographer to come to our house to do a newborn photo session. Stephanie recommended feeding the girls before her arrival to ensure that the girls were full and sleepy. We finished feeding the girls about 10 minutes before her arrival, but didn’t have time to get them swaddled and back to sleep. Needless to say, Stephanie got some amazing images despite the girls being wide awake, flailing their little arms and legs and not being very “posable”.

Zoe (left) and Jemma (right)
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Jemma (left) and Zoe (right)

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Zoe (left) and Jemma (right)

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Having twins is so wonderful but is also much more challenging that I had anticipated. I love these girls beyond words, but I’ve had my moments of frustration and tears. I think sleep deprivation plus hormonal changes equals an emotional roller coaster. Much of my stress has come with breastfeeding. Right now we are doing a combination of giving the girls pumped breast milk (I make enough for one baby but not enough for two), formula and alternating breastfeeding with each baby during the day. Zoe was doing great with breastfeeding at the hospital, Jemma only had about a day or two of breastfeeding at the hospital since she was in the NICU and I wasn’t able to get out of bed for about four days but seemed to do pretty well also. Both girls were doing pretty well when we first got home but now both of them scream, cry, push off my breast and have a hard time latching. Jemma has had more difficulty, so earlier this week we saw another lactation consultant (we had been visited by about four different lactation consultants in the hospital) to get some help with her. We changed my position, pillow (goodbye Twin Brest Friend for now) and baby’s position. Jemma did well at the appointment and managed to take in about 20 ccs during a relatively short feeding. However, she is back to getting extremely upset when I try to latch her onto my breast and screams and pushes away. It just breaks my heart to see her so upset that I have to give her a bottle to settle her.

I have a follow-up appointment with the lactation consultant in about a week and a half but I’m going to try to move my appointment up to see her sooner. I’m having such a tough time deciding what is best for myself and the babies. I envisioned breastfeeding until I go back to work in September, but I’m not sure if my babies and I are doing what’s best when everyone gets so upset and stressed. We have to bottle feed, (I’m not making enough milk for both girls), I would be able to do little else with my day if I tried to breastfeed both girls as much as possible each day, and I want the girls to accept a bottle since I will be going back to work after Labor Day.

Here are my dilemmas:

-Do I continue to pump, giving the girls breast milk at every feeding via a bottle and feel content knowing that the are getting breast milk (my main goal)? I would love to give the girls breast milk for at least 6 months.

-Do I continue to try to breast feed and feel upset and sad when the girls are having such difficulty?

-Do I take away some of the bottle feeding, but then spend almost my whole day trying to breastfeed? And again, potentially feel stressed.

I would love to hear your thoughts, especially if you are the parent of multiples. Please do not write comments saying that “breast is best” and that it is the “easiest thing in the world”. For some of you this may be the case, but I know for myself and many other mothers, breastfeeding is very challenging. I want very badly to be able to breastfeed, but I also want to enjoy the bonding time I have with Jemma and Zoe and I don’t want anyone to dread feeding times.

Hubby goes back to work on Monday and that is something else that is weighing on me. We are a great team and have really worked well together to feed the girls, I’ll be taking on the second overnight feeding by myself so that he can get a good night of sleep, hoping and praying that it’ll go as smoothly as possible.

xoxo

Home Sweet Home

Jemma was finally discharged from the NICU on Sunday! We spent almost an entire week at the hospital and are so glad to finally be home. Jemma got the green light after Hubby persisted to have one of the nurse practitioners talk to the neonatologist in charge, she just had to have her car seat and hearing tests before they would discharge her.

Jemma buckled in and ready to head home!
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Sunday night was our first night at home, we were greeted by both sets of grandparents (my own parents are actually here staying with us for the time being). Everyone was very excited to see us home and especially to spend time with Jemma since she didn’t get to have many visitors. We had a nice dinner, but unfortunately the girls and us did not have a very restful evening. We had gotten into a pretty good routine at the hospital, but our first night home our routine got out of sync and the girls were fussy all night.

On Monday evening we asked if our Moms (Hubby’s Mom gladly drives over to our house around 10 PM) if they would do the first overnight feeding so that Hubby and I could get a chunk of sleep. Besides pumping we are able to get about four hours together, we then get up to do the second overnight feeding around 3:00-3:30 AM and then get another three hour block. We’ve been doing this since Monday night and it seems to be working well. The girls have also become a little more predictable in their feeding and sleeping routine.

A few other updates from this past week:

-Jemma and Zoe had their first doctors visit and both are doing great. We expressed to the pediatrician that Jemma seems a little more sleepy and doesn’t feed as well as Zoe and he said that she behaves a little more preemie-like and that if we didn’t have Zoe to compare against we probably wouldn’t think twice about her behavior.

-I had a follow-up doctors appointment to check my blood pressure. It is down to around 126/74, so the doctor was pleased to see it decreasing. I’m still taking the beta blocker and will have another exam this upcoming week to check in again. My carpal tunnel is worse that it had been my entire pregnancy, it’s really my only complaint right now. Anyone out there with severe carpal tunnel postpartum? If so, how long did it take to go away? Did anyone do physical therapy to help relieve it? I really would like to avoid any type of surgery at this point.

-Breast feeding really does help to shed pregnancy pounds. I’ve been amazed at how quickly I’ve lost weight. Although, I think much of the last 25 pounds I gained was water weight with all of my edema and swelling.

Jemma and Zoe loaded up in the stroller ready to head home. Jemma below and Zoe up top.

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The girls in their crib after a successful night. Zoe on the left, Jemma on the right.

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Hoping for more successful and semi-restful nights of sleep and hoping to see the girls thrive and grow! We are so in love with them!

Happy Saturday!
xoxo

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