Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Few Firsts...

I thought I would share a few "firsts" from the last few weeks.

The weather was beautiful a few Sundays ago, so Grandma, Auntie Erica, and I decided to take the girls on their first walk. Notice Morgan in the front carrier (thank you April and Grey). Frustrating story...Steve and I purchased a brand new stroller from Baby Jogger that was just released at the beginning of this year and unfortunately, we have only received ONE seat. Makes the stroller a little useless with twins. (Don't worry, mommy has been on the phone constantly with the customer service rep!)

The girls' first trip to Grandpa's new office. It's beautiful! They should be moved in by the end of May. I'm sure the girls will get LOTS of playtime there in the future!

On April 17th, we celebrated Erica's birthday and attended her shower for baby Dylan (due June 20th). Lots of friends and family got to meet the girls for the first time! Doesn't Auntie Erica look beautiful!!

Yesterday, we took the girls on their first road trip to Seattle for mommy's doctors appointment. Grandpa rented a minivan, so that we would all fit. The girls did so well, they never cried while we were in the car (unless we were at a stoplight), and they completed one whole feeding in their carseats without fussing. We were so proud of them!

Grandpa and daddy got a little bored while mommy was at her 4 hour doctor appointment. While Grandma and mommy were finishing up with the doctor, daddy sent us a picture to let us know the girls had their first trip to get some "chicken wings." Needless to say, I'm sure Grandpa and daddy were a huge hit at the restaurant, as twin baby girls can definitely attract female attention!!

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Photo Session with Doreen

At my baby shower, I received a wonderful gift from one of my mom's dearest friends, Nikki. It was a photo session with her friend, Doreen. I must say, the pictures are fabulous! Below is a link to the gallery which is open until May 3rd. Enjoy!

Dear "Grandma" Nikki,
We just wanted to send you a special thank you. The pictures Doreen took make us look like baby models and we love them. We also know our mommy will cherish these pictures forever. Thanks for the wonderful gift, we love you!!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

One Month Checkup

Thursday, April 8th was your one month checkup with the pediatrician. Your last appointment was March 8th (7 days old). Here are the highlights...

Head: 36 1/2 cm, 25% - up from 34 cm, 10-25%
Height: 20 1/2 inches, 17% - up from 18 1/2 inches, < 10%
Weight: 8 lbs 2 oz, 15% - up from 5 lbs 8 oz, < 5%

The doctor assessed your tummy issues and decided to try you on a 3 week trial of Prevacid. He said that your episodes, crying after eating, are likely caused by reflux or you may have colic. He said that if it is reflux, we should notice a marked decrease in your episodes over the next three weeks. If we don't notice a change, it's likely colic and will just need to let it run its course. We picked up the prescription for the Prevacid and surprisingly, you love it and suck it right down!! (It smells like bubble gum...I wonder if it tastes like bubble gum??) You had to get your second Hepatitis B shot in your thigh and you did not like it. You cried and it made mommy very sad. Other than the tummy issues, he said you are very healthy and he couldn't be happier with your growth and development!

Head: 35 cm, 4% - up from 31 1/2 cm, 1%
Height: 19 3/4 inches, 4 % - up from 18 inches, 1%
Weight: 7 lbs 4 oz, 4% - up from 5 lbs 0 oz, 1%

The doctor said your growth and development was right on track. He was a little concerned because your skin tone still has a yellow tinge to it, which can be a sign of jaundice. He decided to do a blood test to make sure your Billirubin levels were not too high. (We got the results the next day and they were slightly elevated. The doctor said not to worry, the level is continuing to drop from when you were in the hospital, which is just what they want to see.) You also had to have your second Hepatitis B shot. For the first time mommy heard you cry (you never cry) and you even held your breath for a few second. It was very hard for mommy to watch. I can't believe you had to be poked twice in one day, mommy is very sorry!

Here are a few pictures from your visit to the pediatrician....

Waiting in the lobby. (Mommy loved your cute outfits that day)

Morgan on the scale.

Sydney on the scale.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Lactation Specialist

My last post from yesterday was quite long so I decided to make a separate post about our feeding issues. As I mentioned in my post on 03/18/2010, since we left the hospital I had been able to give the girls 100% breastmilk, either from the breast or the bottle. About a week and a half ago, I noticed that my supply was decreasing and I was barely pumping enough for a single feeding {insert panic and despair}. I decided to contact the lactation specialist at the hospital for some guidance. She indicated that there could be a few issues at play: the fact that my immune system was weakened and the fact that I was taking steroids and an antiviral medication for my Bell's Palsy. I guess both of these issues can cause a drop in your milk supply. She suggested that I contact my physician and request a prescription for Reglan (I believe it is an anti-nausea medication). Reglan is believed to increase milk supply in breastfeeding mothers. The doctor called in the prescription for the medication and I started taking it on 03/28/2010. Within two days my supply was back and I felt a HUGE sense of relief!

In an effort to prevent my supply from dropping again, I scheduled an appointment to meet in person with the lactation specialist. I scheduled our appointment with the WONDERFUL lactation specialist we met in the hospital, Kristin. One of the reasons I had not been solely breastfeeding the girls was the fact that they were inefficient nursers after birth and we weren't sure how my milk supply would do, given my previous breast surgery for fibroidadnoma's. At our postpartum appointment (two days after discharge from the hospital), both girls nursed for 30 minutes - Morgan only took in 5mL and Sydney took in 30mL. Because of these numbers, they suggested that I continue to offer them bottles of breastmilk to ensure their intake was adequate and they continued to gain weight. At our appointment with Kristin on 04/02/2010 both girls nursed for 20 minutes. This time, Morgan took in 90mL and Sydney took in 78mL. Essentially both girls were taking in their recommended amounts - they officially graduated to EFFICIENT nursers!! With this information the lactation specialist assured me that I can nurse them without hesitation and even start working towards tandem nursing (two at a time)! I'm still a little nervous to tandem nurse, but when I have someone around to help, I give it a shot. For the most part, I try when I can during the day to nurse them and then give them bottles at night. There are two reasons for the bottles at night: 1) I know how much they are getting and hope that means they will sleep for at least 4 hours and 2) I'm not yet confident at nursing and when I'm tired and sleep deprived, I get frustrated and then the girls get frustrated. So, for the time being we continue to bottle feed the girls breastmilk and I nurse them when I can. For the most part, both girls will take between 90-100mL at each feeding and they are feeding every 3.5 to 4.5 hours. Mommy really couldn't be happier!! Our girls truly are VERY GOOD babies, Steve and I truly feel blessed. God is Good!!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

1 Month Update...(a little late)

Wow, all the twin blog moms were right...time is really flying by! I can't believe that our girls are already 5 weeks old (as of yesterday). April 1st marked their 1 month "birthday" and they celebrated by being tortured by Grandma Laurie taking pictures. Well, let me clarify...Morgan was tortured - nothing ever seems to bother Sydney, she simply goes with the flow.

We are keeping this blog, not only to update friends and family about our family, but to document our memories of the girls. So I apologize if some if this information is boring. I know that if I don't document it, I won't remember! Here are a few highlights:

As of 4/2/2010 you weighed 6 lbs, 12.2 oz
You are wearing all newborn clothes
You are eating about 100mL of breastmilk (by bottle or breast) every 3.5 to 4 hours
At night, you sleep in the co-sleeper in our room, you prefer to be swaddled. you sleep on the Boppy, and are sleeping about 4 hours
**Mom and dad are trying to break you of sleeping on the Boppy, but you really don't like to sleep flat on your back - mom is paranoid that sleeping on the Boppy isn't safe**
We started trying to have you take your daytime naps in your crib. You did great and slept for about an hour!
You continue to be very "easy going" (like your daddy).
Rarely, do we hear you cry - only if you are VERY hungry.
You only really take a binky when you are hungry. Otherwise, you have no interest in it.
Things you love - stretching out on the floor, swinging in your swing, staring at the lights, being snuggled, and bathtime!
Things you're not so fond of - being strapped into your carseat, being given your binky when you don't want it, and the bouncy seat.

As of 4/2/2010 you weighed 7 lbs, 9 oz
You are wearing all newborn clothes
You are eating about 100mL of breastmilk (by bottle or breast) every 3.5 to 4 hours
At night, you sleep in the co-sleeper in our room, you prefer to be swaddled, you sleep on the Boppy, and are sleeping about 4 hours
**Mom and dad are trying to break you of sleeping on the Boppy, but you really don't like to sleep flat on your back - mom is paranoid that sleeping on the Boppy isn't safe**
We started trying to have you take your daytime naps in your crib. You didn't really like it and spent most of the time crying - we're going to keep working on it though!
I think you and mommy may have VERY similar personalities! You are slightly impatient, a little dramatic, but love to be snuggled and loved.
You have been having some tummy issues. It seems to mommy and daddy that every time you eat, you are in pain afterwards and spend quite a bit of time crying and stiffening your body. We started giving you Mylicon drops before each feeding and that seems to have helped a little. We will ask the pediatrician about it at our next appointment (4/8/2010).
You are a binky girl. Often times, giving you your binky will soothe and calm you.
Things you love - stretching out on the floor (for a short time), being snuggled, walking around while being held, swinging in your swing, and sitting in your bouncy seat (but only with the vibration on).
Things you're not so fond of - bathtime, changing your diaper or clothes, being strapped into your carseat, and being put down when you want to be held.

Update on Mommy and Daddy
Steve went back to work two weeks after the girls were born, boy was that an adjustment for mom. I really loved having him around to help every day - he is a great dad and helps with feedings, changing diapers, and dressing the girls (he's not too sure about bathtime yet)!

Right now Steve is working a very difficult schedule: one day shift, two swing shifts, and two night shifts. Needless to say it is an exhausting schedule for someone without kids, not to mention someone with newborn twins! On the days that he works night shift, the girls and I have been staying the night at my mom and dad's house. My mom is a gem, she sleeps with me and helps me with the nighttime feedings! Side note - we tried one night using the baby monitors (one in the guest room, where the cribs are, and the other in my parents room). Needless to say that only lasted one night because grandpa didn't get any sleep! Grandma now sleeps with me in the guest room - after two nights of helping with the girls, grandma is definitely exhausted! I must say, we are getting LOTS of help from both sets of grandparents, Auntie Erica, and Uncle Bob. Without our family, I'm not sure what we would do. We always have family that is willing to come over and watch the girls so we can sleep, run errands, or just take a bath! We truly feel blessed to have such a wonderful, supportive family - thank you mom, dad, Dave, Norene, Bob, and Erica - we could not do this without you guys!!

Lastly, a quick update on me. I still have Bell's Palsy, hence why we still have no family pictures. It's a little depressing to think its been four weeks and there hasn't been a significant change for the better. I'm trying to stay positive though and hope that in time it will get better. My speech articulation is still impacted, I can't smile, and I can't blink. I must say, it is a little frustrating and makes me somewhat self-conscious, but again, I'm trying to stay positive. With all the family support (time to sleep). I have managed to get and stay healthy, which is a HUGE relief!! Being sick and raising twins is NO FUN!

Sorry for the long post! For those of you that read all of that, I'll leave you with a few photos of the girls, taken by grandma Laurie on their 1 month "birthday." (In all the photos, Morgan is on the left and Sydney is on the right)

Thank you to my friend Liz who made these adorable tutu's! She is also the mother of adorable twin girls, "Thank you Liz, we have gotten lots of use out of the tutu's!"