Saturday, October 19, 2013

1 Month....and we're still alive (mostly)

It's been a month and we're all still here, though my internet presence has drastically decreased. Turns out there isn't really a good way to be nursing two babies at the same time and be able to type. I go look at a lot of stuff online but rarely am I able to sit down and type something out. When babies eat every two to two and a half hours... it's just the way it is. :)

I managed to get some pictures of the babies, but as you can see it's difficult to get pictures of two babies with eyes open, not crying, and with the perfect settings on my camera. It all takes practice, I guess. :)

So far life is going well. I have had help for the last several weeks, and Brad's mom has extended her stay to help me this week too. It's been a huge help. Twins alone is HARD.

 Miss Amelia is definitely my more hands on baby. She's much more particular about how she's held, she has more tummy troubles, and she's my tiny little peanut. A point of prayer for her is that she begins to gain weight. At birth, both girls lost a lot of weight and needed to be supplemented with formula. The first two weeks they both gained well at home and the pediatrician gave his blessing to stop supplementing with the formula. The formula was a very small amount (15-20mls) after nursing, so it was not solely responsible for their initial weight gain. We simply did it to ensure that they were getting "topped off". These last two weeks, though, Amelia has only gained two ounces. They're looking for her to gain a half ounce to one ounce per day so she's obviously very much below that. Eleanor is gaining just fine, so I am sure it is not a supply issue on my end. I am meeting with a lactation consultant and going to see how much she is taking in at a feeding. We clipped a tongue tie about a week ago, so perhaps that was partly responsible for the minimal weight gain, but probably not 100% responsible.

In the mean time, I am trying to feed them more often. These last two weeks they were stretching their feedings to three or three and a half hours. I'm back to setting alarms and feeding them at the 2.5 hour mark during the day and the 3 hour mark at night instead of "on demand" because they were sleeping through feedings. I'm also working to build my supply more by drinking Mother's Milk tea, eating oatmeal, and I'm going to start pumping a bit after a feeding and using that to top off Amelia, since the pediatrician has asked us to start supplementing her again. I would freeze that milk, but we're also battling thrush so I can't freeze that milk until after it's 100% cleared up. I can express it and give it to them, but if I save it for later, I risk re-infection.

Eleanor is gaining mostly just fine, so we know enough milk is there for both babies since I feed them at the same time and switch sides at every feed. Eleanor is my more laid back baby, but she's also more impatient at feeding time. She goes from cuing that she's hungry to full on screaming in about two seconds.

A prayer point for Eleanor is that she has to go to a pediatric cardiologist to do an echo and heart ultrasound. We saw a different doctor in the practice for their 4 week check up, and she thinks she heard a heart murmur. It's not something we are OVERLY concerned about, but it is something she wants to send to a specialist just to make sure all is well. We'll be going on Wednesday morning, but I don't think they'll be doing any of the testing on that day. I think they're more just going to do a consult with MAYBE an in office EKG.

As for all of us, pray that I can function with minimal sleep. I feel ok during the day, but at night there may be some tears out of pure exhaustion. The babies want to eat at the 2.5 hour mark for most of the night, if not more often between the hours of 6pm and 12am. Like last night, one or both of the babies wanted to eat basically constantly from 6-10 and then it was time for both to eat in there too. I know cluster feeding is normal, but man it's exhausting. Also, the thrush infection is clearing up but needs to go away permanently and not come back.

I realize this post is mostly about feeding them, but hey, that's life for us right now!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Freezer Stash

I started this post the friday before the babies decided to arrive. Clearly, I didn't get much extra added to the stash that I was hoping to add. I never got the chance to do the pizzas, baked ziti, or the breakfast burritos I had planned to do. ;) Thankfully, my mom has added a few things.

Let me tell you, I am so glad I put several things in my freezer before the babies got here. It was a bit hectic at first not only because the girls were born, but also because there was just a lot of up and down with when they were going to come home and when my parents were going to get here. I was glad to have stuff already pretty much ready to go because it ended up that we got home on Saturday night and my parents arrived Sunday afternoon. Brad and I definitely did not have the energy or time to go out to the store to buy anything so it was good to have some stuff stashed away for an easy meal that we didn't have to think about. Anyway, without further ado, here's my Freezer Stash post! (and a gratuitous picture of the babies).

I think I've mentioned a few times on here that I'm making a (smallish) freezer stash of easy to heat up foods for after the babies get here. I have some wonderful friends who have said they will also be bringing us meals, but I wanted to also have some prepped ahead of time for when family is visiting us and to have just in case. It can never hurt to have stuff in the freezer. Thankfully most of this stuff can keep for a long time without getting gross.

I linked to the recipes I used from online. Anything that says "my own recipe" it basically means I just threw it together. Maybe some day I'll type out my method. Also, in the baked goods, I usually scaled back on the sugar and used whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour instead of all purpose. Here's what I have so far:

  • Chicken and black bean enchiladas- my own recipe
  • Lasagna (made by a good friend of mine)
  • Batch of chili- own recipe
  • Batch of Tortilla Soup- I did tweak it some
  • Batch of Chicken Noodle Soup- my own recipe
  • Bean and Cheese burritos- inspired by Annie's frozen burritos, but mostly my own recipe
  • Taco meat- this one is easy. Brown hamburger. Add taco spices. Freeze. ;)
  • Oatmeal pumpkin muffins-- I can't remember where I got the recipe but truth be told it wasn't that great. I'm not making it again. In fact, I threw the recipe away! 
  • Peanut butter oatmeal cookies
  • Banana-oatmeal muffins
  • Chocolate chip cookies-- from Betty Crocker's "The Cooky Book". 
I largely used recipes that I already use that I thought would freeze well. I did several soups for a couple of reasons. First, I like soup. Second, you can freeze soups flat in gallon bags which maximizes your freezer space. Since I'm only working with the freezer attached to my refrigerator, not a deep freeze, I needed to utilize my space to the best of my ability.  

My packaging methods are probably more haphazard than some. ;) As I mentioned, soups go in gallon freezer bags to freeze flat. Burritos get wrapped individually in aluminum foil and then placed in a gallon bag (I can usually get most of them in there). Muffins are wrapped individually in plastic wrap and then placed in a gallon bag. The enchiladas got frozen in a pyrex dish I have that has a lid, then I wrapped the whole thing up in plastic wrap. Lasagna is in a disposable foil dish with a lid. Pizzas get wrapped in plastic wrap, then in aluminum foil. There are probably better ways to do it and since I'm not planning on storing this stuff for MONTHS on end, I thought it would all be ok. 

I'm just excited to have some nutritious meals on hand. I know it's hard for me to get up and cook a meal when I'm tired, so then it's boxed mac and cheese or ordering pizza. Both of which I want to avoid after the babies arrive. Nursing two babies and trying to be healthy myself means I need to eat things that are nutrient dense and good for me! Plus... I gotta work on that 80lbs I gained this pregnancy. ;)