Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Twinspiration Tuesday: The Beginning

Our little W and HP decided to make their grand entrance into the world back in March, arriving ten days earlier than the Doctor was anticipating and causing Wynn to spend some time in the NICU to help fully develop her lungs. Harris would eventually join his sister the day before we were discharged due to an unstable temperature.

No parent ever pictures their child needing to spend time in the NICU and as I look back on our experience, while scary at the time, I'm so thankful for all the wonderful nurses and doctors that watched over our sweet babies while they needed some additional time developing.

I had a c-section with Graham, and therefore delivered the same way with these little ones. I expected the recovery to be just as brutal as the first go round, but surprisingly, I was able to bounce back pretty quick. Some of the nurses were a little hesitant with the way I was maneuvering my way around the hospital, but I just believe it was God's way of helping me cope with a baby on a different level, one in my room, and one at home that wasn't quite sure where his mom and dad were. It was a crazy and chaotic couple of days, and the hardest part of all was leaving the hospital empty handed.

Harris came home two days later, but Brian would spend the next week visiting Wynn every day in the NICU, dropping off pumped milk, while I stayed home to love on Graham and his new baby brother.

This is an iphone photo I took of the boys, on their first night home together while Brian was at the hospital visiting Wynn. 

Finally, by the end of the week, little Miss Wynn came home and we were officially a family of five! It was time for things to get real. 

The entire first month is such a whirlwind. Between Graham's birthday, Easter, Newborn Pics, and a Doctor's appointment for each child, I was definitely running on fumes, trying to muster up enough  sleep each night to get me through the day. When Graham was a newborn I laid on the couch most of the day while he slept, but this go round looked a little different. Graham continued his normal school schedule. We tried to frequent the park and continue playdates because the change at home was enough to endure. 

Luckily the babies slept ALL.THE.TIME. except when it was time to eat. I'm a big supporter of the swing, especially when you have more children than hands to hold them. The twins spent most of their days swinging, asleep. They ate every 3 hours and Harris was sure to remind me of this if I tried to stretch it a little longer. I tried the best I could to treat them as one by keeping them on the same schedule. I nursed them together using this must have nursing pillow because the thought of cleaning bottles times two every three hours was overwhelming. I needed to use that extra energy for playtime with Graham.

At night, they slept in their cribs. At this stage, I don't think it matters where your little ones sleep. I'm a strong believer that the first three months are a free for all and bad habits can't be formed at this stage. I sure hope that's true because I gave myself an extra month this go round since they were preemies. I'll let you know if that backfires this month as we begin our real routine at four months.  

All of our babies sleep in their cribs because their rooms are just a stones throw away in our house. In fact, I even sleep with the sound turned off on the monitor because I can hear any real screams through the doors. Mommy needs her sleep when she can get it. When Graham was a newborn, he would grunt real loud while he slept. I could hear it through the monitor, and there wasn't any sleep going on in our bedroom with all that ruckus. 

For the first month, the babies continued to sleep in three hour increments each night. I would usually spend about an hour awake with them each time between the diaper changes, burping, nursing, and re-swaddling. Again, I was thankful not to wake up to any bottles to clean in the morning. I attempted to conquer the night duties on my own because if Brian was partially rested, it helped me to know I can lean on him for support the next day if my exhaustion took over.

While in the NICU, the nurses were extremely informative on educating parents about different cues preemie babies use for communicating. I am a huge supporter of swaddling and especially by using the miracle blanket. That all backfired this go round as I tried using it with these little ones. Brian reminded me that we learned that preemie babies like to be scrunched up real tight like they're still in the womb. We tweaked our miracle blanket situation by doubling up with an Aden & Anais blanket on the inside of the miracle blanket. This helped keep those legs and arms tucked in close while the miracle blanket kept the bottom layer snug and unbreakable. Also, since Harris' temperature dropped so many times in the hospital, it helped keep him extra warm. 

Babies are ever changing, and while we were able to make most of these routines work for the first month, life definitely looked different the next month and each month after. 

It's good to remember they do sleep a lot at the beginning. I personally think the hardest part about the first month is mom's sleep deprivation. Friends and family bringing over prepared meals is probably one of the greatest saving graces. (well, meals and the swings).

Babies can sense your fear and uneasiness so try your best to take some deep breaths and know that's it's okay for babies to cry. It's going to happen, especially when there are two. Find a favorite lullaby/song that you can use to sooth them/keep your sanity. Music isn't one of my stronger talents so i switch off between "Jesus Loves Me" and "Twinkle Twinkle", but "Lord Prepare Me to Be a Sanctuary" is probably my favorite song to sing. 

Get out and get some fresh air.  This isn't pediatrician approved, but with Graham, I tried to get out and take a walk every day. I couldn't make this work this time since I have a third to take care of, but babies love to walk and keeps them soothed and happy while mom can get out and see the world. There are mosquito nets and muslin blankets you can use to put over the stroller to prevent them from being exposed to something in the neighborhood. 

I know I make this sound easy, and it's not. It just helps make things a little happier around here when I can stay positive. We've only had four months with all this fun and there's already so much to say. I can't wait to share more about these little ones next week.

No comments:

Post a Comment