Monday, August 29, 2011

3 Months Old!

Our little girls are officially leaving the "fourth trimester" as Harvey Karp (The Happiest Baby on the Block) calls it! It's pretty amazing to think that at just 3 months ago, our two little girls came into the world and forever changed our lives (and the lives of many others!).



A few 3 month milestones/things we've learned...
  • When you have twins, schedule is key! The girls wake at 7am every day and eat every 3 hours until their 7pm bedtime feed. They have a 10pm dream feed. We do not divert from this schedule unless it's absolutely necessary. Some people don't get it, but honestly, I don't care. The girls know their schedule now and thrive on it.
  • Teagan is sleeping through the night! She has officially been sleeping from 7pm-7am for one week now (including her 10pm dream feed).
  • Both girls are smiling and giggling like crazy. They know who their moms are now. We can get smiles out of them when others sometimes can't. 
  • The girls are getting stronger by the day. Teagan can lift her head off her boppy on her own, loves to sit up and bounce in their new toy, the jumperoo. Quinn loves to do "airplane". She can extend her legs and hold her head up very well. She loves to stand as well.
  • Quinn has rolled over! Last Friday, she rolled from her front to her back several times!
  • Parenting really is one of the hardest things I'll ever done (and I've barely even scratched the surface!). 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Our Jumping Bean

We set up the jumperoo tonight. At about 6:30pm, right in the middle of the 'witching hour' (T & Q's fussy time), we decided to try Teagan in it. She loves to stand. She'll stand on our laps at every chance she gets. She was going to either love this thing or absolutely hate it. Thankfully, it was the former! Check out our adorable jumping bean!


video


My dogs don't shed...

...but I do.

Thank God a friend of mine told me that you lose hair after giving birth. I have officially started shedding. It would have completely freaked me out if she hadn't told me. So, for all of you preggos, when you hit the 3ish month mark postpartum and your hair starts falling out, fear not...it's normal! And if you care, here's why!

During pregnancy, increased levels of estrogen prolong the growing stage. There are fewer hairs in the resting stage and fewer falling out each day, so you have thicker, more luxuriant tresses.

After you give birth, your estrogen levels take a tumble and a lot more hair follicles enter the resting stage. Soon you'll have more hair coming out in the shower or on the brush. This unusual shedding will taper off and your hair will be back to its pre-pregnancy thickness about six to 12 months after you give birth.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Miss Quinny at 12 weeks and 5 days!

...just rolled over (from her front to her back!). I tried desperately to get frame by frame pictures of the big milestone, but sadly I'm not nearly adept enough with the camera. Regardless, here she is!

Leaning on the right shoulder...

Here she goes!

And the result!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Oh, how things change...

It's amazing how fast things change when you have babies.

If you met our babies at 3 weeks old, they were going to bed at 9:30pm, but it would sometimes take 30+ minutes of rocking to actually get them to sleep. If you meet them now at 12 weeks, they're usually fast asleep by 7:30pm.

At 3 weeks old, Teagan took 45 minutes or more to breastfeed and Quinn would scream at the sight of a boob. Now at 12 weeks, they both latch on easily and eat in 10-20 minutes.

If you met them at 3 weeks, they were like little (cute) blobs who ate, pooped, burped, cried and slept. At 12 weeks, they are smiling, cooing, giggling, watching TV(!), looking around and noticing things (as well as the things listed above).

If you met them at 3 weeks, you could lay them on the couch because they wouldn't move. At 12 weeks, Teagan will slide herself down the boppy, lift up her head and almost push herself entirely off the cushion. Quinn will try to stand at every chance she gets.

If you met them at 3 weeks and saw me, you'd remember that I'd cry at the thought of Jenn going back to work because I had no clue how I'd handle two babies on my own. Now at 12 weeks, I feel like I've got it down (but don't get me wrong, I LOVE having help!)

If you met them at 3 weeks, they were getting up at 12am, 3am and 6am to eat. Now at 12 weeks, Teagan has slept through the night for the last 3 nights and Quinn sleeps until 4:30-5am.

There are definitely so many more ways that things have changed, but that's a good start. It amazes me every day to think about how far we've come in almost 3 months. It amazes me even more to think about 3, 6, 9 months down the road. While I'm excited for what the future has in store for our little girls, I'm enjoying the time that I have now because they're only going to be 3 months old once!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Bon Iver

After a strenuous exercise session on their playmats (including tummy time, of course), both girls fell asleep in seconds to the sweet sounds of Bon Iver. Their uncle (my brother, Michael) would be proud :)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Infamous Bumbo

You may or may not recall my post in April about the TPOMBA (Toronto Parents of Multiple Births Association) bi-annual sale. After finding out that these little seats were great, Jenn managed to power through the crowds to score a Bumbo chair for the babies.

The girls might be a little young for the Bumbo, but I figured I'd give it a whirl anyways. Teagan seemed happy in it. Quinn did not and got pretty pissed off at me within seconds.

Teagan lounges while watching TV!

Seconds before she got mad at me for putting
her in the chair

My Dad and Teagan watch the news

At 81 days old

This morning is a big morning because our (not-so-little) Teagan just slept through the night!

Ok, so, you'll read or hear people say that "sleeping through the night" means sleeping for 5-6 consecutive hours. If that means that the babies are waking at 3am, they are not sleeping through the night in my books. The girls eat at 7pm and then go to bed. At 10pm, Jenn gets them up for their dream feed. In a dream feed, you do not wake the baby. It works best with a bottle, as opposed to breastfeeding. You put the bottle in the baby's mouth and she instinctively drinks. Last night, Teagan refused her dream feed. For any of you who know Teagan, you'll know that she does not turn down food! Jenn feared that she'd wake at 1am.

Instead, our little girl slept until 6:30 when I had to get her up because my boob couldn't take it any longer. She slept for 11 hours straight!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

My Favourite Nights of the Week

I'm not going to lie, Tuesdays and Thursdays (currently) are my favourite nights of the week. I feel slightly guilty saying that, but the second, Eva, our night nurse, walks through the door, I breathe a sigh of relief. For the next 8 hours, Jenn and I are totally off-call. I've mentioned Eva in previous posts but haven't said too much. Eva owns a business in Toronto called Twinkeys. She offers day and night support to families, specifically those with twins.

Jenn and I naively thought that we'd be fine and that night help wasn't really necessary. My Mom pushed and pushed and insisted that we get help. It was going to be their baby gift to us. I can admit when I'm wrong! Eva has been an absolute godsend since the twins were born. We met her when I was about 34 weeks pregnant and knew instantly that she was going to be the one. I had spoken to others but no one was as personable and knowledgeable.

Eva arrived at 10pm when the girls were just 3 days old. She immediately took one of the babies from us and handled her with such ease. I stressed all day about how she would handle feeding two babies on her own when we can barely handle it together. How would she finger feed two babies?! (Tape a tube to your finger and the baby drinks from that. We didn't do bottles in the early weeks until they were latching) Would she even know what finger feeding is?! Man, I was naive. We barely had to finish our sentence. She had done it a million times before. Jenn put it best, "Eva instills confidence from the moment she walks in the door."

Yes, the extra sleep has been amazing. The knowledge that she has given us is invaluable. I joke about Tuesdays and Thursdays being my favourite nights, but honestly, our babies aren't "bad" at night. Last night I got 7 consecutive hours of sleep. Feeding, burping and changing takes me under an hour now. I attribute the twins' good sleep habits to Eva. We implemented everything that she's told us and it has all worked! It has been hard work though. While rocking Teagan to sleep might get her down quicker, in the long run, it's not going to help any of us. We had to suffer through some crying and fussiness, but Teagan now finishes her bedtime bottle, gets placed in her crib awake and falls asleep on her own in minutes. I'm so grateful for her expertise when it comes to the girls. She has been a wealth of information on all things baby-related.

On that note, I'm almost finishing pumping for the night. I pump and she bottle feeds the girls. Eva is arriving in exactly 22 minutes! If you're expecting twins, find yourself an Eva (if you don't live in Toronto, that is!).

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Feeding Twins: Trials, Tribulations and Successes(!)

Breastfeeding is going to be your "thing." One of our midwives said this to me and unfortunately, it wasn't a good "thing." While I initially struggled with breastfeeding, she said that everyone has a challenge, whether it's pregnancy, labour, delivery or feeding. Mine was and still is, to an extent, breastfeeding because I had an "easy" pregnancy, labour and delivery.

 Breastfeeding was/is harder than I ever thought it would be. At times, tandem feeding was something that I doubted I'd ever be able to do. Despite our many setbacks (2 bouts of thrushmastitis and latching difficulties), I tried very hard to stay positive. While both babies weren't latching initially, Teagan picked it up within a week. But still, it was taking her 45-60 minutes to feed each time. Add 15 minutes of pumping, plus the time it takes to burp and change, and you can see that I pretty much spent all of those initial days feeding, in some form or another. Quinn has been my biggest challenge by far. She wasn't latching at all. We went to three different breastfeeding clinics, had two midwives helping and several nurses. I read everything I could online. I watched videos of "good drinkers" on the Newman Clinic site. In those early days, I could describe exactly what should happen, but couldn't get Quinn feeding for the life of me. When I tried to feed her, she would usually just scream. I would try for up to 15 minutes and feel like I was traumatizing her. It was awful. Like I said, 95% of the time I was positive. But, several times, I broke down in tears. I felt discouraged, thinking that I would never be able to breastfeed her. I was going to remain a cow for a year, feeding Teagan and pumping constantly for Quinn. More than anything, I wanted the freedom to go wherever we want knowing that if my girls were hungry, I could feed them.

Enter Shelly at the Victoria Park Breastfeeding Clinic. Shelly is a lactation consultant. She's different from all of the others I met. She was incredibly positive. I was under the impression that with every day that went by that Quinn wasn't breastfeeding, it was decreasing her chances of it ever happening. Shelly told me immediately that we have all the time in the world. She told me success stories of babies who rejected the breast entirely and began feeding at 3 months. She re-instilled confidence that with practice and a positive attitude, Quinn will feed soon enough. She noticed that Quinn wasn't opening her mouth very wide and suggested that we see an osteopath. She has had 3 treatments from him, which has helped immensely. If you live in Toronto and are struggling to feed, go see Shelly. Tell her I sent you :)

Enter Quinn @ 10 weeks old: My mini-Quinny is successfully breastfeeding! She feeds in 20 minutes at times (max 35 minutes). I'm so proud of her.
Enter Teagan @ 10 weeks old: My TT is feeding in as little as 10 minutes! We've come along way from those 1 hour marathon feeds!

This is not me, obviously, but I now feed Teagan and Quinn as happily as this woman feeds her twins! Look at her multitask...feeding 2 babies, talking on the phone and eating dinner! Amazing ;)


Sunday, August 7, 2011

10 Weeks Later

After 10 weeks, we're certainly not experts in parenting, but as any parent can tell you, the learning curve is STEEP! While I was pregnant, I read a ton of books, blogs and reviews on all sorts of products. My biggest piece of advice for parents-to-be -- don't buy too much beforehand and keep all receipts! You will end up having so much stuff, some of which, you probably won't use. Also, you really don't know what you and your baby(ies) are going to like. So, resist the urge to fill your little one's closet and wait!

Here are a few things that I have found incredibly helpful:
  • Twin Nursing Pillow (My Brest Friend): If you can get past the awful name, this pillow is a must for nursing twins. Yes, you can pile pillows around you and do just fine (I've done that too), but when you have two hungry, fussy babies wanting their meal, throwing this pillow around you takes a fraction of the time to set up.
  • Fisher Price My Little Lamb Cradle n' Swing: I have nicknamed this swing, 'baby crack.' Both of our babies love this swing (and so do our friends' twins). It looks ridiculously comfortable and lulls a fussy baby to sleep in no time. And yes Jen & Allison, it makes ice cream too.
  • Baby K'Tan Sling: I posted a picture of myself carrying both girls in this wrap a while back. This carrier has been a godsend when I'm on my own and I have things to do but a fussy baby to deal with. I throw her in this this wrap and have both of my hands back for getting things done. While I love this sling, there are TONS different brands out there. Don't buy a sling ahead of time (or buy and keep receipts). Try them out when your baby arrives and pick the one that you like best. 
  • Baby Bjorn & ERGO Baby: Slings, like the Baby K'Tan, are better around the house, in my opinion. We have both of these carriers. The Bjorn and ERGO are awesome for outdoor trips, especially when I'm walking with the 2 dogs and 2 babies in the park (one baby in the stroller, one in the carrier). Like the K'Tan, don't buy it immediately. Go and try them out first. You will definitely prefer one over the other and will kick yourself for spending $100 on a carrier only to wish you'd purchased something different. 
  • Baby Jogger City Select Stroller: I blogged about this back in January when we purchased it. I use this stroller daily and LOVE it. It's on a single frame so if you're only having one baby, it still works. Or, if you're planning ahead to a second baby already, you won't need to get a new one because it easily turns into a double. Why I love it: It folds up very quickly and easily. The car seats snap into it in seconds. It handles very well, on uneven surfaces also. It might be a little pricey but it will last the girls well into their toddler years, so it will be the only stroller we need to buy. 

Saturday, August 6, 2011

I just got...

...7 consecutive hours of sleep. My sweet baby girls let me sleep longer than I have since my pre-pregnancy days! Pregnancy = squished bladder and frequent washroom trips.

Yes, tonight may be a one off. I know there are still bad nights to come but for now, I'm thrilled :)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Faces of Teagan

Jenn captured the series of the weekend, as she called it. Our smiling, almost-giggling, 9-week old Teagan:





Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Crying

"How do you feel about crying?" Eva, our night nurse, asked when she came to meet us back in April. I was about 34 weeks pregnant at the time. I thought about it for a moment and then said that I know that there are times when it's ok to let a baby cry. Honestly though, I didn't really have a clue. When you have a baby, crying is inevitable.

This past weekend, I got a lesson in crying. My parents are not the pushy type. Friends will often tell me about their parents imposing their opinions and views on them. This is not at all my parents. They will happily offer up their opinion when asked. But, in those times when they do offer their views without being asked, it always seems to come at the perfect time. It seems as if they know that hearing whatever it was, was just what I needed.

We were getting ready to sit down to dinner on Saturday night and decided to put the girls down for a nap in their playpen. Sometimes we're lucky and they go down without a peep. More often than not, they keep us on our toes and one or both of them cry within minutes. On this Saturday night, it was the latter. Both girls started wailing. We tried to soothe them a few times but when it came time to eat dinner, the decision to eat outside on the deck or in the dining room came down to Jenn. The outdoor table isn't far from the girls' window so they could still be heard easily. We ate outside on the deck. I was reluctant but my Dad reminded me that they were fed, changed and in a safe spot so a little bit of crying wasn't going to kill them. He reassured me that they would be ok for the duration of our dinner. He also told me stories of my brothers and me as babies. He spoke from years of experience raising three kids. I decided to trust him. We sat outside and enjoyed our dinner while the Muskoka sun set. It was nice to have a few moments to ourselves to eat our dinner without rushing through it to get to a fussy baby. More than anything, I appreciated that dinner and my Dad telling me gently that they would be ok. And, of course, they were. They both had fallen asleep.

Crying is inevitable. Crying when you have twins is unavoidable, especially during the day when I'm outnumbered. On those days when the girls decide to be especially difficult, I find it much easier to let them cry :) For the most part though, it is tough to listen to them cry while looking at their adorable little faces. I will be the first to admit that being strict and sticking to a schedule has kept our sanity and allowed our girls to develop some good habits (including letting us get 7 hours of sleep per night!).

Monday, August 1, 2011

2 Months Old!

Teagan and Quinn celebrated their 2 month birthday on Friday, July 29th with a trip to the cottage, which explains the lateness of this post.


As of last Monday, Teagan was weighing in just over 11 lbs and Quinn was just over 9 lbs. We have come a long way in the last month! Jenn has returned to work so I'm on my own with the girls. I am not without a ton of help from family and friends though! The girls and I get out every day, whether it's to take the dogs for their daily hike, for a play date or to meet friends for lunch or coffee. They have become much more interactive and observant. They love to be outside looking at the sky, the trees or whatever else catches their eye. The girls have both started smiling! An earlier post included a few pictures of a smiling Teagan. Here's a picture of a smiling Quinn. Her smiles are a bit harder to come by :)