OMG IT HAS BEEN TOO LONG!!!! (and it's a long one! i have some catching up to do!) I am so sorry to have kept you all waiting! (If it is any consolation, I am always blogging in my mind! lol). This past week has just been hectic and lazy all at the same time. I have really focused this past week on a few key ingredients to successful mommyhood (no matter whether u are a singleton parent or a twin mommy).... Needless to say, children put strains on a relationship, just as much as they do your body and emotions, etc. I've been working on a separate post about this, but want to mention it now as well. I feel like having multiple children put multiple stresses on your relationship with your significant other (SO). Don't get me wrong, I feel like about 99% of other mothers (especially those who stay a home), have the same complaints. Sometimes it just gets to the point where you stop and ask your self if doing it by yourself will be better for you and your children, even though deep down inside you know that you love your SO and don't want your children to be without them as well. Believe me, we have had our rough moments just like many other couples, but the important thing that we have found is communication. There are times when I want to rip the hair off his shaved head (lol), but finding ways to talk about what stresses us and what we get frustrated about with each other has been helping us keep it together. I know that "fighting" is inevitable at times, but focusing on staying "happy" with each other instead of holding the grudge has become key around here, and a HUGE focus this week... But I digress....
Another huge focus, and the main one for the week, has been baby wearing!!! Now that I have finally made a decent DIY wrap for us (woven size 3) I have been able to really practice (and enjoy) wearing my babies! I did make a video for this one, but of course I find an easier way to make the wrap, so I reshot the video of me making my size 7 and am in the process of editing it! I hope to have it uploaded by the end of the week! (and thank those of you who have been waiting ever so patiently... the Mac is in at the apple dr and we are impatiently waiting it's return). I have decided to pick a new carry once a week and practice it through out the week. Then hopefully we will be comfortable enough to make a "how to" video over the weekend. I am still working hard on trying to perfect making a "deep seat" which is important with back carries, as that allows for the"knees over bum rule" to happen naturally. It also keeps them in place and from falling out! (and we sure dont want that to happen!) sometimes I really feel like I have t-rex arms while working on back wrapping lol. I have been working on Jordan's Back Carry (JBC) and I think I picked a harder one for starters, but I like a good challenge. Here are some pics of the carry. I think I did GREAT for my first few tries, but it was a struggle getting it that way. I will have plenty more time to practice over the Christmas break and am SO excited to! There is also a 1/2 JBC, but I haven't played with it too much. I feel like if I can get the full carry down, the 1/2 carry will be easy breezy.
N helping me make bfast after boycotting her nap on Monday (12/15); ruck sack carry (please note the knees over bum form that we have... that is best for hip and spine development) Ms. M in a ruck trying to wrap "arms out" Trying something new... a JBC (Jordan's back carry) for the first time! its not easy, but it's fun and snuggly! The back view of JBC (and yes, I get them up there and do this all by myself.. daddy was at work when we did this!) (our very first try.... as you can see the part that comes over that leg isnt spread as wide as it should be... ) much better! We got it almost perfect! Can't wait to bring this "how to" video! Perfect for squirmy squishy's! As you can see it really holds em in! And she LOVES IT! (she fusses a little when I wrap, but once we are set and moving she is all smiles) N all about that "thug life" lol... at our first family trip to Toys 'R' Us! Daddy hates pix, but he rocks the world outta those sheep! N is a JBC... trying "arms out" (please note that she is too low here; we want her to be "Breathing on neck" in a back carry.... but it was just a test run... Watching daddy do some yard work really fast from a GREAT view :)
Since we are about to hit the 5 month marker, I am looking at ways to adjust the schedule accordingly. I'm not looking to change it drastically, but I do LOVE babywearing and want to be able to incorporate it into our day more! (lately I have just been doing it when they don't want to nap their whole naptime). My goal is to wear each once a day, but I think I may be biting off more than I can chew with that one. I don't mind alternating days wearing them, so I will keep you all posted on how that falls into play. Like I always say, even though we have a schedule/routine, I am on THEIR time and roll with THEIR punches! I just provide the outline/structure to their day so they are already used to having it around (vs. complete chaos lol... yes, they call the shots, but I run the show!) I have found that they girls are not napping as well as they used to. They like to wake up about 45 min- 1 hour after being put down (we still do naptime in the swings, but considering transitioning them to the crib for one of the naps... again, I will follow their lead!) It's funny because I have noticed that they "take turns" waking up (meaning one day N won't nap and the next day M wont nap lol)... I feel like i smell a twin shenanigan!!?? lol Sometimes i notice them awake (they don't always fuss when waking up midway) and the swing will help them go back to sleep (i love that our swings have the front/back AND side to side option so i can shake it up if needed). I also have found that now they are waking more frequently in the middle of the night (MOTN) too. We have been trying to go "arms out" with their swaddles. After a week of playing around with it, we have realized that M sleeps better arms out, but she is waking herself up very easily. At first we thought she was hungry, but then I realized how frequently she was waking and did not want to undo the 2 MOTN feedings they have been sticking with for the past few months, so we have been putting her in the mini swing in our room if we can not get her to go back to sleep after a few minutes of consoling her. (we don't want her to get used to her being held too long MOTN in fear of forming a "bad habit" ) I am also working on slowly cutting down their MOTN intakes so that they drink more during the day and hopefully will start sleeping through the night (STTN). But, I don't want to leave the babies hungry so this will be a slow process. They will start solids at 6 months after their "Grain ceremony" at the temple so that should help as well!
Speaking of starting solids, here is another focus for this past week... we are working on transitioning to sippy cups! These are the ones we use:
I have been working on getting the girls used to the side handles since they are pretty persistent ab0ut holding their own bottles. They are masters of tilting the bottles up but not so much with the handles (yet). They also like the chew on the "nipples" here so I am just putting a little milk in them so they have something to drink, but mostly they are practicing the new sucking motions required by the cup. We are also prepping up for the "Big day" of solids! I have started giving them spoons to "practice eating" with. I mostly just want them to get familiar with the spoon and the concept of me sticking it in their mouths. I pretend feed them and talk to them about spoons and forks and what not and tell them what I am doing with the spoons. I just recently broke out some snack cups too so next comes them watching me pretend to stir up and scoop out food with the spoons and teaching them how to eat with them. After a day or two of this I will put some EBM (expressed breast milk) in the cup so they can get tie it all together :) (i figure one step at a time so they don't get overwhelmed with the spoons, new cups, and bottle holding all at once.... dont wanna throw too much growing up on them!) I also made some BM "pops" (froze some EBM in a small ice cube tray) to put in these little mesh feeders. it is great for their gums, easier for them then the traditional teething rings and coolees (bc they have the handle) but somewhat messy as the ice melts... need to make them smaller next time. (eventually I will put frozen fruits and stuff in them! great invention and very handy!)
Sorry, you know I have pix of my big grown up girls :) Ms. N being Ms. Independent!
N being a big girl! I swear I turned around for literally 2 seconds to get sissy and i find this... empty bottle and out! lol Ms. M trying... and winning... This was a test, and we failed! lol, she lasted like this for about 20 min she is def a side sleeper and going arms out helped solve some of those MOTN cry fests... guess she was just frustrated and didnt want to sleep on her back
Speaking of EBM.... the most BESTEST info I have to bring to the blog today is... *drum roll please!*
MY SUPPLY IS ENOUGH TO EXCLUSIVELY BREAST FEED!!!!!! WOOT WOOT!!! I have exclusively pumped (EP) for the last 24 hours to somewhat gauge my supply levels (and to keep it going since the Twincesses are on "vacation" at Granma's house for the day). I have managed to produce over 30 ounces!!!! (32.5 and counting to be exact!) The frustrating thing about it all (aside from having to pump every 4-5 hours because of being so full) is that I was STILL FULL after pumping out about 6-7 ounces a sitting (for 30 min!) I just can't seem to get my hind milk out! A few random facts about supply and BF..... (all acquired through LC's and reliable literature) emptying out the breasts will help increase supply. The more you empty, the more you will produce. Breast milk supply is based on a "supply and demand" concept. The more you empty the more your body thinks you need! The top of the breasts (where the hind milk is stored) is the "gateway" (so to speak) of the communication to your body about how much milk your body needs. This is why they say that nursing is the best way to increase your supply. The pump does not empty the hind milk as well as baby can. (and how much you pump does not always indicate how much your body is producing!) (and i can personally attest to this since I can't get as empty with the pump... which is a hospital grade, vs when I nurse). Applying heat to breasts, or a hot shower, helps ease the release of milk. Even if you are not making milk while you pump, keep on pumping. This is all part of the process of supply and demand. It is recommended to pump 15-20 minutes and immediately after nursing. They say after nursing because your hormones are already elevated so half the work is already done for you. (this obviously isnt always going to work, but as close as you can get to after nursing the better!) When I was first executing "Operation No Formula," I was barely getting anything from my pumping sessions. be patient as it will take a while to build it up... just think positive and have faith in yourself.
Also, lots of water and healthy eating habits help! I feel like on the days I slack on my eating and snacking, I don't produce the same... like its more "runny" so to speak. I try to stick with a basic outline of eating habits to help increase and maintain my supply. I also take the MotherLove More Milk Plus Pills and fenugreek with my prenatals. (it is important to continue your prenatal or a postnatal vitamins so that babies can get the necessary nutrients they need) I also use vitamin drops once a day since breast milk does not contain vitamin D. (we were told to use Tri-Vi-Sol drops, however i have read lots of feedback from other moms about their little ones (LO) rejecting these bc of taste.) Our ped told us the vitamin d drops are great but we will need to include iron in their diets when they completely go off the formula... will keep you all informed about this as well as the time progresses. :) here are the links for the products mentioned above:
(BTW the vitamin drops have lasted us over 2 months for one bottle!! and that's with TWO babies! so def worth the $$... and just a heads up, the bottle will look empty when you get it... thats normal)
So the info that many people have recently been seeking out from me (save the best for last yes?) is about what I have done to boost my supply..... There are several things I would like to mention here. First and foremost, I feel that babywearing is the largest contributing factor to boosting my supply. Babywearing has been known to boost the "motherly" hormones that help increase supply. It's hard to explain, but there is a nostalgic feeling that I get as a mother when I wear my children! (Please see the babywearing page for more info on benefits and other info about babywearing!!!) It is unbelievable! I will wear until i can't wear anymore! people always say things "talking down on me" about how I won't be able to wear my twins after a short while because of the weight.... the thing people forget about is that i am building my muscles as the babies grow! another important reason to wear often! I have YET to use my double stroller, and doubt it will ever get used..... poor thing, and more importantly, poor wallet! lol. In addition to wearing, I have started the pills listed above again. I took a break for about a month so that my body could get "unused" to them. I slowly started taking them again. (meaning one dose one day and then gradually increasing the the recommended doses) I stopped pumping for about a week and went strictly breast. I have been nursing them MOTN for about 2-3 months. I like to lay and nurse so they can drink as much as they want when they want. When the other one wakes up, I switch them from crib to bed (so for example, if M wakes first I put her in the bed and nurse until N wakes up then move M to the crib and out N in the bed to nurse) Sometimes they do wake at the same time... I will lay on one side and nurse, and prop the other one over my rib cage to nurse. I've read that this is actually a GREAT way to empty out your breasts! At first I thought it was impossible to do, but I love it and they finish rather quickly. (i feel bad because hubby will run down to make them a bottle and they are usually finished before he gets back with it made :/ lol) One last thing about my supply (for now), is nutrition... I have noticed that my supply seems to be doing better now that I am eating more throughout the day (and my tummy is getting flatter from eating RIGHT throughout the day!) I have been working on getting all my current, as well as new, recipes together for posting :) Not only do I feel more "complete" nursing with a better appetite, but I feel like a better mom knowing that my girls are getting nutrients and healthy, filling milk when they drink from me :) Feel free to follow the blog as I am going to make sure that the grocery list and weekly menu is something that is consistently posted! (It will for sure be easier once the holidays pass.... until then we will be enjoying some yummies courtesy of my mom and dad :) )
Thank you all for reading! Hope you guys enjoyed! I promise that I will have some video uploaded asap and I look forward to going back to daily posts soon! It has been hectic with all the happenings the holidays have to bring..... Hope you and yours have a very merry season and please remember to say a little prayer for those who are not as fortunate as we are to be with our loved ones with a hot meal and warm home....... til next time folks! :)