Thursday, 15 January 2015

Twin Life

by Bex

Twin life is clearly very busy!  I've been choosing sleep & showers over blogging but managed a nice long 3 hour nap at the weekend so am feeling quite refreshed!  ;)

I probably just have time for a quick update (I have to fulfil my blogging withdrawal by posting lots of updates on instagram instead) but I really hope that as the twins get older and we settle into more of a routine that I will be able to blog much better updates as I want to record everything for them and myself to look back on!

Anyway, so far everyone's alive so that's the main thing!!  It's very tiring, especially now my Mum has gone home to Saudi after the first 6 weeks but so worth it.  Our little bundles are just utterly delightful and I feel blessed every single day!

Especially when things like this happen!

I've a lot to catch up on but at the moment we're coping well with our new routine.  I say routine as it's not particularly fixed but we're starting to lock certain things in place and trying to get there to make the twins feel secure as well as instill good habits in both them and us!  Until recently, bedtime was quite a random affair although usually around the same sort of time but could vary from starting at 8pm to 10pm.  If it starts at 10pm they wouldn't get down to sleep until midnight which initially wasn't much of an issue as I was waking so often to feed them anyway.  Now I am feeding them at the same time with my twin tandem feeding pillow which has made life SO much easier.  I'll write more about that when I write about my breast feeding experiences so far but basically, it now takes half the time to feed them allowing more time for crucial sleep thank goodness!  (Plus they now often hold hands while feeding which just makes me melt!!)

While Mum was still here, we started giving the twins an expressed bottle of milk at bedtime as they take it quicker and we know they're getting a good amount.  This definitely seemed to work with getting them down quicker as well as that initial sleep being longer before waking for the first middle of the night feed.  It also meant I could go to bed early and get a good long sleep if needed as Mum and Nik could feed the twins and put them to bed.  I usually ended up expressing at the same time as feeding them though but it did free me up a bit as it took less time than a full breast feeding session and it allowed me to relax for a bit while Mum & Nik had time to bond with the babies.  It also keeps the babies used to taking a bottle and we've had no issues going between bottle and breast (again, more on this in a separate post).

After Mum left it took a while to get back into this as I was having trouble finding time to express enough when I was dealing with the twins by myself all day.  Initially I had time to feed them, feed myself, then change them and feed again before they might sleep on me for a short while before wanting to be entertained or fed again, if they went down for a proper nap, I joined them!  This meant we didn't have enough to feed them both fully from a bottle before bed so I was feeding them myself and then having none left to express once they were in bed plus I just wanted to eat and get to bed myself!

Now things are settling down a bit as we all get used to the new status quo, we're managing things a lot better.  During the day I sometimes manage to find time to express, although I am conscious of trying not to just put the babies down to either sleep or entertain themselves on their mat too much as I want to stimulate them and encourage them to be sociable with adults and I want to play with them too of course!  I am finding that Priya will happily sleep in her swing in the morning which lets me concentrate on Kal for a while and then he'll sleep a bit later in the day allowing me to play with Priya.  It's quite difficult to have them both awake and wanting attention at the same time as it inevitably involves holding them at this stage since they can't sit up yet obviously!

It's also quite difficult when trying to get them both & myself ready to leave for an appointment at a specific time meaning I sometimes need to leave them like this while I get us all ready!  It breaks my heart!

Our new nighttime routine usually starts at 8pm although we're not strict about this and if their afternoon nap lasts longer than usual I am quite happy for the evening to run late as a result!  Things are still varying as I'm feeding on demand.  If we start at 8 with a bottle each, whichever twin finishes first and is happy without shouting for more (as we give them more - they usually take between 50-150 depending on when they woke from their nap and fed last) gets taken upstairs for their bath.  The 2nd twin usually follows soon after and has their bath.  I then 'top-up' the first twin while the second is in the bath as this gives me a nice time to bond with them as I usually have one under each arm to feed so for this last feed before bed I get into my bed with them in our dimly lit room and cuddle them close while they eat.  Once they're finished, the next twin gets his or her turn and then we read them a bedtime story before swaddling and putting them down to sleep in the co-sleeper next to our bed.  This usually gets them settled in to sleep fairly quickly and for about 4 hours.  I'm now using the first 2 hours of this to eat, express and do some writing as I had a good nap this afternoon but it's good to know if I am knackered I could hopefully get a full 4 hours in one go.

The night feeds take about an hour in total as they feed, fall asleep, I get up to change their nappies in the nursery (burping them en route round the landing and back) which wakes them to eat again (or they will wake after an hour!) and then they go back in the co-sleeper.  They then usually sleep for around 3 hours.  So I tend to be up at around 2-3 or 3-4 and then 5-6 or 6-7am.  I often try to get them to sleep again after this feed but they often seem to be unsettled whether it's light yet or not.  I'm a bit worried that I'm forming bad habits as I often then bring one (usually Kal) or both of them into the bed with me as this seems to be the only way to get them settled again, plus I just love watching them next to me looking all cosy and happy.

This time usually only lasts an hour or so and I often doze, sometimes waking before them which gives me time to get dressed or have some cereal before their next feed.  Sometimes they wake first and hungry so I give them their first feed and leave the nappy changing until I've dressed and eaten.  This doesn't always work of course and we do have a lot of pyjama days but I'm finding I feel much better if I just get up and sort myself out before the cycle of feeding/entertaining begins during the day.  I can usually get them down for a proper 2-3 hour nap at around 3pm depending on what we've been up to that day.  If we choose to or have to go out it might not work as they sleep in the pram or car and if we're out for a long walk or drive then they are much more awake all afternoon of course.

We're still getting used to things and I'm learning new ways to cope.  For example if we have a particularly unsettled morning, I just get them in the pram and go out as this settles them and stops me becoming stressed as I can't deal with them both at once.  I HATE having to leave one to cry while I comfort the other and can end up going back and forth between them every couple of minutes or so which isn't ideal for any of us!  It's quite exhausting and emotional but there's only one of me.  Luckily, for now, things seem to be better and the walks are helping me get back into exercise too!  I was getting bored of wearing the few same old clothes as I still have quite a big belly and am wearing some of my maternity wardrobe so I have done a bit of shopping for some nursing appropriate tops and have got a bit of my mojo back that way too.

Feeling more like me after a good shower and wearing some new clothes

I've also now been along to the village pop-in on my own and they all loved seeing the twins so I again got some time to just sit and have a cuppa while the resident grannies cooed over the babies ;)

Anyway, this update has become longer than I expected so I'm off to add some cute pictures in to hopefully stop you all getting bored of my ramblings ;)

1 comment:

Unknown said...

The twins are just adorable and you my lovely are looking fab, motherhood suits you xxx

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