|Awake. Alert. Wanting to be entertained. 24/7.|
Anyway, I ended the last post on a "To be continued" note because I didn't feel like writing anymore... So here's more!
|But let's be honest, you're just reading for the cute baby pictures!|
Once we hit about two months, things started to change.
- Elizabeth was finally gaining weight, so we didn't need to worry about tracking how often she was nursing.
- Both babies had become more efficient nursers, so we no longer had the 2-hour session followed by 15 minutes of sleep followed by another 2 hours... Now they were nursing for 5-30 minutes, depending on whether they fell asleep or not. Which means sometimes I actually had time to get off the couch and get dinner started, read to the big kids, go to the bathroom, etc.
- Both babies started sleeping for longer periods at night (Mary Claire for 6-8 hours most nights!).
- Both babies were willing to be put down for naps and for short periods of awake time during the day.
|They still slept a LOT, though...|
These changes couldn't have come at a better time, because my sister had just gone back to her actual life and I needed to learn how to deal with the twins on my own!
|They look so cute... But cute doesn't mean easy!|
The video below was a HUGE help for me when it came to logistics for actually getting the babies on the pillow! At this point latching was not a problem, but physically getting in position was totally perplexing to me.
Nowadays I mostly don't bother with the boppies - my leg strength is back and I generally crouch or kneel, balancing the pillow on my knees (it buckles on in the back), and lift them into position from either the floor or the couch. It's actually probably really good for muscle development, but there's no way I would have been able to do that in the early days. You can see that her hands are free with this pillow, so you can have people bring you food, read a book, blog with one hand, etc...
The pillow is also a HUGE help when it comes time to put the babies down for naps after they nurse to sleep - again, I can crouch or kneel and balance the pillow on my knees while I put one baby in the swing or glider.
|Although sometimes they fell asleep like this while the big kids were napping and I just stayed put because really, could you bear to put those adorable babies down?|
But certainly not as often as before. Because here's the wonderful thing - the babies don't need to nurse all the time anymore! So there are often times when one is playing on the floor and the other wants to nurse and I can just nurse one baby at a time! Like a normal mom!
|And then I have a hand free for a selfie!|
|Or you give them both to your sister, who reads them a princess book...|
Tandem nursing is still a big help when I want to get both babies down for simultaneous naps (those baby-free moments are all the more precious when you have twins!), when it's time to get them to bed, when they're both fussy and need mom at the same time but I want my hands free, when I want to get them good and full so that they'll play by themselves for a while... But now it's more my choice and not a constant necessity.
|Both babies down and I chose to take pictures instead of eating something... Priorities! Get them straight!!!|
I'd say the roughest patch we've been through in the past few months was the dreaded 4-month sleep regression. I knew it was coming. And the babies had been sleeping through the night regularly for several weeks, so I had built up a little stockpiled sleep.
|Little did I know what they had planned for the evening...|
But WOW. So. Much. Worse. Than I ever would have expected. Because you know how terrible that sleep regression was with one child? MORE than twice as bad with two children at once. It was a couple weeks of a constant haze and a lot of caffeine, because I was nursing one child or the other all. night. long. And half the time I couldn't fall back asleep, so I was sleeping in 30-minute spurts and wishing that I had figured out how to tandem nurse while lying down! I know it's possible, but I don't think it's possible with my body. We got through it though, and the babies are both sleeping through the night again and it's one of those memories that makes me feel like a warrior and makes me even more convicted in my belief in co-sleeping, if ONLY because it's the only way I can get any sleep!!!
We still have a long way to go and a lot of obstacles to overcome - distracted babies not wanting to nurse, more sleep regressions, the time when they *won't* nurse to sleep every day, etc. But we're doing well so far, and I'm happy to see that these chunky little babies are 100% growing thanks to me!
http://www.karengromada.com/ - She literally wrote the book on breastfeeding twins!
EZ-2-Nurse nursing pillow - the brand I use - join your local Mothers of Multiples group and you may be able to borrow one for free!
Find a Mothers of Twins club near you!
Facebook is an AMAZING resource - there's a "Naturally Parenting Twins" group that has lots of crunchy twin moms, many of whom breastfed their twins and can answer questions. Karen Kerkhoff Gromada is a member and answers questions about nursing frequently. She's also a member of the "La Leche League for Moms of Twins/Multiples" group, which has a smaller membership but plenty of helpful advice! There's also a "Tandem Babywearing" group with TONS of twin moms who can show you the ropes!