(charleston on top with his face a little hidden and whitman on the bottom- or right side depending on how you look at the picture)
We are home now with the boys. We brought them home 4 days ago. Its been an...interesting week. And by interesting I mean difficult. Don't get me wrong - I love them. Oh man do I love them. But feeding two babies around the clock is T-I-R-I-N-G. I am so deliriously tired that I find myself in the middle of the night suckling pillows and with pieces of the breast pump still in my hands. And for those of you, like myself, who had no understanding what it meant when people talk about how tired you are when you bring home new babies, let me explain the schedule a bit so you get a better picture (something I would've appreciated people explaining rather than just snidely remarking how tired I would be all the freaking time). Every three hours these guys eat. The rule is "one up, both up" so that they are on the same schedule. These means that I'm either tandem breastfeeding them (yeah I'm bad a** like that) or feeding one on the breast and one with a bottle or for the really early morning feeds (like 4am or so) feeding both on a bottle. SO Lets say they wake around 3:30am. At 3:30am we feed them both bottles because I've discovered this week that I'm too uncoordinated and impatient to tandem breastfeed at this hour. My husband gets up and warms up the breast-milk that I've pumped into bottles. Doug will mix it with some neo-sure, which is basically baby weight gainer since these guys are just now at 5lbs each, and then we get all set up to feed them (burp cloths, boppy pillow, etc). While he is doing that, I get the babies out and get them calm. If they cry very long then they use all their energy crying and not feeding and feeding them and having them gain weight is our number 1 priority right now (besides keeping them alive and healthy and all that). It takes about an hour to feed, burp, and change diapers if we are really on it and the boys actually eat pretty well. Sometimes they take FOREVER to eat and will often just suck on the bottle or breast and spit out the milk, which at 3:30am is really aggravating. Then after they eat and burp and get changed we lay them down. We then clean the bottles, throw away the diapers, and I pump breast milk. Either me or my husband then need to clean the pump stuff. By the time this is all done its another 30 min or so since they've been laying down. This means that we have 1.5 hrs before they are ready to eat again. SEE its not every 3 hours from the time they stopped eating, its every three hours since they BEGAN eating. And this is if we are really rockin. Sometimes it takes longer. SO this means that we generally get about 1 - 1.5 hrs of sleep in random chunks throughout the day/night. Throw in a need to bathe them and do developmental excercises and our need to eat and pay bills and get Christmas stuff done, etc, and you can see why life is a bit exhausting right now. BUT they're home. :) I sure love having them home. They are such good babies. They are already on a great schedule. They are easy to calm. They are so dang cute and they even smile periodically. Its great.
See - I'm even smiling
These are crappy phone pics but sometime soon we'll take some high quality photos and I'll include some photos of their nursery and I think I'll even be brave and post a picture next week of me at 6 weeks post babies. I think its helpful for moms to see what someone looks like 6 weeks after having twins (don't worry - this won't be a "WOW look how awesome I look photo").
Anyway, we were told at the hospital that the first two weeks would be the hardest, as we struggled to get into a routine and while everyone adjusts to the newness of it all. I'm just hoping that it gets easier by the time I start back to work in January. Eek!
Thanks to all of you for your thoughts and prayers as we struggled through the NICU. We truly felt an outpouring of love during that time and it was SO greatly appreciated.