Wednesday, May 7, 2014

A Day In The Life: 2 Months

In our second edition of A Day In The Life, we are excited that Briana was willing to share her day with two-month-old twin girls (and their three-year-old big brother!) 

Hi guys! My name is Briana and I volunteered to let you guys inside my home of madness, which includes two-month-old twin girls and a three-year-old big brother who is on the edge of thinking he's an adult already. Our life is crazy and when I say crazy, I am most likely just being nice about the day. So, let me try and explain our day as much as possible without making you want to run for your lives without even knowing us! But hey,  I even get to enjoy a hot cup of coffee while I write this. Mind you I brewed this pot of coffee three hours ago.

Let me give you a little background information. We found out we were having twins at my 6 week ultrasound appointment... beyond shocker.  I actually cried the entire way home - it's a thirty minute drive. I was at the level of being pathetic, but I was scared. I didn't know how I was going to handle one more kid with a three-year-old terror let alone TWO!  But, God blessed me. He really did. He gave me a perfectly healthy pregnancy. I was a waitress up until 30 weeks. I was big but not HUGE if you know what I mean. I swear I gained all my weight as soon as I quit working but it was only three short weeks later when I was in a minor accident and went to the hospital to get the babes checked out. They told me I was dilated to a 3 and contracting every 2-3 minutes. Who knew I wouldn't be in a pain considering with my son I thought I was halfway to hell when I had him at only 36 weeks. We all knew I wouldn't last the full term but we prayed I would.  God had other plans and my girls were born via c-section at 4 pounds 8.5 ounces and 4 pounds 13 ounces. They were so healthy, so so so so healthy! Well, for the most part, especially being 33 week-ers. Our little Ava had breathing issues and even stopped breathing for 20 seconds. But, she's our little fighter. And, our Isabella had no problems whatsoever, just had to learn to keep warm and eat well. It was 8 long days but our girls came home as healthy as can be and almost back to their birth weight. We're so proud of our sweet little angels.

Below is a snippet of 24 hours. Every day changes, no day is the same. But this is an idea of what we go through as a family of 5. I tried multiple times to photograph our day at every stage but it really just wasn't happening so these photos will be from various days and all mixed in. 

12:30 am/1:00 am is usually when the first feeding takes place. I rarely do this feeding anymore since I need my beauty rest to tackle the rest of the night. Alex takes over this feeding and only this feeding since he works and I do not anymore. Our girls eat 4 ounces at this feeding, get changed and off they go to their sleeping spot that night. It varies from their crib, vibrating chair and even their swing. I know they should be sleeping on their backs perfectly in their crib but that's usually not the case in our home.

Around 3:30am/4:00 am is when I wake up to Isabella letting me know she wants to eat. I will get her up and one handed (yes, I mastered it) make her bottle. She has belly issues and has to have Enafamil AR so it has to sit for 5 minutes after mixing before I can heat it.  I'll usually go change her hoping she isn't going to crap all over the place during this feeding. We then make our way back to the kitchen and warm up her bottle, I swear the hot water in the cup debacle takes FOREVER…for….evvvveeeer. Maybe that's just because I'm tired and want to get back to sleep. I feed her, burp her and usually get her all snuggled back up and for the most part she's asleep because eating 4 ounces is hard, ya know! Then, I'll get Ava's bottle ready and start the long process of heating before I grab her and change her. Ava is still on Enafamil 'Enfacare,' which is a 22 cal formula for premature babes.  Maybe that's why she's turning into a baby line backer. She is a quick eater and a quick burper, so her feedings never take long. This whole process takes about an hour, it's not too bad considering a month ago it was taking 1.5 hours to get it all done. Lord, I'm glad we're inching our way forward to more sleep!

6:30am/7am is usually our next feeding and sometimes we even branch out to 8 am. We go through the same routine as above. We get to say bye to daddy and then brother is up and ready to start the day by giving his sissys lots of suggies and huggies! He can be the sweetest sometimes.

8:00am/9:00am somewhere in-between & around there is when the girls usually have "playmat time." If they're actually awake after their first feeding, I'll lay one or sometimes both(it's been a miracle if both are awake and sleeping at the same time) on the mat. We only have one right now so they usually share. They really aren't too fond of spending time together yet, I don't know if it's from them being in the hospital for 8 days away from one another or what. But, it's a slow process of them not screaming at each other.

9:30am After pla mat or most likely during it is when they fall asleep because laying there is such a work out in the baby world. So, I'll usually leave them there because I feel like every time I move them they decide to turn into babyzilla. Or, sometimes I brave it and move one into the vibrating chair.

10:30am/11am is our next feeding. Brother usually insists he helps. I occasionally let him feed them, he loves it. Well, for about 5 minutes until he decides he's "got sompthin ta do" and off he goes. Now, they're usually wanting to stay up a little bit and check out everything. It's better than when they wanted to stay up at the 3/4am feeding and made me want to just cry myself into a little corner. 

1:15pm has been our typical weekly doctor visit time. It's been a rough few weeks because I feel like the most of their 2 month life has been in the doctors office once a week. Thankfully our doctor loves us(he was actually Alex's pediatrician isn't that cool?) and loves seeing the girls and we even joked around about me having a VIP room. We went from Isabella being sick, Ava being sick, Isabella having a rash, Ava having pink eye and an ear infection and I'm sure there was something else I'm missing. Let's just say, it shouldn't have to be added to our schedule that were hanging out at the doctors. Thankfully it's almost summer here in Michigan. Well, maybe. That's us below pretending to love being at Highland Pediatrics. 

And, during this time is usually when "visitor of the day" shows up. It varies on who it is but for the most part, some family member or friend always comes over to see the kids and give me some adult time. It's nice to have a conversation with someone who isn't arguing with me to eat candy for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I'll say this, take the help. Say yes, yes, and yes again. It will be a game changer. The more help, the better.  I am so beyond thankful for my sweet family who have showered me with help, their all blessings. Especially Grandma Lori(Alex's mom) she was over every single day between her two jobs helping with feedings and Rylan. She cleaned too, i know she's a moms dream come true. 

This was a play date with one of my blessing of a best friends kids. Her daughters are 5 weeks younger than our girls. But, she has a little boy as well. He is only a year old though. I know, bless her heart. But, we love getting together with them! Six between the 2 of us always makes for some fun looks!

Usually right before the afternoon feeding is when the girls will fall back asleep. Isn't that always fun? Lately we have been going by when baby wants to eat, not as much as of the every 3 hours do or die schedule anymore.

3:30pm/4pm is the last feeding before daddy gets home from work. I always like to have the girls fed and changed and comforted before he goes home so he can come home into a calm home, not always the case. Trust me, sometimes he walks into world war 3 gone bad. But, I know he would like to relax a little bit and be able to see Rylan before coming in and getting a baby thrown at him.

This time is where I either make dinner or Alex makes dinner. He cooks and cleans ladies, I'm telling you he was sent from heaven with a golden bow on him. He's a dream. But, then we also try and spend time with Rylan, either just me taking him to the park or Alex playing with him. He loves it.

6:30pm/7:00pm we let Rylan snuggle the babies and more tummy time/play mat time.

7:30pm/8pm is the next feeding before bed and bath time!  We bathe the girls, okay I bathe the girls and Rylan usually watches and tries to jump in and help and say he needs to take a bath at that exact moment…it's clockwork I swear. But, it's an every other night type of deal. I use the lavender calming stuff that Rylan says "gives him good dreams" for body wash and lotion. Nothing better than a happy clean baby..up until they usually trickle out spit up right after their clean. Yes, like clockwork…again. I usually hope they stay up a little bit to "play" then get them cuddled and off they go to bed.

After the girls are fed and bathed, we then bathe Rylan. He gets into jammies and he plays then he hops into bed and I'm a horrible mom and let him watch a movie to fall asleep. I know, horrible. It's the only way to allow for Alex & I to enjoy each others company. Your relationship needs it, trust me. He needs it and I need it. Even if it's just watching one of our favorite shows together and cuddling up on the couch. It's the best way to end the day.

And, then our night starts again. Like I said, not every night is like this or day is like this. There are nights that I am getting the best workout of my life carrying two 10/11 pound babes rocking them and soothing and attempting to sing and wanting to rip my hair out as my three year old is pulling me to come see something or needing to be fed or something ;) Some nights even Ava sleeps 8 hours, yes 8 WHOLE GLORIOUS BEAUTIFUL HOURS!  It's magical when that happens, it's heaven sent. But, then theres nights where they take turns wanting to be awake and scream or cuddle or just blow out a diaper and that leaves me to getting 3-4 hours of sleep in a night and downing a whole pot of coffee. It's getting easier, our routine is getting easier and I sure as heck love this life but it was rough. Very rough. Just keep a smile on, they're only little once. You'll miss them being so needy and lovable and just needing mama.

My advice....

Let me tell you, nothing will prepare you for having twins. Nothing. Until your living in the shoes doing it and struggling to keep a schedule. I thank the nurses for having our daughters on a strict 3 hour schedule, well they had to so they could gain weight to come home. But, still. If your baby is in the hospital and they have them on a schedule. DO NOT CHANGE IT. Don't you dare even think about it. It's rough to set alarms and what not, but it's so worth it. SO worth it.

If you have an older sibling, let people help you. Rylan goes and stays at my dads once a week. It's glorious and I bless my dads heart for being such a great papa. He is heaven sent and he is the best thing to ever happen to us.

Also, swaddle. The girls started being swaddled as soon as the heat lamp was turned off in the hospital. We used the thick valcro one with zippers. Trust me, I wasn't willing or wanting to learn how to actually swaddle. I am too lazy and too tired in the middle of the night to even attempt that silliness.

Make time for yourself. It's hard I know. I usually take the time to shower, drink coffee, pray, read my daily prayers or whatever I have time for. It's rough the first few weeks but I swear the Lord is what got me through this rough patch and were only going up hill from here!

Thank you, Briana for sharing your day! Follow along with more updates from Briana on Instagram (@brianami_) and her blog The michigan mama.

Stay tuned for A Day in the Life: 3 Months in a few weeks!

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