Breastfeeding Twins

I mentioned a few times throughout the past couple of weeks about my journey with breastfeeding twins.  Well a journey it has been both for me and the twins!  Breastfeeding one baby (though I haven’t done that ;) ) is hard enough I am sure but physically and mentally breastfeeding twins has been one of the most challenging experiences as a mother.

Mom holding twins

Yes Micah is hungry – can you tell he’s going in, no stopping him even for a picture :)

When first born, Micah knew just what to do in terms of nursing.  I am not kidding that boy was born to nurse and eat…Jonah on the other hand.  Well, Jonah was a bit slow to figure it out but in the hospital was gaining strength and seemed to be figuring the whole nursing thing out a bit more.  Let me stop here and say even though we’d been to lactation and nursing classes the babies seriously know more than you in terms of nursing.  As the mom, I just felt like I was taking their lead and doing the best I could to help them AKA call the lactation gal or my doula every time we struggled.

The boys were both pretty small when born so weight gain was crucial the first few weeks (still is!).  I continued to nurse both but had to supplement Jonah from day one with formula which wasn’t ideal in my mind but I told myself whatever it took to have strong, healthy boys was all that mattered.  Now turn the calendar a few weeks to 2 weeks ago, Micah was still nursing champion and Jonah well with the help of a nipple shield he’d get on breast but due to all the ‘work’ nursing takes he wasn’t gaining.  AND maybe more importantly I was so frustrated with the entire nursing experience.  Many times nursing (the struggle with Jonah) left me in tears and with twins you have NO time for tears or breaks – you have to be ON the whole time.

Now I know MANY women love nursing and find it an emotional bonding time with their babies…not me :(  At first I felt very very guilty but then I snapped out of it.  All these babies care is that I love them, that I feed them, and that they grow.  So I made the decision to start exclusively pumping for the twins!

In terms of supply – I make enough for a baby and a half but not two :(  so we did supplement for two weeks with two bottles a day of formula and then made the decision to start sharing milk from my sister in law and another amazing woman I met through MOPS.  I’m still praying I start making more milk – hello Mother’s Milk tea, brewer’s yeast, steel cut oats, flax seed, almonds – all the lactation friendly foods I devour them :)

Ok – before I bore you too much I’ll cut this post short for the day (honestly the boys are restless and I need to go feed them :) ) BUT come back later this week for more on exclusively pumping for twins and milk sharing!

Creating Better Tomorrow Tip – Let go of mom guilt or super woman guilt – you DON’T need to feel guilty if your heart and soul are in the right place…and DO NOT worry about what others might think or say…stick confidently in your decisions and follow your heart and soul!

How to be a Perfect Mom

So perhaps you think that I will enlighten you on how amazing of a mom I am in this post and tell you all just what I’m doing to be a perfect mom…well sorry folks that’s not exactly what I have in store for you today with this post on how to be a perfect mom.

You see over the past 6 weeks (yes can you believe we’ve had these baby boys for 6 weeks already!!!) I’ve learned a lot about being a woman, a wife, a mom, and a Christian mom on top of it all.  As I was writing my 1 month postpartum blog I really began to reflect more than I had in the blur of the past month and a half.

When I need  a 'wake up' call I try to just gaze into their eyes and realize the miracle in my arms

When I need a ‘wake up’ call I try to just gaze into their eyes and realize the miracle in my arms

Last week Dan and I snuck away for a very quick dinner date at Olive Garden (yummy with a free wine sample, yes please!) while my parents watched J and M.  Well over dinner of course we talked about the boys :)  and DAn always makes sure to ask how I’m doing as well  (don’t worry we also talked about non baby stuff too – I think we jammed as much conversation into 2 hours as possible!).  I didn’t get emotional in the restaurant but I simply responded I’m doing good just tired and I wish I could be a perfect mom.

Dan in his wonderful way responded you ARE the perfect mom to these boys, you are you and that’s all they know.  I didn’t think much of it but I have thought about at the time, hello yummy food surrounded by adults and no diapers – I wasn’t into reflecting right then and there!

But later that night as I was up for a pumping session I began thinking and praying a bit. It had been a rough day full of frustrating cries, dual diaper changes, and exhausting sleeplessness.   You see I’ve been wanting so badly to always be there for the boys, to always know what is the ‘right’ answer, to always be able to calm them both right away, to always have the house clean for Dan, to always do it all…to always be the perfect mom.

But as I prayed to God that night for strength to raise my family in His way I realized He was trying to tell me (along with Dan) that by being myself, being a strong woman, focusing on Him, focusing on Daniel, and focusing on J and M I already AM THE PERFECT MOM.

So I came up with a few instruction reminders for myself and perhaps you too.

How to be a Perfect Mom

  • realize you aren’t perfect
  • realize you need strength from above day in and day out
  • realize you will no longer ever be #1 (you shouldn’t have been in the first place!)
  • realize your imperfections as a mom make you a perfect mom
  • and if you need reminding YOU NEED STRENGTH FROM ABOVE day in and day out – so pray when you don’t know what else to do!

Creativity Takes Courage Club

A few weeks ago one of my friends from college and the talented photographer behind our wedding pictures (check her out at Bare Bones Photography!) posted a little challenge on her facebook page.  She was calling for anyone interested in joining her in a creativity challenge, she’d provide supplies we’d provide the creativity.

Now with her vague description I was intrigued!  So I messaged her for more information.  The basic premise being – we gave her the money to buy us supplies.  Erin bought everyone in the Creativity Takes Courage Club the same supplies.  She then sent them (they arrived just last week!) to us all.  No other directions other than to get to work and have our completed project by mid December. Members from all walks of life and many that I do not know are joining in the fun!

The main idea here that is inspiring her (and intrigued me and many other group members! there are lots of us!!) how we will all take the exact same things and ALL come up with something uniquely ours.  None of us will have any idea what we are ‘up to’ with our materials  – then SURPRISE we all meet up and reveal our craftiness (or lack their of :) ). TERRIFIC right?!? A great reminder that we all are made up of so many unique and different pieces.  When we weave together are piece we are ALL beautifully and wonderfully made by Go.  And we should all celebrate the beauty of all the scraps that make us up!

I love this idea and I am soo happy I jumped on board!  So I want to show you all the materials now and then when I finish I will reveal to you my creation and some shots of others creations as well!  Take a look at all the fun materials in my box!

Love the fabrics!

Love the fabrics!

Pin cushion & thread

Pin cushion and thread – let’s get to work!

More fabric

More fabric and this isn’t even all that was in my box!

I think projects like these are such a good thing for us all – a great outlet to think outside of our ‘box’ and to let our minds wander from day to day stress (you know like twin newborns :) )

Would you ever join in a Creativity Club Challenge? Do you like crafts or do you find them tedious and stressful?

Creating Better Tomorrow Tip – Inside the box there was a quote under a picture of fabric scraps that reads..We need to stop saving everything for later – for another day, another year, for a time when our stitches will be straighter and our seams more even – and just allow ourselves, right now, as we are, to be good enough.