My Life With Twins: Sleep, are you getting it?

I am still one of those sleep deprived MOMs. The girls are about seven and a half months old and, like their singleton brothers, do not sleep through the night. My children tend to begin sleeping through the night at a year. Until then I am usually up with them for at least one quick feed.

Sleep training just does not work here. I don’t have the mental or emotional fortitude to listen to my children cry. Since the girls are both still under fifteen pounds each, I’m going to assume they still need a certain amount of night nutrition, comfort or both.
I’m not complaining. I don’t need advice. It is just where we’re at right now.
Coffee is my friend. And so is my Kindle on iPod touch which allows me to read, in the dark, and not have to balance a book on my lap with a baby or two.
The boys all sleep wonderfully now, so I’m pretty sure the girls will some day as well!
They still sleep in the same crib, and seem to enjoy it. They don’t wake each other, though they do enjoy playing with each other in the morning. They snuggle at night.
I now have a new tool in my bedtime arsenal! I’m a member of Music Moms through Childsplaypr.com. This last week I was sent a CD by David Garrett called Rock Symphonies. This CD is an awesome blend of classical violin with classic rock and roll songs from bands such as Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith and Nirvana. This CD has a very “cool” feel, in that the boys enjoyed listening to it, but it is also calming and enjoyable for the babies.
I like to introduce my children to many genres of music and this CD adds to a collection of varied artists!
A little about David Garrett:
Rock Symphonies

  • International superstar David Garrett has been performing sold-out classical violin shows since he was a young boy, playing with the London Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Russian National Orchestra by Age 12.
  • The German-born musician has breathed new life into the genre of classical music and has amassed a large and devoted global following of fans, most of them younger than the listeners traditionally associated with classical music.
  • He holds the Guinness Book of World Records  title for the fastest performance of “The Flight of the Bumblebee”, which her performed recently on Oprah.
  • PBS is airing a special this month (also called Rock Symphonies) of Garrett’s sold out Berlin show, where he performed in front of 18,000 fans.
  • Rock Symphonies debuted at #2 on the Billboard Classical Crossover chart (second to Sting at #1) and is still holding its position.
  • Rock Symphonies is available at Best Buy, iTunes and Amazon.com.
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Sometimes He Changes His Mind, and Sometimes He Changes Mine

The other day I was cleaning (someone has to do it!) and I ran across a journal, written on paper, with pen, from before my blogging days. It is dated January 7, 2006.

“So, are still going to try for a girl?”–Nope, never have. Ok. It could be completely dishonest to say that during four pregnancies I never hoped I was carrying a daughter. The thought of sweet embroidered dresses and baby dolls under the Christmas tree did cross my mind more than once. But each time I gave a final push and one by one my sons entered the world, I instantly forgot my desires for such feminine things.

For I am a boy mom.

Four sons, it does not get much more boy mom than that.

Perhaps it is that you don’t really miss what you don’t have, or that God has blessed me with a truly grateful heart, because I can say with all honesty that I am glad I have no daughters.

Four and a half years later, I nurse not one, but two daughters to sleep every night.

My house is an explosion of pink and lavender.

I see a softer side of my sons that I did not know they had.

And my heart bursts with love.

And I wonder what I would be missing if God had not changed my mind.

Written in participation of Bigger Picture Moments, “A moment where you recognized the role your faith plays in your every day life. A moment where you take note of motherhood and the importance of what you are doing. A moment that made you stop and breathe in the bigness of it all. The hugeness that is life and the small moments adding up to one Bigger Picture.” Play along if you like.

My Life With Twins: Ten things I was not prepared for

Welcome back to My Life With Twins! This is a weekly post where I share with other MOMs (Mothers of Multiples) about the ups and downs of raising twins (or more!)

This week will mark the seven month anniversary of Ellie and Emmy’s births. In this short period of time I realized how unprepared I was for several of the twin truths I’ve learned. I spent 10 weeks on bedrest before the girls were born, and I read and theorized a lot about how life with twins would be. Here are the real things I learned:
1. I was prepared for a premature twin birth. I was NOT prepared for an induction at term. Let’s face it. Birth hurts. Inductions hurt. Even though my babies were small (6 lbs 11 oz, and 5 lbs 10 oz) the real pain is the work needed to open up the cervix. the actual delivery was cake…sort of…no, not really. Let me leave it at my being eternally grateful for a very competent and calm OB, and a supportive birth team!
2. I was prepared for two babies in the NICU, or I was prepared for two babies rooming in with me. I was NOT prepared for one of each. I still struggle with the reality of not seeing my two girls side by side until 5 days postpartum. I am very grateful for the team that very well may have saved Emily’s life, but I mourn the loss of time with both of my daughters snuggled together with me in my arms as I recovered at the hospital.
3. I was prepared for breastfeeding to take a lot of time. I was not prepared for just how time consuming it really is! Since I was really only prepared for my babies to be in the same place at the same time after birth, I wrongly assumed that I would get coaching and assistance on tandem nursing while we were still in the hospital. Not only did I never get that coaching, I forgot how difficult it is to position small newborns at the breast. About two months postpartum I finally mastered tandem nursing, but I rarely do it! We are out in public a lot, and while I don’t mind nursing one baby at a time out in public…two babies makes modesty a real issue!
4. I was prepared for some baby blues. I was not prepared for super intense mood swings. The hormone fluctuations are soooo much more with multiples, and truly, you are getting so much less sleep. Be gentle on yourself.
5. I was prepared to lose my baby weight quickly (I usually do), I did not expect to lose an extra 20 pounds! Nice bonus to that time consuming breastfeeding.
6. I was prepared for some extra attention when out and about with the kids, I was not prepared for being a circus act. Luckily, I am not a shy or reserved person. And on days when I just need to get errands run, I split the girls up into two shopping carts and the Rev. and I divide and conquer.
7. I was prepared for the girls to be a little more expensive than my singletons, but I was not prepared for just how much they are NOT two for the price of one. I had two hospital stays before the girls were born, we had NICU and routine baby nursery expenses, we have doctor visits times two. I am diapering two, which even adds up when using cloth. Two highchairs, two car seats, big stroller, thankfully, still only one crib!
8. I was prepared for the love two babies would bring, but I am overwhelmed at how much I love having two babies in our house! There is ALWAYS a baby to snuggle, and there are TWO bellies to blow on and twenty toes to nibble!
9. I was prepared for a set of clones. I was not prepared for two very INDIVIDUAL babies! It has been a learning experience to figure out the ins and outs of these girls. They may look a lot a like, and share the same crib and birthday…but they are wildly different from each other.
10. I was prepared to love these babies, I was NOT prepared for how much FUN it is to raise them. Not  a day goes by in which I do not laugh at one twin antic or another! This has been an adventure I would not trade for the world!
So, what has surprised you about twin parenthood? I’d love to hear from you!
If you know any MOMs or soon to be MOMs…send them my way!

My Life With Twins: Top Ten Twin Pregnancy Tips

Welcome to my first edition of MOM(Mothers of Multiples)day! I’m going to start things out with my top tips for a healthy twin (or more!) pregnancy!

I made it! Here I am at the END of my twin pregnancy journey! 38 weeks!
  1. Select a health care provide that you trust, are in synch with and are willing to work with. I went into my twin pregnancy assuming I’d have a low risk singleton pregnancy, and planned on seeing my doctor as little as possible! After all, this was to be my fifth baby! Twins change everything! Thankfully I had chosen a doctor that I liked and trusted, because I saw A LOT of him! I also spoke with his nurses a lot on the phone, so a helpful staff is a plus as well.I found out I was expecting twins at 23 weeks and I began biweekly visits at that time. From 30 weeks on I saw the doctor weekly. Frankly, I enjoyed making sure my babies were growing well and were on track, and once I was on bed rest, I was thankful for the chance to get out of the house!
  2. Be prepared for some form of bedrest. Some MOMs are able to skate by their entire pregnancy while working full time or juggling other responsibilities, but most have some form of bedrest. My doctor told me from the outset that his policy is standard modified bedrest once a MOM measures full term. For me this was 28 weeks. Quite frankly, as I was measuring full term and still had a full ten weeks of pregnancy to go, I was thankful to be off my feet. I also had a few weeks to prepare and make arrangements. I used my bedrest time as a time to relax before the roller coaster of newborn twins, and I took the time to learn Photoshop, which I would have never taken the time to do otherwise!
  3. Read up on life with twins, but avoid the horror stories if you can! After  had my girls I ran into website after website telling me all of the things that could have gone wrong and I am so glad I did not see them when I was still pregnant and worrying every day!
  4. Talk to other MOMs. Get advice, swap pregnancy stories, and snag some hand me down twin gear! Most MOMs love to share all of these things!
  5. Take lots of pictures, of you. Yes you…with that big old belly. You know, the belly that even sticks out of maternity …yep that one! Your kids will thank you for it some day!
  6. Drink lots of water. The water will calm your uterus, which tends to be more irritable during multiple pregnancies, and it will keep you comfortable and hydrated. I felt like I could never stay fully hydrated during my twin pregnancy!
  7. Eat high calorie foods! A twin pregnancy requires about 3000 calories a day! This sounds like heaven until you realize how little space your stomach has left, and how many things give you heartburn and reflux. Now is the time to indulge in milkshakes and ice cream. (However, avoid overly fatty foods, or you may end up in the hospital with a gall bladder attack like I did!)
  8. Don’t buy a lot of maternity clothes. Trust me, they aren’t going to fit. Sadly, they are meant for people carrying one baby at a time. I invested in some pajamas and one or two outfits for going out in. However, even though I spent a lot of time in yoga pants and pajamas, I tried to do my hair and make-up most days. It is hard to feel pretty when you are so big, but you do what you can.
  9. Get out and pamper yourself at least one time before the babies are born. I had a manicure and pedicure about two weeks before the babies came, and a haircut the day before my induction. The babies are six months old now, and that is the last time I did either of those things…which reminds me…I’m due for some pampering!
  10. ENJOY THIS TIME! I know that it feels very overwhelming to know that there are two or more babies growing inside of you, but you are truly participating in a miracle! The payoff is so worth it! Let people spoil you, because they will want to!
What are some of your favorite twin pregnancy tips?
What are some of your twin pregnancy questions?
I’d love to hear from you!

Are You Happy Being a Mom?

This segment aired on the Today Show this morning. I was bewildered as I watched it. Perhaps I live an insulated life, or maybe I surround myself with a certain kind of people, but most everyone I know, loves being a mom. 


Some of my friends have a lot of kids, some only have one. I have friends in happy and unhappy marriages, and I have friends who are single parents. Almost all of them love being a mom. 


So as I watched the segment, I was wondering what was missing in the lives of these women, who genuinely sounded so unhappy and unsatisfied. I think the common thread that I was saw was the lack of understanding of the vocation of motherhood.


I even visited the Today Show website, where there was a poll, asking viewers if they were unhappy with being mothers. I fully expected that this poll would show the producers that they were wrong, that there was only just a vocal minority who hate their lives. Instead, I found that sadly, they were spot on.


Motherhood is what we are called to do. Our bodies are uniquely created to bear and nourish children. Our emotions and empathy allow us to be tender and loving to our children. 


And yet, we want more.


We want fulfillment.


We want other people to tell us we are doing a good job.


We want time off…with pay.


I take this morning show segment as a message to me to reach out to the hurting moms out there. To let them know that they are not alone. That their job matters. That their kids matter. That some of the best and most important jobs pay nothing.


Children NEED mothers. Children need caring and nurturing and should not feel like a burden or a source of unhappiness.


My payoffs may be slim now, but the big payoff is the one I pray that I, and my children someday hear: “Well done, good and faithful servant.”


So, what about you? Are you satisfied with your life? Are you happy or unhappy being a mother? Let me know!

Leave me a comment, or, click over on the discussion button on my sidebar and start a discussion on my Blog Frog forum!