Sunday, August 28, 2011

A poem from your Uncle Harold and Aunt Heidi

Dear Jenny and Brett and the two,
Remember whatever you do,
To sleep every time
You listen to rhyme.
That's why we are writing to you.

There was a wee bairn known as Ella,
Who sometimes would cry a cappella.
Her mum and her dad
Were ever so glad
When instead she would dance tarantella.

Her sister, I'm told, is called Maya,
And she has a burning desire.
You'd find it a whim,
But she wants to swim
The river Atchafalaya.

"Oh why do you bawl, little Lilac?"
Now listen and hear her reply, "Lach-
rymose I am not,
But I'm only a tot.
No wonder that self-control I lack!"

The girl who is also named Lily
Must think it a little bit silly:
Her aunt has a hunch
That she'll eat a good lunch
In clothes that are really quite frilly.

Now this is the end of our rant:
To versify further we can't.
We hope you're asleep,
Peaceful and deep.
Much love from your uncle and aunt.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Baybay & Baybee: Week 2

Two weeks old!

Looking back on this week, it seems like it was a lot more challenging than the first. Night times have been rough. The girls are up every few hours and they need to be changed and fed and changed again. This process can take up to an hour and a half. Often they are both on the same schedule, which helps with sleep, but has its own challenges. I find it easiest and most relaxing at night to nurse while laying on my side, and that really only works with one baby at a time. Also, when one gets up while the other is asleep, only one of us actually needs to get up with them, allowing the other to get more rest. We're still figuring it all out. Sometimes I need to remind myself that this is only week two and it's okay that we don't have any real grove or patterns yet. They will come with time.

I think we have both coped amazingly well with the little chunksof sleep that we've gotten. It's hard not to get snippy when we are both overtired, and we've definitally had our moments this week, but that's all they have been. In the big picture, I know that this is only a very short moment in time.

As of the 22nd, Maya was back up to her birth weight! This made the pediatricians very happy and was relieving to us, though we weren't actually worried. I know that they are eating and gaining weight. They eat all the freakin' time! Ella had her last weight check appointment this morning and she surpassed her birth weight by a whole ounce! Yay for growing big and strong!

We do this a lot.

I had my two week postpartum visit at the midwifery center yesterday. They checked my incision and said that it looked amazing and that I was healing incredibly well. I feel almost back to my normal self physically, except for being tired. We have taken a walk around the block most days this week, and every time I feel like I could go a little further. I still have a little cough that developed while I was in the hospital, and that is annoying. Also, my wisdom tooth has been hurting this week. I don't know what's up with that, but I hope it goes away soon.

We gave the babies their first bath this week. I got in the tub first and then one at a time we introduced them to the warm water and gently washed them off. They both seemed to like it. They were pefectly content to just hang out in the tub with me. I bet they are going to love the water when they get a little bit bigger.

Toby left a few days ago and now Timmy is here visiting for a couple days. We have also had some nice visits with friends and Brett's mom. It's been nice to see so many people, but we are looking forward to a quieter next couple of weeks.

Toby was here for almost a week visiting.

Watermelons and cute baby clothes from Guy.

Maya snuggling with her Uncle Guy.

Maya sleeping on her Auntie Selena.

Jim got to hold Ella for a while as she slept peacefully.

Uncle Timmy takes a turn comforting Maya.

Grandma Kathy did some double duty on Tuesday while Brett was working.

Once in a while they are both in a state fit for pictures together. Aw!

They do sleep a lot. Sometimes it seems like it's mostly during the day, though.

Another cozy nap on the bed.

My family resting together.

We picked a whole bunch of heads of broccoli from our garden this week. The twins and I had a mini photo shoot before the broccoli turned into soup.

Ella and some broccoli.

Maya isn't sure what to make of it.

Trying out the new Moby wrap. Ella seemed to like it a lot. Maya, not so much.

Ella looks cute in her clothes (and her Mohawk).

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Baybay & Baybee: Week 1

Ella and Maya are a week old today!

Here are the answers to a few of the top questions we've been asked:

How are the girls doing?

They are amazing! It's wonderful to see them just thriving. The first few days, while we were all still in the hospital were rough on them and on us, but ever since we came home on Sunday, everyone has relaxed. They are such beautiful, unique little beings. They hardly ever cry, they love to be cuddled, they love to be held while they sleep, and they take in the world when they are awake.

Maya Lilac was born at 7 lbs. 2 oz., while Ella Lily was born at 7 lbs. 9 oz. As usual for all newborns, and especially those delivered by c-section, they lost about a pound each in the first few days, but have since gained some of that back. At last weighing, they both weighed 6 lbs. 10 oz. and the doctors say they are very healthy.

How is the breastfeeding going?

It's going great! I am happy and proud to say that all three of us have taken to breastfeeding incredibly well. The very first time we tried feeding after they were born, they both latched on! After that, the first 4 days were very challenging while we were still in the hospital. We were all tired and trying our best, but it was hard with so many people coming and going and offering their opinions and stresses to the situation. On the other hand, we had some great help from lactation consultants and a few nurses. My milk came in on the 3rd day and feeding got easier after that. And coming home made us all so much more relaxed.

Both girls have good latches and I have mastered the football hold for feeding them at the same time. Once we are all hooked up, I am now even able to have my hands free to sip a cup of tea or eat some food! I am loving the time that I get to spend with them when we breastfeed. It is a lot right now and it certainly has its challenges, but I love looking at them, touching their soft heads while they feed and seeing such satisfied little faces when they are done.

How are *you* doing?

I am recovering from the c-section really well. I am able to move around fairly easily, though slower than normal, and I hardly have any pain. When I cough or laugh, my incision is sore and sometimes still stings, but I definitely notice an improvement with every day that passes. I feel lucky that I never had a lot of pain and that it was only ever necessary for me to take Motrin. I think that had I taken the Percocet that was recommended, I would not have healed as quickly. I've had almost no constipation or swelling. I feel very lucky and strong.

I have also dropped 32 pounds in a week, putting me less than 10 pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight. That amazes me. I do need to make sure that I continue to eat enough food now that I am feeding two babies. I really notice a difference in my mood and energy level when I don't get enough food. My goal for this coming week is to eat as much as I can!

Are you getting any sleep?

Yes and no. Yes, we are getting some sleep, and and in some ways it's more than we were told to expect, especially with twins. And no, we would really like to get a little more sleep. The plan for that is to get better at taking a nap with them during the day. It can be really hard to do, because we have so many things we'd love to *do* around the house, or chores that call for doing, or guests to talk with. We'll get there, and we'll get more efficient at the night feedings, allowing us to get back to sleep more quickly.

What are you using for diapers?

We are using cloth diapers and have been ever since their second day of life. I didn't change a single diaper while we were in the hospital. Brett has been amazing. He was the one that took the initiative to start the cloth diapers on the second day and he has continued ever since. He still changes more than half the diapers.

We were given a bunch of diapers from several different sources, and Brett's mom bought us a bunch of prefolds (thanks, Kathy!). We're still trying out all the combinations and many different types of diapers and diaper covers, so we don't have any real endorsements yet, but we're definitely glad we're going with cloth.

One thing that my parents did while they were here that was really helpful was to replace our tiny bathroom pedestal sink with a deep laundry sink. It has been so helpful in rinsing diapers, washing baby tushes, and we're sure it will have more uses in the future (think baby baths!).

We LOVE our new sink! Thanks so much Mama and Papa!

And finally, the part many people have been clamoring for, here are a bunch of pictures from the week!

I got to snuggle with the babies moments after they were born.

This is one of my favorite pictures from the birth. Maya is trying to eat my cheek.

Ella with her Papa shortly after the birth. It's amazing how quickly Brett has taken to being a father. He is so gentle, kind, and patient with them. I feel very lucky that he is the person I'm raising a family with.

Kathy holds her first granddaughter for the first time.

Four days old and sleeping peacefully. Our last day in the hospital.

Outside for the first time and about to go home. It was raining. We were all tired, but SO glad to be outside and going home. The twins cried the whole way home. It felt like the longest 5 minutes of my life. I've never been so glad that we live so close to the hospital.

With Mama and Papa. It was wonderful to have them here for the birth. I am so thankful for my amazing parents.

Ella and Brett take a nap.

More napping!

Cozy and warm.

Snuggling with Daisy.

Sleeping soundly on Hannah.

Harvesting cucumbers and holding babies!

The babies loved cuddling with Steech and Bridget.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Going home as a family of four!

The family all together, just about ready to head home. You can't tell in this picture, but the twins are dressed in cute onesies for the first time!

So, we did it! The birth went really well, and the girls and mama are all healthy, happy, and tired. I (Brett) really want to write lots and lots about the new experiences we are having, and how we made it through our little struggles at times. Right now, though, the priority is rest, and since the rest of the family is sleeping, I guess I should, too.

Welcome home, Maya Lilac and Ella Lily Constantine!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Week 38

38 Weeks!!!

This will probably be my last weekly post before the babies are born. Our scheduled c-section is just two days shy of the 39 week mark, this Wednesday. I will try to get on here and post one more time before Wednesday morning. And of course, we will update with pictures after the babies are here!

Making it to 38 weeks feels good! I'm so proud of these babies for doing such a great job growing and staying put for so long.

We did some fun things in my last full week of being pregnant, including two rides on the tandem! On Saturday we biked to the farmer's market and then to some tag sales on the way home. On Wednesday, we rode to our last ultrasound appointment! We also picked a few blueberries together in Whately, and we sorted through a bunch of baby clothes (and diapers and bibs and blankets and sleep sacks). I think we have enough of almost everything now, at least to start.

We go a little slower these days, but we can still ride on the tandem together! (Photo by Selena)