How is it even possible that my sweet babies are already eleven months old? Other twin moms are always stopping me to tell me just how fast time flies with two babies and looking back on this last year, I really can't believe how quickly it all went.
You know when you go on a fun vacation and you pack your days so full that looking back it feels like it flew by? That's how life with twins feels all the time.
Silas is such a sweetheart. He has a deep, belly laugh and he seems to think pretty much everything is funny. He is more timid than Ezra, at times wary of strangers or new things. He needs more hugs and cuddles for reassurance throughout the day than Ezra does and he is happiest when he is sitting on my lap or being worn. He loves to read books and also has developed a fondness for eating them. Silas has experimenting with his emotions and has the funniest fake cry that he has been playing around with lately.
Ezra is more independent than Silas. He seems to enjoy playing by himself and testing his boundaries. He hardly ever sits still and is always climbing everything. He likes to read books but can really only focus for one before he is off exploring again. He squeals when he laughs, and has a mischievous little smile and the most adorable "scrunch face" when he wants your attention. He enjoys carrying various things in his mouth like a dog, especially his stuffed bunnies, which is always making us laugh.
While they took their first steps at nine months, Silas and Ezra made the switch to fully walking just before eleven months. They are experimenting with sounds and saying new things regularly. Silas recently started saying, "all done," and Ezra now says, "okay." They also seem to have developed their own language that just the two of them understand.
This is a tough one because overall, we feel so fortunate that we have such strong babies who are meeting all of their milestones. Due to their asthma medications, we have experienced some challenges in terms of growth over the last six months. Long story short, the steroids that were helping them breathe were majorly stunting their growth. We recently began weaning them off their asthma medications and are hopeful that we can survive the winter (and all the viruses that come along with it) without any major respiratory issues. This has all been a huge source of stress for both Josh and I, but we are taking it one day at a time.
My boys all love to eat. They are still nursing about five times during the day and several times throughout the night along with eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Sometimes a snack is thrown in as well, depending on the day. They eat everything that the rest of the family does (with the exception of honey) and their recent favorites include spinach and mushroom quiche, bagels with cream cheese, macaroni and cheese, and broccoli. Mealtime is incredibly messy and usually results in a bath, but it's hard to mind at all because Silas and Ezra enjoy eating so much.
Nap time is continuing to go well and in the last few weeks we have even switched to naps in their cribs. Sometimes I put them down one at a time but lately they have wanted to tandem nurse at nap time. If they don't fall asleep while doing that, I'll put them in their cribs awake and they put themselves to sleep. They usually take a two hour morning nap and then a shorter 45-60 minute afternoon nap but several times lately they have taken just one three hour nap. I'm wondering if they might be starting to transition to one nap a day, though they seem really young to be doing this.
Night time is tougher but they aren't currently cutting any teeth so it's been a little bit better. Silas is a better sleeper than Ezra (usually only waking 1-2 times to nurse versus Ezra's 3-4 wakings throughout the night.) I still have no plans to night wean due to their health issues.
Asher is currently transitioning to doing full days at his preschool and he seems to really be loving his time there. It gives him a space where he can explore, learn, and play with his friends, providing the structure that he lacks in our loving but at times chaotic household. He continues to be the best big brother, so patient and gentle even when his brothers are always crawling all over everything, knocking over his toys, and pulling his hair. When he walks into the door after school, the first thing Asher does is give his brothers a big hug and kiss and it melts my heart every single time.
The holidays are approaching, along with the twins' first birthday, and I am so looking forward to slowing down and spending time with family and friends creating new memories and traditions.
Oops... did I really forget to blog for four months? I'm going to try my best to keep up with this more regularly.
It's so easy to get caught up in the day to day craziness of parenthood. Everyday, we are going non-stop from the second the kids wake up in the morning until the final, sweet moment that they close their eyes at night. I spend my days chasing two mobile infants who are determined to climb everything in sight and put anything they come across in their mouths.
Asher is growing taller, smarter, and more independent by the day. It's hard to believe that in less than two months, we will have two one year olds and a three year old. I'm seriously grieving our baby years coming to a close but I am so looking forward to watching Silas and Ezra follow in Asher's steps and grow into little boys.
Likes: Playing peekaboo, reading books, music, hugs, sitting on laps, chase
Dislikes: Elevators, taking medicine, being alone
Likes: Balls, splashing in the bath, stuffed animals (especially bunnies), climbing Dislikes: The play pen, being in the car seat too long, hats
Silas started crawling at 5.5 months, sitting up at 6 months, pulling up to stand at 7 months, cruising at 8 months, and walking at 9 months.
Ezra started both crawling and sitting up right at 6 months, pulling up to stand at 7 months, cruising at 8 months, and walking (a few days before Silas) at 9 months.
Both Silas and Ezra can wave bye-bye and clap, but only when they feel like it.
Silas says mama, dada, Ezra, hey, and book
Ezra says mama, dada, hi, hey, all done, more, and ball
Josh and I keep telling ourselves that someday we will all sleep again. Someday we will miss them needing us so much that they wake up in the night looking for comfort. But man, it's been rough and most days I need so much caffeine to even feel semi-normal. Silas and Ezra both have six teeth now and every time one of them cuts a tooth they are up pretty much every hour all night long. All the Tylenol and teething oil in the world just doesn't help.
Due to some health issues that I don't feel up to diving into right now, I don't plan on night weaning Silas and Ezra any time soon because they need the extra calories. They both still nurse 3-4 times every night. To preserve what little sleep we all currently get, they are still sleeping in our room. We are hoping to transition them to their nursery sometime in the near future but our last few attempts have not been successful.
Nap time has gotten a lot better over the last few months, even with teething. For so long, I worried that they would never nap consistently but after months of trying, we are finally in a good routine. Silas and Ezra typically take a long morning nap around 10:30/11 and then another shorter nap in the afternoon around 2:30. I stagger their nap times and put them down one at a time, which has made a world of difference.
Silas and Ezra started baby led weaning around six and a half months old (when they were finally sitting up on their own) and they dove into eating solids with so much enthusiasm. All three of my boys just love to eat. They eat just about everything that Josh, Asher, and I eat and it's so nice at meal times not to have to bother with making a separate meal for the children.
They still nurse about 5 times during the day and another 3-4 times overnight, so milk is still a huge part of their diet despite all the solids they are taking in. They typically sleep through lunchtime so they eat breakfast and dinner, with lunch and/or a snack added in on some days.
They like all foods and have never refused to eat anything put in front of them. Their favorite foods are apples, watermelon, strawberries, pizza, pasta, and yogurt.
Asher continues to be the sweetest big brother. He surprises us every day with his patience and he tries so hard to be gentle. He is enjoying spending time with Silas and Ezra more and more as they grow and can interact with him in new ways. He loves to make them laugh. When they cry, he makes it his mission to make them feel better. He brings them their favorite toys and stuffed animals, rubs their backs, and gives them kisses. He loves to take their hands and walk them around the living room.
Asher is growing into such a big boy and while it is amazing, it is also a little heartbreaking just how fast my babies grow. Slow down, time! His mind is going a mile a minute when he gets home from school every day and he loves telling us about all of the things he is learning about. Lately he wants to help us with everything we do and do as many of his daily tasks as he can all by himself. He is such a great role model for his little brothers, or "the troublemakers," as he affectionately calls them. I love seeing their bond grow stronger every day.
It took a long time but we have finally found our groove as a family of five. We've come to embrace the chaos that comes along with infant twins and a three year old. The laundry gets piled up at times, there are dust bunnies under our sofa and occasionally dishes in the sink, but we are so very happy.
Mutual Likes: Trying to eat their feet, chewing on anything/everything, playing with Asher Mutual Dislikes: Being in their carseats, taking medicine (especially their new inhalers)
Both boys are now rolling from belly to back regularly. They are busy boys and love playing with toys, shaking rattles, and chewing on everything they can get their hands on. They recently discovered their feet and spend most of their time rolling back and forth holding their feet, trying to get their toes in their mouths.
This month was the hardest yet in terms of health. We continued to struggle with constant breathing issues as we waited to see the specialists about their asthma. Two separate instances, we ended up in the emergency room because Silas and Ezra were showing signs of respiratory distress. We also had too many other trips to the pediatrician to try to count. It was frustrating because every time they got sick, doctors would give them breathing treatments, put them on oral steroids, and send us home. The oral steroids would help temporarily but as soon as they caught another virus again (which seemed to happen over and over again without much of a break), we would be in the same situation with their breathing.
Just before Easter, we were having to give Silas and Ezra breathing treatments around the clock. If we went over four hours without the albuterol (a rescue medicine), they would immediately show signs of respiratory distress. They wheezed and coughed constantly and I was always on edge because I was so worried about their health and it felt like we had no long term plan for treatment.
We woke up one morning both boys were breathing much more rapidly than even their typical wheezy breaths. We noticed some pulling in the rib area and they seemed to be using their stomach muscles to try to get air. Silas in particular seemed to be struggling to breathe; his breaths were rapid, short, and his breathing coarse. The wheeze more pronounced, with intense, deep coughing fits in between that were nothing like we'd ever heard before. We rushed them to the emergency room where both boys were treated and Silas was subsequently admitted to the hospital. It was an incredibly stressful couple of days and even just writing this, I can feel my anxiety levels rising.
Once we got their breathing stabilized, we ended up seeing a pulmonary specialist and getting Silas and Ezra on medications that will help with their breathing on a longer term scale. It is a relief to know that we won't need to continue to give them oral steroids, which can have some scary long term side effects. We are truly hoping that this will allow us to stay on top of their asthma, and give us a chance to relax and enjoy our time as a family.
During the month that they were pretty much constantly sick, they were needier in the night. They were up nursing more than usual and had a harder time staying asleep because they would cough and wake themselves or each other up. I didn't even mind getting up so many times in the night because I was up worrying about them anyway. At the recommendation of their pediatrician, we were setting an alarm throughout the night for every four hours and would give nebulizer treatments while they were sleeping.
We also just recently began transitioning from swaddling and it has been tough. We have the Halo swaddle sleep sacks but it seems like any, even slight, movement causes them to wake up and cry (which subsequently wakes up the other twin.) They then both need to nurse to settle down and often need to be rocked back to sleep. We are going to try the Merlin's magic sleep suits to see if these help with the transition and prevent them from waking themselves and each other up so often.
We are also planning to separate the boys into their own pack and plays soon. Up until this point, they have slept together, swaddled side by side, in a single pack and play in our room. Now that they are rolling and able to move around quite a bit more, it's time to separate them into their own spaces for sleeping. They are really becoming too big to sleep together in a single pack and play and hopefully separating them will prepare them to eventually sleep in their own cribs in their nursery.
Sadly, when Silas and Ezra are sick, especially if they are congested, they don't want to nurse as often or for as long. This is the total opposite of the experience that I had with Asher, as he would want to nurse around the clock when he was sick. I noticed a pretty significant decrease in their nursing sessions, which their pediatrician insisted was normal. But as a breastfeeding mom, it was absolutely heartbreaking when I took my sick babies to the doctor and saw that they had lost weight. After the hospital stay, once they started their new medications and started to feel a little better, I noticed that they seemed to nurse a little better as well.
Silas and Ezra are still just exclusively breastfeeding with no solids yet. We are waiting until at least six months, or until they are sitting up well and showing all the other signs of readiness, before we start baby led weaning.
Big Brother It was so hard for us when we were in the hospital yet again and away from Asher, who luckily stays with his grandma each time. Grandma keeps Asher distracted and happy while we are away, but whenever Asher arrives home after one of our hospital stays, he has a bit of a difficult transition. He needs lots of cuddles in the night and often tells us not to leave him again.
Luckily, Silas and Ezra were well enough that we were able to take a family trip to the Adirondacks at the end of the month to celebrate Josh's 30th birthday, which was just what Asher (and really all of us) needed. We stayed at a very family-friendly hotel with a spa, pool, game room, movie theater, ice cream parlor, restaurant, and nightly campfire. It was so good to spend that time together as a family, especially with Asher, who I think loved our vacation more than anyone else. He told us repeatedly that he wanted us to live at the hotel.
Asher impressed us by hiking up an entire mountain on his own for the first time, which was not an easy hike. Josh and I each carried one of the twins and kept asking Asher if he needed a break. He insisted on doing the hike on his own and made it all the way to the top of the mountain keeping up a great pace. Everyone we passed was astonished that Asher was making his way up such a steep, difficult trail. Josh strapped on our new Twingo baby carrier and carried both Asher and Ezra on the hike down, which was a good thing because Asher fell asleep about two seconds later.
It was so good to get away and spend some quality time as a family. We really needed the time together after everything we had been through in the month of April, and Asher desperately wanted to spend some time with his brothers that wasn't in doctor's office waiting rooms. Asher is so sweet with Silas and Ezra and has been so patient through it all. He continues to amaze us as we watch him grow.
Final Thoughts Despite our challenging month, it finally feels like things are going to start getting easier. Hopefully we have no more hospital stays in our near future so we can just focus on our quiet little life as a family of five. We so are looking forward to warm weather, walks in the park, playing in the back yard, and summer barbecues.
Both wear 3-6 month clothes but just started fitting into 6-9 months
Mutual Likes: Kicking, looking around, sucking on hands, belly kisses, sitting/standing up with help Mutual Dislikes: Waiting for anything - especially milk, taking medicine
Both Silas and Ezra are reaching and grasping onto things. They are lifting their heads better every day and pushing themselves up onto their chests during tummy time. They are much more socially engaged and are always watching everything that is happening around them. Both of them, but especially Ezra, want to spend most of their time standing up (with help of course.) They are close to rolling from belly to back but haven't begun doing it on their own yet.
The last month has been tough in terms of illnesses. Shortly after our trip to Vermont in early March, Silas and Ezra came down with a virus. Our pediatrician had noted previously that Silas and Ezra had developed a rattly cough and wheeze when they were sick, which we originally thought was RSV but tests indicated otherwise. When they got sick again in March, along with ear infections, the cough and wheezing were back and worse than ever. They pretty much spent the entire month of March sick and the respiratory problems just wouldn't go away. Many doctors office visits, nebulizer treatments, and medications later, we have discovered that Silas and Ezra have what they call "reactive airways" which will most likely later be officially classified as asthma when they're older. Doctors still aren't sure of the severity of asthma we may be looking at, so hopefully our upcoming appointments with the pulmonary specialist can give us some answers.
Prior to getting sick, Silas and Ezra were great sleepers, either sleeping through the night or waking up just once to nurse. Their constant illnesses have messed with their sleep patterns to the point where it's completely unpredictable how many times they will wake up at night. Most nights, they are waking up twice between 7pm - 6am. They wake up earlier these days; usually around 6:30am but we've noticed that if they wake up anytime after 5am, they are ready to party. We never realized how lucky we were when Asher was a baby. He used to sleep until 8am every day!
We are still swaddling them when they go to sleep but we know these days are numbered. Asher started rolling over much earlier than his baby brothers, so we stopped swaddling him around 2-3 months old. A few weeks ago, we tried transitioning them to the Magic Merlin Sleep Suits I have read so many rave reviews about but it didn't go well at all. Hopefully we can try them again before they outgrow them because they seem to really need the snug feeling that the swaddle provides them with. We were able to transition Asher pretty seamlessly from swaddles to sleep sacks; I guess we never realized what an easy baby he was!
Silas and Ezra are still exclusively breastfeeding but it has been more stressful in the last month because when they are sick, they are not nursing nearly as much. Whenever baby Asher got sick, he always nursed more but these guys are the total opposite. Feeding two babies is a lot of work as it is so worrying about them getting enough to eat on top of everything else has been making me anxious. Their pediatrician keeps assuring me that they are growing well despite everything they have been through but I can't help but worry.
Asher continues to be the sweetest big brother to Silas and Ezra. He is so happy to wake up in the morning to his baby brothers. Asher mimics the way that Josh and I treat the babies, talking to them, giving them hugs and kisses, and comforting them when they cry. He loves that they are starting to play with toys because he can interact with them in new ways. He is protective of them when we go out in public and is so incredibly patient and well behaved through all of their endless doctors appointments.
My heart just melts when I see Asher with his baby brothers. Josh and I were just talking about how one of the best parts of being a parent to three boys is seeing Asher really come into his role as a big brother. We are so proud of the kind, thoughtful, gentle boy that he is becoming.
The first few months with infant twins was hard so hard and made us feel like brand new parents all over again. When we look back on December through February, it's a bit blurry - endless diaper changes, hours upon hours of cluster feeding, and the dreaded daily "witching hour." At four months old, things are finally becoming calmer, more routine, and more (dare I say?) fun. As hard as it is at times, and trust me life with twin babies and a toddler is never easy, life is so, so good.
I feel like I just wrote Silas and Ezra's two month update and here I am again. Three months old! I always have the goal of blogging more often than I do now and I think it will get easier as the boys get older. It's hard to have time for anything these days, even a shower or a trip to the grocery store.
Three months is such a fun age because they are really starting to become their own little people. Ezra continues to be more laid back than his brother. He is also much more physically motivated than Silas. He loves doing his "exercises" where he holds my hands and goes from lying down, to sitting up, to standing. He gets so excited when he is finally standing, with wide eyes and a huge smile on his face. Ezra needs to be held more often than Silas does and prefers sitting up, looking around at things to lying on the play mat. Ezra is less content in a swing and needs to be worn more frequently.
Silas is a little social butterfly baby. He loves to make eye contact and gets a big smile whenever you look directly at him. He is always cooing at me and loves when I mimic his talking sounds. He has become a little distracted nursing because he often wants to interact with me rather than eat, which is just so adorable. Silas is definitely more demanding than Ezra. I always read than twin babies are patient because they have to be, but this is certainly not the case for Silas. He's been perfecting an incredibly loud, shrill scream to express to me his immediate need for milk.
Silas and Ezra Three Month Update
Both currently wearing size 3-6 month clothes
Mutual Likes: Car rides, going on walks, being worn/held, crinkly toys, their swings Mutual Dislikes: Lying down for too long, loud noises, tummy time
It's amazing how much they Silas and Ezra changed in the last month. They are so much more social: smiling all the time, cooing, and even giving us tiny giggles. They are constantly watching everything we do. When Asher is playing near us, they will strain their little necks to try and see what he is doing. They recently discovered each other's presence, mostly while nursing. They will stop what they are doing and look at each other and start cooing and smiling. It is unbelievably cute. They also have begun reaching for and grasping onto toys while playing on their play mat. They are holding their heads up better every day and are getting so strong.
Health All three of us battled thrush thanks to the antibiotics the boys were on that I mentioned in their two month update. I normally take a probiotic and give them one as well to prevent thrush but when we were in the hospital, I forgot to bring these. I had no idea how hard it would be to get rid of thrush while nursing twins. Other than that, we have all been healthy, thankfully. With spring around the corner, I feel hopeful that we can be healthier in the coming months.
Silas and Ezra are such good sleepers. We dress them in pajamas and swaddle them before they have their last breastfeeding session of the day around 6:30/7pm. Then they nurse for a long time, anywhere from 45 to 75 minutes. Usually Silas falls asleep first and then Ezra continues to nurse for a while longer. Once they are both asleep, Josh and I transfer them to the pack and play where they sleep. They sleep soundly until somewhere between 3/4:30am, wake to nurse for 15-20 minutes, and then go back to sleep until about 6:30am. Three times in the last month, they slept right through their early morning nursing session! (Which, for those keeping track, is three more times than Asher slept through the night in the last month. But that's another story entirely.)
It's hard to say whether they will continue to sleep this well, as only time will tell. There is usually a big growth spurt around three months and then typical sleep regression around four months. Maybe, just maybe, these boys will be better sleepers than their big brother? Fingers crossed.
Silas and Ezra nurse almost exclusively with an occasional bottle (maybe two times a week) from Josh. I would happily pump and give bottles more regularly in the evenings but usually we are so busy during that time that I just end up nursing them because it's easier. They are still all over the place with breastfeeding and I continue to just do it on demand. According to my app, they are averaging about eight nursing sessions in a 24 hour period but it really depends on the day. Sometimes they are hungry an hour after they last ate and other times they will take a long nap and go 3+ hours. They seem to be gaining weight well and have good diaper output, so although I haven't had them weighed in a couple weeks, I think it's safe to say that breastfeeding is still going very well.
Asher seems to really be enjoying his role as big brother. He usually wakes up after we do and gets the biggest smile when he sees "his babies," despite how grumpy he may have been just the moment before. He wants to be a part of everything they do, to the point where he tries to crawl up onto the breastfeeding pillow while I am feeding his brothers. He gets excited when he sees that Silas and Ezra are getting bigger because soon they will be able to "play toys" and "wrestle." I can only imagine the fun that is going to ensue with these three.
Although I am sad that the newborn phase is over, this also means that things are finally getting a bit easier for us. That, or we getting better at being parents of twin infants and a toddler. Silas and Ezra are starting to naturally develop a (somewhat) more predictable eating and napping schedule, which means that I can finally have more time to get things done around the house and play with Asher one on one.
As crazy and chaotic as things get around here sometimes (if you've ever been here around 5pm, you know exactly what I'm talking about), I still wouldn't change it for the world. A little over a year ago, we were trying to wrap our heads around having two babies and now I can't imagine my life any other way.
The first few months of a baby's life are often referred to as the fourth trimester, when babies are still adjusting to the world outside the womb. While the newborn phase is filled with many wonderful moments, it is also incredibly hard at times for new parents. Newborns are challenging because they need a lot of help developing good sleeping and nursing habits. Because the world outside the womb can be overstimulating, newborn babies want to be held pretty much all of the time. Most days feel like all I do all day is feed, burp, change, hold/wear, and repeat, but I know this won't last forever.
Despite having been a parent for a few years already, when I found out I was pregnant with twins I felt overwhelmed. I had no idea how to breastfeed two at once or which items I would need for two babies. I scoured Pinterest for twin "must have" lists and inquired in my local multiples group about what I would need. Now after almost three months as a twin mom, I've developed my own list of twin essentials for the newborn period. These are the items that are my favorites, the ones that we have found to be the most useful in our household. While a lot of these lists are floating around the internet, everyone's seems to be different because (surprise!) every baby is different.
My sister gave me a few miracle swaddles as hand-me-downs when Asher was born and when we found out we were having twins, we bought a few more. These are the best. They are easy to use and keep babies' arms swaddled nice and tight. My boys always sleep better at night when we swaddle in these. They are slightly stretchy and fairly lightweight so are good in all seasons if you layer properly underneath. We have four of these and it's the worst when all four are dirty at bedtime because my little houdinis can wiggle their way out of most other swaddles.
I bought a bunch of the Aden and Anais swaddle blankets when Asher was born and they were a lifesaver. You can use them for swaddling thanks to the extra large design, but also as a burp cloth, nursing cover, play mat, background for photos, you name it! They hold up really well over time and get softer with every wash. However, I've learned the second time around that it's not completely necessary to go with the most expensive blankets. You can get high quality muslin blankets for a lot less. I got the exact three pack of Hudson Baby ones that I linked above at Marshalls. The constellation blanket is my favorite by far!
With twins, quick diaper changes in the night are even more necessary than they were with one baby. I could care less about putting them in adorable sleep clothes because by the time they get up in the morning, they are covered in spit up and/or poop most of the time anyway. I don't even know why they make pajamas for babies with all those snaps. Have you tried doing snaps in the middle of the nigh when you haven't slept in days? Trust me, you don't want to. Do yourself a favor and buy pajamas with a zipper.
Sleeper Gowns - Carters.com - $13.99 These sleeper gowns were ideal in the hospital and the first few weeks when we were adjusting to our new life as the parents of twin newborns plus a toddler. It makes diaper changes simple and we were changing more than 25 diapers a day between our three boys, so easy was essential.
Sure, you can go buy an expensive white noise machine or one of those sleep sheep. Or you can download this app for free on one of your devices and play it while your babies sleep. If you're like us, and your babies are also your roommates, you may even end up sleeping better too. We tried a bunch of different white noise apps when Asher was born and this one is my favorite. The sounds are calming and there is a good variety to choose from. A bonus to having this on your phone is you always have white noise available to your babies no matter where you are; I've put it on in the car, the stroller, while babywearing, you name it.
I was pretty sure I wouldn't need or like this pillow because I loved the single My Brest Friend pillow when I was breastfeeding Asher. Reviews were mixed, so I didn't purchase it initially. However, when we got home from the hospital, I quickly realized that the My Brest Friend Twin pillow that I purchased wouldn't work for all tandem nursing situations. I use the Twin Z for nursing on the couch and in bed because it provides better back support and is more comfortable. In bed, I prefer to prop a pillow under the front to get the babies a little closer to me. This pillow has to be one of my most frequently used baby products and I would absolutely recommend it to any twin mom planning to tandem nurse. It's also great for propping up two babies for bottle feeding and tummy time. Plus, big brother loves to lounge in it, too.
I struggled with this pillow at first because of the removable back support. Once I took it off, I was able to get the pillow closer to my body and it made nursing much easier. I keep this pillow in the babies' nursery and use it when I put them to bed. It's much easier than the Twin Z to use in a rocker/glider because I can just pop it off and carry my sleeping baby to his bed when I'm done nursing. Because this is so useful at bedtime, I do think it's very helpful to have both the Twin Z and the Brest Friend Twin pillows. I spend so much time breastfeeding my babies that these are the kind of purchases I could never regret.
My Brest Friend Nursing Stool - Amazon.com - $24.99 Somehow I never knew these existed during the whole 20 months that I nursed Asher. When I started tandem feeding Silas and Ezra, I was always hunched forward on the couch trying to get closer to them. Finally, someone suggested a nursing stool. Why didn't I think of that? It is adjustable and sits at an angle, bringing my feet just a bit higher off the ground while raising their heads slightly to bring them closer to me.
When setting up my twin nursery, I knew I wanted a rocking chair as it was an essential part of Asher's bedtime routine as a baby. The challenge was finding a chair that was large enough for my twin nursing pillow and wide enough to fit two babies in my arms as they got older. I ended up measuring my twin pillow and scouring the internet for hours trying to find the perfect "chair and a half" that didn't cost and arm and a leg. It was time well spent because this chair is perfect; I love the color and how it looks in our nursery too!
ZEEFO LED Nightlight - Amazon.com - $12.99 When Silas and Ezra wake up in the night, we don't turn on the lights when changing and feeding them in order to encourage them to go back to sleep quickly. This nightlight is the perfect amount of light to be able to see well but not bright enough to disturb the babies. It has a motion detector setting, which we actually don't use because we found it goes off rather quickly (like in the middle of changing a diaper.) However, it's perfect for what we need and you can't really beat the price! We ended up purchasing a second one for the nursery.
Total Baby App - iTunes.com - $4.99 I use this app mainly to track breastfeeding and growth. It has a lot of other features; you also can log sleep, diapers, pumping/bottle feeding, baths, and doctor visits. It's easy to track information for both twins, and even allows for timing two separate feeds at once. This helps me stay on top of which baby is on which side, as I alternate every time I nurse them. It also provides information about daily time spent nursing and average time per nursing session. This is helpful because I am able to notice when they aren't nursing as well when they are sick.
Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump - Amazon.com - $27.18 While I use my Medela Pump in Style mainly when I pump to replace a feed, I find that I actually prefer my manual pump at times when I'm just pumping to relieve pressure before or after a feed in the middle of the night. I did this occasionally to build a supply and I liked the manual design because I could control the pump speed better to mimic my babies. The manual pump is nice because there is no messing with plugs or noisy pumps in the middle of the night. I can do it right in bed without disturbing anyone. I also like having a manual pump that I can stick in my purse if I'm headed out and don't want to lug my electric pump.
Dr. Browns bottles are a good value and don't cause issues with gas like some other bottles. I don't mind that there are a lot of parts to clean because Silas and Ezra take bottles so infrequently. Thankfully, they have had no problem taking these bottles when offered. We use the premie nipples because they have a much slower flow, which prevents babies from preferring the bottle over breastfeeding.
A Tula is a soft-structured canvas baby carrier that buckles at the back and waist. We started out with an Ergo when Asher was a baby, which we liked, but we ended up moving on to a Tula because it is more comfortable for me and Josh despite our different body types. The infant insert is superior to others we have tried well because it provides more structure and better head support for baby. While our print is discontinued, there are always an array of prints to choose from. We love this for walks around the neighborhood or long hikes. We used this carrier with Asher until he was two, when we upgraded to a toddler carrier, so you can definitely get a lot of use out of these, making them well worth the money.
Hands down, when I reach for a carrier to wear one of my twins, this is my top choice. Anyone who knows me well knows that I love babywearing and have a zillion different wraps and baby carriers. The hybrid wrap is my top choice because it has a bit of stretch and is thin like a t-shirt, but is still extremely supportive. It can be used for single or tandem wrapping all the way through toddlerhood. Unlike a Moby or Boba, which are stretchier, it can be used for front, hip, or back carries. It comes in a bunch of beautiful patterns and is perfect for holding baby close without feeling bulky. I use this wrap multiple times every day and it continues to be both Ezra and Silas' favorite place to take a nap.
Because I had my heart set on wrapping my twins, I wasn't sure I would really like or use the Weego carrier. I purchased one secondhand from another twin mom, which seems to be the way to go with these. They do have a great resale value if you do purchase new. The Weego is extremely helpful in the early days because it is suitable for babies four pounds and up. It is easy for one person to get babies in and out and it doesn't have the steep learning curve that wrapping has in the early days. When both babies are crying and need to be soothed immediately, the Weego is the easy answer. While it is technically rated up to 33 pounds, I'm finding that it's getting heavy as my babies near 3 months old and approximately 24 combined pounds. Overall, this thing is a lifesaver and I highly recommend it to new twin parents.
The First Years Newborn to Toddler Tub - Amazon.com - $17.98 When Asher was a baby, we used one of those adorable blooming baths for his bath time and it worked well for us. We planned to use this with Silas and Ezra but quickly learned that it is not ideal for bathing two babies. By the time baby A had finished bath time, baby B was stuck with a cold, wet, limp flower mat. Not ideal. So we purchased one of the First Years newborn tubs on Amazon thanks to the reviews and I'm so glad we did. It fits right in our sink, and keeps newborns nice and snug in the hammock during bath time. We probably won't use it once they can sit up in bath seats, as we will be able to bathe them together, but for now this is perfect. Munchkin Diaper Pail - Amazon.com - $64.99 I'm amazed that these diaper pails are always on the lists of baby items that you don't need to purchase. Seriously? What do you do with your dirty diapers? We have three of these around the house and they are completely necessary. Sure, there are more expensive, fancier options out there but this works great for us.
This stroller has to be one of the best items we purchased for our twins to date. I knew I didn't want a side by side stroller because I've seen moms struggling to get those through doorways. While I heard great things about the snap and go strollers, I preferred the idea of just getting one stroller that I could use with carseats now and transition to the regular seats later. I love that it worked with our Britax carseats with a simple adapter. It's also perfect for us because I can wear one baby and swap out the carseat adapter for the regular seat for Asher to ride in. There are a ton of configurations for the seats and different add ons you can purchase separately. It is easy to fold/unfold and you can steer it with one hand, something I was never able to do with my single Britax stroller. We love everything about this stroller and look forward to using it more this spring!
The Tiny Love play mat is twice as large as the traditional ones, providing lots of room for two babies and even big brother for tummy time. We added this baby gym from IKEA and I like that we can take it away during tummy time, allowing for more room to move around and roll over. It's machine washable too.
We actually have two rock and plays and they have so many uses. When we first brought Silas and Ezra home from the hospital, we realized there was no way they were going to sleep in the twin pack and play that we purchased. We ended up allowing them to sleep in rock and plays for almost a month before transitioning to the pack and play and I have zero regrets.
Rock and plays also come in handy when tandem nursing. I have one set up downstairs next to the couch and another one next to the glider in the nursery. I use it before/after breastfeeding when there isn't someone around to hand me one of the babies. Before nursing, I put one baby in the rock and play and hold the other baby while I adjust the nursing pillow with one hand. Then I settle the first baby on the pillow before reaching for the second twin. When I finish nursing, I reverse the process. We also often bring the rock and plays in the kitchen or dining room so the babies can sit with us while we eat.
Graco Simple Sway Swing - Amazon.com - $79.99 I went mildly overboard buying baby devices when I found out we were having twins. I wanted to have a good variety because I wasn't sure what the babies would prefer. Turns out, despite having a bouncer, vibration seat, another swing, and a Mamaroo, both boys prefer the Graco Simple Sway Swing. True to it's name, this swing is nothing fancy. It vibrates and rocks from side to side and for some reason, they both love it over anything else. I alternate putting one baby in this swing and wearing the other during fussy periods throughout the day. I got this swing secondhand but would have gladly paid the price of a new Mamaroo for how much my guys love it.
Silas and Ezra are now two months old. I've always heard that times goes faster the second time around and with twins, I think this is even truer. Somehow, all of a sudden, they aren't newborns anymore. Their faces are filling out with chubbier cheeks and their thighs are developing squishy rolls. They seem sturdier, more alert and aware of the world around them. They can hold their little heads up for longer periods of time and their individual personalities are starting to shine through. While Silas demands that his presence be known, Ezra is more easy going.
Silas and Ezra Two Month Update
11 lbs 9 oz
10 lbs 15 oz
Mutual Likes: Being worn or held, bath time, lap naps, nursing all day every day
Mutual Dislikes: Most swings or baby seats, loud noises, wet diapers
Both boys started rolling from belly to back at a few weeks old. I couldn't believe it! It's still pretty infrequent but Ezra does it more often than Silas.
They have also started smiling socially and it just melts my heart every time. Along with those sweet smiles, they are beginning to coo in response to us.
The last month has been a rocky road in terms of health. It seems like we are constantly at the pediatrician's office for one thing or another. At about six weeks old, both babies came down with a virus consisting of coughing, running noses, and low grade fevers. They had all the symptoms of RSV, but tested negative for it. Silas' cough lasted for weeks and was really worrying us. He ended up needing an antibiotic as it developed into a secondary infection in his chest.
Unforunately, at a few weeks old, Ezra was diagnosed with a lacrimal cyst, which is basically a lump in his tear duct area. While it is common for babies to have clogged tear ducts, cysts such as these are extremely rare. We were referred to a specialist who told us that Ezra would most likely need a minor surgery to probe the area but he scheduled it a few weeks out to see if it would start to get better on its own.
About a week before Ezra's scheduled surgery, I noticed his cyst was looking red and inflamed. I was having a hard time clearing it as the doctor had taught me to do, so I sent a photo of his eye to our pediatrician because I was worried it might be infected. After consulting with the ophthalmologist, our pediatrician told me to take Ezra to the emergency room. He ended up needing emergency surgery in his eye due to a rapidly developing infection. Later test results showed an uncommon and dangerous bacteria that caused us to stay two nights in the hospital while doctors from Infectious Disease worked to determine the right kind of antibiotic for my little peanut.
Ezra responded well to the antibiotics and his eye cleared up before we even left the hospital. The cyst had been causing tightness on the entire left side of his face, so it was really incredible to see his whole look change as he healed. I'm happy to say both boys are healthy and thriving now. We are crossing our fingers that there are no other health issues in our near future.
Surprisingly, Silas and Ezra are great sleepers. This is something I worried about endlessly in the months leading up to their births. Ever since I got the all clear to stop waking them every few hours at night to nurse, they have been doing longer and longer stretches. At two months old they have a long nursing session at about 6:30/7pm and then sleep until 4/4:30am most nights. Then they go back to sleep until 7am most days.
These two could teach big brother Asher a thing or two about sleeping; he STILL doesn't sleep through the night. We inevitably end up with Asher in our bed every morning. I know the four month sleep regression is looming and don't even get me started on teething. I'm just trying to appreciate these restful nights while I can.
Naps are another story and something I am still figuring out with twins and a toddler. Because they have no real nursing routine, they haven't fallen into any sort of predictable napping schedule yet either. They usually nap at the same time, but not always. Sometimes one will nap in the swing and the other in the baby carrier. Sometimes both snooze in the Weego or their car seats while we are out and about.
I started stressing about getting them on a good nap schedule but I'm realizing lately that it's just different this time around. As the second and third children, Ezra and Silas are sort of required to be more flexible by default. They sleep great at night and are happy babies so I'm trying not to worry about it too much right now.
Ever since they had their tongue and lip ties corrected, Silas and Ezra have been nursing like champs. I nurse them on demand and they have no real schedule. It's funny because Asher ate every two hours on the dot for almost a year. Maybe it's because I'm tandem nursing and just following their cues more, but they range from eating every hour to sometimes giving me four hour stretches if they take a good afternoon nap.
They took their first bottles at 8 weeks old. I was nervous because we waited so long but I wanted to be sure their latches had improved and they were nursing well before bringing a bottle into the mix. Luckily they took the bottles fine and Josh really enjoys the bonding time. They lock eyes with him when he feeds them and it just melts my heart.
Asher loves his brothers (or bruvers, as he likes to say.) He is gentle with Silas and Ezra and so patient with his mama during the seemingly endless tandem nursing sessions. He loves doing tummy time with his brothers and lying on the play mat showing them the various toys. He often asks to hold them and tells me how much he loves them.
Asher tries to comfort Silas and Ezra when they cry, offering them kisses or stuffed animals. He is always telling me, "They need their milkies," and, "They want you to wear them." He loves to help with diaper changes and bath time and really is the best big brother.
Even though it's often chaotic having three children under three years old, I'm trying as hard as I can to breathe in the smell of the babies after their baths, to take mental pictures of the way they smile up at me while they are nursing, and not to take for granted how it feels to have them fall asleep in my arms. I know that before I know it, my babies will be toddlers and my toddler will be a preschooler, and I will be missing this crazy, challenging, but oh-so-worth-it time of my life.
Silas and Ezra were born December 8, 2016 when I was 38 weeks, 3 days pregnant. Silas Reid came first, at 2:43 pm weighing 7 pounds 5 ounces, 20 inches long. Ezra Jack arrived next at 2:59 pm, weighing 6 pounds 7 ounces, also 20 inches long. I will never forget the moment that I was finally able to hold my two babies on my chest after carrying them in my belly for what felt like an eternity.
The end of my twin pregnancy was incredibly difficult due to intense heartburn, carpal tunnel, and swelling. My labor was long but I ended up with two big, healthy, squishy baby boys who got to go home less than 48 hours after delivery. I had the vaginal birth that I advocated for so long for with no complications. I feel so fortunate to have had such a positive twin birth experience and plan to go into my birth story in more detail in a separate post soon.
The Early Days
The early days had a steep learning curve. Even though we had been parents for a few years already, Josh and I had no idea how to raise twins. All of the literature and advice that we received suggested trying to get the twins on the same eating and sleeping schedule as early as possible but like most things in life, this was easier said than done.
Despite having breastfed Asher for 20 months, tandem nursing is a completely different experience. Getting Silas and Ezra on the same schedule meant when one showed hunger signs, both babies nursed. Due to significant weight loss in the days following delivery, I woke them up every two hours around the clock for the first month. I experienced a lot of pain and developed mastitis, both of which made me question whether I would really be able to exclusively breastfeed twins. At about a month old, we took a trip to Albany to have both boys' tongue and lip ties corrected by a renowned pediatric dentist. From this point on, breastfeeding got much easier. We eventually found our groove as the boys now nurse like champs and I am so thankful that I didn't give up.
The twins both had their days/nights confused initially, so first few nights home from the hospital were sleepless for all of us. We pulled out some of the tricks we learned the first time around and developed a bedtime routine. We quickly scrapped the idea of having Silas and Ezra sleep in the twin pack and play we had purchased and let them sleep in rock and plays. We swaddled them, kept the sleep environment dark and used white noise to help them stay asleep. When I woke them to nurse, we kept the room quiet and dark except for a nightlight. It only took a few days for the boys to be on a better sleep schedule and by a little over a month old, they were doing four hour stretches in the night.
Honestly, looking back, the first few weeks are a blur. It was a big adjustment to go from a family of three to a family of five. Asher accepted his new role with some initial apprehension and uncertainty, but eventually embraced it and is the sweetest, most loving big brother to Silas and Ezra. Josh and I dove back into being the parents of newborns and remembered how difficult it can be to function on little to no sleep, just this time with a toddler in the mix and two babies instead of one. Having twins means twice as many diaper changes and twice as much crying, but also two times the snuggling and love to go around.
We unfortunately dealt with some unexpected challenges in our first month home with the twins. Both boys had high jaundice levels though Ezra's were higher, and we ended up having to treat at home with a biliblanket for over a week. Ezra had to be on the blanket 24 hours a day, which meant he was stationary because it was plugged into the wall with a relatively short cord. Because of this, I couldn't do any babywearing or skin to skin with him. While we anticipated spending our first few weeks cuddling the twins and easing into our new life, we instead spent our time going to the hospital and pediatrician's office daily for blood tests and weight checks.
Just when we thought we were in the clear, we woke up in the middle of the night to change and feed the boys and Josh noticed that Ezra seemed really warm. Upon taking his temperature, we discovered that he had a fever of 101.7. Fevers over 100.4 in babies up to 3 months old warrant a call to the doctor. We were instructed to take Ezra to the emergency room at the children's hospital, so we packed up the whole family, dropped Asher at grandma's house, and headed straight there.
Ezra was subsequently hospitalized for several days with what ended up being a common virus. Because of his immature immune system, Ezra couldn't fight off the virus in the same way that even an older child could. It was heartbreakingly sad to see our little peanut hooked up to all the machines in his hospital room. We were immensely relieved when we were finally home from the hospital and reunited as a family of five.
Despite all of the up and downs in our first month home, Josh and I just feel so lucky to be the parents of our three beautiful boys. It's amazing to see how much they love each other already.
My babies are officially considered full term as of today! While I am so happy to have made it this far, I am feeling so, so ready to meet my babies and not be pregnant anymore. I thought the last few weeks of being pregnant with Asher were difficult but I really had no idea. Carrying two full sized babies inside me is starting to feel almost unbearable.
My doctor has said that as long as everything continues to look good on my weekly NSTs, as well as with my blood pressure, she is willing to let me wait it out to go into labor on my own. Typically, doctors recommend induction (or even more commonly, c-sections) with twin pregnancies, especially once they hit about 38 weeks. I'm sure induction will be mentioned at my 38 week appointment but I'm still hopeful that my babies will come on their own time.
Babies at 37 Weeks
At 37 weeks, the babies are most likely around 6.5 pounds each and up to 22 inches long! Asher was 20.5 inches long when he was born, so I'm guessing they will be a similar length. Apparently, they are the size of honeydew melons so just picture having two of those shoved into your belly with no room to spare and that's about where I'm at. I'm still waiting to feel the "lightening" that happens at the end of a singleton pregnancy, when the baby drops into the birth canal. Somehow I don't think this happens when you're pregnant with twins because I haven't dropped at all and can barely breathe due to the pressure on my lungs and constant kicking of my ribs.
Weight Gain As of my appointment last week, I was up 3 pounds from the week before. I'm at the point where I'm far more concerned about water retention than actual weight gain. I swelled up a lot after I delivered Asher, mostly I think because of the pitocin they gave me after Asher was born (which apparently is extremely common with twin births as well.) At this point, I'm expecting that I'm going to look like a human water balloon. Should make for some interesting photos. We actually have a photographer lined up to do a Fresh 48 session, meaning she will get some photos of the babies after their births, but while we are still in the hospital!
Eating My stomach is so squished that eating anything kind of stinks. Plus everything gives me heartburn. I am having no cravings these days and instead am just daydreaming about what I'll eat once I feel relatively normal again. I was starving when I was breastfeeding Asher, so I can just imagine how I'll be feeling nursing two babies instead of one!
Feeling In the last few days, my body has been sending signals that I need to slow way, way down and take it even easier than I had been previously. I've been swelling up to the point where it's kind of scary and it hasn't been going down. Even just sitting up, rather than lying down, causes my feet, ankles, and legs to swell almost instantly.
I'm also just exhausted and feel way too tired to do any of my normal activities. Poor Asher has watched a Christmas movie two days in a row, which I feel guilty about but he is completely thrilled. I'm hoping this exhaustion is a sign of labor and that the babies will be making their grand entrance sometime in the near future.
Sleeping I basically spend the night in a half awake/half asleep dream-like state. I stress about things at 3am that seem somewhat silly in the light of day, like worrying that I won't remember how to care for a newborn, or wondering how I will manage to take all three kids to the doctor at once.
Something to Be Happy About We managed to go cut down our tree AND get our house decorated for Christmas this weekend. This is a relief because I was worried that if the babies arrived before we got our Christmas tree, it might not happen. Asher is so excited for Christmas this year and I think it's the first time that he really understands the holiday. We have read 'The Night Before Christmas" several times a week for the past month or so. He was so adorable decorating the Christmas tree with his special ornaments and so far hasn't messed with the tree much (fingers crossed that it stays that way.)
Asher also met Santa for the first time! It was so cute because despite his excitement of meeting Santa, he refused to sit on Santa's lap and clung to Josh's leg during the whole interaction. He did show Santa his stuffed Santa Claus that he brought from home with him. Later, he proudly told another little girl, "I talked to Santa!"
Here are some photos from our holiday themed family weekend...
Something to Look Forward to I can't stop thinking that no matter what, in just a few short weeks, my babies will be here! As rough as the end of this pregnancy has been, this is what has been keeping me going. Soon the discomforts of a twin pregnancy will be a distant memory and I'll be living life as the mama of three boys!
Did you know the average twin pregnancy lasts 35 weeks? According to the March of Dimes, more than 60% of twin births occur before 37 weeks. I am so happy to have made it this far in my pregnancy and am really hopeful that these babies stay put for at least one more week so they won't be considered pre-term. My doctor keeps telling me that the babies could come any time, so I'm trying to take it easy as much as possible to increase my chances of having full term babies.
Babies at 36 Weeks
I had an ultrasound at my appointment last week (probably my last one before the babies come!) and they were both measuring over 5 and a half pounds! They are gaining about a half a pound a week each at this point, so they are probably around 6 pounds now.
Weight Gain Last week at my appointment, I had lost a pound despite being incredibly swollen. It's unfortunate because the long drive to my doctor's office usually means I'm swollen by the time I get into see my doctor just from sitting in the car! At this point, I know the babies are growing at a good pace and that water retention is common with twins, so I'm trying not to focus so much on the number on the scale. I'm healthy and my babies are healthy; that's what matters most!
Eating I'm still finding that I'm hungriest around lunchtime. I try to just go with it and eat whatever sounds good to me, while trying to stay healthy. By late afternoon and evening, my heartburn is so unbearable that I really don't want to eat anything. The list of foods I have to stay away from is growing daily but currently includes red sauce, red meat, and anything spicy or rich/buttery.
Feeling I think I'm officially at my limit physically with this pregnancy. I am just so incredibly uncomfortable all the time. My back is killing me, making it difficult to stand, sit, even lie down comfortably. I can't even find a way to relax in the bathtub or my bed. I'm trying to stay positive because I really am so happy I made it to 36 weeks but I really just can't wait to hold my babies and not be pregnant anymore.
Sleeping I'm barely sleeping these days between the back pain, heartburn, and swelling that causes my feet and hands to go numb all the time. I have to roll from side to side often because I get crampy from the weight of the babies. Plus I get out of bed almost every hour.
Something to Be Happy About We got SO much snow over the past few days! We have over 30 inches and it's really adorable how excited Asher is to go out and play in it. He and Josh have been having so much fun shoveling, sledding, and building a snowman. The snow is now officially too high for Asher to walk around in, but he's still enjoying himself. The cold doesn't seem to bother him one bit!
Something to Look Forward to As long as the babies don't come in the next few days, we are planning on getting our Christmas tree on Friday! It's been a tradition every year that we have lived together in New York that we go to a certain Christmas tree farm (one where Josh went as a child) to cut down our tree. Though it is kind of early to get it right after Thanksgiving, we figure we might as well do it while we can! I am so looking forward to it and I know Asher is going to love the entire experience.
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