My Story

The chronicle of the journey from infertility, to miscarriage, to finally raising twin girls born in June 2012.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

9 month update

We had our nine month doctors appointment a couple of weeks late because we did a quick check up at eight months.

Anyway, the stats!

Middie Biddie - 17lbs, in the 25th percentile.
Itty Bitty - 16lbs, in the 5-10th percentile.

They're both on the charts!  Woot!  Doctor says everything is great, they are growing really well and we should keep doing what we're doing.

In terms of milestones, they're still more in line with their gestational age than their actual age.  You know what?  I'm totally cool with that.  I love the stage that we're at right now.  They sit up and play independently, just checking in every so often with me sitting nearby to make sure I'm paying attention.  But if I have to leave for a minute, they are pretty much where I left them when I get back.  I can get down on the floor and play with a monkey (monkey give you kisses!!!!) and they just laugh and laugh.

Generally I sit them up in the playroom and put a pile of toys in between them.  Then I put some fluffy blankets behind them so if they fall backwards, their heads aren't bouncing off the floor.  More often than not, within 2 minutes, all the toys are tossed behind Itty Bitty.  Yup, she's a hog.  But Middie is so laid back, she really doesn't care that much unless her wubba gets stolen.

Itty Bitty is still threatening to crawl but it's not happening.  She can pivot around on her tummy and over the course of a play period she will have managed to scooch around a small area, but she doesn't move with a specific desired destination.  She has learned now to click her tongue.  I heard her doing it so I did it too, and now we're having full on clicking conversations.  If I click, she'll stop what she's doing to look at me and click back.

Middie Biddie has kind of said "screw it" to the attempting to crawl and the sitting up thing.  Lately she's been just wanting to lie down and play with her feet.  But I think she's just cranky this week because she's got more teeth coming in.  In her crankiness, she's wanting to be held a great deal of the time so I'm holding her on my lap in front of my computer a lot.  The Ergo has reappeared as daily equipment.  I sit her in it facing front and let her bonk a few toys on my desk.  She's also currently fascinated with mirrors.  She is babbling "mama" a lot (without meaning) so I'm responding when she does to try to get her to understand the association of that sound meaning me.

We're working on learning some sign language and I'm trying to use it with the girls more.  I suspect "kitty" will be the first word they figure out because it's the one that I'm most consistently using.  Yeah, I use other words a lot, but I'm not sure that I'm able to use those words in association to what they're thinking.  But when the cat walks by, they look at it all fascinated, then look at me and I say and do the sign for "kitty" and then pet the cat.  So that's probably going to be the first word that really clicks with meaning.

Today we got a twin table.  It's so much easier to clean than a standard high chair.  And good timing too.  The day after I ordered it, one of our barstools broke.


What's going on with me -

I'm down to 2 pumps per day.  Next week we'll return the power pump to the hospital and I'll go down to one pump per day using the pump my cousin gave me.  At that point I'll just be pumping for comfort, not for providing.  We have enough in the freezer to make it on a half breastmilk / half formula diet until their first birthday.

My ankle is friggin killing me.  I was doing physical therapy and I bought some new shoes with more structure and some fancy schmancy insoles.  While those things helped with the general soreness, as the soreness went away, all the pain just focused in on one spot that I can't seem to do anything about.  Ice doesn't fix it, strengthening the muscles around it doesn't fix it, it just feels like a pebble constantly pressing on one spot.

I finally got an answer to that yesterday.  After all this time of being told to exercise and ice it, I went to a podiatrist who looked at my xray and found that an extra little bone had formed on the ligament!  Said that these random little bones often form and sometimes you can have dozens and not even notice and sometimes one hurts like hell.  So that's why it feels like a pebble is constantly pressing there, because there essentially is!  He said things about slicing my ankle open and removing it, but I need to get a real super duper scan to ensure that the pain is coming from where they think it's coming from (there are some other anomalies very close by that could also be the culprit) before we do anything about it.  They don't want to remove one thing only to find that the pain was caused by the thing next to it.

So yay diagnosis, boo not being about to do a damned thing to ease the pain right now.

K just got cast in a play so next month he'll be gone most evenings.  Now is a good time for it.  The girls are regularly going to sleep about 7pm and doing so relatively easily.  His rehearsal time won't really interfere with their awake time since he often gets home shortly after they go to bed anyway.  Who knows if that will still be the case 3 months from now.  It's also a short rehearsal time (only a month) which is no big deal.  It's a great show (Noises Off, he's playing Freddie).  Good show, good rehearsal schedule, good timing in terms of baby stress, so he's going to have a good time with that without stressing me out too much.

All in all, life is pretty good right now!  I'm just enjoying it while I can.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Generic blog post

One is better at calmly snuggling than the other
No real significant stuff to write about at the moment.  So I'll just write a few random bits.

Breastfeeding status - starting yesterday, I've dropped down to 2 pumps per day.  My body has figured out pretty quickly that I'm weaning so my supply is appropriately tanking.  We'll be digging into the freezer stash pretty soon.  I've calculated that we have enough to give each girl 6oz of breast milk a day from the freezer until their first birthday.  If I keep producing some, keep supplementing some, and then start using the freezer stash, I'd say that their first year will end up being about 95% breast milk and about 5% formula.

The girls eating habits - Middie Biddie has been difficult with her milk.  For the most part, she just doesn't want it.  I'm still fighting to get at least a couple of ounces in her at every feeding, but her overall intake has dropped significantly.  Then she'll eat foods until she pukes. I'm really trying to figure out the balance between letting her eat until she's full while not allowing her to eat so much that she makes herself sick.  Teeny Tiny is still taking milk like a champ.  We're starting to give them more finger foods like scrambled eggs.  They both seem to really like scrambled eggs so I'll be making those for my breakfast with extra for them a lot more often.

Our eating habits - week 1 of operation "plan ahead" is going well.  We've eaten decent dinners for the last couple of days, on K's day off he made a lasagna for us to eat on a night that he's working too late to cook.  We're trying to incorporate sides that can easily be made into baby food like mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli so the girls are eating some of our leftovers during the following day.  We took a small portion of our pork from last night and shredded it so tonight the girls will dine on mashed potatoes with some gravy and I'll give them shredded pork to play with on their trays.  We're trying to introduce sippy cups, both regular and straw type.  No luck so far.

Sleeping habits - I'm not sure what the heck is going on here.  Teeny Tiny wants to be awake all day long but goes to sleep really well at night.  Once she finally falls asleep for a nap, she's down for a while.  Middie Biddie is falling asleep really easily for naps, but is having trouble falling asleep at night.  A lot of times, Middie Biddie is waking up shortly after Teeny Tiny falls asleep.  They are currently both fighting off a nap and I'm thinking I'm going to give up on this nap and just get them up for dinner soon.  Unfortunately, their sleep needs seem to be completely out of sync at the moment but I'm not quite ready to give up syncing them completely.  Ok, I give up, I'm going to get them up and finish this blog post in an hour or two.

Didja miss me?  It seems like whenever we do anything out of the ordinary, it's almost impossible to get them back on a nap schedule for the rest of the day.  Today we went to Starbucks and I got them home in time for their nap, but they were having none of it.  I guess sitting in a different place for a while got them riled up or something.

Bath time - now that they are sitting up really well, K wants to move to the big bath tub.  I'm still rocking the baby tub over the sink method.  K got an inflatable baby tub, but I don't like it.  First, only one fits in there at a time, and second, it's has no means of allowing new water so they end up sitting in a bucket full of soapy, icky water.  But I don't want them just in the big tub because they do sometimes throw themselves backwards, and I don't want baby heads bouncing off of porcelain   So, we tried something a little different - a big laundry basket!  Lets water flow through, if they fall back they hit their heads on soft plastic, and it keeps toys from floating out of reach.

Communication - Middie Biddie has started saying "mama" but I don't think it has any meaning for her yet.  She's just experimenting with the M sound.  Teeny Tiny has learned to click her tongue and will do it in response to me if I do it first.  We've been having some fun tongue clicking conversations.

Mobility - Middie Biddie now inches straight backwards.  Teeny Tiny scootches around but doesn't really get anywhere.  Still getting up on her knees and rocking from time to time.

Equipment - finally got a stroller that I think I'll be happy with for a while.  The Maclaren Twin Techno.  It fits in the trunk of my small car (though with some difficulty) and it fits both girls pretty well.  It's a lot easier to get around in public with this than with a stroller that seats the girls one in front of the other.

So, that's what's going on around here.  Nothing much, just living life!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Quite a week of baby changes

A couple of light bulbs turned on with the girls this week.  As I posted before, they just suddenly both figured out how to sit up for significant lengths of time.  They spend a lot of time sitting on the floor, surrounded by soft blankets to land on if they fall backwards, playing with a pile of toys I plop in between them.

Yesterday, Middie Biddie suddenly discovered her voice and has been babbling nonstop ever since.  Teeny Tiny has been doing some babbling for quite a while, but Middie Biddie was always pretty quiet.  Well quiet no more!  Now the moment she wakes up, it's "ba bwa ba ba!".  So here's a video of the new soundtrack that accompanies my day.

Now that they can safely sit up, we've changed the bedtime routine a bit.  When they start winding down, we now take them into our bed and read stories.  I've been waiting until they could sit up because on the nights that I'm alone, I couldn't figure out how to safely hold both of them and a book.  Especially since Teeny Tiny is just so active.  We've also had trouble remembering to brush their teeth before bed, so now during story time, we give them these rubbery toothbrush things that they chew on quiet happily, so that task is finally happening.

The girls have also decided that they can be awake for a full 2 hours at a time instead of only 90 minutes.

The next big change around here is going to be how we feed ourselves.  We're trying to move away from the prepackaged baby foods and instead puree the foods that we're eating.  However, more often than not, we look at what we're eating and decide "I'm not feeding my babies this crap!"  My weight has also been creeping back up and I really don't have the excuse of two newborns anymore.  There are just things I want to do better for my girls than I do for myself.  Those two big things are helping them develop a taste for and understanding of healthy foods, and remembering to brush those teeth.  The food thing is going to require a lot of self education on the subject because while I've had the opportunity to learn how to balance nutrition several times, I just don't seem to be capable of making that information stick and live by it.  My parents did their best, but with two working parents, my mother despises cooking, well I was raised on cream of crap style foods (mushroom soup served as gravy a lot in our household) and thus have a taste for carbs and other rich foods.

This is actually going to be a major life overhaul.  We've both spent decades eating crap and grocery shopping is just grabbing whatever looks appealing off the shelves.  Yesterday, we went through some of our recipe books and put together a condensed book of relatively easy dinner staples.  The main thing K and I do together is watch TV.  Since there's nothing on Saturday nights and he usually has Mondays off so one of us can go grocery shopping, we're going to start spending Saturday nights meal planning for the week.  I'm sick of buying produce trying to make healthy food available only to watch it rot before we get around to eating it.  Hopefully by doing some planning, we'll actually eat some decent food, save money and calories by no longer resorting to fast food several times a week, and I'm really hoping the girls won't be plagued with the weight issues I've had my entire life.

So that's the plan anyway.  We've made grand plans before without ever sticking to them.  But I'm really hoping that we now have a couple of stronger motivations than we've had in the past to really make these changes stick.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

I want an app

Maybe this app exists, maybe someone who wants to make some money will read this and create it, I don't know, but I want an app.

Specifically, an app where I can list everything that's in my kitchen and the app will come up with recipes to help me use up as many of those ingredients as possible.  My pantry is full of stuff.  Lentils, miso, coconut milk, just the most random stuff that I bought at some point thinking we would try something with it.  But I can't seem to figure out the skill of looking at a bunch of individual foods and figuring out how to make a meal out of them.

I want to go through my entire kitchen and make a list of everything I have.  Then I want to hit a button that says "plan my menu" and have it create a day or a weeks worth of recipes that uses up as many of those ingredients as is reasonable and a shopping list for the items I don't yet have to finish those recipes.

Each recipe should have 2 ingredient lists:  "You have" and "You still need"
Each recipe should also list out what cooking stuff you will need such as small sauce pan, 2 large bowls, etc.

Options should include:

  • Use up fresh produce / soon to expire food first
  • Cook for 1 person / 2 people / 3 people and so on
  • Time you want to eat (and it tells you what time you need to get started to eat at that time)
  • Enter diet restrictions (kosher, vegetarian, allergic to blah blah blah, etc)
  • Goal calorie count per day (for the dieters among us)

There should be a "how to" guide for instructions like "saute" or "braise".

Every day, you check off the recipes you made and it keeps track of what is left in your kitchen.  You can also manually enter when things are used up, like if you accidentally dump flour all over the floor, to keep your inventory up to date.

I can follow instructions.  If there's a list of what to do and when to do it and I can look up how to do it, I can cook (says the girl who has set a kitchen on fire with tater tots).  But I simply can not figure out how to make a meal from the food in my kitchen.  I'm faced with this failure at least 3 times a day!

Someone make this app, or point me to an app that exists that at least inventories then shows me how to use up the inventory of my kitchen.  I will pay money.  Seriously.  I'm sick of feeling hungry and stupid all day while food rots and expires.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Separation Anxiety has begun

The girls are now getting upset when they can't see me.  It's both flattering, and exhausting.

I actually attempted to cook a decent dinner last night (K normally does the cooking) and I spent the whole time running back and forth from the kitchen to the playroom because every time I went out of sight, I could hear the stressed out little noises.

Middie Biddie is having a stronger reaction than Teeny Tiny so far.  She required extra couch time with mommy yesterday.  I think we moved the girls into my office just in time.  She'll be playing, then she randomly gets upset and generally if I just turn and give her a funny face she starts giggling and all is well again.  She just wants to make sure I'm paying attention.  We had some problems going to bed last night though.  K came home about 10 minutes after I put them down and we thought they were fading out so he didn't want to disturb them.  But about 15 minutes later, MB started getting stressed out so he went in to rock with her for a little bit.  She was fine when he put her back in the crib, but as soon as he stepped out of sight, she started pitching a fit again.  Fortunately it was a short one and she fell asleep relatively quickly.

Teeny Tiny is still doing ok playing on her own for the most part.  I have to be out of sight for a little while for her to get upset.  She treats having my attention as a bonus that makes her especially happy rather than a necessity to maintain a decent status quo.  But she's holding on a little tighter when I hold her (is this baby hugs?) and kind of reaches up for me to pick her up when I walk near.

New food experiences, mixed results

I gave the girls peaches in a mesh feeder today.  One eating method was far more successful than the other.

 But they eventually got on the same page.

Next, we tried a breakfast with a little bit of texture.  I had a pouch of black bean, quinoa, banana mixture and we gave it a go.  Teeny Tiny kind of gave me a face but seemed to think it was ok.  Middie Biddie gave me gag face.  I've seen gag face before and it's usually just because it's something new and they end up liking it by bite number three.

Well, gag face continued and a few bites later, gag face turned into full on puke.  Yup, entire stomach contents flowing out of my baby and filling up her tray with milky, peachy, black bean goo.  Miraculously, she managed to keep 95% of it off of her and only nailed the bib and tray which makes for a relatively easy clean up.  Also miraculously, she didn't seem all that upset by the vomiting.

I mixed up some plain oatmeal and pears because I knew she likes that and it would be easy on her tummy.  Risky maneuver  feeding a child directly after puking, but I didn't want her to be hungry (seriously, I don't think a drop of her bottle or anything was left in her tummy) and she was still enthusiastic about eating once she realized I wasn't trying to give her the black bean stuff anymore.  Teeny Tiny had no issue with the black bean stuff so I continued to give that to her while Middie Biddie got the pears.  I tried one more bite of black bean on MB to see if it was a fluke, like maybe a textured piece hit the back of her throat wrong making her gag, but she really didn't like the taste.