Tuesday, April 27, 2010


So I am gonna try once more. My new dear friend Michelle is sending me her pump (thank you!!!) which is much stronger than mine. So I am hoping I am able to stimulate my milk production and get these kids some breast milk darn it! I'll keep you updated!

Another update - Riley and Dylan went to the ped today. Both are doing great! Dylan got a prescription for acid reflux to see if that helps (we had another rough night last night). They have both increased their weights - Riley is at 6lb15oz, 4 oz above her birth weight. Dylan gained a lot - he's at 6lb11oz birth weight 5lb14oz. He wins the weight gain race! They both got a shot and blood draws. Riley cried through the whole thing :( Dylan cried a little but then snuggled up to his daddy and silently wished it to be over. They were good babies overall! But mom here wasn't happy with the tears - it pains me to see my babies upset. So now we are having some afternoon cuddles and forgetting about being poked with needles....

I guess no breastfeeding??

So... My body has stopped producing milk. I got that 5oz on Saturday. Since then. Nothing. Well, not nothing. Maybe a tablespoon during an hour long pumping session. My breasts don't feel full, I have to squeeze like hell to get a teeny bit expressed to try to entice my babies to nurse, or to get it started for pumping. I just finished pumping and got literally a few drops. How the hell do women produce enough to stockpile??

So it's starting to make sense - Riley and Dylan don't like nursing because they aren't getting anything out of it.

I have tried drinking a ton of water. I have tried red raspberry leaf tea. I am willing to try mothers milk tea and the herb Shell mentioned in the previous post's comments. I am even going out to rent a stronger double pump. But honestly, I feel dry now. And I am feeling like this is my body's way of telling me it ain't happening.


I talked to my mom about it. She said she also always had milk issues. She was never able to pump more than an ounce. One of my sisters had milk issues as well. Maybe we just aren't the pumping type??

So I know it's not my fault. I've done everything I can to nourish my children's little bodies with the best milk possible - my own - and there have been constant obstacles. I have worked hard at trying to nurse, I still do. I have tried every little thing that every friend, family member, and lactation expert told me to try.

I told myself I would not beat myself up over this should it not work out. But I can't help feeling like I have failed.

So the best I can do now is continue my feeble attempt of milking a rock and continue to make sure my babies are fed. They are 3 weeks old as of this Thursday. How much longer can I do this until it's enough?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sleep is nice....

And we all got sleep last night.... Yay!

Mylicon worked like a charm. As did soy formula. I wish I was giving them breastmilk exclusively but it's still not going well. I have pretty much decided to pump from now on. Of course we will have our snuggle skin time but none of us can take the pressure of actually nursing. If I can start pumping 30oz a day It will be enough for them for now, then hopefully my milk will continue to increase with time.

Good thing is this morning I pumped 5oz. Bad thing is my next session was barely an ounce. I am gonna order some mothers milk tea and see if I can swing getting a new, stronger double pump to save time and get more bang. But I know they are pricey so I may have to rent something.

I figure at least they will be getting my milk, right?

I will continue to try nursing this week but if it doesn't work it's ok.

Oh, and Jenna mentioned a possible dairy allergy in a previous comment. I have been thinking about that, especially since I had a terrible intolerance to dairy and beef during part of my pregnancy. I think dairy may be the big culprit especially because of the soy switch and the effect it had.

Side note - Riley has had a blocked tear duct for a couple days now. I have been putting a warm compress on her eye and massaging the duct area but I also put breast milk on it tonight to see if that helps...stay tuned! :)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Colic can suck it

My poor son is still suffering from bad gas. Gripe water is doing nothing for him so it looks like I am going to have to resort to mylicon. I changed his formula to an extra sensitive type. I'm not pumping nearly enough milk of my own for two babies and with him getting so upset with gas it's near impossible to keep working on nursing. Thank God Riley isn't having gas issues. But it's been hard to keep her focused on nursing since I am trying to console Dylan so much. Plus his colic is stressing me out. Not the optimal setting for teaching to nurse. So I'm pumping away to keep my supply up. But it's getting frustrating, I'm not going to lie...

Last night was bad. BAD. Dylan was turning red, crying, clenching and passing gas all night. It's almost like he's acting as if he's constipated, even though I know he isn't since his diapers look normal. His hands go into little tight fists and he starts flailing and scratching and contorting his little face and body. It helps to bounce him so he was in my arms until around 5 or 6am when he finally got to sleep. Riley woke up for her feeding and so I was trying to console Dylan while feeding Riley. I started crying and went into the bedroom to get Josh to help. So he took Riley and fed her while I sat with Dylan on the couch trying to calm him. I would have been able to handle it if Riley stayed sleeping but it just pushed me to my emotional edge. I got 45 minutes of sleep, then woke up for an hour, then back to sleep for an hour.

The worst thing is I feel like I can't console Dylan when he has a gas attack. He looks like he's in pain and it hurts me so much to see that.

I had called his pediatrician when it first started and we have an appointment on Tuesday. So I am cutting dairy from my life and going out today to get the mylicon and soy formula to see if it helps.

Right now he is blissfully asleep in my arms while Riley is happily slumbering next to me on the couch. I think they have the right idea and I'm taking it as my cue to take a nap....

Friday, April 23, 2010

This Moment

*Thanks Cat and Michelle...
A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Announcement pics

I needed to show off my darlings.... So here's a few pics I took of them today for their announcements... Now I just need to order them...
Happy two week birthday Dylan and Riley!!

*Riley slept through the whole shoot. Dylan decided to be adorable and reach out for her hand :)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Two steps forward, two steps back...

Today was the first day of just me and the babes. Overall the day was great. The babies slept and ate and did their baby things (ok, just ate and slept). I cleaned the kitchen, took a shower, and did a load of laundry. Yay me...
Last night my little man had a rough night. He was pretty gassy and was inconsolable for an hour or so. Today he seems much better. But I am sending Josh to the drug store to get gas drops or gripe water.
Nursing.... they say there are good days and bad days. Today was a bad day. I think it was because I ended up getting frustrated because of Dylan's latch, or lack thereof. Riley did ok, she nursed twice today which was tiny progress. Toward the end of the day I just felt bad and ended up giving Dylan a bottle of 1/2 formula, 1/2 expressed milk. Also my nipples are so tender and sore that when I get one of them to latch it hurts. Yes, they are latching correctly, my nips just aren't at that tough stage yet. Once one of them is on for a minute or two it's ok, but that first suck feels like a clamp and makes me want to shout out a safe-word. (no, I have never been in a position to use a safe-word...).
I did pump and got 2oz this morning. So my milk supply is increasing (yay!) I would love to get to a point where I can pump 4-6oz at a time within the 1/2 hour I do it. Then I can give them bottles of my own milk exclusively at night or while out or during those tough nursing times...
So with the frustrations of nursing today, we all said "fuckit" and took a long nap on the couch. That's my favorite thing to do - lie on my back, both babies snuggled on my chest and we all are in a blissful slumber. It's heaven.
We are going to try the nursing vacation again tomorrow. My kitchen was filthy this morning and I had to do something about it...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Nursing Update...

Wow, I got some great responses to my dilemma! I also got in touch with a La Leche League leader via email since this update. I wanted to give you all an update on the nursing endeavors...

So last night I decided to go back to the shield/syringe technique. Both babies nursed fair. BUT they nursed. Every once in a while there would be a release and a cry, but both ended up back on. BUT both ended up getting pretty frustrated toward the end so I gave them each about 1 1/2oz formula anyway.

For the middle-of-the-night feeding(s) I prepared them each 2 2oz bottles and added 1/2 oz of my milk to each bottle. They DO like my milk, just not my nipples lol! They did well through the night and both enjoyed the bottles. I didn't want to even try nursing in the middle of the night when I was tired, they were frustrated, and all we each wanted to do was our business and go back to sleep. They each ate a full bottle..

In the morning I fed them each their remaining bottles and headed out to see my Dr as well as pay a social visit to my RE and show them the results of my treatment with them. I also gave my Dr and my RE each a bouquet of flowers as a thank you. I wanted to take a picture with both but I forgot :(

During my outing the babies both got hungry so I had to tide them over with a prepared bottle each...

We got home and Riley woke up, so I figured it would be a good time to try nursing her again. As I was changing her diaper and getting her into some snuggly jammies, I kept telling her we were going to have a great, positive nursing experience and we will both be very happy and productive. This was more for me than her, but it felt good to say it aloud - it felt more believable to me and got me pumped up to nurse again (pun!).

So we got to work. I got my props - a syringe of formula, a soft towel, the pillows and boppy ready to go, and a nipple shield.

She latched.

At first she was a little upset but I continued to soothe her and calmly talk to her while I guided her. I periodically gave her formula, really after she started sucking to reward her. I gave her about 1/4 of the syringe total through the course of the feeding, but after a while she ate on her own. She let me know when she was done and promptly feel asleep in my arms.
She has NEVER gone through a nursing session without it ending in a bottle. I am pretty happy with our progress :)

I tried the same technique with Dylan got a similar result, but he didn't nurse nearly as long.

Why yes. my gigantic boob is in a leopard print nursing bra....


I know that not every session will be like this at first but I am excited we were able to get here. I have been nursing/feeding on demand which I will continue to do, especially since my babies were small at birth. It was also suggested to me to have a "nursing vacation" and camp out all day in bed with snuggles and lots of contact. I am so excited about this, tomorrow is the perfect day to begin our "vaca" since Josh goes back to work and we will be completely alone most of the day. Which is sad to me. I love having him here with me. He ended up getting 2 weeks off instead of the 3 that we wanted. Boo... Why can't we just be independently wealthy??

Side note - went to the Dr today and I lost 35lbs since giving birth! Which is great, but I am still at 172. BUT that was my weight when I got pregnant. So YAY for that, but I would love to lose another 20-30 lbs. I don't want to be stick-thin, I don't look good skinny, but I do want to go down to a size 6-8. And breastfeeding will help that :) So c'mon babies - let's eat!

I've been signing a song to them right before we nurse. I started saying "are you ready for this?" and it turned into the techno-dance version...

Monday, April 19, 2010

Let's Talk About Breastfeeding...

...And the struggles that go along with it...

I am trying in vain to breastfeed two infants. I will admit, I am having problems with it.

It all started out fine and well with little Dylan. He latched quickly and was sucking like a champ. Riley had issues from the get-go. She got frustrated that I wasn't producing much for her other than colostrum in the beginning, and once my milk started to come in she just wasn't having it. Dylan started to get upset too. So I started using nipple shields along with a syringe of formula. They both would give 2 or 3 good sucks and then release their latch looking for the syringe.

I should tell you that I began supplementing both with formula right away because I wanted to make sure they were getting enough. Plus - ever BF one child? Try two...

Anyway, I wanted to wean them off formula but it seems like that's all they want. They also like the texture of the bottle nipple as opposed to mine. So as the days have gone by they fight me more and more. I stopped using both the syringe and the shields on Friday, I think I will have to go back to using both again. They simply WILL NOT LATCH now. I've resorted to pumping, but even with that I am only getting one good ounce per session.

It's seriously bothering me. I feel like I need to go back to the start and try my hardest to get them off formula, or at least not so dependent on it.

Any tips I can get from a BTDT mom??

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Finally Birth Story and photos!

Riley Anne and Dylan DavidSo I am at a point right now where I can actually update you all on the babies and me and our new little family.

It's so strange, since I had my children, I have felt this complete sense of calmness. I realize now that the last few months I have been stressed out, I didn't know how much until the stress just left.
Of course I still have little stresses here and there, but I look into the face of one or both of my babies and I just feel... calm. It's a soothing feeling I have never felt before. It's amazing.
Ok, enough mushy stuff. On to the birth story!

I made it to my c-section day! 38weeks and 2 days! I surprised myself by going that far. I never got into real labor. I think I made it because I kept a low profile over the last 8 weeks of my The days leading up to last Thursday were filled with anxiety, but the last days leading up to April 8 went by in a blur. I don't really remember what was going on other than my last NST on Tuesday and picking my mom up on Wednesday.

BTW, this was me 2 days before delivery...

My surgery was scheduled bright and early at 7:30 Thursday morning. I was told to be there by 6am for prep - found out later I should have been there at 5:30! Oh well... I go straight up to L&D with my mom and Josh. They get me settled in my suite and I change into my loverly surgical gown. I get my IV put in and got wheeled via wheelchair into the OR, which was just a few doors down. That's when I started to get a little nervous! I kept asking them when Josh would be able to come in, they said they had to do my spinal and prep me before they brought him in. BTW he looked so adorable in his scrubs...

So I get on the table, get my spinal, which hurt, but not too bad. I sat there concentrating on my breathing, but I think it was more of a "I can't believe this day is here" rather than "someone is putting a needle in my back" way to calm myself. My Dr stood in front of me, hands on my shoulders and kept me nice and calm.

I was his only procedure during his paternity leave - his wife had a little girl the Friday before :) I am eternally thankful for that because he is a wonderful Dr and really made the experience memorable.

They finally allowed Josh in and sat him down next to me. He was nervous, but excited. Within minutes (8:14am) I heard my Dr say "Here's the little guy!" and said he was breech. Then one minute later "She's breech too!" and I heard both of my babies cry for the first time. Then I cried. They quickly showed us each baby and went to clean them up and weigh them, but not before I got too touch and kiss each one (very quickly!) Josh went over to each warmer to see them and came back to tell me they were perfect. Then they brought each one back to us, one at a time. It was so surreal to see them and know they were ours.

They both had the same Apgar ratings - at birth each scored a 9, then at 5 minutes they were at 10! So, yeah, more or less perfect...

My Dr finished up with paperwork and checking out the babies and checking on me before he went back to his own new family around 9:30am. I was able to hold them for the first time in recovery and didn't want to let them go. Mom and Josh were both in the recovery room with me.

I was brought back to my room around the time my Dr left. I stayed numb for another 3 hours or so.

Oh, I also got sick every 1/2 hour or so because of the morphine. I was throwing up a lot that day, so it wasn't all glamorous! And after the numbness wore off, I could feel the catheter and my stitches. Not fun.

During my stay at the hospital I tried to nurse alot but I am not kidding myself in thinking I could soley breastfeed, so I have been supplementing with formula. Both Dylan and Riley lost a pound of their body weight by Sunday night, so I had the nurse weigh them again Monday before I left and they hadn't lost any more since the day before. It is so hard to keep them on a schedule. I need to buy a watch.

I think the breastfeeding twins thing will have to go under a separate post because it's a lot to take in and talk about....

I was up and out of bed in Friday - they couldn't take me out of bed until I was unhooked from everything. As of now I am walking around really well. I'm shocked that recovery is going as well as it has, I figured I would be bed-ridden for at least a week. I showered on Saturday and took lots of walks around the hospital with Josh or mom..

Josh's family were there through Monday morning and of course happy for us and the kids. My mom has been an amazing help and I don't want her to leave, but she does on Friday...

Josh has been an amazing daddy. He is pretty much a natural at it - he even did the one-handed hand-off with Dylan! I was impressed...

So there you have it. My personal little story of how these babies came into the world.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

They're here!

Dylan David and Riley Anne, born April 8th 2010! Dylan is 5lb 14oz, Riley is 6lbs 11oz. We are all doing just fine!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Tick-tock tick-tock

One week to go....


8+ years has come down to 7 little days.... or less.

Although I have been incredibly anxious to have my babies, hold them, kiss them, I can't help but feel like I need to treasure these last few days before our lives change forever. I mean, our lives have already changed, but I would be kidding myself if I were to say I know what the next chapter our lives has in store for us.

I can't fathom it. It's totally unattainable for me (and Josh) to quite understand what this all means for us. I do know that Josh and I have been through thick and thin and one thing has always been a constant.

We go through it all hand-in-hand. He is my rock. I am his rock. We have been together for 17 years this year, married for 11 coming up on April 10th. While it is so strange to think of it no longer being "just us", it's exciting to come to the point where we are only adding to our relationship.

I'm scared. Excited. Overwhelmed. Anxious. But to know he is there and supporting everything I am currently feeling or will feel makes me feel so much better.