Aloha everyone. Long time no blog.
Last time I left you, breastfeeding was going pretty well and I was nursing the girls once every two hours. Well, about a month ago, Troy and I decided we couldn't handle the crying anymore. And the not sleeping. No one should be AFRAID to be alone with your kids. The babies were nursing every 2.5-3 hours, even at night and they were approaching 3 months old. They should have been sleeping longer and we were both struggling with the whole no sleep thing. And when they were awake they were crying all the time.
Basically, I would nurse one while the other one screamed (I still can't tandem nurse). The one I was nursing would fall asleep for about an hour. I would nurse the second one and they would fall asleep for about an hour. After they both woke up an hour later, they would scream and scream and scream until their next feeding. I would usually cave after about 2.5 hours because we couldn't take the crying anymore.
My boobs felt empty empty empty and they would cry and not latch on because my milk wouldn't come down immediately. Everyone was frustrated. We were tired and the babies were hungry. And not sleeping.
My solution?? Start pumping like crazy. I had to increase my milk supply. At the time, they were drinking 3 ounces each every 3 hours. If they could make it that long. To make sure they were eating enough, we started just bottle feeding my pumped breastmilk. We were able to figure out that they were SO comforted by the boob that they weren't nursing long enough and would fall asleep,
starving an hour later and not helping my supply grow because they weren't completely emptying my boobs out. By pumping, we could ensure they were eating enough and empty the boobies all the way so my supply wouldn't drop off.
While waiting for my supply to grow some more, we supplemented about 2 oz of formula per day, per child. I was sad at first because I want to exclusively give them breastmilk, but after talking to a friend of mine with twins, I realized, "I am not made to nurse a litter." I just need to do the best I can and make sure my kids aren't hungry. If that means supplementing with formula every once in a while, so be it. Every once in a while when we have a busy day, we'll bring formula out with us if we know we'll be gone for a while (going to church and then running errands for example) and then I pump when I get home, usually enough for more than one feeding per kid. Which is pretty great.
I have been pumping during the day and bottle feeding and only nursing for the middle of the night/early morning feeding. As a result, they almost immediately got happier, were sleeping from about 9pm to 5am (the feeding I would nurse) and then pump a full feeding for each of them before I go to work. If they don't wake up before I leave for work at 7am (which has happened), I can pump 18+ ounces. It's craaaaaaaazy! Women's bodies are amazing.
Overall, since I switched to mostly pumping, everyone is happier. It makes my life a little more inconvenient, but it's worth it. For our pocketbook and the babies immune systems :)
Call us crazy, but about 2 weeks ago, we started the cloth diapers. I wanted to wait until the babies were big enough to fit in the diapers so there was no leaking from the leg holes. I started Avery at 3 months exactly (when she was about 10-11 lbs) and I was really excited to start using them for the girls. We are using BumGenius pocket diapers with snaps and prefolds with Thirsties covers and snappis. Troy and Aurora (our nanny) do really well with the prefolds, but I am TERRIBLE. The prefold gets held together with the snappi and then the cover snaps over the prefold. Well, if you don't make sure that all the fabric is tucked in to the cover, the SECOND they pee, there are leaks everywhere and multiple clothing changes per day. I'm getting better at it, but there is a little more patience involved. The prefolds are definitely cheaper than the BumGenius, but I am still partial to the BumGenius. They were having a sale on cottonbabies.com and bought 15 more last week.
A lot of people have said, how can you cloth diaper 2 babies? Well, we'll see how it goes. I did it with one so with a few more diapers, we should be able to keep the same laundry schedule and keep going with two. BUT I don't do any of the kids laundry. Including diapers or bedding. Which is seriously amazing. Aurora is fully on board with the cloth diapers (she used them with her kids) and does at least one load of laundry on days that she's here (3 days a week). So having extra help really makes a difference. I do Troy's and my laundry and bedding, but having Aurora here for all the kid stuff and kitchen stuff makes a huge difference in terms of time makes our quality of life better and our laundry hasn't gotten out of control. Yet.
I am also officially back at work and on my mutually agreed upon schedule at work. I work on mondays, fridays, and saturdays all day. I used to just work whenever I was needed, but now that there is more going on at home, having a reliable week to week schedule just works better for us. And for hiring our nanny.
I've gotten a ton of questions about how we found her, agreed upon pay, "extras", and hours.
We registered on care.com, which is how we found Carolyn, our nanny before we had the twins and she moved away :( Having had luck on the website before, we decided to give it a second go. We placed an ad with our requirements, hours, level of experience, days/hours needed. We had about 35 people apply and only interviewed 3 people. Everyone we interviewed was over 50. We really wanted someone with experience with multiples and with multitasking/running a household. It is easy to get overwhelmed with 3 kids under three and I frequently have freak out moments. I was hoping to hire someone that wouldn't feel that panic, and I felt pretty confident that hiring someone under 30 who didn't have their own kids could get in over their head.
We ended up hired Aurora. She is from the Philippines, is almost 60, has 2 children and her mother lives with her as well. She has tons and tons of experience and great references. She tutors children with special needs and we could tell she wasn't intimidated by watching 3 kids under 3 years old. She has a very gentle, calm spirit and so far, the only issue we have had is that she can let Avery boss her around at times. Aurora is here for 10 hours a day, from 7am-5pm on mondays, fridays, and saturdays and she has come for occasional other things like date night or when we met with our pool contractor (!!!!!!). So far things are going well with me being back at work. She will do dishes, empty the dishwasher, make baby food, cook for Avery, do all the kids laundry, vacuum common areas (ie. areas the kids hang out), change kid bedding, and clean up all the toys/books that Avery hurricanes through in a day.
I'll be back with an update about the pool this week :) We are waiting for the HOA to approve the plan and for the permits for engineering. We are hoping to start digging in the next month so that the pool is up and running by Avery's birthday!