Evelyn & Olivia, Two Months

Evie and Liv hit two months on December 4. So this post is only a million years late. Let me tell you, being Type A with twins is rough. I am the type of person who hates when people take hours to text back. Now I am that person. I am the worst.

At about this time two months ago I was at the hospital wondering if I was going to be sent home or if it was time. The past two months have been rough, but I feel like we have finally hit our groove. It isn’t easy, by any means, but I no longer feel like I am going insane.

In two months Evie has gone from 4 lbs to 8 lbs 3 oz. Liv has gone from 4 lbs 14 oz to over 9 lbs. Yay, chunky girls. They finally have thighs instead of creepy leg bones. I still have people ask me if they are “brand new” when we are out. It often comes with this weird sort of judgment. Like, they are so new that I shouldn’t have them at the store. Bitch, please.

The girls have started to go 4 hours in between feedings, praise God. I think what has been the hardest adjustment is constantly being Mom. As an employee or a student there are times when you are not working. Whether it be the weekend or Christmas break, there are times for a breather. Mom is on-call 24/7. And that can be joyful and wonderful but it can also be terrifying. Something is wrong and it is on me to decide what to do, at all times. Sure, I have help and people take care of the girls when I am not around, but when the shit hits the fan, I am in charge. No pressure. There are moments where the weight of this seems enormous. Like when Olivia is losing her mind in a Walmart bathroom and you are both covered in poop and she’s just kicked all the wipes onto the floor.

We are in our second week with sitters and it has made an enormous difference. I am able to enjoy the girls more by having some time away. Sure, I spend that time away getting stuff done but it is still refreshing. Today is one of those days. So far post office, phone calls, studying. I have two more hours until they leave and I feel like I have 100 hours of stuff to do. Christmas time with twinfants is a little crazy. I have no idea who I have bought things for. I just keep getting boxes from Amazon. Did I order this? Or is this a present for me? What? Wait, who ordered this? Crap. I have this persistent feeling that something is wrong with my brain. I think it’s called being a new mom. Did you know that you can heat milk for coffee in a bottle warmer? Just a life hack from me to you.

This will be my last weekly update about E & O. I will still post about them plenty and continue to do monthly growth updates. But now that they are two months, I feel like continuing to do weekly updates on them is a bit much. I am going to also hopefully get back to other posts. Still hoping to post twice a week. Ha.

IMG_3023Okay, we have Olivia on the left and Evelyn on the right. I can currently tell them apart easily. Olivia’s face is more oval whereas Evelyn’s is more round. I think this has a lot to do with Olivia still weighing a bit more, but only time will tell. Also, Olivia continues to be more wide eyed than Evelyn.

IMG_3045Evelyn and her duck.

IMG_3051Olivia and Grandpa. This was the first time all eight of us went out to eat – we started with lunch. It went well, no one freaked out and we all got to eat. Win!

IMG_2988My imaginary brother is infatuated with the girls and has done many 4 a.m. feeds. He doesn’t want anyone to know though, it would ruin his street cred.

IMG_3103Naked time! Plus hats. Both the girls have started smiling slowly. Actual smiles. Not, I just crapped my pants smiles.

IMG_3095A good friend knitted Thing 1 and Thing 2 hats for Evie and Liv. They are so damn cute.

IMG_3096Hi, everyone!

IMG_3115Both girls love bath time. They usually take baths with me, but this was an emergency, Olivia just pooped everywhere, bath. She got all nice and clean and then threw up everywhere.

IMG_3123And then Evie followed by throwing up just after the bath. Luckily she didn’t get herself covered in puke, just me. Luckily.

Evelyn & Olivia, Week 7

I can barely count this as week 7, I am so far behind. Having twin infants (or twinfants for those in the know) is rough. Having twin infants that are preemies is brutal. Having twin infants that are preemies, with unexplained health issues, is a new realm of hell. You don’t know panic until you are sitting on the toilet, holding a screaming baby, while hooked up to a breast pump. Even with four adults against two babies, we have been losing hardcore.

The girls level of fussiness over the past couple of weeks has gone from irritating to Dear God, what is wrong with these babies?! After a trip to urgent care that was utterly useless and another trip to the pediatrician, I think we have some sort of explanation. The girls are having pretty significant digestion issues. We thought it was just run of the mill baby discomfort but after seeing them on Wednesday, the pediatrician said something was definitely amiss. Part of me was concerned, part of me was relieved. So you mean it’s not normal for them to scream for hours on end? You mean maybe it is fixable? Sign me up. 

We are on day three of baby Xantac and it definitely seems to be helping. We are still trying to figure out dosage and if we need to do a formula change on top of the Xantac, but just in the first day their discomfort has gone way down. Way less screaming and hours of calm. HOURS. I don’t think that the Xantac is going to be a magic bullet, but at least we are headed in the right direction.

On top of the girls being barely manageable, I have deadlines starting to pile up for my new job. I went from being concerned to barely holding it together this week as I started to get more and more work emails. And no, I can’t go into what my new job is. Other than it isn’t law. At all. ::CONFETTI:: So Rob and I have gone back and forth about what to do so that I can get some work done. We were going to hire a sitter but none of us can manage both girls on our own. We don’t feel like we can ask that of a sitter. So then we seriously looked into daycare, even though the cost of it would basically dump out our savings.

We decided to sit down and have a family meeting. In a moment of particular brilliance, my mom suggested we hire two sitters. WHAT. It is still cheaper than daycare and then I don’t have all of the concerns that come with daycare. Germs, murderers, etc. Two sitters isn’t going to be cheap, but we will only be doing it about 10 hours a week. Just enough for me to get shit done and brush my teeth. We’ve interviewed a handful of people and I am hoping it works out. Fingers and toes crossed.

IMG_3288Rob and I had a wedding to go to last weekend. First time out! Thank God for spanx and nursing pads.

IMG_3291So, so tired.

IMG_3311Two of my loves. 2:00 a.m.

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IMG_3316Reach for the sky, Evie!

IMG_3317This is what we have to do for the girls’ acid reflux. It is like living in a Dr. Seuss book.

IMG_3319I finally got boxes for Evelyn and Olivia’s stuff from the hospital and their first couple weeks. Preemie onesies, ankle bands, they were so tiny.

IMG_3321Liv loves her red dog.

IMG_3326My imaginary brother, home from college. Uncle Jake, finally meeting the girls.

IMG_3332Hi Liv!

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IMG_3338Rob insists on feeding with a bib, even if it is an improvised one.

 

Evelyn & Olivia, Week Six

 

What’s in a name?

I realize that the girls have been here for six weeks and I have yet to do a name post. Coming up with their names wasn’t the easiest for us, but I am very happy with where we landed.

When we found out it was twins I knew we were going to need a way to narrow down the field quickly or we would never come to a consensus. Rob and I are very opinionated and we were at the opposite end of the spectrum when it came to names. Now that we needed to come up with four names, it was going to be an uphill battle.

I have always liked names that started with vowels so we decided that we would only look at names that fit the bill. This automatically made it a lot easier. We have no family names that we feel strongly about so our vowel plan was all we had.

We were on a walk one day, discussing names, when Rob suggested Evie. I have always loved Evie and was ok with it but Rob wanted it to be short for something. He suggested Evelyn. And that was it. We had Evelyn.

Olivia was harder. I wanted Eleanor but Rob was 100% against the girls having the same initials. Have I mentioned that my family is Jessica, Jenifer, Jacob, and Jillian? Though I loved Eleanor, I do admit that Evie and Ellie is a bit too close together. I also suggested Avery but he wasn’t a fan of that. And Evie and Avie is a bit ridiculous. So, one night as I was falling asleep Olivia popped into my head. And as much as I love Olivia, I love Liv even more. So there it was, Liv and Evie. I felt so strongly about Olivia that I told Rob, it is Olivia and Evelyn. The End.

Middle names. Uuuuugh. It wasn’t until I realized that it was totally legit for the girls to have the same middle name that we were able to come up with D’Ann. I suggested Grace and Hope, or Faith and Grace. Rob said that was ridiculous. Well, okay then. Then, I found out that some families give children the same middle name. Yes!

My middle name is D’Ann. My mom chose this because D is my one grandma’s first initial and Ann is my other grandma’s middle name. Don’t have a family name you like? Make one! So, I know it is a bit of a weird name but I like it. And, given that I dropped my maiden name the second I could, it would be nice to pass something on to Evelyn and Olivia. Then, after we had pretty much decided on D’Ann I realized that it is my mom’s first initial with Rob’s mum’s name. Win! We have some sort of weird family connection in there, even if it isn’t in the traditional sense. And I like Jenifer D’Ann, Olivia D’Ann, and Evelyn D’Ann. It makes me feel connected to them.

Two weeks ago we had professional photos taken. I found the photographer through my network of bloggers and I couldn’t be happier with her. I wanted photos that felt very natural and focused on my family. I wasn’t interested in anything super posed. Jamie showed up, cleaned up my room, made my bed, and told us to do what we would be doing. Here’s what she ended up with…

jamiestreetphotography_jenfamily (35 of 81)Because everyone is always curious, that is Evelyn on the left, Olivia on the right.

jamiestreetphotography_jenfamily (42 of 81)

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jamiestreetphotography_jenfamily (47 of 81)Olivia was wide awake for most of our session. I love this one.

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Evie took a little bit longer to wake up, but that is the case most of the time. These photos definitely reflect their personalities.

jamiestreetphotography_jenfamily (52 of 81)Evelyn | Olivia

jamiestreetphotography_jenfamily (68 of 81)Olivia | Evelyn

All photos are by Jamie Street.

Evelyn & Olivia, Week Five

The good, the bad, and the anxious..

I have never shied away from sharing the harder parts of my life, so why start now?

This week has been rough. The girls are growing and thriving and getting chunky. I am on the edge. Olivia is going through a phase where if you don’t feed her exactly when she is hungry she screams bloody murder and is then inconsolable for the entire rest of the night. No pressure. Sometimes she decides she is hungry when I am in the middle of pumping (MAKING THE FOOD) and I am trying to hold her while she kicks the suction cups off my boobs. Then I am covered in milk and no one is happy.

Speaking of pumping. Talk about pressure. I went into this hoping that I could nurse both girls. Ha. That went out the window before the girls came home from the NICU. For one, I can’t be the only one who feeds them. I would die. Every feed with both babies? Nope. I value my sleep and my sanity too much for that. Further, the girls being preemies, I really need to be able to see how much the girls are eating at every feed. Sure, there are ways to estimate when they nurse, but with pumping I can say Evelyn took 2.5 ounces at the last feed and Olivia took 3 ounces. Done. So, I pump. And it is not fun. I don’t like it. It is boring and uncomfortable and sticky. I don’t like that it is extremely difficult for me to help with the girls while I am hooked up to the machine (hello, kicky babies). I don’t like that it is taking a ton of work and perseverance on my part to continue to make a reasonable amount of milk. I hate that if I am away from the house for too long my boobs start to kill. In short, I am doing everything I can to make sure the girls get breastmilk and it is exhausting. Yay, motherhood!

The girls are both having two main struggles right now: constipation and colds. They are both struggling to breathe out of their noses which makes eating fun for both of them. Lots of snuffling. We use the NoseFrida which I find pretty gross, but Rob is a champ at. I will say, it does work better than a standard aspirator. The constipation seems to be under control as best as it can be. My pediatrician recommended mixing prune juice with milk/formula and it has ended a lot of their discomfort. Changing pruney diapers is delightful.

I mentioned, when the girls came home, that a lot of my anxiety revolves around sleep. That hasn’t changed. I have come up with ways to cope. Instead of going to bed after the girls 9:oo p.m. feed, I stay up through their next feed. I would rather just be awake than be awoken by screaming babies. I nap during the day to account for this. Then between the midnight feed and the 3:00 a.m. feed Rob is in charge of any fussing. I feel like I can sleep deeply without worrying. Then I am in charge of fussing from 3:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. I like this shift because at the end of it, the girls are transferred to my parents. Even if I don’t sleep at all, I know that when it is time for the next feed I am off duty for the next several hours. I am sure this is all terribly boring for you, but it is how I manage. Of course this regularly goes to hell and we are just in survival mode.

Rob went back to work this week and whoa nelly. We are doing everything we can to make sure he gets a decent amount of sleep but our system regularly falls apart. We have not figured out how we can have one person feed both babies, so every single feed takes two people. Yesterday I watched Rob apologize to the fridge when he ran into it. The Brits are just so polite.

This weekend we bit off more than we could chew and had newborn photos taken, got the girls baptized, and had a baby shower. My church wanted to host a baby shower while I was still pregnant but with bed rest it never happened. So, we did a baptism shower combo and it worked great. The girls were champs. Very few tears and only a little puke. I, however, was a hot mess by the end and somehow managed to throw my back out. But the baptism was amazing and so special. I grew up in this church, with this pastor. He’s known me since I was in 10th grade. My church family threw a beautiful shower. Rob and I are very lucky.

IMG_3052We waited two minutes too long to feed Liv.

IMG_3081Liv says hello!

IMG_3101I would tell you which baby this is, but I honestly don’t know. She looks like she is pretty comfy on Aunt Jilli though.

IMG_3103Evie, at her first attempt at tummy time.

IMG_3108Liv is pretty pumped about Grandpa.

IMG_3109Aunt Jilli, baby sitter extraordinaire. 

IMG_3119This is a Wubbanub. We love it. It is especially helpful when Liv loses her mind. 

IMG_3142I had to order emergency baptism outfits since the girls are still pretty tiny. Also, maybe I didn’t know the difference between newborn size and 0-3 month size until last week. I don’t want to talk about it.

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IMG_3177Evie being shy.

IMG_3153Our pastor has all the kids come up to the front for baptisms. They will be the girls’ first friends and first to welcome them. Awwwww.

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IMG_3126 IMG_3130 IMG_3134Pastor Bob wanted to talk to both girls. We practiced this last week. No one was dropped. Go Pastor Bob!

Until next week… If you need me, I will be flat on my back, attempting to pump.

Evelyn & Olivia, Week Four

Then, in a blink of an eye, the girls were a month old. They have both now had multiple appointments to the pediatrician and hit some important milestones. They celebrated being home together by getting their first cold. As colds go, they were relatively minor, but worrying about teeny tiny lungs and stuffed up noses is enough to give a new mom a panic attack. Evelyn is also having some pretty run of the mill tummy problems, but let’s not underestimate new parent neuroses. Evelyn, as of Friday, is 5 lbs 2 oz. Olivia is 5 lbs 7 oz. They both are in this irritating space where newborn clothes are too big and preemie clothes are too small. Naked babies it is!

Last night Evelyn she got super irritated with me while I was talking to my mom. She kept fidgeting and I realized it was because she couldn’t turn her head and she wanted to see me! She could hear my voice but she couldn’t see my face. When I finally turned her and she just stared at me.. I nearly died. They are both starting to be able to focus their eyes on faces and.. gahh.. it is enough to melt you into a puddle of tears.

They are both starting to eat more and it is stressful to try to keep up. They both take about 3 oz at a feed and I pump about 5 oz every feed. Womp womp. I am trying to eat and stay hydrated since both of those are crucial to making enough milk, I just have very little appetite. I have definitely seen a shift in how much I want to eat now that I am no longer pregnant. As for hydration, I wish coffee counted.

Though I wish I was making more milk, I am truly amazed at my body’s ability to bounce back. I am no longer in pain from my c-section. That disappeared pretty much completely after the second week. My incision is just a thin line and my stitches dissolved. I feel fine. Tired, but that is hard to tell if that is from recovery from surgery or twin babies. I am going to go ahead and say it is mostly from twin babies. Between Rob, my parents, and I we are managing to feed the babies and each get about 6 hours of sleep a night. I am more of a 9 hour type of girl, but that is definitely not bad for a new parent.

I am hovering around my pre-pregnancy weight, depending on the day. 30 pounds gone in a month? I’ll take it. I am almost fitting into my pre-pregnancy clothes, but everything has kind of shifted around. I think I still have a little bit to go. I had my check up with my OB and he said everything looks good. I don’t see him again for two months which feels so weird. And sad. I am going to miss him.

The girls are getting more and more alert, I just wish it was more during the day and less at night. They are so damn cute when they just stare at you, but when it is 2 a.m. you are like, can you be cute in the morning?

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IMG_3037Rob is struggling. I wake him up for the next feed and he spends five minutes trying to get the baby off his chest. That isn’t actually there.

IMG_3043E & O’s first Halloween!! Note the giant clothes. Side rant. Preemie clothes that aren’t just pajamas are a pain in the ass to find. The girls are getting baptized on Sunday and I needed something just a little bit nicer than the regular preemie stuff. I had to do an emergency Etsy order. Baby clothes makers.. make some proper preemie clothes. Please and thank you.

IMG_3042Halloween is exhausting.

IMG_3047Super cute, but this was taken in the middle of the night.

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IMG_0445Peace out, peeps!

 

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