We made great progress getting on a schedule this week and by the end, the babies had fallen into a much more predictable routine.
Nursing is still painful. My nipples have healed over so there is no more blood, but at the end of the week I noticed a pretty big fissure on one side. I started Diflucan orally for me and Nystatin in the babies’ mouths to treat the thrush and although it’s helped with the stinging/burning pain, it hasn’t helped the bruised sensation I have when they nurse. I made an appointment to have their lip ties (and tongue ties?) revised next week. I am hoping that is the final fix because ongoing breastfeeding problems can be very discouraging! I also had another plugged duct this week but it responded well to my rough massage and dislodged quickly. I weighed the babies before and after about 10 feedings throughout the week just to get a feel for how much they are eating. Most often it’s a littel over 3oz, but occasionally is more. At the LC’s office this week it was 4.5oz each! That’s quite a lot for a breastfed baby this age I think.
Naps continued to be easy. Occasionally one baby cries some going down for a nap, but not the majority of the time. Sometimes I wake them at the end of naptime, but many times they wake naturally at the 3hr mark from the last feeding.
Nights have marginally gotten better. The first stretch of sleep is now 3.5hrs instead of 3, but I am still having to nurse 3x in the course of the night, which is getting very old. According to Babywise, most babies will have merged the three night feedings into two (Merge 1) by the 2-4 week mark. This would mean going from feeding at 10:30pm, 1:30am, and 4:30am to somewhere around 11:00pm and 3:00am. That actually did happen one night this week and I got super excited for more sleep, but alas, it was not a trend and the next night they went back to waking 3x. One positive change I did make was to start putting them down at 7pm with the other kids. I had mentioned in the previous post that I was putting them down at 9pm in order to circumvent the witching hour. When I moved bedtime back to 7pm, the witching hour was still gone, and Eddie and I finally got back to enjoying the evenings together.
This was the first week that the babies really started having distinct waketime, even if only 5-10min after I’ve fed, burped, and changed them. This might be kind of sad, but they spend pretty much 100% of their waketime in their bouncers either in the living room or the kitchen. I think I remember holding my other babies more, but the combination of there being lots to handle with the other kids and there being two of them (which one would I hold?!) makes me just give up and say meh, whatever. I mean really, I can’t be holding two babies when I need to be responding to Vera’s cries from the toilet to come wipe her butt, making quesadillas for lunch AGAIN, and scolding Abel for pulling out every single last wipe from the container in his room while I was occupied nursing. The twins still know I love them, right?
As I mentioned above, we moved bedtime earlier and stretched to a mostly 3hr feeding schedule this week. This was our general schedule:
7:00am DWT, nurse
7:40am Nap 1
10:00am Wake, nurse
10:45am Nap 2
1:00pm Wake, nurse
1:45pm Nap 3
3:30pm Wake, nurse
4:15pm Nap 4
5:45pm Wake, nurse
7:00pm Nurse, then bedtime
MOTN wakings around 10:30pm, 1:30am, and 4:30am
Middle of the Night Diaper Changes:
Of all the newborn undesirables, this is the worst for me. Because the babies still eat 3x a night, I need to change their diaper at least once. I choose the second feeding (1:30am) because if I wait until 4:30, I found that sometimes it wakes them up too much to fall back asleep easily. I change the diapers before I nurse them (as opposed to after, like I do in the daytime) for the same reason. So at 1:30am when one baby wakes up, I pull both babies out of the crib, lay them on the loveseat in their room, and begin the most stressful 3 minutes of my day. Both babies scream through the entire process, despite employing every last trick I can think of – shushing, singing, patting them with my free hand, using baby talk, and praying for silence. They are LOUD and I worry about it waking Vera in the next room (which it does about half the time). I just don’t think there is anything less pleasant in my daily routine than 60 seconds after being woken from a dead sleep, listening to two babies screaming bloody murder 6 inches from your face while you fumble around with those damn pajama snaps. Whoever decided newborn pajamas should be largely available in snaps instead of zippers should be shot. Thankfully, 3-5 minutes later I’m sitting in the quiet of the night stroking my babies’ faces as they nurse and I completely forget about the prior trauma until it’s time to change diapers the next night.
Burping twins is also a bummer. You get done feeding them in the night and all you want to do is crawl back under your covers and go to sleep but nope, you’ve got to sit there and pat their backs for who knows how long until they get that little burp out. Thankfully I’ve developed a method of burping them simultaneously, but it still can take a good 5-10 minutes of my precious sleep time. I think I remember burping gets easier as babies get older, and I sure hope that’s the case with these two.
The babies are on entirely different pooping schedules, which I thought was worth noting because it shows the wide range of normal with breastfed babies. Mercy only poops every couple of days but Samuel has little poops with almost every diaper change (typical male, right?). Like my other newborns, the poop smells exactly like buttered popcorn to me. Actually, funny story, Eddie and I just had the twins on Friday night so we went to a nearby brewery. I was holding Mercy and all of a sudden I smelled newborn poop. I told Eddie she must have had a big one because the smell was wafting strongly up into my nose and he responds, “Are you sure it’s not the popcorn machine behind you?” HA! Turns out in this case, it was actually the smell of buttered popcorn. Goes to show how similar those two smells are!
The lack of downward movement on the scale is starting to depress me a bit. I lost 46 pounds in the first 10 days after birth (!!!) but since then I haven’t lost one single pound. So much for breastfeeding being this magic formula for weight loss. Actually, I started googling this issue because I feel so completely ripped off about it, and I found multiple places that disprove the breastfeeding weight loss myth (like this article and this one). I’m so upset I think I’ll go eat another cookie…
Eddie thinks I’m making it up, but I am convinced of the existence of a twinsense. It would be interesting to experiment by sleeping two babies together who aren’t actually twins and see if they take on the same mannerisms, but here’s the evidence with my babes: First, they intentionally move together in the crib. I always put them down the same way: on their bellies about a foot apart. More than half the time, when I get them up from their naps, they have somehow wiggled close enough to be touching (see photo evidence). Second, one baby crying (even LOUD wailing) does not wake the other up, but if I go in the room and remove one twin from the crib (making absolutely no noise in the process), the remaining twin inevitably wakes up within a minute or two. They clearly can sense in their sleep that their twin has left their side. I’ll report on further evidence of twinsense as they get older, but it’s only taken me a few weeks to be a firm believer.