Alternate titles to this post:
- That time we lived with no sleep for 9 months
- That time I survived bed rest and then NICU
- That time I BROKE MY ELBOW WITH 4 MONTH OLD TWINS WHILE ALSO INTERNING FOR A NEW JOB
- Related: That time I spent St. Patrick’s Day in the ER with a broken elbow
- That time I survived going septic from Mastitis
- That time I nursed twins for a YEAR.
We made it. We made it to one year with twins. I have no idea how we did it. We just did.
And now, we have two 1-year-olds.
Beatrice Jane, our baby A, was our peanut. The tiniest at birth, yet needing no NICU stay. I remember she was the most active in my belly, always moving and kicking. When we were in the hospital the girls were separated and Bea would not settle down, just fussy and squirming around. I thought maybe she missed her sister, so I laid down in the hospital bed, and tucked her into my side. Instant calm. She is still our little ‘Koala Bear’, perfectly happy to be held all day, clinging onto us. Bea is our verbal baby, spoke first, signed first, and even sings, warbling off-key to ‘Baa-baa black sheep.’ She says ‘Mama,’ ‘Dada,’ ‘ah-dun (all done),’ and ‘Mo (more).’ She crawled second, and just pulled up to standing for the first time a few days ago. She blows kisses, “mmm-mwah!” She is now a giggle-box, laughing and clapping her hands over everything. She has chocolate brown hair with some highlights and blue eyes. She has six teeth. She is still tiny, never wanting to eat when she was younger, but a bottomless pit now when it comes to eating.
Teresa Grace, our baby B, was bigger, by three whole ounces. She required NICU stay for breathing and feeding issues. She was the calm one in my belly, stoically taking her sisters kicks and twists for months. I remember the first time I held her, attached to wires, and a breathing apparatus, it was pure shock that kept me from losing it. I rubbed my cheek against her head, the only part of her where she wasn’t covered in wires. She had been born with barely visible peach-fuzz-hair on her head, and against my cheek it is the softest thing I have ever felt. I even told Jacob he needed to shave his beard so he could feel how soft her fuzz was against his cheek. NICU did not sit well with Tessie, or me. She ripped out her feeding tube to show her displeasure. I couldn’t be with her as often as I wanted due to the NICU and so when I could be with her I talked non-stop so she would hear my voice as much as possible. I told her our entire life story over nine days. She is our motor-skill baby. Crawling, pulling up, and even trying to cruise. She dances to music. She signs, but knows she can just bellow to make her point clear. She says ‘Mama,’ ‘Dada,’ and ‘dun (done).’ She shares everything. She picks up a toy, or food, and instantly tries to share it with whoever is closest. Every time. She has pale blond hair and blue eyes. She has two teeth.
I did not think I would be able to nurse twins, but I wanted to try. I assumed I would have to at least partially formula feed. But we met a Lactation Consultant (not the crazy one I posted about on FB) who set me up with how to nurse and increase my supply to feed twins. It involved feeding both babies and then immediately pumping afterwards. So that was 16-20 feedings a day, plus 8-10 pumpings a day, for two months. Then I was able to slowly cut down the pumping to 3 times a day, plus nursing. I do not know how I lived. I know Jacob kept me fed and alive, and is the only reason I made it. We literally did not sleep more than 2 hour stretches and he was up for every time I was.
When we busted Tessie out of NICU and reunited the girls, they would always wiggle and squirm their way around their crib until they were touching each other. Now, they talk and gesture to each other from their cribs. They both move to the respective ends of their cribs that are closest to each other when they sleep.
I know their are endless details and stories I am leaving out, endless doctor’s appointments, and physical therapy, and weight gain issues. But we made it. We have 3 little girls who keep us constantly going, but constantly happy. There are too many family and friends to name who supported us and literally kept us going this first year, from coming to stay with us and help run the house while I was on bed rest, to literally sending delivered meals, to taking my incessant calls of “omg i’m so tired and I think I may be dying.” (That was the mastitis talking, mostly.) So thank you, to all of you, for helping and sharing our first year with our little girls.
And no post would be complete without mentioning that these girls are our IVF miracles. And I know there are those of you still struggling, and I am holding you in my thoughts and hoping you get your rainbow babies some day soon.
Here are our little girls:
And here are more pictures from our first year: