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HELP! Exhausted with Twins

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HELP! Exhausted with Twins

Postby Babyb » Sun May 18, 2008 10:02 pm

I'm new to Parents after Treatment and desperately need some advice. I gave birth to boy/boy twins 3 weeks ago. I have a night nurse assisting us 5 times a week (usually 5pm-6 am) and on these nights, I manage to get a a fair amount of sleep (usually in bed by 1:30 am and up by 7:30 am). I won't have my night nurse for much longer and will need to return to work in a couple of months from now. My DH and I had our first taste of no sleep this weekend during my nurse's first weekend off (fri morn through Sun night). Our schedule is as follows:

Every 3-4 hours we feed the boys one at a time (we do our best to coordinate feedings/diaper changes, but it doesn't always work out this way. they are usually 30-45 mins apart). I am breast feeding, but predominately pumping and feeding by bottle as this seems to expedite feeds. When the boys are on the nipple, they fall asleep right away and it is a challenge to get enough food in them this way. Long story short, by the time I change both boys, feed them, hold them upright so they don't throw up their milk, swaddle them to bed and then breast pump, I am about ready for the next feed (I'm lucky if I get 1.5 hours in between and this is usually really poor quality sleep). The process continues throughout the day. I have virtually no time to eat/sleep/even use the bathroom. And to think, I'm not doing this alone -- my DH is helping out at every stage. I realize things should ease up in the next several months, but am wondering how you guys handled your schedule in the early months.

Appreciate any advice. By the way, I feel a bit guilty not putting the boys to breast (usually 1-2 times a day now), but at least they are getting my breast milk (without need to supplement them). At some level, one might ask why even bother putting them to breast at all. However, I'd like my boys to know how and be willing to receive the breast in the event I'm out and run out of pumped milk, etc. Anyone else resorting to this method? I see women who exclusively BF at the boob or women who use formula, but not sure how many actually pump and almost exclusively bottle.

Best
VERY VERY TIRED
Me: 40; DH: 30 (Demi/Ashton!)
9/14/07: 3 perfect blasts xferred
9/23/07: BFP with 745.6 Beta!!! Twins


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Postby deepa100 » Mon May 19, 2008 2:15 am

Hi,
I don't have twins, I have a singleton but,
I just wanted to tell you that I tried to do the same thing you are doing- pump and give a bottle rather than bfeed mainly because I was really uncomfortable nursing in public. Well, I learned the hard way that you still need to bfeed few times a day in order to maintain the supply. Something to do with hormones and stimulation. So, at 9.5 mo., now we pump just a couple of times, bfeed the rest of the time and use 5 oz of formula per day for when I go out. My baby also sleeps 6 hrs. straight at night (just started this at 8 mo.) This is what works for us..

Hope this helps.
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Postby meg12 » Mon May 19, 2008 2:57 am

Sleep deprivation is the worst. I just had one and looking back on those first couple of months---man, it is the best of times and the worst of times! I can't imagine what it's like with two. Please know that it does get so much better....I had a good friend who had twins last year and she exclusively pumped and bottle fed her girls. She didn't have them actually nurse from her breast even once, I don't think. She only did that for the first three months--after that it was formula only. It was just too much once she went back to work. And her girls are beautiful, healthy and smart as can be.

I think you have to drop the guilt thing right now. Do the best that you can do without driving yourself into the ground. The most important thing that your boys need is you---so please take care of yourself as much as you can! If that means the boys don't get to nurse on the boob, well so be it. Or if they have to have formula now and then, it's not the end of the world.

Take care and best of luck!
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Postby kristiA » Mon May 19, 2008 2:16 pm

Your routine is all to familar to me! I would only get 1-2 hours of sleep in between the feedings as well with my twins. It takes a long time to feed them both, change them, burp them, etc. My best advice is probabaly what you've heard before...sleep when they sleep. I slept a lot during the day in the beginning as well. My DH did not help me much (he worked and I just said I'd "do it all") and I didn't have a night nurse. Nor do I have any family in the area. I just pushed "life" aside and focused all my energy on taking care of the twins. It's funny because the time passes so fast and before you know it you'll wish they were little again. I have no idea where 19 months has gone.

Anyway, I breastfed both my boys at the same time and this was a HUGE time saver for me. When one finished with the breast I'd prop him up on my knee (while the other was still on the breast) and feed him a little formula. Then burp that one while the other took a little formula. I can hardly remember how I managed that at the same time, but I did. As you'll see, you just adapt and figure out how to do so many things differently with two of them. I breastfeed until they were 13 months too.

My only other piece of advice would be to keep them on the same schedule as much as you possibly can. When one baby woke up, I woke up the other. They ate at the same time, they slept at the same time, etc. They shared a crib until they were 6 months old. So, they ended up being on the exact same schedule for feeding, sleeping, napping & even pooping...and they still are to this day.

And the last thing, Meg is right, don't feel guilty over things. Just because something works for me or for someone else doesn't mean it has to work for you. You will have good days & bad days....and all of those days will go quickly. Before you know it your twins will sleep in longer time segments and you'll feel better. You are doing great. And you are so blessed to have twins. They are unique and fun!

Oh, I did think of one other thing....get out of the house at least once a day. Even if it's just for a short walk with the twins. It was cold weather here when I had the boys so I went to a store everyday for an hour or so. It got me out, fresh air, I could talk to other people, and everyone always stopped me to look at the boys and tell me how beautiful they were and how lucky I was to have them. It made me feel good. Being cooped up in the house makes me crazy.

Keep smiling!!! You are doing great!

Kristi
ME 36, DH 49
TTC 10 years
5 Failed IUI's
1st IVF Feb 2006 - TWIN BOYS Tyler & Brady born 9/30/06


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Postby Babyb » Mon May 19, 2008 10:11 pm

Thanks to all of you for your advice and words of support. Kristi: I can't tell you how impressed I am that you were able to BF both at the same time and keep one on the boob while you supplemented one with formula and burped him'/her on your knee at the same time. I'm not very skilled at holding the boys up with one hand or balancing them effectively (I feel their little heads just fall all over the place -- they are preemies). Moreover, how did you keep one on the breast while you moved the other around? VERY TALENTED INDEED!

In any event, I made a slight bit of progress the other day. I bought another bouncy chair and propped the two boys up and then bottled at the same time while I sat on the floor. Made things a lot quicker. Going to try again today. In fact, have to cut this short because DH must run out to school and I'm behind on the next feed so I must jolt. Thanks again -- appreciate all the help!
Me: 40; DH: 30 (Demi/Ashton!)
9/14/07: 3 perfect blasts xferred
9/23/07: BFP with 745.6 Beta!!! Twins


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Postby kristiA » Tue May 20, 2008 12:12 am

Well, I think you are talented, because I tried propping them up in bouncy chairs, swings, with blankets, etc and could never master bottle feeding both of them at the same time because their heads were wobbly. See, you are doing good!

Mine were preemies also...I had them at 33 weeks. Yeah, I laugh about how I used to breast/bottle, etc at the same time. I wish I would have gotten a video of myself doing it because I barely remember it.

Anyway, good job on feeding them at the same time. You'll continue to find little things like that to make it easier. You just figure all that out as you go...and like I said different things work for different people.

Before you know it you'll be the one with toddlers giving out advice to other new mothers of twins!
ME 36, DH 49
TTC 10 years
5 Failed IUI's
1st IVF Feb 2006 - TWIN BOYS Tyler & Brady born 9/30/06


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Postby fmj » Tue May 27, 2008 2:32 am

Hi -

This is my first time on the "Parents" side and I just noticed your post and can totally relate. My twins - Charlotte and Jack, will be 12 weeks on Thursday. Your situation sounds very, very famliar and I can totally sympathize. The first month is a blur and then you just get into a routine and it all becomes normal. Our little ones still aren't sleeping through the night, but they are so darn cute, I don't even care. Your body just learns how to function with little sleep and when they start recognizing your voice/face and smile at you, nothing else matters.

As far as the breastfeeding, well, my daughter and son didn't really latch on all that well - after hours with lactation consultants, they said they were immature in their suckling skills, but I should keep trying. So I basically just pumped - you know the routine, try to put the baby to breast, feed them the breastmilk via bottle and then pump for the next feeding. It is very time consuming and draining, I felt like I wasn't truly enjoying the babies because I was stressed out. I also had a difficult time with the position, I could only feed them in a football hold because I had a C-Section and my stomach was so tender, any other position was painful for me. After the second week, I was on my own and I didn't have time to pump as much as I needed to. I got to a point where I just stopped putting them to breast, because I didn't have time to fuss with them, because I had another baby crying and ready to feed. I felt so rushed and I wasn't enjoying it at all. Everyone I knew who breastfed said they truly enjoyed that feeling of bonding - unfortunately, I never got that, it was really a chore. I could never attempt to feed them both at once because they needed so much help to stay latched on. It all just came to an end naturally when they were a month old. I was pumping less and they were eating more and I just couldn't keep up. Everytime I would go to pump, it seemed like one of the babies would start fussing. The lactation consultant told me to hold the fussy baby and pump one breast at a time. It just didn't seem right to me. I knew the breastmilk was important, but I felt me giving my babies my full attention was more important. I felt incredibly guilty, but I can tell you we were all a lot happier when we just switched over to all formula. I try to feed them individually a couple times a day so I can hold them and give them a little extra attention, but when feeding them at the same time, the bouncy seats are a definite necessity! The Boppy pillows work out really well too. It is very difficult to breastfeed twins, I give SO much credit to anyone that is successful at it. Just don't get down on yourself, if it doesn't work out.

As far as not having time to eat, yes, I know that program too. When I remember I need to eat, I'm usually doing it standing it up holding a baby. I've had very few warm meals - the babies just take priority. You realize how quickly it will never be about you again. The good news is that I lost 50 lbs. in 9 weeks and didn't even exercise. I still have 10lbs and hope to get back on my exercise routine this week - we'll see.

I also agree that you need to get out of the house - the first time it will be overwhelming, but after a few times you will become a pro. You just feel like you accomplish something when you actually leave the house, even if it is just to go to the market. And be prepared to be stopped frequently - people like babies, but they love twins. You'll find so many people that are twins or have twins. You're now part of the club.

Well, take care and try to enjoy every moment with your babies, they grow so fast! I look at mine and wonder where the little babies are I brought home from the hospital. Twins are such a blessing - enjoy!
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Postby joanna » Tue Jul 08, 2008 10:17 pm

Hi Baby b

Hi, its been a long time since i posted, but i check back now and again and wanted to reply to you!

My twins will be 2 in September and all the advice i can offer is it doesnt last long! They will sleep through soon (mine did from 8 weeks) and if they dont, sleep when you can! I remember after the early morning feed i would go back to bed and wake when they did for the next one.
Dont be worried about putting notes on the front door to stop visitors either and dont worry about housework!

My husband was very good, he virtually took care of Lilys feeding while i fed Olivia in the night, so generally we would both get 4 hours sleep in between. I didnt breast feed though, maybe consider switching to formula now they have had the best start! ( my twins have never been ill touch wood) they are very robust!

It does get easier and they grow up so quick! I have a friend who has 14 month old triplets, so i count my blessings that i only have twins!

I always feel proud when i am around women with singletons, you do get an added respect from them!

Take care, youre doing a great job!

Jo xxx
ME 39 DH 34
TTC 4+ YEARS
1ST IVF/ICSI JAN 2006 BFP!!!!!
Olivia and Lily born on 10/09/2006
My beautiful angels!!


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Postby deepa100 » Wed Jul 09, 2008 6:24 pm

I just want to say I agree with the other posters. Bfeeding is a lot of work, especially early on. With two, it must be even harder. It gets easier once they are past 6 mo because they can take solids and sleep more. But don't feel bad if you can't do it.
deepa
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Postby shantala » Fri Jul 11, 2008 9:13 pm

hiya

although i dont have twins i can completely sympathise as i have a very hungry singleton! she fed every two hours (b/f, no pumping) for the first 9 weeks....day and night...any by the time i had fed her, changed her, etc, i would not get more than 1 to 1.5 hours sleep....and DH couldnt help as i was b/feeding. although it was exhausting, it does get better! elliana all of a sudden started sleeping 6-7 hours a night and has done ever since. and i'm still b/feeding.

obviously its much harder with twins so hat off to you and good luck! but its also what comes with early motherhood!

xx
2nd IVF/ICSI - baby girl Elliana born 21.4.08 weighing 7lb 6.5ounces; 7 frosties left...
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