Being a Parent..

Thursday, February 4, 2016

ONE MONTH DOWN! And we have survived.  I chose the word "survived" for a very real reason.  It's been very challenging but INCREDIBLY rewarding.  A few nights we felt like we might not make it through the night but somehow we did.  These past 5 weeks have made Alex and I realize so many things about parenting that we didn't know before and I don't think anyone could have prepared us for.

T w i n s   U p d a t e...
We had our one month appointment Monday!  Bennett is weighing in at a chunky 9 lbs 6 oz and Emmy is 8 lbs 13 oz!  The growth is INCREDIBLE!  People have told me they will grow so fast and I've always just shaken it off.  But guys.  IT'S SO TRUE.  Alex and I have started to see more and more personality show in each of them and it's the best feeling in the world.  They are just starting to focus their eyes, for short periods of time, on us and are starting to be more awake during the day.  When I talk to them, I'm getting more of a facial response versus just a blank stare.  It's such a miraculous feeling.

Since we have switched to only formula, they have been doing really well.  We recently tried to switch it up from Enfamil to another brand and that backfired pretty fast.  They weren't sleeping well and seemed incredibly gassy and fussy.  We have switched back and things are going back to normal.  They will sleep for about 3 hour stretches (which is awesome at night!) and so Alex and I can feel a bit more rested, even though we are waking up every 3 hours to feed still.

These two kill me.  When they are awake and fed, they make the most hilarious faces and have started talking with eachother.  And by talking, I mean coo-ing sounds back and forth.  We don't have genius talking newborns.
Emmy was WIDE awake and Bennett was almost completely asleep.  This seems to be a theme in our house.  When one sleeps, the other wants to play.  That's why our routine and schedule are so important.  Otherwise we would be feeding all the time.
Grandpa West got him this hat.  It's a little big but he'll grow into it!
One of my favorite "Emmy Looks".  She will stare at you with those beautiful eyes and then leave you with a smile that melts your heart.  Alex always says he's in trouble because if she's this beautiful now, he's nervous for when she grows up.

R e a l i t y   o f   P a r e n t i n g...
When we were on our honeymoon, Alex and I got some of the best advice from a man and his wife that has been our theme for these first 5 weeks of being parents.  "Forgive each other for literally everything for the first 3 months."  I didn't think anything of this at the time but it means something new to us now.  Parenting.  Is.  Hard.  I have a completely new respect for parents, especially parents of multiples.  Your whole life changes.  As a mother, your body goes through some crazy changes, especially postpartum.  It was so challenging for me to accept this new reality and overwhelming to know I was responsible for these two beautiful children.  I was the one who needed kills spiders for them, make sure they don't eat cookies before dinner, have enough clothing to wear, and keep them clean, fed and make sure they are safe.  It's such a mind-boggling fact.  And when you're also recovering from surgery, trying to breastfeed for the first time, and learning to parent, it gets overwhelming and it gets there fast.

We have been frustrated.  We have been tired (and still are most days).  But through all this, Alex and I have always looked out for each other.  We have had tired arguments over what we think could be wrong with the crying baby, we have struggled to find out how many ounces to feed them and which formula would be best.  We have had moments of vulnerability that have left us wondering "How do people keep having children???"  Through all these, we have forgiven each other for the things that were said that we know were said out of frustration and sleep deprivation.  One of my most favorite things Alex has told me is how much he loves our team, meaning our family.  I LOVE this statement.  It's totally a team effort.  Even though sometimes it feels like the twins gang up on us... :)  At least I always have Alex to have my back.

P a r e n t i n g   M u s t   H a v e s...
Surviving this first month, we have a few things we could NOT have survived without.  Here's a small list and how they have changed our lives.  ***I will tell you, I am not getting paid for listing these items, so this is purely one parent to another trying to help out!  We just wanted people to know what worked for us so you can use these tactics if it works for you!

1.  The Nose Frida
This charming, simple piece of equipment had saved our lives.  If you can believe it, it's a tube connected to a long tube and is used to suck boogers and snot from your baby's nose.  Similar to what those bulb's are used for but way more effective.  The girls at my work told me about it and I was extremely grossed out but after using one, I was sold.  Babies are nose breathers primarily and they cannot clear their noses on their own.  So any obstruction messes with them being able to breathe properly.  It's crazy the boogers these tiny humans have!  Don't worry, there is a filter so you don't suck up the boogers.

2.  Muslin Swaddle Blankets
These blankets have been a huge help in swaddling and calming the babes down.  When we first brought them home, we had the fancy sleep sack but quickly realized it wasn't working for them.  They seemed to get really sweaty and weren't sleeping well.  Once we switched to these, they have been sleeping great! And they come in super cute designs.

3.  Glider
We received this glider as a gift from some of my work family and it's been a GOD-SEND.  Our babies were small enough to share it in the beginning and that's why I think they love it now so much.   We think Emmy may have more reflux than Bennett and the glider seems to alleviate it some.  ere is the one we have, but there are so many good ones out there!

Glider pics:

4.  BURP CLOTHS (cloth diapers)
Okay.  GET A TON OF BURP CLOTHS.  Multiple packs of 10. (Especially if you have multiples) Cloth diapers work the best.  They are super absorbable.  We go through so many in one day.  I would say burp cloths, bibs and swaddlers are the majority of laundry I do.  We didn't have near enough when we first brought them home and I felt like I was constantly using bathroom towels as burp cloths because we didn't have any clean ones.

5.  Soothie Pacifiers
We were given a handful of these in the NICU and got some at a shower of mine.  Bennett absolutely loves these.  He could be super fussy and when given one, calms down immediately.  I definitely worried about spoiling them in giving them pacifiers but realized quickly that you cannot spoil a baby that this age.  They don't understand enough yet to be spoiled.  It's been such a nice back up plan when I can't seem to settle them down.  Most of the time, it puts Bennett right to sleep.

How we find him most of the time... Pacifier fell and stayed there..

Well guys, thanks for reading still and sticking with us on this crazy journey we call life.  Let me know if there's anything you are curious about or want to know about the life of Keith's and I will be happy to share!  This blog is a great way for me to communicate but also to slow life down a bit and let me focus on one week at a time.  Life seems to be in turbo mode now.  I need to wrap this up before the babes wake up and are demanding their late lunch!

Until next week...
Lauren, E & B

Most of this blog was typed like this and one handed... oh the sacrifices...


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