Saturday, July 12, 2008

This just in: Twins are hard work.

This is so fucking hard. I alluded to some serious crying in my last post and let me tell you, it's getting out of hand. I don't know any way to soothe these kiddos except feeding them. Even just holding them isn't enough lately. And today I've learned that joining in on the sobfest doesn't help either.

I tend to just feed them because it is the only thing that works. Of course then that means I'm always feeding them and have no time to do anything else. My house is a disaster, I look like crap and I feel even worse.

There was a short window where I feel like I was making some headway with a schedule, but it's long gone now. Our days are total chaos.

Today, after a feeding (or so I thought) as the three of us were crying, and W was asking me what to do, I seriously considered giving up breastfeeding. I feel like maybe with bottles then I could have more control over things. They are the slowest eaters EVER, with each feed lasting 45-60 minutes, and often even more because they keep coming back for more. Sarah's a bit quicker than Matthew, but not much. And her quickness doesn't really benefit us since I'm tandem feeding. When I'm by myself I might try to get her into a boppy or bouncy when she's done, but she'll inevitably start squawking.

Right now I don't even feel like I have the brains to adequately express all my issues.

I went to the new mom's group, hoping that the babies would do ok, but, here's a shocker: they didn't. Oh the screeching. Thank god one of the women brought her mom because this lovely woman held Matthew for the entire meeting. I definitely felt like I was taking advantage of her, but since her daughter's baby never made a fucking peep for the entire two hours, I guess it was ok.

I did go get a Baby Einste1n dvd, but haven't tried it out yet. I'm a little afraid because if it works, I'd be tempted to run it on a loop all goddamn day.

Ok, now the mofo dog needs me to take her out. Ahhh, motherhood.


Meghan said...

Sorry you guys are in a rough patch right now. Hoping this is a *very* short phase for twins

Stacemoe said...

I am sorry you are having a rough time....On the Baby Einstein DVD there is the option for "Play Once" or "Repeat Play" I kid you not!!! Believe me, I have more than once hit that "Repeat Play" option!!!! Hang in there...I am thinking and praying for you!!!!

Tara said...

Yike! This scares the shit out of me.

I hope things get into a smoother rhythm for you soon.

Fertilized said...

OH E - i wish i had words of wisdom for you! You do whats best for you all to survive

seussgirl said...

Oh, I hear you, I do, I do. I know that you're probably not looking for advice, and so I'm just throwing this out as an option (because I am way not brave enough to try tandem feeding), but pumping and bottle feeding b/milk has worked great for us. It allows us to know for sure how much they're taking at each feeding. But, pumping sucks. A lot.
I hope this passes quickly!

edie & ella said...

I know -- between the babies and the dog and the 2 cats I don't know who will run me to the grave first..... or at least an asylum. Now don't take this as advice... these are some things that worked for me...
I pumped and bottle fed them... people say it's harder but I found it easier because it took 12 minutes tops. I stopped and switched to formula because J works the night shift and having babies 24/7 AND pumping got to hectic.... they are still alive on formula even though I felt guiltier than shit.

The baby einstein works for us for a short time then they get bored.

Do you have a swing? Does it vibrate? If not get one that has a vibrating seat... it made all the difference for me. I could never put them down and ... well I wrote a whole post about D batteries a while back. LIFE SAVER!!!
If you have to hit repeat all day long so be it.... my pediatrician said throw those books away -- you have to do what works for you in the moment. All bets are off with multiples......
It is hard but as they say ... it gets easier. Whoever "they" are == all the singleton mommies. Like they have a f*^^&ng clue --- Good Luck Sam

bbgreenberg said...

Hello, been lurking on your blog for a while as I have twin boys that are just a week or two older. Oh can I relate. For what it's worth, here are things that have worked for us...

- pacifiers - I was reluctant at first but am now a convert. So far, best investment we've made. One of my boys was using me as a human pacifier and this really helps satify the need when he's not hungry. Just pick up a bunch of different kinds so they can pick their favorite. We like the nuk and avent.
- double snap n go - if you've got 2 screaming babies and no one else around to help, pop them in the stroller (with binkies) and roll them back and forth. Generally this works for at least one of them and then if the other still won't calm, pick them up and keep rolling the other.
- as another commenter noted, the swings are great. But it's only in the past week that our boys have finally started to like theirs. So just keep trying stuff because you never know when it might start working. We also have these vibrating rocking chairs that they loved from early on.

Finally a note on the tandem feed if you feel up to it. After much experimentation here's what's working for me. I put 2 boppies, one on either side of me on the couch, plus I have a large nursing pillow (I think it's called the breast friend? but I know there's also a large twin nursing pillow out there that would probably work as well or better), and 2 handtowels rolled together along the short side for each baby. At feeding time, babies go in the boppies, I sit between them with the nursing pillow which rests on the edge of each boppy helping to support their weight. I pull them both on the pillow, then latch one and place the towel roll under their head to get the height right and then latch the other. It took practice but is so worth it because it saves so much time.

You're doing a great job, twins are definitely, without a doubt, hard work. Hang in there, fortunately they change with each day so in another week, you may be in a completely different space.

Carrie said...

Oh Sweetie, I have no advice of course but wanted to let you know I was thinking of you. I know you will be dealing with this as well as anyone but, the bottom line has to be, it is incredibly difficult.
It won't last forever I'm sure be I hope some of the suggestions these ladies have left will help a little.

Maren said...

It could be a growth spurt! My boys cry and eat nonstop during those. Just when I'm about to give up breast feeding, they calm down. Hang in there!!!

Shirley said...

I agree with the PP about the pacifier and swings. Mine like the swings. At the beginning when I was BFing when I brought them home, they would cry a lot even after the feed. Looking back, I wonder if they did not get much milk out of me due to not-the-best-latch. Since pumping and going to the bottle, I know how much they are getting and I don't have that crying problem anymore. If they did cry, it was due to gas or something bothering them. I think one of mine may have had a small case of one point...I had to keep her upright and she just wanted to walk around the house.

I feel for you being by yourself with the little ones...go head and cry with them...get it out. If you have to...go get in the shower to get a break from the crying...step some laundry so you can't hear them (as long as you know they are ok).

Our MOM meetings don't have any kids...thank goodness. Everyone looks at it as a moms-night-out and a great way to socialize with other moms (and learn) without dealing with kids.

Hang in there girl!


sharerc said...

So sorry you are having a rough time. I agree with a PP about pumping and bottle feeding. Although it does take some time to pump and it gets old after awhile, it's so much easier to know how much they are getting AND they get it so much faster. We have feedings down to 20 minutes and then I pump 20 minutes. I'm able to pump after putting them down to sleep and then I'm still able to do stuff around the house.

And oh the swing. Mine will nap in the swing for up to 5 hours sometimes! I know this is a terrible habit to start but damnit I just don't give a shit! It allows me to get stuff done and rest if I need to.

I hope things get better for you Erin! And press repeat on that DVD. It won't hurt them one bit!

edie & ella said...

I was thinking that my earlier post made it sound like by girls are always soothed by listed methods. I wanted to clarify -- these things SOMETIMES work -- not always......... there are days (like today) that they are both just damn grumpy. Super tired yet won't fall asleep, etc...!!! It bites. The breastfeeding thing is tough -- I was quick to give up on it with a great deal of guilt but I needed my sanity. Well -- I still don't have my sanity but my nipples aren't sore either!!! Good luck with everything and hopefully we can see you guys on Sunday.... sam

bbgreenberg said...

I'm sorry, in my earlier comment, I'd misread one of your earlier posts and didn't realize that you are already tandem feeding but it's still taking forever. Doh! Sorry about that. One thing that freed me from long nursing sessions was when the lactation consultant told me they get the majority of what they are going to get from the breast in the first 10-15 minutes. Knowing that, I started to stop feedings after 15-20 minutes and their weight gain has been right on track. This was back when they still needed to eat every 2 hrs. Now they are the ones dropping off after 10 minutes or so with nursing every 3-5 hours. The doctor reassured me that they simply drink more if they go longer between feedings. But they also seemed satisfied even when I was the one saying enough. So it could be a growth spurt as someone else noted if they still seem hungry and are willing to latch back on. It's worth a call to the doctor or the lactation consultant to sort out what might be going on. Again, hang in there!

Watson said...

Hi there,

I can't imagine how hard BF is! I agree, I think with formula it's probably easier to keep them on a schedule.

Really, do you what you need to in order to stay sane. If you decide to pump and formula feed along BF'ing go for it. I know that can cause issues of its own, but really, you're in survival mode (TwinLand as my dr. said) and you have make things work for all of you.

Like bbgreenberg said: Pacis? Use 'em unless the babies don't like them or you're totally against them. (The pacifiers, not the babies, obviously!)

Swings? A godsend to us -- We JUST got rid of ours this weekend b/c I was so damn attached.

Baby Einstein on 'repeat play'? Oh yeah, baby. You bet your ass. (My twins will be fluent in sign language before long! And we also Tivo Yo Gabba Gabba. I have no shame...)

The snap 'n go is also a great idea if walks help.

And not to be all assvicey, but have you tried a schedule, in terms of feeding, short play time and then back down to nap? I know it's harder when they take long to eat, but we found once we got them on a plan it helped keep them well-rested and they had many fewer times of fussiness. And I swear I think we swaddled them until they were about 3.5 months old.

Lord this is long, sorry about that. Please e-mail or call ANYTIME if you want to vent. REALLY REALLY REALLY.

Mrs. Piggy said...

oh my, I am laughing so hard! Not at you...with you of course! my twins are 6 wks old....i thought it would be easier by 10 weeks, but it sounds like you have the same damn problems i have now!
I feel for you, with the in laws too. My sis in law just recently slathered my boy's head with vaseline because of his "cradle cap" which its not. And she said my son will be developmentally delayed. Love it!

A said...

So, for some more assvice and perhaps to give you some hope, my boy/girl twins are now 14 weeks and we have rounded the bend on the crying. They say that crying and fussing is the worst at 8 weeks, but that is adjusted to their 40 week delivery date. So since mine were born at 36 weeks, it took until week 12 for it to hit it's peak and then calm down... But the good news it doesn't last forever, the bad news is that you have a few more weeks of this to go through. I think I was pretty loopy during the insane crying fests and the three hours of rocking to get one of them to sleep and have it last an hour before waking again... But now it's a lot easier to get them to bed. They say the difficulty comes when they start to smile at you. It seems like it happens as they are trying to learn to be awake more, and then can't sleep and are over tired and cranky all the time. I'd say, do whatever you can to get them to sleep and eventually it will get better...As for the breastfeeding, I give you credit, a few weeks in, I switched to pumping only with formula supplement and having people help feed, because bfeeding and pumping was just not going to work for my sanity. Maybe you can try to pump for a few more of the feedings to give yourself a break. And pacifiers are your friends, it sounds like they may be using you as a human pacifier...

stickybun07 said...

I'm coming a little late but wanted to echo everyone what you need to to say sane. And I also found that it's gottnen SO MUCH BETTER. Hang on there!