Saturday, November 28, 2009

Tandem Feeding!

So I've started reading two books: Mothering Multiples and Unbuttoned. So far, Unbuttoned is the more entertaining and informative book, but there's definitely some worthwhile information in the other as well. The most interesting thing to me right now is tandem feeding. Since sleep and time is so precious to new moms, I'm very much on board about trying to tandem feed my girls. If I don't get the hang of it right away, that's okay. I will keep trying. The idea of being able to feed them both at once sounds so, so, so much nicer than feeding one and then feeding the other. On top of the time saved so Mommy can get a little more rest, they also get to be close to one another while being close to me!

Today, after reading about tandem feeding. I decided to do a search online about the subject. As with most searches, I came up with some helpful pages and a whole lot of not helpful pages. I came across three pictures that were inspiring, and one that made me make a decision that I will most likely stick to, no matter how my breastfeeding experience goes.

First, let's check out ultimate multi-task mom. She's not only tandem breastfeeding, she's chatting up someone on the phone, having a meal, AND she's still in the hospital. Nice work...but what is she telling the person on the other line exactly? How important a phone call could that possibly be? "Oh, I'm just breastfeeding twins and eating dinner, but I can take this call from Aunt Marge."

Though I have no intention of trying to multitask in my room at Williamson Medical, I am definitely sold on that nursing pillow she's using. I was going back and forth about getting a twin nursing pillow, but just from this picture, I realize how helpful it can be!

I snagged this picture from the wonderful twin website Twin Pregnancy and Beyond, but this woman is inspiring not because she's gone hands-free; it's because of the huge smile on her face! I've heard stories of women really enjoying breastfeeding while others see it as a chore and some just see it as the best miracle on earth. To me, this woman is smiling not only because her little ones are being fed, but because she successfully has two little ones latched on and that pillow is so awesome that she doesn't have to hold them! Again...totally getting that pillow.

Lastly, the one that's not inspiring.  I can't post it on my site since it's got copyright blocks, but you can go see it here. I'm happy this woman looks like she's enjoying herself. I'm happy it looks like her children are getting their fill. But both of those children look a bit out of the breastfeeding stage. The one of the left is probably still good to go--just crawling or walking, so that's cool with me. There are plenty of women who breastfeed up until 12 months if not 18 months. The one on the right, though? How old is that kid? 3? 4? I'm pretty sure that if my child can run around and play on a swingset that my breast is no longer a source of food. Sorry if I've offended anyone, but I'm pretty much going to be done with the breastfeeding when they can talk to me (if not before that).

So that's my little schpeel on tandem feeding and the lovely pictures on the Internet. What are your thoughts?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Let's Talk Nipples

So, since I've pretty much decided what I want the nursery to look like, I have found a new baby obsession: breastfeeding versus bottle-feeding.

I understand the benefits of breastfeeding. You get to have an ultimate bond with your baby (or babies in my case). You're giving them the best food they can get. Breastfeeding also causes your uterus to contract which helps it get back in shape faster.

But, for all the articles and whatnot I've read on breastfeeding, there are very few on feeding multiples. Every book advises letting your baby feed on one breast until it's empty, burp, and then switch to the other breast. Unless I'm going to let one of my girls starve, I don't think I have that luxury. So I'm preparing myself to supplement with a bottle. I hope I won't have to, but I'm not going to be disappointed if it needs to happen. Babies need to eat, and I will feed them as needed.

So, with this idea in my head that I will have to supplement with a bottle, I've been thinking about "nipple confusion." Supposedly, some babies have trouble going back and forth between breastfeeding and bottle-feeding because the nipples are different. The way a baby suckles a breast is different than the action it takes to suckle an artificial nipple. So I've gone on a search for the most natural nipple out there. Hey, the girls might hate them, but I can try them out, right?

First up, the First Years Breastflow Nipples. This nipple requires baby to use the same sucking technique required for breastfeeding. Most of the reviews on Babies R Us are quite positive, and then there are a handful of "I hate them" posts as well. But since the positive outweigh the negative, they are on our registry.

The biggest disadvantage I've noticed is the fact that this nipple is in two parts--the clear outside and that less clear inside mechanism. More parts equals more cleaning, and trying to make life easier as a new mom usually doesn't involve more cleaning.

Next up, the Adiri Natural Nurser. This one doesn't have the cool compression and sucking motion of the Breastflow nipple, but the shape and feel plus the slow flow is "breast-like." They also, I must say, look kinda cool. I know that shouldn't have anything to do with feeding your children, but hey, aesthetically pleasing is a nice (unnecessary) bonus.

Besides the cool look, they are definitely designed for easier cleaning than the Breastflow. The downside? They fill from the bottom! How odd is that? You have to put a cap on it, turn the bottle over it, fill it and then put the nipple on. I'm not exactly excited about that idea,  but if the girls don't like the Breastflow nipples, I might try these.

Lastly, the Very Hungry by mimijumi which is made right here in Nashville! It's not on the market just yet, but it's coming in December. And since it's out of Nashville, I'm sure I'll be able to find it at baby stores in the area. The Very Hungry, like the Adiri, mimics the shape and feel of the breast. It's got venting that's supposed to help prevent colic, and it's a one-piece nipple (less cleaning, hello!).

My number one complaint at the moment is the color. Now the site boasts that the nipples come in "natural colors," at the moment, their natural color is Caucasian. Last time I checked, I'm not of the Caucasian persuasion. I really do hope that, when they come out, they've got more natural colors. Granted, this isn't a deal-breaker, it's just slightly annoying. It's kind of like bandages. I know the Band-Aid brand has different tones, but they're hard to find and probably cost more, so I'm hoping that mimjumi will have various colors that are all the same price.

I've fortunately found two books (a whole two!) on breastfeeding multiples. I'm going to read through those, but I also won't forget about bottles. There are women who think that it's just awful to bottle-feed, and there are women who think it's taboo to breastfeed. I again, think it's all about the babies. They need to eat, and they will.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Report from the Sofa

Even though I was very nervous last night/early this morning about my ultrasound today, it turns out everything is okay. The girls are doing great. In fact, they showed off for their grandmothers a little bit today. And, the best news of all, I'm off bed rest!!!! *Happy dance*

I'm still on limited activity, but I can go teach the rest of the quarter and get my own lunch and get off the sofa whenever I want. That's quite nice. I'm going in for another cervical measurement next week, so let's hope that my limited activity and no meds works just as well as bed rest and meds so that I can just take it easy until February instead of being absolutely miserable on the sofa or in the bed until February.

So, to celebrate my liberation from the sofa, I started painting the letters for the nursery. One girl's name is nearly done, and I'll probably work on the other tomorrow. I would love to post a picture, but since we're not sharing the names right now, that would be quite difficult.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Because Free Stuff is Fun

Over at Spearmint Baby (a great blog that everyone should check out), there's a contest going on to win a chenille blanket from Little Giraffe. The blankets retail for $58 to $62, and, if you're like me, this is probably one of the only ways you'll be getting one.

They are quite adorable and look ├╝ber soft. You know, that kind of soft that you want to keep touching all the time?

So, everyone go over to Spearmint Baby and enter the contest for your chance to win!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A Report from Bed

Actually, it's more a report from the couch. Either way, I'm stuck. I've been put on modified bed rest for a week. It seems that my cervix is shortening due to the weight of the babies. This is not good because it could lead to second-trimester miscarriages or early preterm labor. We don't want anything like that happening, so I will diligently take my medicine and stay parked in bed or on the couch for my required seven days (only to get up for showers and sandwich-making and bathroom runs as my doctor said).

Alas, if I were really content with my situation, this would be a very, very short blog.

I cannot stand being still for long periods of time. (Even now, I get up every three or four hours to run to the bathroom.) It's even worse when you're forced to stay still. My daily activities involve showering, watching TV, watching DVDs, watching the cat, crocheting, and napping. My body feels awful. I have leg cramps and neck cricks...and this is day 2.5! I hope when I go back to the doctor that everything is a-okay, and I can return to moderate activity. I'll promise over and over again to take it easy, but I just need to be moving around. It's one thing to sit on the couch all day and watch Buffy, Angel, and Eureka marathons voluntarily, but when you have no choice? No thanks, I'd rather be preparing the nursery for painting or grocery shopping.

Yep. I said it. I'd rather be grocery shopping.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Taking the Plunge

If you know me, you know that I'm not new to this blogging thing, but I've been toying around with the idea of blogging about pregnancy for awhile. I really don't know what to talk about, so I'm sure I'll just talk about everything from decorating the nursery (a task I'm very, very, very excited about) to reading books on twins to doctor visits. But here I am, writing the first entry, and actually putting it out there for people to see.

I'll try to be entertaining. Some days, I'm sure I won't be.

I will never promise to post daily because I just don't have that kind of dedication, but I will try to post often.

Today, I'm 23 weeks (that pic is from 21 weeks). Very close to the six month mark, and I'm feeling that the birth is close yet still very far away. I can't believe Thanksgiving is at the end of the month and then Christmas! Holy hell, Christmas is right around the corner. Then my birthday and then the girls will be coming along after that. I guess it really is closer than it feels.

This post was short, but there's more to follow. Some exciting things are happening this week, so come back soon.