Decision made… not to pump

I made the decision that’s best for me, Ava and the rest of my family. Ava needs me (I can’t imagine doing this when hubby goes back to work). My husband has been awesome helping and doing feedings, but it’s wearing on him too (especially my crankiness, ok bitchyness, from pumping). The boys are happy no matter if its formula or breast milk. Oh did I mention I think I have thrush?! Nothing like feeling shards of glass in my nipple on the left side. I couldn’t figure out what it was, I knew it wasn’t mastasis but a quick google search and I was reminded of the dreaded thrush. Thankfully the babies don’t seem to have it but I don’t want to pass it to them. 

Anyways, back to pumping, I started by dropping a nightly pump and pushing out hours between pumps. Then I started pumping for 10 min instead of 15. It’s been a little painful but I feel a bit of relief. We are also requesting health insurance pay for the neosure formula, special preemie formula. I have great insurance and they will cover “medically necessary” formula. So doctor wrote a prescription and we’re waiting for approval. 

Here are the boys trying out the crib. 

To pump or not to pump 

I’m tired… I’m tired because I’m not sleeping. I’m tired because I’m hooked up to my pump up to 8 times in 24 hour. I’m ready to……. give up exclusively pumping. 

To start from the beginning. Rocco never latched (and still won’t) Luca latched but will not stay awake for a full meal. So because of this (and the stay in the nicu) I began pumping when they were born. I did great at first. I got my supply up I was pumping just a few ounces shy of what they needed then supplementing with formula. 

Fast forward almost 3 weeks after their birth. I was pumping at most 8-9 tims a day. They are still not sleeping more than 3 hour stretchesbut sometimes it’s as short as 2 (so with feeding and changing I’m getting anywhere from 1.5-2 hours of sleep intervals. Two days ago I dropped a night time pump and pushed my day pumps to 3.5-4 hours apart. 

My one nipple is raw and swollen from pumping. I’m a skate to the house and pump. Maybe it’s the lack of sleep but I think I’ve hit my wall of utter exhaustion. Having a 2.5 year old at home, lack of sleep and twins is making pumping a horrible chore. 

Mom guilt is no joke… (although not as deep the second time around). I hate pumping but formula feeding two is insanely expensive. Inwont be getting paid for part of my maternity leave and I’m afraid of the cost. 

Do I pump? Do I formula feed? 

Two weeks old today

Rocco and Luca have officially hit 2 weeks old and we’ve been home for 9 days. Sneak peak of our newborn photos. 

Sleep: hmm I want to say good, we’ve had more good nights than bad. They are sleeping on average 2.5-3 hour stretches so I’m getting about 2-2.5 hour stretches. Hoping these get longer over the next week. Lack of sleep is wearing thin on my nerves (especially with a toddler lol) 

Feeding: Id like to say they are both latching and feeding beautifully but that is not the case. Luca latched immediately and will even feed, but it’s not a full feed, he often falls asleep and is hungry 20 min later. Rocco never latched to start, he will sort of try now but he’s very lazy. Being preemie they are extra sleepy and don’t like to exert much effort. The nicu had been giving them similac neosure for preemies from day 1. When asked I wholeheartedly Agreed to formula for 2 reasons. 1. They were only 5lbs and I didn’t want them to dip below 5. 2. Their sugar levels needed to be stabilized. 3. My daughter was jaundiced and needed Formula to get her bilirubin down. These boys never needed phototherapy for jaundice because they were getting formula. They had mild jaundice. I am currently pumping 7-8 times for 15-20 min in a 24 hour period and Getting 4-5 oz combined sides. Was getting only 2-3 but after several pumps and lots of calories and water/Gatorade I got it up pretty quick. We do formula at night, so much easier! With supplementing I’m still able to freeze a few ounces already. Exclusively pumping has been tough, it takes a lot of time. But at night I pump and bottle feed one little guy while hubby feeds the other. 

Weights: Luca – born: 5 lb 6oz, left hospital at 5lb 2oz and were already up to 5lbs 11oz after being home 9 days. Rocco – born: 5lbs 5 oz, left hospital at 5lbs 2oz and is up to 5lbs 15 oz. Rocco is in newborn clothes and Luca is still fitting into some preemie stuff but a lot of newborn is still big on him. 

The day we became 5 

Morning of 
Well someone had an emergency and slipped to the front of the line. 😜 only pushed us back about an hour. It was a little tough of an hour, as I’d been up since 2am with heartburn. I was starving and so thirsty. But we made it doctor met us here on time. 

Csection vs vaginal 
Csection was awful. I felt like someone was sitting on my chest with the spinal meds. It was bad to the point I couldn’t hold/touch the boys at first. I didn’t even want to. But recovery was awesome. Minor pain, minor restrictions. Even a week out I feel 100 better than I did with my vaginal. 
Vaginal delivery was good. I had an epidural, I didn’t feel a thing. 12-15 hours of labor/pushing and Ava came. The aftermath was ugly. I had 3rd degree sulcus tearing (that means tearing on the inside vaginal wall. I took pain meds for months and it even delayed my return to work. I got scar tissue customized (yes burned) off my vagina. 
Verdict = I’ll take a csection – although I’m never having anymore kids 😜

They’re here – nicu 
They arrived screaming into the world, sweet as can be! They weighed great, looked great, breathed great. But they were very jittery for little newborns so when they rated their blood sugar initial tests showed levels of 14 and 15, dangerously low. So they whisked them away to the nicu with my husband in tow. They spent two full days in the nicu getting their glucose levels up and regulated. Thankfully the nurses there were amazing! 

Ava’s reaction 
Ava came barreling ass into the room screaming mommy! She couldn’t not go into the nicu yet, I need to get her immunization records. Hurricane Ava arrived with and left quit the mess in her wake. But she was adorable. She asked where her baby brothers were? Trying to lift my gown. She kept telling the nurses I’m a big sister, I’m special. Lol she is a nut! She was a little crazy and not so gentle with me so she didn’t stay long. But it was nice to have her high spirit and energy here. 

The next visit was not as smooth. I won’t go into great detail but my unless brought her. She LOVED the boys and was so excited to see them. She did great! By the end she was all worked up though – tired, too much to see and touch. And a long few days of zero structure with grandparents. 

Nicu progress 
July 17 – 2am – sugars are still scoring amazingly well. Rocco’s IV was turned off and Luca was turned down to 1.5 (they started at 8). 

July 18 – 3pm – we passed! All tests scored great, no more glucose or iv’s. We are in our new room (1/2 the size) but at least we’re together. 

July 19 – were going home! We passed the Bilirubin test and got snipped snipped this morning. 

One week later…. 

They’re here! 

They’re here, well in the NICU here and not in my belly. More to come. 

Luca Michael 5lbs 6 oz and Rocco Joseph 5lbs  5oz arrived July 15th at 8:53 and 8:54 via csection at 36 weeks and 2 days due to cholestasis. 

They are in the nicu trying to control their glucose levels but otherwise amazingly healthy. 

36 Weeks + 2 – c-section day!

Picture before we go in! 

34 weeks – getting there! 

As I sit here and count down the minutes until csection, I am surprisingly calm. I’m not sleeping because I can’t eat or drink anything before the surgery. I snuck two tums at 2am and propped myself up. But I’ve basically been wide awake since 2:30 so at 4:30 I came down stairs and the heartburn has subsided a bit.

I’ve went to the ER on the 4th and saw my doctor twice since then. The contractions have picked up big time. When I went to the ER I was contracting every 7-8 minutes but my cervix was doing nada! nothing! zero! so they were labeled as Braxton Hicks. Since then the contractions have been changing, period like cramps but I was checked in Thursday at the doctor – 0, nada, nothing, closed up shop. So here we are at csection date!

I had my last ultrasound. I ended up getting a growth scan even though I wasn’t due for one until next week. Perks to a private place AND having the doctors wife as your tech. She said, well growth scans are more fun, so lets just do it! 1.5 weeks ago they were measuring 5 lbs 2 oz and 5 lbs 4 oz. yesterday they were up 5lbs 7 oz and 5lbs 9 oz! (human error of +/- a pound) so we are looking at mid 4lb-mid 6lb babies! Her guess was between 5-6lbs Just hoping and praying no NICU time. Any baby under 4 automatically goes to NICU, and after that they look for breathing issues, temperature regulation issues, and jaundice (as I am O- and hubby is +) Ava was mildly jaundice but these guys are also 4 weeks earlier than Ava so jaundice could be a strong reality.

I had my steriod shot for babies lungs Thu and Fri – any baby expected to be born before 37 weeks gets these shots (or I get the shots to develop their lungs).

The dog is at my inlaws. Ava is at my moms – she was sooo excited to go she didn’t even want a snack after nap yesterday! On a positive note, she has decided to potty train herself this week. She refused pull ups last week and was going regularly. She even tells us now that she has to pee! (like stops everything and says, I have to pee!) She’s pooped in the potty 3-4 times between home and daycare. Often she does it in her pull up or diaper at nap/bed. But still better success than before. And nothing like great timing! haha

Ava’s pregnancy links – since we will not hit 40 week here is the end of her pregnancy

week 36 Ava
week 37 Ava
week 38 Ava
week 39 Ava
week 40 Ava

Pregnancy: #2 – TWINS

Gender: boy/boy fraternal

Weight gain: I am up 52 lbs since I started – first weight check was at my egg retrieval. 118 lbs – 168 to finish. Considering I gained 48 with Ava – I’m pretty happy about this.

Eating: Eating smaller meals now. It’s hard to fit too much in there. Some things are causing lots of heartburn (buffalo chicken pizza is not my friend). I get it mostly at night though, I keep a bottle of tums by my bedside, and water and once in a while I get up and eat something to help.

Sleep: This week has SUCKED – starting Tuesday night I have been up every 1.5-2 hours. I am getting a burning pain on my left side by my ribs. Turns out baby A likes to lay on my ribs when I lay down. Ive resorted to laying on my right side but that gets uncomfortable too.

Symptoms and Movement:

Movements: Lots of movements. I feel A more than B but every NST scan and ultrasound is perfect! My placenta is more on B’s side

Varicose veins – Status quo – wear the support belt daily and looking forward to NOT wearing it. It’s been nice to be home and relaxing.

Bump– I get asked whenever, wherever I go, if I am due anyday now. I usually reply with oh I’m expecting twins and I’m only 36 weeks – then people say “oh, I can tell!” lol then they recover with “but you look great”

Emotions: Ready, tired but doing ok emotionally. I think hubby is more emotional than I am. He’s very worried about Ava and our transition, but we’ve tried to prep in every way possible for her.

Missing: Sleep (not that that is going to return anytime soon) eating without heartburn, sleeping without heartburn, have my abs back (not visually, I haven’t had a flat stomach since HS, just being able to sit up lol)

Purchases: Finished the nursery, wall art. I also jumped on the amazon registry and purchased everything we needed. Ava got a new glider (much cheaper, but not as comfortable) because I couldn’t handle spending another $500 on an upholstered rocker and foot stool.

Looking forward to: leaving the house in 1.5 hours – getting to the hospital for 6:30 and getting this babies out at 8!

Clothes: Not a lot fits – I’m living in 2 pairs of yoga paints, 5 medium shirts my sister in law gave me (my smalls do not cover my belly anymore) 2 pairs of capris and 2 dresses. Everything I’m wearing is hand me downs because everything I bought doesn’t fit!

Exercise: bahaha

Ava post – 2.5 years old

Ava is so excited to be a big sister. She talks about her baby brothers a lot. She rubs my belly and gives it kisses. Apologizes when she elbows or pushes off me (which is often), She has already named them so I guess we are stuck with the two names on our list she likes, names TBA upon arrival

Height: 37 inches – 90% – she’s as tall as her almost 4 year old cousin

Weight: a whopping 26lbs – 21% – her 1.5 year old cousin is heavier than her

Clothes: oh gosh, this is so hard. She fits in 2t in Carters (can still do 24 mo but they are capri length and belly shirts) but 24 mo dresses still fit. In gap she is still 18-24 mo in shorts (the shorts still fit her from last year with the elastics taken all the way out. She’s so long but thin

Potty Training: long story short – end of January we tried potty training, we had the pee down in about 3 weeks but poo still was an issue. We did this for 3 months and rarely got a poo on the potty. Come the spring (Aprilish) she started having pee accidents everywhere even at school. Teachers suggested it was behavioral, she was getting angry and upset, we went back to pull ups and a happier Ava. Since then we’ve been working on potty with pull ups,  it’s going, slowly but surely.

Words: FULL SENTENCES – “Daddy don’t do that.” “What are you doing?” “I want something else.” I can’t believe she what she comes up with. She’s so much fun,  a little spit fire with her very own point of view.

Food: Still very picky but has broadened her horizons a bit. She eats hotdogs, any pasta, macaroni and cheese, ANY fruit, cucumbers, tomatoes. quesadilla, peanut butter is a go to, loves pepperoni!