Tuesday, January 12, 2016


Having been home with the twin for nearly one week, I am learning that I need to be intentional with my time -- not necessarily productive with my time, but intentional.

At the end of last week, I was exhausted -- which I'm learning is just the new normal these days, but I said to Hubby that I didn't feel like I had spent any time with any of my children all day.  That wasn't the case, but it was how I felt.

Our feeding schedule with the twins is demanding.

Because they were premature, they do not nurse as well as a baby would who was born at 40 or 42 weeks.  The nurses in the hospital taught me that to nurse, or attempt to nurse, either one longer than 20 minutes is counter-productive because so much energy is required for them to nurse.  As a result, in the hospital, they encouraged me to pump breast milk after every feeding, and then each baby was given a bottle of a little extra breast milk after every feeding just to top them off and make sure they were eating as much as possible.

So, our feeding schedule usually goes:
Howard nurses or tries to nurse for 20 minutes
Caroline nurses or tires to nurse for 20 minutes
I pump for 20 minutes

The process takes at least 1 hours -- usually more like 75 or 90 minutes... and we feed every 3 hours.  That means I am lucky to get two hours between feedings as usually its more like an hour and a half.

Now, obviously, when I'm nursing the twins, I am spending time with them -- but they are still learning to nurse.  Nursing is work for all of us at this point.  They are still learning to latch, they need help staying on, and they often fall asleep halfway through the feeding. 

Then, after 20 minutes of feeding or struggling to feed, I hand off each of the twins to be burped, bottle fed, and snuggled by someone else while I either feed the second twin or pump.

It took me about a week, but I am learning I need to take moments and intentionally cuddle, snuggle, hug, and treasure each of my children.

When Tracey Ann is eating in her high chair, or relaxing with a movie, I have to be intentional about going to her and snuggling up to watch the movie together, or rubbing her head and kissing her while she's in her high chair.  I have made more of a point to carry her and cuddle her and hold her and tell her what a wonderful and special big sister she is and how much we love her and that she is our wonderful, special Tracey Ann.

When I'm nursing Caroline or Howard, I have to mentally remind myself how special this feeding time is, and take time to cuddle them and smell their sweet newborn heads while they're feeding instead of just being focused on the work involved.

I need to be intentional about moments with my husband, that I will give him a hug when I walk by him in the kitchen, or take a minute and rub his back as we are both falling asleep.

These days are very full and mildly crazy, and we are just beginning to figure out our routine... but my children and my husband are what makes this crazy life wonderful and a dream-come-true.  I don't want to wake up in five or ten years and realize that I was so busy keeping life going, that I forgot to stop and treasure these blessings that makes this life so beautiful.

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