I’ll be honest. I thought it would be harder. But having my husband on leave with me, being super supportive and helping as much as he can, has made having two babies fairly easy.
Don’t get me wrong! The lack of sleep and having to stay up on laundry and dishes (my hubby has been doing most of the cleaning) has been difficult in and of itself and breastfeeding has had its own challenges. But I’m loving being a mom and all of it is totally worth it for our sweet babies.
We discharged from the hospital after being there for 4 days (Wednesday morning thru Saturday night) and our first night was rough on me. I wanted the babies in my sight when I was trying to sleep and even then I was anxious about going to sleep and either not hearing them crying or choking. Plus around 4am they seemed to get extra fussy and wanted to cluster feed which wore me down mentally. In hindsight I realized I tried to take on too much myself and should have leaned on my husband more for support and help. I’m a prideful and independent person by nature so asking for help has always been hard for me.
After that first night we realized we needed to tweak our schedule to find a better routine. Now we’re doing shifts so that we can each get a chunk of sleep time and at least not be zombies all the time. I’ll pump once a day to have breast milk available for when I’m sleeping which is given to the babies before formula is offered if they’re still hungry.
In the hospital Alexander developed jaundice and had to be on a BiliLight to help pull the bilirubin out. The pediatrician wanted us to start supplementing feeds with formula to help clear his system out. We also made the decision to do this for Audrey too because she is the tinier twin. This has worked out well so far and they’ve started gaining weight back after their initial loss (this is normal with newborns due to water weight from floating in fluid for 9 months).
Our first pediatrician appointment was on the first Monday after we went home. They both had lost some weight which I took personally and had a crying episode in the office. I was trying so hard to stick to the 2-3 hour feeding schedule with breast milk first then formula and when I found out they were losing weight it made me feel like a failure, that I was doing it wrong or not doing enough (plus I was also super sleep deprived and hormonal). The doctor reassured me that she wasn’t concerned as this was an expected weight loss after birth which reassured me a lot. We also discovered that Alexander’s bilirubin levels were rising again and he needed to go back in the BiliLight to bring it down as well as increase his formula intake, which would help with the weight loss as well.
I had another mini breakdown at home about him needing the light again because I felt awful that he had to be on it in the hospital to begin with. I think a part of me felt like it was my fault because our blood types are different which they said increases the risk of jaundice and because he was stuck and I was pushing so hard for so long he came out with bruising on his face (I’ll go more in to detail about that in their birth post) which also increases the jaundice risk. Plus it was hard to watch him wear an eye mask to protect his eyes that he hated and kept pulling off. Turns out I needn’t have worried cause he didn’t even need the eye mask with this home machine which I was so thankful for. It was much easier to deal with!
Our second pediatrician appointment two days later went better. They both gained some ounces back and his bilirubin levels were low enough to not need the light anymore. 🙌🏻
Talk about a whirlwind week! Lots of emotions, adjustments, and, of course, as many baby snuggles as I could get. ☺️