I think we are doing a good job. You know what I was saying about adjustment? Well, never a truer word were spoken. I love being a mummy. I LOVE our daughters and I LOVE being a mummy with AW. However, I worry.
Teeny baby Ivy has really changed so much – her skinny little face has rounded out and she weighed in yesterday at 2650g (almost Olive’s birth weight – Ivy was 1800g at birth). We are delighted! Olive is now 3380g, so she is gaining weight as well. I guess you could say that I’m not worrying about quite the same things as I was a few weeks ago. Today my left breast engorged for the first time, and I sat down and pumped – about 100ml came out in about 10 minutes. Olive rolls off the breast looking delighted and drugged with some milky dribbles, so there is plenty of milk. Ivy is generally feeding well from the bottle, and I try to pump for her twice each 24 hours, resulting in a balance of about 1/4-1/3 of feeds being breast milk. The late night feed sees the first of the formula night feeds – an attempt to ‘knock them out’. We don’t actually begin a night time ritual till about 9.30 pm as that’s when AW return from work.
I’d like to say that although this post will seem like a whinge, I am at this time very very pleased that I continued with the breastfeeding and didn’t give up.
routines and sleep
The feeding and sleeping currently seem to be ALL. OVER. THE. PLACE. I have read over and over of the importance of routine, and also that it ought to be established as early as possible. But can this advice really be followed for twins such as ours? Again, these books make me doubt my instincts about my own children. We have felt that given our twins’ widely differing sizes/ needs etc that this simply hasn’t been possible. Not yet. Ivy can’t feed at the breast well yet, but she does seem to be capable. The longest feed from her has been 20 minutes. We tried to tandem but it involved moving her from the cradle to the rugby hold and that was enough to make her very cross. The moment was lost. Encouraging though! Ivy’s bottle feeding is also unpredictable; today she took only very small amounts (and very slowly) till the evening, when she suddenly demanded a second 90ml after the first. She finished the whole lot. Olive’s feeds have become shorter and more frequent and I just am not sure what to do about it. Some of her feeds are 10 minutes, but more often they are broken at 10 minutes and I have to stimulate her to wake and continue the feed.
During the night Olive can finish her feed in 10 minutes while Ivy can take an hour or more. Last night Olive took hours to settle after her 2.30 am feed, and then Ivy woke up almost as soon as she went to sleep. Most nights are better than that though. I am more anxious about settling them into a daytime routine and trying to enforce naps – the twins are never in synch, it seems. Most twin mums from whom I’ve sought advice say that we are right to imagine that a routine for such different babies is a tall order at such a young age. Ivy has been so needy. Olive seems to be so grizzly.
How do we get them to nap at any set time?
How do we schedule feedings when we have a totally unpredictable bottle feeder and a breast feeder who breaks every half hour feed at least in half and has to be woken?
Crying and over-tiredness
This is something both our twins do – they cry and cry, even after feeding and nappy changes. I think (I’m almost positive) it’s because they are getting over-tired. But how do we rule out some sort of tummy trouble? This evening, Olive fed for 40 minutes at the breast. She was particularly fussy, squealing periodically as though she was cross with my boob. 30 minutes after finishing that feed, she was still crying and grizzling, and it turned out she wanted more. 23 minutes more at the other breast. That feed was much calmer and I was sure she’d be ready to wind down.
She worked herself up into a huge frenzy and my mum and I consulted the Baby Whisperer book. It said to try the ‘Shh pat’ technique. That worked like a CHARM till I actually put her down in the cot, then the hysterics started up again. I had assumed that after the two feeds at the breast she wouldn’t need her usual formula knock-out, but AW insisted Olive must still be hungry. She was!! She drank the 60mls I had made from her cup in less than 5 minutes, then we swaddled her and calmed her again. That is a whapping 60mins at boob and 60mls of formula. I know I have enough milk, and I don’t have any sore nipples/ cracking/ pain/ bleeding, so I don’t think it’s the supply or the latch – growth spurt? During this time, AW had laboriously been feeding and settling Ivy.
Do any of you twin readers have any light to shed? How do you make a baby (let alone two babies!) ‘go down for a nap’ when they don’t want to? How do you know when it’s time?
I do feel like we are coping pretty well with something very challenging, but I wish the babies could tell us what is bothering them! I hope it’s all a matter of patience. If we wait till the differences in their sizes and development are less pronounced, then hopefully they will settle into more similar patterns, right?