A Tale of Two Babies: the first two weeks

By Melissa

What a week! Or has it been two? Three? Or ten? I think three, but goodness, longest and shortest three weeks of my life! 😂 

I wanted to jot down what life has been like for us in the early days of life with the twins, and three other kids. And while I’m at it, I figured I could answer some questions you might have also. In short, it really hasn’t been crazy. I think mainly because we were already accustomed to our daily dose of chaos, so adding two sleepy babies to that isn’t a huge change. 

I think another huge reason is that we are lucky enough to have really nice babies. No really, this is the greatest blessing in my life. I like to joke that if I have to buy a baby, I’m going to buy a nice one (or two!). So really, these little guys are the sweetest and pretty chill. Anders definitely likes attention more than Emmett, and they both get a little fussy in the evening, but overall, nicest babies. We hit the jackpot again!

So now to answer some questions I’ve been getting. We will start with ones about the babies, because they are so fun.

How do you tell them apart?

Well, they look completely different! It is so so crazy to me that all of our kids have had such different looks. It will be fun to see what they look like as they get older and if they look more alike, or like any of the older kids! Right now, Emmett reminds of us of baby Maren, and Anders reminds us of a baby old man. 😂 So they are easy to tell apart, but I will say that at night time, I often mix them up. Maybe it’s being sleep deprived, or that it’s dark, or that I just can’t remember which baby I put on the left or the right, but it happens frequently. 

How many diapers do you go through a day?

I’ve been trying to count, only to forget midway through the day or something. But! The more I think of it, I’m thinking it is usually around 15-18. Of course there are times that one will pee or poo right after (or in the middle of when) we’ve changed them and we go through a few extras. But for the most part, we just change them after we feed them. I feel like we go through a million wipes though! I had forgotten that babies poo all day long, so we are using more wipes than we are used to.

Luckily I stocked up on newborn diapers before they were born, so we still have a few more big boxes. And we have seriously the nicest friends, a couple of which have dropped off giant boxes of diapers too! Bless their hearts, we will certainly use them!

How are the older kids doing with them?

Great! They loooooove them! Maren likes to hold them for short stretches and will sometimes help feed one a bottle. Cohen mostly leaves them alone, except when he comes and tries to guess which baby we are holding. (He’s almost always wrong. 😂) And then there’s Jade, who CANNOT get enough of them! Probably fifty times a day she says, “He’s so cuuuuuuuute!” And fifty other times I have to tell her to not touch their faces or to get off them. I love love love that she loves them, but it is just a little bit terrifying sometimes.

I love their names! Any significance to them?

Yes! I actually have another post (half written, of course) about our kids’ names. But as a quick answer, Philip and I each chose a name for one of the boys. I chose Emmett Jones and Philip chose Anders Christopher.

I had no connection to Emmett, other than I just like it. The name Braden was also a contender, but all of the middle names that I paired with it just seemed off. So I landed on Emmett and chose Jones because it is my maiden and middle name.

Philip has loved the name Anders since we had Cohen. It is a family name, his dad’s ancestors are from Sweden, and the name Anders is all over his family tree. I was a little less wild about it as a first name, but again, we both had a baby to name, so he had full reign. And for his middle name, Philip chose the name Christopher, which also is my brother’s name. Basically this little boy has quite the legacy in his name!

The next tricky thing though was which was which? Like, we had the names nailed down a few days before having the babies, but we had no idea how to choose which one was Baby A and Baby B. I told Philip that we needed to see if one was blonde and one was brunette, because if Anders was going to have such a very Swedish name, maybe he should be the blonde one? 😉 But here’s the thing, they both had dark-ish hair when they were born! Well shoot, there goes that idea. So we just decided that Baby A would be Anders, and Baby B was Emmett. Luckily as time has gone on, it does look like Anders will be much more fair haired and fair skinned than Emmett. So it does look like we’ve got our little Swede after all!

How are you feeling?

Me? I can honestly say that I feel ONE THOUSAND percent better than I did being pregnant. I’m sure you remember my last pregnancy post, I was not exactly a ray of sunshine, or even a speck of it! I was so uncomfortable and was feeling so miserable, that even when I took a shower in the hospital, like a day after I had them, I thought, “Look at me! I can bend over and dry my legs off! This is amazing!” So yes, it is wonderful to not be pregnant. I love sleeping on my stomach, walking without my feet hurting, and my back isn’t sore. The round ligament pains are gone (praise be!), I can bend over, hold my kids on my lap, and get up off the floor or the couch without it taking all day. In short, it’s amazing.

Granted, there are obviously some other discomforts that come along with birthing two little humans and breast feeding and such. However, in my personal opinion, those pale in comparison! I am lucky enough to have had pretty easy healing after delivering babies, though, and I know that’s not the case for everyone. So while I’m not itching to go on a 100 mile bike ride, I really do feel good and am so grateful for that.

How are your ankles?

Miracle of miracles, they exist again! Thank the heavens above! You guys, it was bad. I know I had shown you my ankles, but the swelling basically took over the lower 2/3 of my body. Even my anesthesiologist said that when he pushed on my spine to see where to give my epidural, it made an indentation. My SPINE was swollen and chubby! Insane.

Anyway, the swelling lasted almost a week after I had the babies, and then I woke up one morning, and my ankle bones were back! Coincidentally, when I happened to weigh myself that day, I had lost almost ten pounds since getting home from the hospital. That means that I had like a million gallons of water, just hanging out beneath the surface on me. So anyway, swelling is gone, thank goodness. My finger joints are still sore swollen and I can’t wear my wedding ring yet, but they will get there.

Are you getting any sleep? How much?

Um, yes? Like, definitely not tons and for sure not uninterrupted, but there is sleep happening here. 

Since I’m one that doesn’t do well without sleep, we have always followed the BabyWise routine. With that, we feed the babies every 3ish hours, try to keep them awake and playing for a little bit, then put them to sleep and wake them up again to eat after three hours. Eat, wake, sleep. With the exception of night time where I don’t wake them up, just let them sleep as long as they will, and then after they eat put them right back to bed. I also am always feeding them at the same time (or one right after another occasionally) so that they stay on the same schedule. It does kill me a little, especially at night to wake one up just because his brother is eating, but I’d rather do that than be up 45 minutes later doing the whole routine again.

So most nights I feed them between 12-1, they wake up around 4ish and I’ll feed them, then they go back to sleep and they wake up again around 8 or so. Luckily we are not having all night parties with them awake or anything. However, I will say that the worst part of this schedule is that after I feed them, then I have to pump. So I put them back to bed and instead of going back to bed myself, then I get to go downstairs and pump. (Currently typing this at 4:37 am while pumping. 🙃) So I’m tired. Getting sleep, but tired.

Are you breastfeeding?

I am exclusively pumping. Somehow in my brain this made the most sense before having them. And while I’m glad that it is working out, pumping around the clock is exhausting. I am able to feed the babies their bottles of breast milk at the same time, but then have to sit and pump afterwards (or before, or sometime between). Basically there is going to forever be a permanent indention in the couch where my booty is almost constantly planted. 🙃 But it is worth it for these guys!

With my first three babies, I was able to freeze and store a decent little supply of breast milk and was always so proud of myself. This time around, I’m only ever a few bottles ahead of what the babies need. And we still have to supplement with formula at night. At first (and even still occasionally) it bummed me out that I just couldn’t produce enough to freeze like I had done before. I have to remind myself that I am feeding TWO BABIES this time! If I only had one, of course I’d be able to have extras to freeze! But the fact that I can provide almost enough for two is not something to be disappointed by, even if I’m not all the way there. 

Does Philip get time off or a paternity leave?

YES!!! His employer recently started offering a two month paternity leave! And since he can take it any time within a year of them being born, he postponed it a few weeks that way he can be off during all the holidays. So for the first two weeks after the babies were born, he just used the rest of his PTO for the year. And then in another couple weeks he will get eight weeks! We are both so excited. The only thing that I wish were different is that he would get TWO paternity leaves since we had TWO babies. And yes, I did read all the fine print to see if that was an option. And nope! But I’m just so grateful that we will get him all to ourselves for two whole months.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again and again and again, Philip is the best and most hands on dad. We are all so lucky to have him.

And that’s it! We are still in the test-drive mode, but life is good! These baby boys are so sweet and content. We are loving just soaking it all up for now.💙💙

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