Big Changes Dawg

3 Jan
*Please note, this particular blog is quite lengthy. I’d get a bowl of popcorn if I were you. 
It’s all happening. It’s all going down and it dropped on me like a bomb! Changes EVERYWHERE. I’m trying to keep up but at the moment, but I think Change is kicking my ass. 
Change #1- The Saga of Solid Foods
I know I mentioned this in another blog but the girls have now ventured onto solids. Before they started, I was all gung-ho and stoked about this new exciting step in their development. Now that we’ve started I’m feeling A) slightly nostalgic and B) sporadically nervous.

Nostalgic because this step is catapulting them in person-hood! Before now, they were just these helpless little creatures that existed on liquids alone and depended on me to provide and give them that liquid. That will never happen again. Now that they’ve started solids there is no turning back. Their food range will only expand, then they’ll grow teeth and their food options will widen, their coordination will develop, they’ll be able to feed themselves and they won’t need my help anymore aaaand… now that there are options, their opinions will rise like no mans business! OMG… I think I should calm down. 
What happened to that sweet little baby phase?? Where have my little girls gone? 

Wow… this is bad. They are 5 months old and I’m feeling nostalgic. Well, I guess its good to remember what’s been, but now it’s time to embrace the newness and move on. (That last sentence was a pep talk to myself.)
The nervousness is mostly because they’ve been in a very consistent routine for 3 months now and when the solid food transitions, so the routine transitions too. I’m sure once the transition is over and we’re victorious on the other side, I shall laugh at my silly nervousness but in the mean time, I’m plunging ahead pretending like I know where I’m taking us when I’m really just feelin’ it out at best as I can! Isn’t that what all great leaders (aka new parents) do? Pretend like they know what they’re doing until they actually do?
Change #2Swaddling D.R.A.M.A
The Girls have been swaddled from the minute they came out of my womb. Literally. 

And they LOVE it. Up till now they WOULD NOT sleep without being swaddled. Which has been perfectly fine, till now, because it was 1) their biggest cue that we were winding down to go to sleep  2) it secured their arms so they didn’t flail and wake themselves up and 3) made them feel snug as a bug in a rug and 4) kept them warm in winter. Despite all these amazing things swaddling gives… it has now become a monster that I am fighting to kick out of my house FOR-EV-ER.
For the last 3 weeks, they’ve each kicked out of their swaddle at least once a night and then they call out to us until we come re-swaddle them. So basically, what was meant to help them and us sleep is now back firing hard core. They’re just too big for it. But teaching them to sleep unswaddled is about as easy as getting an addict off crack.
I got really frustrated one day last week and declared a cold turkey war on swaddling… but it lasted all of one nap. I managed to get them both to sleep unswaddled during their first nap and then when I tried at the next nap- wow. Poor little Keena screamed her head off for like 45 minutes! I tried the Baby Whisperer Pick Up/Put Down gig but she wasn’t havin’ it and Blake also needed to be tended too so… I relented. I swaddled her and she was asleep within 10 minutes. One step forward, one step back.
Blake is coming along muuuuch better than Keena in this area because her muscle control is a bit farther along that Keena’s right now so it makes sense. Plus B’s always been independent and Keena has always been the cuddle bug who loves closeness. Getting her used to the feeling of not being wrapped will take time.  We’re workin’ on it, bit by bit.

Change #3- Forever Teething
I feel like the Mom who cried “wolf” all the time in regards to teething. Last week we were sure the girls were teething and this is at least the 2nd time I’ve thought this to date.
They’ve had different symptoms but all the symptoms of supposed teething- runny-ish noses, slightly raised temperatures, drooling Drooling DROOLING, chowing their fingers and hands, chowing anything they can get in their mouth, being unusually fussy, waking up in the middle of their naps with cries of pain, runny poo’s and a little rash like deal around their mouth. And I keep feeling their gums to see if anything’s coming through but there’s nothing there! Not even a bump. Arg! Stop messing with my head, Teeth. 
Change #4- No More Liquid Boobs
This change, I am very excited about. I am no longer breast feeding or expressing which equals… no more lactation! Me and my milk supply have been around the mountain and it’s time we stopped the madness and got divorced.
See, I decided within myself that I wanted to do everything in my power to get my girls B-milk for the first 6 months of their lives. It was a personal choice that was a heck of a lot of work but it worked out fairly well. However all seasons come to end and this one is definitely DONE.
I started out tandem breast-feeding the girls. I was very blessed because they latched beautifully and made the whole deal much easier for me. I tandem B-fed for 6 weeks but B never really thrived on the boob. She is a very greedy eater (or as Husband would say, a very American eater)- she wants her food and she ‘wants it now’ and wasn’t willing to work for more if it wasn’t all there to begin with. However, she did battle to digest her food a bit. She didn’t really have reflux or colic… she just struggled to digest a bit. And my let downs were not for sissy’s so… 
1 greedy, lazy eater + a sore tummy + gushing let downs= 1 struggling, frustrated unhappy baby.
And when you have another baby on your other boob still trying to eat, you’re limited in terms of hands and how much you can work at it with the baby who’s struggling. So, at 6 weeks I started expressing some milk for Blake and carried on letting Keena B-feed.
Keena loooooved breast-feeding. So much so that it took me SIX WEEKS to wean her onto a bottle. And that’s after offering her a small top-up from a bottle at the end of every feed; 6x’s a day for 6 weeks.  So for 10 weeks, I had one baby on the boob and one baby being bottle fed whilst still eating, drinking, resting and pumping like a mo-fo to keep my milk supply up enough for the both of them. (Just for the curious, I always feed them at the same time.)  
Then at 16 weeks I got one of those seriously nasty 24 hour stomach bugs and it knocked me badly. I won’t go into details about that but it was NOT pretty. I was put on a mild antibiotic and told that I needed to keep pumping but had to dump my milk for the duration of the time I was on the medication. Because of that I got into the habit of pumping every 4 hours and then there was no turning back. I pumped for the next 5 weeks to bring my total duration of lactation to 21 weeks.
The girls are now 22.5 weeks/5 months old and that’s me F.I.N.I.S.H.E.D.  I made a personal decision to give my girls breast milk for as close to 6 months as possible and I came pretty darn close to that. (I’m busy patting myself on the back for what I did accomplished:) Now I want to go back to gym. I want to be able to focus on loosing the last bit of my baby weight. I don’t want to be ruled or limited by the liquid in my boobs for goodness sakes! Me and breast milk are el done-o.
Like I said, all kinds of change just came up on outta nowhere. Lovin’ the non-liquid boobs, being as patient as possible with the solid food process (although you can only make so many fun airplane noises at 7 am, within minutes of waking up), trying to access this teething business without crying ‘wolf’ every other day and looking forward to the day when the norm is unswaddled sleeping.
Basically I’m just rollin’ with it all. What else can yah do?





4 Responses to “Big Changes Dawg”

  1. Amy January 3, 2011 at 7:08 am #

    i truly love your blog, it inspires me and drives me to have a blog of this calibre some day. I know that you'll loook back at this one day and wonder a) how you made it through with your sanity in tact or b) how you look back at it now and laugh at yourself at how you felt about things. Keep going with this blog, it makes me smile and laugh and sympathize…

  2. waitingforluca January 3, 2011 at 8:31 am #

    Good job on the breastfeeding! I also got to 5 months and then called it quits. Its great for the babas but FLIPPIN' hard for the moms! Good on ya girl! NO idea how you "tandem-fed" them … my brain can't see to wrap itself round the logistics of it! Did you get backache from breastfeeding? WRT teething … Luca also had symptoms for MONTHS from around 3 or 4 months old and I always thought that they were going to pop out at any second. Well, he only got his first tooth at around 10 months and by his first birthday he only had 4. Now, at 19 months, he has a mouthful … I think about 16???

  3. Mommafo January 3, 2011 at 4:43 pm #

    Oh the drooling starts long before the teeth, it is quite irritating! It seems like the first few teeth take FOREVER. I think Josie was almost a year before her first teeth. The rest were around 4-6 months. Never know!

  4. Chris and April January 5, 2011 at 10:34 pm #

    Ruth, you are awesome. First, I have no idea how you have time to do all that you do with twins plus write blogs like every day. Second, I can't imagine the stress you must be under with all the business of solid food feeding two hungry girls. Keep it up! They'll get used to it and before long, they'll be feeding themselves and for once, you can relax when they eat. Though I still haven't figured out how to have my own meal warm…No more boob liquid is probably more awesome for your husband…I know Chris was very excited to finally have "boob time" again. It's nice to know that you breastfed those girls and it was healthy and great for them…but getting your boobs and body back is also just as awesome! :)I went through the same issues of the swaddling with Avery. It was the only way I could get her to sleep. If I didn't swaddle her, she'd wake herself up by hitting herself with her arms or feet. I think I used the "swaddleme" brand of swaddles and they have velcro. I'd slowly loosen the tightness of the swaddle to try and get her used to it. Not sure if those might help.

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