Our precious boys...

Our precious boys...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A LOOK BACK TO: A letter to our babies!


Don't our babies have the cutest little feet?

I looked back and found this post from February 27, 2010. It's a letter I wrote to the twins after we found out there were 2 babies! What precious memories...


Dear babies,

Words cannot express how much we love you and how grateful we are to be awaiting your arrival. We’ve grown you in our hearts for many years…we saw you as embryos when you were first conceived and now what an amazing blessing to see your first photo. There you both are, just hanging out in your own little placentas, so close to each other. We imagine that you are the best of friends already. We are so in love with you, just as we have been for the past three years of waiting for you… our little miracles.

As much grief and hardship this road has been to finally have you, we never gave up on our faith and hope that God would see us through. We feel confident in knowing that God has a special plan for our family. We pray you stay strong and grow to be healthy babies and no matter what, we know God will watch over you. You two behave in there on your in-utero adventure: learn to share, play nicely, and hold each other close. There isn’t a single ounce of doubt about how much we want and love you both. And we can’t wait to hold you in our arms…

We love you!
your Mommy and Daddy

TINY WONDERS...AMAZING GIFTS!

Will



Elijah

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

DOUBLE STROLLER

Out for a lovely walk on a lovely day with the double stroller...which is more like a train!! :)





FORGIVE ME, I'M A LITTLE BEHIND

Hi everyone!

Just wanted to post quick about how I am so behind on this blog. There's so much I want to write and add from the end of my pregnancy up until the current moment. But as you can imagine, life with twins, is a busy life. It's everything times two!! The boys don't leave me much spare time!

I hope to get more postings on here little by little. But for now, keep checking back in. I want to get more photos up and info from our week in the hospital, their baptism, and of course so much else of the boys first 5 weeks of life. There's so much to write and blog. I hope I can get it all written down before I forget it (although I guess some of it I'd rather forget..such as the extreme sleep deprivation!!)

Here's a family photo from the twins baptism!

BABY LOVE



hearts entwined
twenty fingers, twenty toes.
two sweet babies with cheeks of rose.
born on the same day, two gifts from above.
lives entwined, two babies to love.

Our Miracle Babies!

Elijah Kingsley and Will Clarence

THEY MAY BE LITTLE, BUT THEY'RE BIG TIME ADORABLE!

Here are a few photos of our little men. At 5 weeks old, Elijah is now 8 pounds 1 ounce and Will is 7 pounds 11 ounces. They're almost the size of a "normal" baby when it's just born! The twins can almost fit into newborn clothes now. :) Bye bye teeny tiny preemie clothes! Hello bigger selection of newborn wardrobe!!

Adorable little outfits!


These fraternal (not identical) twins even look alike when they cry!

Monday, October 18, 2010

BREASTFEEDING: BREAST IS BEST, BUT NOT ALWAYS BETTER

I had planned on breastfeeding all along, even after I knew we were expecting twins. I figured I’d be one of those super moms, walking around double breastfeeding twins while cooking. Okay, of course that’s not possible, but it sounds exciting. Ha! I figured as long as I stuck with it, breastfeeding two babies at the same time would work out. I wanted to because it was best for the babies and because let’s be honest – buying super duper expensive formula to feed two babies vs. free breast milk – hello!!! And of course breastfeeding for two would burn a lot of extra calories and who wouldn’t want that? I had planned on breastfeeding and also pumping so that Nick would be able to bond and feed the babies as well. I had purchased everything we needed: the pump, bottles, pads, nipples, bras, boppies, etc. We were ready!

Let me preface by saying that breastfeeding isn’t easy. I don’t care what anyone says. (And I guess if it really was easy for you - consider yourself blessed...very blessed!) I’ve learned that breastfeeding a full term baby is hard. And breastfeeding one baby is hard. So put two preemie twin babies together and that makes breastfeeding extremely hard.

For us, three days after the babies were born, their glucose levels dropped horribly low. This is due to the fact that basically they weren’t getting enough milk, therefore "starving." As a result, we had to turn to breastpumping and bottle feeding them my breastmilk after each breastfeeding session, so that we could track better how much milk the babies were consuming. I’m not sure if this played into the whole thing as far as “nipple confusion” goes, but maybe. The nipples for the bottles were so much easier for the babies to suck from, so of course it was harder for them to take from my breast nipple. Therefore, that didn’t help the whole breastfeeding situation. That very well could have made them "lazier" and made it a lot harder for the babies to breastfeed. And not to mention that the sucking reflex doesn't fully develop until 36 weeks of gestation. Therefore, premature babies can have a weak sucking ability. This would help explain why nursing was so difficult for them as they were born at 35 weeks 6 days gestation.

Breastfeeding the twin preemies was a task. We had to strip each baby down and coax them to wake up. I felt like we were torturing them. Once we finally got them to latch on, I had to keep prodding them to stay awake and/or massage my breast to help the milk to come down. I would have one hand supporting the head and the other hand half massaging my breast and half stroking the baby's chin and cheek.(Sometimes I'd have others there helping to touch the babies to keep them awake and trying. They would tickle their feet and rub their hands, etc.) Therefore I had to use both hands, so double breastfeeding was out of the question. Or at least until they got used to it and were pros! I'd also have to watch and listen to see/hear if the babies were swallowing while breastfeeding. That is way harder than it sounds! After that was finished, on to baby #2 and repeat everything all over again for the second time. Then after breastfeeding, both babies then were given 20cc of breast milk in bottles. Next, we changed their diapers. And then I pumped to express breast milk for the babies to drink in bottles.

Since the babies were eating every 2 hours at this time, about the time we got finished with that round of breastfeeding/bottle feeding/diaper changes/pumping; it was literally time to start all over again. It didn’t take long for me to feel overwhelmed and very trapped. I started to realize that breastfeeding may just be what I do all day, every day. And that didn’t appeal to me at all. I mine as well have just stopped wearing a shirt because my boobs were always being used!

The best word to describe how I felt about breastfeeding was TRAPPED. I began to realize that I could never be away from the babies. I would be the only one able to feed them and I’d have to be home every 2-3 hours by the electrical pump in order to breast pump. I was a slave to my own breasts! I imagined never being able to leave the house. I imagined never even having time to put a shirt on in order to feed two babies all day and all night. I imagined a life that was pretty scary to me.

There is so much out there about how breastfeeding is best. I understand that and do agree. But I feel as if everyone goes a little too far about it. I already feel guilty enough, and everywhere I look I’m reminded. It’s like the breastfeeding Gods are trying to give me a sign! Even on our formula container, right on the front it reads, “Experts agree breastfeeding is best.” Seriously?! Stop making me feed bad! Also, on the Medela bottles I pump into (and we use to bottle feed both breastmilk and formula) have various statements on the side of each bottle such as, “Breastfeeding: from mother with love.” “Breastfeeding: nature’s perfect food.” “Breastfeeding is baby’s best start.” And “Mother’s Milk is #1.” I don’t need to feel guilty every time I bottle feed the babies, do I?

I realized there are a lot of benefits to breastfeeding, such as; it’s always readily available, it’s free, it’s healthy for the baby, it’s a good bonding time for you and your baby, and it helps you burn a lot of calories. But at the same time, for me, and I think especially with twins, I felt very opposite of those positive benefits. I felt trapped. It wasn’t a bonding time for me because I was so stressed about getting the babies to latch on and make sure they were eating enough since they had lost so much weight in the hospital. It was imperative that the babies gained weight. It was all I could think about. Plus double breastfeeding wasn’t working, therefore it took up a lot of time and I was really stressing out. And it didn’t feel natural to me and not to mention that I didn’t enjoy doing it in front of others. I'd have to leave the room and that bothered me to be hidden away by myself. After the first two weeks, the first day Nick went back to work, I stopped because I was a complete wreck. Not to mention my breasts and nipples hurt, sometimes it was even hard to carry the babies around with them touching my chest. It hurt to have water spray on them in the shower, it hurt when the babies latched on, and it hurt when someone even hugged me. That just didn't seem right to me. I couldn't fit into most of my shirts because my breasts were so large. Plus they were leaking all over. And I was so sleep deprived, the only thing I could think of to wake me up was caffeine and you can't drink much of that when breastfeeding.

Pumping was starting to make me feel trapped as well, having to make sure I was at home and available every three hours to pump. I felt like a cow hooking up to that machine. Plus it usually worked out that when my breasts were about ready to explode and needed to be pumped, the babies needed to eat, so it was always a little off schedule and not working out just right. Two weeks after the babies were born, we started supplementing formula just in case I didn’t produce enough milk for two babies. (But that hasn’t been an issue as my milk has been great.) So, soon they’ll be solely on formula. As long as the babies are getting nutrients and are healthy and growing, that’s all we want! I was told a doctor said, "all babies really need are calories to grow!" So, as long as they are getting calories - that's good!

So, it turns out breastfeeding just isn’t for me. (At least this time...I'll think about trying it again if we have more children.) And there’s no shame in that. I tried and that’s all I could have done. I am now slowing starting to wean off pumping my breastmilk. I plan to take 2 weeks to do that. So that means the babies will have had breastmilk just for their first six weeks of life. And as they say, "every ounce counts!" so any little bit is good for the babies. And that’s okay with me.

I know that nursing can be a wonderful bonding time to both mom and baby. It’s something that is worth a lot of sacrifice and time. So, if it works for you, that is such a precious gift! (And trust me - I'm a little jealous!) But if that is not for you, there should never be any shame in bottle feeding formula. I know my sons aren’t going to grow up wondering why they weren’t solely breastfed! So I’m choosing to give a genuine smile as I’m bottle feeding them formula 8-10 times a day, rather than a forced, stressed, sad boob thrown in their face.

Ultimately, if it comes to a toss-up between giving your child the best nutrition (breastfeeding/pumping) and losing your mind trying to breastfeed(like it was for me!) or giving your child excellent nutrition (formula) and keeping your sanity – well, for me the choice was pretty straightforward. I can’t take care of two babies if I’m an emotional wreck, sobbing helpless in a corner. I know everyone says breastfeeding is best, but in the words of Catherine Connors, “Breast is best, but healthy, happy moms are better.” We all need to take care of ourselves in order to take care of our babies.

Friday, October 15, 2010

SHOWERED WITH LOVE!

I was definitely showered with love (many times)! During the whole summer of me being "out-to-here pregnant", everyone pampered me! My back was killing me, my feet were unbelievably swollen, and my cheeks ached from so much smiling at all my baby showers. But the support was amazing and I truly appreciate everyone's love and support. I am humbled and honored to have your friendship!

Here are just a few photos of my baby showers. I wish more had been taken so I had a photo of everyone in attendance. And so I could have posted your photo on my blog and bragged all about you and wrote just how much each and every one of you mean to me!

Vincelli Baby Shower


Kid's Korner Baby Shower


LWML Baby Shower(Lutheran Women's Missionary League)


Horizon Eye Care Baby Shower


Pipestone Baby Shower


Pipestone Baby Shower


Owatonna Baby Shower


Friends Baby Shower

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

MY DUE DATE IS TODAY!

Well, here it is, October 12th. My official due date for the twins and of course they're already here and 4 weeks old! It's hard to believe it happened this way!

We took the babies into the Amazing Newborn Clinic today to get weighed. Today Elijah weighs 7 pounds 11 ounces and Will weighs 7 pounds! They both gained one pound in one week! They're catching up. Great job, little men. We are so pleased!

Here's a photo of me and the babies on my due date! :)



And here's Daddy Nick reading Consumer Reports to Elijah. He's passing on his research and frugal skills already!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

HOLY BAPTISM

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Matthew 28:19

MY LITTLE FAMILY


Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved. Mark 16:16

GODPARENTS!


PASTOR GREG AND PASTOR MARK - DOUBLE PASTORS FOR A DOUBLE BAPTISM!


He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by His grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:5-8

THE VINCELLI FAMILY (missing a runaway boy!)


We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may life a new life. Romans 6:4

THE COX FAMILY


THE CAKE!


What a glorious day for a double baptism! The twins were baptized at 20 days old today. Welcome to God's family, Elijah and Will! We were so thankful to have all of our family members here to join in the celebration. After the service, we gathered at our house for lunch and fellowship.

HOLY BAPTISM
Your heavenly Father willed that you not remain dead in trespasses and sin but come to new life in Him. In obedience to our Lord's command you have received Holy Baptism so that by the power of the Holy Spirit through water and the Word you might obtain the forgiveness of all your sin, deliverance from spiritual death and the devil, and the gift of eternal salvation. By Baptism God has made you a member of the holy Christian church, and His church, in turn, has acknowledged its responsibility for your further growth in Christian faith and knowledge and for your continue spiritual welfare.