1. That first month with two newborn babies was the craziest, most sleep deprived, hectic, chaotic month of our lives.
We were lucky to get 2-3 hours of sleep a day, and even that was in increments of 30-45 minutes most times. I'm amazed we retained our sanity through that mess!
2. Thank God for NICU nurses!
They got the girls on the same feeding/waking/sleeping schedule during the 8 days they were there. I know that this made our lives A LOT easier once the girls came home.
3. Invest in some nice maternity clothes that you love while you are pregnant (especially pants). Chances are, you will be wearing them again for a while once you deliver.
I'm just now (10 months post birth) no longer wearing ANY maternity clothes. 10 months. Yeah. And let me just take a moment to say how nice it is to shop and buy "normal" clothes again, even if they aren't my pre-pregnancy size just yet.
4. It's true; unless you are a freak of nature (and I envy you freak of natures out there), it will take you at least 9 months to get back to your pre-pregnancy size.
I don't think you ever get your pre-pregnancy body shape back, so I might as well throw that idea out the window (along with my bikini's =)).
5. Breastfeeding and pumping is a MAJOR time committment.
I've done the math; by the time the girls are 12 months old I will have spent the equivalent of 2 months SOLID breastfeeding and pumping milk. 2 MONTHS. 60 full days. WOW. I wouldn't trade breastfeeding my girls for anything in the world, but when I was told I would have to "commit" to it, I didn't think this was exactly what I was signing up for!
6. If you are a mom choosing to breastfeed, invest in some nursing tops and tanks.
I wear nursing tanks every. single. day. (instead of nuring bras) and I love them!. The tanks help to shape your post pregnancy belly a bit too. . .we can all use that, right? =). Nursing tops are perfectly designed to be stretchy and conceal the fact that you are breastfeeding an infant. I found nursing bras to be clunky and uncomfortable and non nursing tops to be a pain since you have to take them off to feed or pump. . .maybe just me. . .
7. I feel it is perfectly acceptable at 3 AM to latch a baby on to your breast and fall back asleep in your lazy boy recliner while feeding.
After all, you have to work the next day, and beauty sleep is most definitely important.
8. You really can learn how to change a poopy diaper in your sleep.
I've had to do it at least 25 times...that I can remember.
9. It's crazy how quickly babies grow out of clothes.
I wish I got a new wardrobe every 2-3 months! This does slow down I'm told. . .we just aren't there yet.
10. Childcare is ridiculously expensive.
For two babies, we are literally making the equivalent of another mortgage payment each month. Another. Mortgage. Payment., complete with escrow and insurance. Are you kidding me?! People weren't lying when they said that disposable income goes out the window once you have kids. Yeah. It really does.
11. We currently go through 85-100 diapers a week. This is down from our original 140 diapers a week when the girls were newborns.
We have gone through approximately 4270 diapers thus far, and about 2200 wipes. Wowza. How soon can I start potty training again?! LOL.
12. Buying two cradle swings was the best investment we made with the girls.
Bri has reflux and she slept in her swing for the first 6 months of her life. Both girls took beautiful 2+ hour naps in their swings. Those swings were the only way that mommy and daddy got any sleep those first couple of months. Well worth the money.
13. I slept on the couch, nearly upright, for the first 8 weeks after the girls came home. Laying flat hurt from the C-section incision. Walking upstairs to my bed hurt even more.
Why don't they tell people about this type of stuff? No one said a word to me! Right after I had the girls they wanted me to walk to the NICU to see them - one floor down on an opposite wing in the hospital. I couldn't walk that far. No way. It hurt a lot. It was harder to walk post c-section for me than it was for me to walk filled with fluid and weighing 232 lbs prior to delivery. I thought it would be easier, not harder! I also thought it would heal in a week or two, and I'd be as good as new! HA.
14. A double stroller that my car seats snapped into made my life SO much easier the first 6 months.
I could snap the girls right into the stroller while still in their car seats and go on my happy way. If they were sleeping they remained sleeping. Sure, my options were limited on which stroller I could get that could accomodate two car seats at the same time, but the ability to leave the house and go somewhere by myself with two tiny babies was well worth more than having the fancy brand name stroller. Ours was a Graco and with the stroller and both car seats it still cost nearly $500. I did mention that babies are expensive, right? And that was only one of the 4 strollers that we have bought to date. . .
15. Boppies are one of the greatest creations ever.
They were awesome to help position babies during breast or bottle feeding. They also work as a support when babies are learning to sit up on their own. We still use our boppies and put the girls in them for their first bottle of the day. And when the girls aren't using them, the pugs think they make a most wonderful dog bed =).
16. Save the nasal aspirators you get from the hosptial when you have a baby.
Those nose suckers ROCK! And you can't buy anything in the stores that are even close to the suction power in one of those suckers. I can't tell you how many times we have had to use that thing - we still use it probably at least once a week - and will continue to use it until the girls become proficient at blowing their noses. Yet another item that is worth it's weight in gold.
17. Making baby food is easier than it sounds!
I've made all of the girls baby food (with the exception of prunes, oatmeal, and yogurt), and even being a working momma who breastfeeds/pumps, I have still been able to make time to do it. All it takes is an oven, a blender, ice cube trays, and 2-3 hours a week. You will save yourself SO much money.
18. The more time you can spend enjoying time with your babies instead of managing them, the happier you'll be.
I've found this to be very true, although it took me quite a while to get there. It is awesome to be able to actually enjoy your children! They can bring such joy to your life!!
19. No two babies are the same. Just because your baby reacted this way to "X" doesn't mean mine will too.
Essentially, just take each piece of advice like a grain of salt. Some advice will apply perfectly to your situation, but other advice won't. Don't be afraid to learn on your own; generally it's just easier to learn from other people's mistakes =).
20. Make time each week to spend time alone with your husband/significant other.
This is so important. You need that time each week away from the kids to reconnect. It doesn't have to be anything fancy - a trip to the grocery store without the kids, a walk around the block, a dance lesson (my personal favorite). It goes a LONG way. I can always tell when we have missed our weekly time away because we get snippy at each other and with the girls. It's not pretty. We have to remember that we were a couple first, and parents second. Without our marital foundation, we can't be the best parents we can be to our girlies!
21. I got SO sick of people telling me to enjoy the freedom and ability to do whatever I wanted and "sleep while I could" before the babies came.
BUT. . .I don't think anyone truly understands what seasoned moms and dads mean by that until their babies arrive. Sleeping past 7 AM is a luxury in our house. And vacations? Not without babies. And even then, who has the disposable income to go on vacations anymore?!
So that's it! There's my list! The top 21 things I have learned in the last 10 months with twins in tow! What did you learn once your baby/babies made their debut? What's missing from my list?
Until next time -