Sunday, November 14, 2010

Mother's Guilt

I was warned about mother's guilt.  And I have it.  Big time.  Forget the guilt about spending too much time with the fussier twin and not enough with the other - that guilt is small potatoes compared to the other crappola rolling around in my head. 

My guilt stems from jealousy.   

What am I jealous of, you ask?  Big families with lots of baby help?  A little.  Families with a mom AND a dad?  Sure, a little bit.  Just like I am a little jealous of happy couples out there when I couldn't find Mr. Right. It is what it is.  I expected that.

No, the real jealousy - the envy causing most of my guilt - is of mothers who only have one baby!  It's true.  I see moms out shopping or taking a walk with a tiny one about the age of my twins and I am immediately JEALOUS.  Look at her - she's so happy, she's smiling, laughing, she probably has it so easy - she only has ONE newborn.  And she probably has a husband to help her. (I always throw that one in when I'm spewing jealousy.)  Oh and would you look at that - she can fit the car seat on top of the shopping cart.  Hell, she can actually USE a shopping cart.  To put things in.  Like groceries.  Or treasures from Target.  And she only has to worry about getting one baby to sleep at night.  Or down for a nap.  Or fed.  Or bathed.  

Then the guilt hits me.  Hard.  I have been blessed with TWO children when so many cannot have even one.  My boys will always have each other; they have a sibling; they have a brother.  I am lucky. 

I have to keep reminding myself of that when I'm having a long day (or a long moment) and I wonder for a split second what it would be like with just one.  Would I still be having that particular moment?  Would it be so much easier?  Would I actually be bored like my mother says? 

After the jealous, guilty, what-if moments pass, I run to my babies and snuggle them up and kiss them all over.  I AM lucky.  And I know it. 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

On demand feeding?

So I'm trying something new:  During the day, I feed them every time they're hungry.

What this means is that they eat anywhere from two to three ounces of formula (they decide how much; I make at least 4 oz each) and then they're hungry again about two hours later, sometimes sooner.  I'm thinking the moms out there reading this think I'm crazy.  And I probably am but believe it or not, this has helped calm our daytime routine. They split their time playing with mommy or sleeping between feedings.

I was holding them off for at least three hours but then they would all of a sudden be really hungry and - really hungry at the same time.  When I don't have help, this routine is tough.  Crying, hungry babies while I scramble to have bottles ready and feed them both is not a happy scene.  I end up propping one of them with the bottle and someone has to wait awhile to get burped.  And I've always fed them as much as they will take.  When they eat six ounces at one feeding, I know it will be awhile before they're hungry again.  Unfortunately, they don't take six ounces at once very often whether it's been two hours or four since they ate last. 

Lucky for me the night-time routine is pretty good.  After I get them down (and the Dynamo is often fussy right before bed time - this started before the on demand feeding), they go anywhere from four to six hours before waking up!  And they usually eat between four and six ounces at night.  I'm still up about four times each night because they are on different schedules (up with K, two hours later - up with E, repeat), but it means I get one-on-one time with each baby without the other one interrupting.

And I have fat, happy babies!  They are at least 10 pounds each now (I'll get an official weigh-in at tomorrow's two-month doctor's appointment) and they have chunked right up!  I mean these kids have like five chins!  See for yourself -

The Dynamo

Sweet Potato

I am curious your thoughts on our feeding routine.  It's only temporary.  And if you have some other suggestions, I'm open to them!  Everything is trial and error for me.