Thank you all so much for your thoughtful words, emails, and messages on the loss of my father-in-law. It means more than you will ever know.
On Sunday, the twins rolled over the five month mark, and I don't want to miss jotting down a few things to help me remember this silly, stressful, swirly first year with them.
Can I confess something? I am SO GLAD we made it through Four Months. I love babyhood, but Four Months is SO not my favorite. We totally did the big sleep regression thing, and we are only just now bouncing back from that. Not that they were sleeping all the way through the night (10-12 hours), but they were waking only once to eat and THAT WAS HEAVEN. During Four Months, however, we had a solid two week stretch of being up every two hours at night to eat. Bless it.
But we made it through! And as we move into this Five Month era, I can already see some exciting things happening.
First of all, they are getting SO LONG. I was just re-reading what I wrote about them as they turned four months, and I was shocked to remember that they had only just outgrown 0-3 month clothes. They are now wearing 6-9 month clothes! I suppose that partially explains hanging out at the all-night buffet.
Secondly, I'm beginning to see them reach for things which is always an exciting development. We plan to delay solids until they can feed themselves (a la Baby Led Weaning), so it's encouraging (and scary!) to know that highchairs and bibs and smashed up bananas are just around the corner.
One last happy milestone from the past month is that I was finally able to pop them up on my back in our Beco Butterfly II. (I mean separately OF COURSE). Unfortunately, neither of them is quite the fan of being on my back as the girls were, but I'm hoping this will change with some practice.
This month brought its share of challenges, too. And I mean besides the whole up-every-two-hours-at-night-thing. The biggest thing has been a dramatic dip in my milk supply. I talked through some of this on the SortaCrunchy Facebook page, and there for a while things were really improving, but I'm now having to supplement with at least one bottle of formula a day.
I have many, many mixed feelings about this. The biggest lesson I'm learning in all of this is humility. I chose to do some things this time around that I knew might endanger my milk supply, but I've always had overabundant supply issues, and so I figured I was a little bulletproof in the production department. Breastfeeding the girls well into toddlerhood grew a little stupid pride in my mind, but I'm here to tell you, making milk for TWO humans is a different game, y'all. And having to work at and fight for your milk supply is super intense work.
And then there was last week with Kyle's dad passing and the time spent with family and the funeral and all of the stuff of life that made it much more difficult to keep up with the supplements, and I certainly wasn't in a position to keep lactation cookies at hand. (Although, can I just say, those things are amazing? This is the recipe I used - the Major Milk Makin' Cookies.)
So at this point, I'm just doing the best I can to keep production up and not stressing when I have to give a bottle or two.
I haven't even been able to get close to the massive amount of anger and sadness I have about these two growing up without ever knowing their Papa, and how heartbroken I am that he got to know them for less than five months. They were such a sweet distraction last week as we waded through the shock and the pain.
These boys truly are sweethearts. They do tend to poke, pinch, and punch each other on the nursing pillow when I attempt to tandem feed them these days, so as much as possible, I'm back to nursing them one at a time. I'll never tire of them popping off the boob to look up at me and grin. Oh, gosh. It's just one of my very favorite things about nursing babies!
They have discovered their voices, and both of them tend to get really loud when they are really tired. Surprisingly, John Kyle - who is normally the more chilled out of our baby dudes - is the one who gets SUPERTY loud. We're talking dolphin chatter here, friends. Pretty hilarious at 4 in the afternoon. Not so hilarious at 4 in the morning.
When I see other twin moms out and about, they are faithful to cheer us on. "You're doing it! You're doing great! It only gets better from here!" And yep. We are. We're doing this thing. We're surviving. And slowly but surely, we're thriving, too.