Monday, 20 February 2012
Things They Didn't Tell Me About Twins
Christopher came home last night talking about double strollers. He had been looking at double strollers on the internet with our acquaintance who is expecting twins. "Things sure have changed in almost 8 years" he said. Again it got us to reminiscing about Riley and Rowan. I really do think I should write a book that covers areas that "the books" don't cover.
When Riley and Rowan were born they were so tiny. I was terrified of them. I told this to the nurse at the hospital and she laughed at me. "You do know that they are the size of most full term babies, right? That they are huge for twins?" I did not know this! Keep in mind Gabe was 9 pounds 3 ounces, Grace was 9 pounds 10 ounces and our youngest was three weeks early and was 8 pounds even. Rowan was 6 pounds 12 ounces, and Riley was 6 pounds 4 ounces. To me they were tiny. They were 4 weeks early.
What no one told me is that the medical community pretty much consider 32 weeks term for twins. 32 is the holy grail for twin pregnancies. I was 36 weeks. My pregnancy was pretty easy, until the last month of it. I was more sick with Gracie our oldest daughter than I was with Riley and Rowan. It wasn't until 8 months or so that things really began to get unpleasant. At that point we were into June. Come July I was ready for them to come out! I woke up every morning with everything swollen. My face looked like a big red moon, ad my eyes were just slits. I had to wear flip flops because my feet wouldn't fit into shoes. At my last OB appointment before I went into labour I begged my OB to induce me. "We'll talk about that next week" he said. Next week, I wasn't sure if I could survive another week! What no one told me then, and I did not discover until I was in the hospital for a month with Placenta Pre-via with Elly, was that before 37 weeks there can be lung difficulties with premies.
Every year Belleville (our closest city) has a Waterfront Festival and Folklorama in July. The downtown area closes off the main street and has really fun activities for families as well as sidewalk sales. They had a bouncy castle, games, face painting and the train. The train was made of plywood that had been all painted up and was pulled by what looked like a lawn tracker. So Gabe and Gracie and I climbed into the train. The kids loved it. It was really bumpy. That night I did not feel so great. My Mom harassed me to go into the hospital. I knew I was not in labour, but decided it was easier just to shut her up and go (turns out sometimes Mom does know best). I thought I might just see if I could beg someone into inducing me. Well it turns out there was no need, because I was already in labour. They moved me into the labour room. At one point there was my OB and his medical student, the next moment there were at least twenty people in that small room. Now normally I do not like strangers to see my privates, but at that point, I did not care who saw them, as long as they got those babies out! There was a team for me, and each baby had their own pediatrician and nursing team, it was a little like a three ring circus. The babies were born and there were no health issues, their lungs were great.
Turns out that labour was the easiest part. Who knew? Now we come to my pet peeve, not just with twins, but with babies in general. I know that "breast is best". I know that the human body makes exactly what the human infant needs, that's just common sense. I know that Feminism is all about woman's rights, and that women over the years have fought hard for the woman of today to have the rights that we have, I get it. I don't understand why society makes woman feel so degraded if they choose not to breast feed, like you are not a real woman if you choose not to. If you told someone that you were going to solely formula feed you would get the same reaction as if you told them you were solely going to feed your baby beer and vodka. I was formula fed, exclusively and at the age of 40, I don't feel any ill effects of it (other than that third arm I grew). I don't understand why the nurses at the hospital harass you until they can watch you several times a day to make sure that the are seeing "a good latch". They were not going to let us leave the hospital because they did not feel that I had a good enough latch (keep in mind I had a 9 year old and a three year old who had survived infancy). In the end I told them that we were leaving good latch or not, that I planned to supplement with that bad word, formula. In the end I did both. They got the best of both. I am not a really great milk producer, I would not have made a very good Holstein. The formula allowed their Daddy and others to feed them, but mainly it allowed them to get enough to eat.
In the beginning Riley and Rowan wanted to eat at the same time, poop at the same time, this made it tricky when Christopher went back to work. In the end they settled into one would eat, and fall asleep, then the other would wake up, eat and fall asleep. This sounds perfect, but it took up a lot of time. In the end we found a rhythm that worked for us.
Don't worry, I will inevitably be sharing recollections until that acquaintance has their twins.