Postpartum Update!

Even their cries are adorable! 

This is the type of thing I hear myself repeating since the birth of my twins boys almost four weeks ago. 

I'm obsessed with them. 

Everything they do is wonderful. Every tiny whimper, each long newborn yawn, all the slow and the jerky movements of their skinny legs and arms: they captivate me. 

I could spent hours staring at them. 

I could. If I had time. 

Newborn twin life is a dreamy place, mostly for the magic and partly for the sleepiness (read: exhaustion). My days and nights are a series of movements from feeding to diaper changing to cuddling to bathing to: Quick! Fall asleep as fast as you can before they wake up again! 

It reads pretty dull on paper but the overwhelming love I have for these two little boys makes it wonderful. It reminds me of the way I feel when I'm with my husband: I love doing even boring things with him, like going to the Secretary of State or to change the oil on our car, because I just love being with him. Being with him turns tedium into treasured time. 

Same with my boys. 
We are being very well taken care of in our dreamy/exhausted state. My mom has come to stay with us for two weeks and has been an enormous help to me. She is not only my second set of hands, but has taken it upon herself to do a number of spring chores around our house like painting our peeling front porch and doing a hands-and-knees scrub of our kitchen floors. All while I nap or nurse babies. 

Friends of ours have blessed us in many ways. This week our adoption team from church came over and weeded and mulched our back gardens! Our backyard has never looked so good. I was totally resigned to having a bed of weeds back there this year, but instead it looks the best it has in our five years in this house! What a blessing. 

We've received meal after meal after meal for both lunches and dinners. As a nursing mama I can't tell you how wonderful it has been to have beautiful, nutritious meals brought to our door. 

And the presents. Oh my, the presents. Baby clothes, gear, soaps, lotions, blankets, carriers, swaddles, toys, books, gift cards, cheques: it's been overwhelming. I bet I have written over 80 thank you cards and I have a list of another 20+ to go. Unreal. I've been completely overwhelmed by the generosity we've been shown; generosity that signifies just how many people have been praying for our family and celebrating with us as we welcome Ira and Roman into our family. 

Because it has already taken me a few hours to get this far into the post I will hold back from droning on (and on and on) about how sweet this time is and answer a few questions I keep receiving from you. Thank you for all your interest and support during this special time! I love sharing this time with you because I know it is an answer to so many of your prayers. I cannot thank you enough! 

How did you pick their names? 

Ira William- Ira was inspired by Ira Glass, the host and producer of This American Life on NPR. John and I are public radio fans and even more than that, a fans of good stories. Ira Glass is my story-telling hero. To us his name conjures up words like sophistication, talent, interest... when we hear the name "Ira" it brings all good feelings with it. We both immediately agreed this was a name we wanted to use if we had a boy! And William was John's dad's name as well as John's middle name. 

Roman Irving- I feel a little sheepish telling you that while Ira's name was inspired by a such a wonderful real-life personality, we chose Roman's name when we heard it on the television show Chicago PD. Ha! I actually texted it to John while watching the show one evening and he loved it as much as I did. Done. Irving is my dad's name and my brother's middle name.

How is breastfeeding going? It's going well but not easy. Since our guys were preemies they were not able to nurse right away and we are on a journey as they learn how to breastfeed. I am currently doing a combination of nursing, pumping, and bottle feeding. I am producing about 80% of what they need and using formula to supplement the rest. I've had lots of help from the lactation consultants at our hospital so I feel really good about where we are on the journey; I know I am doing my best and so are Ira and Roman. My hope is that over the next couple months we'll be able to transition them to mostly breastfeeding and eliminate most of their bottles (both formula bottles and pumped milk bottles). Even though it hasn't been easy it hasn't been frustrating either. We are just taking it one day at at time and staying grateful for the fact that they are growing and getting the nutrition they need every day. Also I love nursing them and the close bond I feel to them when they are at the breast! 

How are YOU doing? I'm doing great. My recovery from the birth has been very smooth and I feel so much healthier now that I am not pregnant anymore! I am definitely very, very tired taking care of newborn twins but I have been resting as much as I can. I haven't had baby blues or postpartum depression. I'm very thankful for that because it was hard enough having our twins in the special care nursery; I needed to be emotionally healthy and I'm thankful I was and continue to be! The one thing I wish I was able to do would be to have more visitors but I've been declining a lot because I'm so tired and I know I usually need to rest more than I need to visit. So many people want to come see the babies and I say yes as much as I can but I do wish I had energy for more. It will come though. When the babies start sleeping longer stretches I'm sure I'll be up for more visits! 

Speaking of sleep, how are the babies sleeping? They are sleeping like newborns. They are up every 2-3 hours. It takes us almost an hour to do their feeding/changing/pumping/etc routine at night so I am getting 1-2 hours of sleep at a time. Every night I say to John, "One day closer to sleeping through the night." Ha! Someday.

And how is Arie doing? Arie is a fantastic big brother. From day one he has been very sweet and loving to his brothers. He makes sure we help them when they are crying and often tells me he can "watch over them" if I need to get something from the kitchen or another room. He helped us give them their first bath at home which was a great bonding experience! 

Arie did not like it when I was in the hospital and when our normal routine was interrupted by the twins special care nursery stay. He did a few things to draw attention to himself including coloring all over his body with marker! I wish I would have taken a picture before I stuck him in the bath! He was quite the artistic sight! But now that we are into our new routine he is back to his normal self. We are so lucky so have such a sweet boy to be a big brother to our two new additions! 

That's all for now! Thank you again for all your love, prayers, and support. It truly means so much to me! 

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