Tuesday, October 9, 2012

2 princesses, 1 month, 1 tired mamma

Its hard to believe its already been a month since Phillie joined our family.  The first few weeks were tough as I was trying to adjust to almost NO sleep (since Faith was still waking up at night too) and feeling like I had little to no control over my household. I was super grateful for the help of my parents and Jeff's mom, but I also was stressed over it. I felt bad that they were doing everything in my house and taking care of Faith and I also felt somewhat helpless...if Faith started being testy, because other people had been taking care of her, if I was out of my room and trying to spend time with her, I didn't know if she was hungry or tired or teething...and with SO many cooks in the kitchen, I would ask and ask and ask and it would seem like no one knew...it became a guessing game like it was when she was a newborn and to have to deal with that with two babies was a lot to handle. (My hat is off to all those mama's of twins out there, really.)

So, in this last month there have been changes, and we've been learning. Learning how to navigate life with 2 babies at different stages of development with different needs and learning more about both of them as individuals and how to meet their emotional needs as we meet their physical needs.

I'll start with this little princess:
Its hard to believe that my Little Diva is almost a year old.  Its equally hard to believe that I looked down at her little 2 1/2 month old face in fear and panic when I realized that Heavenly Father had already decided that it was time for her to be a big sister.

I have to say that I couldn't have been blessed with a more easy going, happy baby.  I was so grateful for this as I went through horrible morning sickness, and later, a HUGE belly getting in the way of everything. For the most part, my little Faith is patient, loving and kind. We're human, and we all have our moments where we aren't as awesome as we can be, but I can honestly say that her less awesome moments are so split up that I never can remember and look back to remember the last time she was difficult.

Lately she has been my little shadow. When she's been awake she has wanted to follow me everywhere. This is difficult when I'm headed into rooms that haven't been cleaned the way they need to be in order for her to safely follow...she still tries to eat everything she finds on the floor, whether its food or not...we have at least 1 episode where she chokes a week, but we're also getting smarter about what we leave laying around, and are doing better about making sure floors are vacuumed either during a naptime or after she goes to bed at the end of the night.

 We've been working on trying to get her in to see an allergist, but so far we haven't had much luck. They either take our insurance but aren't accepting any HMO patients right now, or don't take our insurance and, unfortunately, we can't afford allergy testing out of pocket.  Until we can get her in to see an allergist, we are under strict rules from her pediatrician not to give her anything new, as we now know that she is prone to severe allergic reactions. This makes dinner the toughest part of the day. She wants so badly to be a "big girl" and gets super frustrated with her inability to communicate what she wants, or our inability to give her what she wants. Part of her quest to be a "big girl" involves eating what mommy and daddy are eating and, unfortunately, we can't allow that right now.  There have been many meals where I've thought, "I would love to grind this up in the baby bullet a bit and give her a chance to eat it." but, in order to keep her safe, I can't.

Hopefully, after we relay our plight to the pediatrician at her 1 year appointment, she will be willing to just do some allergy testing in office to tide us over until people are ready and willing to take HMO patients. Unfortunately, I didn't have much luck getting her receptionist to be helpful when it came to figuring out what to do...

Another way we're trying to help her become a "big girl" has been the ever so difficult task of making her cry it out at night.  I know that the topic of "crying it out" is a controversial one for a lot of parents. I went back and forth about what to do.  Faith was waking up twice a night expecting a bottle...before this, we'd had stretches of a couple of weeks where she had slept through the night, so I knew she was fully capable of making it. After talking to my older sister, who is a nurse, it became clear that the reason she was waking up expecting a bottle is because I was giving in and it had become a habit.  So, I bit the bullet and decided to stick with it- I'd tried before, but after being awake while she screamed for 2 hours, I gave in and gave up...part of me wonders now if she just wasn't ready yet). So far the first night was the worst, but she has pretty much slept through the night every night since. I have also gradually weaned her down to only wanting a bottle first thing in the morning. She used to wake up at 10, 1 and 5 wanting a bottle.

I took away the 1 AM bottle first, and, after that first horrible night of listening to her cry for 45 minutes, she has slept through until 5 AM. The last 2 nights, I've taken away her 10 PM bottle and, so far, as with the 1 AM bottle, the first night was the worst (she cried for about 20 minutes),  and last night she only cried for a few minutes and then went back to sleep.  I still give her the 5 AM bottle, but that is merely for my own selfish purposes. She sleeps longer in the morning after she's had it so, while its an interrupted sleep, I get to sleep in a little bit.  So far, its only been one night of yucky and now she sleeps...of course, it leaves me wondering why I didn't do it sooner, but I think I wasn't ready to have to listen to her crying for an extended period of time...now, its happened out of necessity. If she wants a functioning mom, she needs to sleep.

(Its a fair trade, I decided not to breast feed Phillie because I knew I couldn't be unavailable for 45 minute periods several times a day with an 11 month old to chase (believe me, it was a hard decision to make, but my panic attack when I got home from the hospital when it was time to feed Phillie was the final push I needed...) If Phillie has to miss out on something, its only fair that big sister had to give up her night time feedings, that she really didn't need anyway.)

She has also entered the almost toddler phase of her babyhood...she is getting into everything and learning boundaries...or should I say, we're trying to teach her boundaries (emphasis on the TRYING).  We've been utilizing "time out" to try to teach her the meaning of the word "no,"which, unfortunately, we are still trying to conquer.  I discussed it with Jeff and told him that we may need to change our "time out" tactics.  I usually give her a warning using the word "no" and try to give her a chance to remember what we'd learned the day before. Then, if she persists, I remove her from the temptation, say "no" and walk her to "baby jail"...aka the pack and play that she sleeps in when we go out of town.  Sometimes when frustration occurs, one or both of us forget to give her a warning or to say the word no as we remove her from the temptation...so she just gets put into "baby jail" and probably doesn't understand what the deal is. We have agreed to do better at making the discipline more consistent so she can grasp the meaning of the word "no", especially because we need her to learn it to keep her safe.

For now, we say "no", she looks up at us and smiles her 4 toothed grin and we have a hard time being mad at her...I'm telling you, that cheeky little smile makes it really hard to take her to time out, but she has to learn that "no" means business!

She loves her baby sister. Sadly, she also wants to play with her so badly that her 4 little teeth are aching. She tries so hard to play with her when we have her on the floor for tummy time, and what usually ends up resulting is both girls screaming- Phillie because Faith hurt her unintentionally and Faith because Phillie's screaming has scared her...
Daddy had some luck over General Conference weekend getting them to "play well" with each other. Faith would try to hold Phillie's hand and Phillie would try to eat Faith's hand...I suppose you could say that this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship...

Hopefully, in a few months, they will be able to interact a little more safely and there will be less screaming in the house...LOL

Speaking of fun over Conference weekend...Jeff had his favorite blanket out and Faith wanted to snuggle up in it...Don't leave it to daddy to just share the blanket...
 I give you....Burrito Baby Faith...Since she stopped liking to be swaddled at 2 months old, both Jeff and I were surprised by how much she liked it.  She spent the better part of the second Sunday session of Conference chilling in her burrito on our Flip Flop couch that had been pulled out into the bed position...
She dug it...

Now onto this princess:
Its hard to believe she is already a month old!

When we first brought her home, she was so sleepy and chill and didn't want to eat much (most of the time we were lucky if we could get her to take a half an ounce at a feeding and we were really lucky if she'd take an ounce). She also wouldn't wake up and let me know she was hungry.  After taking her to the pediatrician, we were told that since she had already gained quite a bit of weight between birth and our appointment, they weren't worried about her consumption...I was just told to set an alarm for every 4 hours in case she didn't wake up so that she was getting enough. 

Her pediatrician would have been right on board with lots of people who suggested I just let her sleep through the night if she was going to sleep if she had been eating more than a 1/2 an ounce in a feeding...she didn't want us to start on a downward spiral when my efforts to make sure she was eating what she would when she was supposed to were making  so much progress.

After 2 weeks, she got to the point where she finally started crying when she wanted to eat...but she was still only taking 1/2 to 1 ounce at a feeding and was now waking up to eat every hour on the hour and was getting really REALLY gassy. I remembered a conversation I'd had with my little sister when she gave us all her Dr. Brown's bottles. She had mentioned that the reason why she didn't want or need them back was because of her experience with her daughter B. Apparently, if your child doesn't have colic, the Dr. Brown's bottles tend to make their gas worse because they get tiny little gas bubbles that they can't work out...also, the vacuum insert that is supposed to help remove air can make it harder to suck on the nipple and get food out, which means they tire out before they eat when their fill.  We decided to go buy some of the bottles that she had found worked really well for B.  We did it, and problem solved....so thanks Kiersten. Its nice to know that our random "mommy" conversations are always memorable for one reason or another so I can draw from your wisdom.

Phillie is now on the verge of eating 3 ounces at every feeding (which is quite an accomplishment) and sleeps for 4 hour spurts at night usually...I say usually because she still has her nights and times when she is a little gassy and her tummy gives her trouble (since she is only formula fed, let's just say we don't have ENOUGH poopy diapers in our house)...I did, however, find an awesome, AWESOME link with baby massage techniques and the ones that are aimed at the tummy all help with upset tummies.  

I actually decided to give her a full massage from head to toe last night because she had decided that it would be fun to be WIDE awake and keep mommy awake too. Every time I tried to lay her down she would scream and then magically stop when I was holding her...hey, we all have our needy days... 

It took 2 attempts of massaging her from head to toe, but she finally fell into a deep sleep, allowing for mom to sleep too...what could have been a really, really long night was merely a really long night...LOL

We are still learning quite a bit about Phillie's personality. She is very easy going...until you make her angry. The ongoing joke in our house is that Phillie is a baby Hulk...as you can see, we're not far off in our assessment...one minute she seems a little worked up and on edge and the next...:

But, her Hulk moments aren't every day or all the time. She seems to be as easy going as her sister...

Besides, we can forgive her for her Hulk moments because she's just so darn cute...

All in all, I can say its been easier than I thought it would be.  I still have frustrating times when they both need something at the same time. I've just had to remind myself that its okay if one or both of them have to cry for a little while as I figure out how to give them both what they need in the quickest way.

I am so blessed to have such a caring, loving, and helpful husband...and two easy going babies. So far, we're doing just fine and I'm looking forward to getting to know both of my girls better and watching them build a friendship.

Hugs and loves until next time darlings...

1 comment:

Judy said...

Wow...another great one! You're awesome! :-)