Monday, December 16, 2013

Friendships Change

I'd like to think that I've been a good friend to those people that I knew before having kids.  There aren't that many of them, but I feel like I still make time for a phone call, e-mail, text message, coffee date, or whatever.

One of my friends had a baby this summer and have really lost contact with her since then.  I went to visit her in the hospital, once after she got home, and she also came briefly to the girls' birthday party.  I've sent a few text messages and called a few times... we made rough plans to get together one week but she didn't call so we never got together.  The next time we had rough plans, I told her that the kids had runny noses so she decided not to come over.  Can't say I blame her... but she also works in a germ factory where kids always have runny noses.

I told Brian that maybe she doesn't want to be friends anymore because if she did, she would make time to hang out.  He just tells me that I'm being too sensitive and says that she's busy with work and her new baby.  My thought is that I made time to hang out and go do things when I had the girls... and even still after I had the boys.  I always make time to see people that are important to me... even if they live 900 miles away.  Perhaps people change and grow out of friendships and I guess if that happens then it is what it is.  I know I'm not the same person I was before having kids but I'd like to think that I fit my kids into my existing life (with a lot of changes) without completely losing my close friends and shutting everyone out.  Everyone adapts differently, and priorities do change, but I think adult friendships are important to maintain in order to have a healthy balance in life.

I will admit that I find it hard to make friends.  When you stay home all day, where do you even meet people!?  I've been trying to connect with other moms (many of which have twins) and find that they can relate more to the daily chaos that goes along with having twins.  Some moms I've met, I can really connect with and others not so much.  So, as hard as it has been, I will keep putting myself out there and I'm sure eventually I will find some people to hang out with.

As kind of a side note, last night we went out with the friend I mentioned above and it really wasn't that fun.  We went to see some outdoor lights and she brought her husband and her baby along.  We didn't really chat, and it was kind of awkward.  Could have been that her husband was there (because she's a completely different person around him) or the fact that we are growing apart.  Who knows.  We were supposed to go to this thing on Saturday night, when she asked if we could change our plans last minute to Sunday.  I was not super happy about it as the girls were dressed and ready to go and I had already told them we were going to "Go Go Go in the car and see some lights..." There was a local Mothers of Multiples event that another MOM had asked if I was going to go to earlier in the day and I had said no because I had other plans... so I went to that instead.  I felt bad that the girls didn't understand why Mom was now leaving and they weren't going so that wasn't great.... but I took the opportunity to get out of the house without all of the kids.  The moral of the story is that when you have 4 kids, you plan all day for outings and its not great to cancel/change last minute.  We ended up going on Sunday night instead and like I said, it was fine and I enjoyed my time with the girls but it wasn't anything special being there with my friend.

In the car all ready to go home after seeing the lights

Char was very interested in the tree

Char didn't want to sit down... she wanted to see the bark on the tree

All bundled up in their snow gear.  It wasn't snowing, but it was pretty chilly.

Friday, December 13, 2013

9 Months!

I am behind on my monthly posts (of course!) but if they are all behind, does that really make them late?

Elliott and Oliver- 9 months!

The boys are growing like weeds.  Seriously.  We don't go for the boys 9 month appointment until Friday, so I weighed them when they were actually 9 months.  Elliott weighed in at an astounding 24.2 pounds and Oliver weighed in at 19.6! The weight difference these days is crazy!! Hard to believe though that my (not so) tiny baby boys are so big already! (Okay, so I started this post a few days ago and here are today's stats.... 10 months next week!)

Height: 29.25 inches 84%
Weight 24lbs 7.6 ounces 98%
Head: 48.2 cm >95%

Height 27.25 inches 11%
Weight 20lbs 0.1ounces 57%
Head 48 cm >95%

Both of the boys are wearing 18 month clothes and some 12 month.  They both wear size 3 diapers, but I could probably move Elliott to 4s.  I just bought a bunch of 3s though so I want to try and use those up first.  Elliott has 2 teeth that he got right around 8 months (bottom front two) and Oliver has 1 tooth (bottom front) that he got right at 9 months and is working on one more.  Elliott has been super cranky the last few days and has swollen upper gums so I'm hoping those two teeth make their appearance sooner rather than later... I need my good sleeper back!

Elliott is sitting, getting himself into a sitting position from laying down, crawling all over the place, pulling himself up onto furniture, cruising the furniture, and can (finally) get himself down from standing. We had a weird period of time where he could stand up but not get himself down so he would just cry until I came to his rescue during nap time.  Just today, I also saw him pushing one of his big toys around the living room.  Its a table looking toy and it slides pretty well on the laminate flooring.  Brian and I are guessing that he will be walking in the next 2-4 weeks.  I guess we will see!  Oliver is GREAT at sitting.  In fact, he loves it.  He is not crawling yet, but just within the last 2 weeks he has started scooting on his butt all over the house!! I took one of the girls to change a diaper the other day, and when we were done, he had made his away across the living room all the way into the girls' room!  I was a little bit shocked to see him there, but happy that he's becoming more mobile.  Although the thought of having FOUR mobile children scares the crap out of me.

The boys' smiles just melt my heart every single day.  For the most part, they are both super happy babies.  When I was pregnant with them someone told me, "No way will you have two more happy babies!!!" And well, I did!  I read somewhere that if you are calm and not stressed that the babies will be calm and not stressed so I try to keep calm.  Not to say that it always works, but most of the time.  With 4 kids two and under, you have to just go with the flow a lot of the time or you would just go absolutely nuts!

Elliott loves to chew on shoes (Yes, gross, I know.) lick your face, play with anything on wheels, and get lots of hugs and kisses from his mama.  Oliver likes to chew on stuffed animals, sleep with his blankey, stick out his tongue, and be held by mama.  He also loves to play with the school bus that I got for the girls. Both boys are saying mama and dada too!

The girls are generally really great with their "bro bros."  Today we were playing downstairs and Elliott had a poopy diaper.  I sent Char upstairs to get "washies" and a "di-dah."  I said "washies" and she repeated it back to me while nodding and did the same for the di-dah (diaper).  She came back downstairs with the wipes and changing pad from her room.  Close enough, right?  After that, she wanted to play on the changing pad, so I sent Evy up for a diaper.  She even got the right sized one from the boys' room.  The girls will also bring toys to the boys when they are playing, get stuff away from them that they aren't supposed to have (like random pieces of paper that they find) and put their bottles in the sink when they are all done.  Sometimes the girls even sit by my pump, lift up their shirts, and put the tubes in their belly buttons to "make milk a babies."  I always tell them that I have to make milk for the babies while I pump and they like to do anything that mom likes to do.

Speaking of milk, I still make about 40 ounces per day of breast milk.  My 12 month goal doesn't seem so far off these days and I can finally see the light!  I'm still pumping 5 times per day and taking about 100mg of doperidone to keep my supply up.  I think I will keep this up until the 12 month goal, and then start dropping my domperidone and my amount of pumps per day.  It will be nice when I don't have to plan my day around pumping, but I also think it will be hard to let it go since its been part of the routine now for so long.  I joined an exclusive pumping group on FB and there are some women that pump for TWO years.  Holy cow.  I know its still great for them as toddlers, but that's a LONG time to pump.

The boys eat three 6 ounce bottles during the day (9am, 1pm, and 7pm.)  They get one more bottle during the night at whatever time they wake up.  They get two solids meals per day at 8am and 5-6pm.  Naps are at 9:00 and 1:00 and bedtime is at 7:00-7:30.  The boys are eating their purees like champs!  They usually get a fruit, veggie, and oatmeal all mixed together.  Oliver loves anything with bananas and Elliott isn't too picky.  Elliott will pick up his cheerios, eggs, french toast, pancakes, cheese, black beans, or whatever else I give him and eat them by himself.  Oliver still isn't really doing the pincer grasp thing and prefers to eat purees.  For a while, he really wouldn't even tolerate things like cheerios or puffs but they are starting to grow on him.  Oliver is on a dairy free diet that he will hopefully outgrow at a year.

I really became a crazy schedule keeper after daylight savings time.  I just couldn't handle the fact that I didn't "know" when I was going to have a break.  We sometimes get off schedule if we go somewhere or what not, but I end up paying for those days when the kids don't all nap well.

What else can I say about these boys?  They are just growing and growing and growing right in front of my eyes!! Before I know it they will be in high school and ready to leave the house.  That's just how fast it goes.

Elliott, Mama, Ollie
Elliott and Mama


Elliott and Oliver


Elliott! Standing!!

Playing with a toy while waiting for the GI doctor

Elliott is enjoying his food

Yummm! Ollie

Shopping trip with all 4 kids (and my sister!)

Look, Mom! I can stand up.... but I can't get back down



Elliott likes to put his hand in his food and then put his hand in his hair... Sigh

Feeding Ollie, holding Elliott and taking a picture!



Saturday, December 7, 2013


Where do I begin.... I have been putting off writing this post because we still do not have all of his problems solved (but maybe we never will!)

At Oliver's 4 month well check, I mentioned to his pediatrician that he sounded hoarse.  I hadn't really noticed or thought it was a problem, but my mom had asked if he always sounded like that.  I also brought up the fact that he wasn't breastfeeding well and that I thought he had a tongue tie.  The pediatrician sent us off to see an ENT doctor and we had to wait about a month to get in with her.

We saw the ENT on I believe a Tuesday, and she said that he was tongue tied and that he also needed a bronchial scope.  Since he was going to go under general anesthesia anyways, she said she would clip his tongue then so it wouldn't be painful for him. (I believe I posted about this back in August when it all happened.)  She also recommended us to put him on Prilosec for what we had just discovered was acid reflux.

I was really hoping that the tongue tie being fixed would be a cure all to his breastfeeding problems.  Nope.  I tried nursing him the day after his procedure but we were still not successful.

I met with the ENT again 4 weeks later for a follow-up.  She asked if his meds were working to control the reflux and if his hoarse voice was gone or not.  I told her that he was still hoarse, so she referred me to GI and also to get an upper GI done.  If you are unfamiliar with an upper GI, its basically a test where they have you swallow barium after not eating for 3-4 hours and take images while the barium is being swallowed.  They look for any anatomical abnormalities.

I scheduled the upper GI and I was not expecting anything to come of it.  He drank the barium like a champ (probably because he was hungry!!) and they took a bunch of images while he drank it.... rolled him side to side, and also had him lay flat on his back.  I should have known something was up when the radiologist left the room to go talk to someone else and didn't come back for a bit.  She saw something "abnormal" and wanted a second opinion on what she saw.  She mentioned that it could be redundancy of the duodenum or malrotation of the duodenum.  Don't ask me to explain those two things to you, but one would have meant surgery.  I was freaking out to say the least!  I called my mom after the procedure in hopes that she could explain to me what the radiologist said (because I was crazily trying to just remember the words she used!)  She said to come back and repeat the procedure in 2 weeks because she wasn't exactly sure what she saw and that it was inconclusive.

I was anxious to get the procedure scheduled, so I called every day until they had put in a new referral for the upper GI.  I scheduled it for exactly 2 weeks because it was killing me not knowing what was wrong and if my baby was going to have to have surgery!  I was not excited at the thought of surgery, but just wanted to know one way or the other.

We completed the second upper GI with no problems and guess what? Everything was normal! Hooray!

A few weeks later we made an appointment with a GI doctor to figure out what was going on with Oliver's reflux.  The ENT passed us off to the GI doctor and warned us that she may say that it wasn't actually reflux at all because they tend to disagree with the ENTs.  Great.

Let me just stop for a second (sorry this post is so scatter brained!) and list the reasons WHY we started seeing all of these doctors in the first place.
1.) He had a hoarse voice
2.) He was waking up every 2-3 hours at night and was completely inconsolable some nights.
3.) He was arching his back and resisting feeds.... he was acting like we were putting boiling water down his throat when we fed him is bottle
4.) He had horrible gas and would sometimes pass gas for HOURS, finally have a bowel movement and then fall asleep (to me this said that his tummy was really hurting)

Okay, so back to the GI. I had taken Oliver in to see the doctor TWICE before our GI appointment.  Once I saw one of the physician's assistants because I couldn't get in with his pediatrician and she said he was waking up at night out of habit... because he had gotten"used to" me getting up to feed him.  She said there was nothing medically wrong with him and that I just needed to let him cry it out.  Um, no.  You are wrong.  A couple weeks later (I think) I took him in again because I just didn't know what else to do.  He was just in so much pain, wasn't sleeping at night, and I felt so helpless!  The pediatrician was so patient with us and oh boy was I grateful.  She even made a call to GI to see what she could do to help us (NOW!) and if they could move up our appointment (Which they did!)  At that point, we doubled his dose of Prilosec, and talked about changing his formula to a hypoallergenic formula such as Alimentum or Nutramigen.  The doctor she talked to on the phone that day didn't think that was his problem... but I suppose its hard to diagnose something with little information over the phone.

A couple days later, we finally got in to see the GI doctor.  She wasn't my favorite person, and I didn't really agree with everything she said.  She said we needed to put rice cereal in his bottle and switch him to hypoallergenic formula... both of which I was not really okay with.  The reason for the cereal is to keep babies from spitting up.. and he never even did that! He has silent reflux.  We got home that day and tried to give him Nutramigen and he would not drink it if it was the last thing on earth.  That stuff smells so bad that I can't say I blamed him.  The GI doc told me to put Splenda in it for a few days to get him to drink it and my first thought was, HELL NO!  I don't eat/drink anything with artificial sweeteners because I don't want it in the boys' breastmilk so I sure as heck was not going to put it in my little boy's bottle.  So, if he wasn't going to drink it, what was I going to do?  Option 2: Eliminate dairy and soy from MY diet so that it not be in Oliver's breastmilk.  Easy, right? Wrong.

I started on a soy/dairy free diet the next day and continued to try and get Ollie to drink the icky formula so that I had something to supplement with.  I still had no luck, so I got some sample cans of a different hypoallergenic one that I eventually did get him to drink.  But, it was $27.99 for a small can so I decided to stick with the dairy/soy thing as well so he could still have mama's milk.

Five weeks later we had a follow-up with the GI doctor.  (Last Monday.. Nov 25th)  After writing this and thinking back to how bad his reflux/stomach issues were, I really can't believe how much it has improved.  I told the doctor that he wasn't having problems anymore and that everything was going fantastic.   Somehow it came up that I was still feeding him breastmilk instead of switching just to formula and the doctor was very surprised.  I felt like I had to explain myself to her and I really shouldn't have had to.  At one point I said something like, "Why would I give him fake milk when I can give him breastmilk?" She got very defensive and told me how they are able to make formula very close to breastmilk these days.  I'm thinking to myself, "Lady, you must be nuts!" I mean seriously!  Formula is made for any infant and my milk is made for MY BABIES!!!  I respect other mothers' decisions to formula feed, but I really expected her to tell me it was great that he was still receiving breastmilk and not make me feel like crap. I have no problem using formula, because that's what its there for but its not my number one choice.

At the conclusion of the appointment, she said we can add soy back into the diet! YAY!  I was pumped when I heard that.  At the end of December, we are also going to cut his Prilosec in half and see what happens.  If all goes well with that, when he's about 11 months, we will re-introduce dairy and hopefully lower his medicine even more.  She said we would switch to a "gentle" formula, but I am NOT switching to formula completely so I'm interested to see what she is going to say about that.

All in all, he is doing well.  He's now sleeping all night long too! The past two weeks he started waking up only once per night, eating, and going right back to sleep.  And in the past two days, he quit waking up during the middle of the night!! After 9.5 months, this mama might actually be able to get a full night's sleep and needless to say, I'm really really excited about that!!