I’m back! I’ve been busy ramping up posts on my Insta page to get you some tips, tricks, life and stuff I love over there- but now I think I’m ready to get back to telling our story over here as well.
We’ve been cleaning off our computers and storage disks and I found a random word document sitting on my desktop entitled “A day in the life…”. I guess after one particularly busy October day, I tried to capture the craziness to share it on here one day. And then completely forgot about it!
So, if you have been wondering what it is like for a post-NICU, fully pumping to breast feed, mom of 8 month old (6 months corrected) twins and a toddler on grandma’s day off- grab a coffee or a tea (or wine) and get ready for a laugh.
I’ll set the stage for you. This month has been particularly challenging. My sleepy preemies have officially “woken up” and are now requiring copious amounts of bouncing on an exercise ball to fall asleep and keep each other up making one another miserable and no one is sleeping. Olivia had surgery a couple weeks ago to reverse her ostomy, so she no longer poops into a bag protruding from her tummy and she finally poops out of the rightful spot of her butt (yay!). We were very much looking forward to the surgery, except it has come with it’s own hilarious new worries and work- the skin around her tiny bum hole is not used to being exposed to stool and we need to slather the ENTIRE area in a concoction of a special powder and zinc cream.
I start my documentation at midnight, October 5, 2018.
12am: Olivia is finally down for the night (why was she up this late?? Fever, congestion, surgery, bouncing for years- take your pick). Mama and Olivia are sleeping in guest room downstairs as the babies have been waking each other up so much lately. They are sick, they are miserable, they are partying all night, even the poor night nurse can’t tame them these days.
2am: Evelyn wakes up to feed. Feed her bottle of breast milk since she won’t take a boob. Quick, easy, back to sleep- lay my head on the pillow at 2:35am and think optimistically to myself, “hey- maybe I’ll actually get 4 straight hours of sleep now!”
3am: Both babies are awake. FML. Decide to start with Olivia since Evelyn just ate. Olivia doesn’t want much to drink, just wants to bounce, she settles and drifts off back to sleep in her pack n play in the guest room. Evelyn has put herself back to sleep while I was putting out the Olivia fire. Sorry girl, only got two hands!
3:15am: Mama’s head hits pillow again, “hmmm maybe now I’ll get 3-3.5 hours of uninterrupted sleep” **thinks happy thoughts, thinks happy thoughts**
3:30am: Olivia is squawking again- bounce, bounce, bounce, bounce- back in bed.
4am: Olivia is squawking AGAIN- bounce, bounce, bounce, bounce- back in bed.
4:15am: OLIVIAAAAAAAA… WHY?!?!?!?! yep, crying again- only stays asleep while being held. Bounce, bounce, bounce.
Okay she’s back asleep… BUT WAIT- the toddler is now crying, she’s been getting her two year old molars and has also been waking a few times in the night. YEP, jealous yet??
So I call husband’s phone since he is sleeping upstairs, I am holding a sleeping baby I don’t want to wake. He does not answer phone. Carry sleeping baby, go upstairs, walk past crying toddler’s room, shake husband sleeping peacefully in bed (how dare he though right???) and say “GO GET EMMA”.
I head back downstairs and resign myself to the fact that the only way I’m sleeping tonight is if I hold this baby.
I finally settle on to the couch for a solid 2.5 hours of sleep sitting up and propped up to safely hold a baby.
7am: alarm goes off- it’s a preschool morning and I need to wake up to give myself enough time to pump (takes a good 30 minutes in the morning these days). The alarm also wakes baby, “shh shh shh baby”- successfully get her back to sleep and place her on bed in guest room and try to have coffee and pump breast milk before the shenanigans of the morning begin.
7:15am: Strap on that double pump and hit start.
7:25: Evelyn awakes, I call husband’s phone again, he answers- “Go get Evelyn. I’m stuck to my pump”
7:30am: Extremely wet baby comes downstairs with hubby, she has managed to wet hrough her sleep sack and all the way to her neck. Dad changes her, I’m still pumping. More coffee.
7:45am– Done pumping- pour the freshly pumped milk into bottle for Evelyn, feed her.
7:55am: Evelyn follows up her feeding with a diaper blow out, I change the diaper and her outfit. Ew.
8am: Time to wake up the wake toddler. On top of EVERYTHING else we have going on, we are also potty training. OH THE JOY. It is toddler’s first full day in underwear, making it her first day in underwear at school. Get her up, we rush to the toilet for the first time today and we take off diaper and put on underwear! And of course we are already behind for getting ready for preschool.
8:02am: Toddler and one twin awake downstairs, hubby leaves to “work” (golf) for the day.
8:03am: I pull out my favourite survival tool- screen time. Yep it’s a tool, and I need to use this life-saving tool daily in this season of my life. It is essential while I pump, tend to babies, make breakfast, get dressed, prepare to get all three in van for preschool drop off craziness.
8:10am: I’ve managed to get dressed so I’m not in pyjamas at drop off. Car seats are ready for babies in the hall. I give toddler toast while she sits on couch watching nursery rhymes on YouTube on the Smart TV- I break rule about eating only at the table so that she will let me brush her hair at the same time- Gotta be efficient!
8:15am: Pause nursery rhymes- potty break!
8:20am: Make another piece of toast for hungry toddler. Finish her pony tail and get her dressed.
8:30am: Wake the grumpy baby that was awake all night- change her bum. However, post ostomy-reversal surgery means using warm washcloths on her sensitive newly functioning bum hole. Regular wipes are too abrasive and irritating as her bum cheek skin is adapting to poop against it for the first time LOL (high maintenance, right?). She has blown out too (the little butt hole is working a little TOO well), change her outfit and the twins will match for now (until next blow out or puke). Feed grumpy baby a bottle of breast milk, as she never learned to nurse either.
8:45am: Potty again before driving to preschool.
8:50am– Load babies into car seats, get toddler and mom ready to leave house
9:03am: Leave house (preschool starts at 9- thank goodness its close). Check rear view mirror several times to ensure I haven’t forgotten a child.
9:07am: Arrive preschool. Preschool has large set of steps and not accessible for stroller. Therefore, load large twin into baby carrier, unbuckle toddler, take tiny twin out of van in bucket seat and get toddler inside. So that’s right, wear one baby, carry car seat in one hand, toddler holding other hand. Let that vision sink in.
Take toddler to bathroom one. more. time. Baby still strapped to chest and baby in bucket seat being supervised by teachers.
9:11am: Twins back in van, mama hits up McDonald’s drive through, rewards self with egg mcmuffin and more coffee, back home.
9:25am: Are you even still reading this??? LOL
warm two bottles of breast milk and lay babies on their side and prop bottles on double boppy pillow (Twin-Z Pillow is LIFE) so babies can have more milk while I eat my McMuffin (and hashbrown). Change diapers x2.
Here is a visual of what it looks like for twins to have their bottles while I pump at the same time or actually eat something. LOVE MY TWIN-Z PILLOW.
9:50am: Start getting babies ready for morning nap. Evelyn first, Olivia plays on play mat, then Olivia next – and after copious bouncing for Olivia both down asleep. Phew.
10:45am: Hmmm quick! Must decide how to spend morning… start gathering poo laundry and start baby load.
Gather bottles and pump parts to be cleaned, run water and get tub of bottle and pump supplies to be cleaned all ready.
Just kidding, Evelyn (the baby that usually sleeps) is awake after 30 minute nap…
11:00am: Bring Evelyn downstairs, put her in her sit-me-up chair on top of the bassinet insert of the twin sized pack and play in our play room so she can have a view of me washing bottles in the kitchen. I think about playing some baby tunes but decide that some self care would be for her to have to listen to my audio book instead. Right now I’m listening to “Girl Wash Your Face” by Rachel Hollis. The book inspires me to write this blog post, but also makes me cry two times. Great. It was the line something like “you find that you almost look forward to trauma, then no one will expect anything else from you” and “don’t waste the strength you’ve gained” etc- so- I decided to put myself out there ever since… Anyways, I finish hand washing and sterilizing a bajillion bottles and pump flanges while Evelyn plays. Then I fill dishwasher and run it.
11:35am: wake grumpy baby (that usually only sleeps 20 mins) from her nap after about just over an hour (this hurt my soul), change her sensitive little bum with wash cloths, load everyone up again to pick up big sissy from preschool. HOW IS IT ALMOST NOON ALREADY??
11:53am:– arrive to pick up, put big twin back in baby carrier, little twin in bucket seat in crook of my elbow. Teachers informed that toddler did stay dry this morning but took her regularly scheduled morning poop in her underwear- was in washroom getting changed when I arrived. Emma requested egg McMuffin for lunch as promised for being in underwear all morning (not usually one for too much extrinsic motivation but I’m so tired and so done with diapers). Drive to McDonalds to find out that location does not do all-day-breakfast. Begrudgingly order hamburger happy meal as to not leave empty handed (love the books instad of toys though).
12:15pm: arrive home, warm more bottles, set up babies to have bottles while toddler digs into McDonalds. She repeats ‘they no have McMuffins any more” and dives into fries. Eats a few fries, one bite of her burger, eats the cheese from burger, and crushes yogurt and apple juice. Requests more cheese from our fridge and devours two medium sized peppers. She takes her sweet time at the table and tells me she’s tired and ready for bed throughout meal. I’m ready for you to go to bed too, kid.
1pm: Bring babies and Emma to Emma’s room to prep for nap. Earlier than usual but she kept telling me she was tired. Potty time, then back to room for sleep sack and stories. Sleep sack on, “I’m not tired mommy”.
* face palm * Alright then, babies are tired instead. More screen time to keep toddler safe during twin nap routine (otherwise she may decide to jump off the back of the couch or scale outside of the stairs- no joke, can’t be trusted). Max and Ruby it is (except I hate that Max- such a sh*t disturber he is)
I let Olivia play in Emma’s room while I put down Evelyn. Evelyn is not happy about being in bed, Olivia is not happy about being left behind… make Olivia finish her bottle, put her down, not a fan either. Quickly go to try to calm Evelyn- not having it. Try to calm Olivia- not having it. Decide to put toddler down now to at least have success with one child (oh yeah- and potty).
2pm:– toddler down, both babies still mad. Go hug evelyn, more milk, sing songs, still mad- go comfort Olivia (Evelyn calms somewhere in there). Olivia lets me put her down after 15 mins bouncing and three attempts at putting down.
2:30pm: time to eat (even though I polished off a lot of toddler’s fries and burger) finally make something for lunch. Oh no- a bee in the play room! Impulsively kill bee so it doesn’t sting children, then immediately feel guilty because oh wait- aren’t we supposed to save the bees?? Ugh- my brain, mom guilt and bee guilt. Make a bagel with cream cheese and cucumber, swear to self I WILL start keto diet next week, if I ever find time to read that keto book I bought weeks ago… oh wow wait a minute- do I have some free time here? NOPE – forgot I had to pump again, so I pump and eat bagel.
2:35pm: hubby walks in from “work” aka golf (thank God he is home early), Evelyn wakes again after 30 min nap – wtf baby- make her a bottle of freshly pumped milk and ask hubby to feed her while I finish pumping.
…… And it seems like I lost steam while I was writing this or just decided that even though it was only 2:30pm- you probably get the idea. Are you still reading?? Hahahaha- I don’t even know how I’m alive, but it’s amazing the strength you can find when you HAVE to.
There you have it, life after the NICU as a pumping mama to twins and a toddler. Thank goodness I didn’t have too many of these solo days without Grandma, friends- if you have a NICU grad mama at home with her twins- she needs your help, bring her food, bring her coffee, come vacuum her house, scrub her toilet hahahah- especially if she doesn’t have a grandma to help!
Stay tuned as I try to get back into finishing the story of our journey with Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome, Selective Intrauterine Growth Restriction, and having a baby given a 30% chance of surviving my high risk pregnancy.
Thanks for stopping by