Today marks the 40 week mark from when I got pregnant. It’s crazy to think that had I not been induced, I could technically still be pregnant. I think we can all safely agree that it’s the best for everyone that I didn’t go the full 40 weeks.
It’s been quiet over here at A&D since Zoey and Emma came in to the world. It’s not been quiet on the home front though (the three week growth spurt is no joke)! As tomorrow marks three weeks that they have been on the outside world, I’ve been a bit reflective on how life has changed, my body has changed and what it means for us.
On Body Changes:
I gained a little more than 50 pounds in 37 weeks. My hands, feet, arms and legs all got swollen and uncomfortable. After 17.5 hours of being induced, my feet and legs got even more swollen – which I didn’t think was possible. It was, in a word, uncomfortable.
Flash forward, I’ve lost about 45 pounds in three weeks. The swelling (and resulting carpel tunnel) is gone. I haven’t taken any pain killers (I was only taking Motrin) in two weeks and I feel a lot better. Granted, if I push it too much I will feel it in the incision, but the pressure of all that weight is blissfully gone. I’ll take the sleepless nights. After all, I wasn’t sleeping anyways.
How did I lose all that weight? Breastfeeding. Which leads me to the next topic…
When you tell people you want to breastfeed twins, everyone will tell you it’s not possible. Don’t listen to them. I actually have an over supply so I bottle feed overnight with pumped milk. It makes feedings go faster and my husband can help. The bottles have also come in handy during this growth spurt because sometimes you just need a break from cluster feeding.
I’ve read that you can burn up to 1,000 calories a day exclusively breastfeeding twins. I don’t know how much truth there is in that, but I can tell you that I feel it at the end of the day. I get headachy and tired if I am not eating and hydrating throughout the day. It’s like working out on an empty stomach. That being said, building up a supply and breastfeeding isn’t as easy as sitting on a couch and pulling your boobs out. It’s painful at first, and cluster feeding is stressful. Babies might not latch well (I got very lucky that both of mine do) and after awhile you start to feel a bit like a dairy farm. I can see why people give up in the first week. Fortunately, my husband is just as committed to breastfeeding as I am (extremely important), and I am stubborn. Too many people told me I wouldn’t be able to exclusively breastfeed my girls for me to give up now. I’m stubborn like that.
On relationship changes
Anyone who thinks that your life goes back to “normal” once you give birth is living in a dream world. Your priorities change, your life changes and your relationships change. Some for the better, some for the worse.
I’ve found that my commitment and love for my husband has grown exponentially. I hear a lot of women complain about their husbands after they have kids, and I realize how lucky I am. He’s always there to help me and the babies – from making food and bringing me drinks, supporting breastfeeding, picking up and changing crying babies to making 11 p.m. Target runs for diapers and gripe water, my husband is completely committed to us. There’s no way to put in to words how amazing it is and how love changes and grows.
You’ll also see that your friendships change. Again, I am lucky because most of mine have changed for the better. But you definitely feel a difference with your friends that don’t have kids. Some of these friendships will start to drift farther apart, but not all of them will. Either way, the people who are meant to be in your life will stay, even if you don’t have time to answer calls or return texts until days (or weeks) later.
On your relationship with yourself
This is a big one. One of my goals before the girls came was to stay true to who I am as a person. I wanted (and still want) to be Christina, who happens to be the mother of Zoey and Emma. I want my girls to see that they can have a family and still maintain their own personas. While I am completely dedicated to these girls, and sometimes spend hours on the couch nursing, I still make sure to do things for myself. Whether that’s surfing the web for non-baby sites, reading or writing – it’s important to me that I dedicate time to myself. Especially since my wanderlust is starting to kick in.
During nap sessions I read and cook. I keep my kindle near by for long nursing sessions. We don’t keep the house quiet and we don’t whisper when the babies are sleeping and as such we can have conversations with each other and friends, watch TV or whatever while the girls sleep. And they can sleep through anything.
It’s been a whirlwind, but a good one. Totally worth being behind on writing (both here and elsewhere.)