Berry Berry Busy


Our twin girls arrived a little early at 33 weeks and 4 days. They're getting bigger day by day since they blessed us with their arrival. This blog is to document their amazing feats since we know they'll grow up entirely too fast.

A twin mommas reflection on nursing

After much deliberation Seth and I have decided to stop nursing the girls in the morning. This might be a little TMI for some of you, but hey this blog is to document our journey with the girls and breastfeeding has been a big part of our journey. If it is TMI feel free to skip the rest of this entry :-)

So... I'm really kind of sad about it. We still plan on doing our sessions after school for a bit longer, but this step closer to full weaning is hard. We decided a while back that we wanted to wean before it became a real battle with the girls, which I think if we continue on much longer it probably would be. Since they'll be 16 months on the 8th of October I really do think we we've had a good run (especially considering my initial goal was 12 months).

This decision seemed easy to make, but emotionally it's hard for several reasons. I'll discuss just a few of them.

Since they were born 6+ weeks early and were in the NICU for over a month, providing them breast milk was the one thing it seemed I had some control over. I felt really good knowing that I was providing them with the most nutritious thing I could, passing along all the immunities I had to give to hopefully make their life a little bit easier.

This is not to say providing breast milk was easy. I worked hard, harder than I've worked at anything (and that includes my Masters Degree in Architecture, recovering from spinal surgery and my international distance triathlon). I had friends and family worried about its affects on my well being (the sleep deprivation and my nutritional upkeep). I had multiple visits and one on ones with the lactation consultants while the girls were in the NICU trying to get the girls and I to work as a unit. I had bouts of severe engorgement, plugged ducts, yeast infection (did you know you could get them in your nipple?!?! Crazy!) and worries of mastitis (fortunately it never got to that). I pumped every three hours for 20 minutes+ up until the girls managed to build up the sucking capacity to do the whole session on their own. We had to use bottles bottles while we were in the NICU since the girls were having trouble maintaining their latch. I was really worried that with all the bottles and pacifiers that the girls and I would never master the art.

My life revolved around pumping for a good two months. It took about that long before we were brave enough to go it without the use of bottles. The main thing we were worried about was just that they were getting enough. After we had a follow up with the lactation consultant we determined that the girls were doing great and we didn't need to worry anymore.

By being able to bypass the pump and let the girls go straight to the tap our lives simplified greatly.

Once we had nursing down we even managed to juggle tandem feedings which made thing even easier. Tandem feeding really intimidated me before we really had the courage to give it a go. With practice it eventually proved to be no big deal and then everything became even easier. Juggling two sleepy hungry babies at night was hard, but we found our routine and were pros before long. (I don't know if it would have been possible without My Twin Brest Friend nursing pillow, this pillow is seriously amazing!) Every now and again I would opt to do one on one sessions, but they always lead to a much more tired momma. Tip for those interested in nursing twins - nursing them at the same time will help you get more sleep, which as a new mom is invaluable!

When I returned to work I continued to pump twice a day. My coworkers were very understanding and let me use a screen for privacy at my desk so that I could work while I pumped. Their willingness to put up with my not so discrete screen and the odd humming noises allowed me to be able to provide the girls with 100% breast milk for 99.99% of the first year of their life. This was also made possible by another wonderful product - my hands free nursing bra.

Nursing my babies has been the most rewarding thing I have ever done. I have loved every single minute of it, even when it was hard. I loved going to the doctor and seeing everyone's look of surprise when we told them we were still going strong. I really loved watch the girls legs get chunky and know that I put that there.

Please know that I don't look down on anyone that has decided not to breastfeeding - for any reason. As I said before, breastfeeding can be very tough physically and emotionally. I just know that I wouldn't have done it any other way and I have never been more proud of something I've done.

I will miss those milk drunk looks and the times when the girls would fall asleep on the nursing pillow after (or even during) a session. I will never forget the quiet peace that would come while I held them close and stroked their little noggins. The light in their eyes and the smiles they would give me between suckles are forever imprinted on my heart.

To my darling daughters-
I love you more than words can express. You have enriched my life immeasurably. As you grow and gain independence, I know that I cannot share this experience with you much longer and while this makes me sad, I know it pales in comparison to the pride I feel in you both as you amaze your father and I with all the wonderful things that you are learning to do. I hope that you know that my #1 objective has always been and will continue to be to nourish you physically, emotionally and spiritually in the fullest way possible.
Love-your Mommom

Mina is in the pink, Evie is in the yellow
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Weekend with friends

Thursday night we took the girls out to eat at Reds. They really enjoyed looking at the ducks and fountain from the patio.

Our weekend kicked of with us barely making dad's softball game at 6:30 on Friday. The team they played was pretty good at bat and took a big lead right from the first inning. The Bluepers managed to make up a large part of the deficit and prevented them from scoring the rest of the game, but the other team came out on top. We were all surprised by the visitor that stopped by at the end of the game.

The People in the balloon were flying really low so we had a really great view. They even waved down at us :-)

Saturday were very excited our friends the Cory and Robin Cash. They were married back in June in Lubbock. Unfortunately I didn't get a picture with them and the girls, but you we all had a great time. Mina especially liked showing Cory her dance moves :-)

Seth and I also took the girls swimming on Sunday at Oak Point to prep them for their second round of aqua babies here in a couple of weeks. Again, it's hard to get pictures of swimming since it's an all hands on deck type event. Next time I'll get some shots before and after. These girls love the water though! We even managed to get a few underwater moments :-) the girls were so tired Sunday they almost slept through dinner!

They were also being super cute this morning.

Mina poses for the camera

Evie dances for finding moms granola bar

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International Day of Peace

So today the girls' school is participating in the International Day of Peace (have I mentioned lately how much I adore their school!). The school asked that all the students wear white today so I set a calendar alarm to help me remember to dress them in white.

Guess who apparently messed up their alarm (set it up as a pm reminder by mistake). Boo!

At least they are super cute!

Dad helping Evie put on her shoes (oh how the girls love shoes!)

Mina enjoying her breakfast scone

The girls racing down the hall to go to school (they love their school too).

Despite my inability to remember to dress in white today, I definitely intend to spend some time today thinking about those that are in real need of peace, those that protest and push towards a more peaceful world, and what I can do to promote peace and help others find peace.

I'm curious - what things do you do to promote peace? I'd love to hear about it.

Peace be with all of you today and all days.

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Are you ready to potty!!!

There's a toilet training workshop at the girls school today, how are we even at the point of talking about it already?!?! The teachers say it could happen as early as 18 months if we take advantage of their curiosity now. Crazy isn't it!

Monkey bar Mina

Evie the fashionista

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Talk like a pirate day

Dad reading Pirates Don't Change Diapers for talk like a pirate day. The girls loved it!

(Mina's on the left)
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Location:Berry home

Homemade Laundry detergent

So I've been making my own laundry detergent and I love it (especially how much $ we save)
The hardest part is grating the soap-

Everything else is cake :-)

Here's the recipe I used.

I used 1/2 a bar of Dr. Bronner's lavender soap for the antibacterial properties in lieu of the Felis Naptha. Can you believe one batch makes 5 gallons!

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Random hi

Just thought I'd say hi and see if the latest blogger update was any good :-)

From a year ago today:

Can you guess who is who?

From this weekend:

A new decal by their table (lasted two days before they found a way to tear it down...

Evie loved the splash park and had no fear!

Mina was a bit more cautious!

Which way does mom go?!?!

My how time flies!

So far I'm liking this upgrade, if the bugs really are fixed I'll be posting much more!

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