That dreaded question!

The one question that seems to bring a lot of debate to the world of parenting is do you breast or formula feed? I know I had touched on this before and the struggle I had with the boys and nursing. I still get asked often if they are formula fed or breastfed and quite honestly the only person that I feel has a need to ask this question is their pediatrician. I think sometimes (and this does not apply to everyone) for people who were able to successfully breastfed without any issues don’t understand why others were not able to and people who formula feed feel that they need to defend their choices.

I wanted to be able to nurse and honestly never thought that I would have issues both emotionally and with supply and have to switch to formula, but we did and I am okay with this choice. I don’t regret this choice, but I do still feel a little sad when I see someone nursing their baby because it was something I wanted. I then remind myself that my boys are healthy and thriving. Someone who wanted to nurse but couldn’t does not make the decision to change their baby to formula lightly, I had plenty of tearful conversations with my husband about this decision. One thing I learned from other moms who had to pump for their babies was never to quit on a bad day so I stuck it out until I was able to peacefully accept my decision to formula feed. 

I just think moms need to support each other more instead of tearing each other down. My babies do not love me any less because I was not able to nurse them and I don’t feel like we have a broken bond because we use a bottle. Babies need to be loved and nurtured and how we feed them is no indication of the adult they will become, but a child who is raised in a loving and caring home can help shape the adult they will become. I was formula fed and I was very attached to my mother as a child and to this day she is still one of my best friends and this was because of the love she showed me and not the food she put in my mouth. So to all my mommy friends out there keep doing what you are doing and love your babies and feed them whatever way works best for your family 🙂 

I will climb off my soapbox now haha and share some pictures of my beautiful little boys! 

 

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Truly amazed

During my pregnancy I joined the The Bump and while this forum had a lot of great information, it was just not for me even though I really liked some of the ladies who posted. These ladies decided to create a Facebook group and asked if anyone wanted to join and I thought hey “why not?” if I don’t like I can just leave. Well these ladies ended up being a lifeline for me during my pregnancy! As a group we have been through so much over the past ten months from premature births to frightening heart surgeries. Some of us struggled to get pregnant while others had a surprise blessing, but what connects us all is our love for our babies. After my immediate family being notified that my water had broken these ladies were the ones who knew next! I can honestly say I have laughed with these ladies and I have cried with these ladies. I am amazed by the bond that can be formed between a group of women who mostly have not met one another, but it is there!

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This past week these women have truly amazed me with their acts of kindness. One of our mommy friends was going though a hard time and instead of just saying “oh I’m sorry” or “thats too bad”, a few of these ladies said hey she is one of us and we need to put a smile back on her face. The group got together very secretively 🙂 and planned a lot of nice surprises for this mama, everyone pitched in and the turnout was phenomenal! I could not believe the outpouring of love from these mamas and I am so proud honored to call them my friends! I can’t wait to hopefully meet some of these amazing ladies and their babies next year. 

 

It’s nice to be reminded that a little kindness can go a long way, so the next time you are given the chance to show some kindness…do it you won’t regret it! 

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The first love of my life

A little back story on the first love of my life…no not Keagan, haha even though I love him too! 

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Today is our 4 year wedding anniversary and its hard for me to believe how fast the time has gone by! Eric and I didn’t date for very long before getting engaged, but I just knew that he was the “one”. We did not have a traditional wedding, we did the pretty typical military wedding aka the courthouse. Eric was leaving for a year long school and because he is in the Army they don’t recognize a fiancé for moving purposes so it was much easier for us to have a small little quick wedding. We didn’t want to have a large wedding anyway, which was weird for me because when I was little I dreamed of this big wedding but when it came down to it the thought of spending such a large amount of money on a day it really changed my mind. I love having family gatherings but for us saving this money has allowed us to buy a home, put down payments on cars, and just not worry about finances as much. 

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One of our first photos together

 

In the almost five years since I have known this wonderful man we have lived in 3 states and 4 different homes, oh and had two amazing little babies! I can’t wait to see where we end up in the future and I look forward to many more years with the love of my life. We have so many adventures planned with our little family and I can’t wait to experience them with all 3 of my boys! Happy Anniversary my love! 

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The waiting game…

So I debated writing about this topic because it is such a personal one, but I have decided that people need to be more aware of this. As I mentioned in my first blog we waited a long time to have our baby boys and this was not a choice of our own. We were not one of the lucky couples that decided to have a baby and then bam it happens, we tried for quite some time to get pregnant. Month after month we started the cycle all over again until I finally felt like something just was not right. I went and saw my doctor and was informed that I had Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), the thing with PCOS is that there is no test to diagnosis this exactly they look at different symptoms that you are having and then say yay or nay to it. 

When we arrived to North Carolina we sought the help of a fertility specialist and because we are stationed in NC we were so very lucky to be at one of the Army bases that actually has a fertility specialist (I believe only 5-6 bases have them). This meant for us that we were able to get very low cost fertility help because the doctor was there to train other doctors and medical students in his specialty. PCOS can interfere with your ability to ovulate on your own so this was one of our big issues with trying to have a family of our own and soon after arriving in NC the doctor discovered that I would need surgery to remove a polyp in order to move on in our journey. We waited almost 9 months for a surgery date (downfall of a low cost military clinic, long waits). My surgery happened in April of 2013 and we jumped back into our treatment plan which resulted in our beautiful baby boys being conceived in September 2013. This is the cliffnotes version of our journey because I think our entire journey would require quite a few posts. 

We knew we would have a risk of twins because most fertility treatments increase your chances of conceiving more than one and we were okay with this :). We often get asked if twins run in our family and we just go with the answer of yes, it works out great that my grandmother had two sets of twins including my dad being one of them. I don’t normally discuss how the boys came to be with strangers because it is not something most people understand to be honest. I was lucky enough to have a great support group here of women all going through the same experiences that we were and I am happy to say that we all have wonderful, amazing, loved little babies now! Some of these babies are even getting siblings here soon! We spent months chatting with each other sharing our heartaches and happiness and just being there for each other. Struggling with infertility is a painful and full of sorrow, but when they hand you that baby all that pain and sorrow just melts away. I can’t imagine my life any different and I also can’t imagine not having twins. Mason and Parker will have a bond that no one else will understand and they will hopefully have a best friend for life. We hope to maybe (not decided yet) give them a sibling one day but we would only consider this if it happened naturally, if not our hearts are so very full with the two boys we have. 

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Our love for aden + anais

This post is going to a little bit different, I want to talk about one of my favorite baby items and I think it might be one of the boys favorites as well! When I was pregnant of of the things that I had wanted to have were aden + anais swaddle blankets, I had heard rave reviews and these sounded like some magical kind of blanket. After our baby shower had come and gone Eric and I went shopping with a few of our gift cards and I picked up a pack of muslin  a+a blankets from babies r us, little did I know this was just the beginning. We used our muslin blankets a lot in the beginning because the boys really did like being swaddled and it helped them to sleep much better and they were perfect for car rides and shading the boys from the sun, but then came the game changers! 

My sister came to visit and with her she brought some aden + anais bamboo swaddling blankets from her good friend Jamie (thanks Jamie I am now addicted 🙂 but the boys love them). These are the ones we got! 

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These blankets are like butter, they are the softest blankets you will ever feel and I totally get why the babies can’t get enough of them. 

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Thanks to the ladies from my baby birth month group I discovered the whole world of aden + anais, mommies go crazy over these blankets admittedly I am becoming one of them! I have purchased the boys quite a few more blankets but we use these things all the time and the boys are always sucking on them or spitting up on them and as stated in my last post laundry is not on the top of my list so we need to have extra around. If the boys are every upset Eric and I can just hold them and give them a blanket and they seem to calm right down (magically I tell ya!). Parker had a meltdown the other day at the pediatrician’s office and I am so glad I had a blanket with me because he just grabbed onto and cuddled right up and feel asleep, I was this close to becoming “that” lady with the screaming baby that everyone was staring at.

I also have to say that the company has amazing customer service, I called because I wanted to see if I washed my blanket wrong because it started to come apart and they reassured me this should not happen and sent me a whole set, what company can you say would actually do that?! The boys now have swaddles, dream blankets, bibs and my mom got them a couple of sleep sacks too, I would say they are pretty well set…well until a new print comes out that we want need, hehe! I think at the end of all this Parker might have to join aden + anais anonymous because this boy sure loves his blankets. 

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*disclaimer he is not sleeping like this he just pulled it over his face

A little more blanket loving from my boys! 

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The pressures of parenthood

Before having babies I had so many plans and ideas of how I would raise them and how we would parent, but I will tell you when they arrive this all goes out the window! I was dead set on the fact that we would cloth diaper, not only were they super cute and eco-friendly but they would save us a boat load of money. The truth is we can’t even keep up on our regular laundry let alone diaper laundry. I am pretty sure that the only laundry that gets put away in this house is the boys, Eric and I live out of our laundry baskets as embarrassing as this is. We have purchased quite a few cloth diapers before the boys and luckily they have a great resale value especially since they had not been used. I was able to sell them and get a lot of stuff for the boys such as fun new toys and I was able to fund a new ring sling for myself, yay! 

The other thing I was set on doing was being able to nurse the boys. I knew twins would be a challenge but little did I know how much of a challenge it would be. Mason spent his first week of life in the NICU and honestly they pushed the bottle. They needed to know how much he was eating and they couldn’t tell by nursing. He had a terrible time latching and since my baby being was being held hostage for not eating enough we caved to the bottle. We wanted our baby home with us and we wanted for Parker to have a normal life and not to spend his first days of life being shuffled back and forth from the hospital. Looking back I would do so much different, I was so consumed with pumping for Mason that I just ended up pumping for Parker too and because of this he never really got the hang of nursing. I continued to pump until they were 12 weeks and then I just had enough I was missing out on spending time with my babies and this was not the bonding experience I was hoping for. It took a lot for me to make this choice, but it was the best for my family. I knew they had received a lot of the benefits of breast milk at this point. I felt that I was beginning to resent having to pump and it was leading down a slippery slope that probably would have ended with depression. To the moms that exclusively pump you all are amazing because it is no easy task especially with multiples. My boys are just as healthy as before and I am a much happier and healthier mama! 

One thing that has gone as planned is that we decided from the beginning that we would not bed share with the boys and that we would only co-sleep (in the same room with us) while they were very little. I know this is a hot topic but we felt that this is what was best for us. We have always used that time before bed to just lay in bed and talk and be a couple and we didn’t want this to go away once we had kids. We spend the rest of our day with our children but once they go to bed we are making an effort to make it “our time”. I am happy to report that both boys sleep in their cribs and are doing awesome! We are very thankful for the invention of a video monitor though because I do love checking on my little cuties often. We have been very lucky to have great little sleepers they go down for bed at 8:30 and usually wake for the first time around 4:00 am. I know this could change at any moment so I will enjoy it while I can. Overall we have decided that parenthood is like flying by the seat of your pants you just need to take the challenges as they come and enjoy the ride! 

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Operation baby play space

One thing that both Eric and I take pride in is our home, we have always been complimented on how our home is decorated  and the items that we find for our home. When we had our babies we knew that we did not want our house to look like a baby explosion and I admit it does! Our living room is no longer our own and it is filled with swings, gliders, pack and plays, and play mats and while I am so over joyed with having our babies and would not change this for the world we have decided that it is time to make them their own space. Our living room will still have quite a few items but we want their main play area to be in our bonus room. Our bonus room is located on the third floor of our house so that is the one downfall (more exercise for us though) but it is a huge space and the boys would have plenty of room to play! I have so many inspirations for their playroom and I want it to be this wonderful space that they enjoy playing in and that we enjoy being in as a family. This is the area currently and what I am starting with.

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The first thing that I want to do is paint that wall with chalkboard paint, I also love the little tent! 

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I also want to add a little area like this using a piece of metal for them to have their own area to stick letters and to also hang up their artwork. I know they won’t really appreciate this until they are older but it would be a nice little addition.

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Lastly we need some storage! right now we don’t have many toys for the boys but I know after their first Christmas this will all change very quickly. We will be getting the boys chairs from Pottery Barn so that they will hopefully want to snuggle up with some books and relax. I can’t wait to share the progress of the room and I am so excited to get started it is like creating their nursery all over again! I see an IKEA trip in my near future 🙂

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Baby sweetness of the day! 

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Time to step it up in the workout department

So having twins is wonderful and amazing and I wouldn’t trade my two little boys for anything in the world, but let me tell you carrying and growing two babies for 36 weeks can do a number on your body. During my pregnancy I admit that I slacked in the staying active department. I spent the first 15 weeks tired and sick miserable, I had terrible morning sickness and it took everything I had to just get through the workday and come home and finish my graduate school work. I also ate whatever I could keep down during this time, I know I know I probably ate far too many McChicken sandwiches. Once I started feeling better I still continued on this path of not working out and I know deep down I had a fear that if I did workout too hard and something happened to them I would never forgive myself. I needed these babies to bake as long as they possibly could. I wanted “take home” babies and that was my goal. Even with my less than desirable eating habits I still managed to not do all that terrible in the weight gain department. When I delivered I had gained about 38 pounds and for having two babies (11 lbs), two amniotic sacs, and all that other fun pregnancy related stuff I didn’t feel too terrible about that number. I have lost pretty much all of that weight but what they don’t tell you is your body will NEVER be the same! 

I have a lot of work to do to get back to a place that I am comfortable with but I have to remind myself that it took 9 months to get this way and I can’t expect results overnight. I know I need to dedicate myself to this and I can do it, hey thats what a double stroller is for right? I need to hit the pavement running…well maybe we will start out with walking 😉 Eric and I are trying to eat more clean and cook healthier meals but still allow ourselves to be human beings and indulge from time to time. Also currently my sister, mom and I are having a fitbit challenge and I am ashamed to say my mom is kicking our butts! My goal is that by the time the boys are 36 weeks old I will be able to be more tone and lose another 20-25 pounds, so I have 21 weeks to step up my game. Happy working out everyone! 

 

disclaimer: I am very happy and proud of my body for carrying two babies and by no means am I worried about getting back into shape, I just want to be healthy for my baby boys 🙂

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34 weeks 3 days with my boys

A little update on the boys

The boys are now 14 weeks old and they are changing all the time, I swear I go to sleep and when I wake up they are doing something new! Parker now weighs a little over 11 pounds which is huge compared to the little peanut we took him home as (4 lbs 7oz). He is our super happy and smiley baby I swear he smiles every time I look him. Parker is now rolling to his side and I don’t think it will be too long before he rolls over. When the boys were 8 weeks old I had concerns about Parker and the shape of his head and his pediatrician was also concerned and diagnosed him with positional plagiocephaly aka. flat head and she was also concerned that he had Torticollis. Torticollis is when you have a tight muscle in your neck and it may be hard to turn to other direction, for Parker he preferred looking to his left and not his right. This can be caused by his position in utero which for him was breech, Parker checked all the boxes for infants diagnosed with Torticollis he was a premature breech baby boy. The Torticollis was causing him to develop a flat spot on his head. He has been in Physical Therapy now for about 4 weeks and the improvement has been drastic, the strides he has made are amazing and his is impressing his therapist (I mean who wouldn’t this cute guy impress anyway hehe). His little noggin is becoming nice and round just the way we want it to be!

Mason is now almost 13 pounds and loves to eat! Mason spent his first week of life in the NICU because of an apnea spell on his day of birth and then they held him a few more days because they were concerned he was not eating well…if they could only see this little big guy now. Mason is now smiling and rolling to his side as well but he is also very content just hanging out. We think he is going to be a stubborn little man because he only does things when he wants and if he does not want to do it he will let you know, I wonder where he gets this from? haha. It is so crazy to me how different these two are, they were born looking very similar and even that now has changed. They have their own little personalities and I hope that we will raise them to be great little human beings. We can’t wait to start taking more adventures with these two, I want to show them so much and let them experience the world. Now onto the cuteness 🙂

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Being a parent changes you

I have discovered that being a parent changes you; it brings out emotions that you never knew existed. Last week we took a road trip to visit my family in the New England area and along the way we witnessed far too many fatal car accidents, before having children of my own this of course would have upset me but now it was different. At that moment I felt nervous for the fact that it could have been our car that got hit by someone one driving recklessly and that I could do nothing to protect my babies if this did in fact happen. I realized that I couldn’t protect them from everything and this is a scary but true fact of being a parent. 

Also on this drive we witnessed a very tragic accident approaching the state of Connecticut. A Connecticut National Guard vehicle was involved in an accident and for the first time in my life I saw a causality of an accident. There on the side of I-95 was a solider, a man whose life was claimed by this terrifying accident. They tried to shield his body as much as possible, but very visible were his boots. I know these boots all too well, I watch my husband walk into the door each night wearing those same exact boots and at that moment I felt intense sadness. This man was someone’s husband and possibly someone’s daddy. His wife probably spent many sleepless nights worrying about this man while he deployed overseas and felt great relief knowing that he was back stateside to have this happen. Again before children this is still a very upsetting and tragic accident, but now it felt different. I feared the thought of ever having this happen to my children. Lets just say a few tears were shed and I hugged my babies a little bit closer that night.  I now know I have 18 years a lifetime of these feelings coming at me. 

The mess we hit in NY

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Parker enjoying the big boy bed!

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My tiny travelers 

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