Baby Gear · Newborn · twins

Mama Must Haves: Newborn Twins

Confession: I’m obsessed with baby gear.

Starting with my first pregnancy, my husband & I researched and tested all.the.things. Mainly because we thought it was fun, but also because you never know what can really make your life with baby(ies) easier.

Everyone has their own preferences, needs, and favorites, obviously, but I found mama reviews & favorites lists SUPER helpful when registering. I’ve also found that mamas more than anyone know what they’re talking about when it comes to these things, and I’m forever grateful for the mamas that led me to some of these products.

This specific mama-must-have list is for newborn twins.  I’ll do a separate list for my general newborn must-haves, although some of the same things will obviously be on both.

I’ll just say that with newborn twins, making life easier is CRUCIAL, so here are my first 6-week must-haves.

  1. Double My Breast Friend nursing pillow and/or Twin Z pillow.  I nursed our twins from the beginning, and loved the MBF pillow at first because it is much more supportive for the babies & for the mama when the babes are so small and floppy.  I switched to the TwinZ pillow {pictured} a few months in, but even before that I loved using the TwinZ as a double boppy, and would often lay the babies there before/after our nursing session while using the MBF to actually nurse on.  I’ve heard from other mamas that the TwinZ is super helpful when bottle feeding twins, too, although in that case you don’t also need the MBF!img_4245
  2. TWO Rock N Plays.  Napping, sleeping, hanging out, rocking, I could go on and on. The Rock N Play is one of my favorite baby products ever. Every baby could probably use two, but with twins you MUST have two!img_4298
  3. City Select w/ two carseat adapters.  We now have the double Bob and the City Select, and my husband asks me all the time if we should’ve just gotten the Bob to start with. I tell him {every time} that the City Select saved my sanity those first 6 months. This stroller is lightweight, you can snap in the carseats {MUST HAVE – Britax BeSafe links are included because those are the seats we have}, or a seat & carseat {for toddler + baby – or it has a glider board for said toddler}, it maneuvers incredibly well, and is just an amazing stroller that makes it totally possible to get out on your own with twins + a toddler. FREEDOM.img_4227
  4. Sling and/or wrap. The Sollybaby wrap is my favorite, but I also loved and wore both twins at the same time with my Moby when they were tiny.  A ring sling is also nice to have as it is super fast to put on & easy to wear baby regardless of where you are.img_0086
  5. TWO swings of some type. We had one swing & one MamaRoo, which was great for us. Both were more cozy in the swing at first, but I like the smaller footprint & ease of traveling with the MamaRoo, so was glad we had one of each vs two larger swings.img_0232
  6. Zipper jammies – Gap or Hanna Andersson. ONLY zippers. All the time. No time for snaps, my friends, especially at night. Gap & HA seem to hold up best, are super soft & cozy, and are ridiculously cute.img_0083
  7. Swaddle blankets. Obviously. For swaddling, covering, tucking in, and wiping spit up/snot/milk/your coffee/whatever else you spill or need to wipe.  I love Aiden & Anais brand and the bamboo ones are amazingly soft {but don’t hold the swaddle as well, in my opinion}.
  8. Covered Goods nursing cover. Or carseat cover even if you’re not nursing. This is one of my favorite baby products EVER & my go to new mama gift. The cover is lightweight, easy to take with you, super easy to use as a nursing cover, lovely to wear as a scarf & use as a blanket/burp cloth/whatever you need when not nursing, and doubles as a carseat cover {great with newborns & in the winter!} and then as a shopping cart cover!  MUST. HAVE. We have two & I still use them a year later. img_6693
  9. Oxo wipes dispenser.  Frustrated that every time you end up grabbing way too many wipes?! This thing ACTUALLY solves that problem. Love. Seemed ridiculous to buy a $20 wipes dispenser but I guarantee I’ve saved more than that in wipes by always using only one wipe at a time, especially when you change as many diapers as you do those first few months!
  10. Boppy lounger.  We didn’t have this with our first, but I LOVED having it with the twins. We ended up with two, but both fit on one for awhile {sigh}. It was great to have  a safe place to lay them when they were sleeping {away from toddler fingers}, came in super handy when tandem nursing and I needed to lay one/both down during transitions, and was nice to have a portable soft spot for the babes to hang out.img_4101

I could go on and on {yes, I know it’s a problem}, but I’ll stop and save some products for another list. Any products you’d add for the first few weeks with twins?!

twin sleep · twins

Twin Sleep

Y’all. Twin sleep is no joke.

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I’m not going to lie.  With Harper, I was one of those can’t-talk-about-it-because-people-will-hate-me-and/or-I’ll-jinx-it mamas who had a baby who slept through the night insanely early & insanely well.  My smug little self slept later than I care to admit every day.  Those who did know about this wished a terrible sleeper on me for #2 {or other worse things, but I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt on this one}.

And then I found out I was pregnant with twins.

We joked that we knew we were screwed, but I’m not sure we really believed it.

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Don’t worry, we believe it now.  At least in the sleep category.

This is a 100% real story…

Morning nap. I usually make them take this on the go because who has the patience/time/strength to stay home all morning with a toddler while you make sure your infant twins get good naps?  Not this girl.

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Today we were staying home because my dad & his family were coming by, so just before 9am I went to put the twins down.

For afternoon naps, I sing a song to all 3 babes, put all 3 in their beds & walk out of the rooms.  Sometimes one twin will fall asleep & the other will end up crying once their chatty roommate has gone silent, but usually they both just chat their way to sleep.

Not for morning naps. Not today.

Today we spent thirty minutes {THIRTY. MINUTES.} of one or both of them crying.  I’d go in to soothe one and the other would cry when they saw me & then they’d both cry.  This went on and on. I kept waiting it out in my room & eventually going in when I knew they weren’t going to calm down.  Thank goodness my 2-year-old was playing with her Papa this whole time.

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I finally realize I’m going to have to hold & rock both of them at least for a bit to calm them down.  I pick them both up, sit down & start rocking.

They coyly play “who can grab the other’s binky” a few times as they nestled into me.  It’s cute and lovely but so not the time because hello babies, it’s nap time, thanks so much.  A few minutes later they’re both asleep.

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Immediately I have this overwhelming feeling of sweetness & love & amazingness at cuddling two sweet babies at once.  I can feel both of them breathing deeply and just love watching them cuddled up together and cuddled up with me. Heaven.  This is heaven. This is the sweetest little moment I’ve ever known….

Oh shit.

I’m 100% stuck.

Legit no-one-knows-I’m-in-here, no-one-is-coming-to-take-one, I-can’t-dismount-on-my-own stuck.

I debate trying to put Ellie in her crib while holding Max up.  I’m thinking through how far she’d have to drop down and she’s in my left arm, and would a two-foot-drop onto her mattress wake her up {of course}??

Can I put Max down first?  One hand the over 20-pounder?  Never going to happen.

Do I stay here and soak up these cuddles and this sweet sweet moment?

But shit, I have another kid to check on.  And family coming to visit.

Surely someone will come for me. They’ll realize I’m not down there and wonder what on earth is happening.

I’m guessing it’s now been at least 15 minutes, but who would know with no iPhone and no clock?!

It’s now too late to try to chuck a kid in a crib one-handed.  They’d definitely wake up and it’s now been too long for it to seem like a normal go back to sleep situation.

WHAT THE F DO I DO??? WHY DID I THINK THIS WAS A GOOD IDEA? Good gracious they are sweet….

You get the picture.

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Then I realize…. Why can’t they just sleep on their floor?!?  Even if they roll, it’s safe.  Plus, I’ll see them on the monitor. Maybe they’ll just curl up together and sleep sweetly on their {vacuumed yesterday – woo!} carpet.

YES. WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER. GO MAMA, GO MAMA.

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So I literally slither down from the chair {I so wish I had a video of this for you because I’m sure it was quite the hilarious sight}, grabbing both of their heads in hopes of keeping them pinned to my body and asleep.  I throw myself down on the floor so that they {gently???} hit the floor but then I catch myself from crushing them.  Thank God for all those yoga classes I’ve never done.

Then I close my eyes and wait.  Scared to look.  I look.

Ellie is sleeping away as soundly as can be.  Eyes never opened, grabbing on to her lovey, just looking like the most angelic napper there ever was.

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….and Max is staring me right the face like WHAT THE F JUST HAPPENED???

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I pick him up & try to rock him back to sleep.  Put him in his crib. Sneak out {stepping over my one child still sleeping in the middle of her freaking floor}.

Cries.

F. M. L.

So we got a 15 minute nap, a hot yoga move that didn’t crush babies, lots of internal debate, a {hopefully still okay} 2 year old that I haven’t seen in an hour, and one kid who slept for about 8 more minutes in the middle of her floor.

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I’m going to go ahead and call that a successful morning.

Newborn · twins

Birth Story: Ellie Louise & Max Everette

I’ve had a personal blog with my best friend for years now, but I feel like this post from that blog is crucial to this blog as well. Plus, these 2 turn 10 months old tomorrow {I have no idea how that is possible}, so I figured now was as good a time as any to re-share their birth story. Also, these pictures have turned me into a hot mess over here.

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We welcomed Ellie Louise & Max Everette to the world on Tuesday, November 3rd.  Their birthday was somewhat unexpected, faster than anticipated, and one of the best days of my entire life.  We are completely smitten with these two sweet faces, and are loving life as a family of five.

I wanted to document their birth story before I forget any of the important details, and I’m so glad that our friend Jenny was there to capture their birthday and our first moments as a family of five!  Enjoy some of my favorite pictures of the day…

The c-section was scheduled for Friday, November 6th – I’d be 38w1d pregnant.  The doctors said they wouldn’t let me go past 38weeks, but I wanted Dr. Placide to deliver them, so we scheduled for Friday when he was on call.

I kept hoping & praying & expecting to go into labor before then.  I kept hearing a mix of “it’ll definitely be Friday” {booooooo} and “I think you’ll go into labor before then!” {I love you!} from other folks.  I’m pretty sure Monday night was when I finally started to believe that I would go all the way to Friday…

Tuesday morning {November 3rd – 37w5d pregnant} I got up and started getting myself & Harper ready for the day.  Cameron was already on paternity leave so we had planned to have a date morning while Harper was at preschool.  We were going to Duck Donuts & then Starbucks to eat, drink & enjoy some time together before we were outnumbered by our children.

This may be too much information, but this is a birth story after all, so I guess birth details are somewhat expected.  While I was getting ready, I noticed that I was leaking at times and I thought maybe my water had broken – but I wasn’t 100% sure because it was so different than when it broke with Harper.  I finally told Cameron what was going on {it’s pretty embarrassing if it’s NOT your water and you’re just peeing yourself, plus I didn’t want to worry him if I didn’t need to…} and he said we should finish packing our bags and take them with us when we went to drop Harper off.

I was clearly in denial that I was actually in labor because I still believed that we’d pick Harper up from school & that I’d be back at the house at some point before actually being admitted to the hospital.  Maybe being sent home while in labor with Harper {but not far enough along} was stuck in my head?!

We packed our bags, took Harper to school, & I talked to her teacher {who has twins} and Ms. Betts and told them what was going on.  They both said we should call the doctor, but I told Cam I definitely wanted donuts first.  I clearly was also flashing back to my no-food-allowed 28 hour labor + recovery time from the c-section with Harper.  That was a brutal 40ish hours without actual food {cherry popsicles don’t count} and I was not looking to do that again.

After we got our donuts I called the doctor & told them what was going on and they said I should definitely come in to be checked.  We went straight there and as I checked in I felt my water DEFINITELY break.  Sure enough, we were told that Ellie’s water had broken, I was in labor {though not really feeling the contractions} and that we needed to go straight to labor & delivery.  There’s a dramatic doctor story there that some of you have heard, but I don’t feel the need to put it on the interwebs.

At this point, my hormones totally took control and I legit lost it.  We had told Harper we’d pick her up from school, but I finally realized that I was in real labor – which meant I was going to have twins TODAY & I was not, in fact, going to see Harper again before they were born.  My mom was on her way to Cary from Wake Forest, but didn’t have a carseat & didn’t have time to get one and get to preschool before school was over.  So I {not so calmly} insisted that Cameron drop me off at Rex and go pick Harper up.

I then called our friend Laura, who had planned to come pray with us before the scheduled c-section, and told her that not only was it go-time, but that if it was convenient, I needed her there stat because Cameron was going to get Harper and I was a hot mess.  I’ll never forget hearing her heels click-clacking out of a {very important, Cameron later told me} meeting to answer my call & her saying “I’ll be right there” without hesitation.  Sure enough, as I’m laying in triage giving the nurses my info & being hooked up to measure 3 heartbeats, etc etc – in walks my sweet friend.  Needless to say, I have never been so happy to see her.  And I started crying.  again.

My goal had been to try for a VBAC if I actually went into labor on my own & at least baby A {Ellie} was head down.  Both things happened – and both babies were actually head down – but since Ellie’s water had broken and I wasn’t in active labor, the doctors were hesitant about how a VBAC would go.  They said it would definitely be a long labor and may end up in a c-section for one or both of the babies anyway.  Plus they were concerned about too long of a labor for her since she had no fluid at this point.  Having had a long labor & then a c-section with Harper, once I really thought about all of this, I knew going with the c-section was the right decision for me, my body & my babies.

Then came the talk of c-section timing because of the dang donut I had eaten at 9:30am {still totally worth it, FYI}.  At first they said I had to wait 8 hours, but then my amazing doctor came in, saw contractions on the monitor, asked if I was feeling them {“a little??”} and came back to tell me we were rolling to the OR at 3pm {it was 2:20pm at the time}.  We quickly texted our families, the nurses got me prepped, Laura prayed over us {such a huge, calming blessing to me in that moment}, and we rolled out of triage.

It was so bizarre to not only be awake {which I was for Harper’s birth} but so aware of what was going on because I hadn’t been through so many hours of labor / had so much mediation pumped into me.  They pushed me past the room I had labored in with Harper, Cameron kissed me goodbye & went to put on his scrubs, they got me in the OR, spinal in place, and ready to go!

Cameron came back in & I had rarely been happier to see him. He sat down by my head and it was go time.  Our anesthesiologist, Keith, was AWESOME and kept updating us as to what was happening behind the curtain.  At 3:33pm Keith said “here comes your baby girl” and Ellie Lou came screaming into the world.  Naturally, I started bawling.  They brought her around the curtain for us to see and I could not believe the amount of dark hair on her head!!

2 minutes later, Max Everette joined her – also screaming his way into the world.  We got to see him briefly before they whisked them off to the adjoining room to be cleaned off and checked.

Soon after, the nurses called Cameron back to see our babies!  One of my favorite memories with Harper’s birth / in my life is of Cameron walking out of that room bringing our baby girl to me for the first time.  Yet again this moment is forever in my memory, but this time he came out holding TWO babies – which is probably when it really hit me that we were actually going to be taking two newborns home with us.

{side note: This picture still completely stops me in my tracks even 10 months later..}

Seeing two babies being born {separately} is one thing, but seeing him holding two at the same time completely rocked my world.

He brought them over to me & a nurse helped him take turns laying each baby on me so that I could kiss them & talk to them & snuggle with them.  Such sweet, sweet moments.

Cameron then followed them to the nursery while I got put back together {thanks, Dr Anya!} and went to recovery.  As soon as I got to recovery they called the nursery to bring the babies in and I got to do skin-to-skin time while eating ice chips {wahoo!!} for the next wonderful hour.

We were then wheeled to our room, Jenny came in {to take these awesome pictures – thank you, thank you, thank you, friend!!!}, I got to breastfeed the babies for the first time, and then it was time for them to meet their big sister!

Our families {Harper, all the grandparents & Aunt Kayla – we missed Aunt Hallie who was traveling for work.} were all at the hospital at this point and we had such a sweet time with all of them getting to meet Ellie & Max.

I spent most of the time snuggling Harper in my bed.  And by snuggling I mean doing stickers, coloring, eating my slushies, and occasionally holding babies.  At first she only wanted to hold Ellie, but Max grew on her once his hat was off.

I am so thankful that we got so much time to hang out with Harper and let her meet the babies, time with just our families, and that Jenny was there to capture it all so that I got to just relax and enjoy the moment.  And still get to remember it with pictures later.

We asked the grandparents & Aunt Kayla to hold both babies at the same time for photo ops like this:

And we actually got group shots this time, too.  Wahoo!

Once our families left, we enjoyed a calm first evening with our newborn twins.  Aka I didn’t sleep because I couldn’t stop snuggling them.  But hey, your babies’ first day of life only happens once, right?  Totally worth the lack of sleep {says the mama of 2 newborns…}.

We love you so much, Ellie Lou & Max Everette!  We are so blessed to be your parents.