It's interesting, having twins after having a singleton. DH and I both agree that even with double the newborn, we have done much better this past week than we did the first week with Bean. Currently we are beyond tired, constantly running in a hamster wheel of feedings and diaper changes. It is SO much more work having two, we can't help but think how much easier it would be to just deal with one of the twins. But we are a lot more comfortable in our roles as parents because of our experience. Our lives have changed again, but not as much as when we had our first child. We aren't scared when the babies cry, we are more confident in how to respond to their needs. One of the biggest advantages perhaps is that we already know that it will get easier over time -- we have Bean running around our house as a constant reminder. When he was a newborn, we couldn't see out of the fog enough to understand or imagine how wonderful life with this little person could be. But now we look at the twins with more appreciation, discussing their emerging personalities and all the fun things we want to do in the future as they get older. I don't know how the next few weeks or months or years will go, but despite the extreme sleep deprivation and overwhelming feeding stresses, this first week has been filled with The Wonderful too.
Breastfeeding is going marginally better. The boys' latches are improving, and they are getting more breastmilk every day. We still use the supplemental nursing system (a syringe and tiny tube that provides formula at the breast) because they are so young, I don't want them to develop a preference for the bottle and then refuse to nurse. It's an absolute pain to use, but I'm hoping to hold out another week or two. Ideally at that point my supply would be great enough that we could be off the formula entirely, but in the likely case that doesn't happen, at least we can throw in a bottle with less risk of messing up what we have built. The hard part is finding time to pump in between feedings, which increases demand (and thus my supply). I have one twin or another at the breast constantly, and who wants to spend the brief time in between at the pump? I want to simply be in the moment and enjoying my boys. And Bean is so patient that when he asks for "mommy hugs," I think it's important to snuggle with him on the couch instead of brushing him off in favor of the pump. We'll see where this goes, I am not going to give up but I'm daunted at the task of building up enough milk supply to grow two infants.
On a random note, Red asked how we chose which twin would have which name. No great reason. We came up with one name, so it just kinda naturally went to Twin A without intention. Then we came up with the second, Twin B. The more we got to know them in the womb, the more the names seemed to fit, so we never switched them.
And a couple of pics...
Grandma snuggles her grandbabies.
The twins (duh).
Twin A. (Still working on their nicknames.)*
*DH just informed me that this is Twin B. Still looks like Twin A to me. We'll have to agree to disagree. (It's really Twin A. I'm pretty sure. But not really.)