It’s been one heck of a week!!
Last Tuesday, April 12, 2022 we welcomed our twins Roxy and Riley into the world! Not a moment has gone by since that we haven’t felt in awe of God’s amazing gifts. That’s not to say that every moment has been perfect – honestly far from it! Postpartum life is like nothing we could have ever imagined in every way. Let’s talk about the last week: the good, the bad, the ugly and everything in between! I’ve added in your questions from Instagram as best I could as well:
Okay let’s start with the few days leading up to Roxy and Riley’s arrival and what I did to “prepare” — I laugh at that because there’s really only so much you can do without knowing really what parenthood will look like. Besides the obvious of getting their nursery ready and having supplies like premie/newborn diapers, wipes, etc. I was happy I had already done the following:
- Wash everything as soon as it arrives. It feels like nearly everything you buy for baby will need to be washed/sanitized/air dried etc. so I was really happy I didn’t put off the washing while I had the time take care of it. Hand wash all the bottles (if you’re using), wash the baby clothes with sensitive detergent (we are using Dreft), dry on low heat (so you don’t deal with shrinkage) and have the outfits at least somewhat organized so you can change baby quickly.
- Prep some easy snacks – you will be hangry. I was so happy to have made a big batch of protein balls while R&R were still cozy inside of me — both Ty and I have been grateful to have an easy breakfast/snack to grab that doesn’t feel junky. It took me maybe 30 minutes to make a big double batch and I put them in the freezer from there — you can either keep them there or move to the fridge once you’re home.
- Arrange to have someone bring you dinner your first night home. I don’t know about you but having dinner figured out ahead of time just feels like a weight off my shoulders. Ask your parents/in laws/besties to DROP OFF dinner for you on your first night home because you will be feeling a little scattered — at least we were. It’s kind of a wild feeling leaving the hospital and walking into your house and the rest of your life. Get dinner handled.
In The Hospital
Okay now back to the hospital. Depending on the type of birth you’re having and any complications you or baby might have, expect to stay there between 2-4 nights. I had a Cesarean with twins and our insurance would have covered four nights but we opted to stay just three. Here’s what went down while we were there…
Packing/Items ACTUALLY Needed
Yall remember I put together this post on what to pack in your hospital bag based on recommendations from other moms on Instagram – and so many reccos were so helpful! Here were our most used items:
- Comfy cozy robe: I didn’t get out of mine for three days, lol. This is the exact snuggly robe I wore and have worn every morning since!
- Button down sleep shirts: It feels like you will get checked nearly hourly on your situation down there – whether it’s your c-section incision or your tummy being pressed on or your catheter coming out… you get it. It was nice to have the easy access with a soft sleep shirt.
- Pumping/nursing bra: Okay I actually did NOT pack mine and really wish I had!! I pumped twice a day for colostrum and held the pumps in place every time haha. Now that I’m home this pumping bra has been a lifesaver.
- Slippers with soles: Every time I post these rainbow shearling slippers I get bombarded with questions! Yes they’re expensive. But yes I wear them every day!!! And I absolutely loved having them in the hospital.
- Snuggly blanket: Lots and lots of you recommended a cozy blanket and I found this Barefoot Dreams Amazon dupe that was super snuggly. Babies loved it too!
- Tinted moisturizer: I am sure lots of you would opt out of wearing makeup in the hospital but I felt just a leeeetle more put together and myself with a nice glow. This is my favorite tinted moisturizer and it has hyaluronic acid for plumpness.
- Makeup wipes: Loved having these micellar water wipes for cleaning off said tinted moisturizer — often from the hospital bed!
- Chapstick & tinted lip balm: Chapstick was so necessary — the epidural plus the dry hospital air chapped my lips right up. And I loved having this tinted lip balm for when we had visitors and/or took pics!
- Portable speaker: We made a good vibes playlist for during the surgery and played it often on our portable speaker in the following days while we snuggled the babies! Definitely recommend.
- Laptop: Nice to have for watching shows/downtime
- Snacks: Brought peanut butter pretzels, Kize protein bars, kombuchas, etc.
- Going home outfits & blankets for baby: Bring a couple options in different sizes since you won’t know what exactly will fit!
Deciding between a C-Section vs. Vaginal Birth
I was asked several times on Instagram why I chose to have a Cesarean or if I had an option. Let me begin with this: every baby and every birth is different. So please take what I am sharing with a grain of salt because our decision pertains to our particular situation! That being said, a couple factors went into our decision:
- Safety: The most common reason women opt for a C-section is because the doctor recommends it for the safety of the baby or babies. Both of our babies were head-down, which is the optimal positioning for a vaginal birth, but I was uncomfortable with the unpredictability of vaginally delivering two babies. There can be complications of delivering one baby easier than the other, one baby needing an emergency c-section (then you’re dealing with two kinds of recovery!) and then there’s the reality of pushing out two babies and in my case, two placentas. I knew there was more recovery involved for me post c-section but with all these things considered, it was an easier choice to make.
- Schedule: Many doctors will allow you to schedule an induction date for a vaginal birth at 40 weeks for a single baby. For twins, we were able to schedule our c-section date for 36 weeks and 6 days (37 weeks is considered full term for twin babies). I am a planner and LOVED the thought of having my ducks in a row per se before I went in to deliver. Heck, I had a big breakfast and got a blowout before our afternoon delivery, lol. Not going to lie that I loved that factor.
- Recovery: Everyone will recover from giving birth slightly differently, and yes, for the most part c-sections are a bit more challenging. You are having a major surgery after all! I have felt fortunate to be moving well and on my feet after 2-3 days at home (about five post birth).
- Some things have been more challenging than I would have thought: abdominal soreness, wayyyy more vaginal bleeding, getting up from being seated, coughing/laughing/sneezing, swelling from epidural/spinal tap leaving the hospital.
- Less challenging than expected: going up/down the stairs, my first time going to the bathroom (take the stool softener twice daily beginning the day of your surgery), carrying babies/lighter things, slower paced walks.
Feeding babies in the hospital
For whatever reason this seems to be the most controversial topic so I’m going to keep this very matter of fact and to the point! We opted to feed the twins three ways in the hospital: using donor milk, pumping and giving the babies colostrum and on the final day we used hospital-provided formula. Donor milk is donated breast milk that the hospital can give you (you will eventually pay for it per bottle, keep in mind) while you wait for your milk to come in. I made very little colostrum in the hospital and did not feel like it was enough to sustain the two of them. Formula offered was Similac and tbh not the nicest so I’m glad we only used a couple bottles of that towards the end of our stay.
What a typical day looks like in the hospital
Okay now I can only speak from our experience of course and Riley & Roxy are our first babies so we have nothing to compare it to! That being said…
- Expect to be checked on nearly hourly by either a nurse, a nurse’s assistant, your OB, your pediatrician, your anesthesiologist… you get the picture. Overnight we were probably checked on 3-4 times (like midnight, 3am, 6am) so getting any consecutive shut eye is pretty impossible.
- Baby’s bellies are tiny so they will want to eat every two or so hours. However you decide to feed — nurse, bottle feed with breastmilk, bottle feed with donor milk, bottle feed with formula — it will take about 20-30 minutes for them to have an ounce.
- Try to get out of bed though it took me 28 hours to stand on my feet. Some people metabolize the epidural drugs faster than others… I was slow to be able to function lol. I tried to stand after about 20 hours with two nurses’ assistance and my legs straight up gave out and I collapsed onto the bed.
- Plan on lots of skin on skin snuggles which I miss and should do more of here at home because they are so special. Baby is stripped down to just their diaper and is placed on your (or your partner’s) bare chest. They almost immediately calm and settle. We could have laid like that forever! It was so fun to each have a baby to cuddle with each time — we tried to do an hour of skin on skin time twice a day so we each got to love on each baby.
- I didn’t wear anything but sleep shirts until we left then I was grateful to have a very flowy, loose dress. My feet did not swell all through pregnancy then BALLOONED leaving the hospital. The sandals I brought to wear out *barely* fit the feets. Consider you may have swollen feet and a belly when departing — I left looking about 7 months/30 weeks pregnant.
Gifts for nurses
I purchased ten $10 gift cards from Starbucks to give to our nurses throughout our stay, not really knowing how many different nurses we would have and how much we would see them. Ultimately we gave out five — two each to our main nurses and one additional to our nurse helping us leave on the last day.
I had no idea they don’t actually “inspect” how you put the babies into the carseat or how the carseat is installed in your car. The inspection is about 90 minutes long and tests whether your baby’s heart rate or oxygen levels drop when they are strapped into the carseat. We weren’t even around for it — the nurses brought both the babies and the carseats to the nursery and did the inspection overnight.
First Few Nights Home
There’s no getting around the first few nights at home being… interesting. Lots of new sounds and routines and getting actual shut eye can be challenging. For this reason Tyler and I opted to use a night nurse as we get adjusted to this new life & schedule, and she has been our saving grace. Not only has she taught us literally everything about how to bottle feed, burp, swaddle, soothe, etc. but having another set of experienced eyes on them has helped mom and dad sleep so much more soundly. A night nurse typically comes for a set of overnight hours and helps to feed and change the baby/babies while you rest. If you are nursing you might be waking up to do so but the night nurse will change and swaddle the babies and keep an eye on them between feedings. In our case, we are exclusively bottle feeding between formula and breastmilk so our night nurse is able to complete the overnight feedings without me since I pump a few times throughout the day for supply. It is an investment but I swear the extra sleep has helped my recovery tremendously.
Most Used Items So Far
Baby things we have used daily since being home:
Our two Boppy pillows
Arms Reach Cambria Co-Sleeper Bassinet (we love that it rolls lol)
Holle or Bobbie Formula
Our First Pediatrician’s Visit
I’ll end our first week wrap up with a recap on our first pediatrician’s visit because it was pretty hilarious. First of all, expect to see the pediatrician the next day after discharging from the hospital. We left the hospital however on a Friday so our first visit was the following Monday, giving us just a little more time to get used to relocating the twins from one place to another. We are also lucky enough to live in walking distance to our pedi so we strolled them over after finishing up a feeding and felt pretty great walking in.
Well that confidence quickly changed when the examination room began to feel TINY with our double stroller and four of us plus two nurses and we were instructed to undress the twins almost immediately for their check up. Both of our babies HATE BEING COLD and/or naked… they are little after all!! So queue the hysterical crying times two while we removed everything – including their diapers. Roxy decided to poop mid air as she was being transferred from the examination bed to the scale, and Riley had a geyser of a pee during his weigh in. We were laughing and shaking our heads and knew we were making quite the first impression!!! We were happy to be out of there in under 45 minutes and scheduled the next appointment for one week later. Let’s pray we handle the second go around with a little less mess 🙂
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