Saturday, February 19, 2011

Update on the Boys

The last few days have had many ups and downs. Great nurses, not so great nurses. Doctors agreeing with nurses, and not agreeing. Lactation consultants I want to bop on the head and fatigue.

The latest on the boys:

Camden is now at 5lbs 3.9oz! YAY! He had dropped to 4.14, so this is good news! His plan for the weekend is to get on all oral feeds, whether by breast or bottle with breast milk. They are fortifying my milk for a bit just to bump up his calories. He needs to steadily gain good weight over the weekend and if he does he could possibly come home Monday!

Christian is doing really well with his feeds and he is at 5lbs 6.9oz which is above his birth weight. We're not pushing him as much with his feeds because of his oxygen. So...we will slowly over the next week get him to all oral feeds as well. They are also weaning him off the flow of air. He started on 1 liter and today have moved him down to 1/2 a liter and he is doing well. If by Friday he is completely off oxygen/flow of air and he is taking all his feeds oral....he could be coming home some time that weekend!

SO, great news all around! It's exhausting....breastfeeding, supplementing with a bottle after they've breastfed to make sure they get enough (fortifying the breast milk in the bottle) and then pumping....and repeating every 3 hours. Whew. And it's not gonna get easier when they get home...:)
I'm still doing some tandem feeds, hoping to do that most of the weekend while I have help doing it.

Have any of you tandem fed? How the heck to you get all your pillows set up, latch them both on and then burp them by yourself? It's such an ordeal...and I'm using a shield for both babies at the moment. Any tips?!?! I know tandem is what is going to keep me sane, so I want to do that as much as possible.
The good news is I have a great milk supply and THAT was a HUGE prayer request of mine, so I am thankful for that!

So...that's about it. Thanks again for all of your comments, prayers and encouragement. I love going back and reading them over and over again :)

Here are a few pics from the last few days! Jack has been much happier at home and I'm so thankful.

Auntie with Christian

Jack testing out the babies things :)

Mommy and Jack time :)


  1. You are doing a great job. Let your family help is the only advise I have. The boys are beautiful/handsome fellows. Aunt Joanne

  2. your boys are so handsome - what precious blessings. and praise God for the good news! i did the same nursing/supplement/pumping thing with one for 8 mos... i know it must be crazy with two. saying a prayer for strength for you, sweet mama.

  3. Such awesome news. The babies are adorable. I love the photos. They are very sweet. I am so proud of you and you are a great Mommy. Jack seems very happy and incredibly loved. Know that you are deeply loved.

  4. I know you are going to get a bunch of great advice...some you'll agree with, some you won't. But I want to just share with you how I managed to feed my boys their first 9 months. They were 33 weekers and one suffered severe reflux, so nursing them at the same time was next to impossible. I quickly figured that by the time I tried to nurse them and then pump it would be time to start the feedings all over again. I could get nothing done! And so it is with twins, but still! I really wanted my boys to benefit from having breastmilk as long as I could manage so I chose to simply pump and feed by bottle. As soon as I made the decision I felt like a ton of weight was off of me! I was getting so stressed trying to do it all that I was not enjoying any of it (especially the middle of the night feeds and then having to go pump...I wanted sleep!) I was able to successfully pump for them for 8 months and had quite a stock in the freezer to then mix with formula after for quite a while. Bottom line-do what is rightfor you and makes things easier as well. If they do great tandem nursing that is so terrific, but if they don't, just know there are other options so you don't get stressed over it all. You've been through so much already!! Good're boys will thrive no matter waht!

  5. Hi Krystle!

    I had a premature baby and then twins, and by the Lord's grace, I was able to nurse them all!

    My suggestion for the twins is to get a twin nursing pillow (looks like a larger boppy, but more contoured to keep the babies in the proper position- well worth the money!) In fact, I plan to use that nursing pillow with #4, because it is soo helpful to have your hands a little more free (like the baby stays in position if you have to answer the phone/wipe boogies/etc).

    As for the tandem- don't feel soo much pressure. I eventually felt I could meet each babies' need (one ate way more) better separately.

    However, that said, after my experience with our 28 weeker, I would try to wean them to complete breastfeeding asap- probably in a few weeks max- they are gaining good and are pretty big already! Because otherwise you will drive yourself crazy with the breast/bottle/pump/clean the pumpers routine- because I know that by the time you're done, it's pretty much almost time for the next round to start.

    Hang in there- you're doing all the right things- even breastfeeding twins is an accomplishment :-)

    Feel free to email me if you have more questions. These are just my suggestions- I'll pray for you regardless, because you have to find what works for you :-)


  6. I love love love the pic of your sis holding that sweet baby. Oh, my friend. I can't wait until you're through this part. I know it won't get easier any time soon but I'm so proud of you. Some of the greatest blessings of my life were also the most exhausting; when I had no choice but to draw on the deep, bottomless, unwaivering strength of God. May the coming days and weeks bring you to the place where you find 3 strong and healthy sons sleeping soundly in their beds. The simple, quiet moments were always food for my soul. May you find those peaceful moments even now, and know that they are a gift from a God who never sleeps.

  7. hi!! in my experience, i tandem nursed until they got good and when they were taking 10-12 mins to eat (prob 3 mos old). then i nursed them right after each other, and would feed the same one first all day. the other would be fine in the bouncer or whatever, and even if he started fussing he would only have to fuss 10 mins or so. if they were ever starving at the same time or i was in a hurry, i would still tandem, but as they get bigger it gets harder. plus the one-on-one bonding is so sweet and you don't get enough of it w/ twins. BUT--as far as tandem--yes it will save you a TON of time while they are newborns. like someone said, be sure you have the twin pillow--EZ 2 Nurse Twins, mine was called. lay them both on the couch on either side of where you will sit and strap your pillow on. sit down, pick up one, latch him, do the other. you can turn one on his tummy right on the pillow and burp, or even just plop him on your shoulder and burp while the other continues nursing. plus breastfed babies don't need to burp nearly as often, so you can get away with only 1 burping per feeding and later, just after. for me also tandem could be a little stressful in the middle of the night when i was up all alone, so sometimes i would give them bottles simultaneously, put them back down, then pump. took a little more time but worth it on occasion. i think that's all! seriously leave me a comment if you ever have a question!!

  8. Krystle-
    Well you know my story on what I would say is just do what you can realistically manage. You are going to have a bunch of strong emotions and pressures that you just have to pray alot about and ask God to give you peace about whatever ends up working best for your situation. Having a good supply of breastmilk is such a miracle by itself so however you can get it to them is secondary. The boys are doing so well and we are so happy they will be home with their family soon. You and Trevor are doing an awesome job and its a challenging experience and yet your faith is getting you both get a GOLD star ;) We will continue to pray for all of you and look forward to seeing those boys comfortably in ther home with mom, dad and big brother!!
    Love The Dunhams

  9. They are SO PRECIOUS! Saying prayers for the babies. Praying for better feedings, more weight gain, more sleep for Mommy, and lots of love :)

  10. Hi Mommie!

    You are doing amazingly well considering the whirlwind you and Trevor have been living the past few weeks. I have such love and admiration for you, dearest niece. Regarding the nursing, my colleague had twin boys and used a large crescent shaped pillow (is that the "twin nursing pillow" another mom described?)and said it was a life saver. God's peace and love to all of you! Aunt Sandy

  11. I really hope they can come home soon! YOu are doing great, holding it all together. It can't be easy. I am still praying for you, your family and the little babies, they are so precious!

  12. I agree with the previous poster that says you'll get a lot of advice but I also had 33 weekers with severe reflux and we had to fortify my breast milk with preemie formula so I pumped and we fed through bottles. You can do both - breast feed some and bottle feed some ... it can work and you can give them breast milk either way. Choose what you feel most comfortable with ... I also felt a HUGE weight off my shoulders once I "forgave" myself for not breastfeeding them directly but via bottle.

    Your boys are beautiful! NICU is stressful and tiring and traumatic (all the beeping, etc) .... noone can truly understand unless they have been there. I know that feeling of coming home to an empty home and sobbing on my kitchen table ... all the back and forth to the hospital ... to catch the timing of the diaper changes/feeding so you can hold your little one .... I pray that your boys will be home soon!


  13. I too used the EZ to nurse twins pillow and it was great! That said I totally agree that you have to find what works the best for you and just run with it. It may be tandem and it may not be. I really hoped that I would be able to tandem feed, and I could, but definitely not all the time. I actually had the opposite experience, I find it much easier to tandem feed now (my girls are 4 months old) than it was when they were newborns simply because when they were newborns they didn't have the head support necessary to stay latched on very well without me holding their heads to my breast while they were feeding. For getting them latched on, I did the same thing that Meg did - and burping WAS a bit tricky - as was re-latching the baby back on my breast (I thought that was the hardest anyway since I had to do it one handed).
    For me personally, I ended up pumping and feeding because we had a home health nurse who was anal and was stressing me out with their weight gain and for my own peace of mind I needed to be able to tell her how much the girls were getting. Then I went back to tandem and one on one feeds (SO much better). Do what works for you momma - you are doing such a fabulous job already!!! Congrats on your beautiful babies!!!

  14. Thinking of you guys and hoping the boys are doing really well....and you too!

  15. Everyone has given you great advice so far! Here's what I had to do with my baby girls.

    They were 32 weekers so I didn't get to nurse for some time but started pumping right away. The pump and I became buddies. Once I was able to nurse the girls had very bad reflux so it made things a little difficult not to mention the tube down their nose made them angry when they ate. Tandem was hard, I found holding them both football hold was the easiest for us till they were about 4 months old and they just ended up bugging each other while they ate. Pumping is probably the most exhausting part of it all. But you just have to remember to keep on trucking. Once you get home things will be touch but You'll also be able to feed them in bed which makes things a lot easier. During the day we tandem fed and I would usually burp one while the other one finished then would pump afterwards to get more milk and give them a little formula mixed with the left overs per doctors orders. When you get up making sure they both eat around the same time is key or it will feel like it's all you do!

  16. tandem feeding took me a few months to master. To be honest, until they were much older I preferred them on separate schedule. For ME it was easier, these were my fifth and sixth babies so I really had the singleton thing down. It was easier to just nurse all day long then try and get them to do things at the same time.

    It does get easier, and much more fun!

    Take lots of photos, because you really will sort of miss these tiny days!