Adjusting to life at home after having a baby can be tough. Past experience had taught me that. I wasn't sure what life with two new babies would be like, but I figured that it would be pretty overwhelming. While I was pregnant, I would go from feeling confident that things were going to be great when we added two members to our family, to wondering how in the world we were going to handle it. I think this was probably normal, though the mood swings about it made me feel like I was crazy!
We got home from the hospital with the babies at about 1:30pm on Thursday, February 5th. Arriving home at this time was nice because we got to see the big kids for just a few minutes, then they went down for nap. My sister and her daughter had both been sick just before the babies were born, so they didn't come to hospital to meet the girls. So, pretty soon after we got home, they came over to meet Brooke and Brecklyn.
Aunt Lisa (holding Brecklyn), Chloe Jo, and Uncle Russ (holding Brooke):
Aunt Lisa and Brecklyn:
Uncle Russ and Brooke:
Chloe Jo is a slow-to-warm child (like Brenson), so she did not want to hold the babies this night. She later told her mom that they were sooooo small and that's why she didn't want to hold them. She has warmed up to them now, though, and has held them several times.
I had been in a great deal of pain earlier in the day, so at this point I was pretty drugged up. I was also beyond exhausted! I ended up falling asleep in the chair while Russ, Lisa, and Chloe Jo were still there. Also, before they left, Joy Lin and Brant stopped by with food. They didn't stay long as they could see things were pretty chaotic, but Joy Lin did hold the girls for just a minute.
Brooke, Joy Lin, and Brecklyn
When we brought both Brianna and Brenson home, the first night was terrible. They both cried and fussed and spit up for hours. I remember being overwhelmed to the point of tears during our first night at home with Brianna, and just feeling completely inadequate as her mother. Because of this, I had mentally geared myself up for our first night at home with the twins to be miserable with crying and no sleep. However, as soon as our company left, I started our bedtime routine with the girls. They went down easily, woke every three hours (on the dot!) to eat, and went back to sleep with no issues! Chris and I were dumbfounded the next morning. It was easily the smoothest first night at home we'd had with any of our children.
Brecklyn and Brooke catnapping in the swing just before beginning our bedtime routine:
The next day was our first full day at home with the girls. Again, I had decided in my head that it was going to be chaos. However, my Mom was staying with us, so she took care of the big kids while I took care of the babies. It ended up being a smooth day! Just after lunch, Chris went to run some errands in town. By 1:30pm, Mom and I had all four kiddos down for nap and asleep at the same time! This was a huge win in my book, even though I did have help!
I posted this to IG showing all four kiddos asleep:
My sister and her daughter came over again for a few hours. Chloe Jo did hold a baby this time (Brooke)!
After another good night, we had a good start to our Saturday. The babies were still doing well eating every three hours, and my milk had finally come in so they were much more satisfied than they had been. I let Chris and Mom take care of all the kids and took the opportunity to get some rest Saturday afternoon. While I was resting, Brianna "helped" take care of the babies:
Brenson loved this giraffe mat as a baby, and the twinbies love it, too!
This photo makes me laugh . . . what are they looking at?
Brecklyn and Brooke:
Brenson was finally warming up to them, as well. He made a pallet right next to them on the floor to rest :-).
While I was resting, Tia came by and dropped off food for dinner. Even though my Mom was there with us, it was really great to have food dropped off because she was working hard to fix meals, keep the kitchen clean, and take care of the big kids. This gave her a much needed break, too!
Later that evening, we decided to have a little photo shoot.
Brianna holding Brecklyn and Brenson holding Brooke:
Big sister cannot get enough of these babies (with Brecklyn)!
Sweet, sweet Brecklyn:
Brecklyn was being more cooperative than Brooke with the photos this day.
Brooke and Brecklyn:
Brooke insisted on being awake :-).
Very shortly after these photos were taken, both babies got tired of photos and became cranky in a hurry. It was also about 6:30pm, and the big kids were hungry so they also got cranky in a hurry. Chris was in the middle of something, and I was trying to wrap up the photo shoot. Things went downhill in a hurry and stress levels got really high for a bit. After this, I proposed that at 5:30, all other things stopped and we made a point to sit down and have dinner as a family. This has really helped our evenings go smoother.
On Sunday, February 8th, Mom, Chris, and the big kids went to church. I stayed home with the babies as I was still not feeling well enough for an outing, and I wasn't ready to take the babies out that early during cold/flu season. Before they left, we snapped a few photos.
Brianna holding Brooke and Brenson holding Brecklyn:
This was my first time being alone with the babies, and it was a great success! They ate right on schedule, then went down for their morning naps.
Miss Brecklyn in the rock-n-play:
Miss Brooke in my lap (saying nooooo to photos :-):
Later that morning, my friend Christie came by to meet the babies and bring gifts. She was also sick when they were born, so she wasn't able to come to the hospital either.
Our first appointment with Dr. F was the next day (Monday, February 9th). Chris had decided to go back to work since Mom would still be with me during this whole week. The appointment was at 1:30pm, but it was still a lot of work to get everyone fed, ready, and out the door on time.
Brianna, of course, had to get in some snuggle time before the appointment (Brooke, Brianna, Brecklyn).
My view from the driver's seat of our van . . . love it!
Both babies checked out perfectly at the appointment. Dr. F took some time to check Brecklyn's hips really well again, and also to check the indention in her head. He determined that both were doing well. All the kids were so well behaved during the appointment, but I was still super thankful to have my mom there as back-up!
We had a pretty lazy afternoon after our outing that morning. I took these photos to send to Chris at work.
In this photo, they had just finished nursing and were as conked out as could be. We had taken their clothes off to help them wake up to take a full feeding :-).
That first full week at home with the babies ended up being a busy one! Brenson's birthday was on Tuesday of that week (post to come on that), we had a chiropractor appointment for the babies on Wednesday morning (although that ended up being canceled, I didn't get the phone call until about 30 minutes before we were walking out the door), and we had the babies' newborn photo shoot on Thursday (I can't wait to show you all these photos . . . they are so beautiful!). Like I said above, Mom was there with me all week, but Chris went to work.
And on Saturday? I completely lost my mind and decided to throw a small, family-only birthday party for the big kids. The twins were 11 days old at this point, but we did great and survived. I threw Brianna her 2nd birthday party when Bren was 8 days old, and I said then that I would never do that again. Haha . . . well, I guess I ate those words! Really though, it worked out well, and I'm glad we did it!
The birthday party was on Saturday, February 14th. Since it was Valentine's Day, I dressed the girls for the occasion. However, getting a good photo of the two babies proved to be impossible :-).
Brecklyn and Brooke (got to love that bug-eyed look, ha!):
This is what tends to happen when we put them side-by-side when they're awake. They try to eat each other, ha!
Brecklyn and Brooke:
Me and my littlest girlies (Brooke, Brecklyn):
The next day (Sunday, February 15th), we took the babies to church for the first time. Of course, I had to coordinate all of our clothes :-).
Daddy (holding Brecklyn), Momma (holding Brooke), Brianna, and Brenson:
My Dad had come back into town for the weekend (he hadn't seen the babies since his brief introduction to them at the hospital). However, we had some bad winter weather come in that afternoon, so Mom and Dad headed home right after worship service. Mom had been with us for two weeks, and it was HARD to see her go! There were tears. I can't say enough how thankful I am for her time spent here. Her support means the world to us!
Grampy (with Brecklyn), G-Jo (with Brooke), Brianna, and Brenson:
Chris took the two weeks after Mom left off from work to be home with us. That has been wonderful, as well! The first Monday he was home, he spent the morning playing with the big kids in the snow. I bundled the babies up and took them out just to snap a quick photo of their first snow.
Brecklyn and Brooke's first snow, February 16th:
As far as my physical healing during those first few weeks, it was tough. I was in more pain and more sore than with my previous deliveries, for sure. It also seemed to take forever for my tummy to shrink down. I hit my pre-pregnancy weight at 10 days postpartum, but I still looked 4 to 5 months pregnant. I am currently about 3 to 5 pounds below my pre-pregnancy weight, but my body is still very awkward looking. Hopefully, thing will sort out with time. Also, my belly button herniated pretty badly during this pregnancy, and Dr. N had warned me that I would have to have corrective surgery on it. I currently have a lump right above my belly button that sticks out about an inch. I hope to have surgery on it within a few months. It doesn't cause me too much pain, although it does bother me sometimes. I am also still taking daily Lovenox injections as I'm at my highest risk of blood clots right now. Thankfully, I only have a few weeks of those left, and I plan to celebrate when I finally finish with them! I've given myself an injection every single day since the beginning of June! I thought my acne would go away once I gave birth, but it is actually worse. Hopefully, when my hormones settle down, it will clear up. Some nights, I wake up super sweaty and gross feeling. Again, this is probably just wonky hormones right now. My hip and back pain did disappear almost immediately after birth though, so that's been great.
Our first few weeks at home were much smoother than I could have imagined they would be. I've had a lot of friends and family ask me if we are overwhelmed, and the truth is that while there are certainly overwhelming moments, overall we are doing great! I told a few friends that we were actually about 10 times more overwhelmed after bringing Brianna home than we have been this time. I know that sounds silly, but the difference between bringing the first child home and bringing the 3rd and 4th (living) children home is HUGE. We know what kind of parents we are now. We know our goals for the first few weeks. We have a routine. We know that this phase will fly by and be over before we know it. The crying won't last forever. The sleeplessness won't last forever. Babies don't last forever.
And - probably the biggest thing of all - we pray daily for strength and patience, and we know that there are many others praying for us, as well.
Perspective. It makes all the difference :-).
Snuggly Brecklyn (16 days old):
Sweet Brooke (16 days old):