The babies turned three weeks old on Christmas day, and while I have no idea how three weeks have gone by so quickly, I can safely say they have been three of the best weeks I can recall.
Christmas — and December in general — is my favorite time of year. For one thing, my birthday is in December (I turned 38 this year). More importantly, I love winter weather*, twinkly lights, holiday foods and flavors, cozy clothes, snow and snowflakes and candlelight and creatures with antlers. You get the picture. This December, my Christmas wish came true: I have been lucky enough to spend the month with my husband and our two newborn babies, cozy at home. What could be better?
One great benefit of our jobs is winter break — three or so weeks of paid time “off” (or at least out of the classroom) every year, which, this year, just happens to coinide with our babies coming home. Perfect. I don’t know what I will do when my husband goes back to work at the start of the spring semester, but we will figure that out when the time comes.
So far, being home with E and L is lovely.
The defining feature of our lives at this point is the huge amount of time devoted to feeding them. Babies like to eat a lot and two babies like to eat twice as much as one baby. This is science. This is also a lot of milk, so my body is working double time. E and L are eating about every 2-3 hours, and the feeding routine** takes about an hour to complete, leaving us with these short little breaks in between feedings, during which we can attempt to do maybe one of the following tasks: eat for ourselves, sleep, shower, wash bottles and pump parts, feed and care for the cat and dog, do laundry, pay bills, return messages from friends and family, check the mail and open Christmas cards, snuggle the babies. Some of these tasks are more fun than others; some of them are more essential than others. You know how it is.
If I could wish for anything more at the moment, it would be for my milk supply to catch up with what the babies are eating so that we could stop needing to add formula. Right now, they’re eating about 2/3 breastmilk and 1/3 formula in each bottle. Not bad, really. But formula is expensive, y’all! We are working on it.
Last Christmas, I had no idea we would ever be here. It was a tough time of trying and failing and wondering if we would be lucky enough to be able to start the family that we wanted. What a difference a year makes!
*[redacted angry weather rant]
** The plan from our lactation consultant to help put weight on the babies and increase supply: Breastfeed one baby for 15 minutes. (On the next feeding, start by breastfeeding the other baby.) Feed both babies bottles of breastmilk topped off with formula. Burp both babies. Pump for 20 minutes. Change both diapers. CW and I work together on this and it still takes an hour from start to finish.