We Survived 6 Months!

When I was pregnant and met other twin moms, they mostly said the same thing, “Get through the first six months and it gets much easier.” Well I’m excited to say that the boys are officially six months old and we’re all still kicking!

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These past six months have been some of the craziest I’ve ever experienced. It started with a hospital stay for me due to preeclampsia, the boys being born six weeks premature and a month long NICU stay. Flash forward to today, and we have two healthy, thriving boys, a content and curious almost-four-year-old and a lot more sleep all around.

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Here are some six month stats for the boys:

Whitaker has always been the bigger of the two, and now weighs in at 15 lbs 2 oz or 14th percentile. He is 26.7 inches tall or 58th percentile. For a preemie, it’s great that he’s even on the scale, let alone above 50th percentile. He eats a TON. The boy will put down 7-8 ounces like it’s nothing. He just started eating solid food and is loving it so far.

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His play routine involves:

1. playing with a toy on his back for a few minutes

2. Rolling to his stomach

3. Realizing he still cannot figure out how to roll back

4. Screaming in frustration until I put him in “baby time out,” which is his rock n play with a toy

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When he’s not locked into this routine, Whit tends to be a very happy, smiley and grunty baby. Yes, grunty. This boy is always sniffing and snuffing and generally making monster-like noises. He’s our little meatball.

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Davis is our small guy. He’s just 13 lbs 4 oz or 1st percentile for weight. For height he is 25.3 inches or 8th percentile. If he was my first baby I may be worried about his size, but Lila was exactly the same. In fact, even being a full term baby, Lila weighed less than a pound more than Davis at six months. Now she’s 97th percentile for height! Besides, they say preemies typically don’t “catch up” to the scale until age 2.

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Davis continues to be going for the world record for the World’s Easiest Baby. This boy is all sweetness and happiness and ease. He flashes me the biggest smiles and full on belly laughs at just about anything – especially his sister.

Davis thinks his big sister is HILARIOUS! #davisray #lilakate #siblinglove

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Davis rolls both ways, likes playing with toys and going for walks. Mostly this guy likes just about anything you throw at him. The only times he gets upset is when his brother rolls on top of him, or his bottle gets temporarily “borrowed” to calm his hungry (loud) brother first. :)

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One the biggest challenges and victories for me these past six months has been my journey breastfeeding twins. Since the boys were in the NICU at first, they were exclusively on bottles. I started off exclusively pumping and thankfully had a great supply.

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I worked my butt off those first 12 weeks to transition the boys from bottles to nursing. It took a lot of practice, five trips to a lactation consultant, lip tie revision for both boys, a bout of mastitis and a LOT of frustration, but we finally got there. I had a lot of support from my sister who pushed me to keep trying in the early days when I wanted to give up.

Now both boys do a mixture of bottle feeding and nursing depending on the day. They have been exclusively on my breastmilk since they were three days old. Producing enough milk for twins (60 ounces a day!) is a pretty crazy undertaking for my body, so I’m proud to have accomplished this goal. I couldn’t have done it without the support of Luke who always helped me make it a priority to pump or nurse.

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The boys are both sleeping from about 8pm – 6:45 am, which has drastically improved the quality of our lives. I don’t do well being sleep deprived. It took my body quite awhile to learn how to sleep longer than a few hours at a time once they slept through, but I’m finally starting to know what feeling rested is like again.

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People often ask me if having twins is totally crazy. I tell them yes, and no. There are moments where everything is chaos and I feel like we live in the circus, but there are also moments where I feel like we manage very well and that having twins isn’t THAT much more work than having one baby. It helps a lot to have a very involved partner and supportive friends and family.

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At the end of the day I wouldn’t have life any other way. Raising twins is such a unique experience and a total blessing. These boys are the perfect complement to our family.

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Getting Into a Groove

Life has been moving along over here at the Batman house. I can’t believe it, but the boys will be 6 months old next week! It seems like it was just a week ago that we were making our daily trips to the NICU to be with them, and now they’re healthy, happy almost-six-month olds.

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I feel like we’ve gotten through the really hard parts and things are getting easier and easier. They both sleep through the night from 8pm – 6:45 am or so. After five months of sleep deprivation, finally getting a full nights rest has been amazing for this worn out mama.

The boys are also getting to the point where we can take them out for a few hours without the threat of any major meltdowns. They love the cool fall air and taking in the sights and sounds outside our house. Last weekend we took them to a local park for a long walk and yesterday we ventured up the street for our towns annual Halloween festival.

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We’re going on day four of near-constant Halloween parties and candy-eating, culminating in her preschool parade and trick or treating tomorrow. Yes you read that right, my baby is a PRESCHOOLER. Sob!

Lila attends 3 year old preschool by our home three days a week and absolutely loves it. She comes home with oodles of crafts and stories about what she’s learned like, “Mommy, did you know that deer and NOCTURNAL? They sleep all day and are awake all night!” She’s blossoming into a little student who loves learning. Here’s her blurry school picture proof I can’t stop staring at.

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Lila also has a newfound love of golf. She takes after her daddy, who is an avid golfer. It’s become a sweet activity they do together in the backyard. He’ll tee up three balls for her and she’ll take turns giving them a whack. This could go on for hours! She even got to go to a real golf course and ride in the cart, which blew her mind.

screen-shot-2016-10-30-at-7-33-30-pm I’m slowly getting more confident in my abilities as a mom of three. Luke had to travel overnight several times this month and I was a nervous wreck before the first trip. Managing all three alone at bedtime had me seriously stressed. But as with most things I’m nervous for, once the time came, it wasn’t all that big of a deal. If there’s one thing I’m learning as a twin mom, it’s how to multitask! screen-shot-2016-10-30-at-7-37-04-pm It’s been fun seeing the boys personalities come out more and more. Davis is a super chill guy who is content to play with a toy on a blanket. Whitaker is a very determined little guy. He’s been working on rolling all the way round for awhile now and he gets VERY FRUSTRATED when he can’t complete his roll. Meanwhile poor Davis just wants his brother to stop rolling onto him. :)

Davis has perfected the roll-blocking strong arm. #davisray #whitispissed

A video posted by Liz Batman (@elizbatman) on

We joke that Davis is a little me (I was a very chill baby) and Whit is a little Luke (who also was a determined baby according to his mom). One thing for sure, is each of them have a physical resemblance to us!

Baby Luke & Whit

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All in all, life has been good during these fall months. We spend much of our time together at home, which is just fine with me. This family of five is getting into a groove slowly but surely.

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Dear Lila: You’re 3 1/2 Years Old!

Dear Lila,

It’s been a whole year since my last “dear Lila” post, and what a year it has been! You went through a lot of changes this year, the biggest of which was becoming a big sister to your baby brothers.

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This year you grew in so many ways. First off, you got a lot taller! You are a good foot taller than many kids in your classroom even though they are older than you. A few weeks ago you came home from school and said “mommy, the kids in my class say I’m not the number I say I am because I’m so big.” I have to admit my heart sank a little for you, only because I was teased a lot growing up for how tall I was, but when I asked you how that made you feel, you just smiled and said “I felt fine mommy!”

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You’re still all girl and continue to love to dress up in princess dresses, get your nails painted and beg me to let you wear some of my lip gloss, but your interests have expanded to include new things too like ballet class, swimming, riding your scooter and anything involving arts and crafts.


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Scooter girl #lilakate

A video posted by Liz Batman (@elizbatman) on

Speaking of swimming, you are a bonafide fish! The swim lessons you took at the YMCA all winter seemed to have paid off because this summer you have taken off in the pool. You now swim without your floatie about 10 feet to daddy or I, will dive underwater and grab goggles off the floor of the pool and even jump off the diving board with your floatie on. Daddy and I are so proud of how fearless you are!  

Check out this little fish! #lilakate #threeyearsold

A video posted by Liz Batman (@elizbatman) on

Speaking of proud, we couldn’t be happier with how you’ve welcomed your baby brothers into your life. I was worried you may feel resentful towards them considering how absent I was at times while dealing with their difficult pregnancy and then time in the hospital, but you shower them with love and affection. You call them “Whitakerie and Davisie” and love to hug and kiss them. These boys are so lucky to have you for their big sister!

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You are very sensitive to your surroundings and experiences. We made the decision to take you to great grandpa John’s funeral in May and your reaction to it all was so interesting. While at the funeral, you said you wanted to draw GG John a picture, so we gave you markers and paper. When you were done, you gave it to me and said “It says: Dear GG John, I miss you. Things down here are complicated.” I about fell over!

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And still many months later you talk about him and heaven. You have a lot of questions like “Who will live in our house when we all go to heaven?” or “Will I see GG John when I go to Heaven?”  You are not one of those kids who forget things easily. You remember and think deeply about them, which I love. Your sensitivity will help you become empathetic and develop an understanding of those around you. You’ll be a great friend to many, I think.

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You’ve really come out of your shell this year. You love playing with your neighbors, friends and most of all your cousins. Your imagination has taken over and we often find you playing barbies in your room. You do all the voices and make up little stories between your dolls. We love hearing how your mind works.

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I like to tease you that you’re not allowed to grow older and that you must stay three forever because I like you little. The truth is, we love watching you grow up and feel like we are growing and learning right alongside of you. I am so proud of the person you are and the person you are still becoming. I can’t wait to watch you grow and evolve throughout the years.

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I love you to pieces forever and always!

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XO

Mommy

Update: Life With Two Month Old Twins

The boys are 2 1/2 months old and time has been absolutely flying! The days tend to blur together and the minute to minute tasks at times are mundane, but overall we are loving life as a family of five.

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It’s times like now that I am so grateful that both Luke and I work from home. The flexibility allows us to juggle work, babies, and even squeeze in a bit of personal time. They say it takes a village and that couldn’t be more true for us right now! We hired our next door neighbor’s daughter to help us transition through the summer three days a week, Lila attends school in the afternoons and my moms comes by regularly to help out.

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Luke and I each take a baby at night to lessen the burden on one of us. Typically Davis will sleep from 10:30 pm – 4:00 am and then back down until 7 or 8. Whitaker is a bit more unpredictable. Some nights he’ll sleep the same at Davis with one wake up, and others he’s up three or more times.

Breastfeeding has been challenging to say the least. For the first 8 weeks Whitaker could not latch at all and Davis could about one out of every eight attempts. It was incredibly frustrating. I saw multiple lactation consultants with not much help, until I decided to take them to a pediatric dentist to be evaluated for lip and tongue tie. Turns out both had rather severe lip ties preventing them from latching correctly. We had that revised via laser and after a very fussy few days, both boys were able to latch. Here’s Whit in a milk coma.

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Davis is a nursing pro by now, but Whitaker still has some issues. Specifically he clicks a lot when nursing and loses suction. So back to another lactation consultant we go! Thankfully my supply has been ample so I have been able to pump and bottle feed them exclusively with breastmilk. But I will say pumping, bottle feeding AND practicing nursing with twins is a heck of a lot of work.

Lila has been a very sweet big sister. Her “jobs” include playing with the babies during their awake time, putting pacifiers back in little mouths and fetching diapers. She loves being around the babies … sometimes a little too much. We are working to teach her about boundaries and how babies like to be touched. Her favorite time is when the babies join us in her bed for bedtime books and stories.


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We have become hermits this summer, spending most of our days at home. Going for a neighborhood walk feels like all the work I’m willing to tackle in a day! These boys like their routine at home and we’re slowly figuring each of them out.

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Davis is a super chill guy. He is my trick baby. Meaning if I didn’t know better, I would think based on his behavior that all babies are easy! He doesn’t cry much and is generally happy. He makes these cute sounds like a goat when he’s trying to get our attention like “Um, hey guys? I’m a little displeased about something over here. Do you think you could come help me? Not right now? Oh okay.” That’s how he earned his nickname Goat Boy (aren’t we nice??).

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Whitaker is a bit spicier. He goes from zero to a hundred in two seconds flat and he is a strong boy! He’s a full pound and a half bigger than Davis and very muscular for a baby. Luke jokes that when I got steroids in the hospital that they all went to Whitaker, which is why he’s so strong and angry. We call him meatball.

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In terms of milestones, the boys are so close to smiling. I can just tell it’s going to happen soon. Otherwise, Whitaker about made me fall over the other day when he decided to roll over from his belly to his back multiple times. Like dude, slow down! You’re about two months early for that one.

 

Check out my new trick, guys! #whitakerjohn #2monthsold #34weeker

A video posted by Liz Batman (@elizbatman) on

Life has already changed so much since these boys were born. We are exhausted, covered in spit up and recluses, but honestly I’ve never been happier.

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After going through our struggle to have more children, everything about caring for these babies – down to changing a poopy diaper – gives me complete joy. I know just how lucky I am to call them mine.

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Many thanks to Luke’s talented cousin Carissa for coming to Toledo to take family photos! If you’re in the Indianapolis area, please consider booking Carissa Hawkins Photography for your newborn, family or maternity photos.