Posted in All, Musings

Big Pumpin’

So I’ve been trying to ween off pumping, and apparently going far too fast. I’ve got this big ol’ blocked duct under my areola. I think there might be some other little ones around cuz DAMN Lahey hurts. (My tits are named Lahey and Randy.) It sucks too cuz the block is right under where the pump horn sits so it’s hard to massage out without losing suction and getting a titty fart.

I’m guessing people know what I’m talking about. Pumpers, at least.

I think the important discussion here is, I finally agreed to stop pumping. It seems a weird time to do so, we’ve just gotten them sleep trained and they’re still not really into solid food. (This week we’re gonna try some stuff other than rice cereal. I’d heard the grain cereals were the way to go, but since I fed them that stuff I’m hearing literally everything else. Tomorrow we’re gonna try mashed banana and titty milk.) Plus with the sleep training, I feel like I’ve gotten a lot of my mental health back. So why the cut?

Cuz I’m selfish. I want my tits back. I want my time back. And it still makes me really anxious while I’m pumping, especially when I pump at night for some reason. It’s like the last remaining source of intense anxiety I have left. And it’s weird, because I hadn’t really gotten pumping anxiety for a while. It kinda came back with the sleep training so I figure I was so anxious and mentally unwell that I just didn’t notice the anxiety when it came. Like it was just a pebble in a rock slide or something. Then once I started feeling better sleeping properly again, the pumping anxiety became more intense in contrast.

I get anxious when I think about not pumping anymore too. I’d always been of the mind that you should give babies breast milk until they’re about two, at least that’s what I learned in high school Biology. Not that I’d planned to have a toddler hanging off my chest…. But basically my plan was to breastfeed until 6 or 8 months, get them onto a bottle by a year and then bottle/sippy cup feed them until 2. Of course, this was before kids. Once I had the twins and we realized breastfeeding was a pipe dream cuz of the bottle feeds in the NICU. But the plan was still to pump until 18 months or 2 years, then came the question of whether it was causing or worsening my postpartum issues. I was really resistant to stopping, cuz I want my kids to have the best start especially cuz they were premature. They’ve caught up tremendously! They’re doing amazing. They haven’t looked premature since they were like 3 months old, and they learn insanely fast. Knowing that they’re pretty well caught up, I’m a little more comfortable with not breastfeeding anymore.

So I figure, I’ll very slowly stop. I’m guessing I have that (those) blockage(s) because I’ve slowed down too fast. I went from 25 to 30 minutes to 20 minutes in like a week. I was still getting similar volume though, so that’s interesting. As I wrote the first half of this post I did a full 30 minutes (31 actually) to get rid of the blocks, and it seemed to work but I guess I’ll find out as the day goes on. My tit doesn’t hurt as much as it did when I started writing this so it’s a win either way!

Anyways, the NEW plan is basically to cut two or three minutes off each week. So it’ll take me 12 to 15 weeks to really cut’er down, and that gives me tons of time to get the kids eating all kinds of tasty food. Plus my crazy milky flow doesn’t get all stopped up and cause me the pains. I had the beginnings of mastitis once a few months ago and it was fucking brutal. I thought I had COVID I felt so bad. I was in intense body pain, felt like I was gonna throw up and couldn’t really eat, I was so tired – and this was before sleep training so for me to have said I was way more tired at that point? I figure you get the idea. (At this point it’s also probably important for me to note that I’m a notorious hypochondriac…) Needless to say I didn’t have the COVID. Not long after I made the appointment to get the test it dawned on me that I might be getting mastitis, cuz my tits really hurt too. So I did a major pump, lots of massaging and I went for quite a while. I felt way better almost immediately.  Still got the test cuz… You never know!!! What if it’s cancer?!?! Google said it was!!

So yeah. I’ll keep y’all posted on my progress I’m sure. Maybe I’ll chicken out of quitting cuz my mood has been great, and I really do want to give them the good stuff as long as I can. I’ve mentioned that I’m a recovering conspiracy theorist, and you don’t really need to be a conspiracy theorist to not trust Nestle or large food production companies. I don’t really want my kids on formula, and I’m lucky enough to have a strong milk supply. I never had to take meds for that or rely entirely on formula and I’m grateful for that. I lost one of my dearest friends to Domperidone (actually that’s who we named Birdy after.) Scary shit! She left behind a seven month old baby – my babies are just over seven months now. Just… Didn’t wake up one morning. Her husband found her slumped over the edge of the bed like she was trying to turn on the lamp or something. She and many other women accidentally gave their lives to feed their babies breast milk. It makes me feel a little guilty that I’m just calling it quits because I feel like it. And I get the whole “you have to do what’s best for you and your family” but this seems like something I won’t know is a mistake until long after. Or maybe it’ll be fine and I’m worrying for nothing. I dunno. Life is bonkers.

For now I’ll keep pumping, less and less until I’m out of milk. And of course, worry on and off the whole time that I’m not doing the right thing. But hey, I guess that’s why I have a blog. To talk this shit out with myself in a public forum!

Thanks for listening. And now to post this without reading it, just like almost all of my posts.

Posted in All, My Story

Adventures in Sleep Training – Days 8 through 12 (The Level-out)

Today I feel like the pendulum has slowed and I’m back in the middle of the spectrum. I’m really, really happy with my life and my family but I’m not so elated I feel like I’m on drugs. Which is good, cuz when I’m that happy it gets ruined by my concerns of the mood crash. This is just regular happy. It’s a good place. I also got a KitchenAid Mixer today for my birthday (which isn’t until December, but Dave found a refurbished one for super cheap!) So I got a mega kitchen boner and all I want to do is bake. Bake alllll of the things!


Fast forward two days to when I had the chance to pick this up. I did bake. Oh did I bake… I made some incredible cupcakes. Vanilla with a light lemon buttercream. God damn, I’m good. Maybe I’ll do a baking blog some day. Baking and cooking makes me happy. Not like… Matty Matheson happy. But pretty happy. I love feeding people, and I love eating. One of the reasons I was excited to be a parent is to cook and bake with my kids.

Sleep training is still going well overall. Today kind of sucked but it was still far better than before. Birdy seemed to want minimal naps today and was dragging her brother along for the ride, so there was a lot of cranky crying today. Yesterday I don’t think they woke up on their own once. I like it more that way. Well rested babies, with a well rested mom who feels accomplished for getting one or two chores done.

My mood is still fairly level, in spite of a dip today. I wonder if it’s the therapy session I had in the morning opening the gates on some shitty memories or if it’s just the way she goes.


Fast forward again. Day 11 already. Still a pretty level day except I can’t seem to make time for blogging or showers. That’s more a side effect of my laziness though… Maybe I’m catching up on sleep and laze, maybe I’m just feeling bleh. Either way my mood is fine, so I consider that a win. I continue this post while I sit and wait for the babies to settle. There’s been no check-in yet. Usually they only need one check, and once we put their soother in its over pretty quick. Sometimes they find it on their own, but more often they cry until we come in. I’m not sure if this is a healthy habit.

I reverse jinxed it. They’re quiet now.

Oh wait, I regular jinxed it. Moose is still mad

Nope reverse jinxed it again. Quiet.

Oh shit. Regular jinx again. He had his soother, damnit! Birdy’s is across the crib but I watched Moose put his in his mouth. Now he’s doing that sobbing cry like he just lost a limb or a loved one. Ugh. I wonder if I’ll ever get used to that.

I have to say though, I do much better with it than I expected I would. Now I only break over them crying if I’m uncertain about what I’m doing. Like if I goof up their nap schedule and they’re hungry at an odd time, and I don’t know if I should feed them right away when I’m gonna start their bed time routine in an hour. Or if they’re waking up from naps riiiight before the minimum 70 minutes so I have to chill them out before I let them get up. Or not, if they’re just pissed off and hungry.


Ok it’s taken me days to write this. I am one busy mama!

I went for a walk today. I think one of the reasons I hit some lows is because I haven’t gone for any walks. I learned a few months ago that I need to walk or I go crazy, but I guess I had to learn it again. I felt great all night, and I only walked for like a half an hour. I got home, hung with the kids, put them to bed, prepped dinner, iced the cake I made earlier, put all of the laundry away and posted a bunch of stuff for sale on FB. Productive as fuck, yo. I’ve been really nervous to leave for more than 20 or 30 mins cuz last time I did, I screwed up their bed time. I think I’m getting the hang of their sleep schedule enough that I can go walking again. At the very least, just up and down my street. There’s a big ol’ hill there, it’ll help get rid of these cakes and cookies I’ve been making with my mixer. (I need to start bringing these things to other people….)

So the level-out continues. I learn, I screw up, I learn again, I eat, I eat, I eat… Our consultant has given us all of the tools we need. Now we just need to stick to the schedule as best as we can, and find ways to stay sane inbetween. I am already forgetting how much easier it is these days. How convenient! But it is better. Everything is better. I appreciate my kids more, and I have time to get shit done.

I am not sure how to end this one so….. Bye?

Posted in All, My Story

Adventures in Sleep Training – Day 7 (The Lows)

So yesterday I rambled a lot about the amazing highs I’ve been feeling this week. And let’s be clear – I’m still feeling them. But maybe its time to talk about the downsides and the lows I’m feeling too. Especially because today the emotional pendulum has begun to swing the other way. I have definitely not reached the misery levels I’ve hit in the last several months, but you know. Feelin’ it.

So first off, I think I talked about this yesterday (I talk about a lot of things on this blog and in my real life that I will likely repeat. Repetition is the repetition is the repetition is the best way to learn things. For me, anyways… Ok but yeah. The one thing I notice I’m missing – and now on a more hormonal level, I think – sleeping with my babies. I feel like it’s hard to get snuggle time now. Snuggles make them sleepy, and we’re still in the phase of trying to teach them when to sleep and when to be awake. We get our snuggles in here and there, especially when we’re really struggling to keep them awake and holding them to keep them calm. Then they get their soothers and tend to just flop down on us for snuggles. It’s heartshattering that we can’t just take them to bed for a nap. Before we started sleep training, I was missing Dave even though I saw him every day. Now that that is balanced I find I’m missing the kids in the same way. Go figure!

I am super, super cranky these last two days. I’ve thought a lot about it, and I’ve kind of noticed it’s because I can’t seem to get the hang of the sleep training myself. The kids are doing great but it’s like I’ve decided we’re ready to schedule things and we’re not. I keep guessing on their naps and I’m screwing it up every time. The other day we went for a walk for their catnap and I thought I had everything ready and set up to go, but we got there at like 4:15 or something and didn’t leave until an hour or so later. They ended up in bed at 7:30 instead of 6:30 because I just didn’t have my shit together. As I type that, I’m wondering if the sleep consultant is going to remind me not to speak so negatively. Sorry Jessica. But… I’m cranky. So nyeehhh.

Anyways, I just feel like I’m getting too caught up in the math. Dave was getting frustrated with me this morning because I’m overcomplicating this like I do everything. “Ok, they went down at 8:30 which means they’ll probably be up around 10 or 10:30, which means they’ll go down at noon or 12:30 and wake up again at…” I’m already frustrating myself. Being the imperfect perfectionist I am, I’m always looking to schedule things. I like working off of lists and at least a loose idea of how my day is going to go. One of the things I was so overjoyed about is that I can plan my day now, and get things done. But I’m finding a clash between trying to do that and work the kids’ schedules. One or the other is getting sacrificed and it’s starting to make me anxious. I’m feeling out of control again. I need to feel like I have some kind of control over my life or I start to go crazy. Funny how it took me like 30 years to realize what a control freak I am. At least I kind of knew it before I had kids!

The anxiety is also back. It’s probably another by-product of feeling out of control. I’m irritable and silly things are happening in my head. I remember when the kids were in the hospital and my anxiety started getting out of control, I’d picture horrible shit like people dropping them or their monitor becoming unscrewed from the wall and falling on them, or the milk having been out too long and making them sick… Just unreasonable things to be concerned about. That kind of stuff is happening again, and not quite at the frequency it was happening then. I’m trying to think of an example but I can’t. Just nervous about unreasonable shit.

I’m irritable as hell too. Oh fuck. Am I pregnant…? Let’s put that horrible concern away for a minute… Fuck… Period is in two weeks. Cross your fingers for me.

Anyways… I’m irritable as hell. Dave broke my Anchor 2-cup measuring cup yesterday and I snapped on him. And he says it’s not a big deal, and I’m sure it isn’t. But 1) I’m not really the type of person to get mad about an accident, 2) I’m not the type of person to be mean when I’m mad and 3) I’m clumsy as fuck and that totally could have been me. Dave and I have broken like 5 glasses between us in the last like 3 months and it’s disappointing to lose our favourite glasses, or my new measuring cup, or whatever. But it is not an issue. We can get another Tofino Brewing glass. We can DEFINITELY get another measuring cup.

So that was a fairly bad example because I have a reason to be legitimately irritated, but it’s even in little things. Dave tried to kiss me while I was doing something yesterday and I just got so annoyed with him. I stopped myself and kissed him back, because I realized I was just being a bitch, and I don’t think he really noticed I got shitty about it in my head. (He never really does, he’s such a chill person that other people’s moods don’t really affect him. I’m forever jealous of that trait and hope he passes that on to our kids.) I also got frustrated making too much dinner and I couldn’t mix the sauce, the veggies and the chicken properly so I made him do it. Then I wouldn’t even eat right away. I went for a walk.

All of this to say – the mood swing has swung. I still wouldn’t give up the progress we’ve made for any of this, and there’s a really good chance this is just hormones. My period came back a few weeks ago and I’ve noticed some wonky shit going on in my body, maybe all this is just a byproduct of getting back into Shark Week. I’ve also decided it’s time to slowly ween off pumping now that the kids are going to be getting into real food soon. I’m sure that has to have SOME affect on my hormones and likely my mood.

But I repeat – I would still not give up the progress we’ve made with the kids, and as a family over the last week. Sleep training has been amazing. I will find a way to get over my shit and go back to being crazy in a good way.

Posted in All, My Story

Adventures in Sleep Training – Days 4, 5 and 6 (The Highs)

As I said in Day 3, I sort of lost steam on doing a continual update. I have a list that I’ve been updating for the sleep consultant, and I’ll put that up at the bottom here once I’m done rambling.

Before I keep going, I want to speak to getting a sleep consultant. I feel like I did on the first day, but I just need to say HOLY SHIT, THIS IS THE BEST DECISION I’VE EVER MADE. It sounds super new age and bougie, but I had no idea where to start with sleep training. Especially with twins. I got some funny looks from family and friends, like ‘oh… Sounds expensive.. Are you sure you need that..?” and I’m really glad I didn’t take that to heart. It was under $400 for two weeks of help, and it just seems like pennies in comparison to the sanity and structure it’s given our family. Plus I expected it to be much more expensive (I mean, I guess I had no idea how much it was going to be… But to me, the word ‘consultant’ usually means several more digits.) She really broke down what needed to happen and tailored it to our life and schedule. I have a much better understanding of how babies function, and I can see the improvement in their cognitive function when they’re properly rested. I’m the kind of person who has to ask a lot of questions about why thinks work the way they do, and she has all of the answers. I’m still not 1000% confident but even if I was cast off on my own today I’d be able to figure it out from here. If you feel like you’re struggling to get a handle on naps and bed time, or if you’re even remotely as daunted as I was – I promise you it will be worth the expense.

On that theme, let’s talk about some of the benefits we’ve experienced this week.

For one, anyone who’s read my blog or even scanned it over knows that I’ve been dealing with some wicked postpartum mental health issues. Well I don’t want to say they’re solved – It’s been less than a week. But I can say with complete certainty that I’ve never been this happy in my life. To the point where I’m nervous because I’m waiting for the mood swing that will bring me back to earth. Seriously though, I’m getting sleep – as much as I need and probably more. I sleep when the babies sleep, and with them going to bed for like 12 hours at 6 or 7 there’s time for Dave and I to spend some time together AND get a good night’s sleep. I still have anxiety over random things (like the other night when I couldn’t sleep and my head got all wacky about people dying) and I get cranky at the drop of a hat. That could totally be my hormones balancing back out now that my period is back too. I dunno.

Dave and I have been falling even deeper in love. We were already near disgusting to people, so annoyingly and adorably in love. This week it’s like we’ve hit another level. He’s such a great dad, and an amazing partner. I cannot believe my luck. And at the risk of going too far, I’m gonna also say that the sex has been fantastic. With good timing too, he just had a vasectomy and we’ve got a quota over the next couple months to make sure we’re clear. Personal shit aside – I feel like I can be a better partner to him and take care of the house end of the partnership. I think I mentioned that I’ve taken care some cleaning and organizing that just has not been able to take place since the kids came. I have time to prep dinner and tidy up our tiny place a bit before he gets home from doing his end – bringing home that bacon.

I also get to shower, which is super exciting for myself and anyone I happen to walk past.

So yeah. Sleep train your kids. We knew it was time because they’d always been good sleepers, then all of a sudden we were fighting with them to go to bed. It would go back and forth between having to stand and rock Moose to sleep while I sang to him or talked to him or just did the mom bounce, and having to walk Moose around the house doing the same thing. They’d cryyy and cryyyy and cryyyyy… I’d be half in tears myself. We’d read about the sleep regression so we figured it would be a couple weeks of this and then things would go back to normal. They didn’t. Plus, they were still sleeping in our bed and that was getting increasingly unsafe as they got bigger.

The kids woke up, and I got sidetracked. So I’ll continue this rambling thought train tomorrow.

Posted in All, My Story

Adventures in Sleep Training – (Most of) Day 3

Looks like I lost steam on the whole play by play thing. I’ll post the quick notes I’ve been sending the consultant at the bottom, just in case that was helping anyone. I couldn’t really keep up with doing it blog style. I’ve been really good about putting my phone down when the kids are up, I don’t want them to grow up seeing me with my face down all the time because I feel like that will likely get them addicted to screens right off the bat. Not interested in that! Plus, these are the only kids I’m gonna have. I want to be paying attention to them and enjoying every moment. Dave and I only watch TV when they’re sleeping – I usually don’t even have it on. I have shit to do around the house that hasn’t been done in months, and I want to start blogging more now that I have the time. We’re gonna get another bluetooth speaker for the house cuz Dave takes his to work, and the kids and I like to party.

I started this post before I lost steam, so here it is. The cat nap post at 2:53pm was as far as I got, the rest after that is from the notes I sent the consultant.


It’s been an interesting and somewhat emotional ride so far, and I mean that in a good way. It’s funny though, last night I couldn’t sleep until well after their night feed. I missed them. I missed having them snuggled in between Dave and I, each of us holding a baby in our arms. It’s really sweet, and I don’t know that we’ll ever really be able to do that again. It’s definitely for the best and I wouldn’t trade the progress we’ve made for anything. But I will really miss snuggling my babies to sleep. It ended up turning into some anxiety too, in my sleepless state. What if they’re not breathing and I won’t find out until I go get them out of their cribs? Then I went off on that type of dark tangent for a couple hours, as one does when they’re sleep deprived and definitely crazy.

Anyways, today has so far been a bit more hectic than the last two days for several reasons. Dave is back at work today, I didn’t sleep much last night and the kids aren’t sleeping for a super long time. They’re still tired though. Maybe this is the regression that the consultant was talking about. On that note, hiring a sleep consultant was the best decision Dave and I have ever made. It has made this process so much more manageable. It seemed like overkill, and we had a few people hear we were doing that and they seemed confused and just kinda shook their heads. But this isn’t something I would have been able to accomplish myself with ease. I’d been trying. We needed to reclaim our bed, and I needed to reclaim at least some of my day and what little sanity I ever had. I’ve felt great, even today being this tired I feel better than I usually do emotionally. I have a better relationship with my kids and I’m able to enjoy my relationship with Dave. It’s so weird missing someone you’re sitting next to, but we’re always busy being parents. We rarely got the chance to just be us and in love. And we are very much in love.

Without further ado, I give you day 3 of our wacky Sleep Saga.

5:55am – Moose woke at 5:32 and was super pissed off. Did a check and he calmed down for a bit after that. Took four minutes on the second timer. He woke up again 3 minutes ago again pissed. Yelling (aaaamamamamamama and stuff) and thrashing around in his crib. He can’t sit up on his own so that’s pretty much just rolling around and waving his arms. Birdy wiggled a bit and readjusted, but is still sleeping. Feels silly to tell him to sleep with two minutes left but I guess I get it. Resetting the internal clock. Still…. Also.. holy shit I want to go hold my poor baby. He’s so upset. And the “aabababababa’s” and “aaaaaamamamamama’s” are killing me. That kid really sobs, it’s heartbreaking.

6:00am – Got Moose up. He didn’t really need another check cuz he’d quiet down for a minute or two then start up again, so I just pushed it to when we had to get them up. Turns out he pooped. A lot. Woke Birdy up five minutes later, changed them and fed them.

8:05am – Wow, that was such a fight to keep them awake until 8 lol. I kinda cheated, because Moose was falling asleep no matter what I did. I tossed him in the air and he smiled but his eyes were barely open. That was 7:54, so I changed him and put his sleep sack on him before putting him in his crib. By the time I came out to get Birdy it was 7:56 so they were probably both in the crib a few minutes early. Maybe it was 8 on the dot after I finished singing to them and left.

I am not sure what’s harder, keeping them awake or leaving them to cry in their crib. Dave might be right, it might be harder to keep them awake when they just want to sleep. Poor babies. Hopefully we can establish a solid routine and this won’t seem like such a dick move.

I also feel like it’s worth mentioning how many phantom cries Dave and I hear. I’ll have the monitor on and be looking at them, and I will still think I hear crying through the wall. It is pretty constant. I’d say I’m crazy, but Dave hears it too and he’s one of the most stable people I know.

11:33am – Babies woke up. I was napping, and it was really hard to not just pretend they hadn’t been sleeping long enough and do 5 minute checks. I’m lazy – what can I say? I didn’t though. Got up and fed the kiddos. Got them in the jolly jumpers around 10. Now is the right to keep them awake again because Dave is home from work for a few hours. Moose is pissed.

12:08pm – Did the change and song at 11:55 and got out of their room by 12. Moose wasn’t having it. Did one check and then three minutes later he was out. Dave had put his soother back in but he spat it right out. Then I guess he finally passed out.

12:43pm – Birdy woke up, Moose soon after. We did two checks, then it seemed like they settled. I was incorrect. Moose did, Birdy got back up and started wailing again. Their naps are supposed to be about 70 minutes and we were about halfway through lunch, so we just went in at 1:17 to get them out of bed.

2:53pm – Changed them and put them down, sang a song and closed the door. A bit of fussing once I was in there but nothing after I left.

3:31pm – Birdy woke first, Moose is wiggling too.

5:10pm – Bathed and dressed babies, put in sleep sacks
5:20pm – Fed both babies at the same time 💪 Did story time and brushed teeth (gums?)
5:44pm – Sang to them and left. Birdy was out before I left, Moose is fussing
5:50pm – Did the check, gave him the soother, he was out almost immediately

6:33pm – Moose woke up, woke Birdy up too. They stopped right as the timer was beeping. He started again about 30 seconds later, so I restarted the timer
6:45pm – Did a check. He settled for a minute then started again. Birdy is out.
7:24pm – Moose finally settled.
7:30pm – Woke up for a second again, Birdy wiggled. Didn’t make it to five mins
7:41pm – Birdy woke up but went back to sleep right away

10:14pm – Moose woke up angry. Birdy still sleeping. Did one check and he calmed down with two minutes left on the next timer.

11:38pm – Birdy fussed for two mins


Posted in All, My Story

Adventures in Sleep Training – Day two

So far it’s been a smashing success. It’s so much easier than I thought it was going to be, emotionally and otherwise. I’m still trying really hard to prepare myself for the regression, because I’m sure it’s coming, but at least now I’ve seen some results. I’m enjoying being a mom, were all getting better sleep, and once the routine is set we’ll be able to make better plans. It’ll be so much better. Plus it will set the foundation for the rest of their childhood. It won’t be a struggle because it will just be the way it is. Bedtime is bedtime. End of story. We just have to keep consistent on it. Which… I’m pretty consistent at the best of times. Anyways, here’s part two of the exciting saga.

7:44am – We woke up late. Not like, super late. But Dave happened to look at his phone at 7:01 and we bolted out of bed. I set an alarm for 6:15, but I guess it was one of the ones that I set when I’m awake and paying attention cuz it was silent and just on vibrate. Derp. I set a proper one for tomorrow. Either way, got the kids up and fed. Now we’re playing. Gotta keep them awake until 8:30. Gotta stay awake ourselves until 8:30.

8:37am – Put the babies down at about 8:33 after a change and a sleep sack. Of course our snuggly boy is the one crying, Birdy is out. He’s doing his enunciated cry, the “mamamamama” and “babababababa.” It hurts to listen to. But he’s ok. I bet I don’t even make it to five minutes. Aaaand as I typed that last sentence he stopped. Just under four minutes. I’m so impressed with my amazing babies!!

One thing I’ve really noticed is that I’m enjoying the babies a lot more. I know I kind of touched on this before, but I was so exhausted and overwhelmed with babies that I just kinda put them in their exersaucer or jolly jumpers or whatever, and let them do their thing. Now I’m engaging with them and really enjoying them. I miss them when they’re napping, and it feels less like a job I’m forced to go to and more like something I want to do. I am starting to enjoy being a mom which has been a major concern for me since the kids came out. I just have not enjoyed it at all. This will give me the time and space to be a better parent, and start to enjoy the process.

11:35am – Birdy woke up at 10:01, and by the time I’d started making bottles she was asleep. Dave didn’t even go in and get her or check or anything. She was oooot. So I went back to sleep. At 11:01am Dave came and woke me by handing me a happy but sleepy faced Birdy. We fed them and we’ve been playing with them. Now I’m pumping while I watch them in their jolly jumpers. If you are ever sad, just look up babies in jolly jumpers. It will make you so happy. I have a huge smile on my face right now. They’re so funny!

12:45pm – We we’re gonna wait until one, but ended up putting them down at 12:45. They’re supposed to go to bed wide awake and they were getting sleepy. Made more sense than fighting with them to stay awake. They again stopped crying before the timer went off, and it was again pretty much just Moose. Plan is to get them up around 3 so we can go for a walk at 4 again and have them in bed by 630 or 7. So fucking proud of my babies. They’re taking to this so well. I know there’s supposed to be a regression soon but…. Still. My babies are amazing. And so is my fiance. I love my family. I’m the luckiest mama in the world. I hope this isn’t just a mood swing.

2:41pm – Kids woke up just before 2:30. We left them for a sec cuz we were both in the middle of something, and that’s when I got up and got them. Changed them and started feeding them at around 2:50pm.

4:00pm – Put those adorable babies to bed. Doesn’t sound like they were super ready for it. They’ve both been squawking since. Had a really nice play block with them. We’re having so much fun with them. One check down, hopefully only one more to go? This is their cat nap so we’ve decided we’re getting them out of there at 4:45 at the latest whether they sleep or not, cuz they have to be awake for a minimum of 90 mins before we put them to bed for the night.

4:45 – Woke babies up. They looked like they felt ripped off cuz it took them a bit to get to sleep.

6:40pm – Just put the kids down. Started the routine at 6:05, got them bathed and changed and into their sleep sacks. Now they are piiiiisssssed lol. Few more minutes until the first check.

6:51pm – Moose had some trouble settling down, but not enough for me to go check on him. Birdy was out within five mins, and Moose stopped for almost a minute so I shut off the timer. He started again not long after and then settled 30 seconds before the timer was going to go off. So… No checks at all!

6:52pm – Right as I put my phone down from writing the last bit, Moose started up again. And it looks like he woke his sister. The timer is back on.

6:56pm – They are out. Didn’t even finish out the timer. Sleeping and no checks at all. My babies are amazing. I’d get them capes if it wasn’t a safety hazard. Maybe we could sew some to some onesies…

7:38pm – Moose squawked a bit, he’s quiet now but I can see him moving on the monitor. After a minute or two he chilled out and is back to sleep.

7:47pm – The moose is squawking once again. Set the timer, hope he chills out. He’s very wiggly.

7:49pm – He’s out.

8:29pm – Birdy woke up, set the timer. Checked, reset timer. We’re allowed to go in and replace the soother on the first check, and this was the first check. So I kind of went in a bit too long because I couldn’t find the damned soother. Ended up just leaving after 20 or 30 seconds because I figured it had gone off the edge of the crib and I didn’t want to wake Moose or disrupt the cycle. Mission accomplished though, she was out 3 minutes after I came out of there. Good baby!

11:53pm – She’s woken up three times in the last hour but this was the first time she got any real time on the timer. The other two times were just a quick squawk then back to sleep immediately. This time she went for about four mins and almost woke Moose too.

I’m having trouble falling asleep tonight. I miss my babies. I’m loving the progress they’re making and in almost every way this sleep training is so much better for us as a family, but I am definitely missing falling asleep with a tiny baby in my arms. Next time they wake I get to feed them and smooch them. Maybe then I’ll get some sleep!

1:16am – Babies woke up at 12:45. Right as I was getting to sleep, of course. Got them fed and in bed by 1:15. So far no crying!

Posted in All, Musings

The crescendo and the timbits

It got bad. It got to the point of calling the crisis line and considering putting myself in the hospital for a while until I could see the light again. Dave wanted me to quit pumping. We’d had heard about women that quit breastfeeding and almost immediately had their postpartum depression or anxiety clear up. My doctor hadn’t heard of this and couldn’t find any research on it, but he was on board with quitting because then we could safely adjust my medication. It made sense, but everything in my being was telling me that wasn’t the answer.

I put up a post on one of the twin mom groups on FB to see if other moms had dealt with this issue. I think there was 16 comments, and all but two or three talked about their PPD/PPA dissolving after they stopped breastfeeding. What caught me was those two or three saying that their issues worsened after they stopped breastfeeding. I wasn’t as worried about things getting worse, but what if nothing changed and I had sacrificed my milk. My babies need that to get the best start in life. Dave and the Doc argued that the difference between breast milk and formula was negligible compared to not having a mom either through distance and complications from depression, or through having to commit myself.. Or worse… And that’s a very valid argument. I hadn’t been doing tummy time with the kids, I barely played with them… Kind of just set them up to play or sleep and watched TV or played on my phone. Then I got mad when they started fussing but knew it was because they needed attention. I couldn’t handle their crying because I couldn’t cope with the stress of it, but also because I felt guilty. Like I’d failed them and was just giving up because of it.

I felt like I was in a pit like in Silence of the Lambs. Except instead of a pervert wanting me to lotion up to make for a nicer skin jacket, I had children screaming at me. Ok so not a great analogy, but it’s what I thought of when I felt like I was in a pit. It made sense to stop breastfeeding, but like I said – every single thing inside me told me that wasn’t the answer. I could find another way.

Last night I couldn’t get the kids calm, and could feel another mental meltdown coming. I went to visit Dave on his break and then went for a quick walk on the sea wall so the kids would chill. On the way I stopped to get a coffee, and some Courtenay Crack – birthday cake timbits. Holy shit those are a huge problem for me. Anyways… I was gonna get 10 but Dave wanted me to save him some, so I got 20. And of course ate all 20 of those little bastards on my 45 minute walk. That was my dinner. I felt like absolute shit for the rest of the night, I even thought I was going to throw up. But – BUT! I was in a pretty damned good mood and actually enjoyed my kids. What an insane concept!

Every once in a while I get really tired of my own shit and decide to make a change. Those timbits were the catalyst for that change. Not only did eating all that crap make me realize how much my diet was affecting me, but that short (and very enjoyable) walk brought my mood up higher than it had been in weeks. So I looked at the last few weeks of misery.

  • My diet had gone to shit and I was eating mostly sugar. Munching like crazy, barely drinking water, and I’d almost completely forgotten what vegetables tasted like
  • I hadn’t walked at all. Not even my quick laps around the neighborhood. Basically just to my vehicle and back.
  • I’ve been smoking a bit of pot on the weekends and nights where I am really, really losing my shit – which I know to be inflammatory to the body and a total depressant.

These are all super basic things that I know will help me. Even if I get one of these three under control the results would be staggering. But it’s cycle and always has been for me. I smoke pot and it makes me hungry, so I eat a whole bunch of shit food. Plus I get all groggy the next day, especially if I munch out (which I usually do because my mother in law always makes cookies.) I feel like shit and go into denial as to why I feel like shit, then all of a sudden two or three weeks later I’m having breakdowns and trying not to put myself in the psych ward. Before I had kids it was a totally manageable cycle. Now? Between the extra tonne of stress and the hormones from breastfeeding and being a new mom, it fucks me up.

So.. Once I put this together, I decided I was done with all of the misery and decided I had to make a change. If I do all of this and STILL can’t get my mood under control, ok sure. I’ll quit breastfeeding. But I can’t do nothing to improve myself and then feel good about not giving my kids breast milk. I’m lucky enough to be able to make as much milk as I do. I only have to give them an ounce of formula each bottle. And they’re on five or six ounce bottles right now. It’s mostly breast milk. And yeah, it’s not 100% fresh cuz I could never get into breastfeeding with them but it’s still breast milk. I owe it to those amazing little bastards to give them everything I can. I owe them the best version of myself. And that version doesn’t eat an entire batch of cookies after a joint every weekend.

With all that said, I publish my current goals. Maybe it’ll make me more accountable. I dunno..

  • Walk a MINIMUM of four times a week. Aim for seven, but shit happens and it’s been raining a lot lately. (Mall walks count though…)
  • Cut the fuck down on sugar. I’m not setting a specific parameter on this because I do use it to cope a lot, and I’m not sure how to successfully do it other than to avoid it as much as possible.
  • Only smoke pot once or twice a month instead of every weekend, but aim for zero pot. Sometimes I have panic attacks and lorazepam doesn’t really chill me out like it should. Saying I only have two freebies will make me really assess if the meltdown is worth substance abuse
  • Keep up with the blog. Finish all the drafts and the instructional stuff that isn’t just a glorified diary
  • Learn scriptwriting and try to start putting my movie and TV ideas into paper. Also, finish the damned children’s book.

There. You just became my accountabili-buddy. Go team! I’ll have to keep you posted. The writing goals are obviously really long term, but I think I could probably get some cool stuff down. I think I have cool ideas, but we all think we have cool ideas lol. Time to find out for realzzzzz…

Posted in All, Musings

Good days, bad days

Today seems to be one of those days where postpartum depression is creeping back in. I’m not sure if it’s following my cycle or not, I haven’t gotten my period back yet but from what I understand it’s still going strong behind the scenes. It’s funny how quickly it hits – I’ll be in a great mood, things are awesome and the kids are being chill. Then bam. Downward spiral.

Its hard to parent on days like this. I get no joy from it, but I also don’t want my babies to see the scowl on my face that would be there if I wasn’t trying so hard to hide it. Back when the kids were first born, I was told by my obstetrician that research showed that babies of moms suffering from postpartum depression showed signs of mental health issues later in life. I don’t remember specifically but it was something about seeing their moms sad all the time and they mimicked the facial expressions, which created brain pathways or something. Basically when moms are sad, their babies get sad too. I have such happy babies – I work really hard to mask my shitty moods when I have them but sometimes I get frustrated. So less smiling at them on the change table, or snuggling them, or doing tummy time or playing or anything. Then it creates a cycle because they’re bored so they get cranky, and their crying makes me more stressed and unhappy, and so on.

I always seem to forget the stroller in the truck after the weekends at Grandma’s. Now would be an ideal time to go for a walk. If nothing else, it quiets the kids for a bit so I can think and calm down. Plus theres that whole ‘exercise makes your brain happy’ thing. And I’m vain so my weight has been bringing me down too. I should call a counselor or something but I just don’t know what to say, or moreso, what they would say. I was seeing one a while back that was a total cheerleader. Useless as an actual therapist but she was very validating. At times it helped but other times it was really patronizing. Like… Yeah, I know I have the right to be hormonal and sad and hungry. What can you help me do about it. She doesn’t work at that clinic anymore and I haven’t met the new lady, but I figure I’ll get more of the same ‘you’re doing amazing’ shit that I guess I already know but doesn’t help.

I’ve heard a bit a out how pregnant and breastfeeding moms lose a lot of vitamins and nutrients, and it’s hard to keep up with the loss. I take a daily, but I was recommended by a psychiatrist doing a postpartum assessment to take some omegas as well. I keep forgetting to buy some. I also remember a friend of mine’s sister was going to school to be a nutritionist several years back. She was talking about the link between proper nutrition and mental health. Niacin specifically is something that people can often be really low on and it means your brain isn’t doing its job properly. I also had a friend going to med school and we were talking about how potassium and sodium are what makes your cells actually function. So if you don’t have the right amount of those things, again – brain no worky. I know. I’m basically a doctor.

On a more experienced note, there were two main things I put into effect when I first lost a bunch of weight and got my mental shit together. One was hydration. It seems super obvious – our bodies are a mostly water. It’s like the fuel that keeps us running. It flushes out your toxins and keeps your brain floating in the jar that is your skull. I’m not gonna pretend I know the exact science behind it, but your body and brain work best when you’re really hydrated. I was drinking at least two litres of water a day. I’d have at least a half a litre as soon as I woke up in the morning, which helped get me started on hydration and helped wake me up. I’m awful for lazing around hitting a snooze button for an hour (or… Was, until I had babies…) even though I know the day goes way easier when you get up right away. I used to follow a thirty second rule, meaning I had 30 seconds to get out of bed after I opened my eyes. It didn’t last long but at least even if I was late it was only a few minutes. Not 30 or 40 minutes like it used to be.

The other thing I learned at a Workers Comp stress workshop when I hurt myself at work. Basically we use the top half of our lungs more than the bottom half, especially when we’re stressed out. You can feel your stress in your stomach and shoulders, right? Well when you’re breathing deeply and into your entire lungs, you stretch out your whole torso. I noticed when I was breathing deeper, my digestion was better. Almost like my lungs and diaphragm were massaging my intestines and helping me get everything back out more efficiently. It helped me with my weight loss. Another aspect of stress vs. weight loss was that when you stress out your body makes Cortisol. Cortisol makes your body store fat. So if you’re dealing with your stress, your cortisol levels go down and your body can process your food better. Or something like that. Over 2016 and 2017 I lost about 120 lbs. Mostly 2017 because I was walking around NYC for the first 4 months of it and then just kept roaming. My stress was non-existent so my cortisol levels were low, and I was broke so I was drinking a ton of water to reduce my hunger. I lost weight so fast I couldn’t keep up with my clothes. By the time I got back to Canada my clothes were hanging off of me, it was awesome. I’ve never looked so good in my life. More importantly, I’ve never felt so good in my life.

The problem is that even though you can know all of this, if you don’t have the motivation to change your habits it won’t happen. And I assume I’m not the only one who’s self sabotage mechanism kicks in when they’re depressed. It’s hard to care for yourself when you just don’t give a fuck. All of my fucks are being reserved for my kids and my fiance. It’s hard to find more motivation. The medication is doing its job but I’m not sure there’s anything that can completely wipe out bad moods. My doctor says it’s not worth adding more medication just to buffer the bad days because they are few and usually come every few weeks. Just have to bite the pillow and deal with it. Keep smiling at the kids and cooking dinner for my amazing man.

Dave is home now and we’re watching TV as I finish writing this (I started like 8 hours ago.) I feel a bit better. We had some dinner, went and had a quick bedroom session, and now we’re just chillin’ with the kids. Sex is important for both of our mental health. I know we’re not the only ones. We both miss the days when we could just be together and enjoy. Not even just sex, but the closeness. The intimacy. Now we exist to work and take care of kids. We even miss each other when we’re in the same bed. Our quickies are the only times that bring us a tiny bit of intimacy. Even though it only happens every week or two, it’s really held our relationship and individual self-esteem together. And most of the time I don’t feel like having sex until we’re doing it. It’s crazy how quickly I forget what it does for me. We’ll not have sex for a while and then once we’re done, all of a sudden I want it a few hours later. And the next day. And then for maybe another day before I’m back to existing without it, and forgetting what the hormones and exercise does for both of us. So… Don’t neglect your sexy time. Even if you’re depressed. It will make you happy. Science told me.

I’d like to mention that I have no medical research to quote for any of what I’ve said, it’s just a bunch of things I’ve learned or deduced over the years. I’d be happy to be corrected, or if I’m right have my logic explained in the comments. As you can imagine, I have no time for research lol. I just want people to know what I know so maybe it can help someone. At the very least, maybe it will help me just having recanted all of this. But like I said – it’s one thing to know it, quite another to do it. Tomorrow’s another day. Hopefully I can make it a good one.

Posted in All, Musings, My Story, Useless Opinions

So, I guess I’ll start a blog…

I write this as my twin babies are being held by my fiance and mother-in-law. I started earlier with this super fantastic, amazing intro post but it met a fitting end. I reached over the computer to put a soother back in a baby face and closed the browser with my tit. Derp. Welcome to “My Tits Hurt,” so named for the thing I’ve said the most since I got pregnant. Might have even been the thing that tipped me off in the first place.

I figured I’d start blogging. Something between a mommy blog and a personal therapy journal, maybe. My grammar has gone to shit since the days of high school English (or maybe ‘Communications’ in College..) But I still feel like I can form coherent sentences. I guess you can be the judge. I did a lot of writing up until I finished high school. From little stories about animals in homemade storybooks in the early days of elementary school, to writing emo poetry in the early teens, and some epic short stories and essays in later grades. All lost forever. Man, I wish I could get my hands on even half of the stories. That shit was impressive! I digress.. I always say I’m going to start writing. A novel, a movie or TV script… A blog? Lately I feel like I have something I could start on. Maybe this will help me get past some intense writer’s block and I’ll get all of that done! I always found writing to help me sort out my thoughts. Being a new mother to twins in the middle of a pandemic – I have done a lot of thinking lately.

Life is funny. I used to judge people on their parenting long before I had kids, and think about how much better I could do it. I can hear Nelson Muntz pointing and laughing at me now for that. I’m learning just how much work it is, and how wrong I was about so many things – minor and major. For example: I was really cocky about postpartum depression. “I’ve dealt with my mental health problems, I have all the tools I need,” I said. In the words of 2007 – ROFLCOPTR. That shit hit me like a sack of hormonal bricks. Or like… How to ease a baby back into sleeping in their bassinets that just don’t friggin’ want to. Plus simple, less life altering things. How to make a baby registry. How to organize my nursery ahead of time so I don’t have to do it 6 different times while dealing with two f*cking newborns and a partner that works full time. I dunno. Just stuff I wish I knew, or maybe researched a little better before the babies came.

So – things about babies and things I wish I knew about babies. But also me working out my postpartum shit, and trying to figure out how to be the amazing parent that I decided I would be long before I even got pregnant. I want to have calm, cool and collected kids. And to have that, I’ve decided I have to step up and become the absolute best I can be. Put that up against time and energy levels… I don’t want to just half-ass it and expect them to learn how to be the best through instruction though – kids learn by example! Or seem to. Again with the parenting ego. I’ve had a lot of deep thoughts lately about parenting and how I want to do it. I’m learning a lot about how my ideas stack up against their individual personalities. My kids have SO much personality and they’re only 4 months old. And I don’t want to be the type of person that tries to break them to meet my ideals. I have to be able to work with their already amazing selves and turn them into amazing human beings. Ah – What a struggle! So I figure if I can get back into writing, maybe I can use it to sort my thoughts out and figure out what I want to do. I’d love to have people to get into the comments too, I wanna learn everything I can from people. I have no ego! Examine all the angles. Maybe we are going through the same shit, or even better – maybe we disagree and can discuss it. Or maybe I attract some haters that think I’m a bad parent. I’m good with that.

So, there you have it. The Diary of a MadMom. A candid, open-dialogued… I dunno, account? Journal? Diatribe? Let’s go with barely concise rant rife with curse words. And opinions. And probably bad grammar. Maybe even a pun or two. I truly hope you like it!