Twins: What Do I Need Two Of?

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I have a friend who I am writing this post for, who is pregnant with twins! I am so thrilled for her and her family, and she doesn’t know what she is in for… double the joy, double the love, double everything!

So I haven’t written in a while! I have missed it. I went through an extremely stressful period, but thankfully we are out of it and slowly settling, in a NEW home! I have traded my stress for new stress it feels like, but I’m working hard to take it down so I can write on a regular basis like I wanted to. I hope you can forgive me for my lack of dedication.

Alright! So lets move on to this awesome new post! My friend asked what my must-haves were for twins and I realized that I did not have a check-list type post specifically for twins. What?! If you haven’t seen my amazing Baby Checklist, you should check it out. I outline in a really cute and handy printable a thorough new-baby checklist and to-do list. In this post, for my twin mamas, I’m going to let you know what you need double of, and what you may want to buy two of. Also, I’m going to include some things made specifically for twins and some tips for shopping for twins!

You already know you’ll need two car seats and two cribs, but what about everything else? Keep in mind that all babies are different, so when you buy two of these things, a great thing to do is to not open everything before they arrive. Only open one of each thing and see how each twin likes them. If you find that one of your babies only wants to use the bouncer, or doesn’t like her bassinet, then take the unopened swing back so you can save some money. Twins are expensive!

You may need doubles of:

1. Rock ‘N Play sleeper by Fisher-Price or a bassinet of your choice.

2. A simple Bounce Seat. Perfect for letting your babies kick and bounce while you get things done around the house.

3. Baby Carriers/Wraps if you’re going to be going out, these are a lifesaver! Some babies HATE being in car seats and they want to be close, so let Dad pack one of the twins around while you carry the other!

4. High Chairs or chair attachments seats like this one, made by Fisher Price!

5. Baby Swings.

6. Boppy Pillows– one for you and one for another family member or friend to use while they hold the other twin. Also great if you’re breastfeeding!

You only need one:

1. Bathtub

2. Twin Stroller- I highly recommend Baby Trend Double Snap-N-Go for their car seats! Its amazing and cost effective! Later on, I recommendBaby Trend Sit N Stand Double stroller for your toddler-sized twinnies! I had great success with both of these items and I didn’t have to spend a fortune.

3. Tummy Time Mat or play gym!

4. Pack N Play (optional)

 

The next few things I’m going to show you are items made just for twins!

1. Something you might want to look into for breastfeeding twins is a My Brest Friend Twin breastfeeding pillow. There is also a breastfeeding pillow called the Twin Z pillow that is really cool!

2. Take a look at Table For Two, an adorable seat to make feeding easier!

3. The Twingaroo is a baby carrier made for twins!

 

As far as everything else you might need for baby in general, please don’t forget to look at my ultimate checklist of baby items! Click Here!

Am I missing anything? Let me know! Thanks for reading!

The Best Baby Checklist from A Mom of Four!

I’m finally done with my new-baby checklist. This is everything I personally need for a new baby in the house and some more things that I always like to have for extra comfort during the first postpartum weeks. If you have any questions about anything on here, let me know! I have listed some of my favorite products, and I’m going to give you guys the link to each one of them so you can check them out yourself!

 

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Here is the HUGE List of my favorite items. Most of these you can find on Amazon (score!).

  1. My chair from American Signature Furniture. It is the best, softest thing to sit in, sleep in, rock in while you’re pregnant, and during those long nights and getting used to nursing. It is the best. I love it so much.
  2. Tucks pads.
  3. Colace Stool Softener  not super fun to talk about, but its such a necessity for postpartum.
  4. Dermoplast Pain Relieving Spray also a big necessity.
  5. Boppy Nursing Pillow
  6. Medela Tender Care Lanolin– My favorite! This is my first choice among all of the brands.
  7.  Medela Pump in Style Advanced Breast Pump with On the Go Tote – Also my personal favorite.
  8. Medela Contact Nipple Shield, Medium– These were life savers for my twins. They were so tiny and had issues latching at first, which can cause any mom to rethink breastfeeding at all. You NEED these in your hospital bag!
  9. Philips Avent Soothie Pacifier, Pink/Purple, 0-3 Months, 2 Count– These pacifiers are the ones they give you in the hospital. I love these because there is virtually no risk for a choking hazard. But please be sure to change it as your baby gets older, there are 3+ month Soothies that are made a little tougher to keep babies from putting the entire thing in their mouths. Hands down these are the best pacifiers out there. My babies have never used anything else!
  10. Summer Infant Comfy Bath Sponge– This is the bath sponge that I love to use for newborns, it adds a lot of security during bath time and its easy to keep clean. Take a look at the price!
  11. Fisher-Price Newborn Auto Rock ‘n Play Sleeper– This is what I’ve been talking about in all of my posts. I love it. Its a major necessity for me.

So those are my favorites out of the list! I hope you find the list useful and you can narrow it down by checking off what you need, or adding other things you want to have! I have also added a safety checklist of things you need to be aware of before bringing baby home.

I have just published an article about baby toys that will be helpful for new moms as well, it is The Best Toys for Babies! Check it out!

Don’t forget to make the most of your pregnancy, click here to see my favorite Pregnancy Keepsake Ideas.

I want to know what else is a must-have for pregnancy, postpartum and baby. If you’re a mom of multiple children or a first-time mom, let me know what you think! I want to hear from you. Comment below!

Please share with this with your friends, and feel free to sign up for my All-Things-SuperBaby newsletter!

 

Breastfeeding Essentials!

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This is my top 10 essentials for a nursing mama. I have made this picture great for pinning on your Pinterest board! Enjoy.

As a nursing mom, I’ve had 5 years of nursing experience (total! so far). I nursed my daughters for two years each, and I’m working on 9 months with my twin sons! I’ve learned full well what works, what doesn’t and what is a total waste of money when it comes to nursing. Nursing is very inexpensive, and you don’t need a whole bunch of expensive stuff to start. All you truly need is support. If you feel like you don’t have any, let me be that support for you. You can talk to me by going to my “Contact Me” page, or just leave a comment!

1. If I had to pick one thing to get for nursing it would be a Boppy pillow hands-down. Newborns are tiny and nursing a newborn can be difficult especially if they’re under 7lbs (three of my babies were under 7!). Boppy provides the best support and it’s very comfortable to use. I’ve used several other brands and none of them compare!

2. I rarely use it now, but for nursing a newborn the second most important thing for me to have is lanolin nipple cream. The most effective brand for me is Medela. It’s a creamier consistency than other brands and if you have sore, cracked or other nipple problems, you’re going to want something easy and comfortable to apply.

3. Prenatals . It’s pretty self explanatory, but I highly recommend staying on your prenatals if you’re breastfeeding.

4. I put a BIG fluffy recliner in the picture above for a reason: If you’re exclusively breastfeeding, you’re going to be sitting down a lot. And you’re going to be sitting a LONG time. Your baby will nurse for about 15-20 minutes on each side, every three hours around the clock in the early days. If you buy the wooden glider with the 2 inch thick pad, your rear end is going to hate you. Mine did! I spent HOURS upon hours in the glider when my first daughter was born and I vowed to get a big rocking recliner when we had our next baby. You Will NOT Regret It.

5. A hospital grade pump. I didn’t even buy a manual pump when we had our first baby. I wasn’t planning on breastfeeding. It wasn’t until we had her that I fell in love with nursing. I ended up buying a manual pump when I was dealing with my first clogged duct, and it didn’t help at all. I bought a hospital grade pump after our second baby was born, and it worked wonders. I’m an exclusive nursing mama, which means that I don’t do any pumping or any formula feeding, so for the moms that plan on feeding with bottles, skip right on over the manual pumps and buy a hospital grade pump before your baby is born and learn everything about it! It is not difficult to use at all, but I recommend getting really familiar with milk storage guidelines and sanitation practices.

6. This needs to be in big letters but I won’t yell too loud: WATER. Aside from my Boppy pillow, water is my best friend. Keep a bottle with you wherever you are. Drink when baby drinks, and get plenty! Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink.

7. A nursing bra. Nursing bras are my saving grace but for the early days I just recommend going to a maternity store and buying nursing pajamas or a nursing gown. That way you don’t have to wear a bra, and a top while you’re dealing with that first-two-weeks-engorgement-period. You need to be as comfortable as possible to enjoy breastfeeding and be really successful. Splurge on yourself and buy some super soft nursing pajamas before your baby is born, and use them in the hospital. I did with my twins and I was ever-so-thankful.

8. Healthy, healthy, healthy snacks. My favorite thing to eat in the hospital were these little veggie trays they had after I had the boys. They had chicken salad, carrots, crackers, and cheese and it was delicious and filling. I recommend having a family member go out while you’re in the hospital and fill your fridge up with yummy snacks like this for you to eat. You’re going to be pretty hungry (or not-I was shocked at my lack of appetite after I had my daughter) so make sure you go home to a pantry stocked full of healthy snacks for you to munch on throughout the day and night.

9. Nursing pads these are another huge necessity for me. Buy them and pack them in your hospital bag, because when your milk comes in, its going to be a huge mess(lol!). That was another thing that I didn’t prepare for when we had our first baby. I used tons and tons of these and the brand that I loved was Lasinoh, but Medela is good too. I don’t recommend buying reusable nursing pads.

10. Nursing camis. These are awesome during all phases of your breastfeeding journey, I love them and I still use them now that my twins are 8 months old. I hope that I can make some nursing cami’s for my business, Snickerdoodle, soon. 🙂

Added: one thing that I forgot to mention was Medela Nipple Shields. I bought them when we had the twins, and they really helped my son Jackson who struggled with a bad latch! It was amazing! I highly recommend them for babies born early. 

 

Having twins? Read my Breastfeeding Twins post!

My other checklist posts are: All-Things Baby! and Pregnancy Necessities!

Thanks for reading! These are my necessities, if you have more, please share! Thanks y’all.

Breastfeeding twins: What you need, and some tips to help.

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^Our twins Jackson and Levi.

Breastfeeding twins sounds like a near-impossible feat. So much to worry about. So time consuming. What if I don’t make enough milk for two babies? Can I do that?! Can I really nourish two babies.. Adequately? Will they be healthy? What if they don’t gain enough weight? How will I get any sleep? Is it even possible to hold two babies nursing at the same time?!

These are some of the thoughts I had when I was pregnant with my twin boys. Even as a breastfeeding veteran, I was terrified. I felt very intimidated by the thought of two babies needing me every three hours around the clock for their first few months of life.. Even though I have a combined four years of breastfeeding under my belt, I still felt like it was a crazy thing for me to expect myself to be able to do. I can only imagine what moms think of their abilities to do this who have no breastfeeding experience at all.

Im here to say this:

You can nurse your twins. Effortlessly.

It takes patience, determination, and willingness to alter your schedule and your tasks around your babies’ needs.

I’m going to give you the best advice I have, from my experiences nursing my sons. I hope it helps:)

During pregnancy To-Do’s:
1. Plan maternity leave if you are working. The more time home with your babies, the better.
2. Get a high quality breast pump. A lot of insurances are covering the cost of a breast pump, I highly recommend looking into this!
3. Learn and read everything you need to know about using the pump, and reading about when to pump and breast milk storage.
4. Get your basic nursing essentials from my list Breastfeeding Essentials!
5. Buy two Fisher Price Rock ‘n Plays. The closer your babies are to you at night, the better. There are so many good things about this little bassinet when it comes to breastfeeding. It’s portable, it’s safe, it’s comfortable, and it’s small. You can find one on Amazon by clicking here:Here

6. Do your HOMEWORK.

The one thing that I urge moms to do is read. Educate yourself about breastfeeding. The more information and knowledge you have before your start, the better your confidence will be about nursing to your goals.

Expect yourself to run into road bumps. Everyone does. Research all of these things and PLEASE only go to trusted sources for breastfeeding info.

My top nursing go-to website is Kellymom.com.
You should also seek support from your local La Leche League Group, you can find information here at LLLI.org.

These are some basic road bumps that I have had to deal with:

-correcting poor latch
-engorgement
-clogged ducts
-milk blebs
-mastitis
-nursing a sick baby(stopped up nose)
-nursing strike
*Another thing, don’t believe breastfeeding advice from just anyone. There are a lot of things people think are supposed to help with nursing but really only hurt your efforts. There are myths out there that may make your struggles so hard that you cannot continue. Your great aunts sisters niece might mean well, but only take their advice with a grain of salt. Do your homework. Do your research before you take any advice.*

When your babies are born:

– begin breastfeeding right away, as soon as you can. If it is possible, ask that absolutely no formula is given to either of your babies. If you can’t physically nurse your babies (if they need to be in the NICU, begin pumping when you can.)
-get in touch with the breastfeeding consultant while you are in the hospital and make sure all of your questions are answered and you feel confident about nursing your babies.
I was adamant about nursing both of my twins at the same time while I was in the hospital. I wanted to know I could do it. I don’t really know why I wanted to, but the encouragement from the staff at the hospital really helped me. They were really surprised that I was actually attempting it and doing it! And I wondered to myself, do most twin moms not try? I surely hope it is not the lack of confidence that keeps twin parents (or any parents, rather) from breastfeeding their babies. I realize that the amount of support that a new mom gets when she starts breastfeeding truly can make or break her. I just can’t assume most moms will toughen up and have that determination all by themselves. It was a miracle that I did, because I had no support when we had our first baby. But I can see that it doesn’t happen for everyone. If this post helps just one mom, I would feel like I have done my job for my entire blog, you know? I want all breastfeeding moms to know that they CAN do this and that they CAN get through the road bumps. You can.

Not necessarily tandem nursing, that’s optional. But the truth is, you’re going to have to do it at some point. Those babes are going to be crying at the same time, you’re going to realize that you have two boobs! (Lol.) and really, it isn’t that bad. Tandem nursing is an art. And you don’t need anything but a comfortable place to sit.

More on that later.

When you come home from the hospital, get a journal and keep it next to you and write down every poo diaper, every pee, When they nurse and how long they nurse. Their doctor is going to want to know all of that anyway, but it helps your confidence level. Knowing they are giving you plenty of wet diapers means they’re getting enough to eat. And when you write it down, you don’t have to rack your sleepy brain to try to remember the blur of the last week to see if he’s had a drop in pee diapers, when you feel discouraged that he’s not getting enough milk. (Sorry for the forever-long sentence just then.)

Another HUGE thing I want to tell moms:
Fall in love with water.
Water is going to be the key to success. You need to have great, clean, good tasting water. The Sam’s Choice bottled water at Walmart is just fine and it tastes great. I’m extremely picky about my water, so trust me on that one! Nursing my 8 month old twins, I go through three 32-pack bottled water packs in two weeks.
You need to keep a bottle close to you at all times. Breastfeeding makes you thirsty (obviously) but don’t wait until you get thirsty to drink. Keep one with you while you’re nursing and when you sleep. Another saying that is easy to remember, Drink when they drink!

Stay on your prenatal vitamins. Don’t stop them just because you aren’t pregnant anymore. You’re still nourishing their every need. <3

Keep snacks with you close by, and don’t get hungry. Don’t worry about dieting because one great thing about nursing is that those pregnancy pounds will disappear! I was still hanging onto 40lbs when the twins were born, and now I’m down to 15lbs. So keep your diet full of good, healthy foods and stay full, because you’re still eating for three. 🙂

Night-time Nursing:

One big thing I’ve learned nursing twins is if you want to get any sleep, nurse your babies at the same time throughout the night. For example, if Baby A wakes up at 2:30am, nurse and lay him back down, but wake Baby B up to nurse as well. That way, you don’t nurse Baby A and go back to sleep just for Baby B to wake up hungry in a half hour later when you just barely got to sleep again. That way both babies are fed and hopefully sleep another 2-3 hours before someone wakes up again. Eventually they’ll get on the same pattern and it’ll help you tremendously when you’re trying to sync up their schedules.

Now, some may not agree with me on this and that’s alright, but here’s another tip: let Dad do most of the work through the night. Let him do the diaper changes. Let him get up to get them. You need your rest. I know how hard it is not to do those things yourself but breastfeeding takes HALF of a mothers energy. Half. You need every ounce of sleep you can get. If you’re doing the massive task of feeding two babies with your body, he can change a diaper half asleep. He will be alright. You stay asleep when the babes go to fussing at night, let him get them a fresh diaper and then you can wake and nurse. Let him put them back to bed.

Speaking of rest, learn to nurse while laying down. It’s probably not feasible when they’re newborns but as they get a little older and they grow a little, side lying is best at night for nursing because you can fall right back to sleep very easily. You don’t have to get up and get a nursing pillow and situate yourself and then situate baby. It takes a lot of energy to do that half asleep and can make you dread night feedings.

Prepare for hunger. When my first daughter was born my husband actually made me a sandwich before we went to bed. It is kind of funny now that I think about it but it really helped. I would wake up starving and I would gobble down whatever I could get. Pb&J sandwiches would fill me up until morning. 🙂 You will get hungry throughout the night and if you can, eat up!

Whew I’m exhausted.
I will do a Part 2 post soon! Thanks for reading. 🙂

Blogger Babes Link Party

The Biggest Car Seat Safety Mistakes You May Be Making!

 

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The goal of my blog is to inform moms and dads as much as I can to help them enjoy their babies and help keep them safe! Safety is my number one priority. I see way too many car seat mistakes when I am out and about and it bothers me down to the core. My first instinct is to get REALLY mad, you know? Why would someone be so careless? Why would someone put their kid in harms way, when a simple safety check takes three seconds? The issue is that there are too many parents out there who are uninformed, who simply do not know the real and true dangers behind these mistakes. And its really sad because without that information, these children are unprotected, and accidents will happen.

When I was little, I grew up riding in the back of a pickup truck and obviously seat belts weren’t really a big deal. So why am I so adamant that my kids get the best car seat protection in my power? Because the world has changed. There are people texting and driving. There are so many people drinking and driving.  There are more people going way too fast But some of the car seat safety problems happen outside of the carThere are huge risks to your child’s safety in other ways that you may not be thinking about.

Using the Proper Car Seat- Check the height and weight limit of the car seat, and make sure your child is within those limits! You must have an infant car seat for your newborn, a convertible seat for your toddler on into preschool, and finally booster seats. Try not to graduate your child too early. I highly recommend Britax car seats, and you can use their website to help choose the best one for your baby. Just my personal opinion! 

Keep your child rear facing as long as possibleThere are countless studies PROVING that rear-facing seats are the best protection for babies and toddlers in the event of a crash. They have been calculated as being FIVE times safer than forward facing car seats. Please don’t rush your child into a forward facing seat. She’s fine, EVEN if she is tall. If you have a tall preschooler, she can fold her legs while riding in the seat. Having legs bent for short periods of time will not bother your child. If it’s a long trip, make pit stops to stretch those legs! Check your infant seat’s height and weight limits, and upgrade to a rear-facing convertible car seat when your baby turns one.

Make sure the car seat is properly installed Your local fire department will be happy to help you make sure that your kids seats are installed correctly! If you’re unsure after you install it, don’t hesitate!

Check those straps and buckles! Make sure the straps are clean and untwisted, NEVER wash the straps. The entire seat is made with fire-resistant chemicals (safe for your child) and if you wash it, you risk any part of the seat not being fire-safe. Please read your car seat manual to find the best way to clean your seats and straps.

The Chest Clip. Make sure you adjust this extremely important clip the right way every single time you put your baby in the seat. Make sure the straps are snug but not too tight. The reason why is that the placement of this clip during a crash can make the diffe

These are some of my favorite infographics that I have seen around the web.

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In the one above, the the upper chest clip is way too high, and in an accident, it can damage a child’s airway. The pink clip on the bottom is way too low, and it can injure your child’s soft organs. A big rule of thumb is to make sure the chest clip is at armpit level.

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Take Jackets OFF 737a07afe1140a22737bdef573b37376It might be tedious in the cold weather, to keep taking the jackets on and off in the car during errands. It can be dangerous to leave your baby in a thick jacket while in the car, because you run the risk of overheating, and in the event of a crash, that extra room from the straps you had to loosen to fit the jacket, well now they are too loose for your child. The puff from any jacket will instantly compress in a crash, and that means your baby is not secure in his car seat.

Car Seat Decor– I’ve seen them. I’ve been tempted to buy them.

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They’re frilly and pretty and so much cuter than the basic designs you see on car seats every day. But they’re unfortunately unsafe. Car seat companies send their seats through rigorous testing and any aftermarket item that you put on your seat may affect how the seat functions during a crash. I would much rather look at an ugly seat than hinder its safety mechanisms if there was an accident. 

This goes for head supports, shoulder strap cushions, car seat blankets (the ones you put under your baby and around the straps), anything that goes on the car seat. Just because they make it, doesn’t mean it is safe. If your car seat company doesn’t include it OR if they don’t make it themselves, DO NOT USE IT. 

SHOPPING CARTS.  PLEASE DO NOT put your baby on top of the grocery cart. It is not made for that, the clips DO NOT mean that it is secure. Death and critical injuries have happened because parents don’t think there is anything wrong with it, or that their seat is made for it. There are no seats made for grocery carts! And speaking of putting your baby on elevated spaces, keep your car seat ONLY on the floor, the stroller, or in the car. 

There is so much more information out there, that I cannot cover on one blog post, so I highly recommend reading the Car Seat Lady Blog. If you need help in any way, there are people eager to answer any questions you may have regarding the safety of your child in his seat. Remember always to talk to a trusted source for advice on car seat safety.

 

My Ultimate Pregnancy Necessity List!

As a mom of four, I would like to think I’m pretty familiar with baby stuff. I think I could guide a new mom from start to finish, all things she might possibly need.. from Pregnancy, newborn, toddler, and preschool stuff! Everything. My kiddos are all 2 years apart, minus the 4th, he’s 3 minutes apart from his older brother. 😉

When I tell you all of these items, whether they are name brand or not, I want you to know that I am in no way affiliated with any company, and I am not being paid to promote any particular product. These are just things that I must have during pregnancy!

First Item on my list is this:

vitaminsHealthy Mama(tm) “Be Well Rounded” Multivitamin And DHA softgel Prenatal Vitamins -I used these with my twins and they seriously made a difference in my pregnancy health and my energy, even. I could always tell if I forgot to take them because I would be tired and slow. Start taking your vitamins immediately! Preferably before you get pregnant! Use them while you’re nursing, even after you wean. They are awesome.

Tummy Sleeve, Belly Band, Bellaband, Who cares just get one of these! 

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This particular sleeve is from Motherhood maternity. I bought mine from Target, but they all work the same. I used one through each of my pregnancies, my twin pregnancy for a less amount of time (obviously), but they are useable for weeks! That means you can stay in your favorite jeans instead of maternity pants as you grow.

Next item is something I always prepare for, I always have some stashed away, I make sure I never run out. (I am out at the moment. KIDS.)

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Okay, I know candy shouldn’t be the third thing down on my necessities but it is. Sugar isn’t healthy, we all know that. But this is something that you have to keep in mind: Sugar can be part of a healthy diet if enjoyed in moderation. And if you have self control. Which I don’t. But you’re not me! Fight the urge! Jolly Ranchers (or anything you think might help) is my go-to nausea medicine. There has been some conflicting claims about anti-nausea drugs out there, and you know when I found out about the twins, I was planning to go running straight to the doc to get some of those. However, I decided against it. I don’t think it’s good to use drugs during pregnancy or nursing. There simply hasn’t been enough research on the effects on babies from any drug, deemed safe or unsafe. I got hit with the nausea train at exactly 6 weeks with my twins, it came full force and it was absolutely intolerable. This is my number one remedy, though. Strong flavored hard candy. They make “Preggie Pops” (Google it.) and they were okay, but not great. Ginger ale, SEA BANDS works wonders, they’re acupressure bands that  go on your wrists. I used them with three of my pregnancies, and they really make a difference. All of these things you can keep going and it’ll get you past the worst of the nausea/morning sickness phase of pregnancy. However, though, if you’re vomiting constantly, can’t keep anything down, please visit your doctor! There are instances when anti-nausea medicines are necessary.

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Pregnancy Journal! Also, a camera. Get your hubby, parter, do a selfie in the mirror, anything, take pictures. You’re going to want pictures, even if you don’t think so at first. I only took one picture of myself when I was pregnant with my first baby, and as soon as we got home from the hospital with her, I cried because I didn’t have anything to remember it by. I only had the very few pictures that others took of me. I didn’t have memories of the big milestones, like the day we found out she was a girl, or the day my belly “popped”! I didn’t have much at all. Nor did I record anything, All I remember is having a lot of headaches. I wish I would’ve written them down. My advice is, from the very beginning, get your positive pregnancy test and tape it to the inside of your book, I highly recommend the “What to Expect” Pregnancy Journal and Organizer. It’s very detailed and gives you plenty to write about. My last two books were cute and frilly but there wasn’t much to do, there were only weekly pages and places to put a picture, which is fine, but this particular book asks you loads of questions that you might not think to write down, it gives you day-to-day space to write, and it gives you advice and ideas to do during your pregnancy along the way, perfectly tailored to the week you’re in. It’s wonderful, and I have all my books and they are precious to me, because every time I open them I can remember. Take pictures every week! I know it’ll seem silly, but take one as soon as you find out, it’ll be amazing to have a “before” picture to compare your belly to as you grow. You can imagine the difference I had with my twins!

Pregnancy Bucket List. Make yourself a list of things you’d like to do throughout your pregnancy. Things like, write a letter to your baby each month of your pregnancy with her, go on a “babymoon”, or just a date with your significant other, sew up some dresses or socks, make a personalized blanket for baby, take a bubble bath, get your nails done, anything you want to do before baby comes. I was pregnant through three Christmases. My first one I had to have this shirt:

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I absolutely loved it and I enjoyed each Christmas when I was pregnant with this shirt! I still have it but I doubt I’ll ever get a chance to wear it again 😉 Here is a picture of me in it with my first baby, alongside of my best friend, we were both due in February, 9 days apart from each other. That is another story I can’t wait to tell you! (if she will let me 😉 )

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  Make a Baby Poll! Get your friends and family involved, and find out who thinks boy and who thinks girl! Look up what your results are with all the fun gender theories, like the Chinese gender chart, the wedding ring test, grab your early ultrasounds (if you have one) and guess based on the Ramzi theory or the “nub” theory. It’s all for fun and makes it even more exciting in anticipation upon finding out if it’s a boy or a girl, whether you wait till your baby is born or if you find out via ultrasound. A great idea is a “gender reveal party”! I love the idea of them, but I never had one. I couldn’t wait to let someone take the results and hide them from me. lol, I wish I had the patience to do something like that. If you’ve never heard of it, what couples usually do is they have the ultrasound tech find out the gender via ultrasound without revealing it to you, put it in a sealed envelope so the parents won’t see it, and the couple gives it to someone to either bake a cake, fill a box full of balloons, or any cute reveal idea that you can think of. It’s really neat to have all of your friends and family gathered around to find out the gender of your baby together. It beats bringing the whole family to the doctor with you! LOL! Plus, its a party and where theres a party, there’s cake. Right? Win/Win!

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This is what we used to announce the gender of our twins. We made these ornaments and put them into gift bags for Josh’s parents to open them on Christmas Eve with the family. It wasn’t a gender reveal party, but it was just as fun watching everyone’s reaction! 🙂

Now you start growing. Does your mom have stretch marks? They’re hereditary, so, chances are you’re going to get them too. However, you can reduce the amount you get, and you can reduce how bad they may get if you prepare early on using this:

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Earth Mama Angel Baby Natural Stretch Oil. I highly recommend this over ANY other belly lotion, cream, oil, anything. This is the best. I used two different lotions with my pregnancies with my daughters, one containing cocoa butter, the other containing collagen to promote elasticity. Both times I got terrible stretch marks and one of those lotions’ smell was so strong I hated putting it on cause I would smell it all day. This, however, smells awesome. It’s an oil and it goes on and melts into your skin instantly. I used this with my twin pregnancy. It warded off stretch marks till the very end, so that means A LOT when it comes to claiming whether it works or not. I quit using it in the end for some reason, so I got new stretch marks. I think the only reason why I quit is because I was running out, and I didn’t want to order more because I thought I’d have the twins soon. I should’ve ordered more. It’s really amazing. Not to mention, the makers of Earth Mama Angel Baby strive to keep their products as natural and as toxin-free as possible. I have a lot of their products, I love getting anything made by them because you can trust that what you use is going to comfort you or your baby, without worrying about harmful chemicals.

There are probably more things I will add to this list. I’m going to make separate lists for newborn essentials and for breastfeeding must-haves as well. These things are what was most important for me during pregnancy. Above all, try to enjoy the moment. Because it only lasts a second and don’t rush because its gone so fast. I hope you enjoyed reading! Thank you all!

The Birth of My Twins!

I’ve been wanting to write their birth story for a while and I know a few who want to know how things really went. The pregnancy was incredibly difficult for me although on paper, it was (almost) completely uneventful-that which I am very thankful for.

I made it to 37 weeks with my twins. I know that is a huge a accomplishment for a twin pregnancy and I’m very proud to say I did it! It didn’t come easy. I was so relieved when the doctor told me that we were going to the hospital that night because my anxiety was back in full swing. Being pregnant with twins is extremely nerve wracking. You are feeling two babies move and hiccup and kick and you’re constantly trying to figure out who is kicking and you have double to worry about as well. I was mainly focused on Twin To Twin Syndrome (TTTS) which is common in the later stages of a twin pregnancy and I hadn’t been feeling Jackson move as much. During my entire pregnancy, they were in the same spot and the same sides. The whole time!

I was staying at home with my girls still too, and if you can imagine two 6lb babies sitting on your bladder and having two toddlers pulling you around the house all day, you can imagine the exhaustion I was dealing with! For some reason I thought anything could be better than this. Even two newborns. At least I would have my body back, right? Wrong.

After I got through shaking in the car, after my doctor gave me the plan for the induction, I called my husband and told him to ready the troops. The babies are coming tonight! I called my dad to let him know and my sister. I was to arrive at the hospital at 10 o’clock.

I went home and spent the afternoon with my girls and put them to bed. Soon after that my mother and father in laws came to the house to keep the girls overnight for us, and we headed to the hospital.

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^^ yeah. Big as a HOUSE. I know. I was actually already having contractions!

Several hours into the induction and I was doing really good. The pain wasn’t all that bad, everything was going pretty good. It wasn’t until it was about 6 in the morning that I started getting tired and hungry. The pain was worse and I was having trouble focusing on breathing through the contractions. With any twin delivery you have to have an epidural anyway. So I thought, why go through this pain. Get the epidural over with.

It was probably the worst pain I’ve ever felt, the worst epidural I’ve had. I had three, long horrible contractions during the epidural. It felt like it lasted for hours. I must’ve not been fully numbed but I’m cringing just typing this out so I’m gong to stop there.

When it was over, I finally was able to relax. I could deal with the fading pain of the contractions and focus on breathing again and close my eyes. Until I felt like I was being suffocated. I started gasping for air. I felt like screaming but I couldn’t and I couldn’t get anyone’s attention around me. I grabbed the arms of the bed and pulled myself up without any relief and punched the nurse button, feeling like someone was sitting on my lungs. Like I was going underwater, drowning. She finally answered and I got out, “I can’t breathe”

The next thing I knew there were two nurses beside me, looking at me, then looking at the screen. The head anesthesiologist rushed in and checked something and I was scared, my anxiety filling up my ears and drowning them out and all I could think was, God don’t let this happen. Please don’t let me go. I was afraid that I was dying. I heard them saying, “we can’t do that or she will bottom out.” My blood pressure did drop dangerously low and my pulse was getting very high.

I was having an anxiety attack on top of the reaction my body had to the epidural. They gave me something in the IV and told me to calm down. Focus on breathing slowly, tune everything out. And we watched my heart rate fall back to normal. I had to do that for hours and hours. My body was getting so tired and without food, I was losing all of the little strength I had left. With no rest and no nourishment, I was begging God to let me be ready. Let it be time, please.

Finally. 23 1/2 hours after checking into the hospital, it was time.

Everyone excitedly cheered as they rolled my bed out of the room and down the hall toward the OR, while my husband, fully scrubbed, followed behind me.

The OR was cold and bright, and I was scared of what I was going to endure in the next few minutes but I just couldn’t wait to finally see my precious boys. Nine long months of waiting, filled with worry and joy and everything in between. They prepared me and Josh. Telling me what was going to happen, what to get ready for, and then my doctor did a quick ultrasound to check on the boys again before it was time to push.

My heartrate was steadily climbing the more anxious I got. I began to push but I had no strength. The boys growing had literally separated my abdominal muscles and I had nothing when I tried to push. I had to push harder than I ever had, I had to give it all that I had. Every ounce of energy I used. But my heart rate was getting dangerously high. I was freaking out because no matter how hard I tried, nothing was happening. Barely, if anything. My doctor told me to calm down and breathe and it dawned on me, God I’m hyperventilating again.

With a little help from my doctor, my precious boy Jackson was finally born. Time stood still. He cried and searched for me, and I got to cradle him on my chest until a nurse whisked him away and before I could take another breath, my doctor told me to bear down again, NOW.

After another push, my little Levi was born. He was blue. My doctor gave him a good thump on his rear and he cried his signature Levi cry that I still hear today. God got me through it and my boys were born safe and sound.

Jackson Lane was born at 9:11pm 5lbs 6oz.

Levi Jordan was born at 9:14pm 5lbs 15oz.

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The moment after that was unlike any feeling I could describe. It was the same when my daughters were born. Time stood still. Everything around me froze for just a moment. All my worries. All my burdens. All of the tears and the pain and the struggle just melted away. Looking into the eyes of my first sons. Jacksons little nose and Levi’s sweet dimples. It was all so worth it.

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Theyre 8 months old now. It’s crazy how time flies. It feels like I just had them. Now I’m working on helping them crawl. I hope you enjoyed reading! 🙂