Tuesday, May 22, 2012

For MOMs by MOMs: Baby Gear

Time for another MOMs linkup! This time the topic is baby gear. I've recently had a refresher course in baby gear as my beautiful niece was born less than a week ago! I don't have a ton of photos to share, so I'll just give my top picks for gear in bullets with links.
  • Zippered sleepers - trust me, you don't want to deal with all those snaps.
  • Boppy pillows - it's nice to have a place to set down a kid. We even used ours for daytime naps while they were swaddled (not officially recommended - could be a smothering risk)
  • Swaddle blankets - A nice tight swaddle kept our kids sleeping for hours at a time. Most of the best ones we used were sewn by my mom.
  • Infant carrier carseats - I was skeptical at first, but infant carrier carseats are boss for twins. You can just pick up and go from car to house and back again. Very handy. Ours are Graco something or other. Almost any kind is great.
  • Baby Trend Double Snap N Go stroller - light weight and great for use with the infant carriers. My awesome friend Kirsten passed hers down to me. Worked like a charm for the first 6 months.
  • Jeep double umbrella stroller - my mom picked this up used for us, and it is so boss. We still use it today. It folds up small, so it's great for a small car like our Prius, and also great for air travel.
  • Graco Pack 'N Play playard with twin bassinet - This worked AWESOME for the first few months. The boys got to sleep close together but without the chance of smothering each other. Bonus is that this Pack N Play is HUGE - much larger than a standard sized one, so you can use it for travel well into the second year.
  • KidCo Peapod - We got this as a gift and it is so cool for travel. It's a splurge, so I wouldn't probably pick it up for myself, but it is really neat for a family on the go.
  • "Stealing" from the hospital - there is a lot of baby gear given to you at the hospital - especially if your twins have any length of NICU stay. We got the typical nose bulb syringe (see more below), diapers, wipes, ointment, hair scrubbers, shirts, pacifiers, milk storage bottles, nipples, blankets, hats, formula, and probably more. TAKE IT ALL HOME. Technically you're probably not supposed to take their blankets and shirts, but our nurses let us have them. No harm asking. Another top tip - they will give you the pump parts for Medela breast pumps. If you're going to pump at home and buy a pump used, just wait until you're home from the hospital to buy/open new pump parts because chances are you'll get some for FREE at the hospital.
  • Little Noses Nasal Aspirator - The only kind that works AT ALL besides the one you get at the hospital. DO NOT waste your money on any bulb kind of aspirator besides this one. I hear Nose Frida is also good, but I haven't personally tried it.
  • Aquafor - Best stuff on earth for diaper rash, cradle cap, scrapes, baby acne. LOVE IT.
  • Writing to diaper and formula companies - write a short letter to the diaper and formula companies that you want to use and tell them you had twins. Include copies of their birth certificates if possible. They will send you coupons for FREE STUFF as well as high value coupons. I think you can even do this with singletons.
  • Baby Jail - Okay, that's just our affectionate nickname for the Dream On Me Babytown Playard. This gated playard will become a sanity saver once you have two on the move. We used it as advertized for a few months, then broke it open and used it as the longest baby gate ever. We still use it today to fence off Nick's desk area. It's a lot easier than baby proofing with all those cords.
I hope this helps any expectant moms or MOMs out there. Did I miss anything that was a must have for you? Leave it in the comments!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

For MOMs by MOMs: Pregnancy

Another instalment of the MOMs linkup. Enjoy!

20.5 weeks pregnant with twins

My pregnancy showed me that Heavenly Father not only has perfect timing and a perfect knowledge of our circumstances, but also a pretty boss sense of humor which he uses to reveal himself in our lives. Prior to being pregnant with my twins I had wanted to be a mom for a long time. I had openly and often wished for triplets in my 20s. Everyone told me I was completely insane, and while I understood their concern I quietly wished for the opportunity to eat my words. As my first marriage fell apart towards the end of my 20s I lamented that I might never have kids. Going through the absolute dump truck of a situation of my divorce humbled me and brought my desires for my future into clear focus. When I met and married Nick we wasted no time in trying to start a family.

We tried to get pregnant for 9 months before it happened. There were a few months of the normal stuff, followed by a few months of the taking-my-temperature, ovulation-kit, etc etc etc trying. When I was able to conceive on my own I was thrilled. At my first pregnancy appointment my doctor did an ultrasound to date the pregnancy. Immediately she said "I have to tell you something and I need you to brace yourself." I was terrified that I had lost the pregnancy. She proceeded to tell me that I was expecting twins and that the babies were in their own sacs with great heartbeats. My shock coupled with relief that I hadn't lost the pregnancy produced buckets of tears for the next 5 minutes. I pulled myself together to call Nick and share the shocking news. I had joked earlier in the week that it would be "hilarious" if we were expecting twins. Nick said "It's a good thing we're not, because I can't handle that." See? Sense of humor.

I really enjoyed being pregnant and I had almost no complaints until near the end. No morning sickness, just a touch of heartburn. I felt the babies move for the first time around 17 weeks. I received tons of ultrasounds to monitor my cervix and then check the twins for growth every 2-4 weeks. It was awesome. I developed gestational diabetes, but it was not severe and was easily managed through diet. At 31 weeks 4 days (I think) I started showing signs of preeclampsia and preterm labor. My doctor put me on bed rest. I lasted 3 more weeks, which was pretty much just the break that I required prior to my kids showing up. At the very end I started to get uncomfortable and I delivered via c-section at 34 weeks 6 days due to preeclampsia. You can get the full scoop on my birth story at pregtastic.com. The boys stayed in the NICU for 13 (Asher) and 15 (Judah) days.

Those tears that turned on like a faucet when I learned that I was expecting twins haven't stopped. I love love love my kids and being a mom. I am reduced to tears of joy almost daily when I look at their sweet faces, which makes complete sense when I consider the following:

The Lord compensates the faithful for every loss. That which is taken away from those who love the Lord will be added unto them in His own way. While it may not come at the time we desire, the faithful will know that every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude.   Joseph B. Wirthlin

I consider my kids to be a blessing from an understanding and loving God through the Principle of Compensation. Going through a divorce sucked out loud and I hated every minute of it. Now, only a few years later I feel like I'm living a charmed life.

Monday, May 7, 2012

For MOMs by MOMs: Introduction

I thought I would come out of my relative state of hiding to participate in a MOMs (Mom of Multiples) linkup.

I'm Betsy. 32 year old working mom of awesome 16 month old fraternal twin boys Judah and Asher. The boys are spontaneous twins (aka a BIG SURPRISE!) They are awesome and so totally cute. I telecommute as a sales analyst for a consumer electronics company, and I love my job almost as much as I love my family. My husband Nick is a filmmaker and sleepwalker. It keeps us on our toes. We just bought our first house in Provo, UT and will be moving there (from Oceanside, CA) at the end of this month. We can't wait to have a back yard for the boys to play in. I can't wait to be within walking distance of my favorite bakery.

So... I don't know if you know this, but toddlers. are. hard. The first year was like a cake walk compared to the last few months. The boys are into everything, making messes, throwing fits, pulling hair, biting each other/walls/anything. They drive me bonkers regularly. Nevertheless, I love being a mom and I adore being a MOM. One of the best parts for me is seeing their relationship blossom as they grow and develop. Watching them learn brings me total joy.