Managing Twins: 9-12 months

I drafted this post long ago after the kids had their first birthday. I kept hold of it knowing there was more I wanted to add. I finally got around to finishing it up, and with the twin’s 1.5 years coming up tomorrow, I thought now was a good time to publish it.

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It’s getting easy at this point. I honestly think that if Ellisa had been born in as good of health as Hudson, things would have been smooth sailing from here on out. Of course, I’m not saying taking care of twins is easy, but all my problems with Ellisa seem to be related to her brain damage. However, no one can seem to verify this, but my gut says it’s so.

Feeding: 9-12 months with Hudson was a breeze. Feed three times a day, offer the bottle in the morning, at meals, before naps, and before bed. Simple. And for Hudson, it really was. He didn’t eat a ton, but that wasn’t the goal. The goal was for him to get interested in food, tastes, textures, etc… so that he would be ready for all his nutrients to come from food soon after his first birthday. And he did just that, all the while downing 32+ ounces of milk a day. Easy peasy.

Ellisa on the other hand became almost impossible to feed. I was afraid at times we were going to have to take her to the emergency room for dehydration or have a g-tube inserted. She went an entire day without drinking anything. I felt helpless. She simply wouldn’t bottle feed–which between 9-12 months should account for ALL of her nutrients. Everyday was a struggle. I had to constantly find games, toys, sounds, etc… to distract her while I slipped the bottle in her mouth. Once I got it in, she would take it. But for the record, she was taking anywhere from 2-4 ounces a feeding. Most babies take 6-8 ounces a feeding. That’s not much considering she should have been drinking at minimum 24 ounces a day and she was drinking roughly 15 ounces. Somedays were good (18 ounces), and some days were bad (8 ounces). But no day was good enough according to the professionals.

Charles was a life-saver during this. Because he was at work all day–being some what removed from the situation–at least he could bottle feed her at night without too much frustration. For anyone who’s child has had feeding problems, I don’t think I have EVER experienced something more frustrating than a child refusing to eat. Your child. It takes all your strength to let your baby go WITHOUT food. Because anyone that has dealt with this knows you can’t force a baby to feed. And when it’s the one thing you feel you have control over, not only for their health but their brain growth and development (when they’re already behind in the game), it kills you inside–that you can do NOTHING to help them help themselves.

Ellisa grew those three months. Not like I hoped for, but she grew. I have my persistence and Charles’ unbelievable patience to thank for this. I also have to thank my speech therapist for recommending a high calorie diet like adding oil to milk/fruit and butter to veggies. I was seriously adding close to a tablespoon of oil to Ellisa’s fruit in the morning for extra calories and by george, I think it worked! If someone tells you you shouldn’t go up on calories, screw them! I was hesitant to add calories as I was told not to but if someone would have told me to add calories to Ellisa’s milk from day one, I wonder how her growth (head circumference) would have been different. Maybe not at all. Maybe 1 cm. I would give anything for 1 cm right now.

Activities: It was super hot this summer and we spent most of our time outside by the pool. The babies got to a point where we could dunk both of them for a second and they would comfortably hold their breath. Ellisa started to like the pool so much we could sit her on the edge of the pool and she would fall in for us to catch her. Hudson preferred to chill with daddy on the raft.

We were grateful to have the Purma’s visit during these months too. Having family visit is such a nice break and so good for the kids. I’m thankful we have such wonderful families always supporting and spending time with us!

I kept busy in August/September preparing for the peanuts first birthday party while waiting for the heat to find another city to torture. It wasn’t until after their birthday that we were getting out regularly.

Schedule: Here was our simply schedule that latest most of these three months. I stopped pumping at 10 months, so this is the schedule after that. If you’re interested in the schedule that includes pumping, go to my post A Day in the Life: A Mom of 9 Month Old Twins.

8-9: Twins wake me up, diaper change, and I prepare and feed them their morning bottle.
Hudson is usually the first to wake up, and if Ellisa’s still asleep, I sneak him out and breastfeed him while trying to catch a few more z’s. Most mornings, he prefers to watch daddy get ready for work instead. Go figure.
9-10: Playtime in nursery.
9:30-10: I play with the twins while checking my email/daily schedule/facebook.
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10-10:30:  Breakfast
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10:30:-11: Play time
 Diaper change and bottle
11:30-2: Nap #1, Mommy free-time
I’m lucky if they sleep 1.5 hours but allow for 2.5 on the rare occasion that they sleep that long.
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2:30-3:30: Diaper change** and babies play downstairs in their playpen
3:30-4: Bottle
4-6: Nap #2, Mommy free-time
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6:30-7:  Diaper change and bath
7-8: Playtime upstairs in nursery
8-9: Bottle, read a book(s) and down for bed
11-1: Dream feed Ellisa before I go to bed
This is based on how many oz. Ellisa has had for the day.
12:00: Bedtime (usually)


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