Sunday, April 12, 2009

Cardboard Testimonies... Sweet Restoration!

There are several YouTube videos going around about the Cardboard Testimonies... Check out these punchy proclamations! And dig on the song! (We are in the first one, but they are both fantastic.)

Monday, April 06, 2009

Losing Weight After Twins

Since I have so many questions about this topic, I am going to address it briefly. I know this may come as a surprise to some of you that know me, but I am not one to fret over my looks so much. I have a husband who prefers I not wear make-up, which is just fine with me 99% of the time. I don't weigh myself more than once a month, maybe less. And I don't really keep up with the latest fashions. It's just not me. On the flip side - I could stand to eat healthier and exercise more, or just exercise at this point.

I weighed 126 lbs before I found out I was pregnant (with the twins). I weighed 191 lbs the day before I went into labor. Simple math tells us I gained 65 lbs, which I thought was really fantastic. I fully expected to put on more than that and still be healthy with twins. The day they were born, I weighed 161 lbs (after birth, and yes, I was able to walk down the hall and around the corner to the scale by myself while Scott stayed with the babies). Thirty pounds in one day!

[I DO NOT recommend weighing yourself immediately after birth! I only did it because I had twins and wanted a record. I have not done it with any of my other births.]

The babies are 11 months old now, and I am not sure what I weigh but I know last time I weighed myself I was at 126 on the dot, and my new pants are getting too big. I have not dieted. I have not restricted my food intake. I nursed Dennis and Daniel exclusively for the first six months at which point they started to eat baby foods and home made cereal. I still nurse them several times a day. Beyond some additional water in a cup, they don't drink any other liquids at this point.

So, I know nursing has helped shed pounds. I still have to keep eating plenty of (healthy) calories and drinking tons of water. I am somewhat active, but not more than keeping up with babies and toddlers and running up and down the stairs.

Twin skin? Well, now we're getting a little more personal. It is not as exaggerated as it was shortly after birth when I first blogged about it here. But I suppose it is still there. I am not so worried about it anymore. Neither is my husband, and that's really what mattered most to me!

Oh, by the way, I previously mentioned my only weight-loss goal was to be able to wear my wedding rings again. I have met that goal!

Twins - Two very different babies

The twins are going to be a whole year old this month. I can't believe how quickly this time has gone by... I am enjoying this twin mama stuff so much! We are seeing more and more of the babies' very different personalities, and it is a blast! Most people now realize right away that they are not identical, even when I have them dressed in matching outfits. In fact, more and more people comment on how 'each of us (Scott and me) have one', referring to the thought that there is one baby that looks like each of us.

Dennis definitely looks like his daddy (it's all in the eyes and those eyelashes!), but I am not so sure how Daniel looks like me just yet. I am not so sure any of my kids look so much like me really. Dennis and Kynzie favor one another, and Daniel and Max favor one another in looks. Personality-wise, Dennis and Daniel are so different from one another as are Kynzie and Max. I am not sure who favors who in this category yet.

It has been interesting to witness these babies have the same influences at the same time and see how differently they respond. It is a wonderful example of how God imparts definite personalities in each of us. There is much to be said about how environment (parental training and nurture as well as other household influences in our case) affects the outcome of a child's character. But seeing what God has placed in them from the beginning seems to be more evident when we have these two side by side than it was raising one at a time.

With one at a time, it was easier to say "Well, we did this or that differently with this child or that child, so that could be why they act this way and the other acted that way..." But here we are doing the same thing with two different little people at the same time. How marvelous to experience this phenomenon!

For example, both babies understand "no", but respond to it almost directly opposite from each other - one says I can get past this no stuff, and one says no means no. While the first baby may not want to obey 'no' just yet, this baby is also the one who seems to want our approval more. The baby who seems to understand it is best for him to obey 'no' seems to not care whether we give him our approval or not. I am interested to see how this continues to develop over time.

We also teach a little bit of sign language for help in early communication (although admittedly, we have not been as diligent in this with the twins). One baby enjoys the signing and tries to imitate it, and the other baby ignores it and makes up his own signs. One baby is better at self-comfort, and as a result, is seemingly more patient and more cuddly but not as smiley or interactive. The other baby wants to be first to get your attention when he wants it, and is sure to give you lots of smiles and interaction as your reward if you comply.

Anyway, it is no wonder to me that twins and other multiples are the subjects of so much study... there is so much we can learn!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

We're Having Twins... Now What? Help!

I am going to revisit some random themes about being pregnant with twins. First, let me say this... I would do it all again. I have several factors working in my favor for twins, I suppose. 1) I have an older daughter who is very helpful and loves her younger siblings. (I did not say she never gets annoyed or never needs a break!) And 2) I do not work outside this home! Whooo Hooo! Number 2 is probably really the most important key. Some other factors include training the other children well, which is a continuous process. But if they aren't strangers to training prior to the birth of twins, it is better for everyone. I guess that is only one other factor.

Okay, I need to go nurse the twins now... I will be back.

I also want to say that giving birth to my twins was the most awesome experience... I accomplished things in this pregnancy and birth that I never even knew were possible.

Good Nutrition - Brewer Diet is a good place to start... look around the website There is lots of good stuff in there to be found.

Protein, Protein, Protein (I resorted to protein powder to boost protein intake, but that is not necessarily the healthiest road to take...but we're talking 120 - 160 grams of protein a day!) Don't neglect the other important foods and nutritional elements either! I had to eat even when I wasn't hungry. (FYI - I have lost every bit of the weight I put on during this pregnancy. Don't worry about weight if you are eating properly!)

That is a good place to talk about exercise. DO IT! It is a vital part of preparing your body and keeping yourself in good health, good spirits and keeping mobile for as long as possible. Even though I never had to go on bed rest, it became more difficult to move around toward the end of the pregnancy. I think exercising helped save me from bed rest.

Drink lots of water... safely. Don't guzzle so much at once that you hurt yourself, but try to get in at the very least 64- 80 oz a day. My goal was 96 oz a day. And I was successful most of the time.

Be careful. I fell in my kitchen at about 34 weeks, I think. And it was painful... for a long, long time.

Variety in diet - too much of any one food could cause a food allergy to develop in the baby and maybe even in you!

What you believe is key! If you believe being pregnant with twins is a disease that the medical community needs to help you cope with and and help protect you from and then eventually relieve you of, then you have already sold yourself out for a C-section. I know, pretty harsh. But if you want a natural birth, you have to believe that God gave you this double blessing, and He created your body with the intention that it could give birth. He did not make a mistake. He did not forget what He was doing in any of this.

Having goals is important... a birth plan! Make it earlier than later so you know what you are working toward. It takes as many months as you can give it to prepare and train mind, spirit and body to make the goal of natural birth.

Read Having Twins by Elizabeth Noble - cover to cover. And then read it again.

Watch Mindy Goorchenko give birth to her twins, Psalm & Zoya, at home unassisted. It is amazing! And it gave me courage to keep believing I could do what God intended as naturally as possible with as few medical interventions as I could get by with... (and we did... see our birth plan somewhere on my blog... I'll find the link and add later...) Her babies weighed 7 lbs 10 oz and 8 lbs 11 oz! That is like a 16+ pound singleton!

Get a really good Doula! I had a great Doula, and I am very thankful for her.

Attend Bradley Method birth classes. We had an excellent teacher who inspired me that I could do this. I did not have as natural a childbirth as can be had (especially since mine was in the hospital), but I am so thankful for it! I don't think I would have had the courage to even try to "buck' the system with twins had I not been inspired by her.

Okay, that is all for now... I know there is more... I still haven't blogged about their actual birth, and they will be a whole year old this month!