Nursing Twins- Part 1:  The Preparation 

I had the advantage of nursing my first two but I knew going into this it was going to be much different. Like everything else about twins, I didn’t know where to start. I did a lot of Pinteresting and Googling to try to get an idea of how it could work. 

Now that I’ve (almost) made it 7 months of nursing two, I am ready to share what worked/s for me. I’ll say this each time- What works for me might not work for others and I do think that breastfeeding is great but there is nothing wrong with formula. 

Here are my tips for preparing to nurse twins:

  • Do some research. If you’re reading this you probably already have. There are LOTS of resources out there. 
  • Buy a nursing pillow for twins. The one that I love and I’m currently still using for tandem feedings is the My BreastFriend for twins. I honestly don’t think I could have nursed two without it. It is a must-have in my book. 
  • Talk to your doctor about after delivery. And when you get to the delivery room, remind the nurse of your request to nurse soon after delivery. Even though I had a c-section, they still were very encouraging to help me nurse both girls as soon after the delivery as possible. Find out from your doctor or hospital if there are lactation consultants available to assist you after delivery. It never hurts to have some help, even if you’ve had previous experience. 
  • Buy the goods you’ll need. For me, these included nipple cream, nipple shields, nursing pads, milk storage bags, nursing sleep bras, and easy access clothing. 
  • Have a breast pump to use when you get home. Your hospital will let you use their pumps while you are there most likely but if you’re going to be going to work you’ll want to start stock piling milk. Your insurance carrier should provide this for you. 
  • Have some formula and bottles at home washed and ready to go just in case you need to supplement. My girls needed to gain some so I pumped after each feeding to give them a little extra but it was nice knowing I had some formula if I needed it. You’ll likely have samples from the doctor or hospital. 
  • Try to stock your freezer full of easy foods that are healthy and easy to cook for after you come home. I made quite a few freezer crockpot meals in preparation. 
  • Make sure you have some pjs and clothes that are easy to nurse in. Consider the fact that even if you plan on a vaginal delivery that you are more likely to have a c-section with multiples so you want to avoid waistlines that cut low on your waistline. 
  • Think about where you will nurse and what, if any, furniture you may want to purchase. I planned to nurse both upstairs and downstairs so I had gliders in the living room and the nursery.  I also put a small table next to both. Think about what might work for you. 

The goal in all of the points above is to make it as easy and comfortable as possible for you after you come home with your babies. 

Are you a nursing mother of multiples? What helped you prepare for breastfeeding two (or more)?

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Easy Zucchini Ravioli Bake

I’m all about easy meals. And cheese. And zucchini. Oh, and ravioli too. So this was a perfect fit for me. I’ve seen this same recipe all over the internet before but it didn’t have any veggies. Enter zucchini, my favorite summer veggie, that just happened to be on sale for $.99/lb at Kroger today.

Better yet, it only has 6 ingredients and takes about 5-10 minutes of prep time.

  • Pasta sauce 24 oz jar or can (I used store brand chunky style)
  • Shredded mozzarella 2 cups (or more if you really like cheese)
  • Frozen cheese ravioli (I used half of a 4 lb bag from Sam’s Club)
  • 2 Zucchini, sliced medium sized
  • Shredded parmesan (optional)
  • Cooking spray


Looks yummy, right?

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish.

Put about half of the pasta sauce on the bottom of the pan. Lay ravioli on top of the sauce. My ravioli were round but square really work better. Cover ravioli with sliced zucchini. Top ravioli with half of cheese. Repeate except for zucchini layer- sauce, ravioli, mozzarella. Sprinkle with parmesan, if desired.

Cover with foil for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for 20 more minutes. If you want  the cheese to get a little color, use the broiler for a minute or two.

Serve with a salad and French bread. Did I mention it is kid-pleasing?  My two older, very picky eaters both gobbled it up.  I’m sure it had nothing to do with the blonde brownies….

Blonde Brownies 

This is one of my most cherished things I own. Handwritten by my Grammy, this recipe book has a collection of her favorite recipes. It’s full of love, patience, and lots of butter.

Today, we were supposed to be bringing dessert to a bbq at a friend’s house in celebration of Memorial Day. In preparation,  I decided on Blonde Brownies- a quick, easy recipe that is always a big hit with everyone.  This is a recipe that my Grammy made A LOT and she got from a dear family friend, Marty Henkes.

Plus, you likely will have everything you need in your pantry or fridge.

  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 2 Cups Brown Sugar
  • 2/3 Cup Butter
  • 1 small pckg Chocolate Chips (or enough to cover the batter)
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray jelly roll pan.

Cream sugar and butter. Add the other ingredients except flour and chocolate chips.  Mix well. Add flour and mix.

Spread batter into the pan. (It will be thick so you may have to work to get it spread out.) It’s ok if it doesn’t completely touch the edges of the pan because it will expand while baking. Cover with chocolate chips.  Bake 20-25 minutes. Cool slightly before cutting into bars.


You can use more chocolate chips than I did but I like to taste the cookie part of the brownies more than the chocolate part.


They are so yummy you’ll have trouble not eating the whole pan. Luckily they are super-easy so you can just make more!

Tips for DIY Twin Newborn Photos

Those beautiful photos you see people post on Facebook and send on their birth announcement of their infants will be cherished forever. They should be. They capture a special fleeting moment in time and you’ll always want to remember just how tiny they were.

Garen takes photos for a hobby so we decided to take our own. And let me tell you, after trying multiple days with two babies, I realized why these photographers charge so much. It isn’t as simple as it looks.

Here are my top 10 tips if you’re going to attempt to take your own newborn photos with twins:

1. Accessorize.

Order or buy your props or accessories a month or two before you expect to deliver so that you don’t have to worry about it once you’re home with your bundles of joy. i.e. headbands, diaper covers, ties, swaddlers, etc. I made the mistake of waiting and was overwhelmed choosing. I couldn’t decide what color(s) to go with and which girl would where what so I settled with matching white headbands and diaper covers.

2.  Wardrobe

Pick out clothes for Mom, Dad, and siblings ahead of time too. I wore one of my flowing maternity shirts with tights to cover my belly and be comfy at the same time.  Remember you might look 6 or 7 months pregnant still after twins. You won’t feel like shopping probably, especially if you have a c-section like me.

3. Don’t Delay

Take them within 7-10 days of birth while they are still “sleepy.” We missed this special time because we were tired and overwhelmed. Don’t let this happen to you. It will be a lot easier than waiting until they “wake up.”

 

4. Do You Homework

Search Pinterest and YouTube for how to pose infants and twins before you try it yourself. It’s not as easy as it looks. This pose was the easiest for us to capture both girls.

5. Equip Yourself

Rent equipment. You can rent cameras, lenses and flashes. Then research how to use them.

6. Light Up

Find a place in your house that has a lot of natural light. You likely won’t have elaborate lighting or professional flashes (unless you rent it). If you do, awesome. If not, open the blinds. Let the light shine in.

7. Timing is Everything

Time it right. For us, we got ourselves ready and setup during the girls’ nap. Once they woke, we fed them and got a few with them awake. Then when they fell back to sleep, we took a few that way too.

8. Set the Stage

Use blankets, pillows, and even hands covered in blankets to prop your babies up how you want them. Use big blankets to make a background.

9. Be patient.

It’s not easy….especially if you have siblings you are trying to take as well. Go into it knowing that. Remember that professional photographers may take thousands of photos just to get a few worth keeping. Our favorite photo was one that was completely not expected.  We love candid shots.

10. Bottoms Up

Drink some wine (or adult beverage of your choice). It will make it more fun. And you deserve it since you’ve made it through a pregnancy carrying two, all while completely sober. Your partner deserves some too if he/she put up with as much as mine did!

The other piece of advice I have is if you can afford it, pay a professional. It is a lot easier. There are a lot of GREAT photographers that take newborn photos at different price ranges. I’ve personally love the work Elizabeth Marquess, of By Liza Jane Photography, does. She’s taken our family photos a few times and is great.  There are so many options.  Just don’t wait too long to find someone and meet with them so you are on their books since many of these photographers book quickly.

And, no Garen doesn’t take newborn photography. He specializes in lifestyle and event (minus wedding) photos.

Surprise…It’s Twins!

I’d like to share about the day I found out I wasn’t just expecting, I was expecting  twins. I’m not going to sugar-coat it because I think it might help other new moms of multiples who may be going through a similar situation.

I had a gut feeling I might be having twins. I had the advantage of having two prior pregnancies so I knew something was different. I was bigger, sicker, hungrier and moodier. My uncles are twins too (to answer the inevitable “do twins run in your family” question). I kept telling myself that it was twins. The logic being if I thought it was and it wasn’t, I’d be relieved but if it went the other way, I’d be shocked.

So when we went in for our first ultrasound, I was very nervous. Garen kept reassuring me that it would be fine. As I lay there during the ultrasound, the doctor took a very long time probing before saying anything. So long that I got nervous something had happened to the baby. Instead, a moment later she asked, “How do you feel about twins?” And she showed us this….


Time stood still. I asked if she was joking and, in a deadpan tone, she asked “Why would I joke about something like this?” That made it worse. I started to cry. My fear had come true and my mental plan to “prepare myself” completely failed. I’m not sure anything could have prepared me for that.

On top of it, I felt guilty for crying while my husband was thrilled. This was his first pregnancy and he was getting two babies with one shot. Why shouldn’t he be elated?!?

I, on the other hand, knew how hard one baby was. The long nights, early mornings, sore nipples, dirty diapers and everything that went with a baby were going to be doubled. I had watched many of my friends carry multiples and how they had complications in pregnancy. I was worried there wouldn’t be enough time for our older two to get one on one time. I saw my career suffering, knowing it was going to be harder to work as many hours as I want/needed to in order to grow. So many things went through my mind.

It was hard. And I felt like a terrible, ungrateful person.

But I pushed on. If you are a mom that just found out you’re having twins, don’t feel guilty for being shocked, scared, or even mad. It is scary. It is shocking. And you’ve got double the hormones so it is ok if you are mad.

Despite all of this, the main thing that helped me was remembering that even though there’s twice the hard parts, there’s also twice the good parts. Twice the smiles. Twice the giggles. Twice the love.

I’m Baaaaack

I must say, I can’t believe it’s been so long. Time truly does fly when you’re having fun. See my last post below. Yes. It was actually March 26, 2015. That’s not a mistake.

Shortly thereafter I found out my baby was actually babies (also known as Clara and Kate).  I quickly understood why I was feeling so sick, tired, and hormonally charged so early on. It also explains my lack of blogging.

In the next few months, I’ll slowly try to catch up on events since I left off and post some of the craziness that is our life. In the meantime, as I like to tell people when they ask me how I’m doing, things are just peachy.

Really. I do still run around like a chicken with my head cut off (definitely now more with the additional two babinos) but things are crazy fun around here.

Anna’s graduation and a (very rare) photo of us all.