Thursday, January 17, 2013

A long post about the flu, milk (or lack thereof), moving, and children



Not only have I not been journaling AT ALL (which makes me so sad because I’ve been so good at keeping up with it for so long), but I haven’t even turned my computer on since whenever I last posted on here!  I rarely ever use it anymore, now that I have an iPhone…oh yeah, and two more kids LOL.

I feel sad about not writing much because I’m not documenting all the little details about the girls and our lives right now, like I was able to do when it was just Andrew.  It was so much simpler then, now I just can’t find a moment to myself at all most days.  Moments to myself pretty much ALWAYS consist of bathing, napping, or running a quick errand for diapers or groceries or what have you.  THAT’S IT.  ME TIME, what’s that?  It’s a distant memory, which means it’s pretty much nothing because my memory is basically shot these days.  Ha!

I feel great though.  And the reason for that greatness?  Today is the day I suddenly felt better after a four day flu from HELL.  It was the Norovirus and somehow I managed to get it (and thank gawd no one else in this house has got it so far, and hopefully they won’t, because I wouldn’t wish the way I felt on my worst enemy) despite the fact that I rarely ever leave the house…So unfair!

It was the worst flu I’ve ever had, which isn’t putting it into proper perspective given how few flus I’ve ever had.  But it was SO BAD, I can’t even explain it.  I only threw up a few times (thank gawd, I mean honestly, like I didn’t just go through my share of vomiting for, like, years, after a double pregnancy!) but I felt nauseous pretty much the entire time, and I still have almost no appetite (so unlike me!)  I felt super nauseous, I was feverish constantly so I had spells of sweats and then freezing cold over and over which was brutal, I had bowel issues that we won’t talk about, I was SO ACHY, so freaking achy I cringe thinking about it.  I had a severe headache for 2 days of it, and had scary dizzy spells.  All of it was horrendous and I started to feel as though I was never going to feel better, because I kept feeling so exhausted and overwhelmed by all the symptoms.  It was awful.

But this morning I woke up and felt amazingly better, and I sort of felt like Scrooge on Christmas Morning.  I sort of felt like dancing a jig!  I had so much energy and just felt alive again.

The only thing that’s plaguing me still, and is totally stressing me out…is that the flu caused my milk supply to take a serious nosedive.  I am used to being able to pump full bottles nearly every time I pump – so 4oz on each side (or more) in about 10 minutes.  Not every time – often one side pumps a bit more than the other, but always enough to satisfy each baby, and I generally have 3-5 bottles in the fridge so as they go down I’m able to replenish before they run out entirely.  It would be a very rare occurrence to be down to one bottle, I feel nervous if there’s not enough left for someone else (usually James, of course) to help with feedings!  I do nurse the babies in between, of course, they nurse many times a day/night, but the pumping has never stopped.  Until this flu.

Basically I was OK-ish for the first day of it, and then the supply just dwindled, and while I HAVE managed to pump SOME milk over the past several days, it has been so minimal, and NOT enough to satisfy the babes.  We had something like 5 bags (roughly 4-5oz in each bag) of milk in the freezer as ‘stock up’ and now we are down to ONE.  And we’ve had to give them formula.  It has been SO stressful for me.  I’m praying that my supply goes up again and this isn’t going to be the end for me, because for one I’m not ready to give up nursing my babies but also because we literally can’t afford formula for 2 babies, it’s too expensive and we’re already going to be spending several hundred dollars a month more given how much more expensive our new place is.  So formula in my mind just isn’t even an option for us, not even half, because when you think about it, ‘half’ formula for 2 babies is full formula for one!  And my babies, I swear they eat more than the average baby!  They are ravenous, like, 24/7!  And they LOVE mommy’s milk!  And I’m used to being able to provide it!!!!!

So hopefully the supply goes back up.  I’ve been nursing them and they still seem satisfied with it most of the time (I heard that when ill, the body will produce less milk due to dehydration etc, but that the milk produced is higher calorie than normal, so a smaller amount is almost the same as if they were getting the extra ounces)…but if I nurse, I can’t get anything out at all when I try to pump.  And I’ve had people tell me NOT to supplement no matter what I do and just nurse, nurse, nurse – but if all I was doing was nursing while sick, how was I supposed to rest and get better?  I HAD to allow for supplementing because otherwise I’d never have slept! 

I’m still totally worried about my supply, but I’m doing everything in my power to get it up.  I nurse, pump regularly, I’ve been eating oatmeal, drinking a special tea from the health food store that’s good for milk production, getting as much rest as I can…Drinking lots of water.  Oh, I even tried drinking beer because I read that hops can help make the breasts engorged with milk, and as much as engorgement is uncomfortable I am WANTING that feeling now, to know that the milk is back!  I hadn’t had a beer in I think close to 5 years, which when I think about it is CRAZY but seriously I think it had been that long!  I used to drink beer way back in the day (I’m talking rez days at SFU and early 20s mostly!) to get drunk, but I’ve never really been one to want to sip a beer because I truly enjoy the flavour.  So having it when getting over a flu and still being too nauseous to eat a lot was kind of gross timing for it, but I figured I’d try anything!  (And for the record I’ve been trying my best to eat what I can, and have managed prenatal vitamins to at least ensure I was getting what I needed for the babies)…But so far I’m just not noticing enough improvement.  I’m thinking positive thoughts that by tomorrow things will start to ‘perk up’ – Haha (yeah right, like they will EVER be perky, SO not gonna happen!!)  lol

Well now that we’ve discussed the girls (and I don’t mean the babies!) I have to say that I have NO IDEA how I’d have got through the flu without James.  WOW.  He did EVERYTHING!  He was so amazing, I honestly don’t know how he took on absolutely everything for me.  He looked after all the kids, made meals, kept up at least on some of the chores, and he let me rest pretty much whenever I needed to.  It was INCREDIBLE and if I hadn’t had him doing all of that I have NO IDEA how I would have survived.  So I’m very grateful for having such an amazing husband.  I chose wisely!!

Unfortunately he has come down with a reeeeally bad cold, and it’s pretty much at its worst right now, which sucks but at the same time thank goodness for the small miracle of the fact that I got better before he got worse!  And let’s hope it remains ‘just’ a cold and he doesn’t end up with the same virus I had (which I know I called a flu even though technically it’s not, but it’s very flu like, if not worse!!)

I just wish he hadn’t used up all his sick days in the first 2 weeks of January when he doesn’t get any more till the start of NEXT January  =(  THAT kinda stresses me out…

Oh yeah, to top it all off, did I mention we are moving in less than 2 weeks?  Yep, we are.  And I’m a little stressed about that, too, although also VERY excited.  We already have the keys to the new place and tonight we went over and had a little pizza picnic and checked the place out a little more.  Andrew is so excited about it, and it was the girls’ first time there and they seemed totally relaxed right away – which sounds ridiculous, they’re 3 months old (already – it’s crazy, I know!!) so they had no idea they were in their new home and I know that, I’m not insane!  But I thought they seemed very at home there, and I liked that!  They slept through our picnic so we had a bit of a chance to talk about placement of furniture and fun things like that (at least until Andrew got annoying due to the Coca Cola we let him have with the pizza as a treat to toast the new place…oops on our part!)  There are definitely some issues with the place that are going to take me some time to get used to, but there are so many things that make up for those issues.  We really felt at home there tonight, even though all we had there with us besides each other were a couple of blankets and some pizza.  But then, what else could we possible need?!  LOL

So much I want to write about, like how smiley the girls are (which is VERY!), and how they are both cooing more and more (Margaret started first, even though Emily always made so much grunting noise in the beginning and we figured she’d be the one with the voice!  But now Emily has started cooing more too, and it’s the cutest thing ever, both of them)…How they both enjoy sitting up and as soon as we are in the new place I plan on getting them Exersaucers because I think they are going to love those every bit as much as their big brother did, and it was his favourite thing ever as a baby!)  I want to be documenting their day to day, but I’ll get going on that hopefully more regularly once we’ve moved and are settled in.  Even if I could just find the time like this to sit down a couple of times a week…I will strive to make that happen!

I just love the girls SO MUCH.  And Andrew continues to be an amazing big brother, he just adores his sisters and loves to kiss them or try to help when they’re crying (which sometimes ends up being somewhat less than helpful, but he means well!)  He is super adorable as well, of course, and I don’t want to stop writing about all the cute things he does because of the babies…One funny thing he did this past week was he thought I was watching tv and he went to his bedroom door in the middle of the night when I was up and said, ‘Mommy, are you enjoying watching your shows out there?’  I said, ‘Actually I’m not watching shows, I’m writing on my computer!’ (so obviously it was the last time I used my computer that he did this) and he replied, ‘Oh, ok, I’ll just go back to bed then!’  LOL  Yes, I have to make an effort to write about Andrew and the girls more often, more regularly.  Of course I should have other things to talk about too, but all in good time!  I really don’t know how some people manage – dealing with 3 kids and almost nothing more is about all I can take on, truthfully, and I have my overwhelmed days just at that.  Tackling moving with 3 month old twins and a 4 yr old is proving to be VERY challenging.  Very challenging, indeed.  Suffice it to say, I believe we will be madly packing the night before the move to finish up, and we won’t even begin the cleaning process till the move has taken place.  BUT it WILL all get done, right, because it has to, so I’ll just keep reminding myself of that!

I just can’t help but say one more time in relation to the girls, how much I adore them.  James and I have both found ourselves saying quite a few times that we honestly couldn’t imagine NOT having twins.  I just couldn’t picture it!  I love both my girls SO MUCH and they are both so precious and unique and fill my heart with so much joy.  To imagine just one baby, it doesn’t even make sense to me!  Yes, twins ARE a lot of work, but the pay off just in love alone makes it all worthwhile!

(Insert adorable children picture here --> as if I have had time to upload my photos!!)

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