I'll finish this entry later. It was just running long, and I wanted to get a post up today. I'll get the rest of the day done later tonight.
12 a.m.-We are feeding. If Billy and I have help, everyone will take one baby, feed him/her a bottle of breastmilk I have pumped. If it's just me and Billy, one of us will handle 2 babies back to back. Then, all babies get their diapers changed, and we take them all up to their bedroom from the family room. Whenever we take all of the babies somewhere, I refer to this as the baby parade.
Once we get upstairs, all babies have to be swaddled tightly and placed in their respective cribs. They used to all sleep in the same crib, but we just started separating them. They can now break out of swaddle, and they all end up whacking each other and waking each other up. We do not want that.
Inevitably, someone is usually extra fussy and has to be held and rocked for a while to encourage them to go to sleep. I usually am in bed by about 1:30 a.m.
1:30-3:30 a.m.-All babies sleep, if I'm lucky. Abby has had some bad nights where she wakes up over and over during this time and needs to be consoled. Marie has also done this. Sometimes Will drops his paci and cries for me to come put it back in his mouth. It all depends on the night.
3:30 a.m.-Somebody wakes up crying, and I know it's feeding time again. I jump out of bed and race downstairs to warm up bottles. I pace frantically as the bottles heat up because I can hear a baby or two or three crying, and I want to get to them. My breasts usually start leaking at this point, and they ache.
3:40 a.m.-The bottles are ready! If someone is spending the night, they are already in the babies' room trying to deal with the hungry babies. I bring up the bottles and the other person and I tend to the babies crying the loudest. If I'm alone, I deal with the loudest baby and let the other(s) continue to cry. It's sad, but what can you do?
3:45-4:30-Feed the babies and change their diapers. It only lasts about 30 minutes if there are 2 people, but if it's just me, it could take about an hour or an hour and a half. It just depends on how quickly the babies drink their milk and how many of them pee and/or poop on themselves during the diaper changes. Last night, Marie peed all over herself when I was changing her diaper so I had to clean up that mess and change all her clothes. Before that, Will barfed all over me. It was not a good night.
During the week, I usually wake up and take care of the 3:30 feeding with our help or alone. On the weekends, Billy and I alternate who will take that feeding. Sometimes, I skip the 12 feeding and go to sleep around 9 so that I will have gotten 5 or 6 hours of sleep by the 3 a.m. feeding. However, I have to pay the price, which is horrendously sore breasts. If I go more than 3 hours without feeding the babies from my boobies or pumping, I'm in pain. My breasts get hard as rocks and start leaking. Attractive, huh?
4:30-4:45-I pump milk. We usually feed the babies from bottles at night because they drink them much faster than they nurse. I pump milk and feed them breastmilk, but if I haven't pumped, they get a formula bottle. I'm usually back in bed around 5 a.m., which gives me about an hour and a half of sleep before the next feeding.
4:45-6:30-Again, if we are lucky, the babies all sleep. We usually have a fussy one at this point that needs a little extra attention (rocking, paci holding, etc.).
6:30-The feeding cycle begins again. I hear a baby crying and wake up Billy because he typically handles this feeding with any help we have. However, if we are alone, I get up for this one with him. It's amazing to me that he doesn't hear the crying himself. I used to be a very heavy sleeper, but one little peep out of the babies, and I'm awake and out of bed racing to their bedroom. I feel like Vivian. She said that she's so paranoid and such a light sleeper that a piece of pinestraw hitting the roof of her house will wake her.
This feeding usually lasts until about 7:30. Even if we have help, and I don't have to help with the feeding, I have to get up at this point and pump for about 15 minutes.
7:30-9:00-I may drift in and out of sleep for a little while, or I may need to get up and get some bottles ready, empty the dishwasher, load the bottles in from the night before, etc. It just depends on the day. At some point, I get dressed for the day because if I don't do it now, it won't happen.
9:00-10:30-Time to start prepping for and do another feeding. At this feeding, I like to try to breastfeed each baby individually to spend some one-on-one time with him or her. However, this only works if they are not all hungry at the same time. If they are, I have to feed 2 at a time and then the third. I'm still trying to figure out how to grow a third nipple.;)
If I breastfeed one at a time, this feeding ends up taking about an hour and a half. The babies aren't quite as efficient at the breast as they are at the bottle. If I don’t breastfeed them all, I have to pump again after the feeding.
10:30 a.m.-Baby parade downstairs. All babies are transported to our second baby station in the house-the family room. I sometimes carry 2 babies at a time, but usually I do all 3 separately just for safety. Winnie tends to want to run up and down the stairs as I bring babies down so I feel better just carrying one to be able to control the beast at the same time.
If I didn’t do it earlier, I now begin rinsing all the bottles from the night before and loading them in the dishwasher. This is about 9-12 bottles.
After this is done, I get a load of baby laundry going. Most nights, they have peed, pooped, and/or spit up on outfits, the changing table covers, their crib sheets, swaddle blankets, etc.
Now it’s time for me to stuff my face. All this breastfeeding makes me starving so I usually eat a couple of bowls of cereal and milk and a glass of o.j. I also take my special herbs to make more breast milk.
12:00-1:30-The feeding frenzy begins again. If I’m alone, I try to get a jump start on the next feeding by getting one of the babies fed before he/she starts to cry. I start with whoever got the first bottle at the last feeding, figuring he/she will be the most hungry to begin.
Monday, August 11, 2008
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