Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Juggling Work and Mommyhood

21 weeks pregnant in my work scrubs

So this is a blog of a wife AND nurse AND twin mom, and I have been writing about mainly the twin mom part. A reader called me out about that lately, and she is right. So I am going to make an effort to round out the blog a little and write about the other aspects of my life.

I still work one day a week in the NICU. I don't have a set day, I just try to schedule myself when the unit is shorter on nurses. I enjoy my job. The hours are long though. I wake up at 5am the days that I work (on my days off I get up at 7 and the boys get up about 7:30.) I leave around 6:15 with the house completely quiet and asleep. Both grandmas come over to babysit the boys while both me and Alan are gone. They get here at 7:30. Then one grandma will leave when the boys take their nap (around 1pm) and the other stays until Alan gets home at about 5:30. I get home about 8pm. This actually works really well, and I don't feel too guilty about leaving, and I know they are well taken care of.

When the boys were smaller, it was a lot more complicated, and I honestly think maternity leave should be 6-9 months minimum. I knew the boys just needed their momma (they did nurse 12 out of 24 hours!!) I would nurse them before I left, or as they started sleeping through the night, I would pump their morning feed and leave it in the fridge before I left.) When the boys started sleeping longer stretches at night, It was very very hard for me to get up when they were sleeping. Sleep is so precious during that time! When the boys were not sleeping through the night, the grandmas came at 5:30am so both me and Alan could get ready, because sometimes they thought morning was that early. We are very blessed that the grandparents live so close and are willing to help out. Then I would pump 3 times at work (gradually I got down to twice, then once.. and then none at around 13 months). During the early months, I wondered how ANYONE works more than one day a week with kids. In some ways it may be easier, because it truly is like "time off" from your mommy job, but there would have been no way I could have kept my supply up enough to keep exclusively breastfeeding. Kudos to those moms that do that. Also there is no chance to squeeze in a nap at work during those early months either.

I still haven't decided if being a mom of twins has made me a better or worse NICU nurse. I have way more opinions now than I did before, and not all of them jive completely with all of our policies. Also I personally thought twins were very difficult, and I really don't want to scare our brand new twin moms. But I am not as judgmental as I used to be. And I can really empathize more with some of the things the moms are going through. Also if I am having a shaky relationship with a NICU mom, I sometimes mention I am a mom of young twins who spent some time (just about 8 hours) in the NICU, and that usually gets them to trust me a little more. It is kind of cheating, but not really because it does help me understand them better.

My favorite part of my job is being able to support the parents. Also I love positioning the little tiny babies in the isolettes, the ones that are too little for clothes or swaddling (about 28-32 weeks) because they need to be on "servo control", so they have tons of positioning aids to position them like they are in the womb. I love making them all nice and comfy in their isolettes :) I also love cuddling the "chronic" babies that were born in the 20's gestation but are now 32+ weeks and still needing support... They are old enough to really look in your eyes while you hold them and really melt your heart. For all these reasons, and also seeing my fellow nurse/nicu friends, I really like my job.

But I still miss my sweet boys when I am at work. I never see them before I leave for work, and sometimes they are asleep when I get home. (That is really sad). So I try to have Alan keep them up until I get home. They are SO SWEET when I get home from work. They are always so happy to see me, and usually run up to me and give me huge hugs. It makes me happy.

Me and Matthew
Me and Adam cuddling (he is my Momma's boy :))
Sorry for my baby fat belly in these pics... I also need to write a post on post -baby body image ;)
Me and Adam
And here is Adam and his Granny Bee who helps watch him while I am at work.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

More Cloth Diapers

I think overnight I may have developed a slight obsession with cloth diapers. I almost want to have another kid just so I can get all the accessories I want. Clothes line, indoor dryer rack, diaper sprayer, wool covers for overnight, more diapers of different brands, etc etc etc. :)

I'm probably done with my cloth diapering purchases though. My boys are going to be 20 months in a few days, which puts then 4 months shy of 2 years. Which means, technically, they could be potty trained soon! (I think they will be late trainers though.. they don't care at all about dirty or wet diapers).

I got 3 Smartipants and a wet bag as my final cloth diapering purchases. So now I have a total of 5 diapers.

Of the two (Smartipants and Gdiapers) Smartipants are definitely my favorite. They are very Very easy to use, soft on the boys' skin and they fit my almost 2 year olds better (they are a bigger diaper). The Gdiapers are slightly cuter though.They are just the diaper (with a pocket) and an insert.
The pocket that holds the insert is open on both ends, which makes stuffing really easy.

There are lots of snaps for different sizes.

My favorite part is the insert agitates out in the wash. So for a wet diaper, you just have to throw the whole thing in the wet bag. Just as easy as changing a disposable. For a dirty, just rinse and put in the wet bag. No digging the insert out, unsnapping the liner or worrying about putting velcro back together.

So, so easy. Wish I could order a ton of these and not have to wash diapers so often. But maybe next time.. ;)

Alan does not understand my interest in cloth diapers, but I am having fun experimenting. Feels good to wash instead of throw away.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Cloth Diapering

My boys are 19 months and 2 weeks, and have been exclusively in disposables for 19 months and 1 week. That means I branched out last week. I have always wanted to try cloth diapering. I brought it up to Alan several times while I was pregnant, but the thought of dirty diapers was already upsetting enough to him, without throwing cloth in (along with most other new dads, and probably plenty of new moms too). Then we found out we were having twins, and we decided to concentrate on just surviving.

Last week (as I was helping my beautiful sister-in-law (who is planning to cloth diaper) register for her baby), I saw some G-diapers at Babies "R" Us. On impulse I bought two of them: blue and green (Green for Adam, Blue for Matthew - have to stay color coded). They can be a hybrid diaper; it has a cloth cover, and you can stuff it with a flush-able, biodegradable liner, or a cloth liner. I decided on the cloth liner, because I wouldn't really be saving any money if I had to buy the disposable liners. Plus I wondered if that was really cloth diapering??

They took their nap when we got home, and I was literally counting down the minutes until they woke up so I could try their new G-diapers on them. I rinsed the cloth inserts 6 times while I waited (per the instructions), and watched tons of videos on how to use them. They looked so cute on the videos, why couldn't my kids just wake up?? (I assure you this is one of the only times I have wanted nap time to be shorter ;) )

They finally woke up, and I got to try them on!!

They were so stinkin' cute! I think this is the main thing cloth diapering mommas need to mention to disposable mommas about the benefits of switching. See how happy Matthew looks:
Matthew showing us where his chin is located:
Adam rockin' his g-diaper:
Matthew showing off his new diaper:
Little G-butts:
So these are the only cloth diapers I have ever tried. But since I really, really like them, and they are not as hard as I imagined (even with dirty diapers, they aren't too bad), I have researched more brands. I feel like all of the cloth diapering jargon can be overwhelming. Having at least tried the G-diapers now, I actually understood what they were talking about. I think I may like other brands even better than these, but I am just going to show you how a G-diaper works.

It comes with an outer cloth cover (left) and a polyurethane liner (middle). Then you either buy a disposable or a cloth insert (right).

Strap the liner to the cover:
Stuff the liner with your insert:
And if you are really scared of poop you can add a flush-able liner on top of the cloth, which will catch most of the poop. Then you can flush that and wash the rest. I used these for the first few days, and I still use them if I think they are due for a major blow out. But they are almost like tissue paper, and it ends up getting wet and sticking to my boys, which I have to wipe off. It doesn't seem very comfortable. And it's not as soft as the cloth:
Yay, we're about to wear our G-diapers again!
I got Charlie's Soap to wash them, and if there is a stain that doesn't come off in the wash, I set them in the sun and that does it (you aren't supposed to use bleach).

So I bought 2 of these diapers, and I have been washing them twice a day for maximum use (because I love them). But my sister-in-law got a pile of cloth diapers from a friend, and she is giving me 3. And I ordered 3 smartipants diapers. That will be a total of 8, which MAY be enough for full time cloth diapering. (They go through 4 diapers a day each, and we may keep using disposables at night). You can actually reuse the cloth cover and the the polyurethane liner of the G-diaper, and just change out the cloth insert if it's just a wet diaper, so that may help spread out the diaper use. I will probably write about those new diapers too when I get them. I know I am trying this way too late, but maybe IF we have another baby, we can start earlier ;)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


So... the bad part about living in tornado alley?


Adam woke up from his nap about 2 hours early screaming today. I went in there to comfort him, trying to tell him it was just a little bit of rain, and not to be scared. But then I heard the sirens. The tornado sirens have a way of making me just a little panicky. I grabbed my laptop and checked the weather map long enough to see we were right in the middle of that "red" dangerous area, and there was a report of a tornado on the ground very. close. to. us. I grabbed the sniffling Adam, and his sleeping brother and together we hid out in the bath tub. I went back to grab Adam's mattress just in case. I got in the tub with the boys, and they just thought it was a party. They were smiling, laughing, and cuddling with me in that "I am still a little sleepy, but this is different and exciting" way. I brought the laptop with me and turned it on the live weather updates on our local channel. Yikes, tornado touchdowns in several areas very. close. to. us! (Within 1/2 mile.) We hid out until the all clear was given by the weather guy.

We are all okay and so are all of our friends and family. Tornadoes touched down all over the area all afternoon... it was a little surreal. Thankfully there were not too many injuries, and no deaths that I have heard of. Which is amazing considering how many touchdowns there were.

Thankful for God's protection today!