Thursday, August 27, 2015

Weaning After 2 Years Breastfeeding Triplets!

I've been wanting to write this for a while. The triplets officially self-weaned shortly after their second birthday and it definitely came with a lot of emotions.

If I told myself when they were born that we would successfully breastfeed for 2 years, I probably would have passed out. I had done a bunch of research and was up for the breastfeeding challenge but knew it was going to be a lot of hard work and I wasn't going to be hard on myself. So I set a goal of 3 months and would move on from there if I made it. Originally I only dreamed how great it would be to make it to a year.

The time in the nicu was hard. I was so happy to hear from other triplet moms and to have great doctors and hospital that supported my wishes. It would have been so easy to give them bottles at first and let myself sleep and recover but I was determined. After the stressful few days getting my supply established (and lots of tears) it started to get a bit easier. I didn't sleep much and pumped as ofter as I could.

Once we got home it took a few weeks to settle into a routine. We were all learning. At their one month appointment I cried tears of joy to hear how much they gained and know that my efforts are paying off. After that, we had it down.

I continued to pump for a while but eventually stopped once the freezer stash was good. The pump and I had a love hate relationship. I was so glad to be done pumping, but I can't imagine life without it those first few months.

We made it to 3 months and then 6 and then 9 and I though, I can actually do this! Teething, and sleep regressions came and went and we got through it all.

We made it to 1 year!! It was amazing and I couldn't believe I actually did it.
I started imagining we could get farther than a year and quickly set my sights of 2 years. That is the WHO recommendation and at first I didn't think about it because that sounded crazy but I actually started thinking it was possible!

Well then another hurdle came our way, we were pregnant! Of course we were ecstatic but I wasn't sure what that would do to breastfeeding. Would my supply drop? Would it change? Could I handle tandem feeding the new baby with them?

We took it day by dad and my supply did drop but not enough to effect them. After lots of tips from other experienced mamas, I decided the best thing for me, the triplets, and the new baby would be to get them on a schedule and start limiting their feeds.

We slowly dropped them and were able to get them to only nursing 3 times a day. I went through a nursing aversion that happens to a lot of moms nursing while pregnant and this schedule helped me survive and not get too overwhelmed.

When baby arrived, all of them were still nursing. We successfully kept the schedule and thankfully Cormac took to breastfeeding quickly. We had several early (over)supply issues but were quickly into a good pattern again.

Owen was really the most attached to breastfeeding and the other two were slowly losing interest. Just before their second birthday, all three of them stopped nursing before naps. All within a fews days of each other. We had gotten to a point where I don't offer, they just ask. A week of two later, Evelyn and Declan stopped in the morning as well. Soon after that they all stopped asking every night. Maybe every other or every 3 days. It depended on how tired they were. 2 weeks of that and then they stopped asking all together.

Owen still nursed in the morning. He was always awake first and would come cuddle and nurse with me. It was our special one on one time. But, about a week after dropping the night feeding, he stopped asking in the morning. We still cuddle, but no nursing.

It was a very easy transition and I am so happy with the way it happened. No tears, no whining, and felt very natural.

I think it was the hardest on me. It was very bittersweet, to see them growing up and end that part of our relationship. But, transitioning to just nursing Cormac has been nice. It's much easier on all of us.

I can't believe that part of our life is over and that we made it so far, but am so beyond proud that we were able to accomplish it and will look back on these days with so much love. The bond we had was so strong and I am so happy I was able to provide that for them.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

So Many Updates!!

Well we are at the lake this week with all the family, which means I have lots of babysitters and can finally have some time to update the blog! It has been long over due and a lot has happened! Sorry! Adding Cormac to the family has been absolutely amazing, but exhausting and life just hasn't slowed down! People normally say the hardest transition is from 1 to 2 and then more after that are easy. For me I obviously went from 0 to 3 but adding the fourth has definitely taken some work. We have got a good routine down now but it was hard at first to have a newborn and toddlers. In some ways having three at a time was easier in the sense that they could entertain themselves but with two different age groups their is more to juggle. Thankfully Cormac is pretty easy going so when we are out and about he is totally cool to nap in the carrier and nurse on the go. All that said, I wouldn't change my family for the world :)

We have a busy rest of the Summer ahead as usual, with a few more trips to the lake, some friends coming into town, a few weddings, birthdays etc. We are also possibly planning to go to Hawaii with the kids in September. Although were not sure with work schedules and everything. They would love it though. It would be for a cousins wedding.

Anyways, first up, Declan, Owen, and Evelyn TURNED TWO!! Yep they are 2 year olds now and we seriously can't believe it!! My babies are growing up so fast and with it has come a lot of new things for us. They are talking so well now and are turning into such amazing big siblings. We had a great party for them with all the family and friends, it was a bit crazy but so fun. We ended up renting a park in our neighborhood and had a big spread of finger foods and of course cake! I need to do another post just on that later since this will get way too long if I go into details.

Declan
Owen (He took this himself!)
Evelyn
Weights and Lengths: Declan was 26.2 pounds and 34 inches, Owen was 26.5 pounds and 34 inches, and Evelyn was 24.11 pounds and 33 inches!

Eating: They are still eating 3 meals and lots of snacks a day, the biggest change is that they have all weaned from nursing! I will do a separate post on that but just last week all of them were officially done (look for a breastfeeding update).

Sleep: They are down around 7:30 and are up somewhere between 6am and 7:30am. They still are great at taking one nap from 12:30-3pm!

Clothes Size: All in 24 months/ 2T. Evelyn still fits a few 18-24 months shirts.

Milestones: They are speaking in a lot more sentences and are getting much clearer in their language as well. They are becoming more and more independent and awesome climbers! Also, Swimming! All three of them are getting really good at swimming and are really close to being able to swim on their own! By the end of summer for sure I think.

On to my next guy, Cormac is 4 months!! We've skipped a few monthly updates and he has changed quite a bit!! He is still my BIG guy and is so happy!

How can you resist that face?!
Weight and Length: At his 4 month appointment last week he was 16.8 pounds!! Jeez he's big. And he was 26.5 inches long!

Eating: Still eating a lot throughout the day, about every 2.5 hours, sometimes he goes to 3. At night he cluster feeds for about an hour before bedtime and still wakes twice to eat. He is just a hungry dude and can't make it through yet without eating.

Sleep: He is on a pretty good 3 nap schedule now with a 1.5 hour long nap around 9:30 or 10, another one at 1 or 1:30 and then a short 30 to 45 minute nap around 5. He goes down for the night around 8 and then wakes around 12 and 4, and is up for the morning around 7. He is a great sleeper though and goes down easy and when he wakes to eat he goes back to sleep very quickly.

Clothes Sizes: So yeah, this kid is wearing 9 months stuff. Some 6 months things fit but mostly in 6-9 or 9 months. Its insane. So many cute things he didn't wear because he is growing so darn fast.

Favorite Things: He LOVES the bath just like his siblings and he loves attention. He also just loves watching them and laughing.

Least Favorite Things: Diaper changes. This seems to run in the family.

Milestones: Lots of babbling and laughing, grabbing everything, and he is now rolling both from tummy to back and back to tummy (the latter not as often though, only when prompted).



Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Cormac: One Month Old! (and a post-partum update)

This month has just flown by!! We have settled in to our new life and schedule with our new (not-so-little) little one! Cormac fits in so well with our family and we just love him to pieces! The triplets are so good with him and still haven't had many issues so i'm hoping that is a permanent thing now that it has been a month. They can still be a bit rough with him, but they are learning and honestly he is a tough little guy and they really do love him. 

I have basically fully recovered. I had an early post-partum check up with my OB because of how easy (ok I wouldn't say easy, but on their terms...) the birth went, without having any complications as well as going med-free. I had that today at just over 4 weeks pp and I am completely cleared! I feel great and really have been back to myself since 2 weeks but i'm glad to have the official clearance, especially to start working out. Although I have no idea when I will fit that in! I gained about 28 pounds this pregnancy and I have lost 24. So technically 4 pounds, but a lot of flab to lose. Im not worried with in for now and am just going to enjoy my family! 

Cormac is so different from the triplets to me but I don't know whether that is because he is just a singleton, because he is huge, or because of my life now. Looks-wise he still has big brown eyes, darker brown hair, and has a bit darker complexion like my side. He is just so sweet and cuddly and pretty laid back for the most part unless he is hungry or has gas. He is not quite as great of a sleeper, but we are working on that and it's still early. He is very alert and seems so old to me but again I think that is because of size. He loves to just watch his big brothers and sister.

We had his one month well check on Monday and this guy is huge! Here is his update:

Weight and Length: He weighed in at a whopping 11 pounds and 7 oz. and was 23 inches long!

Eating: He is not as much of a scheduled eater as the triplets and likes to cluster feed especially at night but he is eating roughly every 2 hours during the day averaging 20-30 mins and then around 9pm will nurse on and off for up to 1.5 hours. At night it is still similar to the day.

Sleep: He takes little catnaps throughout the day but seems to be staying awake more and more. At night we get one good stretch for 3 or maybe 4 hours if we are super lucky and thens he's back to basically every 2.

Clothes Sizes: He is already into 3 months clothes. Newborn clothes have been out for a while. He really never fit them because he was so long. He even fits some 3-6 and 6 months outfits!!

Diaper Size: He is wearing a few brands of newborn sizes still, but not many. He can fit tots bots but outpees them so we really only uses simplex. They are still awesome. Then we are still using fitteds a lot and the bottom bumpers size smalls.

Favorite Diapers: Blueberry simplex and bottombumpers for aios, and workhorse fitteds.

Favorite Things: Being held, eating, bath time, and watching his siblings.

Least Favorite Things: Gas pains, and being put down.

Milestones: Holding his head up, following voices and sounds, several small smiles but not sure if they are officially real.

Pictures! These two are from his actual one month birthday and the day we started seeing little tiny smiles. We still haven't really caught one though.


The closest I have gotten of a smile/smirk
And of course a sleepy one!



Friday, April 3, 2015

2 Weeks Old! Adjusting to life with 4 under 2

We have been adjusting pretty well to having Cormac in our lives. He is so sweet and I already can't imagine life without him. I somehow forgot what it's like to have a newborn in the house! Although feeding and caring for just one is a lot easier than 3 :) We have had to change our schedule a bit and the sleep deprivation is hard, but so far we are doing well!

The triplets are all doing so well with him. We have to talk about being gentle a lot but that is just because of their age. They all seem to love him and are very interested in everything. They all want to be my little helpers and it is just too sweet! We haven't had many jealousy issues thankfully and a lot of that I think comes from them already having learned to share and take turns etc. It's been a bit of a struggle with them wanting me when I need to be with the baby. It's harder for me though I think. I want to be able to give them all my attention, but I just can't at this point. They play so well together now though and I am thankful for that, I actually think in some ways having three of them is easier! We also have had tons of family around to help and they are being spoiled.

Breastfeeding has gone pretty well. The triplets are still nursing and are doing fine sticking to their schedule even when Cormac nurses basically all the time. The first week or so was difficult after my milk came in because I do have a strong and fast letdown that was hard for Cormac to handle. I have adjusted a bit with positioning and hand-expressing and my supply has seemed to adjusted a bit more as well. It is still strong for him, but he is starting to get the hang of it.

As for my recovery, I feel basically back to normal. I have had a very easy recovery this time around with no tearing and not having any medication. I am so happy the birth went so well!

We had Cormac's 2 week check-up on Tuesday and he is doing great!! Let me tell you, he is quite the chunker! He was 10 pounds 9 oz and 22.25 inches long! Glad to know these seemingly never ending breastfeeding sessions are doing something. This kid can eat!

Just look at this sweet face and chunky cheeks from last weekend: