SWYM Tip #4 Get Out Of The House…Often!

Packing up one kid for an outing is challenging but add a couple more and it can be downright daunting.

I’ve learned that the longer I stay inside the house the more difficult the thought of going out becomes. The supplies (diaper bag full of diapers, wipes, snacks, bottles, extra clothes, and other survival items), the tantrums to get dressed, out of the house and into the carseat, the poopy diapers on the way out the door when I finally thought we were ready, ect.

Every time I do get out though I feel a sigh of relief, the change in environment can really perk up my mood as well as the kids. Some outings still end up being chaotic but the more you do it the easier it gets and you start to learn survival techniques for making it easier. I have seen a mom with one baby take 2xs as long to load up and leave a parking space as it usually takes me to load up all 4!

Here are some tips and suggestions for outings

1. Always have the diaper bag prepped, when you get back from an outing refill any non-perishables so it’s ready for the next trip.

2. Start out with small trips, a walk around the block, a drive to the mailbox, coffee at a Drive Thru Starbucks, ect. Shopping in large stores is trickier, especially once you get to the toddler age so try to go when you only need a few things and can get in and out quickly. Usually they can handle about 15 minutes of shopping before it starts to get ugly.

3. I love walks since I’m getting exercise, they are getting out of the house and usually the movement and view keeps them entertained. Trips to the ice cream store or to get a pizza are everyone’s favorite. Actually anything involving a tasty snack will usually do. Below are the girls having breakfast tacos before Mom heads into the grocery store. 

 

4. Play dates at homes and the park. These are a great way to wear the kids out and possibly have a few minutes of adult conversation. Join your local Mom/Parent group if you don’t yet have a good network, it’s worth it and really makes you feel sane when you know you are not alone on this unique parenting journey.

5. Use the trip as fun education, point out things on the way to teach them words, colors and counting. When we go on walks we use flowers in people’s gardens as a good color lesson and I get them to point and say things that they see and hear along the way.

6. Don’t stress out about what others are thinking…you most likely will deal with a public tantrum, messy situation or some other catastrophy at some point. I had one infant literally vomit all over herself, her car seat and the groceries when I was in a checkout line. Crazy stuff will happen, hopefully you will be able to laugh about it later and regardless you will know that you are stronger for just getting through it!

SWYM Tip #3 Laundry 

The advise I wish I could follow…


Do at least 1 load of laundry per day. This means wash, dry, fold and put it all away. 

I’m not one of those women that loves housework, I actually hate it. If I don’t do it daily though, it builds up to catastrophic levels overnight, takes so much longer to actually finish and the simple sight of it is so overwhelming. Seriously, I’ve had nightmares about the endless stacks of clothes!

The washing and drying is the easy part, it’s the folding and putting away that always kills me. It probably doesn’t help that I have toddlers running around pulling things out of drawers and knocking neatly folded stacks on the floor every time I turn around.

Use your naptimes and bedtime very wisely. (I think this rule probably applies to dishes as well 😉)

SWYM TIP #2 My Top Picks For Toddler Safety 

Before having twins I would have thought many of these products were unnecessary or just being over protective. I came to realize that when you have multiples the game changes, judgements need to be put aside, the children’s safety becomes first and foremost, especially when you are outnumbered.

I have 4 under the age of four and I have learned that I can’t be everywhere and watch all of them every waking second. After trial and error the items I am listing below are some of the actual ones we use. Most can be bought affordably on Amazon, or on sale at local sellers, unfortunately most need to be new though so used items may not apply, even though I love saving money where possible…

1. Safety Gates- depending on whether you have stairs, multiple walkways, unsafe rooms, ect will depend on what you need. The ideal is something that will last the full time you will need it. My kids are climbers and all pretty fearless so the best for our house were the extra tall metal ones.

The temporary ones with the rubber stoppers only worked until they were walking, then they knocked them down and the lower ones were useless by the time they were 2 since they could easily climb over them. It’s also super important to make sure that it can be EASILY opened with one hand. With multiples you are almost guaranteed to never have 2 hands free!

  • Summer Infant Sure And Secure Custom Fit Gate (These are great since they can fit in unusual places and can also be used to protect free standing items like your home entertainment systems.)
  • Munchkin Extending Extra Tall and Wide Metal Gate (I love this one, it’s super durable and the 3 year olds still can’t climb it!)

2. Door Safety – Statistics show that finger injuries are a very common reason for ER visits with toddlers. Again this will depend on your home’s needs. There are great products to prevent round knobs from turning but our house has a different style of knob so we lock the important rooms that we can and use the Door Monkeys and pinch guards for the other doors.

There are items that stop pinches from the hinge part of the door and ones that stop them from fully closing the door. Depending on how strong and destructive your toddlers are will decide what and how many different items you need. Check the reviews on all items before you buy them.

  • Door Monkey Door Lock and Pinch Guard (These are super easy to use and do not damage doors or require tools to install.  They prevent little ones from opening or closing doors while still leaving about 1.5″ of room for air circulation.)

3. A Camera System- Cameras are great for many reasons. When you want them to sleep uninterrupted but still keep an eye on them when they are little and when you need a bathroom break with climbing toddlers, a camera will always give you a bit of piece of mind and at the least a few seconds to prepare for an accident or fight. I love the ones that we have because they can scan the whole room, you can buy multiple cameras for one monitor and they can be moved easily.

  • Motorola Digital Video Baby Monitor with 2 Cameras

4. Cabinet and Drawer Locks- As soon as they could figure out how to open cabinets and drawers my kiddos were getting into EVERYTHING. It was dangerous and very messy. These items have been lifesavers for us.

  • Magnetic Locking System, 1 Key and 8 Locks (Just make sure to get an extra key and hide them.)
  • Kiscords Safety Cabinet Lock for Knobs
  • Spring Loaded Latches (We use these on drawers and cabinets)
  • Sliding door lock
  • Safety 1st Oven Front Lock

5. Outlet Protectors -The outlets seem to be of concern for many parents…I experimented and was zapped a few times when I was a kid but nothing too bad. Regardless of my personal experience I did plug all the open outlets for now.

  • Safety 1st Ultra Clear Outlet Plugs

6. Safety Harnesses – This was a tricky one. Before kids I have to admit I balked at the parents who used harnesses, but after experiencing my first 2 toddlers trying to run off into different directions I had a serious change of heart. If you have more than one young child some form of harness or strap is a must. From all my conversations with other parents I have learned that it is very common to have at least one “runner”. The kid that just wants to go and as soon as she/he sees an opportunity they are off. Accidents can happen so quickly so I am now a complete advocate of these. Some kids like backpacks and some hold hands and just need a little wrist support. You know what’s best for your little ones. Here is what we use.

  • Skip Hop Zoo Safety Harness
  • Safety 1st Baby On Board Tot-A-Long 2 Pack

There are many other safety items out there and common sense goes a long way in preventing injuries, just always keep in mind your children are smart and creative and they will surprise you with what they can get into…

SWYM Tip #1


This will be the beginning of my “Surviving with Young Multiples” section. I will try to give at least one tip a week to help out others who have little ones of the same or close to the same age.

The acronym for the title is very suiting since I know at times I have definitely felt like I was drowning in dirty laundry, dishes, diapers, bottles, ECT with very little sleep. The first months are usually a blur for most new parents but having multiples makes it much crazier.

Tip #1 Batch Cooking

Whether you are a “make it from scratch” or a “premade mixes” sort of person the key is to try to make at least a few meals worth at a time so one day’s work eases up the following day’s responsibilities. The extra food can be stored in the fridge or freezer.

Breakfast foods like pancakes, waffles, mini quiches, muffins and breads are all great examples. I make large batches of all of these and freeze most of it and put a couple of day’s worth in the fridge.

Pastas, casseroles, chilis, stews and soups are all great examples of lunch and dinner foods that store well too. If you have room in the garage or basement having a separate freezer comes in really handy. We originally bought ours to store frozen breastmilk while the babies were in the NICU but I honestly don’t know what I’d do without it these days.

Early Arrival

As I feared my body has decided once again to bring our children into the world too early.

I started having contractions early in the day on Sept 28. After attempts with two shots of terbutaline (Brethine) and an IV with Magnesium sulfate they were unable to stop the oncoming labor. At a little past midnight I had an emergency c-section. Our girls are both about 15″ long and 2.5lbs. They made it a week and one day further than the first two (28 weeks 5 days)

They are doing well so far but this is the beginning of what will be another long NICU journey, and we haven’t even decided on names yet…

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Bravely Returning….

Well this isn’t the best of starts 😦

I finally decided that it is safe to update this blog and after I write and correct all the text it does not save and I lose everything. Has anyone else had this problem? I saved the draft then clicked Publish. It showed up once then disappeared when I went back to my Dashboard…uhg

Let me try it again…

So out of fear of jinxing my current pregnancy I avoided this site for a bit. In the past two months I had three major bleeds and passed a blood clot that was bigger than one of the babies, scary times!

Today though, I am 18 week 2 days pregnant and the babies seem to be doing well. They are on target with weight and size. All genetic tests came back normal which was such a relief. I LOVE the MaterniT21 test, the results were good enough that I was able to pass on doing the CVS or Amniocentisis procedures….yeah no giant needles needed to go into my uterus this time around!!!!

I’m on very high monitoring to watch for any signs of pre-term labor, ultrasounds bi-weekly, meetings with my OB and Perinatologist, my cervix is being measured regularly and they have me taking daily progesterone suppositories. It’s been frustrating since there is not enough research on twin pregnancies so there is a lot of guess work involved on what may or may not help.

The MaterniT21 test also gave us the results on the gender of the babies. My husband was really hoping that at least one if not both were boys this time around but it looks as though God has other plans…We are expecting two more girls. He spent the next three days repeating over and over “I’m going to have 4 daughters”. I don’t think I realized just how important it was for him to have a son before. To pass the family name and traditions to, ect. I feel bad but I really want this to be our last pregnancy, I’m 39 and we have to provide for these 4 children…he’s hoping that an “accidental son” will happen before all this is through!!!

I do have to say that I absolutely love having twins. I couldn’t even imagine having just one baby, our first two are a little over a year and they are adorable and play with each other all day. The fact that they have an instant best friend/playmate to entertain each other with really helps me get more done in the house, and it’s not a lot of extra work. I’m a bit nervous about how I will handle 4 under the age of two but I’m just praying the next two are as sweet and easy going as these girls are. The joys and stresses of parenthood… 🙂

Bravely Returning....17w 2d

The new girls

10w 2d….

I have to fight the fear of writing anything too positive in the risk that something goes wrong. Honestly it has been why I have been posting less frequently. I so envy the naive couples that get pregnant without even trying and then have a beautiful stress free pregnancy. Although I am beginning to wonder if that really exists or if it is some fairytale that everyone grows up believing but is actually far from reality…

10wI had my first OB apt on Monday. It was nice to see my doctor and favorite nurse again. It was just over a year ago that the girls were born. Crazy how time passes so quickly. We had a long (1.5hr) visit to discuss how we are going to handle this pregnancy since I am definitely considered high risk. Twins are always categorized as high risk to begin with, but it is even more of a concern since my girls came at 27.5 weeks. We want to do everything possible to not have such a traumatic birth this time around. He discussed possible weekly progesterone injections and frequent ultrasounds to measure my cervix. If they notice any shortening of the cervix they would do a cervical cerclage. My goal right now is to make it to Halloween (32w), anything after that is even better.

The genetic testing is the next big milestone. A new non-invasive test has been released called MaterniT21. It tests for the same chromosomal abnormalities as the CVS test, but it can be done through a simple blood test, instead of having  giant needles piercing through your uterus. I was so happy to hear of this test and I am going to do it tomorrow. The only problem with twins is that if something bad comes up I will still have to do CVS or Amnio to find out which baby has the problem. I’m really praying that the results come back good and we can relax and finally start to enjoy this pregnancy….

SCH – Subchorionic Hematoma

My knowledge on the complications of infertility and pregnancy continues…

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After my first bleeding incident and the trip to the ER, I had a second one on Thursday with more blood and some very large clots and a smaller one on Friday. I had an ultrasound on Wed and Thur and both showed healthy growing babies and strong heartbeats. This has been very terrifying. I stayed in bed most of the weekend and had my husband and a friend taking care of our twin girls.

I had one bleeding episode like this with my last pregnancy at about 6 weeks. After learning that I once again have a SCH I decided to do some research on it.

“A subchorionic hematoma is a type of blood clot found between the pregnancy membranes and the wall of the uterus. This occurs in just over l1% of pregnancies, and it appears that the bleeding occurs when small parts of the pregnancy membranes separate from the uterus.” (about.com)

The rest of my research is from many different web and blog sites. The general belief is that if your SCH happens in the first trimester and you make it to the 20th week you are usually ok. Some woman never actually bleed, it is only found out during an ultrasound exam and some woman have huge gushes and clots multiple times.

The biggest concern is when the clot is large, that is the most dangerous to the fetus. The comment about it only being 1% of pregnancies I believe to be very off. Every doctor and ultrasound tech I have met seemed very familiar with this condition and I also found tons of woman online going through it and some have had it with more than one of their pregnancies. It also seems to be more common in twin pregnancies.

The most frustrating thing about it is the different doctors approaches. There are doctors that tell their patients everything from change nothing in your daily life to ones that suggest full bedrest. How could there be such a huge mix of opinions on a matter that could mean life or death for your unborn child??? Doctors state that there is currently no proof yet that bedrest will help (no one has bothered to research and do studies on the condition), so they are hesitant to suggest it. Although I found that most woman said that shortly after bedrest the bleeding would stop.

It is an internal wound, why would you not give it a chance to heal? That’s like running a marathon with an open cut on your leg…it’s not going to heal and will probably get worse.

It really upset me to come across some of this misguided information. One woman was even told that she would definitely miscarry and should just get a D&C right away, even though her baby was still alive. She changed doctors and went on to have a healthy full-term baby!!!!

I in no way claim to be a medical expert, but the data and facts seem to definitely lead to some basic conclusions. If you have a SCH, get as much rest as you can, try to stay off your feet, drink lots of water (dehydration causes the uterus to contract), eat foods rich in iron, vitamin c and zinc and take an iron supplement if you are bleeding. My doctor also has me doing daily progesterone shots to hopefully help strengthen the uterus and stop the bleeding. I hope this helps others going through this scary condition…

A “Quick Trip To The ER”

Warning – Things got a bit ugly last night…

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I wasn’t feeling very well all day, sleepy, queasy, just off in general so I tried to take it easy. At around 9ish my stomach became really upset, I thought it was either really bad “evening sickness” or I had picked up my husbands cold. I usually seem to feel worse at night but not usually this bad. It eased up for a bit after that but then at around 10ish something felt off and I went to use the bathroom and I had a huge rush of blood and some small clots. I freaked out and called my husband who was sick and about to go to bed. We decided I should go to the hospital which luckily is only about 10 min away. After securing a babysitter to put the twins to bed we rushed in the car.

4 painfully long hours later we had news…Both babies are still alive, they both had a hb of 132, they are sized appropriately for their age (7w 3d, 7w 4d) and my HCG was over 158,000. The blood is coming from a clot (SCH) which is from one of the placentas partially detaching. It is 1.2cm cyst on the left corpus luteum. This will either resolve or end the pregnancy, there is nothing that can really be done.

It’s so strange how this pregnancy is perfectly matching my last one. At about 6 weeks last time I had the same thing but I honestly do not remember seeing so much blood the last time. My doctor said to just rest today and I will go in for another ultrasound tomorrow. It’s all so scary…