I’ve been thinking about the what-ifs a lot lately and I guess this post will be the most helpful to the pregnant couples.
Things we did right:
Ergo Carriers. Our boys weren’t in their strollers until they were 11 months old. Before that, they were in their carriers with us and they made three flights between Shanghai and Cary; one round trip between Shanghai and Phuket, and many local weekend trips. We also found out that some of our friends’ babies do not like being in a carrier, and we think it might be they weren’t used to it. We bought the Ergo before they were born and they loved it from the very beginning, which was one week after they were born. It worked really well for us.
Moving to China. I would not want to image how stressed we would be if we didn’t move and get the help we needed. We now have my aunt 4 days out of a week, and a full time ayi who comes over 8 hours a day Mon to Sat and another one coming to cook dinner Mon to Sat. Michael and I agreed that it was critical to get this much help, in reality it’s not that much for twins. Michael and I now continue to go to the Yoga classes twice a week and we are able to go out and take care of things as we wish. I think most new parents go through this hardship, not really physically but more mentally, the feeling of being stuck and lack of confidence that they can make it. That includes us, which I think is natural for all new parents. Even with our boys being on a very good routine, there were moments that we need a break, just to get away for a while. I just don’t know how other twin mums do it, well I guess I will have to figure that out soon 😦
Breastfeeding and Diet. This has always been our top priority. After a year I can understand why people don’t breastfeed, our modern lifestyle is just too challenging for mums to breastfeed any more. But I am so glad we did it, against all odds. It is a skill that makes me feel good, even when I was in a bad mood. I can’t tell others enough about how much benefits we have enjoyed with breastfeeding – convenient, cheap, ultimate way to soothe a fussy baby, no need for pacifiers and it allows me to eat a lot without worrying about gaining extra weight, the list goes on and on…I just remember so many times, I was thinking “I’m so glad that we stick to breastfeeding exclusively and I do not want to miss out on this”. I think the boys thrive on the breast milk, they have so many teeth and I am concerned at one point that they have too many. Their 1st and 2nd sets of molars are all out already!
Lin and Li also take after me when it comes to eating, they can really eat, anything! The thing we did right was not to give them sugar or salt even till now and they are not picky about food at all. To be honest, a lot of times, I would not eat what I feed them even though they are more nutritious. We also stick to only buying organics for the babies, glad we have a lot of options in China for that.
Co-sleep. I think the boys’ good sleeping habit really comes from co-sleeping. We were so happy we found GoCrib, John is bringing the second one in a week we just can’t live without it! The boys never have trouble sleeping anywhere, we can put them in the pack-n-play but if they wake up and we are in the same room, they go right back to sleep. I am not sure when we are going to put them in their own rooms, but for now, we all get better sleep co-sleeping. Since we never offered pacifiers, our boys use them as teether if they get one.
Dealing with illness. Our babies got fevers couple of times, and they have always got rid of it on their own just by letting it break in its own pace. By the way, every fever started with me or Michael, it was never the boys. The first one was the most severe, they had close to 104 degrees and I am so thankful to Dr. Gil, he called right away after I sent him an email panicking and not knowing what to do. He reassured us and all we did was to care for them and put a wet towels over their forehead. They didn’t get any medicine so far other than some eye drops since both of them seems to have slight conjunctivitis.
Things we didn’t do quite right:
Potty training. It is really a shame that if we didn’t go on the trip to the US, the boys would have been very well potty trained by now. As a matter of fact, when we left Shanghai in March, they were already trained, at 8 months. And this is late for Chinese already, our neighbor’s baby, who was trained at 4 months, and my cousin’s son, who was 6 months, would only go #2 when they were held on a potty. It was more difficult to train Lin at the time, but after 2.5 months living in the US without their potty, Li now refuses to go and they are both strong and capable of getting out of it. Lin goes once a day, #1 and sometimes #2 on a potty but it’s really hard to break Li’s habit and comfort with a diaper.
Cloth diaper. This is something we really wanted to do but unfortunately we traveled too much and we didn’t have the time to wash their diapers all day long so we missed out on that one.
My loose belly. My belly is still big, and it hit me hard today on the subway someone was giving me his seat since they thought I was pregnant. I was really upset about myself. I should have put the tight pants on one day after the surgery but I didn’t do so until we got to China. Now I have to really think about how to fix my belly, every other part of my body looks perfectly normal.