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Decisions: Updated

We were leaving the hospital after the 18 week appt when we found out we were now expecting two healthy babies when my husband said “maybe going back to work is now an option”. I cried & we dropped that conversation for weeks.

Last week, I decided I’d actually call around & research local day cares. I’d heard the $1500/mo/child number thrown around from a lot of my friends. Turns out my friends’ kids go to the best {& thus most expensive} day cares in town. $3000/mo in day care is not going to happen for us. After taxes, my insurance, FSA, etc, I’d lose money going back to work at that rate.

But I’ve found, further away from our house, there are a few less expensive day cares. I have three that have made the list for being on the cheaper end {while still being used by people I know & trust} & three on the mid-range end that are also being used by friends. We plan to check them out within the next few weeks as I’ve already been told there will probably be waitlists for September/October entry dates.

So as long as we like one of those six & I’m making money going to work, then the plan now is for me to go back to work after taking as long of a maternity leave as I possibly can {maybe 4 months}. Of course, this could all change based on the health of the babies & myself post-delivery.

I still plan to cloth diaper & breast feed. But with going back to work, a few things might change there. I’d planned to pump in order to build up supply & a stash for bottle feeding, but now I’ll be pumping at work. So I’ll probably just rent the Symphony for a couple months & then go get a double pump I can more easily take to work with me. {advice on which one is appreciated as well as nursing appropriate work clothes}.

I’m going to ask day cares about cloth diapering, but I’m not holding my breath that they’ll go for it. And I won’t let that break my heart. We’ve been given some disposable diapers at showers, so they could end up coming in handy. Then we’ll just cloth diaper at home.

With my plan to go back to work, the need for help from family might also change. My husband works for a Swiss company & he luckily has paternity leave. So we will both be home at the beginning. I’ve heard we’re going to want help then but once we’re both back at work, maybe not? I guess that’ll be something we just have to play by hear. Moms {of multiples & singletons}~ did you have family help you after the babe{s} arrived? If so, for how long?

And like I’ve said before, thanks to super generous friends & family, these babies are spoiled & set with clothes & the almost all of the necessaties. We still have a few things to get before we’re super ready for their arrival. I *might* be keeping my eye on a few fun things at upcoming consignment sales & plan to shop sales for a few splurge items like a second Sophie, double jogger stroller, & an Ergo carrier. Baby shopping is even more fun than adult shopping!

As for vehicles, we’re still selling all three & going bigger SUV/minivan for the babies mobile. One that will comfortably fit us all & all the stuff that will be involved in travelling as a family of four {traveling once they’re bigger is now an option}. And to help husband’s car-loving sanity, he does now have a play vehicle {a super cheap one}.

So that’s updated decisions {for now}. If they change again, I’ll keep y’all updated. Thanks for your advice.

29 comments

  1. LauraC says:

    We had help for the length of my maternity leave (standard 3 months), and truly we could not have gotten everything done without help. Even the worst help was some kind of help. Part of it was baby personality – we had one very easy baby and one very hard baby.

    After we went back to work, we did not have help but it was SUPER HARD. Once the boys got into group day care, they were sick ALL THE TIME. We powered through but it was a very rough couple of years. It was a lot of daily grind – getting babies ready, working all day, taking care of babies again, feeding ourselves, and then prepping everything for day care (sent in 8 bottles a day). With both of us working, we spent lots of time on weekend doing laundry, grocery shopping, etc. We could manage it but we didn’t do much of anything except babies the first year (or more).

    So… it is hard to answer the question about having help after you go back to work. I think it depends on the type of help. I do wish we had had the extra income to hire a night nurse a couple of nights a week until they were sleeping through the night.

    Saying all this… it is so amazing to have twins. Totally worth the lack of sleep and so much work.

    • Suz says:

      Thank you for your reply! I think I’m going to try to see if family will still come down, especially weekends, once we go back to work to help with the babies as well as getting errands & things done.

      I know I’ll be asking you a lot more questions as the babes arrival gets closer & once they’re here!!

  2. Brandy says:

    HAHAHAHA I came her to point you to Laura for advice and BAM she is there 🙂 As for pumping and BFing, you wanna come with me to the LLL meeting in Cary one friday? They always have a lot of ladies in the know about all kinds of issues. I will be going again as a refresher and to keep up with my pumping better this time around.

    O and I know it is one of the expensive ones but Bright Horizons doesn’t bat an eye at cloth diapering. Landon’s best friend is in cloth and they say it is just the same. They just throw them in the bag and go. You might have better luck because this area seems a little more progressive. I can ask around here and see if there are some schools around you guys that do.

    • Suz says:

      I’ve heard there’s LLL meetings at Smart Momma too. But I think they’re during the week. I need to look into that because, yeah, I’d love to go!

      I think we’re going to check out daycares later this week. Asking about CDing is on my list! Fingers crossed they’re cool with them!

  3. MomEinstein says:

    I don’t have experience pumping at work (as I SAH), but the PumpEase is amazing. I have one and hands-free pumping is SO MUCH better than holding the bottles and watching the milk drip in. Then at least you can DO something, even if it’s read a book or eat lunch or answer emails.

    http://www.snugabell.com/

    We had some intermittent help when Vicki was born (i.e. my mom would come by for the day) and that was sufficient. I would imagine you would need a little more with two, though.

  4. Suzanne says:

    My mom has come to stay with us after both kids were born and although E was a little skeptical when I said “She’s moving in indefinitely. Deal with it.” we both LOVED having her here. She stayed 3-4 weeks total (she came a little early to help finish up last minute stuff) and she did ALL THE THINGS except for take care of the baby. Cooking, cleaning, laundry, errands, grocery shopping, etc. It is SO NICE to be able to just stay in my PJ’s and worry about nursing a baby instead of doing everything else. If you have anyone who can help with that kind of stuff I high recommend letting them!

    • Suz says:

      yes! That’s exactly what I’m hoping for. Help around the house & with everything else so we can figure out parenting & focus on the babes.

  5. Melissa says:

    pump – I used a medela pump in style, it worked fine ~$250 but you can find them used for cheaper and just buy new tubing. LLL will not endorse buying a used pump but i think it is just fine and i’m pretty creeped out about germs, etc.

    help – it depends on the relationship you have with the people helping! if they sort of get on your nerves now, once the babies come they will get on your nerves more….that mixed with hormones is not good. If your help is truely “helpful” then take it. for example, if your help is not willing to get up in the middle of the night or wants to hold the babies so YOU can make dinner….i would suggest that this is not the type of help you need and look for someone else! just sayin’

    • Suz says:

      Ha! Mel I remember your situation after G was born. Oh wow. fingers crossed that won’t be us but I guess we’ll see!

      I too don’t think I’m sketched out by using someone else’s pump with all new tubing. I’m looking into borrowing one from a mom of twins that I went to HS with.

  6. michelleJ says:

    I had the Medela Pump in Style (I think??), which I waited to buy until there was a good sale at B-‘R’-Us. I usually wore a polo shirt or a button-down blouse to work, and then nearly always had a nursing tank from T@rget on underneath. It was easy enough to pull up the polo or mostly unbotton the blouse, and yet I still had fabric from the tank covering up most of my torso, which made me feel much less exposed.
    We cloth diaper at home but use disposables at daycare. Even though our place supposedly doesn’t do cloth, there are twins in our class, and their mom asked our specific teachers, and they worked out an arrangement for the twins to be in cloth (so: it never hurts to ask!). That mom provided a specific garbage pail to the room that was for those cloth diapers.
    You’ll just have to get into a regular routine of taking diapers home every day and bringing in fresh the next. It may mean needing an extra wet bag or two so you can swap out what’s at daycare. You may want to bring in different cloth diaper styles to SHOW potential teachers that it’s really not so scary, after all. =)

    • Suz says:

      Thanks Michelle. I’m hoping I can make clothing work for pumping like you did. I like wearing tanks under tops anyways so that makes perfect sense for ease of pumping too.

      I’m hoping the day care we like best will work with us. Guess we’ll see!!

  7. Mama Fisch says:

    Here is my two cents…
    1) Pumping at work is easy. I actually prefer pumping to nursing. I use the Medela In Style pump and bought a hands free pumping bra so that I can still work while pumping. I know they say that you shouldn’t use a used pump but I have plenty of friends that just bought new parts and have had no issues. I will GIVE you mine if you want it.
    Honestly, if anything I am more productive because my door is closed and no one bothers me 2 or 3 times a day for 20 minutes or so. I pump in the car if I have to as well… seriously, it is an easy way to save time.
    Just some things to think about…
    2) Daycare… daycare gets cheaper as they get older. At our center an infant is $1500 and a two year old is $1100. It just keeps getting cheaper. However, here is something to think about. We took our infant out of daycare this week. Three months and she was NEVER healthy and is just getting over RSV. How about a nanny? Who comes to your house? It may actually be cheaper, they will get more attention and you don’t have to take the kids somewhere, pack bags, bottles etc… It is a great option for at least the first year if you are worried about illness etc…

    • Suz says:

      I really wish my desk aka cube at work had a door! Then I definitely wouldn’t mind working away while pumping hands-free. But without a door, I think I’ll be going into my work’s pump room & taking a break {aka playing on twitter or blogging!}.

      I haven’t looked into nannies in the area, but I do think that’s a good suggestion or could be a good option for us. I’ll add it to my to-do list! Thank you!

  8. Laura says:

    I don’t have any family here (minus a few cousins) so my mom came to help out after both my girls for about 5 weeks. She was a saint and my life saver. She cooked, cleaned, did laundry, did grocery shopping, etc. I wouldn’t have made it without her. Plus after my c-sections I couldn’t drive so she became my chauffeur to doctor’s appointments, etc. If you have help, TAKE IT!

    I would definitely explore in home daycare options as well as a nanny. Check out Care.com for nannies. I have heard great things! Make sure to factor in the cost of gas (which is constantly climbing), cost of disposable diapers (if the daycare won’t CD) , value of time in the car shuttling kiddos, and the sick-time factor associated with daycare. It’s a fact–the first year they will be sick. Often. A nanny may seem more expensive but when you factor in all of that it may actually be cheaper in the long-run.

    After exploring all options you will know the right thing for your family and you will feel good about it. The most important thing is not to let people tell you what you should be doing. This is about YOUR family and you will do what will work best for you!

    • Suz says:

      Thanks L! Your mom does sound awesome. I’m hoping my MIL, Nana, & my parents will be similarly fabulous help when the babes arrive.

      I’ve heard from ladies at the TMOTT group {moms of multiples} that care.com is a great resource. I need to look into it.

      Thank you!

  9. MC Collins says:

    I think we live in the same general area as you do, and can share daycare info if you need some…I have first hand feedback at two centers and have friends at several in/around N.Raleigh. Let me know if you are interested!

    • Suz says:

      I’d love that MC! I think we’re going to check out a few places up Strickland/Six Forks this week, but would love all the recommendations I can get!

  10. Susan says:

    We have zero family here, so my dad came down the day both kids were born and stayed a week, then my mom came down for a week. It was definitely nice to have someone making or picking up food, grocery shopping, cleaning up, running errands and taking care of pets so that we could just focus on the baby and adjusting.

    We are in N Raleigh and have had our child in 4 different daycares in the area, and toured 26. Yes, TWENTY-SIX. And I have friends with kids in centers all over the Raleigh area, so feel free to shoot me an email or get in touch with me if you have questions. DS didn’t get sick too much in daycare, and DD is home with me now and has been sick more. A nanny is also a great option – our neighbor and good friend is a nanny and has really talked to us a lot about her experience, friends and agencies and what to look for, so I can also point you to her if you would like?

    I bought a double electric Philips Avent IQ Isis pump thinking I might go to work, and I LOVE it. It’s supposedly comparable to a hospital grade pump, and it is quick, easy and can be manual or electric. I tried a Medela Swing and a Lansinoh Affinity and didn’t like either.

    • Suz says:

      26! Wow S! That’s amazing. I’m a bit overwhelmed & we’re going to look at 6 I think.

      You do hear that kids get sick more in day care & that does scare me a little. Good to know that hasn’t been y’alls experience.

      Thank you!

  11. Melissa says:

    one more question, any update on a vaginal or at-home birth with two babies? i remember you blogged about this not being an option with three.

    • Suz says:

      I think I’m going to make that a post of it’s own. Especially as the time gets closer & we talk about it more. But twins vs triplets does open the option.

  12. Katie says:

    I really like the Simplisse pump and the Lansinoh pump. They’re both just as good, if not better, than the Medela, and CHEAPER. Not sure of the life expectancy on Simplisse, but I had a friend who exclusively pumped (her preemie never latched) for 20 months and she had two Medelas die on her, and her Lansinoh out lasted them all.
    xo

    • Suz says:

      I feel like I’ve heard mention of the Simplisse pump on twitter but don’t know much else about it. Same with the Lansinoh. I’ll have to look into those as options once I’m done with the hospital one. Cheaper & better definitely sound great!

  13. Ally G says:

    Not advice really, but I did go back to work post-twins and here is what we did:

    1) I tried to BF but only E “got it” so I pumped around the clock for N and BF E on and off. I use the Medela PISA and it has been a superstar. I’ve had to replace the tubes and purchase extra membranes/valves from time to time, but the motor keeps on going… I considered myself an EPer.

    2) We were lucky that our daycare already had a few kids in cloth so they accepted it without any issues. If your daycare of choice is on the fence, maybe you can tell them about the process, show them a pocket diaper and how it works, let them know you will provide your own trash can and pail liner, etc.

    3) My mom came to town for the first 2 weeks after the boys were born. My husband took a week of vacation after she left. Honestly, I could have used more help. The first couple of months were really rough for me. I know that isn’t the case for everyone.

    4) My mom came back down and watched the boys for a few weeks I returned to work. I was on bed rest for a month before I delivered, then took an additional 3 months off. The boys went to daycare at 4 months old.

    5) I kept my Honda Accord until the boys were about 7 months old, then we went with a Subaru Outback. The back seat of redesigned model (since 2010) is HUGE and even though my husband is 6’3″ he still has room to scoot the front seat back with a convertible seat behind him.

    Good luck with everything!!

  14. Ally G says:

    Oh, and I wanted to add that a handsfree pumping bra makes everything SO much easier. I still do work at my computer when I’m pumping at work.

    • Suz says:

      I’ve been meaning to email you for twin advice! Thanks for your comments. I really appreciate it!

      I received two handsfree pumping bras at showers & so glad to hear they’re awesome.

      As for vehicles, yay for making it work in smaller cars/SUV. That’s awesome to hear & definitely something that’s still a work in progress for us.

      My sweet Nana has offered to come hang out if I’m put on bed rest. I think we’d both enjoy that. Glad to hear your mom did that for you. I’m hoping our help sticks around after the babes are here. It’d be awesome to be able to delay them going to day care of as long as we can.

      Fingers {& toes} crossed that the day care we chose is as willing to cooperate with us with cloth & that bfing & pumping works out for us. Glad to hear you’ve had great results from the PISA. Another twin mom friend from HS didn’t have such luck but has offered me her PISA that she barely used.

      Thank you so much!

  15. Shana says:

    1) Thoughts on daycare: is it possible to have a daycare close to work so that you could leave at lunch and nurse at least one of the babies? I found that it was much easier to keep up pumping supply if I was able to nurse once during the day. As others mentioned, a nanny may also be another option. Not only for the cost once you figure that you’ll miss less work if they are at home, but some nannies will also be willing to do laundry and some light cleaning. As a working mother of twins, I find that the most difficult thing is not taking care of them, but keeping up with the laundry, cleaning and making dinner.

    2) Breastfeeding/pumping: I used the Medela PISA and have had no problems. I pumped at work for a year with the twins and have been pumping for my 5 month old too. I have never worn anything special for pumping but for nursing I dress in layers with a tank on the bottom so that the back/belly stay covered. The other key with nursing is a good twin nursing pillow. Once the babies are good at things, you’re going to want to nurse tandem. I would advise either the EZ-2-Nurse or the My Brest Friend twin pillow.

    3) Help at home: My experience is different from most of the people on here. My husband was home with me and I actually preferred not to have someone there while we were first figuring out how to function as a family. I guess it depends on who is there and what they consider help, though. A lot of people consider help to be holding babies, but you are going to be feeding babies most of the time so really you are going to need help with food, laundry, errands, etc. When my MIL came and stayed with us, she just prolonged the time it took us to get into a good rhythm. Many of the twin advice books out there tell you to do things in shifts or get a night nurse, but none of that really helps if you are the one feeding and you are feeding on demand.

    Honestly, the first few weeks are survival mode for any new parent. At night it basically was feed, pass to my hubby, and hubby burped, swaddled, and rocked back to sleep while I fed the second. Then I passed the second to him, he did the same while I went back to sleep, and 2-3 hours later we did the same again. In the middle of the day when they were the sleepiest was when we took turns showering.

    If I had it to do over, I would have hired someone to clean the house once or twice a month (I do this now but didn’t start until they were close to a year old), I would have stocked up on paper plates and plastic cups, and I would have made my MIL wait until they were older before she stayed with us.

    Once you’re back at work you may actually need help more but in a different way. If you’ve only got Sat and Sun to get things done, you may need someone to come over and watch them so you can run errands, shop, or even have a date night with your hubby. My parents live an hour away and this is what we use them for. We go down there, visit for a little, leave the kids with them, and fit in a trip to BRU, Costco or the mall with a quiet meal before we go back again.

    If you have a core group of friends or have people at work who are asking how they can help, there is a great website http://www.takethemameal.com Once set up people can sign up on a calendar to bring food to you so that for the first few weeks you don’t have to worry about dinners. My cooking club did this for me for my most recent baby and it was awesome.

    Lastly, I know you are very active on twitter but there is also an online forum that was my savior for the first year as a twin parent. It is called Twinstuff and there are message boards relating to twin pregnancy, breastfeeding, and is divided up into age (first year, second year, etc). It was a way to get instant advice from a number of moms who had been through the same thing I was going through, and I have become good friends with a lot of them.

    Well, that’s enough babbling for now! Please feel free to tweet me or email me if you have any more questions.

  16. […] we made some decisions.  Then updated them. Family friends in VA threw us a shower. And we ended the month by purchasing a […]

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