Eating for Three: Part II

1-year old, about 45lbs of babies
For the first time in almost 2 years, I'm no longer 'eating for three'. As soon as I found out I was pregnant with twins, I quickly learned how important it was to be eating enough calories, and the right kind of calories to fatten those babies up. I documented my sample food diary while pregnant here.

While breastfeeding twins, it's recommended to consume 3,000 calories per day. This may sound impossible, and I know for many twin moms, consuming enough during pregnancy can be difficult as many experience horrible nausea and morning sickness, then further along in the pregnancy, you get full fast and it's difficult to eat enough. I (somewhat not surprisingly) didn't have a problem eating enough. Even towards the end when I wasn't able to eat quite as much, I think I was still getting enough for the babies. In the end, I gained 48 pounds and at least I can say that the books were right -- my babies were big (for twins) and healthy so it was worth every pound.

1 week before they arrived, 48lbs of baby weight
The first few weeks postpartum, I wasn't very hungry. I think it was a combination of being exhausted, healing from the c-section, not particularly craving anything and having no desire to prepare a meal for myself. I think I ate a lot of string cheese, wheat thins, pasta and baby carrots. Luckily my appetite caught up with me and soon enough, I realized I'd need to be eating just as often as I was while pregnant to keep up with feeding the three of us.

For much of the beginning, I wouldn't eat breakfast until about 10:30am and that probably wasn't smart. After waking up several times during the night, we'd usually all fall back asleep until 8:30, then I'd nurse them for 45 minutes, then pump, then change them, get them dressed and lay them down. Finally when I had a minute to myself (or even if I didn't), I made a bowl of yogurt and fruit with granola or a bowl of oatmeal with fruit. As the boys got more on a schedule though, so did my eating.

For probably the last 9 months, this has been pretty typical:

5:40am - bowl of cereal with milk while pumping. Cheerios, Multi-Grain Cheerios, Uncle Sam's or Barbara's Shredded Spoonfuls

7:45am - multi-grain waffle with peanut butter, homemade cereal bar, muffin, etc. Whatever the babies were having as their carb, I'd make an extra for me

9:30am - bowl of oatmeal (2 packets of Better Oats Steel Cut Oats with Flax, which I loved because it's not instant, but is ready in 2.5 minutes in the microwave and is steel cut -- much better than regular instant for milk production. It also has next to no sugar.) with a variety of berries, 2 large dollops of Fage Greek yogurt, cinnamon and several spoonfuls of Qi'a superfood cereal.

11am - string cheese as we're heading out

12pm - lunch, usually out, which often consists of a hearty sandwich, something from the food stands at the Ferry Building, etc. I'd often get an ice cream or some sweet treat afterward -- this definitely hung around after my pregnancy where I let myself indulge as I knew the extra calories were needed.

4pm - small snack like apples and peanut butter dip (so good!), crackers, string cheese, etc.

7:30pm - salad and homemade dinner - meat, soup, pasta, fish, etc. A lot of what we eat has been featured on the blog already. Generally very healthy, but I'd eat a large portion.

9pm - sweet treat or 2 full graham crackers with peanut butter and a glass of milk

LOTS of water all day long. I was probably drinking at least 84oz a day.

1-week old, approx. 14lbs of babies
I lost just over half the weight I gained (26 pounds) within the first two weeks postpartum. But the babies tipped the scales at about 14 pounds total, plus everything else that comes out, that's not too impressive. I hit a plateau and when I went to my 6-week check-up, I was shocked to see that I hadn't lost a single pound in that whole month. I was so surprised because I was actually getting out and walking around quite a bit, compared to being home on bedrest for the previous 4 months. I thought at a minimum, that should make a difference. My doctor assured me it was normal and not to worry, but with all the breastfeeding, I sort of expected the weight to fall off. I noted on the blog that by 2 months post-partum, clothes were fitting a bit better, but I had a big muffin top.

By 3 months postpartum, I was down 40 pounds so I had 8 left. Around that time, I started doing baby bootcamp a few times a week and postnatal pilates. Nothing too intense, but it felt good to be working out, and not just walking. I've also been swimming pretty consistently as soon after they were born as I could. By 5 months postpartum, I note that 'even my smallest pants now fit.'

I did buy some transitional clothes, but mostly normal tops that were easy to open to breastfeed. I used the old hairband-on-the-jeans trick to wear my old jeans even when I couldn't button them. Although I think 4-5 months is a very reasonable amount of time to lose all that baby weight, I think I had expected that it would come off much fast because of breastfeeding, so there was no way I was going to invest in jeans in a size up.

What's odd is that around 9 months postpartum, I lost even more weight. I didn't really notice it; I mean my jeans were loose, but we were in Florida and I only brought one pair of jeans expecting it to be warm, but ended up wearing them almost the whole trip, so I thought they were just stretched out. Dave noticed that I looked skinnier as well and I was shocked when I weighed myself at pilates when we got back and I was about 8 pounds less than my pre-pregnancy weight. I thought I was still eating a lot in Florida, but made a conscious effort to eat enough throughout the day. I called my doctor and asked her about it and she said it's pretty normal and that once I was done breastfeeding, everything would likely even out. Unfortunately for me, it seems like the weight was lost in my already non-existent bum so I had to go out and buy new jeans. I only got a few pairs, expecting that I'd gain the weight back, but now I'm still in the smaller size.

It hasn't even been 2 weeks since I finished breastfeeding though, so we'll see what happens when everything readjusts. About a month or so ago, I started monitoring my sweet treats, knowing that I needed to reel that in, which I should've done regardless, but especially now that I wasn't burning all those calories breastfeeding. It's gotten better, but I definitely still have a sweet tooth.

I had heard from other moms that (thankfully) your appetite naturally decreases as you wean, and I'm happy to report that that's been the case.

Here's what I'm eating now:

7:30am - waffle, muffin, cereal bar or an egg (a part of what I'm serving the babies)
9:30am - bowl of oatmeal as listed above (but now only one packet which still satisfies)
12pm - lunch, same as above, though I've cut out the sweet treat most days
6pm - a few crackers, carrots, etc
7:30pm - salad and dinner as above, maybe a small treat...

I've always drank a lot of water by having my water bottle with me all day, but since I weaned, I've noticed it's much harder to drink anywhere close to the amount of water I was before.

Although I'm (finally) no longer eating for three, I feel like all that energy is now invested in creating balanced meals for the little guys. They seem to be on the right track and George especially seems like he would eat any chance he was given. For me, it feels nice not to be so hungry all the time and be back to pretty normal eating habits.


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