The Twin Dad Life

I still remember that quiet morning in Healthway ATC while I was having my 6-week ultrasound. Right when we saw two sacs in the ultrasound monitor and I let out a loud gasp, you were quiet. I know you tend to overthink but I knew you were just mentally preparing yourself. Since we found out we were having twins, you’ve been a caring husband to me while I was pregnant, and have been a very hands on father to Nate and Naya. 


I miss you everyday, I always tell you that. Our days have been occupied with taking care of our twins that we rarely find time to spend “us” time. I miss our dates without hurrying back home wondering if the twins are okay. I miss going out with just the two of us, not minding where the elevator and stroll the mall with our huge stroller. Our new normal has been this way since November. We always tell each other that we’ll soon have our time back together after a couple of months. Our twins won’t be this needy after a couple of months. So for now, let’s stick to us being sneaky, like a short trip to the grocery where we can hold hands on the aisles or when we can quietly cuddle up at night until one of the twins wake up (again) to nurse.


Remember that afternoon on the day of our wedding? It poured so hard that God gave us twins for our first born. It was too much to handle, it was a lot of work, but since we work together as a team, I think were doing a pretty good job. Blessings have been pouring, coupled with lots of challenges but we’re pulling through. God knew we can handle them. 



Thank you for telling me to take my vitamins and milk everyday while I was pregnant. Thank you for being with me through those times with every checkup, every ultrasound and every lab tests. Thank you for rushing home on November 8th to make sure we’re okay before we head off to the hospital for my emergency CS. Thank you for telling me that I did a good job when the twins were a few minutes out. Thank you for pulling me up when I need to pee fresh from CS. Thank you for supporting my breastfeeding journey. Thank you for kissing me and rubbing my back everytime I tandem feed. Thank you for changing their diapers. Thank you for keeping me sane when both of them cries at night. Thank you for carrying the baby when you know I can’t handle it anymore. Thank you for letting me visit my parents in Silang whenever I want to. Thank you for driving us wherever we want to go. Thank you because you know your priorities and you have been very responsible. Your parents should be proud just how I’m proud of the man you’ve become. I’m sure the twins will be proud of their dad when they grow up.


Happy father’s day, luvee. I love you so much. Always and forever.

It Does Gets Easier

If you have been following my blog, you now know how I was struggling with taking care of twin babies as well as how challenging breastfeeding was. The twins just turned 7 months last week. I know, crazy fast right? And I can definitely say, it does gets easier and the first 6 months are always the hardest.






Ever since Nate and Naya started eating solids, I noticed how they’ve grown a lot – in weight and in height. They are now 7.2kg each, Naya stands 2 feet and Nate stands 2 feet and an inch tall. They have been eating mashed food so far such as avocado, papaya, sweet potato, potatoes and carrots. I have not been experimental yet with pureed foods but I will try to once I purchase a good working blender. I have been seeing recipes or tips in the Internet lately. And after the six month mark, I noticed that they were feeding less at night. They have reduced to two feedings each, which means I only get to wake up 4x a night now, yaaaay. I am still wondering when they’ll sleep through the night though. For now, I want to enjoy that part when they are very mommy dependent. Sometimes it’s a struggle while sometimes I like the feel of them being clingy with me. 



I have an established milk supply. â€ȘI pump an average of 25-30oz milk a day. It never changes even with or without galactagogues or if I pump in 2 hour or 4 hour intervals. I sometimes forgot to take my malunggay capsules and my milk supply is still the same. For twin babies, 20-30oz is just their usual milk consumption a day so I barely had any extra stash in my freezer. I try to squeeze in an extra pumping sesh during weekends so I can add a few bags. I have found the secret of just using reusable storage bottles within the week. I only use disposable bags for Friday’s pumped milk to be frozen over the weekend. All those milk I pumped for weekdays will be stored in bottles ready for use the next day. The yayas don’t have to thaw since they just need to put the bottle in a bowl of warm water to warm it up. Less trash, less effort and more time for other tasks. 


The twins nurse within 3-4 hours interval during the day. Since milk is still their source of nutrition, they still need at least 25oz/day. When they sleep longer during their nap, I try to pump to empty my breasts and for extra milk in the ref. They enjoy eating solids, it just varies. They really are fraternal as they like different type of foods. For example, Naya loves sweet potato while Nate hates it. Then Nate loves papaya while Naya hates it. But whatever the other twin eats, the other twin eats it too. It’s just that one twin eats more than the other. So far, I don’t see any problem with their weight. Naya looks chubbier but they have the same weight. Nate has a leaner body type and he’s also taller than Naya. They have been very healthy since day 1 and we plan to keep it that way. Health is wealth!





Oh, and did I mention that they can now use walkers? My father kept the used walker that my nephew Seppe used years ago. When we saw that they can now stand on the walker, he bought another one for the other twin. At least we can do other tasks now when they’re busy in their walkers, we just have to monitor where they go around the house. Yup, I guess its time to childproof the house. 





I love their expressions when they see us after a whole day out at work. Their smiles just lifts the stress away. Iba pala talaga ang feeling. We also installed a living room camera so I can monitor how they’re doing during the day. I purchased Cleverdog for this, its only 1950 for a wifi camera and I can check this in my phone whenever I want as long as I have Internet. So far, I have witnessed how my yayas respond to their cries especially kapag sabag sila and how they handle the situation. I am very lucky to have caring yayas. Since we have two, masakit sa budget but worth it as we need extra help around the house. 



The twins are fun to bring along when we go out. And yes, whenever we go out, our hatchback gives us a reminder that we need a bigger car. Their huge stroller just take up the whole trunk! Well, time will tell when we’ll have a budget for that. I am praying for either an MUX or a Fortuner – whichever comes first. Hahaha.



I know exciting times are still to come. I can’t wait but also, a bit emotional at times because babies really grow up fast. Ganun pala talaga yun. Haaay. 😍


Feels Good To Be Appreciated

I came across a saying where it says “Work until you no longer have to introduce yourself.” It sounds savage to be honest. It’s more like you prioritize work above everything else but negative aside, I think its also a motivational quote. I mean, in my 9 years of job experience, I never really thought I’d come to a point where my name goes around and had positive feedback that comes along with it. I mean, I didn’t know I would reach this point but I can proudly say that I worked hard to reach that level.

A colleague, an important part of this new team I’m in, told me a few days ago, “You worked with Team Lead A before right? And Team Lead B also told me positive things about you, he met you personally and only had good things to say so we believe that you can lead this team and we are confident that we chose you for this.” Hearing that was a relief but also a pressure to live up to their expectations. 

Everything that I’ve done at work since I came from maternity leave are all firsts. I am still learning and I am also learning from my colleagues as well. Sure there are glitches along the way but without it, I’m sure I wouldn’t learn a thing. I love this new platform on proving myself. I’ve been in the same box for the past 8 years and this opportunity that was given to me was a way to grow outside of my comfort zone. I loved my previous team, I loved my colleagues and it was where I found most of my closest friends. However, as I said, it was my comfort zone and I am very thankful for my supervisors and mentors for pushing me to bag this new opportunity and always telling me that I can do it.

It was a big challenge, a role that I felt was too big for me as I also have huge shoes to fill as a mother of twins at home. But the twins are almost seven months now and I have been leading my team since March. It’s been that long and we are almost on the Go Live phase. So far, I have been hearing good feedback. There may be a few things we need to adjust but I know we’ll be able to manage in a few months. 

It feels good to be appreciated, to be known for what you’ve been working hard for for the past years. To be known as Nessa Espineli then transitioned as Nessa Fabros in a completely new role and huge responsibilities both at work and at home. I admit, there are times when I wanted to quit but deep inside, I know I can’t. Not just because I need work for financial reasons but because I see myself as a career woman. Don’t take this the wrong way, I salute stay at home mothers, but I can’t see myself to be doing just that at all. Aside from doing this for my family, I am also doing this for myself. 

I am thankful for people who are willing to take care of the twins. As you know it, twins are hard to juggle and for babies, the first year is always the hardest so for us, its “double” the hardest. Nayj and I still haven’t had more than 4 hours of sleep since the twins were born. But I know we have a lifetime to catch up on that. But right now, the twins will only be babies for just a period of time. So this juggling work and home thing that were doing is just a part of it. I guess we’ll enjoy it as much as we can though we admit that sometimes we don’t find the “joy” in it everyday. I still find my bathroom time as my luxury 15-minute “me” time. 

We got this. đŸ’ȘđŸ»

Its the Twins’ Half Birthday!

Today is May 8th, which means the twins are six months old. Which means its their half birthday. Which means I am officially surviving for six months without proper sleep. Hashtag team no sleep? Raise your hand!

I’ve been told babies would probably start sleeping through the night by five months. Mine didn’t. And then I read they’ll eventually start sleeping 6-8 hours by six months. Well, last night I still woke up in the middle of the night to feed. I know babies have their own developments but I am still hoping that my babies’ sleeping habits are the same ones that I’ve been reading on the internet. Well, there’s still hope. They haven’t reached their first birthday anyway.



During this month, the most popular milestone would be their first try on solid food. Its pedia-recommended although some babies would start at four months old. A month ago, I was already thinking of things to prepare once they start eating. Since our house isn’t that big, I opted to buy booster seats instead of high-chairs so we won’t add up extra space in our dining area. We just have to put the booster seat on top of an existing dining chair and that’s it. I bought Mamas and Papas Baby Bud – Pink one for Naya and Teal for Nate. The pink one was on sale at 10% off so I thought it was a good buy. I think they’re starting to like it. I also bought suction bowls and soft spoons from Nuby. All Nuby items were at 30% off when I bought them so that was also a good buy. I bought all these from SM Aura’s Baby Company inside their department store. I also thought of buying those silicon plate mats but I think they’re too young for that so I started with the bowls first.

Look at how they enjoyed their first solid food – sweet potato! Naya and Nate seemed to enjoy it though a huge portion were falling off their mouths. Its okay. I mean its their first try anyway. I also love how cute and adorbs they look at in their booster seats. And their facial expressions were so cute too.







Last week, I was putting on their sambot pajamas and I was surprised on how its super sakto on their legs already. You won’t really notice it but they really are growing up fast. Sooner, their onesies won’t fit anymore too. On the happy side, I enjoy more on dressing them up at this stage as they can now wear shorts, shirts and pants. Since its summer here in Manila, I think I started buyung summer outfits for them for the past month. I also love how less fragile they are now when we carry them, having their bath and dressing them up. Oh and can I just share how adorable it is to dress up my little girl? I’ve been keeping myself from buying a lot of clothes for her though. Haha.


You may also ask, how’s my milk supply by now? The thing is, the supply is still the same but their demand has increased. Before they only consume 3oz per bottle but ever since they turned 5 months, they started to consume 4oz per bottle. Sometimes, they even cry after finishing a bottle so I think they still want more. At this stage, I have reached my goal of exclusive breastfeeding as they hit their six month mark. I no longer see any issues with them drinking formula milk.


I’ve been stressing myself with the idea of introducing formula before. However, I know its inevitable that there will come a time that I won’t have enough milk to bring home to. Or I may arrive late to bring the milk that I pumped for the day. Do I let my babies starve? I shouldn’t, right? So Nayj and I agreed to buy a small can of formula milk for emergency purposes – during times when I won’t be able to pump enough milk for the next day or if we were stuck in traffic and I am an hour late from their usual milk time. For a day, I can pump 28oz of milk total and that’s for 7 feedings the next day. That’s the most number of milk I can pump. I don’t put them on milk bags and freeze anymore since they’ll consume it the next day anyway. Easier to thaw for the nannies and easier to prepare. I’ll put them on storage bottles instead so its reusable and of course, environment-friendly. I am also starting to get busy at work now so pumping every now and then can be a hassle. Good thing I have found a nursing cover tent by Nanay at Ako at Babymama.ph. It covers the front and the back which is perfect for use when I pump at my desk. Now, even if I’m busy, I can still follow my 2-3 hour pumping schedule.


I’m almost at the stage of weaning them from the breast. Breastfeeding isn’t easy. Its also a commitment. When you get back from maternity leave and you start to work, you won’t produce the same amount of milk all the time. And as much as I want to produce a lot, there are times when your body won’t produce as much. There’ll be factors like pressure at work, a little bit of stress, less pumping time and sometimes, you just forgot to take your supplements. Besides, they’re already six months so they won’t have a harder time digesting formula milk now. I don’t see any issues with mix-feeding them.


The twins have been getting good feedbacks – weight gain, how strong they are and also their milestones so far. However, just recently, Naya had sipon and now Nate has it too. Nate finds it hard to sleep at night so he wakes up around 2am and cry it out. It pains to see them get sick even if its just sipon because I see them not with their usual self. I hope it goes away in a few days. 

In a few months, we’ll be a parent of toddlers now. Would you believe it? Iba talaga takbo ng oras when you have babies with you. I look forward to their next milestones. Excited but at the same time I want to stop time at some point. But yeah, I want to get my 8 hour sleep at some point too. Haha. Happy half birthday Nate and Naya! On that note, I think I should start planning their first birthday. đŸ˜±

The Twins’ First Swim

Eversince my mother worked again in Afghanistan last year, it has been a tradition for us to go somewhere on a roadtrip to spend time together as a family. And this year was extra special because its the twins’ first swim. Don’t worry, since they are still 5 months, I made sure I had permission from their pedia if they’ll be allowed to swim. 

Months before our labor day weekend vacation, I made sure to buy everything they needed – swimsuits, sunscreen, neckfloater, towel robe, swim diapers, summer outfits and hats. They were so ready I almost forgot if I was ready for our trip. I had a last minute shopping a day before we left. That sufficed. 


My parents suggested we bring the nannies with us to also ease our burden with taking care of the twins and also for us to enjoy our vacation. We are that kind of couple that even if the nannies are with us, we still assist them and we still spend much time with the twins. So parents, if you think going to the beach with your baby is a challenge, think about dealing with two. It was challenging but also double the fun! And because I was breastfeeding, no bottles to clean, no formula milk to bring, which means less baggage for us. Woohoo! We just had to make sure they had enough clothes because we all know how frequent babies need a change. Haha.



We first dipped them in the pool slowly from leg up to their chest. I don’t want to overwhelm them so once they’re in the water, that’s when we put their neckfloaters. And they don’t really like it. Hahaha.





The next day, they had their first swim at the beach. Nate liked the salt water as he kept tasting it through his hands. And once we left the beach, he licked his fathers chest  to taste the water again. Hahaha. Naya likes the beach. When we went back to swim at the pool, she cried again. And then I had to nurse them while wearing my swimsuit. A good call for me not to buy those one-piece swimsuits. My H&M high-waist bikini was a breastfeeding friendly one, thank God.




After each of their swim, we had to make sure they are dry the soonest and they take their bath afterwards. Everything should be quick – removing their suits, the bath on the hot shower and changing to their dry clothes. Were almost at chaos but thanks to our nannies, we survived! Good thing they’re also quick.


They were tired and was asleep almost the entire time that we were on the road.

I can’t believe it. We survived our first ever roadtrip with twins in tow! 😎 I wonder when will be the next? Hmm…

Struggle

It is such a difficult time to be a breastfeeding mother if you’re working shifts. When your babies are not yet sleeping through the night, they can only sleep back peacefully after waking up when they nurse from the breast. But really, not everyone understands it. With the line of work that I do, technically, I don’t really have a choice. If a client asks you to go to work on a specific shift, you have to go on that specific shift. There was a time when I boldly asked if I can work from home on nightshifts but it was declined straight up. Sometimes, even if they are aware of your situation, what really matters is the client satisfaction. There are times when I wonder, how much or how long do I need to sacrifice before I can work only on hours that I want to? Sometimes I even ask, why did I even end up on this industry anyway?Well, folks, welcome to every working mom’s dilemma after returning from maternity leave.

I considered applying somewhere else. But as I said, with the industry I am in, it always involve 24/7 work so shifting is inevitable. I tried applying to a local bank. However, due to technicalities, I wasn’t able to get in. I haven’t considered other options yet because thinking about it is already tiring, add to it my daily struggles at work. My current team is still on training phase and as a lead, I am still proving myself, and more importantly, proving that my team is worth all the training, worth transferring support from another country to Manila. I make sure that all those 8 hours I spent at the office are productive. I always stress this to my teammates. Be productive, be proactive, be visible. If there’s one thing I learned over the years of working in this industry, its to prove your worth. Once you have proven your work ethic, your name would go around, added to a list of suggested names for lead position. You’ll be in a situatuon where you no longer have to introduce yourself that much on interviews because even before they speak with you, they already want to work with you. This would put so much pressure on you though just like what I’m feeling now. 

This role wasn’t given to me on a silver platter. I believe I was trained for it since 2008. It took me 9 years to be ready and here I am, in a position that I wanted to be in since about 3 years ago. Believe me, professionaly, its what I wanted. But I guess when you become a mother, your priorities are now different. Before, its always career first. But now, I always believed it should be family first, and then my career. However, I think I have been sacrificing a lot from my family for this career.

I keep on praying. Its only temporary. The twins are growing up. Soon enough, they’ll sleep through the night and I no longer have to worry when they wake up in the middle of the night. But as a new mother, the first year is always important. Everyone knows it but not everyone understands. Did I even think about quitting work? I did. But truthfully, we cannot afford it. We have a house and a car on loan and of course, twins. Nothing can argue with that.

I will always be thankful for people who are willing to help us get through. Nayj’s tita, who has sacrificed everything just to live with us and take care of the twins. I don’t think I have survived my PPD (which I still has by the way) without her. My husband who has always assured me that the twins will be okay whenever I leave the house at night and work. My yayas, though I pay them, I am thankful on how much attention and work they do to take care of Nate and Naya. My parents, who are just a message away if I needed help in any form. 

I always believed that I have my own plan in life but it may be different with what God has planned for me. And so I lift up everything to Him. I know its part of the process. The struggles will always be there. I can do this. We can do this. 

As much as I struggle when I work shifts, these little ones will always keep me grounded. No matter how tired I am, just a simple smile from them would make it go away. 



Nate and Naya, mommy is doing all this for you. I may think its not worth it now but soon enough, it will. I know I’ll get through it. We’ll all get through it. Don’t grow up too fast. Mommy doesn’t want to miss all your milestones. I love you both!

Sleep? What Sleep?

When they were just newborns, I don’t remember getting more than two hours of sleep. As they want to feed every 2-3 hours, I felt like they’re on my breast all night. And yes, since I was dealing with two, I really barely slept at all. Nayj helped me burp them every feeding so he was also sleep deprived. 

When they reached 3 months, they slept 3-4 hours uninterrupted in between feedings. The longest sleep I got was 3 hours every night. I told myself that maybe the good days are almost here when they’ll sleep through the night. We’re almost there, I thought. 


And now that they reached 5 months, they have learned to sleep on their stomach. Sometimes it makes them sleep more peacefully but most of the time, by the time they turned to lie on their stomach, their sleep gets interrupted, they’d cry and we’d have to put them back to sleep again. And so I am back to 1-2 hours of interrupted sleep between feedings. Before, I told myself that maybe by the time they reach 5 months, they’d learn to sleep through the night. But no. I hope maybe next month when they start eating solids? I hope so.



Last night, we went to bed with them at 7pm. Nayj and I had our usual talk before going to sleep, then he played a little on his computer. While I took Nate, as his sleep got interrupted as he turned, I hugged him and we slept beside each other. At around 9:45pm, I woke up with Naya crying as she needed to be nursed. I put Nate down on their mattress and took Naya for feeding. However, I watched Nate turn on his stomach, he cried and his sleep got interrupted again. I called Nayj for help and we were taking turns on putting them back to sleep until past 12 midnight. Nayj slept beside Naya, while I slept beside Nate. I think I nursed Nate after that but I forgot the time as Nayj and I switched places. I think I woke up again by 4.30am and they are in the mood for play already. Oh the struggle.



The struggle with breastfeeding is I have no idea on how many ounces they took on their last latch before they went to sleep. Breastmilk gets digested easily so they’ll get hungry more often. However, some of my friends’ babies already sleep through the night at around the same age and they’re also breastfed. Sometimes I already want to ask advice or bottlefeed them before they sleep but a part of me still thinks that this is just a phase and it will get better. When would we get our evenings back? I miss sleep. I miss a lot of sleep. 


Even if I am kind of used to it already, I wonder when we’ll get our next 8 hour sleep. Zzzzzzz…