Update from the New Dads (With Baby Photos!)

20 May

It’s hard to know where to start on the updates! Also, I’m now a new dad, so my brains are addled from being up at all hours of the day and night and sleeping in odd pockets of time. I think there should be a memoir about parenting newborns called “The Sleep Thief” because that’s pretty much what you have to do if you want some rest. 😉

First of all, the twins are doing really well. We were so surprised and grateful that they spent only two hours in the NICU before being transferred to the regular care baby nursery at the hospital. We met and held them for the first time on Wednesday, May 15, and had them back at the hotel with us the next day.

matt ellen henry julianne facetime new dads on the block

Matt and Ellen introduce Julianne (left) and Henry to Matt’s siblings via FaceTime on the first day back at the hotel.

matt henry julianne tandem feeding new dads on the blockThe twins have been feeding well, about every 3-4 hours (give or take 30 minutes). Henry has been eating with gusto pretty much from the beginning, and regularly puts away 60 mL of Pre-Nan formula (for babies born before 37 weeks, recommended by our hospital). Julianne started with 30 mL feedings, and is now up to 40 mL feedings. (I got her to do 50 mL once and was pretty proud. ;)) The thing with Julianne is that she gets so relaxed while eating that she falls asleep and you kind of have you keep waking her up and remind her that it’s still time to eat. I’ve learned a couple tricks: feeding her near a light source, and occasionally clearing your throat–along with the usual tricks of tapping gently on the bottle, or running a finger along her cheek–helps keep her awake.

In the photo, Matt is doing a tandem feeding, which is more rare for us, but sometimes their hunger lines up in such a way that it’s handy to just go for it all at once. This has happened to us a couple times now during the 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. hours.

Feeding and sleeping move in big cycles, which are relatively predictable. For example, Henry will wake up, give a few cries, and be ready to eat. I’ll feed him, burp him, change him, and get him back down. Right now that’s taking about 45 minutes from start to finish. Then it’s Julianne’s turn to do the exact same thing, usually quite soon after her brother. (The only difference is that she often gets hiccups, which requires more holding and back rubbing after the diaper change. The hiccups often go away after about five minutes of holding and back rubbing.) The feed/burp/change cycle takes about 90 minutes altogether for both of them, and that gives about 1.5-2.5 hours before repeating the cycle. The interim is good for tidying up, resetting baby supplies (formula, diapers, wipes, etc.), and trying to get a little sleep.

josh henry sleeping hotel bathroom new dads on the blockThere’s actually a kind of pleasing rhythm to it all. The other nice thing is this: infants have very simple problems, and there are very simple solutions to them. It makes it kind of gratifying to be able to solve problems all the time and make those little babies happy. They’re also adorable. It’s hard not to just hold them all time. When I burp them and have them on my shoulder and I can hear each little breath, and feel the breaths on my neck–oh, don’t even get me started. Really, they had me at hello.

So what have we been up to other than feeding, diapering, bathing, hand washing infant laundry, holding, cuddling, and burping?

On Friday, May 17, Matt and Ellen went to the mall for some more baby clothes, diapers, and wipes. They also went to a pharmacy in an auto rickshaw for more of the Pre-Nan, an adventure in itself.

When they got back, Matt and I took a taxi to meet with our lawyer, and it sounds like we’re on track so far with the process of getting the kids home. To (really) simplify things, there are three steps: (1) get the twins’ Indian birth certificates, (2) go to the U.S. Consulate for DNA tests that will allow the processing of American passports, and (3) get an exit visa from the FRRO so we can get on a plane and head back to NYC. Each has a bureaucratic process that boggles the mind, but we’re on track so far. (Matt has done an amazing job of being on top of that.) We’re thinking we can be on a plane home hopefully by June 4.

On Saturday, May 18, Matt and I ventured out in an auto rickshaw and went to a local grocery store called Hypercity, which is actually a lot like a Super Target. We bought infant laundry supplies and snacks for the hotel room.

matt henry passport photoOn Sunday, May 19, we got the kids’ passport photos taken, which was an important thing to get crossed off our list. Our lawyer recommended a team that comes to you, shoots the photos, and returns a couple hours later with the finished product. It was $60, and worth it for the hassle-free experience. (That’s Henry getting his passport photo taken on the right.)

On Sunday night, Grandma Ellen babysat while Matt and I had dinner with two guys who used the same clinic as we did and just had a baby boy at the same hospital. They’re from the U.S., but currently live in Singapore (for work). It was fun to put on a real outfit, go out, have a drink, and swap notes about our experiences.

Today Matt and I returned to Hiranandani hospital for what’s called the “no dues” letter, which basically just states that we’ve paid all of our hospital bills in full. It’s a requirement for getting our exit visa from the FRRO before we can leave the country. On our way there we got in a fender bender–a car slammed into the back of ours, going about 20 miles per hour–but as soon as the cab driver assessed that there was no serious damage, he was back in the car and driving off without a word about it.

So, you know, that was different.

Other than that? Bottle feedings. Bottle cleanings. Diaper changes. Burping. Hand washing laundry in a bucket, and then air drying it. Getting babies to wake up; getting babies to fall asleep. Wiping bums, giving sponge baths, swiping away eye crusties. Nibbling little cheeks. Holding little warm bodies. Feed, diaper, change. Lather, rinse, repeat.

We wouldn’t have it any other way.


henry julianne new dads on the block

Henry (left) and Julianne, at five days old.

25 Responses to “Update from the New Dads (With Baby Photos!)”

  1. Jerry May 20, 2013 at 1:05 pm #

    Loved your baby update. Especially the “nibble the little cheeks” part. Our hearts giggled with joy as we saw little Julianne awake and Henry sleeping. What a little cutie. She must be working/eating so hard to catch up weight wise with her sweet brother. So happy you still have time and energy to stay in touch. Waiting peacefully for your next entry. Love you, gr. Karen & gr. Jerry

  2. annie21livinginusa May 20, 2013 at 2:19 pm #

    The twins are just gorgeous…..certainly sounds like you are in the middle of learning parenting…..the sleep thing does actually get better the older they get….love the photo’s….Congratulations to both of you!

  3. Katie May 20, 2013 at 2:26 pm #

    Cool collection of photos looking soo cute. My sweetie just started to grow. Its always becoming dad is max!!!!!!

  4. Kath May 20, 2013 at 5:15 pm #

    They are so gorgeous! 😀 And your post makes me remember (vividly!) our time spent feeding & changing the quads… As long as you have them on more or less the same schedule, you’ll be ok 🙂 (Fun trivia: both hubby & I got tendonitis in both hands from all the little manoeuvres… Remember to stretch 😉 )

  5. L May 20, 2013 at 10:03 pm #

    Glorious post and babies and daddies!!! Joy to you all and to all of us in the clouds cheering you on.

  6. whiteb8917 May 20, 2013 at 10:05 pm #

    Accidents are not as rare as you may think in India.

    When I was on the way back to accommodation from Airlines local office, the Rickshaw I was in, had a green light, to the left, a motorcyclist was at a red light (Yes they have traffic lights in India), and a car slammed up the motorcyclists rear, and the rider almost ended up in the Rickshaw with me. The Rickshaw driver just laughed and continued driving. But I did notice in a lot of accidents, there are always arguments between the two parties, and passers-by love to come over and voice their opinion about the events, after a short amount of time you have a crowd all going off at each other arguing who they think was at fault. Then in as little time as it all started, they all part ways like nothing happened.

    Good to hear they are feeding well, they look like they are doing well.

  7. deborahy2k May 21, 2013 at 1:39 am #

    Passport picture house calls? What a great idea! Definitely worth the cash.

  8. Devon May 22, 2013 at 4:20 pm #

    Gorgeous babies!! Congrats Daddies!!! Your story is absolutely beautiful… best wishes for many happy parenting adventures! (P.S. If you need any help on baby stuff when you get back to NYC, call me! It is my dream to work with two dads 🙂 )

  9. Nicole May 22, 2013 at 5:48 pm #

    They are absolutely beautiful! Congrats to the new daddies! Hope everything runs as smoothly as it has from here on out!

  10. Jen May 22, 2013 at 6:03 pm #

    Congratulations, guys! The babies are adorable. Newborns are truly exhausting little creatures, though…when it’s the middle of the night and you’re having one of those “OMG it’s feeding time AGAIN?!” moments, remember that it does get better with time. Take care of yourselves, take care of each other, and best of luck to your wonderful family.

  11. ariel May 22, 2013 at 6:13 pm #

    this is beautiful! so many congrats 🙂 can’t wait to read about you back home in the states with them! i love the names you picked too! Again, congrats 🙂

  12. jade May 22, 2013 at 6:26 pm #

    I love your story. Congratulations! Incredibly beautiful family! God bless

  13. Stephanie May 22, 2013 at 6:26 pm #

    Congrats to the proud papas. They’re gorgeous.

  14. Cassie May 22, 2013 at 6:42 pm #

    So happy for you guys! Sounds like you’re great parents already (found your blog via buzzfeed)! I have a set of boy/girl twins, who are now 4 months old. Twins are wonderful. If you ever need any help or advice, let me know. Us twin parents stick together! 🙂

  15. kiki May 22, 2013 at 9:10 pm #

    Heart melting! I’m curious to know how aware they are of each other, and if you can tell that. Also, do they get to sleep next to each other?

    • newdadsontheblock May 23, 2013 at 7:38 am #

      Hi there! Occasionally, they stare at each other, but I’m not sure if they are aware yet. More likely, they are just reacting to movement. We have them sleeping in a shared hotel crib at the moment, but we should be heading home to New York in about 7-10 days if all goes well.

  16. Jennifer May 22, 2013 at 10:17 pm #

    I saw your video on Buzzfeed and was sobbing! Your family is absolutely beautiful. Congrats and good luck!

  17. Itza May 22, 2013 at 11:34 pm #

    You guys are amazing! Congratulations to you both and best of luck!! Enjoy your newborn twins and family! 🙂

  18. Aradi May 23, 2013 at 1:04 am #

    Congratulations! Your babies are so beautiful! Your blog make me feel like sunshine and happiness, I know… Sounds super cheesy but you truly melt my heart. Thank you for inspire people to pursuit their dreams. Blessings!

  19. lindsey May 23, 2013 at 7:29 am #

    Congrats, found you through BuzzFeed. Beautiful babies! Looking forward to more updates.

    The Accidental Wallflower

  20. Hidy May 23, 2013 at 9:01 am #

    I came across your blog and video on buzzfeed! I am utterly chuffed for you both! Congratulations!!!! Looking forward to more of your stories sharing!

    Much Love,

  21. Wojciech Abram May 23, 2013 at 9:08 am #

    You guys are really amazing – best wishes for You two and Yours beautiful kids! I’ll be follow Yours blog! 🙂

  22. Carlos Díaz May 23, 2013 at 4:50 pm #

    How wonderful experience. Today I found your story in “inout psot”. It made me to be so proud of you guys. You’re a wonderful exemple of gay partners! I love your babie’s picture, the are so cute! congrants!

  23. smiling May 25, 2013 at 5:22 am #

    I am happy for you guys. Being parents is one of the most amazing experiences.
    Wish your family all happniess and health!

  24. olsondiehl June 20, 2013 at 5:11 am #

    Congratulations! I remember getting our two boys, while not as involved, and every detail since. Our oldest turned ten in May. It is a wonderful journey you are on. Good luck!

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