25th September: 8 Weeks or 4.5 Months Old!

To summarize: the babies are smiling, the babies are smiling!! This is definitely the focus of our photography now. It makes us even happier parents and you gotta love how babies have evolved to smile just when the cry-eat-sleep routine is getting a bit old. It’s especially gratifying that Kat, our previously reflux-ridden girl who struggled with every feed, was the first to beam at us at about 5 weeks (adjusted age of course). Thankfully a formula change has made a world of difference for Kat and throw-ups are now rare. We’re just working on increasing the volume of her feeds…which have greatly improved. Many graphs have been plotted by us. We love graphs. We will spare you the graphs. And statistics. 

Instead, smiling baby pics:

Kat smiling Sep.2013

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The other fun development has been letting the girls “play” together.

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They lie on the play mat together and flail about quite happily hitting each other’s faces periodically without crying. I also thought I heard them exchanging coos back and forth during this morning’s play session. But then Kat let out a big yelp and I realized her sister had managed to pull out the feeding tube. No permanent damage. This was a good excuse to take a bunch of pics of lovely Kat without her feeding tube “accessory”.

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Bruno has also adapted well. He now sleeps through nighttime feeds without lifting his head. He is still Eeyore-like but seems to be a tad more interested in the girls in a positive, they-could-be-part-of-my-pack kind of way. He is learning to share. We are very proud of him.

bruno watching girls sep.2013

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We’ve even been able to successfully navigate some outings, including quick lunches at (off hour, empty) local pubs, walks along Fremont canal, and a seriously major expedition to Golden Gardens.

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Or we “relax” at home. Lucky for us Tasha is actually good at relaxing. Good thing as cooler, rainier fall weather has descended here in Seattle.

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5th September: 5 weeks or 3.75 months old

OK, so we need to start with a photo.IMG_8656

Yes, those are fairly standard expressions. No, they cannot scratch the top of their own heads. Mind you, they are not always like the above photo. Sometimes they are more like:IMG_8581

And sometimes, minutes later, they can be quite different (http://youtu.be/9wHI_7u58j8)

We’ve had them both at home now for 2 weeks and getting into a rhythm – this is definitely an at-least-two-person job. All the twins support groups/books say that it is critical to get them onto the same schedule so that you can feed them both at the same time. Unfortunately that is not possible as they are at completely different places in their feeding routine. Natasha is being fed by bottle and it is up to her how much she takes – usually around 60-70mLs which is appropriate for a three hour schedule.  Katarina however has been taken off the bottle as she appears to have developed a feeding aversion due to her reflux issues. This is a common complication with preemies, especially IUGR (intrauterine growth restriction) babies such as her. Basically, when she feeds she gets reflux which causes pain and so she is starting to associate the act of feeding with pain. So now she is on a special “binky trainer” and is fed through that until she shows any sign of discomfort (usually anywhere between 0-50mLs) and then gets the rest fed (total 80mLs) through her NG tube. Here is a photo of the set up. 

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Note: Bruno is an optional accessory.

What this means for us is that Natasha is on a 3hr schedule and Katarina is on a 4hr schedule, which makes feeding a full time job. In fact, calculating it out, it takes 17-18hrs per day to just feed them both ( I’m not even sure how we would feed both of them simultaneously). This has been OK so far, mainly because I am on leave (it would be insane to be working right now) and because of all the help we have been getting from people. Big thanksyous have to go out to everyone who has been preparing meals for us. This has been incredibly helpful (and delicious!). Also big, huge thank you to Linda and Steve (the Diener grandparents),

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who were with us for the last month – definitely a cause for celebration!

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It was great to have you here. With the extra pairs of hands we were able to get out more:

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Yes, the girls have already been to The Yard.

Bruno is adjusting. Sort of. Has his good days:

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and his more “sad-face-I’m-being-ignored” days

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and he is still getting very, very tired (http://youtu.be/Rl5i35FIWKs, http://youtu.be/EU3-52UkJtA).

The days have been spent feeding, holding (http://youtu.be/dSc2e_WYXEM), doing tummy time (http://youtu.be/c1ypDCCQ5kQ, http://youtu.be/2957v1cNPkc) and soothing the girls. We really enjoy holding them in devices like this:

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because http://youtu.be/j_9wxLBeQWg

Anyway, better leave it there…I’m on the late shift tonight and the girls need feeding 🙂