August was a busy month! Kes and I spent most of the month in survival mode. Our priorities were keeping the babies fed, happy, and clean. If Kes and I got more than 4 hours of sleep and a shower before noon, it was a good day. Clearly blogging wasn't very high on the list of priorities.
The babies are now 3 months old and getting big. Wes is 8 lbs and Sophie is 10 lbs. Their corrected age is 6 weeks, meaning it's been 6 weeks since my original due date. They're doing all the things 6 week old babies do - starting to coo, smile, sleep a little longer a night, spend more time awake during the day. Their personalities continue to emerge. Sophie is our easy baby. She doesn't cry or fuss much unless her refulx is bothering her. She wakes up from sleep with big smiles and loves to be snuggled. Wes is more of a challenge to keep happy. The only times that he's really quiet, relaxed and happy is just after finishing a bottle, in a fresh, dry diaper, or being snuggled by his momma. They're pretty much at the opposite end of the personality spectrum. I like it that they're so different; life would be boring if they were both easy babies and a serious challenge if they were both as fussy as Wes!
Wes and Sophie had fun this month discovering toys and their play mat.
The babies also LOVE to be outside. I don't know whether it's the fresh air or all the exciting things to look at, but they are so content in their stroller of laying on a blanket in the yard.
And Madison of course needs to have a front row seat during play time. Whenever the babies are down at her level she needs to be in sniffing range. I think she finds the babies entertaining.
Septmber is shaping up to be a good month. We started the month with a visit from Grandma Asbury and Aunty Liza. And we're looking forward to an extended visit from Grandma and Grandpa Sampanthar and Uncle Sutha the second half of the month. We all appreciate the extra help! With the babies also starting to sleep a tad more, and mom and dad getting more sleep, life is slowly starting to get back to normal... well a new normal anyway :)
It's been a long time since I last posted, but with good reason: both babies are home!! Wes came home first on 7/21, one week before my original 40 week due date. Sophie was released on 7/31 after making it 5 days without a "spell". It was incredibly hard dividing our time between Wes at home and Sophie at the hospital for those 10 days. We are so thrilled to have both babies home! Our family feels complete at last.
The babies are adjusting well to life at home. They LOVE to be snuggled up together. Putting them side by side makes them settle right down. It's so cute! And their little personalities are emerging already which is so much fun to experience.
Kes and I are having a harder time adjusting to our new sleep deprived lifestyle. Good thing we make a good team because this is hard work and one neither of us could do alone! My sister also is here with us through the end of the summer and I already don't know what we'll do without her. Our house definitely won't be as clean and we won't be as well fed for sure!! The babies will also have to learn to be patient because with 3 of us, there's almost always a pair of arms free for snuggles. We will all miss Liza when she goes.
I'll keep posting pics and updates but for the next month or two, the posts may be few and far between. Until the next time.. here are some favorite pictures from the last couple of weeks:
While neither baby made it home this past week, they both made great progress. Sophie is now taking all of her milk by bottle so her feeding tube is out! She is still working on her coordination while eating though. Towards the end of her bottles she usually gets tired and choked up, which sometimes causes her to have an apnea/brady spell. We hope with another week or so of practice, she'll outgrow the choking and spells and be ready to come home... but we've learned quickly that these babies are going to do things on their own schedules and we just have to be patient.
Wes is now pretty consistently taking 1/2 to 3/4 of his bottle by mouth. Once or twice a day he'll surprise us and take a full bottle. He's much more coordinated than his sister but needs to work on his stamina. If he's anything like Sophie, it will take about another week until he's taking 100% of his milk by bottle. Since Wes doesn't have spells, it is still a possibility that he will make it home before or at the same time as Sophie.
As of their last weigh in (last night), Wes weighed 4 lbs 14 oz and Sophie weighed 6 lbs 1 oz. They're still so tiny but they're starting to look chubby to Kes and I! Wes' face has really changed as it has started to fill out.
Here are some more of our favorite pictures from the week...
Still Wes' favorite sleeping position :)
We caught a Sophie smile!
Wes in his new hat.
Sophie in her new hat.
It's the question we keep getting asked over and over... When will you get to bring the babies home? If I hadn't delivered early, we'd just be approaching the 37 week mark, or full-term for twins. None of the doctors or nurses will say, but it's looking it's looking like a real possibility that we'll have babies home within the next 1-2 weeks. Wes and Sophie are both making good progress on bottle feeding and breastfeeding. Wes rarely has "spells" (apnea/bradycardia spells) anymore and Sophie is down to just 1-2 per day. And they are really fattening up! Wes is 4.5 lbs and Sophie is 5.5 lbs. One of the highlights this week was getting to give the kids their first baths! Here are some of our favorite pictures from the week:
What a difference a week makes! Wes and Sophie are both out of their isolettes and in cribs! They're both making a real effort to breast and bottle feed, but they still need lots of practice. Each baby has a few apnea/brady spells a day but it looks like the thing that will likely keep them here for another 2-3 weeks will be building the stamina to take all of their feeds by bottle; a requirement before they can be released.
One little change this week that has made things fun is that they get to wear "real" clothes. The long-sleeve preemie undershirts still swim on them but they fit so much better than the hospital issue shirts. We've also brought in blankets from home that are much softer than the hospital ones.
Sunday was a special day for Kes - his first Father's Day! For the first time, Kes got to hold both babies at the same time. I was jealous! The nurses made cards from the babies for Kes complete with their handprints. Surprise, surprise... Wesley was too wiggley to get a good handprint. Our primary nurse did get good footprints for the scrapbook.
I have pics to upload but the wireless connection here at the hospital is painfully slow. I'll log on when we get back to the hotel tonight to get some pics posted.
The babies’ first week of life was full of exciting milestones. Here’s a summary for each kiddo:
1) IV removed
Wes’ little veins required daily replacement of his IV. After 6 days, the doctors decided he was digesting well enough to stop sticking him.
2) No more phototherapy
Wes spent 4 days under a special bright light to help with jaundice. Between the bright light and the mask he had to wear, he was pretty grumpy at times. On Sunday his billirubin levels were low enough to take him out from under the light.
Since his skin no longer required exposure to the billi light, the nurses put him in an undershirt and swaddled him up! He is so much happier being swaddled.
4) First Bottle
He was doing so much sucking on his bottle that the nurses let us try giving him his first bottle. He did pretty, but had some trouble coordinating swallowing and breathing. Practice, practice, practice and he’ll get it.
1) IV removed
Unlike Wes, at day 5 Sophie still had her original IV in her arm. The doctors decided she was getting enough nutrition through her feeding tube to remove her IV.
Sophie’s jaundice remained low enough that she escaped the billi light and was able to be wrapped up earlier than her brother.
3) First bottle
Sophie had an easy time coordinating suck/swallow/breathing and was able to drink half her bottle before getting tired. Drinking from a bottle is hard work when you weigh just 4lbs!
Wesley is our very own little Houdini. He is determined to escape every IV (he ripped out 4 IV lines in 4 days), photo-therapy mask, feeding tube and bedding that he is placed in. He is a baby in hurry to get on with life. Even during the c-section, as soon as they broke his bag of water, Wesley immediately stuck his little hand out. Don’t let this photo of him chilling out fool you, he was just lulling us into a false sense of security, as soon as our backs are turned he is off hatching his next great escape.
Very true to her name, Sophie is the little philosopher; she was named after the book Sophie’s World (Sue's favorite book by Jostein Gaarder) and the Greek Sophists, a group of teachers of philosophy and rhetoric).
She is very relaxed and contemplative. Unlike her brother she has had the same IV line in her right arm since she was born and seems very content to lie back and observe the world around her.