Sunday, October 08, 2006

One Month

It's hard for me to believe that the babies are already a month old. G is always saying how he can't wait until they are toddling and talking, and he doesn't understand why that makes me a little sad. They've changed so much in the past month, and I'm aware of how fast the time is flying by, and how they won't be my sweet tiny babies forever. I can tell that, when they're older, I'm going to miss this stage, and that I'll want another baby (though who knows whether that will be possible...).

It's remarkable how much bigger they have gotten over the last couple weeks. At our two-week pediatrician visit, they had gained 13 oz each in the week since their final hospital weight check, and we were cleared to stop supplementing. I took them back for one more weight check a week ago, to find Claire was up to 6 lbs 6 oz, and Katherine clocked in at a massive 7 lbs 2 oz (9 oz gain for each). It's interesting to me that they are gaining exactly the same amount of weight -- they were born 3/4 lb apart, and they have stayed that way ever since. I'm guessing that Claire is now about 7 lbs, and that Katherine is rapidly closing in on 8.

They seem enormous to me, especially when I pick them up, and I'm a little taken aback to think that they are just now getting to average newborn size. I suppose this is appropriate, since yesterday was my official due date, and they are now 40 weeks adjusted (although I don't think adjusted age matters as much for near-term babies). I can't imagine how I would have felt if I'd carried them to 40 weeks (unlikely but possible for twins). I went to 35w6d, was physically miserable for that last week, and was probably getting close to being pre-eclamptic. When I looked at my newborn infants and thought, I had both of those inside me, I understood quite clearly why I could barely walk!

People would, and still do, tell me how tiny they are, and they just don't seem tiny in the slightest to me. The only way I can see it is by the fit of their clothes. I just today put away the last of the preemie sizes, which had all gotten too short for them, but most of their newborn-size things are still a bit oversized. Carter's/Child of Mine brand is a particular offender -- I think they just run large, as those were the last preemie things to go -- but I also have some NB things from The Children's Place, which are marked "up to 7 lbs" but which are still quite loose on my 7- and 8-lb babies. It pleases me to see them growing out of things, because of that initial weight loss, and because I've worked so hard to feed and grow them. I get a little thrill of pride, and think, I did that, it's my body which made them get so large.

As you might infer, breastfeeding is going really, really well. If we have any difficulty at all, it's on the oversupply end of things. While I don't have much trouble with leakage between nursing or with letdown, I can tell that I have almost too much milk for them. Both babies tend to choke during feedings, and will pull their heads back or come off the nipple entirely. After reading Cass's comments about oversupply, I'm feeding each baby on the same side for 24 hours, but I've been doing that for more than a week now and am not sure it's made a difference. I'm really not too fussed about it, though. It makes tandem nursing a little tricky, since I'm always relatching one or the other, and it probably contributes to mild nipple soreness, but overall it's pretty small potatoes.

Speaking of tandem nursing, it's always the second question whenever someone asks if I breastfeed them, though I don't quite understand why. It's not our default mode, but now that the babies are somewhat less floppy and can latch easily, I usually double-stack them at least once a day. If only one baby is awake, and I'm not sleeping or rushed, I prefer to feed them separately. That way, I can stroke her little head and talk to her if she's very alert, or read a few pages of a novel if she's too sleepy for much interaction, and have a hand free if I need one. However, if it's three in the morning and I just want to get them fed and back to sleep, or if we're going somewhere, or if they are both awake and hungry, I don't hesitate to pop them both on.

Thankfully, the girls remain on similar schedules, and generally eat about every 3 hours (sometimes 2 during the day, sometimes 4 at night). While I'm not quite ready to declare that we've avoided colic, the early indications are promising, as they really do not cry much at all, unless they are hungry or needy. The biggest crying difficulty we have is Katherine's attachment to her pacifier -- Claire isn't much interested in one, but Katherine loves hers, and will squawk like a little goat if it falls out of her mouth while she's awake!

Sleep-wise, they are starting to remain awake between feedings a couple of times a day, and to have longer wake periods after others. I think we're on the verge of transitioning to a schedule of naps and bedtime, rather than going right back to sleep after every feeding. We don't have a very firm routine at the moment, which bugs me a little bit only because I myself am routine-oriented. However, they have not yet naturally fallen into one, and it just hasn't seemed right so far for me to work to get them on one. I'm still pretty much letting them tell me how things will work -- in fact, we call them the Tiny Mistresses, because they are firmly in charge of all our lives (and also because of Katherine's oh-so-imperious squawk!).

And, since the Tiny Mistresses are now summoning me, I'll have to come back and tell you later about the birth, and about our developmental milestones, and about how I'm doing, and all the rest of it!


Suz said...

You sound remarkably calm and collected for one month! I'm so glad that the tiny mistresses are gaining weight and reaching milestones. It's funny H & T were born about 1 pd apart and have remained so well into the 7th month. My husband and I joke that this will always probably be the case, with the pound growing less and less significant. I mean, what's really the difference between 194 and 195!

Nico said...

*So* glad to hear you sounding so happy! You do sound very calm and collected for dealing with what I'm dealing with times two :-) I think you're probably right that they're not going to be colicky, but you should definitely be prepared for them to get a little fussier in the next four weeks, as they wake up a little more.

I totally agree with you about the Carter's clothes. A lot of the "0-3" month clothes are still to big for Ant, and he's almost 11 pounds! They were WAY too big when he was born at 7lbs.