Wednesday, 29 February 2012

One month on...

A little belated as they are over 5 weeks now, but in lieu of a proper website update to (which now needs a bit of an overhaul in light of the two new monkeys in the family) I wanted to get a few memories down for Martha and Tamsyn before I forget. Also Gemma's blog has taken a bit of a break recently so we'll be thinking about how best to capture all the goings on in our newly extended family!
At some point we'll also be updating the website with all the pics we've taken so far but to whet your appetite here's a few to break up the long post of baby stuff...

a few days before the birth. Gemma has a sympathy dolly bump...
So they have been with us more than a month now, and the progress they've made in that time is amazing. When I last wrote we were still in the JR, they had put on weight but were very much skinny minnies still and the feeding regime the paediatrician had put them on was ruling our lives. I was expressing constantly in order to build my supply of milk up, and they were having most feeds of expressed milk or occasional formula out of a bottle with very infrequent breastfeeds. We came home and things weren't much different for a few days, but we were really heartened when they were able to be discharged by the community midwife after a week to the health visitor as they had put on lots of weight. All the community midwives we saw dispensed a lot of common sense advice and a visit to the breastfeeding clinic was also a great help. One thing I learned quite quickly was to try and forget how things had been three years ago with Gemma, who was a natural breastfeeder and whose weight I never had to worry about. I don't think she even had a bottle at all until about 6 weeks. With twins it's a whole different kettle of fish and Martha and Tamsyn have both adapted to the bottle / boob transition in different ways. Martha who was a natural suckler from birth has become a bit more hit and miss and will be on and off faffing about for ages, quicker than Tamsyn at a feed but a bit more, shall we say, frantic for it. And Tamsyn has progressed from being rubbish at latching on, to settling down for a good feed each time. Over the past week they have become very good at tandem feeding, which is saving loads of time and means I can do the night feeds by myself. Last night I was feeding, changing and back in bed within 45 minutes which was excellent. They are keeping to a 3hr feed schedule still so hopefully will start to go a bit longer especially at night soon!

one of the 2 best days of our lives :)
At their last weigh ins, they recorded 6lbs 5oz (Martha) and 7lbs 5oz (Tamsyn) and this was at 3 and a half weeks, so I expect them to be a lot heavier at the clinic tomorrow. They certainly feel hefty and both are out of tiny baby and newborn clothes, Tamsyn because she's big, Martha because she seems to have incredibly long arms...

Tamsyn enjoying her first bath!
Today we were at the Nuffield Hospital for hip scans as Tamsyn was breech until 32 weeks, and also because of the multiple birth. Tamsyn's hips are a bit immature and there is still cartilage where bone should have formed by now, so we'll be back for another scan in 6 weeks. Martha has a bit of a flat head on her right as she naturally turns to the right when sleeping so we came away with a leaflet on how to correct this by positioning for feeds, tummy time, sleeping etc. Overall they are fine though, nothing to worry about and no real health issues. Evenings can be a bit of a trial as this seems to be when they are most awake - Martha in particular went through a bit of a growth spurt / feeding frenzy about a week to 10 days ago which was very hard as Tamsyn wasn't participating in the whole hourly feed thing and they went very out of sync. Luckily it only lasted 2 or 3 days. Phew.

Martha wasn't so sure
Both are now a lot more awake and alert during the day although Martha favours waking early before a feed, and Tamsyn is the more alert straight afterwards, normally having to be woken so I can feed both at the same time. A recent development is Martha wanting to be held after a feed so I have taken to wearing her in the Baby Bjorn sling around the house until she drops off, just so I can get something done! They are both using their hands a lot to explore, suck their fingers a lot (please, please let the thumbs be found soon so we can get rid of the dummies) and seem to like looking intently at the black and white contrast images next to their changing station.

Tamsyn looking angelic
All in all they're pretty good, the three hourly feed schedule bearable and the odd 4 or 5 hour reprieve at night very welcome...
Sleeping beauties
Gemma has been up and down since they came home. Mostly she is loving being a big sister and relishes the role of little helper, especially at bath times or when she's asked to fetch and carry stuff. She is very confident going up and down the stairs by herself now which makes things easier ;o)
Martha wide awake
However after the initial week at home, where she was fairly quiet but still very well behaved, we've had a few more tantrums and tears and a lot of attention seeking which was only to be expected I guess. Bedtimes have occasionally been a trial and we have had to get quite stern with her after traipsing up and down the stairs for yet another imaginary ailment or toilet trip "do you REALLY need another poo?". However in the past week, as the twins' routine has settled down a bit, so has Gemma and she seems a bit more accepting of the fact that her morning and evening / bedtime routines now involve Mummy feeding the babies most of the time. We are trying to spend quality time with her at weekends and when I'm not feeding I try and be with her as much as possible. She's actually been really good considering. Though has cottoned onto the fact that the loads of presents the twins have received quite often come with a big sister present attached...

To those who have been really generous and sent presents and cards, thank you so much and we'll be sending out thank you notes soon. Life with twins is certainly more than twice the work but so incredibly rewarding!

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