My boys were born at thirty-eight weeks and 3 days. Every day leading up to that, I was convinced that I would deliver far before that mark. The fact that they were born in a normal timeframe for a term pregnancy assured us that they would come into this world without problems. It was such a relief and such a blessing. Of course, they were smaller than the average baby born at term, but that was more related to them being twins and not having a ton of room in the womb than a singleton. When they born, they looked exactly alike and the only way I could tell them apart was the color of their hats. I made sure every day that they were wearing "their hat". Kyle wore the blue knit cap from the hospital and Ben wore the striped cotton hat also from the hospital. All of the hats that we had bought were far too big on their little heads. When I look at the pictures of them from the first few days of their lives, I am in disbelief at how small they were even in this short time since then. Since they were a bit small, their clothes were far too big and they always had to be in their hats to keep their body temperature normal. They would only eat 15mL of milk at every feeding. That's 8% of what they eat now! They were getting breast milk at each feeding since I was determined to pump at every feeding. They wouldn't breastfeed; every time we tried (and we tried every time they ate) they couldn't latch properly and would end up screaming because they were hungry. Perhaps I gave up too soon, but I hated to hear my babies cry in distress. Feedings took such a long time, even though the amounts were so small. I would try to breastfeed, then give them a bottle and then pump. It took 45 minutes for each feeding and they were eating every two hours! You can imagine how tiring this all was.
Eventually we gave up trying to breastfeed and just pumped exclusively. You have to remember, you have to do this even during all of the night feedings to try and increase your supply. Just a short four months ago, they were waking up every two hours. I think Bobby and I got an average of two hours of sleep a night. Amazingly, I didn't nap during the day. I think that my hormones just took over and my maternal instinct told me this was all okay and I would make it through. However, I would go back to bed with them until about nine o'clock.
I was focused on dressing them alike every day. Now, it's just simply not as important in my eyes. They were born at around six pounds and by their two month mark they were both eleven pounds! Glad I don't double my weight every two months!
It was amazing to see how fast they develop both socially and motor-skill wise. I felt like they learned something new every day. When they started to have social smiles, it truly was wonderful. My babies were appreciating my face and knew that I was the one taking care of them. I believe it made Bobby just so happy, knowing that they loved us and relished in seeing him at the end of his workday. They started gaining weight differently, so this really helped in telling them apart. Now I hardly ever confuse them. Kyle immediately gained weight in his cheeks and Benjamin kept lean. They both lost their hair and their eyes started to lighten to a fantastic blue, just like their Daddy.
Their hair started growing back and I was relieved that they weren't born with their grandfather's hairline (at least not yet). They rolled onto their backs fairly early around the 2.5 month mark. Now I started to fear every time I laid them down that they would roll and hit the floor. Nothing is more nagging than that constant paranoia. I didn't want to be the mother that dropped her baby, but I have a feeling it will happen one day as it does with most parents. They gained control of their bobbly heads and would look straight into your eyes while holding them. They see you and kick their little legs with glee.
Eventually when you put them down on their bellies, they would lift their upper bodies up peering around the room. They started to grab at rattles and things that made noise, beginning to understand cause and effect. They also started to develop different characters. Benjamin is sweet and usually calm while Kyle is boisterous and a comedian.
They both love music and enjoy both their musical toys and when I play the piano for them. I try to give them a 'music lesson' every day and play classical music for them. My Nanny always insisted that playing the piano would make me good at math and I really can't argue with that, I graduated with a math degree... although I'm pretty sure that was just her way of bribing me into practicing. They're the only people who seem to like to hear me play anymore, so of course this is a huge ego boost for me.
We try to do something fun once a week with them and get them outside of the house as much as possible. They love flowers and really like going for walks. They've started to enjoy inspecting all that's around them. They've started to sleep through the night, going to bed early and rising early. This new development is great for Mom and Dad since it gives us the opportunity to decompress each day.
I expect that when we go to our next doctor appointment we will have gained another 4 pounds or so. When I carry them both now it feels like a small workout (which is good, I need it). Speaking of baby workouts, I confess I try to double up and use them as my weightlifting. I put them up over my head and do reps with them. They love it and I get to work out my flabby pregnancy arms.
They also enjoy reading the newspaper. Since I don't have a lot of time to sit down and read the paper these days, I decided to kill two birds with one stone (keep in mind, I would never start stoning birds). I read them the paper aloud each day. They enjoy the Wall Street journal and find the GM bankruptcy hilarious. That's good, they're probably the only two people in the entire US who feels that way.
They're also quite the gabbers. They're "oos" and "ahhs" are a joy to listen to. This particular week, they're a bit cranky. They've been refusing their naps and just want to be awake and experience everything around them. This causes periods of crying for not much reason and a bit of a struggle at bedtime. But I can't complain, as newborns they were so easy to put down to sleep.
It's incredible to think that this next month, they may start cutting teeth and will probably start a few solids. They have changed our lives profoundly and we're just so blessed to have the miracle of them. I was so scared initially, but everything has calmed me down and proven to me that I should have more confidence. They make it easy for me, I haven't had feeding problems or excessive crying problems. The only complaint I have is that I wish I could hold them more and cherish every last moment. I'm sure most mothers feel that way.
Happy 4 months to my sweet babies!