Grace and Hope

Grace and Hope
Wait for God. Wait with hope. Hope now; hope always! Pslam 131:3

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Every Day I Am Thankful For Our Double Blessing

Today is January 9, 2012, one month exactly from the girls original due date (Yes, it took me two days to get this blog posted--so don't be surprised if I start posting less often, most likely monthly). The girls are now considered 1 month old corrected age, but almost 3 months old post conceptual age...which basically means we would expect them to behave developmentally as if they were 1 month old. Trust me...this makes answering the question "How old are they?" quite confusing!

So here are a few things that have happened in the past month.

Avery Grace:
Current weight: 3500grams 7lb 11.5oz

**My most favorite thing about Avery is her expressionate eyes. She has the most beautiful bright eyes that carry so many expressions that tell a complete story. She is so easy to fall in love with simply from her gorgeous eyes.

**Avery is able to track objects from side to side and loves to follow people's voices.

**Avery from time to time smiles while she is on the changing table looking up at her momma.

**Avery eats about 65-80ml every 3 hours of breastmilk from the bottle. She is better at nursing than her sister, but still only nurses about 1-2x a day and has a bottle for supplementation afterward. Avery enjoys taking her time while eating and surely does not like to be rushed. Her style is just to relax and enjoy her meal--more or less "mindful eating."

**Avery has shown great improvements with her reflux over the past month. She now is only on one medicine twice a day (Prevacid) and another medicine once a day (Bethanachol). She no longer needs reflux formula. She from time to time will have emesis after a meal, but luckily only about once a week.

**Avery loves to shake her legs and dance. She has the longest and thinnest legs and she likes to show them off. Her favorite thing is kicking those legs over and over again to break out of her swaddles. Jay likes to call her a dancing coakroach that is on her back (the description, while sort of disturbing, is actually quite fitting!).

**Avery is known for her stinky farts that can clear a room!! Some might say she takes after her dad!

Aubrey Hope:
Current weight: 3370grams 7lb 7oz

**My most favorite thing about Aubrey is not just her feisty-ness but probably the most adoring of her traits is how much she loves to talk. My favorite is how much she loves her bottles and talks the entire way through. You really know she is enjoying that hard-worked for breastmilk as she munches and talks through the entire bottle. I will not be surprised if Aubrey becomes a social butterfly.

**Aubrey is able to track objects from side to side and loves to follow people's voices.

**Aubrey from time to time smiles, most frequently around feeding times.

**Aubrey eats about 75-110ml every 3 hours of breastmilk from the bottle and is likely to gulp down her bottle in 15 minutes. Aubrey tackles the bottle like it is her last meal and it is no surprise that she is gaining weight well and perhaps might surpass her skinny older sister in weight. She even has rolls on her arms and no one can miss that double chin of hers.

**Aubrey has made great improvements with her reflux as well. She now is only on one medicine twice a day (Prevacid) and another medicine once a day (Bethanachol). Aubrey has been on straight breastmilk most of the time since discharge to home. She is a happy spitter and you frequently need to follow her around with a burp cloth after meals.

**Aubrey loves to stay tightly swaddled and barely moves throughout her sleep, except maybe sometimes to extend an arm. She almost always is woken up out of a sound sleep for her feeds. She sometimes is snoring before I can even get her to bed.

Both girls are on the Baby Wise schedule (as of 41 weeks) which supports the following pattern: Sleep, Feed, then Wake time...every 3 hours. The girls have done very well on this schedule and it not only creates predictability for them, but helps us differentiate their cries and why they are crying. The girls have transitioned to the nursery full-time as of January 1, which was 3 weeks corrected age.

Jay went back to work at the start of January and I have been flying solo--having the time of my life. The girls and I are loving our time together and I know that my last 5 weeks before returning to work will fly by. We have a routine down that works well for us:

8am: Wake up for the day and feed. Learning time until 9:30 (books, following objects, working to strengthen head and leg muscles etc).
9:30am: Nap time
11am: Wake and feed
11:30am-12:15: Bath time, baby massage, special mommy and baby time
12:15pm: Nap time
2pm: Wake and feed
2:30-3pm: Learning time and belly time
3pm: Nap time
5pm: Wake and feed
5:30pm-6:30pm: Learning time, swing time, say hello to dad when he returns home from work
6:30pm-8pm: Nap time
8pm: Wake and feed
8:30-9:15pm: Learning time, tummy time, family time.
9:15-11pm: Nap time
11pm: Feed and sleep
2am: Feed and sleep
5-6pm: Feed and sleep
(**In theory, the night schedule should be similiar to what is listed above, but let me assure you...there is no more than 1hr (maybe 1hr 15 minutes) of consecutive sleep to be had!)

I'm still pumping, pumping, and pumping some more to make enough breastmilk for the girls and to make sure that I have plenty stored. I have been very fortunate to have a very good milk supply, but it takes about 7 hours a day, every day, (which is improved from 12hrs a day!) in order to keep that milk supply is extremely time consuming, but well worth the benefits in my mind. I have been so blessed that I'm actually donating some milk to two other moms of twins--yes, you read it right...I'm a mom with twins who is donating milk because I have run out of room in the deep freezer to store the milk! Pretty awesome.

Luckily the day before Jay returned to work, I had mastered the art of "double feeding"...meaning feeding both girls at the same time. This is purely because the babies have become better with feeding, reflux, and are able to hold their head up better. While it isn't always a necessity, I can assure you in the middle of the night, I have a fool-proof to wake both babies, change diapers, feed both (double feed), put them both back to bed and lights out in less than 30 minutes--now that is efficient!

Below are some picture over the past few weeks. I plan on updating the blog about once a month as each month passes from a developmental standpoint (around the 9th of each month) and will update with happenings and pictures. Until then, we thank you for all the outpouring of love and prayers. Both girls are healthy, strong, and growing (Priase God) and momma and dad are the happiest (and most tired!) we could ever be! Every day I thank God for blessing us with this beautiful family and I know without a shadow of a doubt that these girls are living miracles and I'm so thankful to meet them on this side of heaven.

I had to show you a picture of the deep freezer full of milk, and I feel that this picture still does not do it justice. My dad so kindly bagged the milk to group the milk together by dates so we know which milk to use first and honestly, I think he and Jay were grouping it so I can easily donate larger portions at at time!! Again, it is hard to see it in this picture, but the breastmilk goes from the very bottom of the freezer to the highest it can go and we have only one bin in the entire freezer full of food (there is even milk under the blue tray that you can see).

My favorite picture of both girls for the month:
The girls together:

Sisters taking care of sisters:



Christmas Card for 2011:

Birth announement:

See you all again in one month!