I packed away the preemie clothes. I was surprised by the wave of nostalgia that swept over me as I held the teeny tiny sockies and onesies. When they were first born, I couldn't wait for them to grow past the preemie stage. And now, here they're already outgrowing the newborn size.
At last weigh-in, Jorai was 9lbs. 6ozs. and Jasiel was 8 lbs. 10 ozs. They have more than doubled their birth-weight and are taking more feedings straight from the breast.
Feeding straight from the breast has given me a chance to bond individually with each baby. For the first few weeks, feeding was assembly-line style: pop in the bottles, burp and change their diapers. The goal was weight-gain, not bonding.
Now I'm staggering their feedings a little so that I can hold, cuddle and breastfeed each baby. It's remarkable how much more bonded I feel to each one. Is there anything more sweet than a baby at your breast, staring up at you? The pediatrician still wants them on a 22 cal./oz. formula supplement so they get about 3-4 bottles per day. But night feedings are straight breast.
The babies are beginning to display their individual personalities.
We've nicknamed Jasiel "Bossy." Jasiel is a graceful eater, calm and measured. But she bosses us around by hollering whenever she wants to be held--which is often! She also snores. She sounds like a hooting owl when she snores, so we also call her "Hootie."
Jasiel smiled first and seems more emotionally expressive than Jorai. She maintains eye contact for longer periods of time, but she's also more high-maintenance.
Jorai has been nicknamed "Binks." For awhile the kids were calling her Jor-Jor. And because Star Wars is pretty popular around here, we started calling her Jor-Jor-Binks. Or Binks for short. Binks doesn't fuss unless something is bothering her: a wet diaper, a burp, some gas. Binks has gained weight quicker than her twin. She eats faster, sucking down her bottle or the breast with single-minded focus. Binks poops with a vengeance and we've come to call them "Blast-O-Poops"!
It's hard not to compare the twins to each other. Watching them grow and pass milestones simultaneously lends itself to all kinds of comparisons and speculations. I'm wondering if other twins resent being compared all the time? It's kind of impossible not to compare them.
They are still co-sleeping in one crib. When one baby wakes and hollers, the other sleeps right through it. They are also looking at each other now, like, oh hello! Have we met? I still think the babies view their twin as part of themselves; attached like an extra arm or leg.
But this week I distinctly saw Jasiel focus on Jorai with intention. It was pretty amazing. It was fleeting, but it was there. I love watching their consciousness dawn on them.
Can you believe it's already been 11 weeks? For those of you who have followed the twin story from the beginning, isn't it amazing how fast time is going? My next post? The twins are off to college! HA!
Oh, and if you feel like throwing some beef brisket this weekend? Just remember that someone will take it upon themselves to exhort you to 1.count it all joy, 2. share your bliss, 3. stop complaining, 4.write REALLY long negative comments and then call it just their "two cents." That's more like 50 bucks in my book!
Thanks to all of you who "get it" and don't scold, exhort or criticize me but instead encourage me to continue my writing therapy. Because really, I'm fine. I don't need to be fixed. I'm just being honest and sharing my stories. I'm just a mom (with a lot of kids!) trying to do my best.
Have a great weekend!