Thursday, October 11, 2012

Four weeks

(Note:  I started this from my phone on Tuesday, but didn't have a chance to finish it until today.  Today the twins are one month old.)

Four Weeks!!
The twins are four weeks old today. I'm not sure if it feels longer or shorter than that. I've left the house four times, I think, and the babies have been on exactly one outing. There has been plenty of crying, and not just by the babies. My mom was here for the first 11 days and that was wonderful.

While there have been plenty of nights that I've been up for 3 hours solid (sometimes more), I have been grateful that they are sleeping as good as they are, even, as can imagine it being even worse. So that's something.

(Now speaking presently, on Thursday.)

The past few days the twins have taken a nice long 3+ hour nap in the afternoon.  It has been WONDERFUL!  In the morning they seem to tag team being awake/asleep/happy/fussy, so having a bit of time when they are both sleeping contentedly really does feel amazing.  If they keep this up, I might actually be able to plan some scheduled sorts of things on occasion.

Last night Mali slept for about 6 hours straight.  I didn't get to enjoy this same span of sleep, though, since Max was not on board, but it was nice to think that it is possible.

The hardest times (besides some of the middle of the night stuff that happens) tend to be right when we are waking up for the day and around dinner time.  They both are often needy and crying, and as David hasn't usually been around during those times, it feels a bit overwhelming.  The older kids are pretty good at helping as much as they can, and Noodle will even change diapers, but sometimes both babies just want me and I can't get things done fast enough.  I have figured out how to do a bit more literal balancing of two's mostly safe, I think.

Little notes on their personalities/behaviors:
Mali is very often content for extended periods of time just looking around at everything.  She had her eyes open immediately after she was born (even before they cut the cord) and she was looking around at everything.  They say that newborns can only see about 12 inches away from them, but her intent gaze makes us wonder if that is universally true.

When she does get upset, she can go from 0-60 pretty quickly, though, and her most upset cry is so very sad to hear, and she'll sometimes get little tears even.  I think one of the hardest things about having twins is just not being able to respond as quickly as you want to when they are upset.  Knowing that one baby just has to wait while you finish doing XYZ with the other, and listening to the cries is just distressing and stressful.  Poor Mali had a really terrible spell of gas the other day and it took quite a while (and trying several of the "relief tricks" we have before I was able to get her comfortable and calm again.  Her poor splotchy red face with teary eyes afterward were a testament to her discomfort.

We joke that Max kept his eyes closed for the first two weeks of his life.  It's an exaggeration, but compared to Mali's bright eyes, it doesn't seem like too much of one.  Max makes the funniest little faces, often puckering up his lips into an O shape and looking wide eyed and bewildered.  When Max gets sleepy, he likes to be swaddled up, given a pacifier and tucked into his crib.  Often after that he will lay peacefully for a while (as long as 15-20 minutes, sometimes, as long as his pacifier stays in, and even sometimes when it doesn't) and just look around  until he falls asleep.  This is especially appreciated as Mali seems to prefer being held or carried in the sling until she is asleep.   If they both had that preference, it would be really difficult to get them down at the same time for naps.

Max is a big fan of being bounced and jiggled, either in your arms or in the bouncy seat.  During his fussy times, he can often be placated by just moving him more.  He is also a bigger fan of pacifiers than Mali is, though she will take one on occasion.

Though Max only outweighs Mali by about a pound, he just feels so much bigger and "bunchier".  He is a real snuggle bug, though, and a lot of fun to cuddle.  Mali seems to be too busy taking in the world to want to snuggle unless she is asleep.

Both babies stretching after dozing while nursing
All in all, things are going pretty well.  This isn't to say that I don't have tear filled breakdowns periodically, but I feel like things (including me) are stabilizing a bit.  I'm figuring out their different cries and we are all slowly making progress to a routine. 

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