Finn & Rebecca

Finn & Rebecca

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Moving to their own room!

Today is a momentous day! The twins are 6 weeks corrected age and we have moved them to their own cots in their nursery! They have been sharing a camping cot in our room for the past 2 months, and are getting so tall that they are running out of space in the camping cot. They kick the bottom and have to squash up their legs to fit if they scootch down while sleeping. is time, and tonight will be the first night we haven't slept next to our babes. It is going to be wierd!  And as I write this, they are both in bed...pretty miraculous considering that Rebecca was up crying until 11:30pm last night!!! So it may not last...but for now they are snug in their little beds...

We may even share our bed again instead of having seperate rooms.  We have been sharing night duties so we each get 6 hours sleep in the study room every 2nd day which has been great.  Now, the parent on duty will have the monitor next to them and when the twins wake, will go do the 2-3am feed.  If the wheels are falling off, then the parent can turn the monitor off and go sleep in the nursery leaving the off-duty parent to sleep...hope this works.  DH tends to sleep through a lot more than I do, so invariably I react before he does...I may need to wear really good ear plugs on my off night lol! At least we have the option of other beds to sleep in if we need to...

I will miss having the babies close to us, but on the other hand, maybe all the night snuffling, coughing, moaning and groaning will not keep me awake if they are in their room - not sure how these noises will play through the monitor, but we will play with the settings so we can still hear the crying and apnea monitor alarms if they go off.

Our babies have been with us for almost 3 and 1/2 months already and yet they are only actually 6 weeks old in developmental stages.  The wonderful smiles and gurgles are starting and I already can't get enough...

Saturday, December 24, 2011

All I want for Christmas...

...are our babies in our arms!

This time last year, we had just been through our 6th failed IVF cycle. We had wished so hard for a miracle conception in time for Christmas, but it just wasn't to be.

So on New Year's eve, we wished for 2011 to be the year for us to have a our family. And our wish finally came true. And this Christmas I am finally a mother. To two beautiful babies...I am so grateful and blessed by this miracle. I have all I ever wanted.

Happy First Christmas dear Rebecca and Finn. We love you so much and are so happy to have been chosen to be your parents. May your angels watch over you always xxx

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Twin update...

 Age: Corrected age = almost 5 weeks (on Thursday)

Height/Weight: At the last clinic visit last Monday, Finn weighed 4.7kg and Rebecca 4kg! By now I think Finn is almost 5kg though - he is really getting heavier everyday. They both put on a kg in 4 weeks. I still haven't measured their heights - will next time!

Developmental notes: Both babies have started making real eye contact and responding to interaction with them. They have also started tracking movement for about 45 degrees! Finn was trying to laugh the other day - so so cute.  He has started making some gurgling noises and sounds.  Rebecca stares intently and turns to you when spoken to. Both have started smiling! They are already getting so cute - I cannot imagine how the cute factor will just get more and more as they become more and more responsive!

Eating: We are sticking to a 3 hourly day feeding schedule and 4 hourly at night.  They are on increased feeds now of 110ml and 100ml, but sometimes battle to finish their bottles.  Other times they finish no problem. So between the two of them, they are now eating 1400 ml of EBM and formula.  I am topping up my expressed breast milk with two or three formula feeds to make up this amount. The Eglanol has not really increased my milk supply as much as I had hoped it would but I am still managing to eke some extra with the third formula feed to actually freeze 150ml every other day to try build up a frozen supply for when I go back to work.

Sleep: Not too bad really. DH and I share twin duties - we both do the 11pm feed and then one night he sleeps in the room with them and does the 2-3am feed and the next night I do it.  So we each have a full 6 hours sleep every second day. This is keeping me sane.  I do feel bad as DH has to work, but he is coping okay I think and it really has made it bearable for me as I cannot function very well at all without sleep. The babies are sleeping well - when they go to sleep that is.  Finn goes down pretty well at about 7:30pm and sleeps until 11pm, waking at about 2am or 3am for his bottle. 
Rebecca however has been all colicky and cries from 7pm feed until about 9 or 10pm.  She then misses or we dream feed her at 11pm and again at 3am. They wake up at about 5:30 or 6am for their first day bottle.  I thought about changing their routine to Gina Fords but my schedule quite works for me as it is easy to remember when to feed, DH goes to work at 6:30am so he can help me with the first feed whereas with Gina it is at 7am and I would be alone. So for now, we are keeping it like it is. I think going forward, we will aim for longer awake times so that eventually we can try get the babies to sleep through from 10pm to 6am and skip the 3am feed. This is my ideal!  Rebecca would almost do this now, but Finn...nooooo way! Our boy is loving his food too much!

Favourite Things: Being in water, eating, being in our arms.

Dislikes: Sleeves, waiting for the bottle, feeling niggly.

Their accomplishments: Growing so well, smiling!

Our accomplishments: Being such a great team. Loving each other more than ever before.

Looking forward to: More developmental milestones! Less nigglings, more content babies...sleeping through lol!

Mommy musings: I am loving our babies so much...I love the smell of them and nuzzling in their little necks and covering them in kisses, which I do a lot!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Look how we have grown!

Finn - first day in NICU 19 September
Rebecca - first day in NICU 19 September
Today...corrected age - 3 weeks old
Look how much we have grown!
Tall babies.

Friday, December 9, 2011

My heart

My heart aches when I look at our babies...overflowing with immense love and overwhelming wonder...

How could any two babies be more perfect?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Twin update...3 weeks

Age: Birth age = 14 weeks old (Sunday). Corrected age = 3 weeks (Thursday)

Height/Weight: We will only be weighing them again on Monday 12th December when we take them for their next innoculations.  Hate this and I refuse to breastfeed again while they are getting their injections - too hard to see them screaming while trying to drink - I feel as if they must think I am hurting them! DH will take them in and I will comfort them afterwards. I can't wait to see how much weight they have gained.  Finn is getting so heavy, I am sure he is nearing the 5kg mark! He is growing out of newborn size nappies and I have moved him up to the next size already!

Developmental notes: They have definitely started engaging with us more - more eye contact and some little smiles which I am sure are not windy grins.  They respond when you talk to them. They have started looking at hands, and objects close by. It is fascinating to watch them develop and become more interactive. I can't wait for the gurgling chuckles and laughs...hugs, kisses and grins! If I stick my tongue out at them, it usually takes a little while and they also stick their tongues out trying to copy me - so cute.

Eating: Still eating well - all by bottle now and exclusively EBM except for 2 feeds per day which are formula. Even with Eglanol my milk supply hasn't increased by much - about 100mls or so.  I am starting to freeze 100 - 150mls per day now so I have a stockpile by the time I go back to work. I am not sure if I will continue pumping once I go back to work - I will see how it goes.  If I don't and we move to formula, then I will have "breastfed" for 6 months, so I feel great about that. I will try to express at least twice a day or breastfeed in the evenings, but I suspect my milk supply may dwindle with such little demand.  I also don't want to be taking eglanol forever...can't be good. Finn's latch is getting worse and worse and he can barely grab my nipple let alone get a proper latch to drink.  He really has become a bottle baby.  Rebecca loves comfort breastfeeding and roots whenever I hold her so I let her have little feeds here and there as top ups.

Sleep: Their sleep routines during the day change quite a bit. Somedays they feed and go to sleep like angels. Other days, one stays awake from one feed to the next. Rebecca doesn't like being put down in her cot to nap and loves being in the arms sometimes. Finn sometimes wakes up after 30 minutes and can't put himself back to sleep.  It is really is a "take one day at a time" situation. I am going to try a better daytime routine soon a la Gina Ford, but who knows how they will take to it.  I need to install a black out blind first. One the plus side, they are pretty good at nights from 11pm. They usually sleep until 2am or 3am and then until 5am or 6am.  Finn however groans and grunts and sometimes cries from 3 or 4am until the next feed so invariably I pick him up and he sleeps with me in bed. Sometimes though he thrashes around and is so loud, I do not get back to sleep. Eish.

Favorite Things: Being in our arms. Bathing. Eating. Kisses from mum and dad.

Dislikes: Being bitten by mozzies (poor tots have bites on their heads) - we need to cover them with netting from tonight!!!

Their Accomplishments:  They are still growing so beautifully and doing so well.

Our Accomplishments: As we get more familiar with them, it does get easier...but when they are both crying and have red eyes and real tears streaming down their faces and you are alone with them and don't know what to do to stop them it can get a bit scary still. I can see how in some ways it will become easier and easier and in other ways just different...we are a mom and dad now with two little ones and on a new incredible step at a time.
Looking forward to: Smiles and chuckles and gurgles.

Mommy musings: I am finding it fascinating looking at these precious creations and trying to work out which genetic features I can see from DH.  There is no doubt that these are his babies and Finn looks very much like daddy. I keep reminding myself that as their biological mom, I had a huge part in determining their genetic patterns - which ones switched on or off, and they grew from my blood and body. They come from four precious sources - biological genetic father, genetic donor, biological mother and of course their souls from the source and our soul group. I feel so completely connected to these little miracles.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Babies and the Chiro...

Having heard how effective chiro can be for niggly / colicky babies, we took the twins to a referred chiropractor on Saturday. She was lovely - really intuitive and has great energy. Using a mixture of kinesiology and chiro skill, she found that both babies were slightly out of alignment and treated this in both of them. She explained that any emotions I had been feeling after they were born would still be with them as they are not seperate from me yet.  I was quite taken aback when she asked me what I had been feeling when I saw them after being in ICU and I burst into tears. I said "fear", "anxiety". She said, no what else? I couldn't pinpoint the emotion, but it has come to me since and I think it is a little guilt as well. Guilt that I let them down and couldn't keep my babies safe inside my body longer. She then said to me...okay, now it is time for the good side, okay? Okay.

The difference in Finn especially  has been remarkable. After leaving the appointment, he fell into a deep sleep and has stopped his incessant crying for no particular reason.  He stopped shrieking during every nappy change, and generally seems to be a far more content baby.  Rebecca on the other hand, was very unsettled and didn't want to sleep and has since been a little more niggly than usual.  We went for another session today, so time will tell as to what impact this session has had. Finn was very unsettled this morning, but both are sleeping like angels right now. I love it when they are chilled and happy.  Makes me happy too.

A very chilled Finn

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A year ago...

A year ago or so, this was my post.... Faith and Trust

How incredible that our miracle did indeed happen in 2011.

We are so so doubly blessed.

Paed check-up

The twins are 9 weeks old or corrected age, actually only 6 days old today and it was off to their Paed for their 2nd checkup since discharge. They are doing so well! Finn weighs 3.920kg and Rebecca 3.320kg! So in one month, Finn has put on 1kg and Rebecca 860g! Little munchers!

Everything was spot on and the Paed is happy with them. From a developmental point, we were right to assume we treat them as newborn and a week old.  So in about 6 weeks time, they should start smiling and tracking our movements to about 10 degrees or so. Cute hey! I already think they smile for real - not just windy grins...but who knows lol. It is the cutest thing when they both breastfeed together and then drop off with big milky grins on their faces!  Like the babies that got the cream lol.

On a sad note we heard about one of the babies, also a twin, that was in NICU with the twins, got a fungal infection from the pipes and tubes in that NICU!  He has had to have open heart surgery as the fungi developed into a growth blocking off one of his valves and now has developed a brain bleed as the fungi travelled to his brain and has started growing there.  Really scary so please send love and light to him and his parents. I was so nervous knowing that our twins actually were in the same incubator as he had been...please let our babies not have any infection of any kind!!!!

I love my babies so so much, the thought of them being ill or hurt in anyway makes me want to wrap them in cottonwool forever.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Twins update...

I have been inspired by Michelle D to record the development phases and other cool info as the twins have used her fab template with a few changes as we go along...I have been wanting to start recording all their amazing developments and I don't want to forget a thing!
Age: Birth age = 9 weeks old. Corrected age = 4 days old.
Height/Weight: Well okay...I haven't measured their heights but on Monday, Finn weighed 3.5kg and Rebecca just short of 3kg.
Developmental notes: I have been thinking a lot about how being prem has affected their developmental progress.  If we consider that their corrected age is actually only 4 days old, they have achieved some newborn milestones already weeks ago yet they have already been here for 9 weeks.  For eg - they have already unfurled their limbs and can straighten out completely. They have also already been exposed to so many sensory experiences that a newborn is not normally exposed to, and not all of it positive if one considers the NICU experience - noise, bright lights, injections, etc - how does this impact on their sensory development?

Eating: Mostly exclusively breast milk, with 2 formula feeds at 10pm and 2am. They are on 7-8 feeds per day at 6am, 9am, 12pm, 3pm, 6-7pm (split feed or two depending), 10pm and 2am.  They sometimes wake before feeds starving and crying for we try to hold off a little but if they cannot be soothed, we feed them early and then try to catch up later in the day otherwise the routine goes completely wonky with one eating an hour before the other etc! I am starting to take eglanol now to increase my milk supply as I cannot commmit to exclusive breastfeeding and dont want to live at my pump - both the only ways to increase milk supply!  So hoping the eglanol with increase it enough to keep up with their demand for the next 6 months. Expressing breast milk and bottle feeding is working well, however they do get a little confused between the style of sucking at the breast and then the bottle. Despite this, I am hoping to still breastfeed as often as I can, even if only as a top up or for comfort and closeness early in the mornings and late at night.

Sleep: They generally stay awake during the feed and a while after, falling asleep about 1 1/2 hours after the feed or so. At night however they tend to go straight back to sleep unless uncomfortable in which case they can be crying and awake for hours. Generally they sleep about 10 hours during the day and 6 hours during the night...but often it is less!

Favorite Things: They aren't really at the stage of having favorite things, but they kinda like their boppy pillows sometimes. They LOVE their bathtime and chilling out in the water. They like being massaged. They love comfort breast feeding, but want bottles for fast food!

Dislikes: Mommy trying to make them latch on when they are starving and want instant gratification from the fast flow of the bottle. Being put down for a  nap when they don't want to go to sleep! Passing winds - makes them so uncomfortable and painful for their little bodies sometimes.

Their Accomplishments:  They are growing so beautifully and doing so well.

Our Accomplishments:  Being such a great team. There is no one else I would want to be doing this with other than my DH.

Sleep: DH and I share night duty (2am feed and on duty in the bedroom with the babies) on Mon, Tues, Wed and Thurs.  On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays we are both on call with the babies and share the night feed. This way, we each get 6 hours sleep every 2nd night and on shared nights, feeds go quicker and we share who gets up to deal with a miserable tot. It seems to be working but it's luck of the draw as to how much sleep you actually will get when it is your night.  If they aren't niggling, you could get up to 5 hours sleep.  Sadly, this is rare as they make a lot of noise and have been so niggly that you don't get much uninterrupted sleep.  Oh I am hoping for a good night tonight!!!
Looking forward to: Them passing this colicky phase!! It is so tough having to watch them writhe in pain red faced, screaming and arching their little backs trying to get the sore wind out.  Shame man.

Mommy musings:I still sometimes can't believe they are really here. All that kept me going after yet another failed cycle was hope that I would one day be a mother. I knew it was meant to happen. It just took such a long journey and it seems strange somehow to have finally reached the reality of having not one but two beautiful babies. I am so so very grateful that we didn't give up.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

40 Weeks today!

The twins due date is today! They are officially full term. 

We got the photographs of our newborn shoot are some of my favourites...beyond beautiful memories to keep forever...our precious babies.


Sunday, November 13, 2011

2 Months today!

Sunday morning bliss...

The twins are two months old today give or take a few days...they were born 8 weeks ago!

And yet, they would only have been about three weeks old had they been born on their scheduled caeser date. Their full term date is 17 November (40 weeks), so we will have to celebrate that too. It is quite difficult to know what developmental stage they are supposed to be at, but we are counting them as being newborn and three weeks old.

They are growing so beautifully and doing so well. Finn should weigh about 3.4kg now and Becca about 2.9kg. So they have both put on about 1.5kg since being born! We will have them weighed tomorrow at baby clinic. They are having their first innoculations. Quite controversial amoung most parents I have found (either totally anti or totally pro), but I have to trust our paed who says we must not take any risks as they were prem and an infection at any stage in the first year can be critical for them as their immune systems are not as strong as full term babies.

Apart from some bouts of colic niggles and discomfort from immature digestive tract issues, they are doing great.  Finn is more niggly and seems to battle more with this.  He has four phases, hungry and screaming, full and happy (brief periods),  in a colic attack screaming or asleep. Rebecca also has a lot of discomfort and screeches in pain. It is so hard watching your baby writhing around in agony, crying, red faced, kicking and scratching themselves without being able to do anything to help.  You try rub tummies, dance with them, swaddle them, lie with them on chest, but nothing really helps until it passes. I really hope they grow out of this soon so they can become happy chubby bouncy babies!!!

We are going into week four next week...and it is getting easier in some ways.  We are not as scared of the newborn unknowns, we are getting to know their different responses and how to react. There are still many occasions when either DH or I will look at each other and ask "What do we do now? They didn't come with a manual!!!" Especially when they are miserable and you don't know if it is from digestive pain or nappy or hunger. You can check the nappy but once this is eliminated, how do you know? You assume not hunger as they had their feed at the right time, but maybe it is a growth spurt? You have to guess and try various things to soothe the babe. Sometimes it works, other times it doesn't.

Snoozing with dad...

I am going to make an appointment for a baby chiropractor as apparently this can really help with the digestive issues. If it does help, I will be so happy for the babes. we go...into week four. We are looking forward to seeing how these little treasures grow and change and can't wait for the smiles, the recognising grins and grabs and all the new things our babies are going to show us.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

From NICU to home...pic memories

Finally, I have copied all the pics off my phone so here goes a quick memory lane glance of the last 7 weeks...the twins are 7 weeks old today...adjusted age (if basing their birth date on 20th October rather than full term date as 17 November) about 2 weeks old...

Kangaroo care in NICU...
Holding them together for the first time...

Rebecca stretching out in her incubator.
Learning to suck!
Learning to burb

Rebecca's first bath...
Finn's first bath....

1 Month in NICU!
When I got the call to come fetch the babies!
All packed and ready to leave NICU!
At home!
Finn happy to be home!
Rebecca smiling - also happy to be home!
First sleep in their cot in our room!
Puppy baby!
Sleeping in our bed!
Brother and sister - so cute.
Big eyed boy.
Beautiful girl!
Little cuties...
Together in their Ubbababba sling with mum.
First outing to the beach for a walk!
7 Weeks old today!
In their futuristic Mammaroo Pod!

Back 9 months ago to when it all

It has been an incredible journey so far.  Far harder than I thought it would be but far more perfect than I could ever have imagined. I still look at these babies and can't believe that we have created such perfect little people.  Who cares how, they were always supposed to come to us this way. I will treasure every moment, even the bleak hours in the middle of the night.  The milky grins and glazed stares are all I need to keep going. And what special times await us...their first smiles, their grasps, chuckles, hugs...we are so blessed to be the parents of these little miracles.