At Home With Smidge And Smudge

Smudge was allowed home nine days after Smidge was. During that time, Katie was taking Smidge back into hospital as he needed feeding, as did Smudge. We’d got a little bit of a routine going with Smidge, but basically had to start again once our daughter came home too.

For a couple of weeks, the twins had us up at all times of the day and night, sometimes settling well, and other times not. We recently discovered the apparent secret to getting Smudge to sleep well – swaddling! As of last night, when she fed just after midnight, she stayed asleep until gone 8am, which is our best night yet (Smidge needing feeding at 5am, but that’s not unusual).

Katie is doing a fantastic job with the twins, and although she’s often tired, our tag team approach seems to be working! As I’m trying to work as well during the day (when we haven’t got appointments) then Katie has both of the twins downstairs, and only calls me if they both happen to need feeding or dealing with at the same time. I tend to stay up later into the small hours if one of the twins hasn’t settled down and am chief dummy replacer during the night.

Smidge had an ultrasound on her hips, as is standard for all babies born breech, and while we’re waiting for the detailed results, the scan didn’t show any obvious problems.

The main problem with both of them is their lack of weight gain. Both of their weights and lengths are in the lowest 0.4% of all babies for their age, even taking their prematurity into account. We had already left hospital with a collection of supplements to give them, and yesterday’s appointment with the paediatric dietician has tweaked that slightly.

At various points during the day, we now give them breast milk, Infatrini (high calorie pre-made milk formula, replacing the Nutriprem powder formula which was a pain to make up and which would often be brought back up by both twins), Sytron (iron supplement), Dalivit (vitamins), Gaviscon and Ranitidine (both for anti-reflux), Infacol (to avoid trapped wind) and phosphate for Smudge (she has shown evidence of metabolic bone disease, where her body tried to breakdown her bones to replace the low calcium in her blood).

We have had the Gaviscon and Ranitidine for a week, and by keeping more of the food down, they have put on a little more weight than the average over the previous two weeks, but they are still just about falling off the bottom of the growth charts. They are 4 months old (1 month corrected), and only just up to 6lbs to 6.5lbs, depending which set of scales are used. As a comparison, a baby on the 50th percentile would weigh 9lbs 7oz (female) or 9lbs 14oz (male), and a baby on the 99.6th percentile would weigh over 13lbs. In short then, the twins should ideally be 1.5-2 times bigger than they currently are. All good things come in little packages though, and both myself, Katie and several of Katie’s direct ancestors were naturally small as babies, which is a contributing factor.

Although they are relatively small (I was wandering around Mothercare with Smudge asleep in my arms, and the staff thought I was practising with a doll!) they do otherwise seem happy in themselves. They are starting to be more attentive, and do sometimes react to each others cries or the sound of a baby crying on TV. We’re not yet at the stage of reactionary laughing, but it can’t be too long now. We’re also not yet at the stage of being able to roll over, but they are getting tummy time most days to strengthen their neck and muscles to learn this.

This Easter weekend we’re up at Katie’s parents, with some of my family coming around tomorrow to meet the twins for the first time, and everyone is looking forward to it.

What’s Next

Get them taking on more volume during feeding, and keeping it all down, so that they put on lots of weight.

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Gary Jones

Gary Jones is a UK-based WordPress Engineer, code consultant, and father of extremely premature twins. Driven by a passion for excellence, he creates elegant WordPress plugins and theme solutions for clients, and provides services, including code audits, for other designers and developers. Gary is a key contributor to the Genesis Framework and has contributed to all except one major branch of WordPress Core since 3.3. He has contributed to many open source projects in the community, and is a co-host on the UK Genesis podcast. A former teacher in schools and prisons, Gary's goal is to educate WordPress professionals on how they can improve their code. His motto is knowledge is power.

  1. Kate on 2012-04-06 at 12:26

    Good luck with getting their weight up – the quartile charts while an indication are not always helpful. As you say as they are both settled and happy that is the main thing. I am enjoying reading the updates 🙂



  2. Eva-Lisa on 2012-04-06 at 12:38

    Wonderful to read your updates! I do hope you’ll be successful in getting their weight up. There are enough things to worry about having newborns at home. How tall are they in cm?



    • Gary on 2012-04-06 at 12:45

      See the sidebar – both measured at 49cm yesterday 🙂



      • Eva-Lisa on 2012-04-06 at 17:23

        Thanks for the reply. I read it on my phone and having enhanced the page I missed the sidebar. I’ll do better next time. 🙂



  3. Jason Hobbs on 2012-04-06 at 13:07

    Love the updates! Saw the tummy time picture on Twitter yesterday and meant to reply how cute they are. Its hard not to shamelessly root for Smidge and Smudge (not to mention Mom and Dad)!

    Thanks for the updates!



  4. Esther / semioticghost on 2012-04-07 at 11:16

    hey there you two. I’ e just read all of this blog since discovering it through Rose’s repost yesterday…am incredible excited, impressed and delighted! Hugs to you four….



  5. Becky on 2012-04-10 at 10:51

    Keep up the good work. Good things come in small parcels and the weight charts are UK average… so mainly formula fed, full term, single babies! You are getting the attention they need and as long as they put on a little that is good.



  6. Bharat Chowdary on 2012-05-21 at 04:54

    I like their internet names Gary, also post some close-up photos.