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