Chris has been meaning to write this blog entry for some time, first when the babies were two weeks, then four weeks, then six weeks. But the summer has flown by and we haven’t had much free time, and when we do sleep usually wins over other possible activities. The twins are now three months old. We are thankful that they are healthy, and we feel immensely grateful for the support we have received since they were born. We had at least one grandparent at the house for the first four weeks after birth. Amanda was with us for about three weeks, and Cress joined us for two of those weeks. Around the time they headed home, Grandpa and Grandma Linda stayed with us for several days. And soon after they left we went to Colorado for a week with Sean, Kathy and their boys. We have also received gifts of food from our church and many friends who gave us prepared dinners. Our neighbor Lori regularly stops by to give us prepared food: pizza, soup, “Lori buns” (these are spherical rolls about an inch and a half in diameter and one of Everett’s favorite foods). Friends and neighbors have helped us by taking Everett for hours at a time. These experiences have strengthened our appreciation for our support network.

Here are some observations we have made along the way.

Two Weeks

Gwen’s and Teddy’s personalities became evident within a day or two of being born. Teddy is pretty calm most of the time. During periods when he is awake and alert he will look around quietly. For a few days after birth Gwen made gentle chirping noises like a bird.

Gwen and Teddy look a lot alike. For a few days after they were born they had some distinguishing features (aside from the obvious): Gwen’s cheeks were slightly asymmetric; the cartilage on their ears was almost completely flattened at birth, and as a result Teddy’s left ear had a very distinctive squiggle. Now their face and ears are slowly taking a more natural shape, and the squiggle in Teddy’s ear is disappearing, making it harder to quickly identify them. After about a week and a half we have noticed that Gwen’s cheeks are slightly lower than Teddy’s, and her hair is a shade lighter.However, we both continue to misidentify them at least once a day.

Their cries are often indistinguishable. For a couple days after they were born Teddy cried loudly when he was upset while Gwen made noises like a small bird. Soon afterward, however, she developed a loud squawk that sounds kind of like a peacock. She doesn’t seem to get upset gradually. Rather, she goes from quiet to full volume squawk in about a second, which reminded us of Kevin from the movie Up. Teddy seems to get upset a little more gradually. However, their cries remain very similar and they seem to adapt to each other to stay that way.

Teddy started sucking on his fingers within moments after birth. He also learned to roll on his side within two weeks. By the third week Gwen was also rolling on her side.

For the first two weeks their eyes were large pools of a nondescript blueish color. At around two weeks their pupils became visible, and the contrast has continued to grow since then.

One Month

We mentioned to Everett that he has been asking for siblings for a long time, and we asked him how he feels now that they are here: “Good! Except for the squawkage!”

Six Weeks

Gwen and Teddy now seem much more sturdy than newborns. They can pick their heads up, sometimes for extended periods of time. We are able to more clearly see their individual personalities. Teddy seems to be a gentle soul who is happy to look around quietly when he is awake and happy. If Gwen is upset then she still squawks loudly.

Melissa recently informed Chris that infant fussiness peaks at six weeks. We certainly hope this is the case, because it would be tough to take much more of it. The time from about 6pm to 10pm seems to be the witching hour, during which it is really difficult to get either of them calmed down. This is usually followed by a nighttime that is an unpredictable odyssey. The best case seems to be that they sleep soundly and get up about every three hours to nurse. The worst case seems to be that one of them wakes up every 45 minutes all night.

The babies started smiling around six weeks. Melissa noticed this more than anyone else.

Two Months

Gwen has been working very hard and can now get her fingers and thumb into her mouth. Yeah for self-soothing! Teddy still seems to benefit from swaddling more than anything else when he is upset (assuming it’s not from hunger). Gwen does not like to have her arms restrained, and if we swaddle her she will expend as much energy as necessary to escape. So we don’t really try anymore.

The babies now respond to our voices and will vocalize back to us at times. They can kind of sit if we prop them up.
Gwen & Teddy

Three Months

Both babies now have a full-body smile. This is when they smile, raise their arms to their chest and turn their heads in response to one of us. It’s impossible not to smile back when they do this.

At some point in the last month they both started producing tears when they cry. We have been joking that the purpose of tears is to further accentuate feelings of guilt that we feel at times as parents.

Gwen has become very good at self soothing. She will spend long periods of time sucking on her hand, which results in loud smacking noises. As Everett puts it: “Gwen is smacking it up again!”. Teddy has been having a rough time eating, and has experienced extended periods of time when it is really difficult to get him settled down. He seems to have all the symptoms of reflux, so he is taking medicine for a week or two to see if it helps. Judging from the reduction in crying we have observed, it seems to be going pretty well.

Everett really enjoys laying down with his brother or sister and having some face to face time.

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