Enjoying the outdoors: Alex (left) and Dom (right)

Enjoying the outdoors: Alex (left) and Dom (right)

We’ve had our sons home for almost 1 month now, and it’s been wonderful to watch them – growing, wiggling their arms and legs, opening their eyes and looking around, nursing, holding hands, suckling in their sleep…. Alexander and Dominic are 6 1/2 weeks old now, and they are starting to hold their heads up for longer periods of time, to grab at objects, and to really see the world around them.

When they are in their bassinets, we often hang their mobiles above them, and they have enjoyed watching the large raindrops circle. From the start they would also swing out wildly to hit a raindrop.

Growing Boys

Dominic (front) and Alexander (back) in onesies decorated by our young friends Alex and Claire.

Dominic (front) and Alexander (back) in onesies decorated by our young friends Alex and Claire.

Since our sons arrived early, we had appointments with our pediatrician every week for several weeks. They were doing fine at each check-up, and we got to weigh them:

  • Sunday, August 1 (birth weight):
    • Alexander: 6 lb. 5 oz.
    • Dominic: 5 lb. 13 oz.
  • Friday, August 20:
    • Alexander: 7 lb. 4 oz.
    • Dominic: 6 lb. 10 oz.
  • Friday, August 27:
    • Alexander: 7 lb. 13 oz.
    • Dominic: 7 lb. 6 oz.
  • Friday, September 3:
    • Alexander: 8 lb. 5 oz.
    • Dominic: 7 lb. 12 oz.

As Alexander and Dominic grow, they look more and more alike, and I would guess that by now Alexander is at least 9 pounds and Dominic 8 1/2 pounds.

Diapers

We have used over 900 baby wipes, and our boys spent little time in newborn diapers after they came home. We’ve had a few out-of-diaper experiences, and Alexander and Dominic have each taken a go at peeing and pooping on Mommy and Daddy.

Help and the Unexpected

Dom (left) and Alex (right) with their Grandma Myrtle

Dom (left) and Alex (right) with their Grandma Myrtle

As many of you know, my mom came out to help us before the boys arrived, and she had planned to stay for a couple of months. Grandma Myrtle was a tremendous amount of help those last few days of July when I was finding it harder to get around and afterward during the two+ weeks that Dom and Alex were in the NICU. She made life so much easier, and it was such a comfort to have her here to talk to and to guide us as we entered the ranks of parenthood.

Unfortunately, my mom only got to stay with us for less than a week after Dom and Alex came home because my dad developed heart problems. We were all glad though that Mom flew home and was with Dad when he went in for a bypass surgery and that the operation went well. Dad is home and recovering now, and Mom is planning to come back out to help with the boys soon if all continues to go well. This has been a very eventful year for my family. Hopefully next year we’ll have fewer trips to doctors all around.

Puck and I have also been blessed with many wonderful friends who have dropped off gifts of food (Thank you sooo much!) and stopped by to meet the boys. It was especially difficult to get out to the grocery store (or anywhere else) early on, and we’re still learning about the best ways to plan excursions to the outside world. Dominic and Alexander typically sleep in the car right now, but we have to plan around their feeding schedule to make sure we don’t have two very cranky little boys. One of the bigger challenges is just getting us all packed up and ready to go with a last feeding as close to the time we’ll be leaving as possible.

Nursing Update

Nap time for the Curtis men (Alex is on Dad and Dom is next to him)

Nap time for the Curtis men (Alex is on Dad and Dom is next to him)

We are primarily tandem nursing Alex and Dom. Some people are surprised when we say “we nurse” the boys, but it really is a team-activity. The twin-daddy changes their diapers and soothes them as they wait to latch. In the middle of the nursing, he burps the boys so they can re-latch and finish their meal, and afterward, we each take a son. Often, they curl up on our chests to sleep, but other times they play with us. Puck also makes sure I have something to drink or eat. He calls himself the pit-crew, and the nursing sessions flow much better when we work together.

At night, the twin-daddy has also been bottlefeeding them for 1+ of the meals – usually with breastmilk but sometimes with formula or a bit of both. This lets me get 3-5 hours of solid sleep, and then I take over so he can sleep. (However, our schedule will be changing somewhat with Puck heading back to work on Monday.) Nursing them on my own is a much more frustrating experience for them as they have to wait for me to get their diapers changed and then get us positioned and ready to nurse. I often have to accept that there will be a certain amount of crying because I don’t have the extra set of arms needed to hold and soothe them both at once.

Naps and nursing - 2 of our most repeated activities... (Dom on left, Alex on right)

Naps and nursing - 2 of our most repeated activities... (Dom on left, Alex on right)

When Dominic first came home and for awhile after both boys came home, I was pumping almost every time after breastfeeding to be able to take milk to the hospital for Alexander and then to encourage my milk to continue to come in. Pumping that often was exhausting and time-consuming. I spend at least 4 hours nursing the boys every day (usually more), and the pumping back then added another 3-4 hours. Now, I generally pump between 1-3 times a day so that Puck will have milk to bottlefeed our sons, and I produce between 150 and 300 mL a session.

Starting around 7 PM, the boys have started to have a feeding marathon with one or both nursing or bottlefeeding continuously for 3-4 hours. It’s kind of amazing how hungry they can be. However, last night at least they both seemed to sleep longer after their marathon.

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