Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The First Month


Can you believe it's been one whole month already? I would say no. Jackie might say YES, ha ha. There is a quote I love that says something like "parenthood consists of long days and short years."  The more children I have, the more I appreciate this truth. Now--six children into this life--I can sit in bed at 2 a.m. battling exhaustion and love every minute of it. (Okay, most minutes of it.) I can snuggle my nose down beside their little heads nestled into the crook of my neck and be completely content with life. I know that all too soon one month will be two and the days will slip right through my fingers and before I know it all their tenderness will be concealed beneath a teenager's sharp facade. And then I'll wish again for these sweet moments when it's so simple to convey my love for them. Because for now all they want in the world is a warm embrace in which to find nourishment. But I suppose in actuality that's all we all truly want!

I spent months imagining what the girls would be like. I wondered most often what they would look like. I honestly never considered the chance that they would look so different. My doctor laughed at me after seeing them and said, "And you were worried how you would tell them apart!" Since they've been born I've gotten a lot of comments from strangers about them while we're out and about (almost always prefaced by the ever typical "You've got your hands full!") but the most absurd question came just the other day from a Walmart employee. She oohed and cooed over them then turned and asked, "How do you tell them apart?" Ha ha! I wanted to say, "Um, I look at them?" But the truth is I need not even look at them. Everything about them is so different that I can tell who is beginning to wake and whose cry that is without a glance. 

Braelyn, for example, is by far the more vocal of the two as you've surely noticed if you've ever been around them. She moans and groans and grunts, and her cry is hardy as if she's trying to convey a sense of impatient frustration more than anything. Her new trick is making a gulping sound when she nurses. It sounds like she's definitely getting satisfied; if only I could teach her to say, "Aaaaah," when she is finished! She does burp proudly (as in, like a grown man) with barely any provoking. Brooklyn, however, sounds like a little lamb when she cries; other times she is quiet as a mouse. She speaks more loudly with her eyes though her gaze is soft and meek. And forget trying to get her to burp; she much prefers to hold it in and spit up all over the place later. 

As you might have noticed (unless you are a specific Walmart employee), Brooklyn has a head full of dark hair while Braelyn's hair is more sparse, shall we say, and blonde hence Ryland deeming Braelyn "the Jackie baby" and Brooklyn "the Traci baby." The babies skin tones are also quite different; Brooklyn seems to be a bit darker with my warmer, yellow-toned skin, while Braelyn is a cooler toned pink color. And Braelyn's skin is absolutely the softest skin I've ever felt! Poor Brooklyn's skin peels and she now has those little baby acne bumps on her face.

Brooklyn really loves being held and sleeping close to her mama. She enjoys being swaddled, and I discovered during my little one-month photo shoot that she DOES NOT enjoy being naked. Braelyn is totally cool laying by herself arms thrown over her head, although she does not object to sleeping snuggled up close to her mama's milkies. She fights being swaddled, pushing her two little fists against the fabric grunting and groaning all the while. And when I took her little naked pictures, she looked confidently into the camera then fell asleep and and slept peacefully (naked) for two hours. 

Even their poop is different, people! I'm guessing you don't want a paragraph describing that. ; ) It just amazes me that two people who grew in exactly the same environment alongside each other and who are now receiving exactly the same breastmilk can look, act, and defecate so differently, lol. 

So, today was the babies' one month doctor's appointment. In all honestly, I was afraid they might tell me Brooklyn was not growing properly. Braelyn seems to have filled out so much; she has chubby little cheeks and a big round belly. Beside her Brooklyn looks lean! I was pleasantly surprised to find that both babies are right on track for growth and that, in fact, Brooklyn is still the bigger twin. She weighed 7 pounds 6 ounces, and Braelyn came in at 7 pound 4 ounces. I suppose that just goes to show how every body is different. It was such a relief to know that they are receiving enough milk since there has been some speculation about my ability to nurse TWO babies. They are thriving, and their health is yet another testament to the amazing power a woman's body has! I'm so happy to be able to nurse them (although--don't get me wrong--it can definitely be trying at times) and hope to continue as long as they want. 

So that's what the babies' first month has been like--full of personality and discovery and anticipation of the months to come!

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