A wonderful milestone full of fun and mess

At 5 and a half months we have decided to introduce solids to the twins. After a week of giving this a tentative go, I think I can say that they properly started eating today. Perhaps a more appropriate description is ‘experimental’ eating although they have shown much more interest in pear than pumpkin. I can’t wait for them to enjoy eating (and really hope they do).

I started their eating journey with rice cereal which I offered to them a couple of times a day for a few days. Tilly responded with utter disgust and basically gagged and Raffi didn’t ingest much. There was lots of spitting. I then tried mixing it with a bit of apple for a couple of days. This interested Raff a little more.

Pumpkin was the next addition to the purée menu and most of it was kept for ‘later on’ on their bibs! I used to question how babies managed to spread food so far over their faces and bodies but now I understand! Raff is so ‘handsy’, he managed to wipe a big dollop in his ear!

Just yesterday I gave them a taste of pear and this was the first time Tilly enjoyed the experience. Raff also opened his mouth and the comparatively less mess that was made proved more made its way down their little throats. I was amazed by Tilly as I had almost decided to wait a little longer for her.

A big steaming and puréeing session is now required, along with freezing everything as cubes. Feeding solids definitely requires another level of organisation and will mean I am probably a little more housebound at the beginning but that’s ok – it’s a lot of fun and hopefully it’ll mean Raff’s sleep eventually improves too (bonus!).

What a wonderful milestone, full of fun and mess!

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A while between posts

It’s been a long time since I last wrote a blog. Parenting during the day has been all-consuming and I decided nighttime writing was not helping my insomnia. I hope to get back into posting regular updates again though as it’s a nice documentation of the journey of mothering and I really enjoy writing.

Since my last blog, the twins have grown so much. Smiles are now very common and they interact readily. They are developing at different rates and mastering different skills.

Rafferty is amazing with his hands and reaches out for everything. He loves the rubber duck in the bath and the concentration he maintains whilst leaning towards it with both hands outstretched is very amusing. He has a strong neck when sitting in his Bumbo but flops during tummy time. He has an incredibly charming smile and it feels like his eyes keep getting bigger. Mister (one of many nicknames) definitely inherited his father’s eyelashes!

Tilly was the first to roll and it doesn’t take long for her to be on her tummy after being placed on her back. She is a real chatterbox and said ‘dadada’ the other day (without realising what it meant, of course). Tilly’s first tooth arrived on her 5 month ‘birthday’ and I was so surprised as she hadn’t shown any of the ‘teething behaviours’. She is not as dexterous as Raffi, often preferring to watch what’s going on around her. Matilda is quite good at tummy time and her neck is getting stronger when sitting. Tilly has learnt to self settle (clever girl) and has found her thumb! Raffi is yet to master this skill. Tilly loves cuddles and finds many noises hilarious.

They are both very healthy, with rolls on their chubby thighs and wrists. Rafferty is still vomity and we are in the process of testing the poor little mite for lactose intolerance. I tend to think his unsettled tummy will improve with maturity and that it’s just something we need to get through. I’m sure his tummy problems are affecting his night sleeping but there has been some improvement over the last few days in this area.

The twins and I went to sleep school in Melbourne a month ago and whilst it didn’t provide us with perfect sleepers, it helped Tilly and resulted in both Tilly and Raff not using dummies or swaddles. The solidarity between mothers was and still is fantastic (a few of us have stayed in touch in a Whatsapp group). I think that the sleep school’s method of one size fits all is not a reality. It was so strict and I felt too much pressure upon returning home (therefore disappointment when Raff continued to wake after one sleep cycle during the day, despite me being so disciplined with the routine for 3 weeks). I no longer feel this anxiety as I decided just to get him up and pop him in the pram so even if he doesn’t sleep, he gets some rest. No more patting every 10 minutes for me!

We haven’t got out as much as we probably should but I have fabulous friends who are happy to come to me.

Until next time (which I hope isn’t as long as last time).

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An anthology of facial expressions

Rafferty and Matilda’s facial expressions make me laugh! It’s amazing that two little 11 week olds can conjure up so many different faces that say more than words could possibly say. It gives me a little insight into what they might be like as teenagers!

Over the last 2 days I have noticed Matilda and Rafferty are paying a little attention to each other. The bottom middle photo is proof of this.

They are both entranced by me and find me HILARIOUS! I tell you, if you need a boost to your self-esteem, have a baby! No one has ever given me such devoted eye contact.

Maintaining eye contact is very tiring for a newborn and we definitely have the most quality interaction after they’ve had a good sleep.

It is rare to see Tilly in pink and Raffi in blue as Hugh deliberately challenges gender stereotypes by doing the opposite to what one might expect, often confusing people who don’t know them well. I’m happy to buy gender neutral clothes but can’t quite cope when Raff’s in pink and I also think pink really suits Tilly!

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The fourth trimester

One of our lovely midwives at hospital told me the first three months of Matilda and Rafferty’s lives are like a fourth trimester (actually that means it wouldn’t be called a trimester but I knew what she meant!). She explained that major development occurs during this time and they’re still so incredibly needy so once we reached the 3 month milestone, things would get much easier.

Boy was she right about them going through rapid growth! In particular their heads have grown so much. There’s no way they could have stayed inside me and been delivered naturally right now and my c-section scar would have been MUCH bigger if they had!

The twins turned 11 weeks yesterday and are almost through their fourth trimester, growing (both physically and mentally) so much each day. Smiles are common, eye contact is regularly established, they’re starting to realise they have hands and feet (trying to fit their entire fist into their mouths), they (sometimes) can be calmed by the tone of my voice, they’re experimenting with their mouths and tongues and ‘talking’, tummy time isn’t such a chore for Tilly and Raff is getting a bit better at it and they have started to self settle. They’re almost no longer newborns which also means very soon bad habits can also be established…I’ll have to be extra aware of that!

Whilst I have loved this newborn stage of being a new mum and have pinched myself every day that we have two beautiful, healthy babies, I am definitely happy about the nearing conclusion of this fourth trimester. I look forward to being able to plan a little more and have some routines in place. I also know that all the developmental growth that’s to come is going to be so much fun (I’m definitely more of a toddler than a baby person). I also can’t wait for their little tummies to mature so they’re no longer in as much discomfort and, in Raff’s case, no longer vomiting as much (although my sister says his vomiting might continue until around 9 months). I hope in the next few weeks I can start using the double bottle feeding pillow to make feeding time shorter and easier.

The very challenging first 6 weeks of extreme sleep deprivation are a distant memory. There are lots of things to look forward to in the lives of our gorgeous twins and getting through the fourth trimester will definitely feel like a real accomplishment!

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