Three Months, a Hike, and Fun With Growth Curves.
Well, my littles are now a whopping three months old…which for those keeping score at home makes them one month adjusted.
This is especially delightful because it means that they are *finally* starting to Do Stuff. Smile. Notice people. Trust me, after months of feeling like you are stuck in that Groundhog Day movie with Bill Murray, this is very very good.
We celebrated this weekend (Thanksgiving! Yay!) by going for a hike. I let Brandon pick so of course we did 8km in the back country.
The babies were fine – we each strapped one on and wandered off.I carried the backpack for the first half; Brandon for the second – pretty great.
The true rock stars of the day were Anika and Sam.
Ani did the ENTIRE distance all by her own self. There was a fair bit of up and down; stream crossing, etc. and she just did it. Amazing.
Sammo was awesome too. He pretended to be “Lightnin’ NcQueen” for the whole trip (I was Sally) and he probably walked 5 or 6km by himself.
Brandon put him on his shoulders when he started falling down more (dude was tired).
And I…well, I nursed two babies at the same time sitting on a log in the forest which I *think* makes me kind of a rock star too. And yes I have a picture and no you cannot see it. This is a family establishment folks.
It was great to get outside.
Now, lets talk about le bebes. Granted this may not be interesting to most people but since the last three months have been a TOTAL BLUR OF CRAZY I should probably write some things down so I actually remember.
First up, Miss Talia.
Talia, contrary to the pictures that make her seem like a giant next to Lucy, is actually kind of a peanut herself. She is now, (at 3 months 1 week old) 8lbs 8oz. She LOOKS big next to Lucy (who we will get to in a minute) but she’s actually only about the 10th percentile on the preemie growth curves. She’s more like 50th for length though, prompting our doctor yesterday to say “Stop looking so much like your father!” Hee.
Talia does need to gain more weight but overall has been doing pretty well. Our strategy with her for the last sixish weeks has been to nurse her during the day, and then for her overnight feeds (approximately three – one at bedtime, one sometime between 1230 and 230 am, and one around 5am) to give her bottles of pumped milk fortified to 24 calories/ounce. We’ve done the fortification with a particular formula that the pediatrician recommended and it’s worked pretty well.
She’s maintaining her growth well enough that just yesterday they told us we could discontinue the fortifier – so YAY. We’re going to give her bottles overnight still (to make sure she is maintaining the volume) but it’s pretty great that we can actually see a path to a point where I could just (gasp) nurse her and not have to do things like pump at 5am. WAHOO!
Talia is much sturdier then she was – she holds her head up like a champ, has accidentally rolled over a couple of times (very traumatic apparently). She’s starting to smile occasionally, and she’s really alert – she likes to watch people and things. She’s starting to bring her hands to midline and try to hold onto things occasionally. Most of that has developed in the last three weeks – pretty exciting to FINALLY see some milestones!
Now lets talk about Lucy.
Poor little peanut. At 3 months +1 week she is 6lbs, 9oz. She’s doing okay, and has been growing…but not the way we want her to. We’re fairly certain that she has a milk allergy, and switched her diet accordingly – nondairy fortifier, I eliminated all dairy from my diet (Dr. G. writes in her chart “Mother bitter but compliant.” Hee. And also true. And also YAY for drs with senses of humour).
Unfortunately yesterday we got some blood work back that shows that her ferritin levels are really high and her albumin levels are really low. (“Aha!” I can hear you saying. “I thought so!” No?). Those things together point to an inflammation in her digestive tract somewhere. It means she’s not absorbing enough protein and SOMETHING is making her twitchy. Could still be dairy. Could be something else entirely – we don’t really know. Soy? Something?
The long and short of it is that Brandon and I decided in consultation with the Dr. to stop nursing her – hopefully just for now, but maybe for good. We need to get confirmation of the amounts that she is getting (maybe her slow growth is just because she is not big enough to transfer enough milk? I don’t think so, but who knows I guess), and we need to eliminate some variables where the allergies are concerned. Once we get her on a good growth track we will repeat her bloodwork and just see where she is.
She is being referred to a GI specialist, but that appointment is six weeks from now and we just figured that it doesn’t quite make sense to wait until then with (likely) continued poor growth and issues, and then get her seen at which point the GI person will PROBABLY say “Hey stop nursing her and lets see what happens”….it just doesn’t make sense to wait. We want her to grow, and the fact is that the babies started 5 oz apart in weight but are now two pounds apart. It’s not ok.
I’m kind of okay with it. I’d like to nurse her (largely because I am lazy and nursing is easy and I LOVE that they always hold hands when I tandem nurse them). But I don’t want to nurse her at the expense of her health and growth. I don’t want to nurse her if it’s going to cause health problems. She’s had three+ months of breast milk; if that’s all it is then so be it. And my supply will still be there since I’m nursing Talia – if I can transition her back at some point then great.
Other than being wee (and having a giant coconut of a head) Lucy is really healthy. She’s strong; she holds her head up; she smiles; she’s engaged. She’s also accidentally rolled over a couple of times but doesn’t seem to hate life as much when that happens as her sister does. She’s really cute.
So that’s the update on the babies. The big kids deserve a post of their own too….but they are amazing as well. So sweet and so engaged with the girls and each other – it’s really wonderful. The bond between the two of them is really tight.
Sam is big into make believe and always wants to “play a game” – in which he is one character and you are another. He will be Lightening McQueen; you will be Sally/Mater, he will be Marlin, you have to be Dory, he might be Buzz Lightyear, you have to be Woody – it goes on and on and it is HILARIOUS if a little bit exhausting!
Anika’s still dancing up a storm, and seems more committed to working hard at it then ever…so…good? She tells me all the time “This is really hard mom, but I want to be competitive so I’m going to do it!” (Usually in reference to some step she’s learning….or in reference to when the teacher makes them do planks because they aren’t listening. I should try that at home come to think of it!). She is really strong and has definitely crossed the line from “Things I could probably do if I tried” with dance to “things that would make me fall down.” So good for her!
We have a pretty cool family shaping up here….very thankful.