Dear Malcolm and Emmett,
You are now a week old! I can’t believe it. Mostly I still can’t believe that you’re outside babies, that you’re real, and that you’re ours. Our babies! We have babies!
First things first, you are both very cute. Everyone says so. Obviously we are biased, but even with the number of babies I have seen, you guys are pretty darn adorable and beautiful. Good job. 🙂 Also, you are *tiny*. Several times a day I marvel out loud how tiny and cute you are. Your arms and legs are so skinny, and altogether you’re very small. It only helps the adorableness, really.
We still don’t know for sure if you’re identical or fraternal twins. (I imagine we’ll find out your blood types soon, which will give us a clue.) You’re still wearing your hospital bracelets and the hospital hats that the nurses numbered 1 (Emmett) and 2 (Malcolm). You also received several blankets from the hospital volunteers–Emmett, yours are green, and Malcolm, yours are blue. We’re still using all these things as identifiers. Malcolm, you often make expressions that look like Emmett’s face. I’m not sure how that works, but it is confusing.You guys don’t look exactly the same, and often look quite different, but we’re not quite ready to know who’s who all on our own just yet. We feel bad about this, but I guess our excuse is that we’re new at this, and hey, you’re new too.
So far your week of life has been fairly quiet. You guys don’t do that much, pretty much just sleep all day long. We usually have to wake you up for feeding times, though you’re starting to wake up and look around when it’s around eating time. Noises don’t seem to bother you–you sleep while we talk, listen to music, or watch tv. Even if one of you cries, the other doesn’t seem to notice. In general, you hardly ever fuss about things. Strangely, the most fussing that both of you do is at night, when something has made you unhappy, like losing your pacifier. But in general, you’re sleeping very well and peacefully. Please, PLEASE keep that up. We would be so very grateful.
In the hospital, you didn’t really spend any time together–you had to stay separated in your individual bassinets. A couple times I held both of you at the same time, but for the most part, you were either alone or being held as a single baby. So when we brought you home this Sunday, you finally started sharing a space. You’re in a co-sleeper in our room so we’re nearby to help you out. (You’ll probably stay with us for a few months, and then transition to a shared crib in your own room.) Emmett, you can see in this photo that you scooted to the top of the space during the night. We listen to a white noise machine on the Ocean setting, which seems to lull you nice and sleepy.
Eating is an up and down experience. Sometimes both of you have issues with spitting up if you eat too fast or if you’re laid down flat too soon after eating. So we’re helping you pace yourselves as well as take lots of burping breaks. Also, you both struggle with falling asleep during feeding time, and we have to coax you to continue. We were getting a little worried about you guys not drinking every single milliliter of your milk and not being able to increase your intake. But it was taking so long to finish a feeding session that sometimes you were probably using up more calories to eat than you were actually taking in while eating. I did chat with your pediatrician and she wasn’t worried, she would rather us watch the time rather than the amount, and that you’ll start taking more in when you’re ready. And that seems to be the right frame of mind–both of you are gaining weight. Malcolm, you’re two ounces away from birthweight, and Emmett, you have four more to go. It seems like in the last day or two, you’re finishing all of your milk and going a little faster, so we’ll slowly see if you can eat more.
Daddy bought you some books a few weeks ago and the other day ‘read’ them to you for the first time. You were very interested! We’re both excited to develop a love for reading and books in you both.
One of my new all-time favorite things is holding one or both of you cuddled up on my chest. Sometimes we do skin to skin, but sometimes I just cuddle you. You both love it, and curl up to me all snuggly snugglebug. It is wonderful and makes me so happy! I can’t believe how much I love it. Daddy is sometimes a little jealous, but I remind him that he can do the same thing and you’ll be just as happy. So he’s starting to do a little more cuddling, and he loves it too. And I figure that all this cuddling is just making you even better babies. 🙂
We’ve already noticed some interesting things about each of you. Malcolm, since your second day, you’ve liked to have your left hand out for gumming. You enjoy waving your limbs around, and when you’re eating, you stick your legs and/or arms straight out, like a tiny adorable zombie. Sometimes that means I can nibble on your teeny tiny toesies.
Emmett, you’ve already started developing your grasp reflex. A few of your fingers want to hold things, like your pacifier or your bottle, or our fingers nearby. You also started making squeaking noises pretty much right away. It’s adorable.
This week you already met some of your relatives. You’ve now met two of your grandparents, and the others ‘met’ you over the computer. (When you’re our age, I guess Skype and Facetime will be ancient technology!) You’ll meet them in person next month. You also have some aunts and uncles who are excited to meet you soon as well. They are all so thrilled that you’re here! You are very lucky babies to be so loved by so many.
You’ve started doing little gassy smiles occasionally, and it’s wild how much it changes your faces! I can’t wait until you smile for real. You both like to look at us–we’ll just sit and stare at each other. Soon enough you’ll start recognizing your names and reacting to them, and then you’ll start reacting by making new faces. I can’t wait for that to see who you’ll become. Part of me doesn’t want you to change at all though, because you’re so precious and I know the time is so fleeting.
This has been the longest, strangest, newest, most surreal and wondrous week of my life so far. I’m excited to share so many more weeks with you both.