Sunday, July 29, 2012

Nibbles and Bites at the Breast

2012-7-18

For nearly a week now, my son (the younger of the twins) has been biting me while nursing. Yes, that's right, BITING. I'm cringing as I type this.

I guess I should say that, of the two twins, he's the gentler biter. She chomps and gives no hesitancy whatsoever. I have felt this on my finger and nose. He is a bit kinder and gentler. But, a bite is a bite. It HURTS!

I'm committed to breastfeeding these two, and I am aiming for at least two years. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a minimum of two years. Some other time we can talk about why the WHO would make such a recommendation, where the American Pediatric Association only recommends one year.

This little boy of mine has been biting my breast at least one time a day for the last five to six days. This is the first of four children where biting has continued to be an issue. By issue, I mean, lasting more than a day or two. I don't do anything to draw attention to his activity - to his biting. I unlatch him immediately, and he is done (not by his choice) with that nursing session.

One time, he bit me harder and I was in no small amount of pain (and I was frustrated), I flicked him on the cheek. That gave him an unpleasant shock.

Every nursing session, especially during the day, I try to carefully observe when he seems to be done getting his meal/drink and I unlatch it. This is one of my attempts to prevent him from biting me. That pretty much rules out using me as a pacifier or for comfort. But, until he gets the idea that he's not supposed to bite me, this is the way it has to be.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Motivations to move towards milestones

The twins have two older sisters that have toys and stuff that are more interesting than "baby" toys. So interesting are these other things that my girl twin is developing the necessary muscles and coordination to move towards pulling herself up.

2012-7-18

For now, we're kneeling.

2012-7-18

As for her twin brother, Christian is getting more motivated to crawl. There are things he is interested in grabbing, you see.

2012-7-18

Yes, joyous little man. But, we're going to encourage you to crawl by bringing the interesting items slightly beyond arms reach.

2012-7-18

But, reaching what you want involves getting out of airplane mode, and moving!

2012-7-18

This afternoon, perhaps because it was late and past the twins' bedtime, he would screech and wale loudly before he would attempt some baby-step crawling. But, he did crawl a tiny bit, using his legs to propel him forward. Go little man, go little man, GO!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Exposure to a sippy cup

After getting some table food, I want the babies to spend some time sitting up. And, at some time they need to gradually learn to use a cup. Yesterday was the day. Added some water to a cup, with a lid where they don't have to work hard to get anything out.

Christine didn't want assistance, whatsoever. Every time I tried, she was mad.

 2012-7-17

Christian, on the other hand, wasn't quite as frustrated with me. When I held the cup for him, he even managed to suck in the water correctly a few times.

 2012-7-17


She just wanted to be left alone to figure things out (or to play) on her own.


For now, the twins are breastfed exclusively, and they don't need other beverage (well, breast milk is not a beverage; it's food) consumption.

Monday, July 16, 2012

A twin learns to sit

  
 2012-7-10

On Tuesday of last week, when placed into a sitting position, she stayed put. That's a first for her.

She's nearly 9 1/2 months old here.

Granted, that's not particularly early for sitting, I'm still excited. It's a milestone. She's growing up. Now, when she's placed into a sitting position, she's pretty stable and not really wobbly. But, Christine hasn't figured out how to get out of a sitting position, yet.

***

Christian isn't sitting on his own, yet. But, he's close. He's very close.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Fer-In-Sol, an iron supplement

Tonight, early evening, while I was giving the girls their dinner, the kids' pediatrician called. The results from the twins' blood test from Saturday, the day before yesterday, were in. Christine's fine. Christian's iron level was low.

Wait, what? The twins, who are both breastfed the same number of times per day and who are breastfed exclusively (well, they are having some table food and every once in awhile some baby food), have different levels of hemoglobin. And, Christian is slightly anemic. The desired level is over 11. Christine was at 12.6. And Christian's at 10.4.

I'm still stumped. How come their levels of hemoglobin, how much iron is present, is so different in each twin when their diet is the same? I guess their bodies process their food differently.

The pediatrician wants Christian to take 1.4 ml of Fer-In-Sol daily for one month. Then we'll check his hemoglobin level again.

***

I spoke with one of my pediatrician friends not much later. She said most moms in the US are no longer breastfeeding their babies by the 6 month mark. I was shocked. Really? And, she told me that breastfed babies oftentimes have low iron levels and that prescribing Fer-In-Sol is pretty standard fare. Really?! I've been shocked many times tonight.

I hadn't heard this from the girls' pediatrician in Texas.

The girls were asked to take iron supplements.

***

Still in shock. But, my plan is to do what the doctor said, regarding the iron supplements. And to give the twins baby-friendly, iron-rich table food. K?

Sunday, July 08, 2012

New glasses

2012-7-6

Friday, the day before yesterday, we went to pick up Isabella's new glasses. Pretty cool, eh? A bit too big. The place has a smaller pair, en route, that will better fit her face.

I am very excited about how much progress she has made. Back towards the beginning of the year, at the end of February, she was diagnosed with congenital glaucoma. That month and the beginning of the next month, she had surgery in both eyes. A few months later, the pediatric ophthalmologist started correcting her vision with glasses, but he warned me that, unlike for the rest of us, it might take her months to years for her brain and eyes to adjust and benefit from the correction. Already, her right eye, with correction, is seeing 20/60 (instead of 20/300). Her left eye hasn't improved much. By August, he may start asking her to wear a patch for certain periods of time each day. Still, Isabella has made so much progress.

I am so very proud of my daughter. She has been so courageous and she has come so far.

Monday, July 02, 2012

Twins at 9 months

2012-7-1

My baby babies (at times, I refer to all the individuals in my brood as 'babies' because I love them so much) turned 9 months, yesterday.

Christine, the older of the two, by 11 minutes, came into the world very quiet. Not a peep, not a cry. Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. I might have let out a groan or a scream, but no one's keeping score. And she was the easier of the newborn twins.

Christian came into the world screaming and crying. He seemed the more difficult of the two to please. As a newborn, he earned the nickname, "Mr. Antsy Pants."

As time passed, the roles switched. Christine, so very interested in exploring the world or hanging with Mama, was the more difficult one to please. And, she seems to rarely sleep during the day. Guess she doesn't want to miss out on anything in the world. Christian usually only complains if I'm not nursing or feeding him food fast enough, if he's tired, or if he wants to cuddle.

But both of them give me the sweetest, most endearing, innocent and loving smiles and laughs. Thank you, my little darlings. And cheers to us for our nine months together. You've now spent more time living in the world than in my womb. That is a pretty big deal. For all of us.