8 weeks

Wow, it’s hard to believe that it’s been 8 weeks. The babies now have an “adjusted age” of 1 week. For those of you who don’t know what that means, when a baby is born premature we look at two different ages for them – their “actual age” which is how long it’s been since they were born. Then we also look at their “adjusted age” which is how old they would have been had they been full term singletons (40 weeks). So for these little guys being born at 33 weeks 1 day they have an actual age of 8 weeks, and an adjusted age of 1 week.

What does this mean? Well, for developmental milestones, we go by their adjusted age until they are about 2 years old. As they get closer to that the gap will get smaller (it’s said that by 2 years of age there is no difference between a premie and a full-term baby developmentally speaking). Until then, though, we expect they’ll be a little late. At the same time, they could be right on schedule. It’s almost nice – it’s less pressure. When reading a baby book or talking to someone else, there’s no worrying about what their kid is doing and yours isn’t, because we don’t *expect* them to do everything the same. We shouldn’t expect ANY kid to do the same thing as another, but it’s hard to not compare in this competition of mommy-hood where we worry that we’re not stimulating our kid enough, talking to them enough, teaching them their ABCs and 123s fast enough, etc. It’s almost like if our kid isn’t a star at calculus by age 3 like so-and-so’s kid that we’ve done something wrong. It’s so much easier to escape all of that with preemies. Now if only I could get myself to stop comparing them to each other!

So rant over, here are some updates:

Jacen: 7lbs 14oz, 21″ long
Jaina: 6lbs 12 oz, 19.5″
Valerie: 6lbs 10 oz, 19.5″

As they have been since birth, the girls are the exact same length. Crazy how that works!

Developmentally, they’re doing great. Jacen’s allowed to sleep as long as he wants at night (he went almost 6 hours the other night!) and the girls are allowed to go 4 hours. Amazing how just that little bit more sleep helps. Unless of course the sleep consists of me slightly propped up with a baby on my chest because they like to sleep on their bellies better and we can’t let them do that, so they end up on me! Jaina smiled back at me last week – it was adorable. They don’t do it reliably on command enough to get a picture yet, but we’ll get those soon. Jaina was first, and since then Val and Jace have smiled a couple times (non-sleeping smiles). They’re staying awake more than they used to and tummy time is getting amusing as they scoot around the floor and normally end up head butting each other. Val and tummy time are counterproductive, though, as she likes to fall asleep on her belly, so instead of working on her neck muscles and motor skills, she curls into a ball and falls asleep more often than not.

I’ll get some new pics loaded soon, but had to update you all!

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