7 weeks is the new 40 weeks! #twinslife #preemies

Here we are, the twins are now full term. Yes, today is the day of their 40th week in gestational development. If this were Rosebud, we would have just come home two days prior after being born. The twins are now seven weeks and two days old but more importantly now full term babies. Reminder…28 days in the NICU was a long time for the #Rettew5.

What does this mean, now we can join the development cycle of the full term baby world…at seven weeks old!

A few weeks ago, I signed up for as many coupons as possible. I went to Similac’s website hoping to contact the source of our formula. The twins have been on Similac’s Neosure from the early days of the NICU. Our pediatrician told us not to switch and keep them on this 22 calorie blend for the next six months. While filling out forms and submitting requests to the website, I was put on lots of email lists.

Now I am receiving lots of information about their development cycle, like this email above from last Monday talking about how the twins are 6 weeks old. Here is the issue, the automated system does not account for the number of weeks their are preemies.

Each week, I have an email update talking about their age…yet it does not fully apply. Some things we have experienced applies like their ability to start lifting their heads, their eyes following us as we walk by, *but* they are still sleeping like preemies.

A week ago, I posted a question on Facebook. We were in dire need of help. Henry’s clock was backwards (and still sort of is backwards) as he was waking up at 2:30am, yet George was sleeping. It was a long series of nights keeping us up, mainly Sarah. Many call this the “witching hour.”

Here is the post:

Alright twin parents! Sarah and I need some advise! Henry’s time is backwards, his night is day and his day is night. George is progressing well sleeping right on schedule. Henry just does not want to wake up during the day. We have tried almost everything: stripping him down, putting him in direct sun light, cold wash cloth, and the list goes on and on. He is wide away from 2:30am – 6am and sometimes hard to wake during the day. My question…anyone had a hard time flipping a baby’s time by using extreme measures to wake them up during the day? And how have you managed when the other twin is awake and sleeping on a normal schedule?

My cousin Amanda provided the best response with a critical reminder:

Amanda Locotosh: When I was having troubles with Vivian I read that you should judge sleep based on a 40 week gestation ( so Vivian was a week early so milestones would be a week off for her) so it may take a little longer for them to figure it out…don’t know if that’s the case with Henry…but Vivian also started doing better after about a week of doing a consistent bedtime routine. I never turned lights on for middle of the night feedings – I used the flashlight on my phone…as far as daytime I am not sure – you’ve tried everything in my book!

It is so hard to remember…yet, it is important part of this preemie journey. George and Henry’s true development cycle started today. We know that in five weeks from today, the twins should be in a place where they might start sleeping more than four hours. 

We know in 11 days on August 10th, the twins will be getting their first set of shots. This means we are in lock down until two weeks after the shots are administered. This is an important milestone given the twins were born at 32 weeks 5 days.

At 36 weeks, an unborn baby begins getting critical antibodies from the mother that helps the child fight bacteria and other outside agents until they receive their first set of shots. The twins did not get this from Sarah since they were born at 32 weeks 5 days. We had this conversation with our pediatrician about the same time a baby in Iowa contracted meningitis after being kissed and past away, the baby was less than a month old. Stories like this will make you want to stay home, especially when your pediatrician tells you the twins need to stay at the house until after August 24th.


We SO SO SO want to start entering the world of people again, outside the house. You can only take the house invasion so long, the constant revolving door of people in your house gets crazy. We love the village, but the house has a revolving door of family coming in to help, friends bringing dinner, and many others wanting a sneak peak.

If you have been to our house, our little 1920’s cottage struggles to keep up with the 95+ temperatures outside. But with people in and out, the front door lets in lots of heat. So it has been fun trying to keep the house cool in this heat wave. We even had the air conditioning maintenance guy come again to make sure all was well.

This whole experience made me think about NICU purgatory in NICU 2. It was just one month ago on June 29th that I wrote this post called “The longest yard in the NICU.” We had just been moved two weeks prior from NICU Level One to NICU Level Two.

This meant the CPAP machines were just removed, earning the right to breathe on their own. This also meant we moved into the longest period of time in the NICU. Those next three weeks, until they were discharged from the NICU on July 6th, the twins needed to gain weight and learn to maintain their temperature. 

Those three weeks seemed like forever. Driving back and forth every day from Anderson to Greenville to the NICU, then back again to make sure Rosebud was taken care of and put to bed. It felt like forever. But we were there for 28 days, yet the average stay in the NICU for most babies is 60 days.

Now, we are in a similar place yet a different context. We are stuck in the house, the twins can only leave to go see the pediatrician. They are gaining weight, slowly learning to sleep longer, yet do not have a sufficient immune system for traveling to places like a church nursery, the grocery store, or even out-to-eat. Bottomline, we are once again in baby purgatory. This period of time has been fun yet seems like we have been waiting for their development cycle to kick in FOREVER! Especially for small things like sleeping longer.