Hebrews 10:23 says, "Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promises is faithful."  Last week, I had to be reminded of the truth in that statement.  On Friday, we took the girls for what we thought to be a quick weight check at the pediatrician's office but it turned into a two and half hour full check-up.  At our appointment, the twins received their four month old shots and we also had another lengthy discussion about their feeding schedule.  The discussion was needed because when the girls were weighed they had not gained as much weight as we had hoped for these past two weeks.  Both girls weigh 5.11 pounds and are around 19 inches long.  While this weight gain shows that they have been growing, it also shows that they aren't consuming enough calories.  We were hoping to be closer to the six pound marker so this news was a little disappointing.  After talking, we realized that our trial run of weening off the follow-up bottle was not working.  So, now our plan of action is to follow up three times a day with 1.5 ounces of formula to make sure that the girls are taking in enough calories to gain weight.

Miss Maralee was a sweet girl this week :)

Friends, I always get upset when we have to go back to formula.  It makes me feel like I'm not providing what they need when I am feeding them.  I know this is silly, but I always feel defensive and defeated when we have to supplement.  After our appointment, I was tired.  Tired of feeling like the girls are always three steps behind well-babies.  The reality is that the girls are still premature babies...they are healthy, but they are premature.  Part of me was kidding myself into thinking that they were just like any other baby when we brought them home but when I saw their weight on that scale, my heart sunk.  Our girls are four months old and new born babies still weigh more than them.  I know that their adjusted age is four weeks but that still means that the majority of newborns weigh more than they do right now! The truth in that statement is really tough for me.

Also, we were told that we should keep them away from the public for another month at least.  Since our six week marker is just around the corner, I was secretly hoping that we could finally start taking them around town.  I'll be honest, we haven't been to church since they have been home.  We were hoping we could return to church after Labor Day and sit in the back row with them but it looks like we are either going to have to alternate going or wait another month to go as a family.  Since we haven't been getting out much, I terribly miss hanging out with our friends.  We have a great little small group here in town and it has been so hard not being around them.  My number one priority is the girls right now so I just have to remind myself that this is a short season of their lives.  Soon, we will be able to go outside and be around people (as long as they don't have a cold!) but I am so ready for that day to come.

But, as Hebrews 10:23 says, I have to remember that God is faithful.  I have to continue to have hope that they are going to gain weight and be healthy babies.  I can't dwell in the negative or feel sorry for them or myself.  All I can do is feed them - breast milk and formula - to help them along the way.  I have to realize that there is no reason to feel defensive and I just have to do what is best for them.  Isn't that all we can do for our children?  This past Wednesday, my friend Katie came over with Ben and it was so good to talk to her since he was a NICU baby.  Since Ben is also a preemie, she automatically washes her hands and squirts antibacterial gel before she even touches the girls.  It makes me grin every time because she knows exactly what to do.  Ben was born in March and now weighs 12 pounds.  That gives me such hope for Adeline and Maralee!

Adeline with her buddy Ben

Thanks y'all for letting me get that out.  Writing is such a source of healing for me.   Both sets of grandparents were in town this weekend (my parents on Friday, Raleigh's on Saturday) so it was good to have them here to help us with the new feeding schedule.  When they spend the night, they take the 2 a.m. and 5 a.m. shifts for us.  Ironically, I am more tired after getting a full night sleep rather than a disrupted sleep.  I think my body realizes what it has been missing!  So, this morning, Adeline and I took a really long nap on the couch.  I love cuddling with my baby!  I am so thankful for our little girls and just have to remember that He ALWAYS provides!

 Adeline and Maralee are little  A-O - cutie Pi's!!!!
15 weeks 

Till next time, let your light shine!

Blessings, christen

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