On October 15th of last year, when I learned that my body had decided it was time to evict the twins or else, no one in my family seemed to get what twins born six weeks early had the potential to mean. There was lots of talk of, "Oh, they'll just be small" and not much else. Being a hyper-vigilant Type A who had done plenty of research on twins born at 34 weeks, I knew better.

I knew there were possibilities of delays, both physical and cognitive. I knew they could have been born with breathing problems and myriad illnesses. I knew they had the potential to have more wrong with them than just being small.

To this point, we've been very lucky. The twins are very small. At their 12-month checkup, Luci tipped the scales at 15 pounds, 14.5 oz and Nicholas weighed in at 16 pounds, 12 oz. Neither is even on the charts for weight or height, which means they are in the less than 5th percentile.

Because they were early, their skills are evaluated based on their adjusted age, so instead of having to meet milestones for a one-year-old, they are assessed based on the skills of a 10-and-a-half-month-old. But they've met their 12-month-old speech and fine motor skills milestones. Both twins say "Mama," "Dada," and "Uh-oh," (all in context). Luci says, "hi" and Nicholas makes the "Ca" sound for "Cat." They feed themselves, and they drink from their sippy cups. They look for dropped objects. Luci points to things she wants, and they're doing well on identifying body parts and objects around the house.

The one area where they seemed to be falling behind is their gross motor skills. At their 12-month appointment one day after their 1st birthday, I mentioned that neither twin was crawling on all fours or pulling up (both were commando-crawling on their bellies, however).

Their pediatrician didn't seem overly concerned, but said that crawling on all fours and pulling up was a 10-month-old milestone (although a quick check of Isabella's abilities at 10 months old revealed that she was only commando crawling. She was, however, pulling up). She suggested I call Early Intervention to have them evaluated for a deficit in their gross motor skills, although her hunch was that they were both going to be fine and crawling within a month. But if they didn't, they would have lost another month where they could possibly have received therapy to help them learn.

Oddly enough, hearing this news didn't bother me. Perhaps it would have if they were my first children. Isabella walked at 13 months, but one of her two best buddies didn't until she was 19 months. I wanted to get them evaluated and any help they might need in their babyhood, so they have a better chance of catching up to where they should be sooner rather than later. Preemies generally "catch up" to full-term babies by the age of two. I placed the call to set up the evaluation that day.

The following day, Nicholas decided it was high-time to start crawling on all fours. And pulling up. He is now a highly destructive, into-everything, pulling-up-on-everything force to be reckoned with.

Luci, however, is still a bit behind. About a week ago, she started crawling on all fours. She's not as fast as her brother, but she's getting there. She is not, however, pulling up. We've watched her do it only once. She will pull up to her knees, but that's as far as she gets. And it pisses her off.

She's frustrated she cannot climb up and over the step from our recessed family room into the kitchen, as her brother does. She cries when she can't pull up on the couch to see what we're doing up there. And it's heartbreaking.

My suspicion is that she's close. But I'm not sure. On Wednesday, two physical therapists will come to my house to evaluate both twins (I kept the appointment for both of them, just so I can have the peace of mind that they're both okay, and that if they're not, I'm doing everything I can to help them). Before they do, I have to fill out paperwork just slightly shorter than War and Peace on each of them, to give the evaluators an idea of their abilities and where they might fall short for their adjusted age.

Wish the little hellcats a bit of luck, won't you?

9 Responses to “Early”

  1. # Blogger Melissa

    Good luck! I have a feeling they'll be just fine and meet all their milestones in their own time. ;-)

    None of my kids weighed more than 18 pounds at one year and measured in the 3rd-5th percentile for many, many years. Bridget, at 4, is just now over 30 pounds. If you can believe it, she has been my "chunkiest" kid, even though she was less than 6 lbs at birth.

    I've seen the consequences of twins born early (Hannah was in class with twins born WAY early), and Luci and Nicholas appear to be healthy and thriving. All parents worry about their kids meeting certain milestones but, to me, your kids seem to be right on schedule.  

  2. # Blogger Mom24

    I'll be thinking and praying for all of you, but I too have the feeling they'll be just fine. Good luck.  

  3. # Blogger Sugar and Ice

    This comment has been removed by the author.  

  4. # Anonymous Anonymous

    Good luck, hellcats!


  5. # Blogger Christine

    They'll be great, but just in case, good luck wonderbabies! I'm sure Lucy will get the hang of it in no time. And then, you will remember back and think, ah, remember when they could just commando crawl?  

  6. # Blogger Veronica

    Sending them both lots of luck, but I don't think they need it. They look like (and seem to act like) perfectly healthy babies.  

  7. # Blogger Sunny

    I agree with the other commenters -- I think it's not too far off that they will be toddling all over the place. My son was a bit slow in this department as well, he finally walked at almost 16 months. But it's great that you are being proactive and helping them out!  

  8. # Blogger annie w.

    Sending good thoughts and 'push ups' for Luci :-). sounds like they're doing just fine...
    hugs, Mama


  9. # Blogger Jesser

    It is always good to go with your instincts! That said, they sound like they're doing great!! It is wonderful that everything turned out so well but I would have been scared as hell too.  

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