4 Month Twin Update – Seeing a Neurosurgeon: Helmets or Surgery

The boys are officially four months old as of a couple days ago and it’s time for an update.  I had an amazing 2 weeks off from work to spend with the boys and my husband and I even got to crochet and blog. 

I’m feeling refreshed and right before the holidays I was feeling down about just how much I had to do. Then I had two weeks off and really got a chance to spend it with the babies and so that was wonderful for me. 

So basically, in the last two months a lot has changed and a lot has not changed. So I’ll break down some milestones and stuff that’s happening.

 

Twin Sleep

The boys are sleeping anywhere from 2 hour stretches to 2 ½ hours now. Before December they were sleeping 1 to 1 ½ hours. Now it’s 2 between the time they go down and the time they wake up. Occasionally they’d sleep two hours solid before but it was very scattered. 

Now they’re more likely to sleep 2.5 hours and even 3 hour stretches once in a while. It’s not like it’s something that we can plan on every night, but it’s happening more and more and it gives me hope that they’re starting to stretch out their sleep a little bit longer. 

 

Tummy Time 

They are enjoying tummy time. They’re laughing at us and chatting with us. They like making noises in response to sounds and noises we’re making which is amazing to see. They’re trying to roll over, which is just mind boggling to me. They’re throwing their legs and their butts over and then trying to roll their bodies. They can’t quite get their torsos over yet, so it’s just them throwing their legs over and trying to roll.  

They’re grasping things, they’re picking toys up and putting them in their mouths, and picking up blankets and putting them in their mouths. If I’m holding a blanket on my lap and the babies are on my lap, they’ll just grab it and pull it into their mouths. It’s really cool to see them making all these amazing strides on par with the development month and that always makes me feel better.

I know preemies are often adjusted and so they’re feeding and sleeping schedule is more like a month back but they’re motor skills and communication are right on par with babies who are turning four months.

Twin Weight and Height Update

Our one baby is 14 pounds 10 ounces. Our other baby is 14 pounds 8.5 ounces. So they’re closing the gap in their weight discrepancy. Before it was about five ounces. Now it’s less than two. 

They’re both exactly the same length and my twins are fraternal. I always assumed that they would start really changing in size from each other but they’re actually becoming closer in weight and height. So now they both are exactly 24 ¾  inches. As they start filling out with weight, they are also starting to look even more similar which is kind of cool. 

 

The Holiday Sniffles 

The boys had a cold and Matt and I got sick over the holidays probably from visiting a lot of friends and family. During this time of year you’re just going to come in contact with a lot of germs. The boys had a little bit of a cold, they were congested and sneezing, but had no fever or anything like that. They just were a little bit congested which made them not feel great and needed a ton more snuggles which we were happy to provide. 

I did take them to the pediatrician because you know I’m a new mom and everything’s scary. And when we went one of the things that the doctor had mentioned was that babies’ heads may need helmets. 

 

Baby Helmets 

I want to make a side note that we knew this might be something we would come across because it’s very common with twins to have babies in helmets. This is because in the womb, they don’t really have all the room they need to stretch out and oftentimes their heads are pressed against places they normally wouldn’t be. They can get into very weird positions that don’t normally happen when there’s just one baby in there. So we knew that that could be a possibility. 

Obviously, that’s not a really scary thing. You can decorate them and most kids are only in them a couple of months if you catch it early, like our doctor did. 

But the one concerning thing that we were told is that one of the twins they believe could have early fusion between two of the plates and so that his skull is not moving correctly. We actually have to go see a neurosurgeon about it. 

And I don’t want to assume that it’s going to be the worst case scenario. I am trying not to read too much into it. I want to just go talk to the doctor and see what they say. But our pediatrician did say that if they found that there had been some fusion, we would be looking at surgery. And so while I understand they just have to tell you all the options and reasons they are sending you, obviously, as a mom, you never want to hear that. 

 

The Neurosurgeon and the Twins

I’ve been doing my best not to worry about it. We scheduled with the neurosurgeon today and we’ll see what their next appointment is and go get his head looked at. They’re going to scan his head and then they will be able to tell us whether or not they can go right into helmets or if he’ll need surgery before he goes into a helmet. 

I have been deeply considering reaching out to other people who have had cranial surgery, but I feel like I might be getting a little bit too ahead of myself. 

We don’t even know if we’re going to have it. Right now it’s just that the pediatrician said from the looks of it that it might be a possibility. He’s seen it happen before. There were telltale signs like on his head and in his jaw line that a plate could be fused. They’re just kind of telling us everything that could happen. And again, as a new mom or a mom in general, you’re just going to freak out when you hear surgery. At least I do. 

For the first day, I was really upset and then the next day I was like: You know what? I need to stop – I need to not reach out right now. If it happens, then I’ll reach out to people who have the surgery. Until we know for sure, there’s no reason for me to sit here and dwell on it, even though it’s really hard not to. So I’m just keeping our hopes up that these are just simple issues that a  helmet can fix with their head shape. 

 

Why Do Babies Get Helmets

There are a lot of reasons that babies go into helmets. It can be for cosmetic reasons when your skull is misshapen or serious developmental reasons like the bones of the skull not moving right. That can actually cause developmental problems later on in life. So it’s not just that you have a weird head shape. Your bones are meant to fit together in a very particular way to protect your brain, to protect your spine, to protect your jaw, your nasal cavities and everything around that area. 

It isn’t something to take lightly if he does need it. We would choose to go forward with it to make sure he’s developing correctly.

If he requires surgery, it would be to ensure he has the right bone structure and development for a well protected brain and that his nasal cavities and jaw are aligned correctly. That’s the biggest thing that’s been weighing on my mind. That happened only about a week ago. So like I said, I’m doing my best not to stress.

I will obviously keep you updated on what the neurosurgeon says and then obviously I’ll be recording the boys getting helmets. I’m really glad that I have seen and followed other twin moms that have their boys or girls in helmets because it really makes me realize that it’s very common. It’s also a lot easier than I thought it would be. I have seen moms record themselves putting helmets on their kids and the kids playing in them, so it’s much less intimidating. I thought they’d be heavy for the babies and they would have a hard time holding their heads up. In fact, the helmets are super light and one of the girls that has twins actually decorated her kids helmets and it’s really, really cute with their initials on them. 

So knowing that if we’re going to have to have them, I think that something cute that we can look forward to is decorating the boys’ helmets and I will keep you updated. 

But other than that the boys are obviously growing big and strong. We are getting a little bit more sleep and their development is going great. Now it’s just waiting on the helmet decision and the neurosurgeon. 

I hope that you guys enjoyed the twin update. They are doing amazing. They’re so smiley, so cute. And I just love being able to actually share them on video now that they’re a little more awake. I can’t wait to update you on how all of this goes! 

 

Do you have a baby in a helmet or have you ever had any of your babies in helmets? Leave me a comment below about your experience!

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