After much anticipation, I am excited to share that while Justine and I were laying on the floor playing, she graced me with her first smile!

Which I missed.

Because I had my eyes closed.

Darn!

Other things she’s started to do: look around with interest, study faces, experiment with new sounds, practice lifting her head, and kicking her legs. I love that she has pleasant periods of alertness now!

It was pointed out to us her behavior is a good benchmark for what a full-term baby is like. That’s been helpful. Because we are around these guys all day and because we have no prior baby experience, it’s easy to forget the kids have made progress. Things like, “Generally speaking, is this how we would expect a baby this age to act?” Or, “All things considered, does this kid seem to be generally okay?”

All things considered, Jayce does not seem generally okay yet. He had been doing better…until last weekend. He shrieked in pain (?) for hours. He had diarrhea, but it went away. The mysterious pain issue continues. It has no external cause we can identify. His pediatrician is running a few tests to rule out internal issues. He sees his liver specialist on Monday.

We have been so occupied with finding a way to help him through whatever this is, I haven’t even had time to really notice Juno’s absence in our home. She was my little buddy through college, striking out on our own to my first apartment, starting my career, falling in love with Josiah…She was a beloved part of our home. She deserved a better parting than this. I couldn’t take care of her well enough at the end and I still don’t have time to miss her. I can’t believe she’s gone so early in her life.

The demands of around the clock infant care—times two— are still intense. The physical weariness is real. (Shout out to nap time babysitters!). But slowly, the kids are going longer between bottles. 

What is still as heavy as ever is the emotional weight of constantly hoping Jayce is okay. When we brought Justine home from the hospital, what should have been a day of celebration and excitement was tempered with the sadness that her brother was staying behind at the hospital, unresolved health issues still in the air. That mixed bag is very much the reality of life with twins when one has a medical issue. You try to celebrate for the one despite the weight of worry about the other. It doesn’t always work.

Jayce is 7.5 lbs now. He has come so far. As long as he is eating, growing, and sleeping, I know his basic physical needs are met. But he still has a way to go. Justine is thriving and dare I say enjoying life in her own baby-way. We so want the same for her brother. He’s been poked and tested and observed and studied for so long. As evening comes around, we hold our breath to see if he will have to endure more hours of whatever is hurting him so much. How thankful we will be for the day when we only worry about “normal” kid safety issues.

God has got these kids covered. He is their primary protector. We’re just the hands and feet who carry out the work. As we do our best to muddle through, learn the kids’ signs, and figure out what else remains to be healed in Jayce, we appreciate your prayers.

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