Saturday, June 30, 2007

Happy Birthday Luke!

Happy 1st Birthday to our nephew Luke! We had fun helping him celebrate today. He is such a sweet and adorable little guy! I can't believe he's already One!





Thursday, June 28, 2007

Sweet Like Karo Syrup

Weight Check:
Adam 14 lbs
Andrew 12 1/2 lbs




I am SO happy with the boys weight gain this week. "It really defies all the odds" said their dietician today after she calculated what their daily caloric intake is (less than half what she wants it to be). But I know it's because God is listening to your prayers to help the boys grow stronger and is helping them make the most of the calories that they are taking in. Thank goodness they like solids. Eating their bottles continues to be a battle. Babies their adjusted age are expected to drink between 24-32 ounces a day and ours are eating between 9-15 ounces. We've been having to put karo syrup in the bottles just to get them to drink any at all, which helps their calories and the doctor and dietician both say that every calorie counts for them, no matter the source. I just have visions of having to pour syrup over all their food when they are six just to get them to eat!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Sometimes all you can do is laugh . . .

. . . Like when you are feeding your baby and he spits up cereal, bananas, and his bottle all over you and the high chair. All the while his brother smears his dinner all over his face, chest, head, arms and legs. Then you go to pick him up to take him for a bath and realize that he's had a massive poop all out the side of his diaper, all over the high chair and now it's running down your arm.

Yes, when you are a mama, sometimes the only thing left is laughter.

I have a great picture of all this but I don't think anyone wants to see that, it wasn't pretty ;-).

Clarification to Yesterday's Post

I've gotten a lot of anonymous comments on this post. Let me clarify, I certainly don't have any problems with daycare or older siblings and some of our best friends will be such but our babies still have weakened immune systems and our doctor does not want them to get ill and has advised us in this way about being around other children.

Without that sentence in my post I was criticized for irresponsibly allowing my kids around other children at all and with it I'm criticized for trying to keep them in a bubble or being offensive towards daycare.

So please don't take it offensively we are just trying to live as normal a life as possible while still protecting them as suggested by their medical team. We love all other children and once our kids our healthy they can play with the general population too ;-).

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Thank you!

I just want to say thank you to everyone who has continued to follow Andrew & Adam along their journey all these many months. I especially want to thank those who pray for them and for us. Your prayers and your encouragement have touched my heart deeply. I am strengthened by your prayers and I can see the Lord moving in our lives. We have been SO blessed by all of you and I wish I could thank you each personally.

May the Lord bless you today!

Daddy's Boys



Lots of Fun

5 Babies and 3 Mommies = Lots of Fun

Today we had a blast with our first playdate with Kaylie and twins Lauren & Blake. It was fun to see all the babies together, we felt like we had our own daycare there for a moment =-). It's great to spend time with other new moms and share advice and give each other moral support. Another plus is that none of the babies are in daycare or have older siblings so our "exposure" is kept at a minimum for the time being, as recommended by our pediatrician.

Left to right: Blake, Andrew, Adam, Kaylie, Lauren


Andrew & his new buddy Blake

Monday, June 25, 2007

How sweet is that???



Adam, you are too cute!

"Safe jumping fun anywhere!"



We put the Jumperoo together and although their legs aren't quite long enough or strong enough to jump yet they really enjoyed it when we bounced them. It looks like a lot of fun and I'm sure will become their favorite in no time.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Cabin Fever Induced Reflections

Exactly one year ago this week we got the best news, a positive home pregnancy test, we were expecting our first child! It was one of the happiest days of my life, one that had not come easily for us. Looking back I can only think about how naive we were, how young, how clueless. We only thought we had seen the toughest part, the many many previous months that it had taken us to become pregnant. Our prayers had been answered and we believed things were only going to look up from there.

Oh the things we used to take for granted. Life was so simple. We had grown up in families with healthy children and expected and anticipated the same for ourselves. I'll never look upon pregnancy and childbirth in the same way. For me, it's a terrifying experience. It may sound strange but I still grieve for a healthy pregnancy. For the lost moments of mother and child together in the afterglow of birth. Holding your newborn and passing them around among family members, and then taking them home with you.

Life for me had stopped 8 months ago when I went into labor prior to my 23rd week of pregnancy. I often feel like I've been suspended in time. Sometimes I still think Thanksgiving is upon us and Christmas around the corner. The images from those days sting raw and clear as if it were yesterday. The sounds haunt me at night when I try to sleep. I can still feel the terror that was my 2 hour ambulance ride to Houston, praying desperately that the babies would not be born somewhere along Hwy 290. I can see the fear in my husband's face when they asked us if we would want to resuscitate the babies. Jump ahead three weeks and I can hear my own voice calling for help, squeezing my mother's hand as we waited for someone to save the day. The pain of laboring to 8cm before any relief just moments before the c-section. I remember hearing a baby trying to cry, just a whimper, but it was alive! I remember the looks on everyone's faces in my hospital room after the birth. I was so paranoid, I thought for sure that they were keeping something from me, that maybe one of the babies' had died and no one was telling me. I remember visiting the babies in the NICU for the first time, it was a blur of monitors, alarms, and the tiniest beings you could ever imagine struggling for every breath, chests rising and falling underneath a barrier of saran wrap.

These are the images I see in my head over and over. I've left a lot out. I've never really written about the day they were born, their birth. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to in detail. I can talk about it but actually writing about it is altogether different. It's too painful, it should have been the happiest day of our lives but rather was scarier than I ever imagined it could be, wrought with regrets, the hope of medical intervention that we expected but that never came, knowing that the entire course of their lives was changing in an instant. The lingering feelings that I let them down by not carrying them further, it was my responsibility to keep them safe. So much happened that day that I just can't relive for all to read.

Where am I going with all this? I certainly didn't intend to write all that when I started this post. What I guess I'm trying to say is that life for me stopped eight months ago. I'll never be the person I was before. But that's okay. The new me is a person that doesn't take things for granted. I'll never hold my children and not think about the possibility that my arms could have been empty. Something as simple as them breathing unassisted reminds me of how far they've come. When my children smile because they can see me, I'll never take for granted the fact that they can see. And oh those smiles, what joy they bring to my soul. Every milestone may be hard earned for them, but we will celebrate it as if they've achieved the impossible.

God is so good. God is so faithful. He doesn't promise things will be easy but he promises he'll see us through. I look back and I know that I only made it because he was with me. We have it so good, our children are remarkable, they may never be normal by the world's standards, though we will hope and pray it to be, but they are ours and they have taught us much. The boys may be a handful at times and we may struggle with fatigue and frustrations but Andrew & Adam are such a gift, they are a blessing. They were God's plan for our lives and things were as He intended them to be.

One year ago this week we learned we would be parents. One year ago this week our lives changed forever. But this week I started to live life again, not just survive it (thanks in large part to Dana's prodding). Today we took them to church (we sat in the "cry room" because they are too noisy for church but can't be in the nursery). Then we went out to eat with our family with the babies. It may not have been perfect but that's okay because it was great anyway. After being like a prisoner in our home the last four months, the babies and I need this. This week I felt half way normal. We may never forget where we've been, it may follow us all our days but we need to live just the same. I can't protect them from everything and no matter how much I worry I can't control their development. Life is for living and that's what I want for us, even if that just means getting up out of bed and delighting in whatever it is ahead of us that day (as Heather discusses here) or getting out of the house for a few minutes a week, at least until flu season returns ;-)! Thank you Lord for this day, Thank you Lord for these children, Thank you Lord for sending us your Son so that we might live.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you." Jeremiah 29:11-12

Friday, June 22, 2007

Lil' Sluggers


Thanks Aunt Dana & Uncle Shawn for our cute outfits!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Conquering Fears

I was scheduled to have a sitter today so I could go out to eat with my sister but my sitter was unable to make it at the last minute. Dana was feeling really brave and convinced me to take the boys with us. I've always been too scared to take the boys to a restaurant before, not only due to the germs but because I didn't want to be that lady with the screaming babies ruining the dining experience of everyone around them. But it was an off time of day and I knew that eventually I was going to have to get over my fears and leave the house and if I'm ever going to get out I need to do it while it's not flu/rsv seasons.

So off we went to On the Border with the boys in tow and much to my surprise they were really good and I didn't even have to get them out of their carriers the entire time. There were hardly any people there, so that was a relief, and we were able to enjoy our entire meals. The boys and I had a great time getting out of the monotony of our house for a while. Other than their baptism and the airport this was one of their only times in pubic, weird considering they are almost 7 months old. I think they enjoyed the new sights and sounds.


Home again, What good boys!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy First Father's Day

Happy 1st Father's Day Kenny!! You are such a wonderful daddy to our boys and we all love you very much! Thanks for all that you do for us!

This is an old picture but one of my favorites!

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to the very special dads in our lives. We are the people we are today in large part because of your love, guidance, and support.
We love you=-).

Lindsey & her Daddy

Kenny & his Daddy

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Prayers

Please pray for the family of Bennett. We were blessed to meet Bennett and his family during our time in the NICU. Bennett passed away after complications from his prematurity. He was 6 months old just like my boys. His twin sister was pod-mates with Adam. Bennett was a beautiful baby who was a brave fighter and was very loved by his family.

Today I hold my babies even tighter and Praise God to have them in my arms another day.

Lil' Tigers

The boys celebrated their Bolline Louisiana heritage by wearing the LSU Tiger outfits their Great Aunt & Uncle Bolline gave to them, which was perfect since they came to visit their Grandpa, an LSU grad. We are having a fun time here at Grandma and Grandpa's. Grandma is taking very good care of all of us and we are getting to eat some yummy food. If only Aunt Amy & Uncle Steve were here too, we miss them!


"Wus up, dawg?"


Enjoying some Grandpa time

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Eating Woes

The boys are having some major reflux issues lately. It's heartbreaking really, they are hungry and want to eat but after about an ounce they throw their heads back in pain, scream, and refuse to eat any more. Then another 45 minutes later they are still hungry and want to eat again and so the cycle repeats itself.

After consulting the pedi all week we went in this morning for a quick check up. In general they look very good (lungs, eyes, ears) but their weight gain is minimal due to them not being able to eat. We tweaked their reflux meds earlier in the week but it doesn't seem to be helping yet.

Thank goodness they are eating solids so well or I'd worry they were starving. At least they aren't losing weight but they really need to be putting more on. This is very upsetting for me as their mama, it's my job to make sure they are growing and healthy and I feel so helpless. We are meeting with the nutritionist next week but over the phone she wasn't very helpful yet. Her advice was to feed them more ounces in a day but all I do all day is offer them bottles. You can't force the milk down their throats, I pray things will improve soon for their sakes, poor little guys.

If there is anything that breaks my heart it's hungry babies that are hurting.