Monday, July 30, 2007

Fun Times

The boys had a fantastic time visiting with their Aunt, Uncle & Grandma Bolline! We've missed you all so much, thanks for coming!!






Saturday, July 28, 2007

I love . . .

. . . baby boys in overalls =-)





The boys had a blast sharing the swing at Granny & Pa's playground. It was really cute. I think/hope they will be best buddies with each other. Daddy came home today. We missed him but the boys were VERY good for me while he was away. Thank you boys! Our new sleeping arrangements have worked out well and everyone is getting some sleep. It's amazing how a good night's sleep can make your days so much better!

Friday, July 27, 2007

If you're happy and you know it . . .

. . .then your face will surely show it!!




If I ever advised you not to have children, I take it back ;-). Two months ago I wasn't sure I was cut out for this mommy thing. But then the fog lifted, the blues dissipated, and the boys became real babies and not just newborns anymore. I must admit I'm now having the time of my life. When I hold the boys my heart is just so full of love and joy. I'm so thankful and humbled that I was given the opportunity to be their mama. They are such special boys. When I think about how close I came to not having them in my arms I just can't believe how blessed I am. I can only hope that I can be the mama that they deserve, a mom that loves them sacrificially and above all else teaches them to love Christ with all their hearts. What a big responsibility I've been given!

Sweet Dreams

The boys are just growing up so much. I finally gave in and decided to move them into their own separate cribs tonight. They have shared a bed ever since they were united at home after their NICU stay. Our NICU didn't do co-bedding for multiples like some do. It has always made me sad that the boys were separated for 2.5 months when they should have been together in the womb. I've always wondered if that will effect their twin bond. So I've wanted them to be together since we brought them home to make up for lost time but now they are just too big to both fit in one crib comfortably anymore. I'm also trying Andrew unswaddled tonight since he's been breaking out of it the last several nights. Hopefully he'll still sleep well. Here are some pictures of them all stretched out in their own cribs. The boys and I are on our own tonight and tomorrow night while Kenny is out of town. I hope they'll sleep well for me!




Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Little Men

Adam and Andrew look SO grownup today. I can't believe my eyes. I'm so blessed to have these wonderful little men in my life.
They bring me so much joy.




Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Busy Busy

Sorry that I don't have any cute photos to share today. I was gone all day for a meeting so granny watched them for me, Thanks MOM! The babies are doing really great. They have been sleeping much better lately and have been eating pretty well. Adam eats like he's a bottomless pit and although Andrew is not eating tons, he is eating some so I can't complain too much.

We've made some major progress on our reflux meds over the last several weeks. We are now off our triple cocktail and are only taking Prevacid once a day, that's our only prescription medicine now. AMAZING! It's not so much that their reflux has improved drastically but we did some weaning and realized that their reflux is pretty much the same on and off the Reglan and Bethanecol and the side effects are so bad that the bad outweighs the good. I hope they can continue to stay off these meds, they are doing well right now. They are SO much happier off these drugs, it's been really nice.

It's hard to believe that we've gone from 30 something odd doses of medicines each day down to only one dose a day over the 5 months since they've been home. Praise God!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Quote of the Day

"Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see."
~C.S. Lewis ~

Friday, July 20, 2007

OT Visit

I always look forward to our occupational therapy sessions, with both anxiousness and hope. I know most every new parent is watching their babies development and looking for milestones or signs of delay but for parents of preemies, especially ones that have had intraventricular hemorrhages, this developmental "watching" is so much more heightened and nerve wracking.

I always have a list of concerns or questions lined up to ask our wonderful OT when she visits. She always assesses their development and checks their muscle tone for signs of cerebral palsy. Since Andrew suffered a Grade IV IVH with PVL his odds for cp are something like 80-90% (Adam suffered grade II bilateral bleeds which do increase the risk but most children will recover). I've pretty much dealt with the fact that Andrew would have cp but so far he continues to show no signs. She said that his muscle tone looks good and he is using all his limbs equally and appropriately. He could be stronger in his stomach muscles so we have a few exercises to do but she wasn't too concerned about it. We continue to Praise God for Andrew's current development. Right now he is age appropriate in all areas for his adjusted age. Of course this by no means guarantees that he won't have cp or other issues but it is encouraging.

Adam is also doing very well developmentally. He is quite strong and loves to stand up. No special exercises for him. I've grown increasingly concerned about Adam's skull shape. Often you see kids with the flat heads now from sleeping on their backs. Well Adam's head is sloped from right to left, sort of triangularly. He sleeps with his head turned sharply to the right. I go in every night and try to reposition him with wedges or towels or turn his head manually but he wakes up screaming. So anyway, after discussing with the OT and the pediatrician, Adam is being sent to a neurologist for an assessment for Plagiocephaly. If it is considered severe he will be sent to Houston and fitted with a lovely helmet to reshape his head.

Plagiocephaly is actually very common in preemies. If you think about it, the boys were supposed to spend almost another 3 1/2 months suspended in fluid but instead they were lying flat on their head in the NICU. Preemie skulls are also softer than that of a full term baby and then you add all the breathing contraptions and medical equipment attached to their faces that weighed more than they did and it's understandable that they would develop abnormally.

Anway, I expect to hear from the neurologist next week to set up the appointment. And of course we will still think he's cute, helmet or not ;-).

Thursday, July 19, 2007

So BIG!


The dietician came today for another growth evaluation and the boys both got very good reports! Praise the Lord! Adam is actually getting closer to being "on the chart" (well his big head was already on the chart but now the rest of him is catching up, those big heads run in the family ;-).

Adam 15 1/2 pounds !! 24 1/4 inches

Andrew 13 1/2 pounds & 23 1/2 inches

Adam gained 1 1/2 pounds and Andrew gained 1 pound since their lest weigh in. Way to go boys!!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Good Days


The boys are now 4 months adjusted and it is such a fun age! Since the boys came home several weeks before their due date, the "newborn" period seemed to last forever and now the fun is really beginning. And of course now that it's more fun the days are slipping by. I had to pack away a bunch of their small clothes today and wash all the next size up clothes. It makes me happy and sad at the same time. I just can't believe they are so big. Having two babies at once is sometimes bittersweet knowing that you are watching two childhoods pass you by at the same time. I just wish I had more time to spend one on one with each of them since they are growing up so very fast. My heart just grows bigger for these boys every day. They are such a gift!


Adam was not interested in a group photo.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Battle Wounds

The boys' surgeries have both been scheduled for August 16th at Texas Children's. We could have done it sooner but we wanted to wait for a particular surgeon to be available. They will have bilateral inguinal hernia repairs. They also have umbilical hernias but they may not repair these depending on how well they seem to be closing up on their own, they do seem to be shrinking. Since they are now past 52 weeks gestation and have been off oxygen for a while it will be scheduled as an outpatient procedure.

Since they have to be intubated they will monitor them closely afterwards and will keep them overnight if they have any trouble breathing. But hopefully that won't be an issue and we can come home. I hate for them to have to be intubated again but hopefully I won't have to see it, bad memories. The thought of putting them under general anesthesia makes me nervous considering how young they are but this is a really routine procedure and should go very smoothly.

Just a few more battle scars to add to their collection. They both have scars on their sides from their PDA (patent ductus arteriosus) surgery that they had on their third day of life. They also both have scars from lumbar punctures (spinal taps) on their backs, PIC line scars on their arms, and poor Andrew has about 7 scars on his scalp from that scary night he was battling an infection and it took them hours and multiple attempts to start an IV for a blood transfusion. Oh I almost forgot the scars from the horrendous CPAP machine that tore up Andrew's little nose and scarred Adam's lip. Boy, I sure don't miss those NICU days one bit!!

I don't mind most of the scars though because they are a reminder of God's grace to us. God has been so good to see the boys through so many trials in their short lives. They are such little warriors! Praise God for all he's done for us!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Cute from Any Angle



They are just as cute from behind as they are from in front!
This week we get another visit from the dietician, hope the weight gain has been good. I know Adam's probably has, I had to move him into size 3 diapers! We also have a visit from the occupational therapist to check their progress and muscle tone. I'm also expecting a call tomorrow from the pediatric surgeon's office to schedule the boys' hernia surgeries. It will be nice to get that behind us.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Happy Boy



Granny is making Adam laugh, he's very ticklish!

Daddylove

Kenny is out of town for the weekend and since I'm missing him already I thought I'd take a moment to give him some praise since he's not here to tell me I can't post it on the blog ;-).

I'm not at all afraid to admit that are just certain things that he does better than me when it comes to the boys. For instance, feeding them solids. He is the one that feeds them their dinner every night because he's just plain good at it. He can get them fed so much faster and WAY cleaner than when I do it. I feed them their first meal of the day and it takes forever and sometimes they end up getting a bath because there is usually food EVERYWHERE. How does he do it? I haven't quite figured it out even though I've studied his techniques ;-).

Another thing he does better than me is making them laugh, I'm just not nearly as amusing as he is. I love to watch them interact and how their faces light up when daddy talks to them. It's just so precious and really fills me with joy to see.

Kenny is a very good daddy and he's very involved with the boys, probably even more than he would like to be at times simply because there are two of them and one of me ;-). I'm so grateful that he is my partner in this crazy thing called parenthood and that he is willing to lend a hand when I need him. I'm a blessed mama and a blessed wife.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Sweetness

Ever since we stopped swaddling Adam, this is the way he likes to sleep, he pulls his "lovey" up over his face (ironic because he's using his SIDS safe wearable blanket). I pull it off every chance I get but he usually has it back over his face next time I go in there.


Andrew still loves to be all swaddled up, he's such a good sleeper!

Today we went to Lauren & Blake's and enjoyed trying out their toys.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Just Sittin' Around

Here are the boys practicing sitting unassisted. You have to be quick with the camera because they topple over pretty quickly.

Andrew

Adam

Ranch Day

We had a blast spending yesterday at the ranch with family. We went swimming and then we took the boys on their first boat ride. You can tell they are Kenny's sons because they LOVED the boat and being on the lake. Finally a clear sunny day!



The girls fish with Pa



The "big" boys playing ball together

Soy Far, Soy Good

Thanks everyone for their prayers for the boys. The last two days have been a lot better. Adam continues to be more cheerful off the Reglan and is eating pretty well most of the time (if karo syrup is invloved). I've finally accepted that I won't be able to get the boys on the same formula. It just goes to show how much of little individuals they really are with their own individual needs and preferences. It does complicate things but if they are both eating better it's more than worth it. We've revisited a soy formula with Andrew and this time he is taking it better than anything else (as long as it has the karo), still not up to where he needs to be but at least he's eating some!

We've had two nights in a row of good sleeping, keep it up boys!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Capturing the Moment

I wish there was some way to capture a particular moment in time and bottle it up to relive it again and again. Just now I was rocking Adam and feeding him a bottle in his sleep. He was so peaceful, so content. He was stroking my palm with his soft little hand as if he was trying to tell me he knew he was with mama and he was feeling the happiness too. In the blink of an eye he will be all grown up and I'll wish there was a way to be back in that very moment, holding one of my sweet baby boys, enjoying his lovely baby scent, kissing the most adorable chubby cheeks there ever were. I never want to forget what that feels like, all that baby softness, it makes my heart so full.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Ramblings

Today Adam was happier than I've ever seen him, I almost fear typing that because I don't want him to find out and turn on me ;-). This did a world of good for me too as having an upset baby just twists me up on the inside. We'd had some rough days/nights with him lately and decided to attempt to take him off Reglan, one of his reflux meds and see if his mood improves. Reglan has some pretty bad side effects (I know personally, more on that below). Please pray he can tolerate this change in the reflux medicine cocktail that he's been on. He is now spitting up more but he doesn't seem to be hurting and I think I'll trade the spit up for his improved demeanor so long as he's not in pain.

Andrew is still not eating. The doctor/dietician are not worried because of the weight gain but it's easy for them to say that, they are not the ones wrestling with a hungry baby that screams when you try to feed him all day. We'd like to take Andrew off the Reglan too but since he's having so many eating issues I'm not sure he can tolerate any additional challenges.

Six weeks ago we didn't know how good we had it. Babies that were eating decently and sleeping through the night. What ever happened to them is beyond our comprehension but there's nothing we can do about it but move forward. We are so very grateful for their good health and weight gain.

After almost 7 months of pumping and providing breastmilk to the babies I had to give it up. It was an emotional step for me to stop but I had lost my supply and was spending 45 minutes, 5 times a day pumping and it just wasn't worth the time I was sacrificing for it. When the babies were still in the hospital I had great production but somewhere in the midst of them coming home, perhaps from the stress, my production took a nose dive. So I had been prescribed Reglan a few months back to increase production but then learned the hard way that this medication has some really bad side effects, for me it was mainly extreme anxiety and fatigue. Once I stopped taking it, my supply became non-existent.

Anyway, all that to say we are having a very difficult time choosing a formula. I still have quite a bit of frozen milk but since they were not eating it that well either I want to get them eating something consistently before we use that all up. Please pray we can get this figured out. They usually like a formula the first time they try it and then refuse it the next time or projectile vomit it all over everything, that's fun. They have extremely sensitive tummies but have extremely picky taste. I never knew feeding your infant could be this challenging.

Sorry to ramble, just wanted to update you on the boys since people often ask how they can pray for us. I know there are so many others with bigger daily struggles right now in need of prayers and our boys are no longer struggling with life & death issues but if you feel inclined to pray for Andrew & Adam, we do greatly appreciate your prayers. Deeper than you know, we are so grateful.

Today Adam laughed and laughed, it was marvelous!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Summer Days

Today the boys went swimming for the first time. They weren't quite sure what to think at first but over all they seemed to enjoy it and they looked very cute!




Adam looks SO grownup in this picture. What a big boy!

Monday, July 02, 2007

The shirt says it all . . . .


Doesn't Adam look good in green?? He's so cute!