Friday, September 28, 2007

So cute!


"Out take photo"



I meant to post these the other day



Update

Reagan helps Adam with his "feeding therapy".
I know what you're thinking, "Adam needs feeding therapy? Look at those cheeks!" Both boys are supposed to spend time everyday playing with different textures of foods with their hands. It's more for sensory exposure and practicing with their hands. Whether any food ends up in their mouths is not the point just a bonus ;-).




I just got a call from the pediatrician's office and the kidney x-rays and ultrasounds both look totally normal!!! Yay, another bullet dodged! They said they each had a likelyhood of 50% of having issues so it's really great that neither of them does! We can now check kidneys off the list and eliminate that potential surgery. I've had a lifetime of issues due to this, including spending the last night of my honeymoon in Maui Memorial Hospital with a severe kidney infection. I'm hoping this means they won't ever have to deal with anything like I've had to over the years with regards to this, I can't tell you how happy that would make me.

Monday we have two appointments, another helmet adjustment followed by our 6 month eye follow up exam. I'm not anticipating to have any trouble with their eyes, neither baby shows any sign of tracking issues, crossed eyes, lazy eyes, or eyes turning in. These are all common preemie issues that we seem to be avoiding so far.

In milestone news I forgot to mention that both babies have finally found their feet this month. Andrew found his first followed by Adam a week or so later. I think Adam had a hard time reaching his because his big belly was in the way ;-).

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Twins & Triplets, Oh My!!

On Monday we had a very special lunch date with the Guinn Triplets!! Even before I ever "met" them in the blogisphere they were providing me with lots of hope and encouragement and they didn't even know it. You see they were cared for in the same NICU as Adam & Andrew, several months before us. Since we were there during the Christmas holidays the NICU was decorated with all the Christmas cards sent in by NICU grads. Well Lauren, Logan, & Lathan's healthy & happy faces greeted me everyday right when I entered the NICU. I even pointed them out to family members because they were SO adorable. Well sometime later I randomly stumbled across their blog and immediately recognized them, our friendship was "meant to be" I guess. Their mom Stephanie offered me lots of encouragement and wisdom during the rest of our NICU stay and we've followed each other's familes ever since then.

Well we finally got the opportunity to meet in the "real" world and what fun we had! Her little miracles are doing fantastic, you'd never know they came early. It's so encouraging to see a NICU success story and also to see how much fun we have to look forward to as ours grow up and do new things. What great kids they are! I was so impressed with their brave mommy who brought them all by herself without any extra help so of course I had all kinds of questions for her on how she does it all. I can't wait to get together with them again!!

Logan, Stephanie, Lathan, Lauren, Andrew, Me & Adam

Triplets & Twins!

They also delivered us our cool shirts from Missy Moo's Baby Boutique
Check us out!


Developmental Appt

The boys and I have to be at the hospital for x-rays at 7:30 am so I'm typing in a hurry to get off to bed. Our appt today went well. When they do a developmental analysis of them they are comparing them to the milestones for their adjusted age, meaning 6 months rather than their actual age of almost 10 months. Once they are 2 years old, I believe they will do away with adjusted comparisons and only look at actual age. No major surprises and of course no crystal ball for the future. Overall he was pleased with their progress. Here's what he said about each boy:

Adam
  • excellent fine motor skills (great use of hands)
  • mixed gross motor skills (great at sitting but not rolling yet)
  • mild speech delayed (not making enough consenant sounds or imitations)
  • mildly increased tone in left leg ("toe" standing/not flexing ankle)
  • excellent social skills, eye contact, interaction

Andrew

  • delayed fine motor skills (favors right hand, uses immature grasping techniques)
  • excellent speech (lots of preverbal babbling & sounds but hoping he'll imitate more)
  • mixed gross motor skills (good rolling but not sitting)
  • all muscle tone actually looks good and his delays are more "functional" rather than musculature (his brain is not yet telling his muscles how to react but the muscles are normal)
  • excellent social skills, eye contact, interaction

Interestingly, their weakness and strengths are opposite from each other, where one is lacking the other makes up for it. He feels the delays are very mild at this point and mainly immaturity and "ought" to be outgrown. He advises to continue physical therapy 2x's a month and occupational therapy 2 x's a month. He will see them again in 6 months unless we notice anything "troublesome".

We are pleased with the appointment too, things look about as good as we could hope for at this point, as in that nothing severe is manifesting itself thus far.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Splish Splash, I was takin' a bath . . . .

ADAM




ANDREW




These fun towels were given to us from our friend Carol.
You can get your own by going here.

"I can sit ALL by myself"

I think it's fair to say that Adam is officially sitting completely and consistently unassisted. Way to go Big Guy!!

Wrestle Mania 2007




I LOVE this last photo of Andrew lending Adam a hand!
"What's mine is yours!"

Somebody thinks I'm nice =-)!!


Thanks to Heidi for awarding me the Nice Matters Award!

"This award is for those bloggers who are nice people; good blog friends and those who inspire good feelings and inspiration. Also for those who are a positive influence on our blogging world. Once you’ve been awarded please pass it on to others who you feel are deserving of this award.”

I also think Heidi is not only nice but also very inspirational. Check out her blog as she chronicles her personal journey of faith as they've recently gone from a family of 6 to a family of 11!!

I can't choose only a few to pass the award along to because there are just too many awesome bloggers to choose from as you can see by my sidebar links. So I just want to say a general "Thank You" to all the other bloggers out there that share their unique story and offer encouragement and support to friends in both the "real" world and the online community.

Friday, September 21, 2007

This & That

Things have been so busy lately. We had our physical therapy evaluation today and it went very well. Her assessment was that they are showing some mild delays but more out of immaturity than impairment. The boys will receive in-home pt in addition to their occupational therapy. She gave us some different stretches and pressure massage to do every day along with some different exercises. She noticed some neck asymetry in both probably caused by the plagiocephaly and that it is likely contributing to some of their mild delays.

The very good news is that she feels confident that both of them will be able to walk =-) and likely within a year's time. Andrew has some balance/control issues and trunk weakness that will likely put him walking after Adam but just knowing that in time he will most likely walk is awesome after being initially told in NICU that he might never walk. Praise God. The pt said multiple times that she has seen many babies with similiar histories and that we are very lucky that ours are doing so well, especially Andrew. I told her that many many people had prayed for them and how blessed we are. Thank you for praying!

Next week will be even busier. On Monday we go back for another helmet adjustment. We can see improvement in Adam's head already!! Tuesday we have our major followup appointment with the pediatric developmental specialist at The Children's Learning Institute. I completed the developmental inventory and sent it off to the specialist yesterday. Of course I'm very anxious about what they'll tell us. Both boys seem to have strengths and weaknesses in all different areas. Andrew is very verbal and rolling all around, Adam is sitting very well and great with his hands. It's neat to see how very different they are from each other. Kenny is taking off work to attend the developmental appt with me. I hope the dr echoes the what the pt said and that their delays are immaturity rather than impairment. But either way, we Praise God for these precious little lives we've been chosen to care for.

Then Wednesday we have to be at the hospital at 7:30am for our kidney ultrasounds and xray/dye procedure. Also coming up is our follow up with opthomalogy on Oct 1st to check up on how their eyes are doing.

I hope I can keep track of getting us to the right places on the right days at the right time!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

VISITORS!!!

We had a blast yesterday spending the day with our friends Christie and her daughter Taylor. Christie has been one of my best friends since I was a little girl and we are so glad that she's finally moved back to Texas! We decided to be very brave and went out to lunch just us and the kids, meaning we were outnumbered by the little ones!! But it was a success as we took turns eating and passing around Adam ;-). Thanks for coming to see us!!


That's one full backseat!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Time for a Change . . .

. . . in our helmet designs! This time we decided to go with a general "boy" theme with cute quotes, puppies, a few trucks, and of course lots of blue!

Andrew



Adam



The quotes say:
"All Boy"
"My brother is my best friend"
"Best buds"
"I'm not a mamma's boy, but Boy do I love my mom!"
"Just like Dad"
"Miracle"
"Blessing from above"
"With boys you always know right where you stand. Right in the path of a hurricane."
"Make a joyful noise"
"Delight yourself in the Lord . . ."
"Thank Heavens for little Boys"
The definitions of "Miracle" and "Explore"

Monday, September 17, 2007

Happy Happy Birthday!!

Happy Birthday Rachel!!
Rachel is one of my best friends, my sister-in-law, the boys' aunt, and my life-saving dermatology guardian angel =-).
We love you very much!

Rachel & Andrew in the NICU

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Friday, September 14, 2007

BULL DOG

My dad likes to say that Adam looks more like Kenny, than Kenny looks like Kenny =-). One thing they have in common is being, shall we say, "well fed" babies. In fact, Kenny grew so quickly out of all the infant clothes his parents had a custom t-shirt made for him with BULL DOG printed on the back. Unfortunately I don't have a picture of Kenny in it but today Adam tried it on. Adam's jowls, I mean cheeks, have always reminded me of a Bulldog's so the nickname fits.
I love both my bull dogs!



Out & About

The boys got to spend yesterday in Houston with me because I had a doctor's appt. My appt was right next to Woman's Hospital, being back there just makes me feel icky all over. The boys went to the Galleria for the first time and we had fun shopping the sales and getting some new fall clothes since they are growing out of everything so fast. There was some fussing but overall they are still better shopping companions than their father! We also got to try out our nifty high chair covers, it won't be long before they will be too big for the infant carriers so I figured they better start getting more used to sitting in high chairs. They seem to enjoy being more apart of the action that way.


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

9 Month Check Up



Andrew:
15 lbs 13 oz & 26 1/4" long
(Twice his birth length!!)


Adam:

18 lbs 15 oz & 26 3/4" long
(On the chart in length & weight!!)

We had a great checkup with the local pediatrician today. At our last checkup he was concerned about the boys' growth plateau but this time he was very happy. He even said their weight gain made his day! Andrew grew so much in length that they had to measure him twice and double check last time's numbers to make sure they were right because they couldn't believe it. I guess those stinky multivitamins we've been taking have paid off because their bloodwork looked great and they aren't even slightly anemic.

We have to go back in the beginning of October to get their flu shot and we are also getting Synagis again this year which helps them fight RSV. It's hard to qualify for Synagis because it has a tightly controlled supply and very expensive so I'm glad that it looks like we will be able to get the extra protection again this year. He also agreed that physical therapy will be a good idea but he's not majorly concerned with their progress at this point. Next up will be kidney ultrasounds and a catheter/dye x-ray procedure to check for vesicoureteral reflux. They can blame me for this one though ;-) and not their early birth, I had to have surgery at age 3 for this condition which is often hereditary.

Praise God for Growing Boys!!

Flu & RSV Seasons Are Approaching Already


After discussing scheduling our Flu & RSV shots with the pediatrician today it got me thinking about what our plans are for this upcoming Flu/RSV season. We are supposed to start the shots in October already!! Last season we never left the house except for doctor appts but the boys were still so medically fragile and on oxygen and diuretics. Ever since we started leaving the house over the summer life got so much better for Kenny & I. All those months of hibernating really got to me and the walls were closing in. Though I'm sure we will limit our activities some I don't want to completely hole up like that again.

Lately we've had a lot of encounters with strangers touching the babies before we get a chance to say something. Well today I heard another preemie mom mention this little sign as the best $10 she ever spent and so I've decided to order it and give it a try. Perhaps to some it will be "overzealous" but we were told the boys' lungs won't be caught up until at least age 2 and RSV or Flu could easily land them back in the hospital. So I don't mind at all doing what I can to keep them safer and still have somewhat of a normal life outside these walls, even if that means funny looks from strangers. Oh wait, in our helmets, we get those funny looks anyway ;-)!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Lil' Stinkers

I normally don't spend an excessive amount of time washing my boys' hair because frankly they don't have much ;-). But now at the end of the day when I take their helmets off, it smells like a high school locker room. So I wipe the helmets down with alcohol and lather up their little heads with lots of soap suds. I didn't know babies could make such a gross grownup smell!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Prematurity in the News

Grab a tissue and check out this two part story on a family from Austin and their experience with premature birth.

It's not very often that you see prematurity covered in the media from this perspective including the effects on mental health, marriages, and the reality of caring for a preemie post-NICU.
I think it's important to educate people on the reality of prematurity out of respect for Adam & Andrew and what they've been through along with all the other preemies out there. We preemie moms often hear things like "How fun you had a preemie, they are so tiny and cute with their little clothes", "You are so lucky that you didn't have to experience the 3rd trimester", "How great that you got all that extra time to know your baby", "Don't worry, my friend's baby was 4 weeks early and she's perfectly fine", "You can always just have another baby". I think the majority of the general public (though probably not the readers of this blog) just doesn't "get" it.

(when you open part two it may ask for you to sign up for free, if you don't want to do that you can close the browser and come back here and re-open part 2 and then it will work)

Saturday, September 08, 2007

He Did It!!

Andrew is Officially Rolling Over
from Back to Stomach!!

He'd been getting pretty close the last couple of days and then all morning today he'd roll over as soon as I laid him on his back. Way to go Andrew!! Our occupational therapist will be so proud since we've been working on this one for a while. Hopefully Adam will decide soon that he can do it too, although he hates being on his tummy so he doesn't have much incentive to learn this trick. I'm so proud of you Andrew! Every accomplishment is another opportunity to Praise God!


Also a shout out to Adam for saying "Da Da" several times for the first time today, too bad Da Da wasn't around to hear it himself! Way to go Adam!