Thursday, February 28, 2008

It still stings

I am well aware that I'm not immune from saying stupid things but never the less that doesn't make it any easier when people say things to me that strike right to the core.

Recently I ran into someone that I hadn't seen in a long time and they wanted to know about the boys, who happened to be with me and I told them their age and then when I get that funny look I then tell their adjusted age and explain that they were premature. I used to get this comment a lot and it really bothered me but even now it still stings. "You are SO lucky they came early, you didn't have to get all huge and gross". If there was absolutely one comment you should refrain from saying to the mother of a preemie, that would be it.

Lucky?? Someone explain that to me please. Lucky that I got to spend 4 weeks in the hospital? Lucky that I almost died from a pulmonary edema? Lucky that I got to watch my babies being sustained fully by mechanical ventilation for weeks? Lucky that I spent 3.5 months away from my home, my husband, and my family? Lucky that my kids came home from the hospital with tanks and monitors? Lucky that I get to watch my babies scream every month when they get an RSV shot in each leg?

Believe me, I certainly did not feel lucky last night when I could not sleep after watching a show about 26 week sextuplets that just started kindergarten and although they had appeared to be doing quite well up until entering school but once tested 5 out of 6 were placed in special education classes. I'm sure their mother didn't feel lucky they came early either.

I would love for someone to explain to my son how lucky he is that he got to attend 5, yes FIVE different therapy sessions this week. And although he has the BEST attitude imaginable and works SO SO hard at 15 months old he is still functioning at an 8-9 month level in his gross motor skills. How lucky is that exactly?

And as far as not getting huge and gross just because my babies totalled less than 4 pounds together? Not exactly lucky there either, due to polyhydramnios I was very big from the beginning, I had to wear maternity clothes from 8 weeks on and could barely walk around due to back pain prior to going into labor.

Believe me, I would have given ANYTHING to be able to carry these babies to term. I would have gladly spent months in the hospital, accepted thousands of permanent stretch marks, labored unmedicated for days if it meant I could ensure a safe birth for these babies. And comments like these only further show me how badly mislead the public is about the reality of premature birth and further instills the guilt that us moms feel that our bodies failed our babies.

No, not lucky at all. But I am incredibly blessed to be the mother of two amazing and beautiful little warriors who are blessed to have survived such a tragic birth experience. And for that I Praise God!

Exhale out . . . . I feel better now ;-), sorry to vent!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

My Little Fishy

Today was Andrew's first aquatic therapy session and it was GREAT!! He is so happy in the water and he did lots of kicking and splashing around with his therapist. It was such a success they recomended going once a week instead of every other week like originally planned. I can't wait to see what this will do for him, if anything it's good exercise and he's having a blast.

In other news I've been so excited with the boys latest trick. They are both clapping their hands on command, meaning they understand what the word means without me prompting. It's really cool to know they are picking up on words, so smart!!

Cool Tip: If you haven't already, you should consider joining Ebates. It's a free service that pays you cashback to shop at your favorite online sites. I've already earned a nice chunk of change on purchases I was planning to make anyway. If you sign up from my link, you and I both will get $5 in our accounts, win-win for everyone!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Catching Up

We've been playing catch up all week on our therapies and such. Both boys are doing really well and I wanted to document what they've each been up to:

Adam
You may remember that Adam finally got his first tooth recently, well a week or two ago he got his second bottom tooth and then today I noticed that he's working on his first top tooth. This is the first time teething has really bothered him much and has been quite pathetic all day, poor guy! Adam has done so well in the last few months since we added outpatient rehab, when we started he was about 2.5 months behind his corrected age but now he is developmentally on track. They may drop his rehab for a while since he's doing so well. Just in the last day or two he's started letting go and free standing as long as 10 seconds at a time. He seems to improve his balance everyday. He has his 6 month reevaluation in physical and occupational therapy next week. We are working on self feeding and getting rid of the baby foods and just eating table foods. I think he's a bit lazy and likes to be spoon fed instead of self feeding but we are working on it and he actually fed him self from a fork! Next week he is getting his first speech evaluation and may begin speech therapy depending on the results. It's amazing to me how he went from sitting in one place for so long to crawling, pulling up, cruising, and now standing in such a short period of time.

Andrew
I thought a while back that Andrew was getting his first top tooth but now I don't see any sign of it so he just has the two on bottom. Beginning next week Andrew will start aquatic therapy every other week at the hospital's outpatient rehab center. He loves the water and so I'm really excited about this and hope it will help awaken all his muscles as well as give him lots of sensory input. We've set some big goals for him at therapy that we are focusing on right now and that he will need to master before he will be able to work towards walking someday. These are: to get in to sitting and to crawl on all fours. He is finally getting out of sitting but getting into it is quite a challenge. Proper crawling is also difficult as he has weakness in his left side and so he uses his inch worm drag method which is quite efficient for him but holding him back in his development. Andrew is also scheduled to get a speech evaluation and may begin therapy but at the very least he is going to get more aggressive feeding therapy as it appears he has a behavioral feeding disorder. He is also going to have a swallow study done to make sure he's not aspirating milk into his lungs. The last several months he's had these episodes after drinking where he has like a croup attack until he throws up over and over. I'm not sure what can be done but if he is aspirating it could be dangerous and result in pneumonia and other lung issues. Please pray for these things, he is doing so well in some areas and other areas are more difficult for him. He continues to work on pulling up and although he doesn't go about it using your typical methods, he has still made a lot of progress in the recent days!

Monday, February 18, 2008

You would've thought Kenny won the lottery . . .

. . . . . by the sound of his voice and the look on his face!

This morning I took the boys to the library for Babies & Books and when we got home they took a nap. Kenny came through about lunchtime and we could hear Andrew babbling in the nursery so he decided to peek in on him. Suddenly he screamed "Lindsey, get in here quick!" At first I was frightened by the tone of urgency in his voice but when I entered the room and was greeted by the sight of my precious baby boy standing up in his crib after pulling up on his own for the very first time, I too was overjoyed and immediately ran to grab the camera and record this big moment in our son's life.

You see, what might be a special moment for any other child is monumental for Andrew and is a moment to Praise God for His infinite goodness and love in our son's life, manifested in even the smallest accomplishments and for the many obstacles he has overcome. After seeing him struggle with muscle weakness and weight bearing lately his frustration was becoming more and more apparent but instead of giving up he kept at it until he reached his goal. (Of course Kenny then got the pleasure of lowering down Andrew's crib so he won't topple out.)

We are so proud of you Big Drew!!




"I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me"
Philippians 4:13

How to Pray for a Micro-Preemie

I like to pray very specifically for my preemie friends and so I wanted to share some important things you can pray for if you'd like:
  • protection of the brain from bleeding and pvl
  • protection against infections (Very Important!)
  • rapid growth of lung tissue and ability to breathe unassisted over time
  • closure of the ductus near the heart
  • protection and function of every organ especially intestines, liver, kidneys, eyes, ears, heart, lungs/airway, brain
  • stability of blood pressure and blood sugars
  • protection against NEC, bowel obstructions/perforations, that the body can digest food properly and at increased volumes over time
  • pray that the child is protected from the stress & pain that the NICU environment assaults on a fragile and immature central nervous system
  • Strength & Comfort for family, having a child in critical care is stressful beyond anything imaginable
  • prayers for the nurses, doctors, & respiratory therapists caring for the child

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. Romans 8:26-27

Prayers for Chloe

Chloe (http://www.chloeceleste.com/) is the granddaughter of some of our dear friends within our church family. She was born on Valentine's Day weighing just under 1 lb 7oz at only 24 weeks 1 day gestation.

Please keep Chloe and her family in your prayers!

"Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength." Is. 40:28-29:

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Adam's Day!!

One year ago today, Adam came home from the NICU on his 79th day of life. Our family was together at last. There could never be another like Adam, he has such a passion for life and we are so blessed to have him in ours. Oh how I love to kiss those precious cheeks and look into those pale blue eyes. Baby Boy, my little Chubba Bubba, I love you SO very much and I am so proud of you!!

Adam Now

Adam Then (Look how tiny!)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Winter Blast


Our fun in the snow is coming to an end. After my folks left on Wednesday several of our friends joined us for a few days. We've had an awesome time and I have tons of photos to post but only have time to add these two for now. We've had amazing weather and the snowy views have been stunning. Thanks everyone for coming, we had a blast! Tomorrow we fly home and then it's back into our normal routine!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Prayer Request

Please pray for baby Chloe.

I don't know a lot of details yet but she was born very very early and is in the NICU.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Homecoming Day!

Today is the One Year Anniversary of Andrew's Homecoming from the NICU. What a miracle he is, I simply cannot imagine life without him in it. I love you Big Drew, you are my hero!

Valentine's Day 2008

Valentine's Day 2007

Happy Happy Happy Birthday!!


Jaded Idol

I confess, I'm a fan of American Idol. It is one of the few shows out there that I never miss an episode of and so I was really excited to watch the new season. However I must say I'm a bit dissapointed after reading this article that reveals that most all of the top 24 are not undiscovered amatuers afterall but were planted by industry insiders. That's irritating to me as I'm sure it is for all the hundreds of thousands of people that auditioned thinking they had a fair shot of making it.

One cool thing though is there is an Aggie in the top 24, Jason Castro, the guy with the messy dred locks, is actually a student at A&M though he's probably not enrolled this semester due to taping Idol.

I'm sure I'll still watch it every week and have my favorites but I must admit that the fun has been a little spoiled by knowing the backgrounds of the contestants.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Photos from a Fun Day!


























Today we had a full day of fun from the library to the slopes and back. The Vail library has an awesome children's room with lots of toys overlooking the snowy forest and the boys had so much fun! The boys rode in the sled and Adam was not a fan. Granny and I went skiing while the guys hung out this afternoon. The snow and the weather was perfect!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Let it snow!!!

Today the snow was really coming down! So instead of skiing we went outlet shopping, very fun! Here is a pic of daddy & the boys making a Target run during a white out. I had some good pics of us outside but my camera battery died and I couldnt upload them.

This is a picture of the mysterious rash on Adam's back and belly. It's pretty gross but doesn't seem to be bothering him fortunately. It appeared yesterday afternoon right when we got here and seems to have gotten a little worse today. I've been slathering him with Aquafor whenever I get the opportunity. Poor guy, I hope it goes away soon!

Tomorrow morning Granny & I are hoping to get an early enough start to take the boys to the local library for storytime and then Kenny is going to watch the boys in the afternoon so I can do a little skiing with my folks before they depart on Wednesday.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

We made it!

We made it safely to to Colorado and the boys were wonderful on the plane. Thanks to all the extra miles we've earned this year (twins are expensive!) we were able upgrade and fly first class up here today for free. It was AWESOME! We had more room that we knew what to do with and it made travelling with the babies so much easier. The weather up here is gorgeous and we are looking forward to a fun week.

Photos from our day:

The stroller wouldn't fit in the airport parking bus so they set it up on the seats
I really let my guard down and let Andrew, who was has been quite squirmy lately, play on the floor during the flight because we had so much room and the plane appeared to be very clean

Showing off all our leg room:


Adam wonders where the ground went

Watching some in flight entertainment

Beautiful Rocky Mountains!

The boys got to take a quick dip in the hot tub and they loved it!