Monday, February 28, 2005

A Good Quote

I love this quote and feel like it applies very much to motherhood (just substitute "woman" for "man" where appropriate:))

The Man In The Arena

"It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly...who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who have never known neither victory nor defeat."

Teddy Roosevelt

Friday, February 25, 2005

Good News

First of all, I really want to say "hi" and "thank you" to my CO friends at GCPS for the thoughtful card they sent. It really brightened up my day on a day I really needed it. Thank You!

We had a really good visit with the pediatrician today. The best news is that the girls KPhos, calcium, and phosphorus levels are good and we can discontinue the TCP powder. Yay, no more medicine! We are continuing to fortify their breastmilk to 27 cal using formula (1.5 tsp/3 oz.), and they take a multivitamin with iron, but that's it for now. Other good news, today Holland weighed in at 10 lbs 8 oz, and Eden at 10 lbs 3 oz. We did try to feed them a lot over the past two days, but I am sure the difference from Wednesday has more to do with using two different scales than with actual weight gain. We have used their weights from the pediatrician's office since they came home (and we like them better), so we're sticking with them. Their doctor was satisfied with the weight gain, and says that it is okay for us to feed them when they are hungry, and let them sleep when they are tired. I feel so relieved that I don't have to try to force feed anymore! He says that it is not uncommon for babies to eat in spurts (corresponding to growth spurts), and that babies often go through a fussy eating stage around 4 months. So, I guess Eden will just eat when she feels she needs to.

I've been hesitant to discuss sleeping patterns because I don't want to jinx myself, but it seems I may have some future great sleepers on my hands. I put both girls down to bed in the portacrib in our bedroom around 9-9:30 at night. They are able to fall asleep on their own, and lately haven't been waking up until around 5 or 6am. I get them up and feed them, then they will usually fall asleep for another 2-3 hours. If only I could get myself to bed before midnight...

I partially owe their good sleep habits to Dr. Karp, author of "The Happiest Baby on the Block." Swaddling them tightly at night keeps them from startling themselves awake. If they are not swaddled they wake up frequently and have more trouble getting into a good deep sleep. This is by far the best mommy tip I have learned and will swear by it if anyone asks me for advice!

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Eating Strike

Any advice on how to get a baby to eat when she clearly isn't hungry??? Eden is on an eating strike. She used to eat about 20 ounces a day, but now I have a hard time getting her to eat 15. I tried switching to faster nipples but she is not fooled. She just figures out how to NOT suck on those. She's also given up breastfeeding and will not latch on at all despite all my coaxing. It's so frustrating! Now I have all this added pressure that she is not gaining enough weight. What' s a mommy supposed to do? Help!

Wednesday, February 23, 2005


Will the biggest sis please raise your hand????

Yep, it's official, Holly is the first born AND the biggest. After trailing behind since birth, today she weighed 10 lbs 3.5 oz. In honor of the occasion the girlies wore special outfits and big girl shoes! Eden was 9 lbs 15 oz. We feel confident that by her ped appt on Friday she will also join the 10-lb-club. Especially after all the food we'll be force feeding her over the next two days! Neither of the girls gained as much weight as we were hoping for. And neither of them is ready to come off of the oxygen. The doc doesn't want to see us again for 6 weeks... Bummer... But they sure look awesome in those outfits:)

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Bathing Beauties

On Saturday the girls got their first baths in the big tub with Mommy. They both seemed to love it. I think they liked it more than their baths in the baby tub on the kitchen counter. I might start alternating bath day. That way I'll be sure to get a bath everyday! Regular showers are just one of the many things I have given up since having kids.
Here are some others:

1. Sleeping in
2. Sleeping soundly
3. Shaving my legs
4. Getting out of my PJs
5. Wearing my hair down
6. Going out to dinner
7. Shopping for fun
8. Drinking
9. Going to concerts
10. Having lunch/dinner with my friends
11. Talking on the phone
12. Cleaning my house
13. Going to the movies
14. Working Out!

Oh, the price of Mommyhood... It's not just me is it??? Of course, I do get to do a lot of fun things that I wasn't able to do before. Including taking baths with my babes, smooching their chubby cheeks and necks, cuddling and smelling their sweet baby smells, and watching their faces light up when I walk in the room. It definitely has it's moments. I love them so much it hurts!

Tomorrow is a big day. We're going to the pulminologist to check on the girls oxygen. Keep your fingers crossed that they both do really well. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE if they are both ready to do away with the oxygen. I have high hopes for Holly, a little more unsure about Eden. If they do well, we are really hoping to be able to do the overnight study at home instead staying at the hospital again. Especially since we didn't have a good experience last time with Eden. There's no way that Holland will tolerate sleeping in an oxygen hood and having anything taped on her face. We'd all be so much happier at home! It will be fun to see how much they weigh. They haven't been weighed in 4 weeks. We're really hoping for at least 10.5 pounds. My stomach is in knots. I probably won't sleep a wink tonight...

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Our Little Valentines

I just love these pics of the girls! They look so cute in the dresses Aunt Kimi bought them.

I called the Michigan Ear Institute today and scheduled an appointment for Eden with an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist. The place was highly recommended and they say that they often work with babies. I like the idea of going to a place that specializes in ears & hearing. Our appointment is on March 2nd and I will keep everyone posted on how it goes.

Holland's biggest issue right now continues to be her eczema. She has good days, where it appears to have cleared up pretty good, then bad days when it looks just terrible. One thing that we have discovered is that she is allergic to peanuts, and has a reaction whenever I eat them. This is more than just eczema, it's a red splotchy rash that quickly spreads over her whole face and itches really badly. John is allergic to peanuts too and has a similar reaction over his whole body when her eats large amounts of peanuts. The good news is that as soon as we stop feeding her it starts to clear up! So, as much as I LOVE peanut butter, it is no longer part of my diet.

The babies are still getting 100% breastmilk, although it has been one of the most difficult things I have ever had to do! They each breastfeed about twice a day, and I pump three times a day. It's extremely painful, time consuming, and I absolutely hate it. I've been at it over 6 months, and hope to continue through one year because I know it is the best thing for them. They had such a rough start, I feel like it is one thing I can do to try and make it up to them.

I'm still having trouble dealing with my own feelings regarding the whole hearing loss issue. Mostly I feel really guilty, like everything is my fault, and that my kids will continue to suffer because of me. I'm also very scared. Afraid that I don't know how to be a good parent to a baby who is less than perfect. I also feel guilty and afraid because I brought them into the world, and they may not be happy in their lives. I know logically that these feelings are normal, and to some extent every parent faces them. We've just had it worse than usual... My friend Jessie pointed out something that helped me feel a little better. She said to think of all the kids out there who are perfectly normal, but whose parents do not love them and care for them the way we care for our babies. I hope I can love them enough, and that they will always know how much I love them. I will do anything, whatever it takes, to make them feel loved.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Playing Around

Today was Saturday so John and I spent much of the day playing with the babies trying to make them laugh. Holly laughed out loud at Daddy today while he was tickling her. So Cute!

Eden is in love with her bug toy. It plays a song and it's cheeks light up. She thinks it is so funny:) Every time we hold it up she gets so happy. They are both starting to show more interest in their toys, and playing games. Lots of fun...

Friday, February 11, 2005

Silly Girls

Aren't they so funny??? Eden has become quite a little ham, smiling like this every time I get out the camera. I may have created a monster! Both girls have really been into The Itsy Bitsy Spider, Pat a Cake, and the ABC song in sign language lately. And today Eden decided that the "Mommy's gonna get you" game is VERY funny. She had huge smiles every time I tried to eat her ears and belly. Holland still looks at me like I've gone crazy:)

In other news...we had an appointment with an audiologist for Eden on Tuesday. If you all remember, she failed her hearing screen in the hospital, and had a follow-up appt before leaving the NICU. At that appt they weren't getting a good response on the test and wanted to give her some time to grow and see her again in 3 months. Well, we didn't get the good news that we were hoping for. It's looking like she has moderate to severe hearing loss in both ears in the high frequencies tested. The audiologist wasn't able to test the lower frequencies because Eden wasn't asleep enough. We're REALLY hoping that she has SOME hearing because then she will benefit from hearing aides, and because we caught it early, should be able to develop normal speech and language. We have another appointment next month to do more thorough diagnostic testing and possibly have her fitted for hearing aides. I wish we didn't have to wait because I am feeling extremely stressed and overwhelmed. Everything I have read says the earlier the better, so I am ready to do something NOW.

Monday, February 07, 2005

March of Dimes

The March of Dimes has a program called "Banding Together" that is committed to fighting prematurity. We have created bands in honor of Holland and Eden. You can see them at:

Holland Mirabell
Eden Deanna

If anyone is interested in donating money to an amazing and important cause, please do so with our babies in mind!

Friday, February 04, 2005

Baby Massage

I am way overdue for an update! I've been home alone with the babies a lot this week, so it's been kinda hard to find time. They are keeping me quite busy...imagine that. So, I'll touch on the most important points from the past week. Daddy gave both babies massages and they loved it. Research shows that preemies who get massaged grow faster than those who don't, so we're going to start massaging them as often as we can. Plus it's just FUN!

The rash on Holland's face, that started as a reaction to the tape, has evolved into full blown eczema and has spread over her whole face, as well as her arms and legs. It itches her terribly and she has figured out how to scratch, so we have to keep mittens on her, along with swaddling her arms in a blankie so she won't mess with it and make it worse. I've spent a lot of time researching and experimenting with different things to help her. What works??? Slathering her in Eucerin three times a day to keep it moisturized, wearing a t-shirt only, especially at night so she doesn't get too hot and sweat, and 1/2% hydrocortizone when it's gets especially red and itchy. And absolutely no tape or bandaids anywhere. It has looked pretty good for the past couple of days and I really hope it stays that way. Holland's cannula has actually been staying in pretty good without the tape. We just have it hooked behind her ears with the slidey thing in the back taped to keep it snug.

I've also done a lot of research regarding Eden's little spells. I don't know if I found the answer, or if they just stopped on their own, but I read something about Calcium and Phosphorus levels possibly causing seizures, so we discontinued her TCP (Tribasic Calcium Phosphorus) for a week and she stopped having spells. We started it back on Monday and they might be coming back. The past couple of nights John and I have noticed a couple little ones at night. They are shorter in duration, only happen when she is waking up, and we can stop them by changing her position, so they are not as scary as before. I'll have to check with the pediatrician to see what he thinks we should do. She definitely still needs calcium supplementation for her bones, so maybe we will switch to something different (like the calcium carbonate she was on before).

On a less "medical" note, both girls are really doing well. They are super cute and their personalities are really developing. Holly is a little fireball with a lot of energy. She is quick to flash her quirky grin and loves talking to mom and dad. Eden is a really sweet calm baby who loves to be held. She wakes up in a good mood in the morning with big smiles for Mom. In this picture Eden is looking a little perplexed because her sister keeps bopping her in the face.