Wednesday, March 30, 2005

All Dressed Up With Nowhere to Go

My cousin Shirley made these dresses for the girls and I totally LOVE them. We saved them to wear as their Easter dresses. Originally, when the girls left the NICU, I had planned that the girls would be off their oxygen and we would go to Grandma's house for Easter dinner on Saturday. It was gonna be their big Easter debut. Unfortunately it didn't work out because they are still on oxygen, so we decided that instead we would just go to my mom's house on Sunday for dinner.

We got up and took baths while daddy took a nap (he was tired from his show the night before) and got all dressed up in our Easter clothes. Then, about an hour before we planned to leave my sister called to say she was we didn't get to go anywhere for Easter afterall. Maybe it was horomones, or weeks and weeks of isolation and being in my house, but I was really bummed and spent the evening crying and taking my frustration out on my poor tired husband. Luckily he loves me anyway.

Everyone at our house ended up crabby on Easter, so we didn't get a chance to get any good pics of the girls. Today I got them dressed back up so I could get some cute pics to post. So, here are their Easter pics, a little late but definitely worth the wait! And I am over the Easter fiasco. The nice weather this week has been helpful. On Monday we went for a walk with Nana and Papa to Panera for lunch, and on Tuesday we walked to Target with Aunt Lizzie. Their first of many Target trips I am sure. This weekend Aunt Jessie and Aidan are coming to stay the weekend and I am SO excited. It will be the first time the girls get to meet their buddy Aidan. He doesn't have to decide now which he will marry. He can take his time and decide later:) Jessie promised to keep Aidan home for the rest of the week to make sure he doesn't get sick before Friday.

Next week we have a couple of important appointments. Wednesday we are taking Eden to Children's Hospital in Detroit for her sedated hearing test. Friday both girls have appointments with the pulmonologist to check their oxygen sats to see if them might be ready to come off oxygen. I'll try not to get my hopes up this time...yeah right.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Seriously Cute

The babies had an appointment yesterday with the pediatrician for their last RSV shot. Holly now weighs 11 pounds 9 ounces, and Eden weighs 10 pounds 12 ounces. Holland is almost a pound up on her sis! She is such a good eater, eating 5 ounces every 3-4 hours during the day and nursing once during the night. We're working on getting Eden up to 4.5 on a consistent basis. Eden went on a nursing strike for almost a month, showing strong preference for the bottle over mom, until a couple of weeks ago, when she suddenly decided that she would love to nurse again:) So they are both back to nursing once during the night, and occasionally for comfort during the day.

Just as I feared, I may have spoken too soon about the girls sleeping through the night. Now it seems that we have good nights and bad nights. I define a good night as going to bed easily at 9 and not waking to eat until 5, then going back to sleep until around 8. A bad night is any night that they wake up more than once, or even worse fuss all night. Eden and Holland each had a bad night this week. Holland sometimes has trouble because she is itchy and wakes up often during the night trying to scratch. Eden is obsessively sucking and putting her hands in her mouth, so she sometimes has trouble sleeping if her hand comes out of the blanket because she keeps wanting to suck on it. She'll get up to nurse for a few minutes, fall back to sleep, then wake up again in an hour and do it again. This routine was getting really old, so I started just wrapping her back in her blanket and putting her back down. If she wakes up after 3, I try to get her to nurse for a full 20 min. That way she won't wake up again for 3-4 hours.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Little Elves

Thank you, thank you, thank you Aunt Jessie and Aidan for the adorable sweaters. They look so cute in them I could just cry! Today we finally got a nice dose of fresh air and sunshine. Certainly helps to boost your spirits, doesn't it?

Monday, March 21, 2005

The Camera

Looking at pictures of my girls, the casual observer might assume that Eden is "the happy one" and Holland is "the serious one." I feel the need to clarify, lest they be labelled for life, that this is not at all the case. The truth of the matter is that Eden in in love with the camera. Mostly she likes the red lights that flash when our camera is focusing, as well as the flash, and she has begun to anticipate them to the point that she gets the big cheesy grin as soon as we get the camera out. This is quite an endearing quality that Eden posseses, and makes it difficult to actually STOP taking pictures of her!

Holland is all smiles when we talk to her and smiles at Eden when we lay them facing one another. Her aquarium bouncer is also a big hit and gets many grins. She just seems to find the camera more puzzling than amusing. As soon as we get it out she sobers up and just stares at us like we are crazy. No amount of silliness can ellicit a smile when the camera is focused on her. We'll keep trying though, and will post her smiling face again as soon as we can get the shot. Until then, enjoy this picture of Holland wearing her designer patch.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Happy St. Patty's Day

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Today the babies are 4 months old in age adjusted terms. They are still not picking their heads up when they are on their bellys. So, when they say "head up by four months" does that mean when they turn 4 months, or by the end of the fourth month? I'm sure part of the reason is that we don't put them on their bellys much cause they hate it. I know I should not stress about this, because all babies are different and the range of "normal" is so vast, but of course it is in the back of my mind. It is so common for preemies to have developmental delays that it would be really unlikely that they wouldn't have ANY. So, I am not going to worry about it for now, and I am NOT going to compare them against other peoples' babies. I will just give them time, and rejoice in every new step they take.

We had an eye doctor appointment on Wednesday. Eden's eyes are ship shape and she doesn't need another appointment for 8 or 9 months. Holly's vision is also pretty good, and while she is still likely to need glasses for nearsightedness in the future, she doesn't need them yet. She does have one eye that turns in a little more than the other, called strabismus, and we are going to start patching therapy for two hours a day to correct it. I guess other people might be bothered by her patch, but we think it's cute.

(I really did start writing this on St. Patrick's Day, but duty called and I didn't get it posted until Friday)

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Baby Einstein and a Trip Outside

Until this week, Holland and Eden showed no interest in Baby Einstein videos. We tried several times, but they preferred looking at us, the light in our living room, the back of the couch, or the blinds. Over the past week or so I noticed that they were starting to watch tv with me, so I popped in Baby Mozart and arranged them in their Boppys on the floor. They loved it and sat content for a good 20 minutes just watching. They are getting to be such big girls! Holland is 11 pounds 1.5 ounces and Eden is 10 pounds 9 ounces.

Today we finally took our first walk outside. Granted, it was a little cold (37 degrees), but it was sunny and above freezing, so we went for it. The girls really seemed to like it. They were bundled up snug in their carseats. Holly fell asleep, but Eden stayed wide awake with big eyes watching the trees go by. We didn't stay out for long because I worried they would get cold. I guess I didn't need to worry because I checked them out when we got home and they were both sweaty from me over bundling them. I thought both girls seemed really chilled out and happy when we got home. They waited patiently for bottles, and ate well with no fuss. I think it's good for them to occasionally try something different. Sure can't wait until SPRING really shows it's face... We've had such a long cold snowy winter.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Eating Out

We had an appointment at the developmental clinic at U of M yesterday for both girls. This appt was scheduled for us upon leaving the nicu, and is a matter of routine for 24-week preemies to monitor their development in the hopes of identifying any problems early and getting intervention. We spent about 3 1/2 hours there and really liked the doctor. It seemed like the general consensus was "so far, so good." There are a couple of things we will be keeping an eye on, but no significant problems with physical development thus far. We will be mainly be watching for signs of Cerebral Palsy, which can range from very mild, such as slight stiffness in the ankles, to severe. Early intervention, in the form of physical therapy, is very important either way. CP is much more common in preemies than in the general population. We will go to the clinic for a routine series of 5 visits at 4 months, 8 months, 12 months, 18 months, and 24 months. At 24 months the girls will see a psychologist who will do the Bayley Scales of Infant Development. Of course, I mention this because I have given this test before at my job. It will be very interesting to see this from another perpective, as the "parent" rather than the "examiner." The resident doctor did a Bayley Screener yesterday, and my conclusion is that they are pretty much on target for 3 1/2 month olds. We also got new weights, lengths, and head circumferences. Both babies are at the 25th %ile on all three for their corrected age.

Ok, now for the more exciting news... After our appointment John and I fed the babies, then headed to Tuptim (our favorite Thai restaurant in AA) for dinner. We took the babies out to eat!!! It was their first time anywhere other than home or doctors appointments. More than anything, we were nervous about them throwing a fit and how we would handle it:) They did really well, and showed signs that they may just become the future restaurant connoisseurs that we hope they will be. We ran into a couple of John's co-workers who were quite pleased to get a peek at the famous babies they have heard so much about. I was really bummed that we forgot the camera so weren't able to get any pics. The pic above is from this morning, lounging in bed before their afternoon nap. This is one of my favorite times of the day...

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

An Important Milestone

Today was important because the girls have officially been HOME longer than they were in the NICU. They spent 110 days in the NICU and have been home for 111 days! These pictures can give you a good perspective on how much they have grown. The first pic was taken on Nov 18th, the day after they came home, with Eden on the left and Holland on the right.

Monday, March 07, 2005


Doctors have come from distant cities
Just to see me
Stand over my bed
Disbelieving what they're seeing

They say I must be one of the wonders
Of god's own creation
And as far as they can see they can offer
No explanation

O, I believe
Fate smiled and destiny
Laughed as she came to my cradle
Know this child will be able
Laughed as my body she lifted
Know this child will be gifted
With love, with patience and with faith
She'll make her way

Lyrics by Natalie Merchant

Family Fun

My dad celebrated his 61st birthday on Friday. For a gift, we surprised him with a t-shirt, mug, and mousepad with ALL 7 of his grandkids on them. My sisters and their kids were all healthy (a first!), so they came over on Saturday afternoon for a photo shoot. Having them all together for the first time was really fun. I just can't wait until summer when we can get together to play more often. Funny thing is that I was the sick one...and on Saturday night it seemed that both girls might also be getting sick. I called the doctor's office this morning and am taking them in this afternoon for their first sick appointment. They are both a little congested. Holland has been sneezing and coughing more than usual, to the point that she is choking herself. That's what I get for finally leaving the house to go out with my friends... Fortunately, so far they don't really seem to be having trouble breathing, eating, or sleeping, so hopefully it will go away quickly. Enjoy the picture, and I welcome comments on how cute my nieces and nephews are! We'll have another niece or nephew in little brother and his wife are expecting their first:)

Friday, March 04, 2005

Hearing Update

So, Eden had her appointment at the Michigan Ear Institute on Wednesday. Everyone there ooohed and aaahed over how amazingly adorable she is...and of course I agree:) Unfortunately, we didn't get good news. After reviewing the results from previous testing, and attempting some new testing, the doctor says that it looks like her hearing loss is likely in the "severe to profound" range. The first audiologist told us "moderate to severe" so the new diagnosis is worse. To determine if it is "severe" or "profound" she needs another test done under sedation at Children's Hospital in Detroit. The earliest I could schedule this was April 6th. If the loss is severe, we will try hearing aids and see if she gets any benefit from them. If it is profound and she has NO hearing, she will not benefit from hearing aids, and would need a cochlear implant after she turns 1.

These pics were taken yesterday. We bought a new baby scale so we can weigh them between doctor appointments. Holland's new offical weight is 10 lbs 10 ounces, and Eden is 10 pounds 4 ounces.