Sunday, August 30, 2009

Oh the places we will go!

So for our SUPER productive Sunday...

I should start with Brent's parents popping in for a quick visit. They came on Saturday afternoon so that Brent and I could go on a dinner date together. Although I was panic stricken at the thought of leaving my little ones in the perfectly capable hands of their grandparents for little more than an hour, I did have a wonderful time reconnecting with my long lost hubby. Brent pulled a favor from a friend and got us into a very nice restaurant here in town complete with fantastic wine and and even better view. The nasty weather cleared just after we were seated and we could see a beautiful rainbow as the sun was going down. The babies were (of course) just fine when we returned home - fed and just about sleeping. Pops even had a little chat with David about his night fits and they had made a deal that he would no longer keep me up all night - that he would sleep for at least a few hours. Ha - much to my surprise, it worked as David slept quite well between feedings last night other than a 2 hour period where Brent sat up and rocked him. So, perfect company, delicious food, lovely wine AND a few winks of sleep?! What a spoiled girl I am.

Also on Saturday - a good friend of mine dropped by with her husband and son. She had her little one a few weeks - mabe even a month after the triplets were born. Ha - he's 18 pounds - and just amazing next to our 2. We had a quick but nice visit. It was so good to meet her little one and see her and her hubby for a few minutes!

Today I woke up planning to conquer grocery shopping on a budget. I collected a few coupons for the few packaged items we needed and set off on a mission to stick to my list of items which included the planned list of meals for the week. I started cooking 3 or so things on Sundays that can either be put in the freezer or just would last a few days for us so that I don't have to worry about planning meals during the week and there is no temptation to just pick up something quick in lieu of cooking. It seems to be working so far - I've done it for the last 3 Sundays including today. Anyhow, shopping with coupons is time consuming but rather fun. I save $11.00 on items we would have bought anyhow - so it works for me! The reason I don't typically shop with coupons? We eat tons of produce in this house - and there usually aren't any coupon offers for produce. However, there are coupons for things like diapers, cereal and cleaning products. So we are saving where we can.

When I got home, Brent actually took over the cooking (chicken salad - because I'm absolutely obsessed with it - and from the stock, potato soup) That was it for today - I have prepped things for the veg / turkey spaghetti and we have all of the items for chicken fajitas for later on this week.

THEN, we tried the babies in the stroller again - and by golly - they FIT!!!! Oh I was so excited! Really - the feeling of knowing that I can actually take them out of the house for a simple walk is suck a relief. They can hold their heads up well enough now to safely go for a ride and they are just barely tall enough to fit in the smallest setting on the harnesses - and David LOVES being outside! (Mary Louise on the other hand seems to be able to take it or leave it. ) Anyhow, Brent and I took the babies to the state park again, strapped them in, and Brent went for his run while I took the little ones for a walk. We did 2 miles. I realized just how out of shape I've gotten and smiled as I thought of my modest starting point. I'll get back into the swing of things soon. I'm on my way. The babies did quite well. They sucked furiously on their pacis and looked around with wide eyes. We saw deer, rabbits and people's dogs. David fell fast asleep and Mary Louise tried to take it all in. It was really wonderful to have such a simple family outing - to feel normal (whatever that is) and relatively inconspicuous. Only a couple of people asked me how old they were but most (well there really weren't many people there) just smiled as they rode their bikes or ran by us. All in all it was immense fun!

first time in the stroller

Friday, August 28, 2009

I heart Fridays!

Oh so there are many reasons to be excited about Fridays around here. It means Brent will be home for 2 whole days keeping us company and lending an extra set of hands. I'm sure that many times he's busier on the weekends than he is during his work week!

Also, the sweet cleaning ladies come on Friday mornings. It forces me to keep up with a few things around here during the week to make their 2 hours here on Friday that much more productive. Having a clean house is indescribably umm nice? For lack of a better word - it just helps me breathe better and allows time for better focus on more important things.

I am sitting here with my Pink and Blue Avenue babies. There is a store here in town that was started by 2 lactation consultants. I LOVE it and so do my friends apparently...I looked at the babies sleeping the other day and noticed that literally everything they had on and were sleeping in was a product from that sweet little boutique. Ha - "spoiled already," I thought. Really the things Brent and I purchased there were out of sheer umm - necessity...desperation really. When the babies were screaming literally all night and we couldn't get them to lie down in the Cosleeper when they were flat we began fumbling around with different ways to prop their heads up - then we found the Nap Nanny (and angels sing here). It is basically this chaise lounge for babies that allows them to contour their bodies in a way that comfortable for them. That along with placing them in tight swaddles on their sides has helped IMMENSELY!! Their Wubbabnubs also came from there and have been so so handy. Mary Louise was a bit slow at gripping things with her hands so I was looking for way to provide a more constant reminder. Enter, Wubbanubs. Really a basic idea that entails sewing Soothie pacifier to a little stuffed animal to allow a longer handle for the little one to hold on to. After a few days of "exploring" the new soft item dangling from her mouth, Mary Louise has become quite attached to her Clifford (what we call her big red dog paci). She sleeps clutching the little guy tightly under her arm and gets excited when she sees that we are bringing him to her. So funny! I've never seen a baby so small get so attached to a toy before. David has his ducky which he seems to like as well - though doesn't clutch so tightly. He still goes back and forth with his favorites - between the ducky and the tiny purple NICU paci that's really too small for him but he likes anyhow. So, those are my product plugs for the day. The rest of the oh so fabulous items we have from there have been gifts from friends I think - other than the Adiri bottles.

Another "milestone" or more like a pebble really was toppled yesterday. I found socks in our vast collection of baby socks that FIT!!! and both babies have a pair to boot. I am so excited! Their feet and legs have been so tiny that no socks, booties, etc. would stay on their little toes. So, I'm happy to say that the smallest of the small new born socks have started to properly cling to their feet finally. I know it sounds like a silly thing to fret over but at every doctor's appointment, the first thing we do is take their clothes off - but I can usually leave a hat and socks on. Believe it or not, with the 40 degree doctor's office, the hat and socks really do help keep the little ones from freezing during the exams. Anyhow, I am excited that our little ones are growing from their sweet perfect noggins right down to their toes!

Also, Mary Louise laughed TWICE yesterday in response to me playing with her and making faces. David is a bit more serious in general (if you get too excited over him, he furrows his brow with disapproval for your ridiculousness while Mary Louise spreads a big silly grin on her face). It's so fun to watch them react to the world around them.

We've had a couple of cautious visitors pass by in the past few days as well. I am always so excited to show off the little ones to our closest family and friends. I have been quite sad lately about having to keep them so isolated but remind myself all the time that it's just the best thing for them long term. Anyhow, we appreciate everyone being so respectful of our strict boundaries. Please know that this is incredibly difficult for us and we would truly like nothing more than to shout our news of Mary Louise and David's homecoming from the rooftops and have a mass parade with them on display (honestly - I would!). Unfortunately the reality of our fragile situation is a constant nagging in my life (and I suppose in consequence, it is for the blog readers as well)- we (gulp) start RSV injections in another week or 2 and I get a lecture at least once a week from one of their doctors on the importance of hand washing and isolation.

The little ones are continuing to grow like weeds!! Such an amazing thing to watch really as their little cheeks develop - small rolls on their legs peek out. Mary Louise was 6 pounds 10 ounces at her cardiologist appointment earlier this week and David was 5 pounds 7 ounces here at the house yesterday!! I went back and looked at the photos of their delivery and was just in awe of how far they have come! Their strength to simply survive is nothing short of incredible to me. In keeping my end of a promise I made to the 2 of them way back when...I still break out with a smile at every dirty diaper and cherish their little fussy moments (and who am I kidding - their out right tantrums, though trying, I still view as a blessing).

Having said that. The fits do provide some rather interesting and tense moments around here. The night before last, I slept (I kid you not) from 12:30am to 1:30am. I did get another 15 minutes or so at about 4:45 but other than that, nothing but screaming. When I tell you I did everything I knew to comfort these guys...So at 5 am, with nary a Brent in the house (he had gone to work in a totally exhausted state), a desperate and red-eyed Heather had had her limit. David was completely inconsolable. I had rocked him, repositioned him, fed him, changed his diaper...twice, given him his colic and acid reflux meds, sang to him, walked with him, talked with I gently placed him in his nap nanny and took a moment to regroup. I went outside, took a deep cleansing breath under the carport, admired the roses in the garden, and stepped back into my world with a new sense of purpose and determination. David and I rocked and rocked and rocked and I hummed until he finally fell asleep (along with Mary Louise) long enough for me to shower, dry my hair and eat a proper breakfast!!! I was a new mom after that and although more exhausted than I ever thought I could possibly be, I snuggled peacefully with my grumpy brood for the rest of the day. Last night they were MUCH better and slept well between feedings. Mary Louise eats rather consistently every 4 hours - sometimes earlier and David is definitely every 3 still (and you'd better be ready with a warm bottle at that time missy!).

This weekend, I think Brent's parents are coming for another visit with their favorite grand babies (though I'll have to confirm that) and a friend from nursing school is set to pass by as well. So, it should be fun at any rate. Yay for family time!

Love, Heather

P.S. umm - that Gripewater stuff - so does not work for us - in fact, it debatably makes things worse! (although the worse part could be due to my utter disappointment in my supposed quick fix). So that's my gripe about Gripewater - pft.

Some new photos! (gotta get all I can on here while it's quiet!)

August 2009

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

MD appointments...

Just a quick update on Mary Louise...

She will have to have her hearing checked again in 3 weeks. As it turns out, she is not only tiny but her ear canals are narrow - even for her tiny size - so the instruments used to evaluate her will not work properly. We have another appointment in 3 weeks.

Her heart is improving!!! She was also 6 pounds 10 ounces today - she's gained almost 2 pounds since her last visit to the cardiologist. He was very pleased with the progress. Her PFO has gotten smaller and was evaluated at small to medium rather than medium to large. Her pulmonary pressure has also improved. The doctor left her on oxygen 24 hours a day but reduced the amount. So, she is now on 1/4 liter 24 - 7. He will evaluate her via phone in 2 weeks and evaluate her in office in one month. By that time, hopefully her little body will have caught up enough to discontinue the oxygen. He did say that he feels she will continue to improve and surgery is highly unlikely!!!

David is continuing to do well also but is very fussy today. As I was running about with Mary Louise, he and Brent got some quality bonding time in so that was nice. The cardiologist said that with Mary Louise's growth rate, he expects her to be caught up to her peers in another 6 to 9 months. David will be close behind he thought and has been cleared for a year from a cardiology standpoint.

So, overall, good news today!

Must run as one is hungry and one is waking up from a nap.
Love, Heather

Monday, August 24, 2009

still adjusting

So I've had a few strange days as I continue to adjust to a new normal. Mary Louise and David are doing well with their feedings although they are still very slow with actual breastfeeding. I pump most of the time and give the milk to them via bottle and use breastfeeding as a comfort measure. At least they are getting the milk right?

I suppose the past few months - or the past year actually is finally starting to catch up to me. We've had so many changes around here that sometimes it's hard to keep them all straight. Combine that with all of the hype about the upcoming flu season and I think I'm appropriately nutty (well that along with the continued sleep deprivation).

Mary Louise has her hearing and heart rechecked tomorrow. It will be nice if the cardiologist reduces the oxygen wearing to nights and during feedings rather than 24/7 but we'll see - definitely don't want to rush things!

I can't believe our little ones are 4 months already - and that they've been home for about a month now. I relish the time I get to spend with them - breathing them in - hugging, holding, loving them. It's truly amazing - even with my slow adjustment to raising them as 2 rather than 3. I take in every look, every grin or frown, every kick and cuddle and tuck them away in my memory to bring forth at a later time - I feel as if I have an overflowing treasure chest tucked away already!

Brent sent me an article today that said that the second smallest baby in Louisiana went home this month from the NICU at Oschner in New Orleans. The baby was 13 ounces and was second to a 12 ounce baby. I suppose that would put David in line for 3rd place - a recognition I surely wouldn't vie for. The statistic does, however, work to reinforce just what miracles these little ones are (as if I really needed any more reinforcement!).

So, as I work through this period of adjustment, I take many moments each day to marvel at the simple fluidity of life in general - how quickly it can change, how vast the possiblities are and the amount of potential that is laid before me in these little ones that I am so so lucky and privledged to care for, and watch blossom and grow.

Will update on the appointments tomorrow!
Love, Heather

Saturday, August 22, 2009

almighty gros grain!

From the gros grain god

So before explaining the photo above (as if any explanation excuses that monstrosity on Mary Louise's noggin'), let me first congratulate our precious baby girl on her NORMAL thyroid!!! That's right! No more Synthroid for that little one! She will be rechecked in a couple of weeks to make sure her hormone levels remain steady but for now, all is well in thyroid corner!

Now for the photo. Ok, so prior to getting pregnant I would proudly proclaim, "I will NOT be putting headbands on my poor little girl's head - those things look like they squeeze the brain! Can't they just wait until she grows hair for goodness sake?" Right, so, about that proclamation...

I was at the store today - ok well I stopped at a big baby store that recently moved to see umm how their moved went? (I'm not fooling anyone with this am I)- I saw the bows at the cash register and I swear, something came over me. I determined that she needed one (I also determined that her head was in fact quite a bit larger than it actually is - hence the OBNOXIOUS size). I was so excited as I made my purchase. I chose the color carefully - red hair - she looks wonderful in opposite colors tourquiose and green. Ok - I picked up the GIANT pot of Boudreaux's that I went that way for in the first place and returned home. (an aside - I have found that putting Desitin creamy first, and Boudreaux's second on our babies' rears is the quickest way to get rid of and prevent diaper rash - I'm NO expert but that's what has worked for us). Back to the story...

I walked in the door so excited I could hardly stand it. I put the bow on the band and wrapped it securely around Mary Louise's head. I must say, the new panty hose type bands seem quite comfy compared to the old squeezers. But that bow - it was downright hilarious!!! Honestly, hours of entertainment.

So, apparently, I'm that mom. Go figure.

Here are the rest of the newest photos...

the gros grain god

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Pedi appointment

We all went to battle - I mean - the pediatrician today for another check-up. We braved the weather, the coughs and colds of the new school year and the tantrums of our little ones to get there! It went very well. Brent was able to take a day off of work to help out so It was MUCH easier than last time.

Mary Louise is 6 pounds 3 ounces and David is 4 pounds 15 ounces (ALMOST TO 5 POUNDS!!!). The doctor was very pleased with their weight gain and said (and I quote), "they both look really good!!" (Ok, I may have added an exclamation point - for my own benefit).

They start their Synergist injections next month. It is an antibody injection that we are hoping will help to protect them again RSV. They will thankfully be given at home by the home health nurse every 25 days during the season - until either March or April. The doctor recommended that we get flu shots but as the babies are being isolated from people and are breastfed, he doesn't feel they need the flu shots. They are not recommended for babies under 6 months of age anyhow, and from what I've read and heard, can compromise the immune system for a time after administered. He recommended that we continue to isolate them as much as possible and practice meticulous hand washing, keep them away from fumes and cigarette smoke and he expects that they will do well. (YAY! they are expected to do WELL!!)

Mary Louise had her thyroid checked (she has hypothyroidism of prematurity) and we should get the results tomorrow. The hope is that her thyroid has started to function normally and that we will be able to stop her Synthroid dose.

We had a wonderful time at the state park just down the road from our house yesterday. We went yesterday evening and sat on a blanket by the water. The babies had tummy time and seemed to enjoy the change of scene - I know I did. We stayed for about an hour as it was really nice out before coming home and rocking our little ones to sleep. They slept quite consistently between feedings last night as well.

In other news, Mary Louise is officially wearing new born clothes!! At 4 months, she has out grown the majority of her preemie outfits and is just barely in New Born sized clothing! Way to go Mary Louise!!!

More news soon as Mary Louise has her hearing rechecked and her Cardiologist appointment on Tuesday.

Love, Heather

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Mary Louise

MARY LOUISE IS 6 POUNDS and one ounce!!! After being born at 1 pound 6 ounces I thought it was worth a celebration and happy dance!

have a good day! love, Heather

Sunday, August 16, 2009

just call me mother hen

I'm not sure how so many days got away from me in between posts!! Needless to say (but I'll obviously say it anyhow) we have been incredibly busy here trying our hand at raisin' these 2 youngins. My days are filled with the business of raising preemies - along with the business of raising twins...

They have more appointments in a given week than I have all year long. There are so many agencies keeping tabs on them that I have a hard time keeping track. Between tummy time, rehab, feedings on top of feedings, changing 200 diapers (I've actually paid attention to that) weekly, one large package of wipes, 1 to 2 loads of laundry daily, pumping, feeding (oh wait, I said that), storing, defrosting - ha - I'm lucky to get a shower. So, if you show up here, don't be surprised to be handed a baby and see me run off for 5 minutes only to return with suspiciously wet hair!

Both are growing well - David is about the break the 5 pound mark and Mary Louise is knocking on 6's door. They seem to look at us more often, respond to noises and are gaining strength by the day in their arms, legs, grips, and ability to hold their heads up. They will be 4 months old this week! I look at them and remember so vividly the first time I saw them - their positions, the tubes, their ruby red color. To see them now you'd never know - their age is just a number anyhow - they are absolutely amazing to me.

My mom came for a quick visit yesterday and stayed one night. We did a huge grocery shop, she brought my Tootle and Chester back which helps me breathe a little better believe it or not. (P.S. - they both couldn't care less about the babies! ha - and I was concerned with their reaction - Tootle is my almost 16 year terrier mix and Chester is my 9 year old Dachsund), she cleaned (again) the areas needing touch ups where the cleaning service had been, she swept the carport, and watched the little ones along with Brent while I cooked and cooked all the food we'll eat this week - chicken salad with grapes and pecans, whole grain pasta salad, red beans, salmon with a yummy honey, lemon, ginger glaze - I miss cooking really - I love it when I have time. I also got to garden a bit - "make more" of some of my plants and do some weeding - quite therapeutic in the warm sun. So, we've had a good weekend. Productive anyhow.

Brent is continuing to amaze me with his ever patient effort at balancing out our family - picking up where I leave off so to speak. It will be fun to see how we both adjust over the next wild year or so.

So, this is my nest, my world, and soon my island (with RSV and flu season coming). Just call me mother hen. Believe me, after waiting such a long and painful time, I take it as a wonderful compliment!

Love, Heather

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Daddy time!

So I had my own MD appointment today (everything is fine - just another check up since the babies were delivered) and Brent took a day off of work to stay with the short people. It was the first time he'd had both of them together by himself and for an indefinite amount of time. He did a FABULOUS job!!

The other day I asked him why it was that when moms are with their children it is considered parenting but when dads were with them it was considered baby sitting. He flatly told me that it was my job to do such. ha - needless to say, after a night of no sleep that was the wrong answer. But then again, it was a loaded question so I suppose he ought to have just smiled and stayed quiet if he really wanted to get out of a sticky situation. (or I could have kept the obnoxious questions to myself right?) So it's not always roses here, but we are a team none the less and I must commend his efforts wholeheartedly - I'm the first to admit that I'm not a dream to live with!

Anyhow, when I walked in, both babies were fed and sleeping! Amazing! Truly, just another example proving what a lucky girl I am.

Things are going well overall here. Mary Louise has gone through quite the growth spurt over the last week or so and looks like a different baby now! David is doing much better with his reflux and has started eating more in the last couple of days - maybe a little spurt is coming his way as well? Brent and I are learning to function on about 4 hours of intermittent sleep (at least we like to think it's functioning). All well worth it!

XO, Heather

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

no feet will touch the floor

I am sitting here with my two tiny bundles - each lying over a leg after meal time. ha -so lucky!

I've been asked a few times by visitors to the house, home health, etc. if the babies' "feet ever touch the floor". umm- no not really! (although we did have outside time yesterday and their feet did touch the grass - that was fun. Anyhow, we are just so so excited to have our little ones home.

Honestly, David determined a day or two ago that he was not to be put down under any circumstances as evidenced by his cries each time we try. Mary Louise went through the same phase the first week she was home so I am just trying to enjoy it with him while it lasts - one day he won't want me to so much as hug him right?

Both little ones seem to be doing well - we actually only have a home health visit for them this week. I have follow up visits for Mary Louise the following week with the hearing center and the cardiologist though.

How far we've come and what a time we've had!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Get by with a little help from my friends...

This week has been an amazing mish mash of doctor's visits, home health visits, visits from family, etc. I truly couldn't have gotten through without the help of so so many people...

We have had dinners brought to us my church members, the house was cleaned today by a service my mom sent (oh my gosh how wonderfully spoiled am I?!), Brent's parents and sister are currently here sitting so that I can make an appointment or 2 and catch up on a few things (oh and get a MUCH needed nap in once or twice!), and finally friends of ours have been extremely helpful in getting the babies accepted into various programs for which they are eligible (the legwork for which is something we simply don't have the time or energy to do).

Again, I find myself incredibly humbled by such empathy, compassion, consideration and thought. A church friend said as she was giving us a wonderful meal, "I've waited to do this for someone since people did it for my family during the hurricane recovery. It's so easy to give, but to be on the other side and receive, that's the hard part!" How right she was.

The thank you's I continue say and mean with all my heart somehow seem empty - or maybe just not enough. But what would be? How does one truly thank those who made her family possible? Each prayer, each moment of thought, each loving act of kindness and generosity has been a contribution which has helped us to the place we are today.

So, enough or not, a thank you is all I have, and without hesitation, I give it to you.

Love, Heather

P.S. Mary Louise has gained 3 ounces since Wednesday!!! and David is eating MUCH better since we started the Zantac!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Closer to fine

I would like to announce that the babies are officially one day old (uhem, adjusted age). My due date was yesterday (August 5th). I thought I would be sad to see that day come and go, to know that I was set to deliver 3 GIANT (by our standards anyhow) little ones on that day- or close to it. Honestly, I have a hard time remembering David and Mary Louise's actual birthday. I can spout off their coming home special day dates without a thought, but I seem to hesitate when asked what their birthday is.

Anyhow, August 5th. Still sort of symbolic to me. A milestone if you will. I have 2 perfect tiny bundles with all the potential in the world and I get the honor of watching them grow and blossom each day...and they came home BEFORE their due date!! Amazing I'd say.

I continue to count my blessings - even the odd ones. I mean how many people have the privilege of watching their own pregnancy unfold in front of them rather than inside them? Not ideal I know, but it was a beautiful train wreck of a time all the same.

The little ones took a nap today!! It was a whole 30 minutes in which I folded a load of laundry, ate an actual sit down lunch complete with warmed pasta and fresh salad, and emptied the dishwasher (I would like my super mom badge now please).

When they woke up, we had a nice bath time - I played some Norah Jones, gave massages and sang to them - they both fell asleep - who says I can't sing eh? Anyhow, it made me smile. What angels I have around me. What beauties. I am in complete awe.

David's Zantac seems to be helping - no spit ups today and he was a bit quieter after feeds. He and Mary Louise both ate well too which was really nice - maybe her oxygen is giving her that extra little umph she needs.

Must get some rest - they have both settled down for the time being.

Love, Heather

P.S. Home health will follow up on my weight checks so the babies will only go out for "real" MD appointments - no more dragging them around just to put them on a scale.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

flying solo

So today the little ones had their pedi appointment - David for his wellness check up and Mary Louise just to check her weight. As Brent had to work, I toted the tots by myself. As optimistic as I was about what turned out to be a MONSTROUS task, I neglected to consider a few things that I will itemize here...

1. just because you think you're so smart and figured out a way to carry 2 tiny babies in one sling, it doesn't mean you can also comfortably carry the montage of stuff needed to take care of said babies all at the same time

2. When one poops, so does the other - twice - and regardless of the fact that you made sure to change them prior to putting them in smarty pants sling

3. try to deal with all of that and fill out paperwork - walk back and forth- dodge sick kids, argue with the receptionist about benefits all while the 2 precious bundles are screaming because everything has taken WAY longer than anticipated and they are now hungry (and boy do I mean right now)

So, I muddled through thinking, "I'll grab someone off the street corner next time to avoid going it alone again."

Unfortunately, most carriers, etc. are made for 8 pounds and up and Mary Louise and David just won't fit safely in them (believe me, I've tried). So, for now, the doctor appointments are done with a sling, They actually seem to like it for the most part but with Mary Louise having oxygen now, maneuvering with her tubing and tank can get rather exciting.

Anyhow, David officially has reflux and has been put (back on) Zantac which is what he had taken for awhile in the NICU to help with his feedings. He got the first dose tonight - we'll see how he does over the next few days. After this morning's awesome spewing episode, I am definitely keeping my fingers crossed for some improvement for our poor little guy.

Mary Louise is (of course) still just 5 pounds - just as she was 2 days ago. Hopefully she (and David) will be able to settle in a gain appropriately soon. The next step would be to start putting additives in my breast milk if they don't. They will have weight checks each week from now on but I have arranged to call them in as I've purchased a baby scale for the house and it seems to be getting the same numbers as the doctors' scales.

The oxygen hasn't made any obvious difference yet but we'll see - hopefully her little heart will be medically perfect next time we see the cardiologist.

As far as sleeping goes, it's happing a little more often than it was before - I probably shouldn't say that out loud though! Maybe this trend will continue for at least a few nights and I will get a little sleep here and there. Until that happens, if for some reason you see me babbling to myself in public looking a little disheveled, please excuse the behavior as normal for now and check back later - one day I'll get it together!

Love, Heather

Monday, August 3, 2009

Bless her little heart

What a day. After (once again) a rough night with little David screaming every time we put him down (I plan to discuss this fun fact with the pediatrician on Wednsday because if you ask me, he is showing all of the clinical signs of baby reflux - crying around and during feedings, slow feeding, vomiting infrequently - but it is not just a spit up when it happens), Brent took the day off to help get the babies to their appointments. We went first to the ophthalmologist for a re-check then to the cardiologist.

The eye specialist cleared both babies for 3 to 4 months at which point we will travel to New Orleans to his clinic there for a complete check up. If they do well then, we will see that doctor yearly. He will look for any vision impairments and will prescribe correction accordingly (i.e. glasses). But the ROP disease is stopped and there is little to no risk for recurrence from what we understand. So yay! One thing down.

The cardiologist appointment went well. The babies actually slept through their EKG's and ultrasounds. Of course Mary Louise pooped in the middle of her appointment which seems to be her thing to do there even though I change everyone right before we walk in.

David's heart is developing well. The doctor said he wasn't too concerned with him as his PFO is much more closed than Mary Louise's and he is asymptomatic at this point. Hsi pulmonary pressures were also normal.

Mary Louise on the other hand has developed 2 issues. The first, her PFO (patent foramen ovale) is still too open and has not decreased since last week. Second, her pulmonary pressure has increased significantly since last week's appointment. Consequently, the doctor has decided to put her on a low flow of oxygen 24 hours a day for the time being. He estimated at least a month of 24 hour flow but she will be followed closely (aka - she will have a follow-up appointment every 2 weeks or so). The hope is that the oxygen along with the low dose of lasix she started last week will help to further reduce the work load on her heart, fluid and pressure in her lungs and allow her to feed more efficiently thereby allowing her to gain weight appropriately. (She has stayed around 5 pounds for almost a week - this is NOT supposed to happen and is especially alarming for a baby so small).

Anyhow, that's the update. Both babies are quiet right now so I'd better take advantage and get some rest myself.

XO, Heather