Monday, November 30, 2009

insurance - nuff said

Ok - So the babies were up very early this morning. We played for an hour, David took about an hour nap but Mary Louise was a little busy body all morning. At about 9:30, she finally shut her eyes only to be disturbed by the phone ringing...the lab calling AGAIN!!!

ugh - they have an automated system that apparently flagged our (David's) accounts as delinquent. Thanks alot computer. Each time he had lab work in the hospital, an account was created - that's a different account number times I don't know - 50 open accounts right now. So, that would in fact be 50 phone calls. I spoke with the rep - twice and was told - twice that there was nothing they could do to stop the calls. Needless to say, I turned the ringers off on our house phones and am hoping no one from the md offices needs to reach me today.

In addition (because nothing could be that simple with insurance) our primary company has yet to properly deny the claims meaning they are STILL in limbo and have not been sent to Medicaid for review. I love that I've spent a total of 3 afternoons - and I do mean full afternoons -trying to resolve (completely futile mission) this issue by mediating between the 2 companies (which is more like mediating and argument between 2 16 year olds as they both think they have done their job and the other is at fault. Oh- and no they will not talk directly to one another (again that would be too simple no?)). I just love that they are so quick to tell me that they won't cover any more medical expenses for our now uninsurable son, but they can't just write a damn letter saying as much and send it to the companies making the claims.

So, thanks bureaucracy. Thanks alot for sucking the life out of yet a few more precious moments and thanks government for setting up a system to penalize families who find themselves in similar situations and yet caudal many of life's little woopsies and unexpected -uhem- bumps. I love that your only loop holes or flexible areas are ones that perpetuate and in some cases actually outright encourage cycles of bankruptcy, poverty, and broken families. Oh and let us not forget the AWESOME insurance companies - the one we've paid out the wazoo for a policy for years never making a claim only to have them turn their backs when we actually need something (props to you of course for actually paying some of the hospital bills with minimal prodding), and the ones who claim they insure high risk groups but have long waiting periods to insure preexisting conditions. Could someone please point out the person who needs high risk insurance and does not in fact have a condition warranting such high cost, low value coverage? Amazing.

I suppose I could go on another tangent about the real issue...why it costs $50 for a bandaid and cottonball in the hospital or $1000 for a dressing change that would cost about $10 at any drugstore or why we get charged $175 biweekly to have a nurse stop over, take a weight and measure the length (which anyone can do) on 2 babies and sometimes give a $2100 shot that we have to beg the ins. company to pay even partially for in the first place. I could give my opinion on that, but I think that may be a bit much right now.

Pardon my frustration. Today, I've had it. Maybe I'll get my sense of humor back tomorrow. Rant over (I think). I just wish our policies and safety nets would catch up to technology making million dollar caps appear so ridiculously high that it'd be impossible to ever need such costly care - I suppose it is for most - unless you are born 16 weeks premature...

Oh my morning

It's 5:30am. I so wish I would have been able to snuggle under the covers just a bit (or at least 3 hours) longer. But Mary Louise and David have other plans today. Complete with the largest gummy grins their little faces can muster, they have told me, in so many words, that regardless of the clock I really rarely pay attention to, it is in fact play time...

I hear them playing - together - cooing, laughing, "chatting" in a language that I'm positive only they understand. It warms my heart to hear them. I LOVE knowing that they are my reason to rise (even if on this very early morning I was reluctant to do so to say the least). I know in my heart that today will be better simply because they are here.

Mary Louise has continued her progress of rolling over - not all the time, but consistently never the less. David is not far behind and can roll on soft surfaces. He has the motion pretty much down but has a little more muscle to gain across his chest before acrobatics come into play for him. He can babble with the best of them though and has learned a bit better communication with his poor old momma. He still goes from quiet to tantrum in no time flat, but at least there are different tones of hysteria involved when he needs a diaper change, is hungry or is just plain exhausted. He's definitely a pistol but I wouldn't expect any less from him after watching him stay tough and strong through a NICU ordeal the vast majority of adults would never have consented to endure. His sheer will to get what he needs never ceases to amaze me - even when it's simple play time that he wants.

They both continue to gain weight like carb loading athletes. They can kick with incredible strength and love the big bath tub for showing off their new found skills. They both have wonderful head control now and can pull to a sit and stand while holding fingers - though they do need a little forearm support to maintain the stand. Mary Louise is pretty consistently doing stepping motions when she is pulled to a stand as well. I joke that I may have a 20 in walker totling around the house before long. We'll get through crawling first I suppose... speaking of which, Mary Louise can actually get her legs underneath her when on her belly now - I keep waiting for her just to take off with crawling - I know the day is coming...David can lift his rear and squirms his little legs back and forth, gets tired and aggravated and goes back to play time on his favorite section of the Einstein mat (the one with the octopus rattle and teething ring duck).

They are just so neat together. Brent and I watched them from the doorway the other night - they would actually use their little fists to pacify one another when upset. They would stare in amazement at the other playing with a dangling object, stare at themselves in the little mirror and giggle. Mary Louise even seemed to lecture David at one point - though always true to his personality, he remained engrossed in his own play and continued happily swatting away at his octopus (it seemed - much to her chagrin).

We had a wonderful Mommom filled weekend and look forward to a visit from Ma Mere and Pop this coming one.

So we're doing just fine. I've had my slump time and am trying to pull myself out of it. Back to the positive I say - back to it! Though a HUGE part of my misses my absent family members so terribly it's almost unbearable, I still have so so much to be thankful for - here in this little house - such beauty and strength lies. The chatty thankful continues to outweigh the mopey introvert. That imbalance is a-okay with me for now.

Much love, and gratitude - and many happy wishes this holiday season...

Mommom weekend Thanksgiving 09

Thursday, November 26, 2009

I am thankful

We had our first ever major holiday on our own today - complete with a turkey and all the traditional fixins'. Team LeBlanc did quite well to get it all done. We cooked, cleaned, walked, rocked, fed, played, laughed, ate (WAY too much), rocked (again), and so on.

What a day. Success. (Started on Thanksgiving)

Today (Saturday).
Mommom (my mom) is here visiting. We are having such a fun time with her here for the weekend. We are continuing our little routine - afternoon walks, bathtime at 5:30 or so, rock rock time afterward, bed around 7 or 7:30. I know - I'm highly technical...that's about all I impose here. The rest is as they demand - which typically works out pretty much the same each day.

Just wanted to quickly update - not too much happening - just enjoying family and each other. I must admit...this holiday has been a bit difficult for me...

More later, hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving!


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

rollin' rollin' rollin'!!!!

Mary Louise ROLLED OVER TODAY!!!!! She flipped front to back and looked up at me like she'd done it 100 times before! It was amazing - and luckily, when I put her back on her front a little while later, she did it AGAIN!! (ha - and I got that one on video...)

Way to go baby girl!

oh and please excuse my ridiculous excitement with the whole thing - but I am really really really pumped. Oh - I just can't believe it!! Take that worksheets and homework from the OT!!

She also made 10 POUNDS!!! and David is closing the gap once more at 8 pounds 14 ounces. Way to grow babies! Mom and Dad are just so proud beyond words!


Monday, November 23, 2009


We went on a 4 mile hike through the woods at the state park yesterday. It was the longest I've done since getting out of the hospital. I think I've done ok - considering I literally couldn't walk 100 yards without stopping and taking a significant break after the delivery. In my defense - this has been quite the unusually tough year for this old body of mine!

It was nice and cool, the babies slept in their carriers and really didn't make a sound the whole time. Brent and I got some much needed "us" time - and Lizzie got a little energy out of her system. We really did have a good time.

Also, Mary Louise and David FINALLY tolerated a full session of that stinkin' tummy time! Ugh! it has been our nemesis for all too long, but then yesterday, I tried a different type of play mat with them and voila! tummy time was happy time!

4 mile hike - Sam Houston - Nov 09

fancy seein' you here!

Mary Louise and David have (finally) noticed one another! I mean really noticed. They've had moments of awareness before, but as of this weekend, they have begun to actually play with one another - holding hands, touching faces in amazement. It's fantastic to watch. I'd ordered a mat for their room - which is turning into quite the playroom. We are constantly working to make it more functional - I suppose that's what happens when babies come 16 weeks early and momma's in the hospital for a full month prior to that- not much is done. Anyhow, the mats came in - they are the foam puzzle kind with numbers and letters on them. They are WONDERFUL!! I can't wait to have our next PT session on them!

So, the babies have started to interact and, well, they have actually started to really play! They LOVE their playmats all of a sudden and when put on their backs under them, they bat at the toys and giggle and smile...just fantastic!

A couple of play time videos...

This one is a little long - minutes...but they were doing so well that I just kept it going...

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Playtime in Full swing now!

We've had a wonderful couple of days with a more active play time. Mary Louise and David seem to notice one another more and more and are beginning to really interact during our floor time with them.

So we've had a week full of progress - hiking through the woods with babies in tow, enjoying longer floor sessions and Bumbo time, baths in the big kid tub and last but not least, they have been on a pretty straight schedule with 2 hour blocks of wake, feed, play, snack nap, feed, play, snack nap, feed, walk, snack, play, feed and rock until bed between 6:30 and 7:30. Their night time schedule isn't always constant but in general, they wake up about twice for feedings then are up for good between 6 and 7. We've been making every effort to follow their rhythm and keep their general routine as uninterrupted as possible - especially concerning the morning and noon naps. If we can keep those constant, I find the day runs much more smoothly. They eat on demand during the day so that's where the smaller (snack) feedings come in. Poor slow momma is getting better at reading the cues they send. I think we're in sync most of the time now.

A few photos of the week...
end of Nov 2009

Mary Louise - ok she's hungry - and hilarious! (We do have a bottle warming and fed her as soon as it was ready - but in the meantime, the opportunity to catch her blatant request for "yummies" was one we couldn't miss!) I must compliment her communication skills though!

David cooing - definitely getting more vocal and expressive. I'm just so proud of our little ones and all of their hard work!

I am uploading a few more videos but it takes quite awhile. Will post as they finish.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Big kid baths

The babies had their first "big kid" baths last night. Truthfully, they were baby baths in the big bathtub - without me in there with them. They kicked and played - so much fun. It worked out just fine. I was only brave enough to do one at a time of course - they can't sit up on their own just yet so they need full individual attention. But, we're just about ready for the swimming pool I'd say!

Mary Louise actually out grew the bathroom sink quite a few weeks ago - but I kept bathing her in it for the convenience - and I was a little nervous about trying the big tub. I don't have a baby bathtub, though after months of not wanting one, I may bite the bullet and get the over-sized - ridiculous to store hunk of plastic as these little ones will be little for quite some time. I'm just not sure what else to do.

Anyhow, things went well. We had our usual massage time afterward and the babies seemed to enjoy the whole experience.

David in his first big boy bath!

After a couple of good nights with some nice 4 hour sleep blocks, both of our little guys decided it was time for a train wreck. We have therefore been up since the ripe old time of 3am bouncing, babbling, cooing - at least they smile pretty often - it's not all screaming. But they may be having another big growth spurt as they both suddenly couldn't put the bottle down!

Anyhow, growing is good if that's what they're doing. But, if this post doesn't make any sense at all, there's my big excuse.

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Bless her little heart (she's perfect!) - and Happy 7 months!!!

Well almost anyhow...Mary Louise went back to the cardiologist today for a follow-up visit. Since her last visit with him, she has stopped using her oxygen and we've stopped her Lasix. In addition, we've started her on Zantac...

In the doctor's words,"her heart looks beautiful!" He was very pleased with her progress. Her tiny leak that I discussed from last time is almost gone and her heart muscle is now the appropriate size for her growth (it was slightly enlarged due to over working when we started all of this). He even said, "well, she looks like a real little girl now!" Ha - I was a bit afraid to ruin the moment by asking what he thought she looked like before so I bit my tongue on that one.

She was fantastic at the doctor - FOR ONCE she did NOT poop in her diaper as soon as we walked in the door. That is an absolute first for her. She smiled her way through, sucked away on her hands, drooled, laughed, wiggled, and batted those beautiful blue eyes with the Venus fly-trap lashes.

We had fun - and keep in mind we were at the doctor. He's cleared both David and Mary Louise to be re-checked once more just before their first birthday!


The babies are 7 months old today!! Oddly, this day last year was the day I found out that I was (apparently VERY) pregnant. My my how things work out. David is 19 3/4 inches and 8 pounds 8.5 ounces today. Mary Louise is 9 pounds 14 ounces. (I don't have a current length on her for today). They are just doing so well!!

We all went to the state park this afternoon as Brent took a day off to stay with David while I brought Mary Louise to her appointment. The babies were tucked snuggly in their carriers and Brent and I walked about 3 miles through the wooded trails - so nice - so much fun. We even took Lizzie along for the adventure. Brent and I joke that we'll soon have the strongest back muscles around carrying those bundles on our fronts and baby supplies in back packs on our backs. You'd think we were really traveling somewhere to look at us - lest you know those backpacks are filled with nothing more than a blanket, diapers, wipes and binkies - and of course a bottle or 2.

So we've had a wonderful day - happy 7 months babies. You are more than we could have ever dreamed, and we've only just begun! We absolutely adore you!


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

moving right along

We've had quite a good week this week filled with long(er) walks - even a trip to the park - and cooler weather. I remember waking up for school when I was little - way too early (as I've said, I've always been a fan of the nap). I remember one morning my dad seemed so chipper - well more chipper than usual anyhow - (umm he was one that would run anywhere from 5 to 10 miles BEFORE sun-up). I asked him what he was smiling about...he said (with a boyish grin), "I love cool weather. It makes the water come out of the faucets ice cold." Ha - always the little things with my family...

I've uploaded the photos of the week - there are plenty - I tried to get some of the 2 little ones together - almost an impossible task as they seem to take turns with everything (which is a positive attribute for anything but photographs I'd say). So, one kicks, then the other kicks and so on.

Oh and in case anyone is wondering, I did discuss the use of the Bumbo seats, etc with the physical therapist that comes here - I specifically mentioned the possibility of hip issues. She apparently really likes the Bumbo seat for its assistance in the development of back muscles as well as a few other things. She recommended that I not leave the babies in the seat all day of course. (ha - as if David would even tolerate being left in ANYTHING all day!) They have "playtime" anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes. But usually by the 15 minute mark, they have had quite enough stimulation and are ready to eat and rest again. So that's the story on the Bumbo's 'round here.

In other news, the babies are starting to "belly laugh" pretty often. David is still easily upset by louder voices and sounds, but is getting a little better with stimulation (i.e. he doesn't scream with panic if a toy makes noise AND lights up at the same time).

Mary Louise's reflux has improved immensely. She is not drooling near as much, spits up upon occasion but nothing like before and is able to take in enough milk comfortably to satisfy her. So, the Zantac has been a success!

In addition, both David and Mary Louise have really gone full force with bringing EVERYTHING to their mouths. They chew on toys, pacis and fingers. Mary Louise is actually pretty aggressive with the whole thing. It is on that note that I make a request that should probably go without saying - but I'll ask it anyhow. If you visit, see, hold, or are around the babies in any way, please don't put anything foreign in their mouths - especially fingers - even if you've washed impeccably. It's very easy to hold them and not pay full attention - before you know it, they've gravitated to your hand and are sucking or biting away. Please don't let them. We have tons of (their) paci's and toys available at all times that you are welcome to give to them instead. We have done incredibly well with everyone's help so far keeping the little ones healthy. All we want to do is continue that trend. As always, we really appreciate everyone's understanding and support.

Have a good day and enjoy the mass of photos!!!


November 2009 at home

Monday, November 16, 2009

By the way...

I should have mentioned it much sooner. Brent and I have known one another for 11 years as of this past Friday 13th. Ha!

Insurance oh insurance...

We had a nice weekend overall. We went to the state park for a walk on Sunday and David maintained his sanity through a ride there, 3 mile walk in the carrier and the ride back. He was hungry but still took things quite well.

Today the insurance drama had to sneak back into my life. UGH! you'd think the company could at least DENY claims properly. NOOOOO! I got delinquent notices from the Pathology lab - a whole slew of them - for bills that I discussed with BOTH businesses just 2 weeks ago (and spent a nice 3 hours dealing with might I add).

Actual conversation with our healthcare company:
After going through the ridiculously extensive menu of options, and staying on hold for 15 minutes, rep says, "yes may I help you?"

Me: yes, (recite member ID number...wait for him to type it...account is on his screen...) I am calling about the Pathology bills I've received for my son David and would like to be connected to the rapid resolutions department to discuss them (so I've done this before - 100 times - and the rep is surprised I even know what the raps dept is much less that I know to ask for it)

Rep: wait just a minute and we'll go over the claims together. First of all congratulations on your baby! Oh, it looks like you had triplets.

Me: yes, I suppose I DID have triplets. My son David has maxed out his life time payable benefit so these bills will not be paid. However, I need to speak with the rapid resolution department so the I can get them denied properly and they can then be reviewed by Medicaid. (try number 2 - still a no go...)

Rep: well if you'll just go through the claims with me, we can see what can be done. What are the dates of service.

(Mary Louise starts crying - I'm with her on this one)

Me: well, there are 17 of them, would you like them one at a time and will you just forward them TO THE RAPS DEPARTMENT PLEASE?!

(David starts to fuss)

Rep: oh it sounds like someone isn't happy. You must have your hands full with 3 at home.

Me: I'm sure I would have my hands full with 3 at home but I only have 2 which is a snap.

Rep: (feeling a little uncomfortable): well I think you need to speak with someone in our rapid resolution department. Will you hold for one moment? Have a good day!

Raps rep: How can I help you?

Me: Do you have the claims in front of you for my son David and did you speak with the first rep about the reason for my call?

Raps rep: yes ma'am?

Me: good, then I need you to deny the claims officially and properly so that it looks as if you would cover them but can't due to the lifetime cap - does that make sense?

Raps rep: I think so.

Me: here is their number, I've spoken to them but would prefer that you do so directly. I'll wait.

Raps rep: it'll be a few minutes.

Me: I understand.

Raps rep: 5 min later: thank you for holding. These claims will be denied and an explanation of benefits sent to the lab in 10 to 15 business days. I can only do 4 claims at a time though so I'll do the next 4 when I have down time from the phones.

Me: I'm sorry, what? So I have to wait until you have a break for you to take care of my claims?

Raps rep: Well, I don't have to have you on the phone. The computer system is set up to only take 4 at a time. They'll be right here for when I get time then I'll send the paperwork out.

Me: please send a copy to my house as well. Thank you for your help.

I then spent an hour discussing the pending claims with the path lab so that they could be marked as such rather than as delinquent. (and the argument with them about our benefits...that's a story by itself...maybe later)

good times...

Friday, November 13, 2009

Age appropriate toys

A work friend of Brent's gave us a walker for the little ones. Her daughter has outgrown it so she handed it along. (so so nice by the way - we are very appreciative) Age appropriate toy? Yes of course. I always get a kick out of things that the babies technically are developmentally ready for - but simply aren't big enough to use. (ok - I get a kick out of it but feel a little sad at the same time). Anyhow, the walker was really funny. I put the babies in it to see just how much they would have to grow before they could "walk" in it. In short - they may actually be walking before needing this particular assist ave device! No matter - they absolutely LOVED it!! I think they like the feel of their little legs dangling - they sure seem to get excited about it anyhow. They kicked and grinned and giggled and looked at things I put on the tray. Umm - of course I got video and pictures...

walker play

It was so fun - and the babies were definitely tired post playtime! I love that they are getting strong enough to handle the sitting required for the Bumbo and Walker. It's so much fun to see them explore their toys and drool all over (which by the way has much more to do with their reflux poor things - they are not teething).

Speaking of which, Mary Louise has had increased difficultly with her eating and swallowing. She is gagging frequently, wants to eat but then wails when she does. She can saturate a bib with drool within 10 minutes, and she spits up more and more in frequency and amount. In short, she has reflux. When we put her down - even on her nap nanny incline, she often burps and spits up so we have to watch her and keep her on her side. I am feeding her sitting straight up and holding her for at least 30 minutes afterward. I am also feeding her smaller amounts more often. It's not helping. I've phoned the doctor - he is aware of her issues, but as last night was worse than the night before with her and this morning wasn't any better, I phoned again and think I've finally made my point. She needs at least a tiny dose of reflux medication. I just heard from the doctor - Zantac it is. We'll start today.

They had their physical therapy here at the house this morning. Mary Louise did very well. David, bless him, just couldn't keep it together today. He did fine for about 5 minutes and then had had enough. He was hysterical. I calmed him and learned the exercises and will try again with him this afternoon. They are both developing well overall though. David must work a bit more on bringing thing to his mid-line and Mary Louise needs work on her rolling but is well on her way. So, great report again - hopefully, David will cooperate a little more next time. But, as I said, I can learn the exercises and do them on our own so it's not a total loss if he's fussy.

For those interested, we're still in limbo over insurance and waiting until the new requirements for state programs come out in March to really get any further. There are 2 state programs that are remote possibilities. That's about all we have as far as options though (and at least we have a small hope for getting accepted to one of those). I'm really quite frustrated and disappointed with the whole thing (as I'm sure I've said before).

That's it for now. Oh - and David is shiny in his videos because Mommy shamelessly attacked him with Aquaphor. That's all I have to say about that (sorry peanut).

Thursday, November 12, 2009

So easily entertained...

So if you ever questioned where my sense of humor comes from - and why I'm so easily entertained, look no further...

This would be Mommom "talking with her fingers". She has laid claim to having this talent since she was little. Umm - note how entertained SHE is...

Mommom's are so much fun!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Baby Steps

One, two look what they can do (now)
Two, three she looks like me
Three, four he favors Brent more
Four, five they've changed our lives (well, that's an understatement)
Five, six they've taken their licks
Six, seven but with Kuylen in Heaven
Seven, eight he'll keep them (and us) straight
Eight, nine we're doing just fine
Nine, ten I'll say it over again...

We're just so so lucky.

The babies have had quite the productive day:
Mary Louise is now pulling to a stand with me holding her hands, but is still uninterested in rolling really. She took 3 toys off of her Bumbo tray today, shook the rattles and threw them on the floor, grinned when I told her how well she was doing, brought toys to her mouth, and really talked up a storm with all sorts of noises.

David rolled over from back to front twice today with minimal help from me (he would get almost to his side and I would support him with an open palm on his back so he could go the rest of the way from there. He looked so proud with a huge grin across his face when I congratulated his hard work. He reaches for toys regularly and of course is chatty with his "agoo, ooo, and ugg" sounds.

They were both quite good sports on an afternoon walk today as well. They both made it a full 30 minutes in the jogging stroller before starting their "I wanna get out NOW" fits. As it turns out, they were both tired and finally gave in to an afternoon nap as I rocked them together as was (finally) able to put them down.

What a busy and beautiful day we've had!

Another bit of progress - David can stick his tongue out!!! If you'll remember, he has a short frenulum which causes him to be "tongue tied", have a little difficulty latching on, and long term could affect his speech. We were told by his doctors that there was a possibility that he could stretch the little connective piece of skin however, so we weren't planning on doing anything about the issue. As it turns out, David started working at sticking his tongue out over the last week or so and has had quite a bit of success in doing so!!

at home - november 2009

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

a visit with Mimi and Granddaddy

After their appointment, we exited the hospital just as stealthily as we'd entered. We were off to a pit stop at Mimi and Granddad's (Brent's grandparents - they lived just 10 minutes away). They had not seen the babies since their eye surgeries at the end of their NICU stay!

Oh it was so so good to see their reactions to our little ones. Such proud great-grandparents! What a special time it was. Brent and I were indeed exhausted- almost as if we'd been in a written test all morning. This stop and a good lunch was just the ticket to get back on track and defeat the hour drive back to Mommom's. Pops and Ma Mere were there with Mimi and Granddaddy as well so it was quite a family affair - and there were plenty of open arms for babies!

Mary Louise fell asleep on Pops' belly and David rested quietly on one of his favorite shoulders belonging to none other than his Ma Mere. The great grandparents were able to hold each baby for the first time. Just sweet and touching beyond words.

We had a nice visit and made it back to Houma and Mommom and the Uncles without too much trouble. The babies actually slept better than ever for the rest of the visit there!

follow up eye exam in New Orleans - 11 09

Monday, November 9, 2009

They can see clearly now! (part 2)

So David and I returned home and I threw some clothes together and we were off to Houma (my mom's house) at a mere hour and a half post planned departure time (not too shabby considering). Unfortunately, the delay put us driving through not only their newest grumpy time (5pm) but also their bedtime (between 7 and 7:30). So, by the time we finally made it to our destination, I was frazzled from feebly trying to entertain 2 "newborns" that wanted anything but and Brent had a HUGE headache from the super sized tear fest happening in the back seat. We put them to bed asap but it was too late- they were over-tired, over-stimulated, and under-cuddled. Mary Louise did eventually sleep a little but David never slept more than 20 minutes (oh I wish I were exagerating that time) the entire night.

I was beside myself (exhausted) the next morning as we gathered our wit and courage (what we had left anyhow) to make our appearance at the long anticipated follow - up eye exam. With the babies tucked safely away in our carriers and with blankets covering the tops of their little heads that did actually stick up over the top (they are just growing so much!), we snuck through the hospital to the clinic portion on the 4th floor. We must have used every single hand sanitizer they had - twice - on our way. We had funny moments when a passer by would hear one of the babies coo or fuss and they would realize that the bundles attached to us were actually little babies - not one, but 2!

We made it to the clinic waiting area - a large room full of people waiting to see any number of doctors. We hung around the outer hallway and entrance area. The babies were fussy off and on so we couldn't really sit without upsetting them anyhow. We danced our little jigs while waiting to be called - about 45 minutes - we got our workouts in!

Once in the back, they began to dilate their eyes. Another 45 minutes or so later - and after I'd squeezed a pumping session in to a corner bathroom down the hall, we finally saw the doctor - just as sweet as ever (he really is a nice man - a little quirky - but always remembers us even though he sees people from all over the state!) He immediately remarked when he saw the babies, "oh my, are those the triplets?!" He said how good they looked. The man really amazes me - he looks straight at people's eyes - as if that is the only thing in the room - always analyzing eye movement and focus. He did the same with the babies. Then he told us the news we so badly wanted to hear, "their eyes look great!" No problems at all! (oh my gosh - we are just so so pleased with this! they aren't even near sighted which is very common in preemies with ROP) They don't have any signs of a return of the disease process and don't have any residual problems. They will be rechecked in 6 to 12 months and if they still look good, they will be cleared to come in every 2 to 3 years or so!!!!

So, we have babies with perfect eyes and I am now a self-proclaimed public pumping pro!

More about our weekend adventures in a bit!


They can see clearly now! (part 1)

We're just back from our trek to New Orleans / Houma...and what a journey it was! We left Thursday afternoon after some (uhem) David excitement....

Brent came home from work about 1pm and took David and Mary Louise so I could get ready to go (of course I'd packed for everyone but me!). After going through the baby things one more time, I began to get myself together. When I got out of the shower, both babies were crying and Brent called to me for help. I took David as he was hysterical and Brent voiced concern about his hernia. I checked it and it did indeed appear bigger, red, swollen. But it could have been because of his fit or because it was getting worse / bigger. We couldn't get him to calm however and Brent was a bit frantic.

He phoned the pedi - there is a branch of their office just around the corner from us - of course it was not our pedi covering that branch that day (we would never be that lucky right?) and the receptionist told Brent that the pedi was booked and he should phone another. I got on the phone, spoke with a nurse to tell her that we had a micro preemie that was at very high risk for illness and I needed to know prior to exposing him if it was warranted. I even offered to be there in 5 minutes with a naked baby so they could just peek at him and tell me if I needed to bring him to the hospital. The pedi refused to see me! She said she likes to keep a tight schedule. HA! What a donkey!

She also said that if the area was red, David probably needed an operation so I should just take him to the emergency room. By this time, Brent was more stressed, David was still crying, I was flustered, and angry, Mary Louise was beside herself with fussing. So, with wet hair and in pajamas, I collected David quickly and we were off to the ER. He quieted on the way and by the time we got there, he was SMILING! I stood in the parking lot for a moment. Holding him, staring at the doors of the ER, petrified of the dire consequences from a likely unnecessary trip inside one of the germiest places in town.

I took a deep breath...

I opted to check David's hernia one last time...

It was fine. Ha- as if you were expecting any differently. It was nice and flesh colored, soft, I was able to reduce it easily and without any grimace on his part (um - he laughed when I palpated it - that punk). I held him for awhile, calmed myself down, phoned Brent and told him the trip was back on, and went home.

Yay for spontaneous fieldtrips.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Your baby is considered "uninsurable!" Super! David is not eligible for individual insurance. I am currently back to exploring the state emergency and high risk systems and seem to be hitting brick wall after brick wall there as well. We'll see what happens from here...I'm really quite upset about it all.

They (Mary Louise and David) are doing well - keeping me on my toes. Mary Louise has started to chime in with David's "agoo" sound. But, not to be a copy cat - she says "agee" instead in this sweet little breathy voice with a HUGE proud grin on her face.

They are also noticing one another more and more. They stare with rather puzzled looks on their faces as if they are saying, "what the heck?! excuse me - could someone tell me what that is please?" They love moving objects - sound or no sound involved - and are lifting their heads almost automatically now and fine tuning their reaching skills to get rattles and toys from our hands. They still hate "tummy time" (umm - in turn, I'm not so fond of it myself), but we are finding more pleasant ways to isolate their chest muscles - using a ball or boppy and last but not least trying it on the floor for a minimal amount of time.

Size one diapers and Newborn sized clothes pretty much fit Mary Louise now which means it won't be all that long until she can officially put them aside for all 0 to 3 month clothes and size 1-2 diapers. David still has a little room in both but is still (on his own time) growing and gaining very well.

We've been thoroughly enjoying the beautiful fall weather and going outside to calm and bounce babies. They seem to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine - which brings me to another small milestone...Mary Louise can actually wear her sun glasses now. Of course they are still a little big, but they stay on well enough to protect her eyes - especially after the pending eye exam. David's whole face shape is a little different - but with a little rigging, I think they'll work for him as well - at least for the short term. They'll be so cute when they really fit well - and it's so funny to see them realize that they don't have to squint so much when they are outside when I periodically put them on them for a few minutes.


Monday, November 2, 2009

Ready go fwimming?!

Brent ran bath water for Mary Louise while I finished David's massage. He dangled her feet in the water and she just went to town kicking! It was so so sweet and funny and cute and everything mushy and gushy! Oh I just can't wait to take them swimming!

Test Run

In honor of premature baby awareness month (yes, there actually is one of those) and because we will be unable to attend this year's NICU reunion, I baked...alot. I'm not quite sure what possessed me to bake 3 different things from scratch no less, but with Brent's help and because his parents were here helping with the babies, it all got done - and it was actually pretty fun. We're just so thankful for the NICU staff's hard work and efforts in making our little family possible.

The delivery of said confections took place this evening and Brent had the bright idea to make it a family affair (in other words, he asked if the babies could come along for the ride). I conceded as it was an opportunity to test out my latest idea for car riding with David the Hysterical. I strapped one of his swaddling Kiddopatomus velcro blanket things (that finally fit him by the way) into his carseat and was able to swaddle him tightly thereby (I suppose) making him feel safe and quieting him down. He lasted through 2 stops (one at the store and one at the hospital which is when I actually went in for 15 minutes or so and Brent stayed in the car with him). He didn't cry at all after being swaddled. Of course he needed constant reinforcement that someone was right there and oral soothing with either bottle or binky but I'll take that over hysterics any day! So, thank you Kiddopatomus for mass producing baby straight jackets with whimsical designs on them and calling them swaddlers to make the idea more appealing. Thank you! You gave me a moment of peace in the car today with my sweet little peanut. I am forever grateful. We'll see how it works for the long trip we must soon take for their eye exams...

Photos from the past week -including Halloween...
Halloween 2009

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy Halloween!

We had a quiet Halloween here. Brent's parents came for a night to visit with the babies. It was nice to have some extended family around. I tried to dress the babies their - uhem- Halloween costumes which consisted of some really cute cotton onsies that Auntie Zoo brought a while back. David was to be a skeleton - that glowed in the dark. Mary Louise was a pumpkin. Ha - I dressed them after their bath the night before thinking it'd just be easy as they typically just sleep in what they wear all day. Umm- David hosed his onsie down during a diaper change and Mary Louise cooked up one of her special poopy diapers for the occasion. You know, the ones with the oozing sides that you may as well forget the wipe clean up and instead run the bath water.

Lucky for us, Auntie Zoo had the foresight to get a second set of Halloween onsies which made David a ghost and Mary Lousie a representative montage. So funny - I was mildly excited about the whole thing- they were making a mess of their clothes like "normal" babies!

Saturday night was typical for our house. It entails wailing and wild babies from approximately bedtime to approximately sun-up. Every week, we plan to go to church (of course one at a time as they babies can't go) but every week we stay up ALL night consoling, changing, feeding, playing. At one point, David was actually laughing at me trying to close my eyes (at least it was better than screaming). So, I'm not sure what goes wrong on Saturday, but I'd love it if someone could clue me in! I'm exhausted!

Sweet babies are doing so well. I am just so excited to see them grabbing for their toys. Mary Louise is even trying her hand a shaking her rattle every once in awhile! She is also babbling a bit more audibly. David talks up a storm and is making his own strides with the toys - he's much more organized with things like that though. He carefully touches the toy, slowing drags it off the tray, studies it intently...Mary Louise, grabs, throws, drools, grins. Ha - so different - so much fun.

Hope everyone enjoyed their holiday!