Thursday, August 14, 2008

Houston...we have a 4 Pounder...

...Well, actually a 4 lb, 1 oz baby and a 3lb 5.5 oz baby. Finally we are gaining some substantial weight. Our night nurse told me this morning that she actually weighed Olivia 3 times because she was so shocked by her weight gain! I was happy to see Miss Sydney finally move from 3lbs 3oz!

The girls are ONCE again dressed in their adorable Twins Rock onesies. Our night nurse was SOOOOO excited about them. THEN after she dressed them, when she was on her break she was reading a magazine and saw that JLO had dressed her kids in the same outfits (well, her boy wasn't in the purple one), and she thought that was even cooler! :)



Today, after a quick trip to Target, I worked a little on the girls' closet. I've finally figured out how I want to move some things around in the nursery so that things flow a little better AND so that I can get into ALL of the closet. Right now the closet is partially blocked by the girls' dresser! It stinks. Next, I need to get more closet organizers and label the drawers that I am placing in the closet so that Matt can find things (he often doesn't understand my logic in organization). I also need to get a 3 drawer organizer to keep outside in the nursery for bottles, bottle liners, pacifiers, and nursing covers.

Then we need to figure out what we want to put on the girls' walls, they are looking QUITE bare. We have the cool plaques from our neighbors, but I need to figure out WHERE I want to put them in the room and what else is going to be on the walls so that Matt can hang them for me. I was thinking some Disney prints would be cool, maybe from Finding Nemo, and I wanted to have poor Gretchen paint me wall letters, but it's time for school to start, so I'm not sure if she's going to have time. :( We also talked about hanging one or both of the girl's quilts for decoration as well, so we'll see.

Other than this, nothing too exciting happened today!

The girls are great, their weight is even better. We'll have open air cribs in the next week and officially start some bottle feeding next week. Nursing is going pretty well; they definately have moments where they want to work more than others. They tire out very quickly. Tomorrow is FINALLY Friday, and I anticipate that it will be just as busy a day as today was, as I am dedicated to getting their nursery organized by the end of the weekend!

Have a great day!

Don't Ask, Don't Tell.... the policy in the NICU in terms of WHEN will babies come home... Well, I asked yesterday what they (the Dr and Nurse Practictioner Michelle think)...and their answer...well, probably close to 3 weeks is what they, not only am I SUPER excited, but I am now frantically thinking of ALL the things we need to do between now and then!

1- ORGANIZE the closet in the nursery.
2-Organize our house, which includes our basement and our storage room (things I wanted to do before I was put on bedrest, as well as other things I've thought up recently).
3-Get our Carpets cleaned.
4-Get new tires for Matt's car.
5-FINISH shopping off our registry for things we 'NEED' that we haven't bought (ie monitors, etc).
6-Make sure we have the supplies we need (staples for food, dog food, baby stuff like diapers).
7-Finish returns from baby stuff that the hospital tells us we cannot use with the babies (ie. sleep positioners (great in the NICU b/c they are monitored 24/7, but not at home...NOTHING in the crib).
8-Mom and Dad time (looks like we'll be seeing a movie this weekend b/c soon that won't be so easy to arrange).
9-Finish arguing with my insurence about how I had 2 babies NOT 1. So, they'll pay the rest of my bills, apparently this is a difficult concept for them. My friend Laurie warned me that this may become an issue, it was with her triplets, easily fixed, but they are SLOW on the uptake.
10-Take Cassius back to MU for a check up/follow up appointment.
11-Start the girls photo album (after I organize their pictures that I've had developed) and work on their baby books.
12-Pack up my maternity clothes for the next friend who get's pregnant to peruse and take what's needed!
13-Figure out what I have that fits and start wearing those!
14...I'm sure there's TONS more I'm forgetting. :)

In terms of the babies coming home... do please be aware that this can/could change at any could be longer, it could be shorter, but please don't be disappointed either way. We don't want the girls home until EVERYTHING is figured out and solved at the NICU, as they know what's best for them!

Nothing too exciting going on with the girls... slowly but surely gaining weight and LOTS of sleeping, but they are moving towards that more wakeful period which will become more common the closer they get towards being full term. Personalities are changing (My Olivia is a SCHEDULE girl! Do not mess that up or there is HECK to pay with that one, I tell you).

Yesterday (the day this post should have been written), I went to a breastfeeding class. I'll be doing that EVERY Wednesday until they are out, so that I know all I need to know! :) They're more than likely BOTH going to have open air cribs next week AND start bottle feeding. Practing is going pretty well with both girls, so I'm super busy when I am at the NICU. :) Daddy got to hold both girls yesterday AND they were able to FINALLY meet another one of Mommy and Daddy's friend's who will SOON be one of our favorite Aunts! Aunt Nancy came for a visit! :) For those who don't know, Nancy is my best friend and has been since 8th grade...scary long time. Boy, have been been through a lot together! :) Aunt Nancy worked down by the NICU today, so it was a little easier for her to arrange to come down. She had to pass off baby duty to Uncle Drew so that our Best Friend Baby Stephanie could get home (she's the reason it's been so hard to get Aunt Nancy down to see us)! It really sucks that small children can't come into the NICU. I know it's really hard on families that have little ones too. But, rules are rules for a reason and I know it's best that they don't get any little kid germs for QUITE some time. Which is why they will come home on restrictions that include no quality time with small children and non-immediate family members. So our seclusion as well will continue. :(

Aunt Nancy loved the girls and they are super excited about their froggie blankets that she made them AND their butterfly baskets for their nursery as well. I need to get some talent, I tell you. I think I'm going to have to get a sewing machine so that I can make cool stuff for my friends too! :)

Just chillin' before time with Daddy while Aunt Nancy was visiting....



In other news... I'm finally outgrowing MOST of my maternity pants. You know you have issues when you stand up and your pants fall down. SO, guess I'll be exploring other clothing options when the last of these pants are too big. I still haven't worked out/walked yet. I'm so beat when I get home from the NICU that I'm lucky to have a conversation with Matt before I fall asleep (which is why the blog didn't get written for yesterday until today). Oh well. Slowly but surely in the next 3 weeks everything will be finished on our list....YAY!

In updated news...we have our insurance woes figured out. The representative for Hazelwood just called me back and told me that we are OFFICIAL... We now have 2 babies on my insurance for the first month and that Olivia's claims will start getting paid... Thank God b/c 2 of those claims (among the others) are for 107k and 97k. HOLY you know what! We'll give a final total on one of our blogs in the near future! :)

Hope All is well!


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

No More Lazy Breather!

As I arrived today at the NICU after work, Jeni announced to me that Olivia had a surprise for me. I was hoping it was another milestone... which it was. I checked her out in her isolette and Olivia was cannula-free. She was breathing well enough on her own that the nurse practitioner on duty decided to remove the oxygen. I was hoping that this would happen and had a feeling it would be soon since when I called last night the nurse had turned Olivia's oxygen off completely. It's nice to finally see her little face without the tubes in her nose!

Jeni had a busy day which included a follow-up trip to her doctor. This was her last visit to her specialist and she has now been released from their care. The visit went well with Jeni being released to start some light workouts including walking and lifting. I know she's very happy about this. She'd been looking forward to being allowed to do more as she has been obsessing with getting off her "baby weight". Jeni luckily remembered to take baby pictures in. On her last visit the nurse practitioner told her that she shouldn't bother coming back if she didn't bring pictures!

Following our time at the NICU, we headed home for dinner. We had a nice Thanksgiving-type dinner with food that Jeni's mom provided. We had turkey in the crock pot, stuffing, and mashed potatoes. Yummy! You would have thought Jeni hadn't eaten in a week the way she acted during dinner!

We finished the evening by watching more of the Olympics. Michael Phelps continues to dominate in every event he's in and rack up gold medals & world records... Amazing!

Well, back to watching the ladies team gymnastics finals...

Oh, and here are some pics of 2 future Olympic gymnasts...

Here are the first pictures of Olivia without her nose cannula

And Sydney hamming it up...

I call this one Sydney's Paparazzi pose.

Continuing with their Diva lifestyle, the girls have multiple wardrobe change throughout the day (thanks to their mother and the nurses who love to dress them). These pictures are the girls modeling new hats sent to them from Grandma Carol and Grand-Dude Jim. (Yes, Grand-Dude).

And finally, you may have noticed the new color scheme on the blog. Well, simply, I got bored with the old 'dots' layout and wanted something new with more color. Hope you enjoy!

Take care.


Monday, August 11, 2008

A Rough be had by all...

You know it's a bad sign when you call in at 7 am to check on the girls and your night nurse tells you that one of your babies is 'beside herself', so be prepared that things may not go as greatly as planned (i.e. nursing may be a little difficult). When I called this am, our night nurse (Kelly) reminded me that the girls were having their eye tests and head ultrasounds today...all routine NICU tests. Apparently, when they came into dilate the girls' eyes, Olivia got herself so worked up that she was inconsolable. SO upset in fact, that they had to move her to her stomach to get her to calm down. Sydney, I ask? She's doing great. Okay, so I go about my day, run to Sam's to get some staples that we have run completely out of (the first time this has EVER happened to me). I thought I did pretty well at Sam's, and I ONLY bought the girls 3 outfits (Carter's...super cheap at Sam's, size 6 and 9 months). :) What can I say? I have an addiction. At least the girls will be dressed super cute, right?

I arrived down at the NICU to discover that Olivia was so upset this AM that she actually pushed up her ENTIRE feeds and therefore didn't actually eat her breakfast. :( Sydney did well. Both girls had already had their eye tests and were having their head ultrasounds as I arrived. YAY, more things for me to ask the Dr and Nurse Practitioner about. After their head ultrasounds, I checked both girls before I started Sydney's assessment (diaper change & temperature check that she gets before each feeding), ONLY to discover that BOTH girls had majorly spit up (great another thing to talk to the Dr and NP about... do they have reflux?). SO, after I changed Sydney's diaper, I had to change her entire outfit and then nurse her. She did a great job for a baby that was 'stressed' out. I really probably should have not practiced with her, but she did do a great job! Then it was on to Olivia. Her spit up was bad too, so I was prepared to changer her outfit as well. What I was NOT prepared for was the poop. It was ALL OVER. So all over that it was under her armpits, up her back, and in her hair. It was AWFUL. I had to use 15 wipes (this includes the ones that were soapy to bathe her with). Gross! Her entire bed needed to be changed (3 receiving blankets were used, plus her outfit was ruined... Well, I'll know for sure after our laundry is done). As I was getting ready to practice with her the DR and NP showed up to discuss my concerns (I'd asked our nurse to page them for me)...

My concerns:
1- the girls new habit of spitting up after meals (welcome to the world of Reflux :( the Dr tells me)
2-Sydney's weight loss over the weekend a whole 10 grams, but I'm eager for her to gain weight 3-Eating/nursing difficulties (they aren't 'getting' it so far)
4-Ideas on WHEN they would potentially see them going home (3 weeks if not longer)
5-Eye Exams (The Eye Dr wanted to see Olivia in 2 weeks for a follow up, is this normal...yes it is. What was not normal was his not wanting to see Sydney for 6 months)
6- Results of their head ultrasounds (not in until tomorrow, but the tech had told me that they looked great)
7- We WERE going to also discuss the fact that Olivia hadn't pooped since Sunday AM and if this was normal (It is for breastfed babies to have poops every other day as they get older)

As our conversation rounded to an end, we also discussed my issues with the nurse this weekend and they both agreed with me that I was NOT overreacting and that all my issues would be addressed. They did tell me that since the girls were so steady they would more than likely be getting float pool nurses more often. BOO. But that I wouldn't have this nurse again, they promised and that they'd address her issues with the charge nurse.

Little Miss Olivia didn't end up nursing for this feed, mainly because she was so worked up from her day that she was exhausted and feel asleep before I could get her to nurse. She just needed some mommy time.

In my 2 hour break from nursing the girls, I washed out the receiving blankets and onesie that Olivia had been wearing and sprayed them down with Dreft spray, pumped, and called a couple friends. One of the friend's I talked to was my friend Stephanie. I called to see how the first day of school went...gotta love the first day. Sounds like it was pretty typical. The end of summer and beginning of the school year is bittersweet, and I am sure next year will be even more bittersweet to me when I go back for the first day. :(

Matt joined us for their 5 and 6 feedings and assessments for which neither girl had another poop of gigantic proportions, THANKFULLY! Nursing went well, not as great as over the weekend but it was a rough day for them. In addition to all this, their Uncle Mike and Aunt Nozomi came to see the girls as well... fun, fun times. :) Thankfully we had a dinner casserole to go home to, after a quick run to Babies R Us for MORE baby stuff. And to think I thought we had enough...not! The girls went through 9 receiving blankets today. Craziness. So I needed to purchase more, the first of many of these discoveries I am sure.

Tomorrow I have my follow up appointment at Dr. Paul's office (where I will get released), so hopefully I can start walking and lifting some light weights to work off all this pregnancy and bed rest fat. :( Then, when I see the girls I am going to have the lactation consultant help me with the girls during their nursing sessions. We need to get working on this eating thing so that we can move onto bottles and get home. Now if only they'd stop having brady's (heart drops), we'd be even closer to being home free. They have to have 5 days FREE of brady's before they will be discharged. This seriously stinks b/c some days they have 4 or 5 still. :( And we need to get Miss Olivia off of her oxygen. In good news, the girls are official! We received their Social Security Cards today! So cool.

Hope all is well,

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Great Debate

So since their birth, the constant debate between Jeni and I has been who the twins look like. To the casual observer, one may not be able to actually tell the apart yet. As their parents though, we can definitely see some distinct differences between them. Besides their size difference (Olivia is noticeably larger) they had differences in their facial features. In my opinion, Olivia looks alot like Jeni. Specifically, I think Olivia has Jeni's eyes. Not the color (since their eye color will still change probably) but the shape of her eyes. As for Sydney, Jeni and I both believe that she looks more like me. Jeni also thinks both girls have my mouth. And if you all know Jeni, that's probably a good thing since she's known to curse like a sailor on occassion... Just kidding Jeni. :)

So, with this debate, I decided to go back and look at some baby pictures of the two of us and see if I could find some that solidified our opinions... Here's some I found.

You may agree... Or not.

- Olivia taken on 8-7-08

- Jeni and her grandpa, circa 1977.

- Sydney taken 8-10-08

- Matt taken circa 1975.

In news regarding the girls, no real changes. They both lost a few grams after being switched to their new isolettes, which is to be expected. These force them to regulate their own temps more, which can actually burn additional calories, thus causing them to actually lose some weight.

Olivia is still on 1/2 liter of humidity and on 23% oxygen. We hope to get her off of both of these in the next week. Sydney has been back on mom's milk for 2 days now and things seem to be good. Hopefully this continues.

Jeni went down to see the girls this morning to arrive in time for their 11 & 12 o'clock feedings so she could get in some more practice time with them. I had some yard work to take care of so I had Grandma Sharon and Grandpa Rick swing by and get me on their way to the hospital. After arriving we hung out with the girls for about an hour. Sharon and Rick left around 2:00 so Jeni could practice again with the girls. Follow those practice sessions we left as well.

Since our schedules have been so whacked with trips back and forth to the hospital, we haven't been doing our usual homemade dinners at home. Its been a lot of frozen pizzas and fast food for us. Luckily some folks have been generous enough to make us some meals! Tonight, we stopped by and Grandma Pat had 3 meals made for us. We'll be dining in style this week! This is in addition to the stuffed peppers that Grandma Sharon made for us and dropped off late last week.

Tonight we did get home in time for me to grill. So I made some pork steaks and grilled the veggies that Grandpa Gale gave us. It was a nice evening at home hanging with the boxers and watching the Olympics. Go USA! :)

Anyway, until tomorrow, here are some more pictures of the girls from today...

Sydney Ann

And Olivia Kay

Have a great day!