Thursday, August 25

And the needles continue...

I don't know if I ever mentioned that in the beginning of August I met with hematology to discuss my clot & the next steps?  Anyways, I did & at that appointment the doctor casually mentioned that there were reasons why radiology had been pretty worried about the clot back in May.

Reason 1 was that the clot was pretty large & had started to expand or something in the vein.  (Obviously I listened really well)  The ovarian vein thrombosis (clot) was a complication of pregnancy not seen often (as in once every few years in the hospital) & the size of my clot was especially unusual.

Reason 2 that they had been worried was something about how swollen the whole area was.  It was at my hematology appointment that my doctor casually mentioned the possibility of there actually being a tumor.  (Yeah- not cool.  I couldn't believe they hadn't mentioned that possibility to me back in May.  But then again, I was so ready to get out of the hospital (I had definitely gone from "model-super-easy-patient-we-all-love" to "uh-oh-patient-zilla") that they probably didn't want to provoke me.  :))

However, they assured me that everything was probably fine & that the clot should be completely gone by that point as I had been on blood thinner injections 2 times a day.

I went for my MRI yesterday to make sure that the clot was no more and the area was A-okay.  The results- no tumor.  Yay.  I guess the swelling went down and the area was looking more normal, but despite 3 months of injections, the clot persists.  It has shrunk, but it's still there.  So instead I continue with the injections for a few more weeks until my prescription runs out & then I go back in November again to meet with Hematology and schedule another MRI.

And I was so ready to live a needle-less life for awhile.

Wednesday, August 24

A day in the life...

I was reading a schedule recently by another twin mom and thought it would be interesting to sketch our daily schedule, but then I realized that we're not really there yet... ha.  We do have some regular parts of the day, but so much of it is just following everyone's lead... but let's see...

5am- Usually Sydney starts stirring, so I grab her before she shrieks for a diaper change and reswaddle.  She hangs on the Boppy while I grab Zoe and change and reswaddle her too.  Both girls nurse for anywhere between 10 and 30 minutes.  Then they both go back on the Boppies (I do all this on the floor at the foot of our bed) and I hook up to the pump for 20-30 minutes.  Midpump I'll stop and put about an ounce into a bottle and try to top off the girls.  Sometimes they take it, usually they don't.

6/6:30am-ish- Back to bed for a few.

7am-ish- Girls start stirring again and it's all over.  They usually do a quick nurse again & I may pump depending on Colby.  Then we play until Colby wakes.

8am- Colby wakes up asking for "awfuls".  Head downstairs with him, set him up with breakfast or toys.  Back upstairs for the girls, one at a time in their Rock & Plays.  Back upstairs for pump, dirty bottles, cooler of milk, & changes of clothes for everyone.

8:20am-After breakfast we play, play, play...

9am-10:30  I nurse the girls again & pump again for 20 minutes.  Girls usually go down again... Sydney sleeps better in the AM so she'll usually take a solid nap.  Colby's still playing.

10:30/11am- Girls start to wake & they play & we all play.  On a good day we get outside in the AM for the water table or pool.  On a REALLY good day we get outside for some sort of errand.

11am- Girls change, nurse, pump...

12pm- Calliou while I get lunch ready.  Girls are usually awake & smiley.  Colby eats & plays some more.

1:30pm-3:30pm Colby goes down for a nap.  Girls get changed again, nurse, pump & hopefully the girls both nap again.  Usually they both nap pretty well during this time.

3:30pm- Up unless Colby went down later.  Usually play outside.

4:30- Change, nurse, pump.  Every other week Johnny's home around now and he plays with Colby.  The opposite weeks he's home at 5

5pm- On a good day I start getting dinner figured out and started.  Colby usually eats around 5:30/6pm.  Otherwise it's all playing.  The girls may nap or may not depending on what we're doing and who's entertaining them.

6:30pm- With Johnny home I sneak in an extra pump session

7:30-8pm or so- Change, nurse, pump again.  Girls go down for sleeeep in their Rock & Plays downstairs still.

8:15pm-9pm- Colby up for bath/shower, books, bed

9pm Come down and pump

9:20-10:30pm: Get things ready/wash bottles/load up cooler/start moving everything upstairs for hte night.  We eat if we didn't already eat.

10:30-11pm- Last change, bottle with vitamin, and girls upstairs for bed.  Usually around now Colby's waking up for Mama's bed.

1:30am2:30/3am- Gooood morning Sydney & Zoe.  Up again to change, nurse, pump...

That's kind of what it looks like.  There are lots of days where feeds end up every 2 or so hours.  These girls know that it's healthier to eat smaller amounts more frequently, so they stick to that.  They usually take about 70-80ml instead of more, so they're eating every 2-3 hours.  I think one time we got 4 hours out of them.

I don't always have time to pump after nursing... I try to every time, but sometimes Colby really needs my attention or the girls won't settle.  After every feed I usually try to top them off... sometimes they take it sometimes they don't.  They're growing & healthy so I'm not stressing about it too much.

OH, look at that... Colby's awake.  :)

This was already wrong today... so far it's been a 11:30/1:30/4 kind of morning...

Sunday, August 21

Questions part... 3?

The girls are three months old on Thursday, so I feel like I should already have this whole nursing thing figured out, but I so do not.  

I typically nurse the girls at every feeding except for their 10/11pm feeding.  (Though there are times that they decide they need just a little more and I'm already pumping, so a bottle it is!)  They get a multi-vitamin so I put it in that bottle & this also makes sure that they get a full feeding and go to bed full.  (And I get 3 hours of sleep because OH MY GOD they're still not sleeping more than 3 hours at a time!)

Both girls are still using shields.  Do they need them?  I don't know!  But the last thing I want to do at 2am or 5am is prolong the feeding by testing them off the shield and then putting it back on and on and on.  And during the day I do try them off sometimes and sometimes it works great and other times they flail around like a fish out of water.  So that's my first question How do I get them both off the shields because I am SO SICK of those stupid things?!

Zoe is good about nursing and it calms her down and she finds it comforting I think.  She usually takes full feeds- especially at night.  After every feed I still try to "top them off" and she's been refusing any sort of bottler afterwards so I take that as a good sign.  Sydney on the other hand... she's so touch and go.  She is almost impossible to nurse unless she's swaddled because she's going a mile a minute with her hands.  She screams like a banshee if she's even the least bit hungry, so it's a trick feeding Zoe and calming Sydney simultaneously.  Once she's eventually calmed I have a hard time getting her to latch.  She won't open her mouth very wide like Zoe still does.  So that's the second question How do I get Sydney to latch better so she's not falling off and retrying every two seconds?  She had a good latch before, but since she has become Miss Drama Queen 2.0 she's starting to lose it.  I want it back!

In addition to all the nursing sessions, I pump at least 8-9 times a day still, never going more than 3 hours (unless we're out and about for longer, then never going more than 5 hours).  I know I don't so much need to worry about time simply because the girls are nursing and obviously getting what they need, but I'm trying to build a stockpile for back to work.  At this point we need a new freezer... but my third question At three months, how many times are most people pumping?  I know I'm kind of at overkill, but I have no idea what I should be striving for...

Monday, August 15

A few updates

It's been awhile since a real update... time is limited. :)

Despite this weekend's excitement Colby's doing great. This fever/sickness/seizure was really the first time he has been really sick since he was released from the NICU. He's had a few low fevers here and there mostly associated with teething and he's had a few colds and croup one time, but nothing that ever amounted to anything serious. Basically he's beaten all the odds of being a 27 weeker. (And it never gets old to hear everyone say that!)

Speaking of beating the odds... shortly after his birthday he was reassessed with Infant Followup at Children's Hospital. Infant Followup follows preemies for 3 years to see how they're developing. Last year he went and was scored as being behind in language and pretty much on-par with corrected age (3 months late) for everything else. This time he went with Johnny and scored just under 3 years old for receptive and expressive language (he doesn't stop talking so I'm not surprised) and above 2 years in fine motor, gross motor, cognitive, social, emotional. He did so well that he "graduated" early from IF and doesn't need to be seen next year. I can't tell you how much it helps me to know that he's doing so well. I still have a lot of guilt associated with the boys early birth so it's nice to be clearing some hurdles. I know we still have quite a few to pass because extreme preemies have increased chances of developing ADD and other learning disabilities, but for now we're looking good.

When he talks, he's all about the verbs and I find it so cute. "I walkin" and "I runnin" and "I climbin" He uses complete sentences and will tell you super elaborate stories. When he tells stories he talks with his hands and gets so into them. I often only catch a few words or sentences from his stories, but he clearly knows what he is saying. He knows colors, can count to 10, knows most of the ABCs, can point out a few letters in his name, loves to read books... He still loves Toy Story. He's a total boys boy with trucks and balls, but he also loves shoes. He's currently napping with his Crocs on. He's a water baby and loves to splash and jump and generally get soaked.

He's absolutely amazing. He loves his mama and dada and babies. He's at an age that we can teach him silly things so Johnny taught him to fist pump and I taught him to "put people to sleep" by waving his hand and saying "go to sleep". Then he'll wake you up by yelling "wake up!". He gets into it and lets you put him to sleep too. He also knows how to make people laugh and if you laugh, he'll keep doing whatever it was that made you laugh. My brothers & Johnny taught him to say "precious" like in Lord of the Rings (I've never watched it so I'm trusting them here) and when he would say it everyone would crack up, so he'd say it over and over and over. He also started pushing a button on a magnet at my parents house & when it would beep he would make himself fall. We found it hilarious so he would do it over and over. He's going to be a clown.

We "started" potty training. He got a Toy Story potty for his birthday. He used it 1 time shortly after his birthday and has had no interest since. We're not pushing it at all and just going with the flow. When he gets it, he gets it. I'm in no rush to make this little guy grow up!

At his 2 year appointment he weighed in at just under 26lbs, measured about 34 inches, and had a head circumference in the 80+ percentile. He's finally big enough to be front-facing, but we're keeping him rear-facing in his car seat for as long as possible (he can be 40 inches in his car seat). We're always on the highway, so I just feel safer having him rear-facing as long as he can be. It's a bit of a pain to get all 3 in the car because of the way his carseat sticks out, but for now it's how we feel safest. :)

He loves fruits, "mac-a-monie", sweets, bread, milk & yogurt. Veggies are tough and meats are very touch-and-go. Eating is a constant struggle. Sleeping is getting better. He goes down for naps on his own pretty easily. Bedtime is getting better too... he falls asleep on his own in his Big Boy Bed. He usually wakes up a few times and easily goes back to bed. Around the 3rd time or so he asks for Mama's bed. I'm going to be more than a little sad when he doesn't want to be in our bed anymore.

He loves his sisters. He'll try to climb into their beds to give them hugs and kisses. Before bed he kisses daddy and then his sisters. He knows the babies only drink milk and can't have anything else. He loves when I put them on the ground for tummy time and sometimes orders me to put them down for tummy time. He'll grab the bins of baby toys and dump them out to share with the girls. He loves to hold the girls, but if they start crying when he's holding them he'll push them away. Sometimes if I'm holding a girl and he wants to be held he'll point to their bed and say "Mama, baby down." He's the best big brother and I'm so excited to see them all grow up together.

The Girls
The girls are growing up so fast I can't stand it. They're both over 9lbs now and in size 1 diapers and 0-3 month clothing.

Zoe looks more like Johnny and is growing dark hair. Her eyes are still dark blue and beautiful. She's super nosey and spends her time looking around. Her nosiness has made her neck super strong though. She already sits in the Bumbo without a problem. Tummy time she gets her belly off the floor already and looks around propped up by her arms. She's a little harder to get to nap and she's more sensitive to Colby's noise and wakes up easier. Before she cries she sticks out her lip just like Colby does and you know it's coming, but she's pretty easily soothed. She loves her pacifier and it works wonders. She doesn't like a dirty diaper, but she'll just whimper until you change it. She's loves to cuddle when she's tired and will mold to you, but when she's awake she'll bob all around and push off with her feet.

Sydney looks more like Colby & I. She has lighter hair and her eyes are still dark blue as well. Her nose is more pointed and her ears are more folded. She's nosey too, but is also content just laying with you when she's awake. She's not as thrilled with tummy time and she sleeps more, so her neck isn't ask strong yet. She'll lay on her belly and cry during tummy time instead of trying to push up. She's better at falling asleep and staying asleep. However, when she wants something she'll let you know by shrieking until she gets it. Nothing will soothe her until she gets what she wants. She can't stand a dirty diaper and will not do anything until it gets changed- you can't content her with food, a pacifier, or cuddles if her diaper is dirty. If she has to burp she will scream as well. Once it comes out she's so happy though.

Both girls are smiling and cooing like crazy and it's melting my heart. A few tickles and they're all grins. I love the little sounds I hear from the backseat as they're cooing to themselves. I can't believe it has already been so long that they've been here.

My district has been amazing throughout both pregnancies. With the boys they worked with me to take my leave when Colby was discharged from the NICU. If they hadn't I would have spent over 2 months of leave sitting in a hospital room. It worked out great that I was home for 5 solid months with him. Of course I wanted more but I'm so grateful for the time I had.

With the girls, they have been just as awesome. I was on Sick Leave from March to the end of the year- fully paid with benefits. Now I've been out for the summer and come September I have another 12+ weeks to be out with the girls, so I'll be back to school probably some time in December. It will make the year tricky, but I'm so glad I have the time with the kiddos.

I'm switching to first grade this year so I have lots of the same kids which is great (for the most part...). I'm anxious to get my room set up so things are the way I like it despite not being there for the whole beginning of the year. It's an exciting change.

Zoe's waking up- the other 2 are still napping, so I'll end this here.

Saturday, August 13

Happy Anniversary?

Yesterday marked my & Johnny's 5 year anniversary.

5 years ago on a beautiful sunny day we said I Do in the sunshine in front of our friends and family. It was the most perfect day and night.

4 years ago we headed to a small B&B in New Hampshire to eat our year-old cake and explore the area.

3 years ago we were in Virginia for my cousin's wedding and enjoyed our anniversary exploring DC.

2 years ago we sat in a small NICU room watching over a baby hooked up to a CPAP hoping and praying for his body to heal and come home with us.

1 year ago we took a night away from the above baby- Colby of course- to relax and rushed home as soon as we could the next AM.

This year we didn't plan anything. I said over and over I didn't want to leave the kiddos so I wanted to stay home... only I really planned a whole day/evening for us with babysitters lined up as a surprise. In the afternoon Grandma headed over so we could mini-golf (a throwback to year ago) and grab a quick lunch. After we packed up the kiddos and headed down to Grammy & Grampy's. We got all 3 settled and said goodbye. Colby was excited to play with Uncle Matt, my brother who is leaving for Texas for a year on Wednesday for his Masters. My parents also had plans to bring all 3 to the town fair later in the evening.

We headed to a hotel in Providence where we got ready and headed to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner. After a quick wait we ordered and contemplated the rest of the evening. We settled on an 8:50 showing of The Change Up. Soon after around 8pm our dinner arrived and we started eating our food.

Two bites in "Grammy's Cell" popped up on Johnny's phone because I had left mine in the room. We missed answering it so I quickly called back commenting "They better be calling to say goodnight!" My parents have never once called while babysitting...

Quickly my dad answers and I think I hear "Colby had a fever." Thinking it was kind of silly for him to call for that, I ask what he's talking about and he repeats what he said--- only I hear it correctly-- "Colby had a seizure." He quickly explains that Colby was in the First Aid tent receiving oxygen and that they were waiting on the ambulance to transport him to the Children's Hospital. Luckily Johnny and I were in the city and only minutes from the hospital- we quickly paid the check, ran to our room to get his insurance card, and then raced to the hospital. I was nervous-- I was pretty sure we would learn it was a seizure caused by the fever spike, but I until I heard from my mom that he was alert I couldn't help but think that he wouldn't come to, or he would stop breathing and complications of his prematurity would come up. However, once my mom called and let me know he was alert and responsive I was fine- scared for Colby, but I knew (or at least was pretty sure) that he was going to be okay. Johnny on the other hand had never heard of febrile seizures and he was completely panicked.

When we made it to the OR my poor baby was screaming and terrified. By then my mom had made it (she was in ambulance with him) and my brother Chris & his fiance were there. My dad and brother Matt were following with the girls adn my brother Jeff and his wife were on their way. All Colby wanted was Mama so I stripped him down and tried to console him but he was understandably miserable and scared to death. They had tried to start an IV in the ambulance but they couldn't get it in, he had been strapped to an unknown carseat, they hadn't let my mom sit next ot him in the ambulance because she had to be belted... basically I would have been terrified if I were him too.

Eventually they gave him tylenol to get the fever down (I have NEVER felt anyone so hot in my entire life) and we calmed him down with the help of an iPhone and Calliou. We saw a nurse, a resident, and the attending who all assured us that he would be fine (though it took a lot of convincing for Johnny). We were sent on our way shortly after midnight. My parents took the girls as planned, but we weren't letting the Bug out of our sight, so we made a trip to a 24 hour CVS for snacks and tylenol and our Anniversary getaway turned into a sleepover party with Colby.

Over 24 hours later his fever is still rearing its ugly head and I'm just hoping that we have seen the last of the seizures for life. He's definitely fighting some sort of GI bug, but when his fever is down he's up to his old antics. He's a tough cookie!

I feel the worst for my poor parents and my brother Matt. My mom was holding Colby at the time-- they noticed he was feeling warm so they were on their way to leave the fair to get him tylenol when he asked for one more ride on the Choo-Choo. As they were getting ready to get on the ride he started seizing so I am so glad she was holding him so he couldn't get hurt. She immediately raced to my brother and Dad and called 911. They found the med-tent where Paramedics administered the oxygen and made sure he was okay. Matt immediatley called my brothers Chris and Jeff to let them know that Colby had had the seizure.

In the end it all reminded me a little more just how ridiculously loved this little boy is. My brothers rushed to the hospital and everyone stayed for hours even though they were just stuck in the waiting room. They all helped with the girls when Johnny & I couldn't. Today Chris & Stephie brought Colby donuts, Jeff & Nikki helped watch the girls so I could take cake of Colby, and Matt bought Colby bubbles and a truck to make him feel better.

So in the end, Colby's okay. I know it's totally normal and he'll be okay even if he has another, but he's already been through enough in his short life... I wish he didn't have to deal with this (though I guess he won't remember... only we will). And we're hoping and praying the girls don't get his bug and that they escape toddlerhood without ever having a seizure... because apparentlly there is a genetic predisposition. Great. :(

Suffice to say... Anniversary wasn't so romatic, but our bug is okay and that's all that matters.

When we