What We Weigh!

We haven't been to the pediatrician in ages! SOOO, I guess we weigh about 24 pounds now...(May 10)

Monday, December 31, 2007

We switched!

That's right. Eve is now the bigger twin. Both girls are around 19.5 pounds and 27 inches long. The pediatrician said, about a billion times, they look beautiful, perfect, excellent, healthy etc. So I take it that's good! He said we were doing a good job with them! Nice to hear. They had their second RSV shot and flu shot today, but they aren't being TOO bad right now. The doc wrote a script for vitamins, which we will have to pick up when the pharmacy is open. So that's another thing we have to start doing with the girls! We are also going to attempt solids again. Thinking about rice cereal in the morning and something at night. Obviously it will depend on their ability to eat off a spoon! But they are developmentally around 5 months old and that is the middle ground to try solids these days. We'll let you know how it goes! And hopefully post a few pics! Right now I have to eat, so I can't post pics, but SOON. I promise!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Florida Fun

Hello from sunny Southwest Florida! The girls, Eric and I arrived after about 25-26 hours (not driven straight through, of course!) We hit a bit of snow on the way down in New York and we hit a major rainstorm in South Carolina/Georgia, but otherwise the trip was fine! So far, Lily and Eve have gone swimming -- and loved it... In the picture with me is Eve and she IS smiling, even ifyou can't see it. She's in a little boat called a "Speedo" and it is really nifty and doesn't flop around at all. She was kicking her legs and everything, not that she was GETTING anywhere doing it! We dragged her around the pool in that and she was definitely enjoying it! Lily went in second and she too seemed to like the "Speedo" so Mom and Dad went out and got a second one. They should be able to use them the next time they come, since the things CLAIM to be for 6 months to 24 months. (Though I think that's a stretch!) So here is Lily's picture:
I took the picture so the zoom is way in on her,because that's how I like to take the pictures!
She was smiling the whole time. Neither baby cried. I guess that means they like pools. Of course, I think they would have reacted differently if the pool wasn't warmer than the air because the heater has been on for DAYS and it has been pretty warm out here. The only thing the girls don't seem to like is the bright sunlight. They cry because they don't quite understand why they have to close their eyes and it's got to be painful when they get a blast of sun in their eyes. We did buy them visor hats, which you'll see...Just about now. That's the other thing the girls did, went on a nature hike at the Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium. We didn't really visit the planetarium because they wouldn't like the dark and I doubt they would have been quiet. So we didn't even try. They really didn't like it when we weren't walking and you have to sit in there. It was a laser show, which they MIGHT have liked, but still. They DID like to watch the animals. They watched the butterflies, the hawk, the bobcat and the raccoons. Eve was chirping all happily on the walk. Lily was eating her hand, as they are both teething pretty badly, but she didn't cry! She ended up falling asleep. Here are the girls before we left on the walk in the parking lot. The baby carriers were decent buys, although we have to get them set up right so they pull in all the right places instead. Eve's legs are the ones sticking out sideways on the left. Lily is on the right with Eric. Eve kept kicking her legs around and flinging her arms back and forth. She wasn't angry or upset though just excited. But that's all I have time for now, so I have to wrap this up. We are going to have our Christmas Eve today with Grandma and Grandpa K and then tomorrow we'll meet a few Florida relatives. We'll post more pictures when we get some!

Friday, December 7, 2007

A gift for Uncle Rob (and his fellow Marines)

This was something we made to send to Lily and Eve's Uncle Rob in Iraq. Since it likely won't get there by Christmas, we e-mailed him a copy as well. But we fully intend to send him a nice print of it too. Here is the picture!!!


Friday, November 30, 2007

Christmas is coming and if anyone wants a good place to find toys for the girls, there is a Web site called "Tiny Love" and they have a multiples program where you can buy one thing and get a second free. The catch is, Eric and I have to apply for the "program" first, which we are goingto do, and I'm not sure if it will be done in time for the holidays. But I will let you know if we get it in order. And the orders have to be made via the phone, not online or at a retail store...so anyway...e-mail us if you are interested in it. You can go to www.tinylove.com to check it out. They seem to be reasonably priced and they have pretty rigorous testing standards to avoid all that lead crap in other toys.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Gearing up for that special photo

Yup, the girls are practicing for the special holiday picture! We tried them out in a pose that we want to replicate in a bigger "bucket" and with the two of them together in party dresses! Here are the good ones:





Saturday, November 24, 2007

S'More Thanks...

Hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving! We missed everyone at Grandma's M's house this year, but we'll see you next year when the girls aren't in as much danger from RSV. While we weren't there, Grandma M. did tell us some people came bearing gifts and we want to take this time to thank them!!! I'm throwing in a belated Thanks to another friend too!!!

Priscilla - Thank you for the outfits. The girls are already wearing the 12-month sets and we know they will be in the 18 months by early in the new year!!! They look so cute in the black leggings, I knew I'd love them!! These girls dont' have enough black!!!

Grandma M. - Thank you for the outfits meant for Christmas that fit now! The little jeans and fall shirts were greeeat! And the coveralls and orange shirts were cute too. We dressed them in those one day at home. Both girls stayed warm in the track suits and we always love the clothes you buy them. There are too many to name each individually, but we thank you for them all!

Mara - We heard you gave us $100 for formula and we are VERY appreciative! These two are our "formula-monsters" and they eat like crazy! It will definitely come in handy and won't go to waste. We also heard you bought Pooh clothes for Christmas that thegirls already fit in and we want to thank you for those too. We love Pooh and they are growing so fast that clothes are important!

Karen - Grandma M. said you got some old Olivia clothes back from Kevin, Colleen and Caroline and are letting us have them -- thanks! We can definitely find a use for them and we'll try to keep them in good condition for the next little girl in the family! We're packing away some of the girls' newborn, 0-3 and 3-6 month stuff too. I doubt many in the family want the preemie clothes!!!

For future information, if anyone plans on buying clothes for the girls, you are safest buying 12 months and beyond. They are already in 6 and 6-9 and some 12 month clothes. We swear manufacturers purposely make this stuff smaller so people buy them as gifts and then parent shave to go buy new stuff really soon after when they babies grow out so quick!

Anyway, THANKS everyone!!!!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

We're in the wrong profession...

I was working out payment plans with various doctors/facilities etc, when I called Albany Med's patient billing department. They said insurance paid the actual hospital bills in full, so we owe them nothing, but just on an interesting note...they told me what the girls' bills came to:

Eve racked up a total of about $186,000. ANd Lily's stay cost over $200,000.

Imagine what would have happened if we DIDN'T have insurance. With the salary Eric brings in, we aren't eligible for any government assistance, regardless of what the bills add up to, and even if we had SOLD the house and cars and everything we own, it wouldn't add up to that! It's a scary thought. We still do owe about $4-5,000 in doctors fees, but I've worked out that we pay $50 a month for Eve, Lily and my doctors, adding up to $150. We pay the cardiology pple what we can afford, they aren't picky, and the pathology bill is being resubmitted to the insurance company because STUPID surgeon at Albany Med who didn't know Lily was a girl, let alone her name, submitted a claim for "FemaleA Mostaccio." Yeh, that name isn't on our policy. Asswipe. Pardon the speech, but we HATE him. And as strong as that word is, it's the truth. He shouldn't be in the medical profession, I don't care HOW good he is at what he does, if he can't remember the sex of the baby he is talking to the parents of, he needs to retire and NOW.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Developmental follow-up

Just a quick update (it's all I have time for!) We went to the girls' 6-month developmental checkup today and it was NOT what I thought. The toys they used didn't interest the girls in the slightest, so they didn't even really pay attention to them let alone reach for them when they were "sitting" at the table. When they were laying on their backs on the mat, both would hold the toys if they were placed in their hands. Lily would bring it to her mouth and chew on it or look at it. Eve appeared to have no idea she had something in her hand. Lily did well on her tummy, held her torso up at the right angle and all, andplayed a bit with a toy. Eve...she laid down, put her head to the side and cried. They didn't even keep her there for 20 seconds before moving on. When all was said and done, the doctor said they were within the normal range for their adjusted age of 16 weeks, but she was concerned and wants to see them again in 3 months. Oh joy.

There was pretty much NO suggestions given on getting Eve to pick her head up. At least not anything we didn't already try. And the doctor didn't really tell us what concerned us. She said LIly is noticeably ahead. She did also mentioned they have good speech for their age, and said that many times mean smarter children. I was like...OK...so if they are quiet they end up dumb? Right.

Anyway, we'll be going BACK up to Latham on April 4. I think that's one year to the day we that we learned we were having twins.

Tomorrow they get their 6-month shots. That'll be wonderful. Ugh. And on Nov. 23 they get their flu shot.

I'm not positive, but from what my mom said of a call from the office, they MIGHT be getting RSV shots. I asked vaguely about RSV at their last appointment and it was pretty much blown off. BUT, then mom said the pede's office called and wanted the girls social security numbers to order something. Now, I got a flu shot in the office, so I doubt he had to order THAT. And mom could almost swear she heard the person say "synagis" which is the name for the RSV shot. We'll find out for sure tomorrow. If that is the case, they would need an appointment every month through April or May. But it would be nice if they could get it.

We're a little worried about the insurance though. One woman on a messageboard for twins said that she was approved for the shots, but her insurance only covers 80 percent of the cost -- leaving her and her husband with $250 payments every month for BOTH babies: a total of $500 a month for the shots! From November through April! If that is the case here, we can't afford them. No way! Not with the other bills we have that we can't pay!

Anyway, that's all...ended up being a bit longer than I thought!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Some Mongo Babies!!!

We just got back from the pediatrician. I thought preemies usually took a while to catch up to their actual age counterparts when it came to size, but not these two.

Lily's stats:
5 months, 1 week actual age (7 1/2 weeks premature, don't wanna do the math for adjusted age) --- weighs 16.5 pounds, length 24 3/4 in, putting her in the 80th percentile for weight and the 50th for height ACTUAL age. Her head circumference is like the 85th percentile...

She has a small umbilical hernia still, and some sort of capillary thingy on her back we'll watch. Lungs clear, everything looks fine.

Eve's stats: Ditto on the age --- weighs 16 pounds, height 25 in., putting her in the 75th percentile for weight and the 50thish percentile for height. Her head circumference is bigger than Lily's...

He did note her back of the head soft spot was closed...normal I guess. She still has the middle of the forehead birth marks, which may or may not go away by age 5.

We go back on Nov. 10 for their 6 month shots, and on Nov. 23 for their flu shots. (I got one today at their peds office.)

NOW for the not-so-good news -- our ped doesn't believe in RSV shots. THinks it's nothing at all to worry about and all kids get it. HM...contrary to just about everything I read nowadays. I'm not sure what to do.

He did say we could start them on rice, barley or oatmeal cereals. (One week on each to see howthey react) and on yellow vegetables, like squash, corn, sweet potatoes. I'm holding off on the veggies though. I'll wait until they are 7 months actual, 5 months adjusted before i even think of it. They are far from spoon feeding. He gave us some samples of Enfamil Lipil AR because they have been spitting up a lot lately. And I'm hoping he'll keep giving us samples. He was surprised when I said we don't get WIC. He gave us both the AR and some ready to use just regular Lipil. That's nice!

Anyway, yeh, I've got mongo babies! We'll see how they are doing developmentally on Nov. 13. Who knows, in two weeks time they might even start doing a number of things they aren't yet!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Lily Belly Laughs!

Just a quick video of Lily laughing upstairs in the crib one day. They don't do it often, and they like to only laugh at one particular toy on their mobile. But hopefully they'll start doing it more often soon!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The laugh

Well, here is Eve laughing too! She sounds more like she's choking at times, but she's not! Trust me!!! And Lily is smiling next to her. This was a pretty lucky catch. Eve just started doing it for no real reason. And she ended pretty quickly too! Got hungry I guess.



Well, enjoy! Lily on the left, Eve on the right...

Hee hee hee

Lily LAUGHED, I mean really laughed, yesterday! It was the coolest thing! Eric and I were laughing about something, I don't remember what, and she started laughing too. It was SOOO cute. I wish we had the camera, but we had NO IDEA she was going to do that. Cute can't even really describe it! I can't wait until she does it again! She's cooed before and a little tiny chucklely type thing, but never full on laughed before. It looked kind of hard for her, because it's a new thing, but she did it!

Both of the girls are taking more interest in the toys on their swing trays too. Lily and Eve both grab them, but I don't think they realize what they are doing. Sometimes they fall asleep with the toy in their hand. Right now, Lily is looking at one of them, touching it sometimes, but not really sure what to do with it. Or that she CAN do anything with it. But I guess staring is the first step. They are getting good at focusing on things. Eve is unhappy on her back, so I've got to go move her, but other than that, the girls aren't really doing much else that's new. I'll write when they do!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Baby push ups

Just posting a quick video and some pictures of the girls in "push up" mode. They still don't like to lay on their tummies, but they are getting a little better at pushing themselves up. The video and the baby in yellow are Lily. Enjoy. And please, don't forget to read the previous post on RSV. It's important!

OKAY, then the pictures:



Friday, October 12, 2007

It's approaching that time of year...

Well, for those of you who have had preemies, you know this time of year well -- RSV season. For those of you who are not familiar with RSV, Eric and I compiled an e-mail explaining a little about the illness and what we are going to have to do for the remainder of RSV season. (Reports we've read vary, but most agree end of October through April is "RSV season")

RSV, also known as respiratory syncytial virus, is defined as "the most common cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia among infants and children under 1 year of age. Illness begins most frequently with fever, runny nose, cough and sometimes wheezing. During their first RSV infection, between 25 and 40 percent of infants and young children have signs or symptoms of bronchiolitis or pneumonia" and some require hospitalization.

Why are we telling you this, you may wonder? Well, the fact of the matter is that Lily and Eve were born premature and both suffered Respiratory Distress Syndrome at birth, and Eve's compounded into Broncho Pulmonary Dysplasia, or chronic lung disease.

According to the Preemie Care organization, RSV is particularly serious in infants born prematurely, children under the age of two suffering from chronic lung conditions and is a higher risk in multiple birth families -- if one baby gets it, chances are the other will as well. While virtually all children are infected with RSV by the age of two, preemies are at an elevated risk of severe RSV and each year up to 125,000 children are hospitalized. Some do die.

Lily and Eve have already spent far too much of their lives in the hospital NICU and Eric and I both agree, along with our pediatrician, that the risk to them during RSV season far outweighs the need for attending family get togethers, going to the supermarket as a family and frequent visitors. As hard as it is for us to make the decision, we think it best for the girls that we effectively "quarantine" them for the months of late October through April. Before anyone gasps and labels us overprotective first-time parents, please see this from our point of view: we watched our babies on ventilators, unable to breathe on their own, for the first week of their lives. We watched both of them turn grey from lack of oxygen at times and saw and heard the monitors alarming as these episodes happened. No parent wants to see such a thing, and if we can prevent it from happening again, we want to do just that.

We have come to the decision that we will not be attending any get-togethers during the aforementioned months. We're afraid that includes dinners at Grandma and Grandpa M's house, as much as we liked attending them and found great joy in everyone's obvious love of the girls. Unfortunately, Thanksgiving falls into the beginning of peak RSV season and because of the number of guests that attend, and the number of children we have in our big, happy family, Lily and Eve will be unable to come to Thanksgiving dinner. We will also have to bow out of Christmas at whoseever house it is this year. We can do our small family Christmas with Grandma and Grandpa, Aunt Jessica and Uncle Sean, but that will have the be the extent of our Christmas outings. The same goes for Grandma and Poppie K. Large get togethers will have to be put on the back burner for the girls' health.

Please don't see this as an excuse or a way to avoid seeing you all. We know that you all love Lily and Eve, and enjoy seeing them. But we ask that you respect our wishes and don't ask us to bring them to family functions. It is hard for us to do this, we also love showing the girls off. We will not be taking them to the store, we will be asking to wait in an exam room at any and all doctor visits they have to go to during RSV season, and anyone who comes to the house will be immediately set upon by neurotic mommy and daddy with the hand soap and hand sanitizer. Any smokers will be asked to refrain from holding the babies unless they are wearing a shirt that has never been worn while they smoked. Holding, in itself, will be limited as well when there is a group of people together. We don't do this to exclude anyone from getting to be with the girls -- we do this for their good. Unless you have had a child in NICU for weeks on end you cannot understand what it is like. It's nothing like having a baby in newborn nursery, who comes home with you at or about when you leave the hospital.

So, for the months of late October through April, Lily and Eve will become intimately acquianted with the inside of their house and nothing more. Hopefully, we'll be in the "all clear" next RSV season, though we will likely employ Nazi handwashing and sanitizing for a few seasons to come. For those we do invite to our house, we ask a few simple things:

1- If you are sick, have been around a sick person, even feel remotely near to becoming sick -- please refrain from visiting. As much as you might want to see the children, they are going to be a part of our famly for a very long time and not seeing them for a week or two will not kill you. But if they come down with severe RSV; it COULD kill THEM.

2- If you aren't sick and we do invite you in, please make the sink your first port of call. We will have antibacterial soap and hand sanitizer right there for your use. We ask that you wash your hands for at least one minute, or as some people say, the time it takes to sing the "alphabet song." Silly, I know, but it takes a certain period of time before washing effectively removes the layer of bacteria on your hands.

3- Smokers in the family, we ask that you bring a clean, unwore-while-you-smoked shirt for use if you plan to hold the babies. If you don't, we'll have to ask you not to hold them during your visit. (Yes, that goes out specially to Grandma and Poppie K..., sorry guys!)

4- If you have children, of any age, please refrain from visiting during RSV season. This is a hard one for us, as so many of you DO have children. Children, unfortunately, attract germs like horses attract flies, pardon the metaphor. School-age children and those in day-care settings are perfect germ-carriers and since RSV usually spreads in the early stages of the virus, it is often passed before real symptoms attack. If you have come into CONTACT with children recently, and they have just been, are, or are getting sick, please refrain from visiting us. You can be carrying what ailed them and not even know it yet.

Perhaps the most important thing any of you can do for us is not take offense at this and respect our wishes. We know that family and friends enjoy getting together and eating and laughing together. We want Lily and Eve to be able to do that for many years to come, and if it means them missing out on this year's festivities, so be it. In the long run, this is the safest combatant against RSV and the flu.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and we hope you have a wonderful fall, holiday season and early spring. We'll see you on the "other side" -- we promise!

(*Mom and Dad run and hide from the masses of disbelieving relatives...saying, "But, but...no babies for THAT long?"*)

Love,
Eric, Kate, Lily and Eve

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Congrats, Uncle Rob!

Quick update: Lily and Eve's uncle Rob was recently promoted to lance corporal. For those of you who don't know, Rob is a U.S. Marine currently doing a tour over in Iraq. He'll be over there for 8 months and won't see the girls again until they are about a year old! Crazy to think that! Here is a photo of him receiving his new rank insignia. Congratulations LCpl Kirschenheiter!


Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Shots and potshots

The girls are doing fine at home. They are eating up a storm and are gaining weight, though we dont' know what they weigh at the moment because our insurance messed up and is still in the process of "processing" so I ended up taking the girls for their 4-month immunizations at the health department and cancelled our pediatrician appointment. We're bummed about that, because we were dying to know what the girls weighed now! I'm guessing around 13 pounds! I could be off though, it's hard to tell. That would cover the "shots" part of my post, now onto the "potshots."

My target: The government. Society maybe, I'm not sure who I really blame for the problem. Here's the situation. The cost of these babies has really hit home for us. We received an explanation of benefits from the old insurance company for Eve's care in NICU. And ONE line on the hundreds we have received stated "Newborn Level 4", meaning level 4 NICU -- charges totalling $155,000 or so. JUST for her to BE there. That doesn't include IVs, initially IV nutrition, any medications, x-rays, echocardiograms, the respiratory therapy. I wouldn't be surprised if they charged us for the air she breathed, they charge for everything else. And that's just Eve. Lily's care was quite a bit more extensive and between the two of them, that easily breaks the half a million dollar mark. Of course, we aren't RESPONSIBLE for all of it. But even 20 percent of profession fees is a lot. We have an out of pocket max, $1,710 for Eve, Lily and mom, plus I believe a $500 co-pay for all three of us, but even THAT is more than our meager single-income household can afford! And to think, the U.S. is waging a multi-billion dollar war in Iraq. It's amazing to me that our babies "weighed too much" to be on Medicaid. Yes, that's right, if they weighed less at birth, they would have automatically been on Medicaid and we would be responsible for virtually NONE of their care costs. BUT, that's not the case because they weighed too much. A whopping 3.5 and 4 pounds. Wow. Of course, I had insurance, thankfully, I can't imagine what would happen if you had two parents who worked for small companies, like Eric's father, and didn't have insurance. But made too much to be eligible for government assistance. They would be bankrupt in a heartbeat. And all because their precious babies needed care.

I guess I'm mad at the system. I'll admit I often wonder how the U.S. can spend so much money on seemingly everything but the medical needs of its people. And physician's offices. Sorry if any of you are in the healthcare profession, or friendly with the healthcare profession, but really now, must you kill a whole forest of trees with bill statements! I could probably wallpaper a few HOUSES with bill statements. Hey, maybe it would get me into some "Odd news" category or something: "Stay-at-home-mom wallpapers home with medical bills". And to think, they are constantly calling us asking for their money. No matter that we have two new mouths to feed and can't afford to pay them $100 a month like they want. I'm going to have to fight them to drop the monthly payment down. I don't think it's right that they can demand we pay that much a month when we have a billion other doctors who want a share of Eric's hard-earned money too. Not to mention phone, electric, water/sewer, oil, car payment, student loans, mortgage, credit cards, car insurance -- the list goes on!

So here's the point: What does the government need to happen before they get their butts in gear to help those who have extensive medical bills? No average American can afford bills like the ones, Lily, Eve and Mom have racked up. Especially not on a single-income. Now, if we had had triplets, we'd probably be eligible for Medicaid. Hmm...but I'm not that kind of person -- the one who goes out and has another kid just to get the government assistance. WE want our girls to have a good life, not a scraping by life. SO, if anyone has any suggestions on how to pay off these bills - let's hear them. We're researching cash-out refinancing and home equity loans for debt consolidation. Any advice??

Oh, and if anyone is interested, it would be immensely helpful if people had a little time and wanted to e-mail, say Enfamil, of Similac, or some formula company and say they have twins and were wondering if there was a multiple discount or a free sample they could have. It worked for us once, but we can only DO it once!! :-) Just a thought! Love you all!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Lily coos too

Here is the Lily video!!! Courtesy of Eric, who took the video this afternoon!

New album

I also posted a new link to the right. The first "Photo Album" link is a little slideshow I put together using Web Album Maker, a trial software program I found last night. It's relatively simple and a little slow in loading, but you might enjoy it!!!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

We can coo!

For those of you who haven't seen us in a while (or ever) you are in for a treat! Mom caught some video of, mostly Eve, cooing and talking! We both do it, actually Lily does it more, but it is the cutest thing! We can make all kinds of noises, including coos, shrieks, and Lily even GIGGLED the other day. It was like a stuccato coo actually. Enjoy the video...I hope it works!!!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Bigger and bigger

All right, the girls have been "discharged" from the home health aide visits because they are doing wonderfully. Eve weighs 11 pounds 10 ounces, as of Tuesday, and Lily weighed in at 11 pounds 15 ounces. I'm assuming she is over the 12-pound mark by now. Both babies tend to take 7 to 8 ounces per feeding now. I called to make sure that was all right with the pediatrician, and he said as long as they don't look obese, it's fine to let them eat if they tolerate it all. We have an appointment for Oct. 2, the day after out benefits kick in, to get their 4-month shots and have a check up.

The home health aide nurse did mention that Lily has a small umbilical hernia. I can feel it when she strains, but it pops itself back in and you can tell that it does it when you touch her bellow button when she is relaxed. I'm not thrilled about it because I worry about every little thing, but I've been told they are pretty common and they almost always go away by 3-4 years of age. AND, that large ones are the ones that might need intervention, not the mini one Lily has. I'd be surprised if it pops out a centimeter. It's not that big at all. Now, it has to STAY that way!! If it gets bigger, then we have to start worrying. ANYWAY, enough on that.

It's getting close to that time we have been waiting FOREVER for -- the completion of the NURSERY. The closet needs another coat of paint, and it's a pain that the babies have to sleep in our room again until everything is well-ventilated. After that, we need to put up the trim and then we can start decorating the walls. We have Winnie the Pooh classic prints to put up and some foil pictures that my grandparents used to sell. We are going to look at getting a rug for the room too. And the same goes for our MUSIC room. That closet needs more coats for SURE, as the dark blue paint doesn't cover well withouut a bunch of layers. I SO cannot wait until we put the rooms back together and have a HOUSE. After those rooms are done (nursery, music, library and our room...) THEN we have only two rooms left to really do, the laundry room and downstairs bathroom...and the hallway/stairwell too. THe later is going to be a PAIN. It isn't done being taped yet, not even finished sheetrocked on parts of it. And we haven't picked out a color. But that isn't so bad because you don't have to put the hallway/stairwell back together to move around in it like you do a room.

All right, that's all for now.

Monday, September 10, 2007

QUICK update

Lily weighed 11 pounds 1 ounce on Wednesday. Eve weighed 10 pounds 12.5 ounces. They are getting SO big. I can't believe the few times I carry both girls at once, I'm carrying around 22 pounds of extra weight! They've come a long way from the 3.5 and 4 pounders they were when they were born! And in less than 4 months too! I wonder if they are anywhere near their actual age growth charts? I"ll have to find out. I'm not sure how all that works!!!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Smile!

It took some work, but we got a number of pictures of the girls smiling. These are some of the better ones. It isn't easy catching the smiles because it isn't like they can keep them up long and we don't always click the camera button fast enough! First is Eve, second is Lily.



WE also caught the girls snuggling in their bassinet. THey fell asleep after this picture was taken. They were bundled up under there so they didn't fling their arms and legs around and scratch each other. Babies have SHARP finger nails if you don't file/cut them enough!!!



We bought the changing table/dresser for the girls room this past weekend. It was on sale at Burlington Coat Factory and it was more than half off. All wood construction, it needed a little adjusting and it's awesome now! Lots of drawer space and a cabinet. Nice walnut finish. I'll try to get a picture up soon. The web site doesn't even list that particular table/dresser so I can't direct you there!!!

Anyway, that's all for now. We'll have to see what the girls weigh tomorrow. It feels like Lily weighs so much more than Eve, but I don't know, I've thought that in the past and it wasn't so.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

We've got around 80 quarter-pounders...

Okay, that subject was lame! But it's true. Eve weighs 10 pounds 4 ounces, and Lily is 10 pounds 5 ounces! Big babies. I can't write anything more, I have an Eve on my lap who very badly wants the bottle on the nearby table...

Friday, August 24, 2007

Rolling along

Both girls decided it was time to try rolling over the other day. Eve did it first, going from her stomache to her back. Then Lily followed suit and did the same. A few hours later, Lily decided to go from her back to her stomach. NOW, they have to do it when they aren't ANGRY. They do it when they want that bottle REALLY bad. Both girls have been falling alseep a little better the last few days. They are still up until 3 a.m., but I can get them to go 4-5 hour stretches sometimes. BUT, not lying flat in their cribs. THey like being in a seat or a carseat mostly, though Eve is sleeping on her back in the crib right now...so that's a good thing! A quick thanks to Barbara, Paul, Mariah, Shoshanna, Jesse and Josiah for the diaper pail. It should come in handy. Those diapers sure do take up a lot of room in the kitchen garbage and they can get QUITE stinky!!! And the diapers themselves are a great help. Seeing as both girls are 10 pounds, nearly, they should be in those Number 2s in about 3 weeks easy. And Pampers swaddlers are the BEST...they are so soft! We'll put the money to good use as well! Thank you guys!

I don't know if Valerie gets on here ever, but I want to thank her for hte beautiful party dresses and the pooh onesies and sleepers. They are awesome. The girls are both wearing the onesies right now and they are very cute. I can't wait to put the dresses on and get a picture of the girls! I think they will be adorable! And I like that the dresses are green. We have LOADS of pink!

The girls got to meet their cousin Audrey today and Lily especially seemed to quite like her! She was staring at her from her swing and not fussing, which she did whenever Audrey WASN'T in front of her! We tried to get a picture, but Grandma's camera wouldn't work...and I couldn't find mine! But maybe Audrey and the girls will pose for a picture another time!!! They look cute together, what with the dark hair and light eyes!!! Until next time:


Eve's yawning and Lily's saying, "What in the world are you doing? You should be posing for the camera, sis!"

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Quick update

The home health aide just left. Lily now weighs 9 pounds 15.5 ounces. The stinker couldn't just give me one more half ounce and hit 10 pounds! Eve weighed in at 9 pounds 11.5 ounces, so she is right up there. They are both around 22 inches long now too. That's all for now.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

BIG babies!

Yup, that's right, the girls are certifiably HUGE. On Friday, Lily weighed in at 9 pounds 6.5 ounces and Eve weighed in at 9 pounds 3 ounces. They are really on a roll! That's more than 5 pounds over their birth weight in just 13 weeks! Adjusted age, the girls are about the equivalent of 6-week-olds. That means that they are JUST about starting to smile at us for real. It doesn't happen often, but it does happen. I can't wait untl they do it more regularly. Like, greeting you when they first see you with a big ole smile!
I'm still working on Child Health Plus for the babies. It looks like we will only have to pay $18 a month for insurance for the girls. That will be good, if we qualify. The Fidelis rep is coming to the house on Monday so we can fill out the paperwork. Even if we do get it, it isn't in effect until October 1. SO, we might have to take the girls to the county Health Department clinic for their 4 month shots. Because I think those come around in September. (That's based on their ACTUAL age, not their ADJUSTED age.)
Since I am the one who updates the blog, I asked Eric is he wanted to say anything. He said, "Hi." So, yeah, that's his two cents worth! Eric is great with the babies. It's wonderful that this generation involves both parents in baby care. Otherwise I think I'd go nuts!!!
Oh, just an aside, if anyone remembers. How much were your babies eating at 6 weeks old? Ours are up to 4 ounces every 3-4 hours. Seems like a lot to me, but who knows. Sometimes the girls only wait 2 -2.5 hours before wanting more! Also, if anyone wants to be REAL helpful, you can help us try to get some free formula. My Aunt Kris has been WONDERUFL and we can't thank her enough for her help in getting us a bunch of ready made formula from her pediatrician friends. But, I contacted Enfamil by e-mail and said we have twins and we can't afford all this formula what with hungry twins, and they mailed us two complimentary cans! Might work for everyone else. I didn't have to PROVE that I had twins or anything, or even that I had babies!! Anyway, hope that update keeps you occupied for a bit. Here's two pictures to check out!



This is Lily wearing the CUTEST dress ever. Aunt Sue, thanks for the great outfits. Unfortunately, I don't think either girl fits in them anymore. They are getting really big really fast! And just because we loved the dresses so much, here is Eve in hers: (She wasn't being very cooperative. This is the only shot she isn't screaming in...)

Saturday, August 18, 2007

He's off...and we miss him already...

Uncle Rob left today to head back to base. For those of you who don't already know, he is in the Marines and is shipping out to Iraq in a few weeks for about 8 months. Before he leaves, they gave him a few weeks leave and he spent some time here with us. The girls love their Uncle Rob. He helped feed them, held them, did "walk-about" with them and everything! We'll all miss him while he's gone and look forward to the look on his face when he sees how big the girls are when he comes home. Here's the proud Uncle holding and feeding Evie. He said she was his favorite...



And just because I felt like it...here is a picture of pictures of Rob and my Dad in their military uniforms. I don't know, I think they look very alike...

Monday, August 13, 2007

Meet the great grandparents and SMILE

Well, Lily and Eve met Great Grandma and Grandpa Kirschenheiter this weekend and took a tour of the house their Mom and Uncle Rob fondly remember spending many a Christmas holiday running around. Great Grandma and Grandpa weren't afraid to pick the girls up and pose for a picture or two! Here they are, the proud great-grandparents!!!





The girls also met Aunt Jill...



And, in other baby news, I was playing with Lily tonight after she ate and she SMILED. Not a gas smile, but a smile in response to the playing. It was awesome! Dad is my witness, he saw it too. It's Eve's turn to do that now. That's a developmental milestone when the smile, so we will have to DOCUMENT today!!!! Go Lily, you're getting older!!!!!!!


Thursday, August 9, 2007

Grandmas' (pas') double trouble...

Here we have it -- at the request of the grandparents who waited so VERY long for grandkids, here are their "double trouble" photos. First up, we have Grandma M., followed by an equally exstatic Grandma K. Coming in third we have Grandpa K and at the bottom we have a cute Lily picture to round out my layout. When we catch Grandpa M. with the babies, we'll put him up too!






I don't have any other updates, though! Not til tomorrow! Right now I'm working on filling out an application for NYS Child Health Plus B insurance, which we MIGHT qualify for by the skin of our teeth! Stupid gov't and its stupid ridiculously low income eligibility guidelines!!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Company

Uncle Rob got here this morning and met "the twins". So far he hasn't held them, he's worried they'll spit up all over him, but I think I'll get him to do it later today or tomorrow. The girls have been fussy today, neither one wants to be put in a seat/swing/bed. I'm thinking about getting some sort of twins carrier so that when they are in "fusspot" mode, I can strap them both into it and carry them around the house. I can accomplish little household chores and hopefully keep them calm until they decide they'll acquiesce and go into a seat/swing/bed. I'm starting to worry a little about what is going to happen when Mom and Dad go home, because Mom has been helping out a lot with nighttime feedings/cry-fests. I know during the days I'm probably going to have to call on Grandma M to help out because I think otherwise I'd go nutters. Hopefully when they eventually start sleeping through the night I'll be able to handle things more on my own. But until then, Grandma will hopefully be able to help us out during the day so I can get a little shut-eye! No updates on their stats, but they seem to be evening out for us.
As an aside, does anyone remember what their babies were eating, volume-wise, at this age? Actual age, they are 11 weeks old. Adjusted age, they are only like a month old. So how much were your 1-month-olds eating, if you remember! I sometimes think they are eating too much. The girls like to take 100 mL every 3 hours or so and that's over 3 ounces. I think 4 ounces is 125 mL. All right, Lily is screaming her pretty little head off so I had better go and see if she'll latch on to her binkie or not...if so, YAY for my ear drums!!!!!!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

A quarter century...

I turned a "quarter century" old on Sunday! My birthday was so-so, mostly because we wanted to work, work, work on the bedroom floor. It's looking good, my father and I hope to finish it today before Eric comes home, but we aren't sure if we'll be able to do it. The babies are doing good, they are loving their Baby Papasan seats and it is easier to "swaddle" them in those seats. Eve is still having some trouble with moving her bowels, she takes a while to go, but when she does...WHOA, you better run or you'll get buried in poop! We've been giving her Karo syrup like the doctor said to do and we will see whathappens. If that doesn't work, we will have to discuss the formula perhaps. Speaking of formula, WHY do people charge so much for formula! It's crazy how much food and baby food costs these days. We're not eligible for WIC because of our income (Eric ALONE makes $400 too much a month) I don't have any weight or length updates, I'll have those on Friday. Until then, takecare!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

The big "8" "0"

Eve hit 8 pounds today! Exactly 8. Lily slowed down in her weight gain and is currently weighing in at 8 pounds 4.5 ounces, so Eve is rapidly catching up. Eve was a half pound smaller a birth, the lagged FURTHER behind, and has now nearly caught up. *Though even a few ounces is a lot at this age...) Lily had a grand old time today playing on their Pooh playmat from Michelle and Jay. She just LAID there and looked around, sometimes looked at the toys, for a good half hour. Which, for her, is something else, since she hates laying on her back! Eve didn't really wake up to do that, she just woke up to eat. Both girls are in their Baby Papasan seats (thanks Laura for the suggestion...) I found that wrapping them in a semi-swaddle in the seats is the best for keeping them calm. Now to get it to work when they are UPSTAIRS in bed in THEIR room, not downstairs in the living room...We are trying to figure out the best way to buy formula for the girls. They go through a 27 ounce can in about 3 and half days. Each of those costs $25 and that is getting expensive. Lily can easily eat about 4 ounces in a feeding now. That's a lot! Here are some new pictures to feast your eyes on!

We have Eve on the left, Lily on the right in this picture -- which was taken at Grandma M's house while the "boys" were sheetrocking upstairs at our house! Didn't want these cuties to inhale all that sheetrock crap...


Here we have the girls' first fight! Lily, on the right, seems to be the winner. Eve's screaming in her defeat...Oh and "my what big bellies we have..."
Mom and Eve's big eyes and Lily has fun with her Dad's beard...but it sure doesn't look like DAD is enjoying that tug much!!! I imagine it hurt!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Great stuff (No not the insulator...)

Where to start!? Eric and I showed the girls all the wonderful gifts they received at the shower. Everything is much appreciated and I'll get to the formal thank yous as soon as I can. But until they arrive at your homes, thanks! Lily and Eve love all their new stuff. We can't wait to try them in some of the cute outfits and they are definitely looking forward to some time on the Pooh playmat (thanks Michelle and Jay...). The diaper changer organizers from Grandma M. are great too. We're already using one downstairs and when we get their room in order, we'll put one on the crib up there! Not really much in the way of news here. We don't have any updated weights on the girls, but they are eating like crazy so here's hoping they are getting big, big, big! They do look more and more alike each day as Eve appears to be catching up in size. (Who knows if she really is or if it's just in my imagination.) Last night was a bit rough, neither girl wanted anything to do with swings, cribs, bouncy chairs or pretty much anything other than Mom and Dad. So it was hard. I don't think we got to sleep until 4 a.m. and they were up again at 6 a.m. wanting to eat. So yeah, we are impatiently awaiting the glory days of babies sleeping through the night. All right, off to bed. They girls are sleeping and so should we!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

REAL quick update

Lily and Eve had their shots on Monday, ugh to that. BUT the girls weights are in for this check and boy are they big! Lily weighs 8 pounds 2 ounces, DOUBLE her birth weight. Eve weighs 7 pounds 6 ounces, more than double her birth weight. They both probably weigh more now, because that was a few days ago! In other baby news, the pediatrician said we can take them off the special prematurity/low birth weight formula and put them on regular infant formula because they are gaining weight well. YIPPEEE, costs less and everything.

The shower is definitely on for the 29th, hopefully everyone got their invitations. If now, e-mail me! Note to Jessica: The invitations were SO adorable! Thanks for doing them and for throwing the shower! You're the best. And thanks to Grandma M. for helping with it too...

All right, that's all for now. i HAVE more pictures, but I have a baby in one arm and need to go feed her, so I'm not sure when I'm going to get the pictures onto the computer -- let alone uploaded to the internet...

Friday, July 20, 2007

BIG girls!

The scales tipped at 7 pounds 12.5 ounces for Lily and an even 7 pounds for Eve today. And Lily went and peed on the scale again...can we try for three times, anybody? The girls are doing good, both sleeping right now. They were fussy butts last night, and had "major super poop" and "major poop" according to my mom's notation on the "food/poop/pee" logs we keep. I can't believe that Lily is almost 8 pound! She'll fit into all that newborn stuff and the carrier will be APPROPRIATE for her! Amazing! And Eve is up and coming. But she is obviously no longer a half pound behind Lily, she has lagged behind. We'll see what the doctor says on Monday. we might have to up her feedings or something if he isn't satisfied with her weight gain. This past week she has been gaining exactly according to the textbook, the home health aide said. About half an ounce a day. Lily is an overachiever...and it's funny because they were worried about her weight gain when she was in the hospital that last week...That's about all for now. I'm just taking it easy today...pretending it's a day off of sorts. We all need that once in a while. So i'm off to put Lily in her swing and sit down with a nice movie. Not that I'll be able to finish it, I imagine...

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Oh my ears...

For babies who had some lung problems at birth, the girls sure can scream when they want something. Namely food. Lily is by far the louder of the two and she is a frequent screamer. Last night they both actually slept in their carseats because nothing I did got them to settle down and it was approaching 3 a.m. and I hadn't gotten a wink of sleep! Today, Lily did her fair share of screaming too. I finally fed her both times and she guzzled that formula like it was the last thing on earth and she didn't want to miss a drop. She's having some hard to pass stool too, so that must be part of her crying. At least she is passing it though! Eve squirms and becomes "tomato face" all day and usually has a massive poopy later in the day. Yesterday's went up the front of her diaper and onto her outfit. She makes a royal mess, that one! And the other day, Lily peed on the home health aide's scale, and then proceeded to pee MORE when I moved her to the changing pad on the floor and she got her pee all over the floor too. And Eve pooped on her Grandma the other day, and today, PEED on her too. Isn't that nice of her? For some reason, babies seem to like to do their business when their diapers are open, half off, all the way off, or not quite sitting on them right so that the "business" can get out...

In other news: Both girls apparently do quite well with the Avent "natural" bottles. I guess they are supposed to be the closest bottles to breastfeeding, even though neither girl has actually DONE that. Figured they would be good to try, so we are glad Kevin and Colleen bought them! Thanks again guys!

I feel a little guilty because it looks like I'm not going to be pumping breast milk for Eve much longer. I just can't juggle everything. I did it this long, and she got benefits from it, I'm sure, but at this point I'm just about out of extra "umph" and feel this is what has to go. Some people would chide me for that, but it's a decision that I've thought long and hard about and if Lily is doing so well on formula, Eve can too. Something had to give and better this than my sanity! I still have a thread of that left!

For all you moms and dads out there, any suggestions for getting these gals to sleep on their backs in the crib? They seem to scream like mad women when you put them down in there, yet they slept for 6 hours this morning in their carseats?! I'm thinking of using those bed positioners, that give them a slight incline...what do you all think? I'd appreciate any advice!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Up and growing

The home health aide came today to weigh the girls again. On Sunday, Lily was 7 pounds 7 ounces. She is now 7 pounds 9 ounces. Eve was 6 pounds 11 ounces and is now a whopping 6 pounds 14 ounces. So it looks like we are doing quite well feeding the girls, if I do say so myself! Lily and Eve both spent about an hour wide awake after the nurses left and I was "playing" with them. They don't really play just yet, they are still like a week old if you think about it. But they looked happy enough! We are going to try to apply for SSI for the girls, seeing as Eve was diagnosed with bronchopulmonary dysplasia from her longterm oxygen needs, and Lily has orthopaedic/urological defects that might qualify her. (If that doesn't do it, perhaps being 32-33 week preemies who spent 6 and 7 weeks in NICU will...) If we can get that, they will be covered until they are 18 years old and we would get money to help us out each month. Cross your fingers that the girls are eligible. My mother contacted Sen. Hilary Clinton's office about us not qualifying for much of anything and her office is very interested in our case. I am supposed to write up the information and fax it to them. So I am going to work on that tonight, most likely.

A few thankyous are in order again:

Kevin and Colleen and Caroline and new baby currently growing...: Thank you for the loot! We love that little medication pacifier, it is the coolest little thing! Might be needing it at some point...especially since the girls are getting their two month immunizations soon! And the outfits were SO cute. We're going to give the Avent bottles a try this next feeding. We'll see what happens!

Great-Grandma Kirschenheiter: I'll e-mail you personally as soon as I can, but thank you very much for your note and for asking the BEST people possible to help us out...you know who I mean! I do think that we have had loads of Divine intervention, seeing as the girls survived those tangles, then the NICU and Lily, and now we are getting help still with coping with two new babies and not going insane...I think I'm still sane, do I sound sane...And we appreciate the beautiful card you and Great-Grandpa sent us. If you can come up for a shower, I would love it if you could stop in and meet these two beauties! We'll have to see what we can do!

A picture for your collections:

Lily is on the right, Eve on the left. This is the day Lily came home again. I didn't upload the other pictures off the camera yet. BUT I am going to try to put up the pictures of the new grandmas and the new grandpa holding the babies. (Yeah, my Dad actually did hold them both...so I'll get that up as soon as I can!!!)
Oh, and the bunny between the girls has a very special story behind it. I might try to get Mom on here to tell people, if she is willing, but I don' tknow if she will be able to or want to. Just know that a special girl is watching over these two girls...

Monday, July 16, 2007

Shower

I just wanted to put a message up here that we are having a baby shower for the girls on Sunday, July 29. If anyone is interested in coming, post a comment on here or e-mail your address to me at kat2032@verizon.net so i can get it to the proper person! We decided not to bring the girls to the shower, just so everyone knows, because preemies are supposed to stay away from crowds of people for a number of months and we feel it is safest for the girls not to expose them to too many people all at once. But we will have LOTS of pictures, if I can manage to print them all!

The girls are doing fine. They are just eating, sleeping and growing. AND, oh yes, POOPING. Eve is the craziest pooper I've ever met. She will just go, and go, and go and I'll go through two diapers catching it all and a billion wipes! She is so funny to watch. She has this huge smile on her face when she is doing it. LILY, has also been a poop machine today. She's gone like 6 times, which is fine for her. And she decided today to pee all over the floor before I got to her! Fun stuff. I guess because of all Lily's troubles with stooling, we are odd and find these bodily functions exciting...

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Together at last!

The title of the post speaks for itself and says all there is to say!



And if you are wondering, Lily is on the right, Eve on the left...

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The battle is over...

THIS IS ALL IN CAPS BECAUSE I HAVE EVE IN ONE HAND AND CAN ONLY TYPE WITH ONE! BIGGGGGGGG NEWS. LILY IS HOME. WE PICKED HER UP THIS AFTERNOON. AND GUESS WHO TOOK A 90 ML BOTTLE IN ABOUT 25 MINUTES? I GOT HER TO TAKE T WITH NO PROBLEM. NO SPIT-UPS OR ANYTHING. AND SHE WAS ONE HAPPY KIDDO AT HOME. SHE IS DEFINITELY GOING TO THRIVE HERE.

Okay, had to put her down otherwise this would take forever to write! It's weird because the girls are both wide awake more today than I have ever seen them. Lily ate at 6 p.m. and then stayed awake for all but half an hour and ate again at 10 p.m. Eve slept more, but now both of them are up and it's a quarter to 11. Lily does seem to be more of a "colicy" baby. She will cry if she doesn thave her pacifier, but she isn't that skilled at keeping it in, and definitely can't put it back in if it falls out. But I'm hoping she gets over it. We let her cry on the blanket and she did at some point stop. But then again, she was hungry, so that's not a good test!
Anyway, take a look at how ALIKE the girls look at times!

And this one is cute:










And Lily is quite happy!


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Due thanks

All right, a few thank yous to send out:

Aunt Kathy - Thank you SO much for the beautiful blankets for the girls. I already laid Eve down on hers so she could have some lay flat time today. She was quite comfortable. Lily will become acquainted with hers tomorrow we hope! I gave Eve the larger one with more colors. Funny I chose to give the smaller girl the larger blanket! Lily will get the yellow and white one. They are so very soft and I look forward to winter when we can snuggle together with them! The bears and the outfits are cute too. I love yellow, maybe you remembered that when you bought them!?

Aunt Eileen - My gosh, the girls are really going to get that big!? It's so funny to think that, but they definitely will and we'll definitely need your gift! It's nice that someone bought things that are bigger because we have loads of preemie and newborn clothes, but few beyond that and the girls are only growing bigger by the day!

Aunt Kris - Thanks for the pediatrician suggestion. AND, if you can help us get Enfamil for Lily that would be SO helpful!

Grandma L. - Thank you very much for the $50. We will put it to good use on something for the girls. There are many things we still need for them, and we appreciate your help in getting them! I'll try to remember what we buy with it so I can tell you what it was!

Jessica - We might have said it already, but we'll say it again! Thanks for the swings and the crib sheets. Eve actually loves that swing, she'll just lay in it for hours without fussing. We don't really turn it on yet, but some day... And we'll see what Lily does in hers hopefully tomorrow. And we are going to dress both girls in those little orange checkered dress/onesies tomorrow when we bring Lily home. All theclothes you bought are SO adorable! I love dressing Eve in them and soon Lily too.

Missy or Andrea - I don't know which one of you gave us the infant carriers. The "pocketbook" like pouch thingy is the BEST thing in the world! Eve is so cuddled that she doesn't fuss in that and she can even be wide awake! She's a bit small for it, but we manage. And three people yesterday asked me where we got it! I couldn't tell them...I didn't know where you got it. While I can't remember who gave us that, I can thank you MIssy for the stuff of Henry's that you gave us and for the other things you sent up. We have already used some of Henry's stuff for Eve. Oh and, I think it was you Andrea who gave us the bath stuff? (If not, I'm sorry to the one who did...) Eve liked her bath the other night and looked cute in her bath towel...I'll try to put up the picture.

Grandma M. - Even though you don't get on here, I have to say thank you for all the clothing that you have bought the girls. They will get lots of use out of it. And a thanks in advance for the changing tables, even though we haven't picked them out or bought them yet! We really appreciate all the help you've given us with buying OUR food while we try to afford buying what we need and thank you and Grandpa Pete for the help with the furnace...and the sheetrock, and the cars in the past, and everything else!

Mara - We would be lost without those carseats and the stroller, so thank you for them! The stroller took a bit of figuring out, but it is very handy to not have to unstap Eve (and soon Lily) from the carseat and go back and forth between the two things. It would have taken twice as long. We'll have to do the extra bases thing too, because those are a pain in the butt to put in the cars!

We are looking to have a real shower at some point, but we haven't really picked a day I don't think. If we do figure it out, we'll be sure to send out invitations. And as soon as we get the girls home, with no monitors or ANYTHING we'll make up birth announcements. I think they'd be more pleasant than the hospital pictures!

Again, if I forgot anyone, I'm sorry. But THANK YOU too! OH and we appreciated all the cards, I showed them to Eve. She slept through it, but I'm sure she appreciates them too!

Persuasion

I spoke with the discharge nurse practitioner yesterday, and because I am ready and willing to spend the necessary time feeding Lily, they are willing to discharge her tomorrow morning. Provided she doesn't slow down and do anything silly for the rest of today. She got a blood transfusion yesterday afternoon, and I was a BIT disturbed because the only vein they could get an IV in was in her head and that is something no one wants to see. But I stayed when theytook it out and it really didn't seem to bother her at all, except the tape coming off the hair... And she seems to have perked up! Olga said this morning Lily took her 80 mL bottle in 17 minutes! I was like, you go girl! Her hermatacrin was 26, which was too low to let her try to get her red blood count up herself. Hence the transfusion. I could have told them she needed it, just based on her color, demeanor and her oxygen saturation. Now I have to go up and see what it's like feeding her while she is awake. I'm hoping she doesn't choke or gag when she is awake! And we have her first pediatrician appointment set up for Friday morning. So, hopefully tomorrow morning, we'll be walking out the doors of the hospital with two babies on a stroller! lily is HUGE compared to Eve, just in her tummy size. But Mom and Dad said, and showed me pictures, that I too had a large tummy. And both Lily and I had/have digestive problems! So it might be something "hereditary" that is affecting her. Regardless of her size, she's still our little baby and we can't wait to get her home and hold her for hours! We need to spoil her a bit too and get loads of pictures like we do with Eve. I will have to spend some time tonight adding pictures to the photo album. I have some more of the two of them together and some more cute ones of Eve at home. Getting a bath, in her swing, half naked because of the heat...

(Oh and Aunt Kris, I did speak with the pediatrician and he is the one who told me to tell the hospital we are ready and willing to spend time on feeding her, we are comfortable with feeding her and we will get her weighed every week to make sure she is gaining. The discharge nurse semed to feel that was adequate.)

Monday, July 9, 2007

One hospital we'll never return to...

I got extremely angry and upset with Albany Med this morning. We told the nurse to tell the residents that we DID NOT want Lily to have another feeding tube put in. We wanted to speak with the weekday attending physician about our plans and Lily's care. WELL, the (&^hole went and signed an order and called me and said, I decided it was necessary and we're doing it. I screamed at her. Lily had had a tube in for the past week (7 weeks actually) and they never once used it to "give her a break" from bottle feedings because she took too long to drink them. NEVER ONCE. Yet when we specifically ask that a tube not be placed, they THEN say, well she's been taking too long and needs it. Bull. She had not been doing ANYHING differently than she had been the whole week so there was no reason they couldn't wait until we spoke with the doctors. I still want her out of there by the week end. But I think it is going to be a HUGE fight. Tomorrow Lily is being "changed" over to the intermediate nursery attending and nurse practitioner. I am calling first thing in the morning to request a care conference and discharge plan. Lily gained 150 grams this week, and while they ideally want her to gain 200, she gained and that is the point. She has consitently been in the 25th percentile for weight and that is what the nutritionist wants to see. She told me today she is pleased with Lily's progress considering all the parameters. And since I have exhibited time and time again that I CAN and DO know how to feed Lily and quicker than many nurses, I fully believe she would do better here. And Eric agrees. We are so angry with Albany Med that we are spitting nails. I told the resident last night, I want Lily out of your hospital and I want her out this week. The feeding tube was the last straw. I called back and DEMANDED that if they placed it, they DAMN WELL Better use it. They have, since I was so very angry and spoke to anyone and everyone. Lily takes bottles a little slow, so she burns more calories doing it. That is the hold-up right now. But she is by no means unhealthy and the more then insert and take out feeding tubes, the greater her oral aversion is becoming. And that is going to make it worlds harder to get her feeding well!

If anyone has any suggestions on what we can do to persuade the hospital she is better off at home, let me know! I said we'd have a home health aide come visit, or do weekly pediatrician weight checks, or both. I said I'd keep in contact with the hospital's nutritionist and she could continue to chart Lily's growth so that if something seems off, we would be able to act on it. But honestly, Eve is doing WORLDs better now and we think Lily deserves the chance to come home and thrive too. The nurses can't always devote the time and effort needed to feed her. They have three other babies bottle feeding at the same time and need to crank them out. That doesn't benefit Lily. Tomorrow I am hoping this new attending is more receptive to letting us deal with Lily's feeding issues at home. The nurse practitioner seemed somewhat receptive today, though she hadn't officially taken over Lily's case and therefore didn't have the information. But she did say I had given her an excellent report to work off of and she was pleased that I was so proactive and obviously able to take care of my baby. I'm taking that as a good sign. Pray that Lily gets all the damn rest she needs with this stupid tube and that they let her out of that prison by the week end.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Put up your dukes

It's time to fight. Lily has taken 24 hours worth of feeds entirely by bottle and I was told that if she did that she could have the feeding tube removed. They are hedging again and saying, but if she doesn't take enough one time we'll put it back. I am going to speak to the doctors tomorrow and tell them we want a discharge plan and we want it to include her coming home this week. Enough is enough. She is out of heat, passed her hearing screen, will pass her development I'm sure, and all she needs to do is eat enough. She gained 3 ounces lasst night. So if she loses a little tonight or tomorrow, I'm SURE she isn't going to be "failing to thrive." The kid is the same age as Eve, who is "in perfect health" according to the pediatrician, so I don't see how Lily could be considered UNDERweight for her age! They are just making her conform to a formula of how much she needs to take and contradicted themselves hwen they consistantly say that every child is different. If every one is different, WHY do you force them to conform to a formula? If Lily is gaining enough, perhaps not EVERY night, but most every night, why not send her home? Eve is thriving and taking the bottles much better than ever now that she is home. So we think Lily will benefit from the consistancy in the feeding styles and the ability to be held more often.
But, as I said, it will be putting up our dukes and TELLING them, we know she is still volatile with her feedings, but if we are sure she is eating the same amount in 24 hours, perhaps not on a strict strict schedule, what difference does it make? She gets the calories and the volume, why does it matter if she does it every 2-3 hours versus every 4. Unless they have a very good reason, which I don't think they do, they have to listen to us. We know her well. She needs to be out of there, with no more tubes being placed, so she can get over her oral aversions. And I know they want to do more blood work tomorrow, and that will set her back more because she needs to continue making red blood cells and the more blood work they do, the lower that number tends to get because babies make those cells slower. Anyway, I guess I'll have to let you know how the arguments go. Lily is by no means "failing to thrive" and i say, enough is enough. If they refuse to let her go this week, they're are going to learn the meaning of angry mother...

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Will it ever end?

Lily's girth went up again. From 31 to 32.5. In 4 hours. And she didn't take her midnight feed all by bottle so it's back to the stupid, damn feeding tube and I will tell you guys, I can't stop crying because at this rate she is never coming home and I can't take it anymore. Please pray hard because this is devastating and the worst time in my entire life and I just want that baby home so badly that I can't think about anything else. I really thought we were close and every time we get close, something happens and we slide back. The docs think the increased girth is gas. But they don't know and as long as it continues to happen, she can't come home. She is pooping, so it isn't that. I told them no more breast milk. We tried it again and look what happened. I'm trying to keep the faith, but this is so unfair right now. I can't even enjoy Eve because I want Lily home so badly that I think about nothing else. And I can't stand the fact she has had a feeding tube or suction tube down her throat from day one. That's 7 weeks as of Monday. I keep asking God to just make her well and get her home. I'm still waiting.

Friday, July 6, 2007

A "quickie"

Eve is doing AWESOME at home. She is now taking 80 mL at some of her feeds, which is great because she'll bulk up fast doing that! She had her first well-baby appointment yesterday with Dr. Rabadi and he said she looks in perfect health! We have to go back on the 23rd for her second hepatitis B vaccination shot, which won't make her a happy camper, but hey, it has to be done! Lily is still in hospital, but they moved her to intermediate yesterday and the kidney/bladder dye test that she had to have to see if there was an reflux from her bladder back to her kidneys came back normal, and that is awesome news. I have to find out if they plan to end her antibiotics because of the normal test, they had her on them prophalactically in case of infection down there. She has been upped to a minimum of 80 mL every 4 hours, which is a lot and we are worried she won't be able to keep taking them. So far today she has been taking the 80 mL by bottle, but Nadia worried she might tire and have to have another feeding tube put in. (She pulled hers out last night sooo....) BUT hopefully she won't need another one, will keep up the eating, will come out of heat and will go home. We are still cautiously optimistic.

And now we are off to the hospital to see her. We won't make the 4 p.m. feed, but we hope to make the 8 p.m. and POSSIBLY, depending on us, the midnight feeding. It will all depend on out level of tiredness...

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Long time no news

We had a rough couple of weeks over here, but I've finally found time to get on and tell you the jist of what has happened. First off, last time I wrote Lily looked like she was up and coming and would be moving to intermediate soon. Well, the next day she was back to square one with a tummy that measured 33 cm. The night before she was 29.5. So they completely put a stop to her feeds and did a bunch of x-rays and determined she had air in her tummy and intestines and that was why her tummy was huge. They called in a pediatric surgeon who was CONVINCED she had something called Hirschsprung's Disease, which is where the ganglion cells in the colon do not exist and therefore the colon cannot expand and contract like usual. The treatment: To remove the affected portion of colon. And the surgeon at Albany said he was CERTAIN that was what she had, though he had been wrong in the past, and that he felt it affected a large portion of her colon. So he said he would make a two-inch incision in her tummy and remove the affected portion and create an ostomy for her to poop into a bag and then at 6 months old go back in and reconnect the rest of her up so she could poop like normal. The first step, however, was to do a rectal biopsy to determine if she had Hirschsprung's. We waited three full days to hear those results and in the meantime I contacted Yale New-Haven Hospital because if she had HD we were going to move her there to give her a chance at laparascopic vs. laparotomy or Open Incision surgery. Yale's surgeon, however, highly doubted Lily had HD and lo and behold, SHE DIDN'T. She had normal ganglion cells in both layers of her colon. And the next day, she started pooping without her suppositories and it began to normalize in color since then.



Now she is up to 77 mL ever 4 hours of formula, since I'm convinced she blew up like a balloon because of gas. I've been so gasy and so had Eve and that could be the breast milk. Lily's PICC line was removed the other day and we are sooooo hoping that she comes home soon. Like within a week. They were due next Wednesday the 11th so if she does, it is right around when they tell you to expect them home.



And speaking of home, EVE IS HOME. She came home on Monday and she is doing awesome. She takes about 60-70 mL every three to four hours and she is on breast milk with a little formula additive to bulk her up. Lily is 6.5 pounds and Eve is about 6 pounds now. They are both doing great. Hopefully within the week we will have a full house and a complete family after over 6 weeks of back and forth to the hospital. Keep up the prayers though, we need to get these girls through these early days and Eric and I need to keep our sanity. And now....the girls that you've all been waiting to see together:


Sunday, June 17, 2007

Movin' on up

(Picture is Mom and Eve...)

Lily is moving up in the world! Today they decided to change her feeds to every three hours. Right now, she is up to 23 mL every three hours and they will up her 2 mL every other feed. She needs to get to 45 mL every three hours, I believe, so she is approaching that! Slowly, but surely. And it appears she is tolerating the feeds and starting to poop on her own. The nurse asked the doctors during rounds if they would consider reducing her suppositories from one every 12 hours to one every 24 hours because she is starting to go on her own and she is taking meds to increase her bowel motility. They will discuss it tomorrow and decide then. Lily now weighs about 5 pounds 2 ounces. She is looking a LOT bigger to me! I fed her two bottles the day before yesterday and one yesterday. Tonight she was a little sleepy for her father, so they tube fed her the rest of the bottle. We like to get her to bottle feed because "digestion starts in the mouth." Tomorrow I'm going to try to be up there for a few of her and a few of Eve's feeds.



(Picture is of Mom and Lily)

Today, I fed Eve at 2 p.m. and she took the whole bottle pretty fast, without desatting and without any bradycardias. THEN, to my immense surprise, she REMAINED awake! She was looking around, looking at me, playing with my fingers...it was so awesome I wanted to cry. Good cry, obviously. I finally had to put her back to get a chance to see Lily before shift change and she was STILL wide awake when I put her back in. She's still clinging to her 1/40th of a liter of o2, but I'm hoping if she continues to sat well during her feeds and during her bed times, that they might try weaning her off of that. As soon as she is able to maintain her temp, take all feeds by mouth and maintain o2 sats without o2 help, she can COME HOME. Lily needs to get up to full feeds, get off her PICC line, take all feeds by mouth and have proper input and output before she can come home. She doesnt have desats when she eats, as a matter of fact they took off her o2 saturation monitor. Other than, that I have no other news. We haven't heard anything about LIly's vertebra. The nurse last night told us her kidney problem she had at birth was hyrdo something...essentially water build up in the kidney and ureter. But the urologist labeled it as "mild" in the renal studies he did and said her renal ultrasound was "excellent". I can live with those descriptive words. NOW, I just want to know if her vertebra will need management and I'm hoping to God it won't. She will definitely have an orthopaedic specialist check her out before discharge and said person will likely have an information consult with Eric and I to talk about her situation. The nurse tonight said ti would probably be informational, telling us to watch for this that or the other thing. But we'll have to wait and see. MORE WAITING...ugh, I hate waiting.

I'm going to try to upload more pictures now!!!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Daring to hope

Yeh, I know. Long time no post. But we were/are daring to hope that Lily is taking a turn for the better and I'm trying to be calm about it and not get all revved up in case things change yet again. Right now, Lily is being fed by bottle about 8 mL of breast milk every 4 hours. So far, it appears she is tolerating it and with the help of a medication and her suppositories, pooping a decent amount. We are still in limbo as to whether or not her troubles are over, or if this is a calm before a storm. We are daring to hope that she will continue to tolerate and they will continue to increase her feeds. Full feeds are 37 mL every 3 hours or 44 every 4 hours. SO, she has a long way to go. But pray she is on the mend and that she will progress quickly through the various stages and get to full feeds so she can have her PICC line taken out and be moved to the intermediate care nursery with her sister. It appears that is the only way that they will allow the girls to "see" each other and "be" with each other. Though not in the same bed, I could and Eric could hold them at the same time if they were both in the intermediate care nursery and they would be in the same area so we wouldn't have to jog between two to be with both the girls. It would be SO much nicer! If Lily does well with medication and suppositories, I don't mind at all if I have to continue doing them both when she comes home. If that's what it takes to get her home. It also appears she has some reflux, so they tilted her bed way up last night. But one of her nurses, Olga, said that there are medications to treat the reflux and that she should grow out of it. So right now, we continue to pray she will continue to tolerate feeds, increase feeds, poop more on her own, and be on the way to moving to the stepdown nursery with Eve.

Eve, the little bugger, still won't let go of her 1/40 of a liter of O2. And when she is on feeding tubes or taking a bottle, she desats and needs to have that upped to about 1/13. I think those equate to about 25 and 75 ccs. But I'm not positive on all the medical jargon. THe 1/40 is the smallest amount of O2 they can give her through the nasal canula, but she just seems to need it still even though it is so little. She is still doing well on the bottle. Eric fed her last n ight and got her to take a lot of the btotle and the nurse finished her up. I fed her the night before and got her to take 25 of the 37 mL and the nurse gave her the rest. We run out of time after half an hour, so the nurses finish up for us. It's looking like feeding sessions will take a while at home! I'm lucky I have a good supply of milk, as it appears Eve is just chugging away at it.

WEIGHT UPDATE: Lily now weighs...drum roll please...4 pounds 15 ounces. That's ONE ounce shy of 5 pounds. Eve, catching up to her sister, is now at about 4 pounds 9 ounces. That's ONE ounce over 4.5 pounds. So Lily has gained almost half a pound since birth three and a half, almost four weeks ago and Eve has gained a FULL POUND since birth! If Lily was taking more feeds, she would definitely have been up a pound I believe and be closer to 5 and a half pounds. But they are both going up and I'm glad for that. Lily can almost wear newborn clothing for babies weighed 5-8 pounds. And for those of you wondering length, the nurse last night said that the babies don't grow much lengthwise in the NICU unless they are there for MONTHS. So she said the pediatrician will be mapping the twins' lengths and giving us what preemie percentiles they fall into when they begin pediatrician visits.

All right, that's all I have time for now. We have more pictures, but until I find the camera cord I can't put any of them up yet!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Food for thought

Eric and I went up to see the girls tonight and held both of them. Eve was moved to the intermediate nursery where she is going to grow, learn to bottle feed better, hopefully get off her nasal canula and try to maintain her temperature by herself. Right now, she is still having trouble sucking, swallowing and breathing all at once. She gets tired and has heartrate decels and o2 saturation drops while feeding. Hopefully with practice she will stop doing that. She is also having temperature maintenance issues and was wearing a onesie, longsleeve/legged pjs and two blankets. OH, and a hat and socks too.

Lily was sleepy while being held today, but STILL very cute of course. AND, after we left, and I left upset because she was still not on feeds and I didn't know what was going to happen with her, Eric called NICU and guess what they said? They had given Lily about 5 ccs of he thinks they said Pediasure. I gather that is the one, not Pedialyte for a tyke who CAN'T go to the bathroom, because that is for kids with diarrehea someone told me. She does NOT have that! Anyway, I HOPE against hope that Lily can tolerate this small amount of food and that she can poop later on too. They are probably going to put her on meds to speed that bowel function up too. Still no idea why it was/is so slow though. BUT, I hope that Lily gets up to full feeds because if she goes tot he intermediate nursery, we can hold BOTH girls at the same time and they can be next to each other, though not in the same crib, and I can't WAIT Until they are able to interact again. It'll be three weeks tomorrow since they were together! Anyway, pray that Lily can digest that stuff they fed her, and from there hopefully digest breastmilk as well. God knows I have enough for the both of them!

And I hope the Eve video below will now work...No new pics yet. I haven't taken them off the computer.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

The Poop heard round the NICU...

I'm falling asleep at the computer, so this isn't going to be a long update. BUT, I have to relate the poop heard round the NICU. (It should probably read heard "of" round the NICU, but that wouldn't be the cute reference to the "shot heard round the world, now would it??) Anyway, I was changing Lily's diaper this afternoon and was JUST about to close it up when WHAMMO, so projectile, yes projectile, pooped. It came shooting out, hit my hand, hit the bedding and monitor wires, hit the side of the isolette and THEN managed to shoot OUT the port hole on the side and hit the floor a few feet away. We were ecstatic that she had pooped, and I didn't even mind she hit my hand with hit! The doctors and residents were also QUITE happy, as they had just finished telling me that they still didn't knojw what was wrong with Lily and that she HAD to pass the barium and whateever else was in her otherwise they'd have to give her something to FORCE her bowels to move. (They've been giving her suppositories, but that's not the same.) The neonatalogist told me today that they didn't see any malrotation in her intestines and they didn't think ti was a structure abnormality causing her slow mobility through her GI system. BUT they hadn't ruled out something structural that woul dneed surgery. NOW, I'm hoping that is ruled out because she PASSED quite a bit of stool in that fountain of hers, and after that a bunch more came with the suppository. I totally credit the kangaroo care I did with her. That was the ONLY thing we were doing different the last two days, and suddenly she has stools? I can't believe it is a coincidence. We were told if she stops with her green aspirates *when the pull green stuff out her nasogastric tube, which is in her tummy...* they might be able to start feeds tomrorow.

Eve is doing just the same as before. Still feeding, still clinging to that last, lowest level on her nasal canula. The resident in charge of her, Emily, said they don't know WHY she needs it, it is virtually nothing at all, but the little stinker must just like the feel of it or something. If the NICU gets full this weekend, she could be moving to the intermediate nursery. She won't unless they have to though. All right, now I can't see straight, so I'm off to bed. Hope that whets some peoples' interests!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Still no news...

We still don't know what's wrong with Lily. She hadn't passed the barium yet, and they were still taking x-rays today, so maybe TOMORROW we will have some news on what her situation is. Today I got to do kangaroo care with her -- which is skin-to-skin contact. They basically put her in my shirt, wrapped it back around her and ... that's it. It's supposed to be really beneficial for preemies especially, so I'd like to do it as often as possible. She looked comfie too. Eric took the pictures JUST after she was put in there, so she hadn't found her spot yet. But he had to go feed Eve, so he couldn't get a picture of her when she was just about to come out. It was ADORABLE. Take my word for it! This picture is her getting settled. She isn't quite there yet, though. She ended up turned her head up toward my chin and grabbing my undershirt, which she was sort of sitting in ... in the photo album I'll post some more versions of this time with Lily.



Eve, as I mentioned, had Daddy feed her today! She actually took more bottle from him than any of the nurses. Like 10-15 mL or something like that. Still not a whole feed, but hey! Here is the little lady eating from her bottle. There are some CUTE shots of her afterward too, which I'll also put in the photo album. I'm going to add another video to the bottom of the page too because I needed one of calm, looking-around Eve like we have for Lily. Eve's nurse suggested today that I try holding Eve to the breast next feeding time and giv eher the chance to just get a feel for it, even though we know she won't be able to actually get much, if anything, from it. She said if I didn't do that, I could kangaroo her too. I think both girls could benefit from it. I sort of noticed when I was holding Lily that when she started to breath slower and get closer to her monitor alert settings, if I sped up my own breathing, she did too. It might have been coincidence, but I want to try it again. I'm a little happier today, after holding her, and seeing Eve eat fro the bottle. But I'm still quite worried about Lily at the same time. I'll be going back tomorrow and hopefully I'll find out something on her situation. We shall see.
And as a side note: We have a little boy named Jay in Lily's NICU who is going in to get a tracheotomy tomorrow afternoon. Just keep him in all your thoughts. He's a heck of a fighter, but everyone can use a little extra prayer. Includig his mom Chris and his grandparents. Thanks!