Friday, December 7, 2018

What a surprise! I am totally impressed!


Jason Reid


Monday, December 12, 2011

Quick update

Hi all.....
Life has kept us super busy and there never seems to be any down time, but I wanted to post a quick update for those that still keep up with the blog.

The kids are doing great, but it's been a rough summer. The first two years, they got sick a total of 4 times. The past 9 months have been brutal in that they've been sick 2-3 weeks out of the month. We've visited the Dr. at least once a month. Ear infections, hand foot mouth, upper respiratory infections, fith disease, croup, etc etc. But, I guess thats kids....

Kim may have mentioned that the kids started daycare in August. It was getting to the point that the kids were not entertained at home, even if they had free run of the entire house. So Kim went back to work and the kids started going to school. We were a little apprehensive at first and weren't sure how they would adjust to such a major change. To our surprise, the kids LOVED it and have been thriving. In the short time they've been going to school (part time 3 days a week), they have made tremendous developmental changes. Blake went from having a few word vocabulary to talking non stop. His vocabulary comprehention is even more extensive. Jenna isn't talking much, but her comprehention is increasing dramatically. Both of them wake up with smiles and can't wait to get ready to go to school.
Their teachers are great and very much loved by the kids. One of the teachers is getting her masters in developmental therapy and just loves playing with Jenna. She really understands her, the hurdles she faces and how to get through to her. We are very fortunate we chose that daycare and classroom.

A little about the kids.
Jenna: Unfortunately her Sensory Processing issues are creating barriers, but she's working hard to overcome them & move forward. Further complicating things is that she's VERY headstrong and stubborn, and doesn't perform on cue. So sometimes it's hard to tell what she's capable of, and what she just doesn't want to do. Daycare has been great for her in that she thrives in a structured environment. She's really done great with the social aspect and enjoys being around her friends & teachers. She's not talking much at all, but there have been a few occasions where she's blurted out a word that sounds perfectly annunciated, like she's been saying it for months. So I suspect there is a lot more rattling around in that brain that she doesn't show us. Her coordination has really come a long way and she's walking quite fluidly and running quite a bit. She still get a little off balance if she tries to walk while looking to the side, or makes a quick turn. All in all, she's doing great and making a lot of progress.
In late Oct, we had a follow up appointment with the Neurologist to discuss the MRI she had in Aug. It showed that there was no new damage from her ventricular hemmorage (brain bleed), but there was some damaged tissue in 3 different areas of the brain. The visual cortex, a section that controls gross motor skills, and one other section that eludes me right now. We've got an apt with a pediatric Neuro Opthomologist in a couple weeks, and hopefully we'll be able to get a little more information on the visual cortex damage. Sensory Processing disorder is a relatively new issue in the medical community and something that is just now beginning to be understood. It's Very subtle in that children appear to be very normal, perhaps developmentally delayed but otherwise normal. Unfortunately those sensory issues have profound effects on the child and their development. Imagine lights being very bright while flashing & shimmering. Your feet feeling slightly asleep or numb, so not every really knowing where your walking. The seam on your shirt feeling like sand paper. These are the things sensory processing kids can be dealing with, which make it very difficult to know their place in the world and focus on the normal things you and I may take for granted. We soooooo can not wait for Jenna to be talking so she can tell us how she perceives the world.

Blake: Man...... Sooooo much energy. His nickname is Boogie, cause he's ALWAYS on the go. Usually looking for something new to get into and explore. He is "the helper" at home and at school and the best thing for him is to keep him busy with helping tasks. He's a long string bean with these go go gadget arms that can reach things you never thought possible, so baby proofing is an ongoing task. haha Since starting school, his speech has really taken off. He's not caught up to his peers, but he's talking quite a bit and constantly adding words to his vocabulary. He LOVES school and has really taken to all the fun activities and structure they provide. He's just a happy go lucky lil guy that loves to bounce around and explore. A big handful, but totally adorable.

Thats just a quick update and I hope to continue some regular updates going forward.
Take care all.

Friday, July 22, 2011

~~Our Return~~Part I

I just want to send out a "hello" to everyone to let you know we are returning to our blog. As much as I wanted to keep up with the blogging over the last year and a half, what they say about having toddlers is most definitely TRUE.... especially with TWO~We ARE busy busy busy! However, I have decided that there are way too many reasons not to MAKE time to keep up with our blog.

As I look back on the "early days" of this journey and revisit our early posts, I can't help but to, on one hand, feel as though I am reading about someone else's lives because our lives are so entirely different than before. It feels as though our NICU days were truly something of a prior life....several lifetimes ago. While we certainly have new trials and tribulations of a very different kind, I wouldn't EVER trade the current days for our past.

While we are in a very different place than we were two and a half years ago, the journey certainly remains eventful.

Our journey today is still filled with a few uncertainties, a new diagnosis, speech therapy and occupational therapy mixed in with all the exciting, tiring and joyful days of raising two pretty amazing two year olds. Every day is different, everyday brings about change and growth, and everyday brings about some laughter and giggles.

Jenna and Blake are now 30 months old now! Two and a half! They are happy and healthy, energetic and curious, and just so darn sweet. Jenna still has the warmest and happiest smile a mom could dream for, she has a great sense of humor and is still "her own boss". Blake is very curious, has the sweetest heart, is a mover and a shaker and wants to learn everything he can about the world 24/7 nonstop.

Well, as I strive to regain balance (mommy, wive, ME), I am going to follow my plan right now and "close" in order to get some quiet moments in before the twinadoes wake up from nap. Afterall, a happy mommy is a good mommy.

Next post I will update with more details regarding our latest developmental accomplishments, our new diagnosis and more on what Jenna and Blake have been up to lately. Boy, do we have some stories!

Friday, April 15, 2011

How the March of Dimes Have Helped Families Just Like Ours

As I whole heartedly plan for the "Reids Return on our blog", I am starting tonight with sharing info on this year's March for Babies event. This will be our second year of participating in honor of our very own once tiny, miracle babies and heroes. This year's event will take place on May 7th at Auditorium Shores here in Austin. Please visit our team page at:

Here is an article I wrote for the Austin Moms of Multiples Group in which I am a member.

From Head to Toe
(Ways Your Donations Have Already Helped)
& How it has affected our family

BRAIN~when a baby is born too soon, the brain and other organs haven’t had time to fully develop. Furthermore, premature babies are at high risk for brain hemorrhages. When brain hemorrhages occur, the baby is at high risk for Cerepal Palsy and/or other conditions.

Jenna experienced bilateral high-grade ventricular hemorrhages. Most babies with high grade hemorrhages are later diagnosed with mild to severe CP. We are extremely fortunate that Jenna did not develop that prognosis, she defied some great odds (Another reason we call Jenna one of our “miracle babies”).

SMILE~every year, more than 6,800 babies are born with an oral cleft. MOD researchers identified a gene that is responsible and are working on preventions.

SPINE~Thanks to MOD folic acid education & fortification campaigns, fewer babies are born with neural tube defects such as spina bifida.

LUNGS~After Surfactant and nitric oxide therapies now save the lives of tens of thousands of babies who are born too soon and who suffer from respiratory distress syndrome.

Jenna and Blake received a steroid a few days before their birth to help speed up the development of their lungs in case they were born prematurely, which undoubtedly was the initial MAJOR intervention that saved their lives. Blake and Jenna were born with respiratory distress syndrome. They were on respiratory support/ventilators for the first couple months due to their lungs being underdeveloped. Blake was placed on a highly specialized vent due to complications prior to PDA surgery. The changes and advancements in respiratory medical technology for preemies in the last five to ten years has allowed many babies, including Jenna and Blake a safer and stronger fight against respiratory distress.

EYES~Premature birth and certain birth defects can lead to blindness. Scientiss are studying the genetic causes and are developing treatments to cure vision defects.

Many premature babies develop Retinopathy of Prematurity. ROP often results in significant vision impairments or loss. Blake suffered a severe form of ROP, called RUSH in which his retina was beginning to pull from the lens, which would result in the loss of his vision. What began as a routing eye exam while in the NICU, ended with an emergency laser eye surgery. He underwent surgery within an hour of detection in an attempt to save his vision. We are extremely blessed that his surgery was successful. Unfortunately many premature babies are not as fortunate. .

HEART~Heart defects affect 1 in every 100 babies and are responsible for taking the lives of more babies than any other birth defect. MOD advances in diagnosis and surgical treatment mean better survival rates for the tiniest of heart parients.

Being born four months premature, before their hearts were fully developed, both Blake and Jenna were born with PDA. Jenna received a mediation twice that eventually closed the PDA. Blake’s PDA required heart surgery.

On their second day of life, Blake experienced a pulmonary hemorrhage. This condition usually always results in loss of life. He had to be recessatated and all we could do was wait to “see what the next 24 hours will bring”. Amazingly, our little boy beat those amazing odds, pulled through and gave the world yet another reason to clearly see why we deem him a “miracle baby”. Soon after he underwent PDA (heart) surgery. As suggested above with the tiniest heart patients, Blake’s surgery increased his survival rate significantly.

HEEL~Thanks to the MOD volunteer advocacy efforts, most states now screen babies for 21 or more serious but treatable conditions. A tiny drop for a newborn’s heel could save his/her life.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Christmas for the REID4 was nice. Our celebration started at Aunt Christine and Uncle Tim's house a week before Christmas with the Austin part of the family. We had a lot of fun playing with cousins Kaylee and Jude. Neither Jenna or Blake really got into opening gifts this year but did enjoy playing with the toys. Blake very happily sat and enjoyed cake with cool whip on top that Pappa shared with him. Jenna caught eye of Aunt Christine's mini vaccuum and could not keep her hands off of it. Hmmm...think Santa should have brought her one of her own. I am all about getting help with keeping the house clean. ;)

On Christmas Eve we drove to Bryan and stayed the night at my mom and dad's. Christmas Eve night we went to my cousin's house to visit with my relatives who I used to spend Christmas Eve night with at my grandmother's house when I was a kid. We got to see lots of cousins we don't get to see very often. The last time we were there, I was still pregnant....two years ago! It was a little strange thinking about being there two years ago with a big preggo belly and then now in hindsight knowing that a short two weeks later, we would be delivering our "twinkies" four months prematurely. It was great though, being able to "show off" my miracle babies. And with them being healthy and so happy now, it was a blessing to be able to share that with family.

Christmas day was a bit challenging. The kids woke up at 7AM but by the time we were getting ready to open gifts they were ready for a nap. We tried to push through but they wer NOT having it-haha. So....we decided to let them nap and have the adults open their gifts. Once they woke up we were ready for them to open theirs but they really had no interest. So funny thing? We opened them for them. They did enjoy the toys though! I guess next year they will really get into the excitement. Little did we know, they were coming down with something. Later that evening we realized that they were running fever. We did have a great time at Grammy and Papa's though. They love PeeWee, Grammy and Papa's dog. Both enjoyed following and petting her and PeeWee is really patient.

Well, once we got home we definitely had two sick kiddos. For the following week they have been sick. We took them to the doc, which was no small feat since they were very miserable. They were both diagnosed with a left ear infection. Now that is a "twin-ness" that isn't so fun. Poor babies. With it, they had congestion and upper resp stuff going on. Long story short and after six days of not eating and a change of meds, they are finally getting better. Whew!

I will be posting pics soon. ;)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Here Comes Santa Claus Here Comes Santa Claus....

Well, we did it. We took the kids for their second ever encounter with Santa this week. Although we has to drive all the way across Austin just to visit the "real deal", we had a great time. You see, "Santa" i.e. the real deal in our book, hangs out at Lakeline Mall these days....same place as last year.

Jenna gave him the look over but seemed pretty comfortable sitting on old St. Nic's lap. Being the busy little gal she is, she didn't want to just sit around for too long. She did great smiles but no cries or screams either.

Blake did great too. He was a bit cautious as we placed him on the lap of this large, plump, old guy dressed in red and with a beard of white sitting there talking to them. Blake sorta looked at him, looked toward us and tried to make up his mind about how he felt about mommy sitting him there and asking him to smile. What the heck is going on here, is what I imagined him thinking. Then is began to cry a bit after the pic was taken so I went to him and let him stand at Santa's feet. He didn't want to come to me. He turned around and gave Santa a big hug around his super sized waist and cried. It was as if he didn't want to leave his lap. It was realy cute. Santa was kind and calm, which helped a lot. He told me, "Hmm, I've never gotten that before...a cry and a hug, it's most defintely either one or the other".

We stood and talk to Santa a minute or two more then walked around the mall a bit. There was a veteran's group there that included one of our neighbors. He gave Jenna and Blake a dumdum sucker. Boy did Jenna go to town!! This was her first experience with a piece of candy, let alone a sucker. And to beat all, it was a blue sucker. She loved it. Her tongue, lips, hands and cheeks were blue. I called her my little smurf for the rest of the day. :) Blake was not interested in his, he was too busy "mall walking".

Oh yea, and Jenna's hair? Well, it was all spiffy until they played in the mall play area.....they had a great time.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

So very very grateful.......

I am sad tonight, very sad. I am also so very grateful. Grateful that my babies are healthy and well. So many of us take our health for granted. Some take their children's' good health for granted. Tonight I feel a tightness and torn feeling in my heart. I have just learned of a precious little girl who is losing her battle with cancer. She recently underwent a bone marrow transplant and her health continues to decline. She is in a very fragile state right now. She maxed our her ventilator and is now on the oscillator. I cry as I envision this horrific truth. Reading those words" "on the oscillator" brings back a very real feeling anxiety, fear and sadness. Blake was on the oscillator. This was one of the most terrifying things to witness while we were in the NICU. The oscillator, unlike the ventilator, does not inflate and deflate the lungs rather it keeps the child's lungs open with a certain pressure (PEEP), and vibrates the air at a very fast rate (up to 600 times for SECOND, yes, second!).The vibration helps gases to quickly diffuse in and out of the baby's airways without the need for the "bellows" action which may damage delicate lung structures. Seeing Blake on the oscillator was truly terrifying. Watching his chest vibrate, rather than seeing the up and down movement of natural breathing seemed very artificial....granted it was but witnessing your child lying there alive but seemingly otherwise as his chest vibrates is beyond heart breaking. It is a reality-filled slap in the face, seeing your child lying there in a lifeless-like state, the movement caused by the oscilator reminds your eyes that your baby is on complete life support.

I can not imagine what trauma this family is experiencing. I can not imagine the pain and exhaustion this little hero of a gal is feeling. It is clear that she is an extreme gal when it comes to being a fighter. I pray that this most deserving "baby" receives the miracle she so desperately needs. Please join me in praying for Aubrey Deno of Indianapolis. She is two years old but has the "fight" of a pro.

If there was one thing that Jason and I learned from our NICU experience, there were hundreds. One of the most amazing and incredible things that we learned was that even in the darkest of situations, miracles really can occur. Our amazing support system that included friends, family members, co-workers, acquaintances, friends of friends, nurses, spcialists, strangers, our blog followers and those who simply only heard of Jenna and Blake's fight for life all came together to send tremendous hope. That very hope was exhibited in various ways....from a kind word, a daily, sometimes hourly prayer, a hug, a loving gesture, a visit, a letter, an email, passing along our story and/or blog, positive thoughts and energy. Those very acts along with lots of amazing efforts by our medical team helped to see us through, day by day. That very hope for life and the strength of Jenna and Blake was so powerful. I can not sayoften enough, how we know in our hearts that hope and positive thoughts can help create miracles. There were a many times that Jenna and/or Blake's frail bodies, pushed beyond their limits appeared to be on the brink of giving in. Terrified, confused and forever changed, me, Jason and our supporters continued to be hopeful and continued to stay positive. I prayed and prayed. Many continued to pray. From that hope and from their sheer will, Jenna and Blake beat all odds....more than once or twice.

I write of power of hope and prayer, knowing that Aubrey also has an amazing amount of support from her family, friends, and strangers. I do not know this little girl personally but she has touched my heart nevertheless. I know that God is great, as I am witness to the amazing things that come from his and our positive energy. I pray that he feels Aubrey's time here on Earth is not over. I am confident that with him and with us who care for her and with hope, she will pull through....that her mommy, daddy and big sis will be able to see her smiling face for many years to come. Please keep her in your thoughts.

Positive thinking and hope creates a beautiful foundation for miracles. I truly believe this.

Tonight, I thank God/positive thinking and energy for the miracles Jason, Jenna, Blake and I have been granted. I pray that a miracle will be granted to Aubrey.