Friday, July 31, 2009

Friday, July 31st NEW PICS

Jason and I think that the kids are going through a growth spurt. Blake has not really been himself for over two days, not nearly as active, "talkative" or awake. We were a little worried yesterday that he may be fighting something because he was so "out of it". I must've checked his temperature ten times. Jenna has been a little more tired too. Neither have stayed up nearly as long as they usually do. We are pretty sure they are well, just using all their energy to grow. We continue to watch them carefully.

During Jenna's therapy session today, it was evident from the start that she was going to tire pretty quickly. After about 15 minutes, she was just so exhausted. Mary decided that it was best to let her sleep. She did get enough from her to do a 30 day eval. Good news!! Premature babies' development is charted according to their adjusted age (age from due date May 7th). Their adjusted age is 2 months, 24 days. Jenna skills indicate that she is developmentally at 4 months(adjusted)!!! We are so very fortunate that our former 24 weekers are so healthy.

New pics:

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Finally caught Jenna's smile on camera!!!

Yay! I have finally caught Jenna's pretty smile on camera. We also got her on video. Like her brother, she is now smiling more than ever. She REALLY likes to smile at mommy and daddy and at her favorite toy, a black and white puppy. The other day she smiled at me and got so excited that she couldn't sit still. We exchanged smile after smile for some time and she had such a look of delight on her face. It was great. She had done this with daddy(Daddy's girl.....look out daddy, I can already see some wrapping around that tiny finger of hers going on), and now I have finally been able to share this with her too.
Blake is just talking up a storm these days. He talks to us, to the ceiling fan, to the lights and most of all to his favorite animal-anything with a panda bear on it. One of their toys has a panda bear on it and he carries on conversations with this thing quite often. I just had to go out searching for a panda stuffed animal. I found one and he loves it! Jenna is quite fond of it too, although she favors her "grumpy" faced black and white stuffed animal.
Both kids are doing great. They are certainly keeping me busy during the day. Blake tends to take SHORT naps....thirty minutes, forty five of I'm lucky. Jenna our my sleeper. I'm still not getting really anything done during the day but I know I am spending my time in the best way possible. Who wants to clean the house anyways? I wouldn't mind getting a work out in though...
Jenna and Blake both are interracting with us alot. They also play with toys by grabbong for them and touching them. I read to them every day. They seem to expect this now and will usually stay attentive (with the help of interesting voices and gestures I make as I act the characters out-ha!).
When Jason gets home, I have my break. Many times I will get out of the house to run an errand or just get out. I am seeing the stores have prepared for the back to school craze. Sometimes, I have to stop myself from putting some nifty little teacher tool in my cart. Once a teacher, always think like a teacher no doubt. This time of year is usually both a dreaded time for me and an exciting time. I dread that my summer break is ending but I am excited about finding new things to do in my classroom. I will miss my 2nd graders this year. However, I am enjoying my current "job" very much. In many ways, it is much harder. In more ways, it is the most rewarding way to spend my days.
Kids are calling.....

Saturday, July 18, 2009

6 Months Old

Meant to finish and post this a few days ago.....

Well, here we are.....Jenna and Blake are 6 months 3 days old (aka 10 weeks 3 days)! We took the kids in for their dreaded 6 month shots. They were great during the whole appointment. When the shots were given, Blake let out a big "I'm hurting" scream and I was able to easily calm him down. Jason held Jenna. She too gave out a "hurting" scream, then she shut down and went to sleep. Both checked out real well. Jenna is actually "on the chart" for growth. Blake is just under. Their growth is charted and recorded on the preemie growth chart. Dr. Fasci is very pleased with their weight gain and development. The great news is, that in her opinion, Jenna feels just fine, no "increased" muscle tone. In fact, she was pretty surprised by some of the opinions we have been given by one of our Physical Therapists. One says she has worked through the muscle tone she previously experienced. One of our therapist detects "increased tone" and "patterns" while the other feels that what they interpretted as muscle tone before was actually more related to Jenna's nervous system growing into her body. At times she gets a little sensory over loaded so will do different things to "cope". Sometimes she looks side to side, other times she fusses, and yet others she stiffens up a bit. Each week, she has seemed to get more and more comfortable in her new "bigger" body and of all the noises, sensations, lights and such. When they were born, they were stripped of their warm, dark, sound muffled, cozy, boundary-filled home. Although the NICU attempts to provide an atmosphere as close to the real thing as possible, with as critical as they were it just does not really come close. Babies born this early are forced to acclimate to a louder, noisier, cooler, foreign and scary home. All with having underdeveloped lungs, brains, senses, and so much more. Their skin is so thin, it looks (and I imagine feels to them, as if they have burned skin-moist, red and transparent. It's tough enough not being with mom, but dealing with painful touches necessary to receive the care that is required makes them tough little survivors alone. Don't forget their lungs were not equipped to breath air for 4 more months. Considering all of these factors, their under developed nervous systems struggle to further develop and get strong. It isn't a surprise that some of these lil heroes require a bit more time to process and acclimate to this huge busy world. I believe that Jenna is still adjusting to the "outside" world. She is doing a fantastic job! And Blake, thankfully, seems to be well adjusted already.

Anyways, I guess I ran with that thought. Sometimes I think about the experiences my babies have had and am amazed all over again.

So, as I said, Dr. Fasci is very pleased with their progress. We will go in next month for a shot but other than that they won't need a check up until they turn 12 months!!!! (unless they need to be seen).

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tickled Pink

Jason and I have really enjoyed the last few days. The last couple days have been filled with more smiles from Blake and Jenna. Blake has REALLY enjoyed play time lately. I got THE most awesome pics of him yesterday. See them here.....

He has cooed in delight when he sees either of us enter the room. Today he was "talking" to a soft block we have that has different shapes and designs on it. On one side there is a lady bug that just really gets him excited. He was talking to his ladybug friend and smiling at him. I got some great video of it. Jenna is cracking smiles here and there and is cooing a bit more. I took some cute pics of her with a little summer dress (see here).

Well, the kids are down for a nap. I am going to see what I can get done. Just wanted to share some adorable pics.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Taste of Sunlight

Today's appointment with the renal doctor went well. Both Blake's and Jenna's blood pressure were checked. Blake's was 79-great. Jenna has always fought the blood pressure machine, today was no different. While in the NICU, the nurses had to pull out all the tricks when attempting to get her pressure. Often they would put the cuff on her and wait til she was in a deep sleep to start the monitor for a check. Beings that that really isn't possible during our appointment, Dr. Berry's nurse pulled out many tricks and finally got a pressure of 92-okay. They would like to see it under 100. Again, it may have been lower had she not been tensing up and pulling away. Dr. Berry reminded us that preemies (and certainly most micro preemies) turn up with high blood pressure between days 71-100, cause unknown. They all outgrow this and the need for meds no later that a year of age (unless there are other true reasons for high blood pressure other than the unknown related to prematurity).

Their Aunt Donna (my sis) went to the appointment with me today. Donna and I were entertained by Jenna's curiosity. Blake is usually the one who looks out the window while in the car and looks at his surroundings while we are out. Today he slept half of the time or more. Jenna on the other hand, was very alert and curious. When we got them in the stroller and came out of the parking garage, the sun hit the visor on Jenna's carrier. Jenna immediately stuck her tongue out as if she wanted to taste the sunlight. It was so cute. Each time we moved out from the shade and the sun hit her face, her tongue stuck out for a little taste. A true warm weather girl I can tell. Like her mommy, the sunlight on her face is a great feeling to her.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Wednesday, July 8th/NEW PICS

Wow, the twins have really changed in the last week, week and a half. We've seen subtle changes and growth almost each day but it seems like all of a sudden over night, they just look so much bigger and older! They really don't look like newborns anymore. Understandably so I guess, after all they are 8 weeks old now (adjusted). I can't believe it. (According to "real age", they will be 6 months old next week!!)

They have both been smiling, which is just so wonderful! Each day we get about 3-5 smiles out of them. The best part is when daddy comes home from work and says hello to them and they give big cheeky grins to greet him. Even after a long frustrating drive home, daddy can't help but to melt with relaxation when he sees Blake or Jenna smile as a response to him saying hello.

We changed formula and it was going great until about the 5th day. Both Blake and Jenna became badly constipated. It may be due to the extra iron in the formula. We were advised to try and treat and wait out the constipation in hopes that their bodies will get used to this new stuff. We will give it another day or so. Blake seems to be doing better. The first night was pretty bad for him. Jenna has had painful BMs for two days now. We have tried kero, VERY diluted prune juice and pedialite with 1/4 tsp milk of magnesia (advised by pedi). So it looks like we traded constant gas, spitting up for Blake and colic for Jenna for constipation. Sigh. They are supposed to be on 22cal (preemie) formula until their 9th month or more. We hope they get over the constipation soon, it is so difficult seeing them in such pain. Luckily, Blake is doing much better. Jenna has been somewhat better today. They were doing great on their schedule up until their bouts with constipation. Jenna hasn't been able to sleep well due to this, poor baby girl.

We see the nephrologist tomorrow for a follow up from the NICU. Next week we go in to see the pedi for their 6month shots.

I am feeling a bit better since I've been put on my thyroid meds. It's only been 3 days. It will take a bit of time to really start feeling and looking healthier. I appear really run down and pale due to my hyperthyroidism. That and lack of sleep of course. Now that the kids are on a better routine, I look forward to finding time to exercise and get rid of this extra left over pregnancy weight. Realistically, I know it will still be some time before I can work it in as a weekly routine. It will still be a while before the kids sleep more at night and therefore I won't need to nap during the day with them each time. I look forward to that. I attempted to get out and exercise night before last. I went walking at the track when Jason got home. I got a little over zealous I guess. It was way too hot, even at 90. I haven't spent any time outside this summer really and one side effect of hyperthyroid is intolerance to heat. Needless to say, I was not thinking this through very well. I was out for 30 minutes. Once I got home, heat exhaustion set in. I was down for a few hours. Unfortunately this is the same night the kids were having problems. Jason stepped in and took care of them both while I tried to recoop as quickly as I could. Again, Jason earns the title of SUPER DAD (and super husband).

Our cousin Kristin came to help out yesterday, thanks Kristin! This allowed me to run to the pediatrician's office to pick up some formula. When I returned, it was nice to visit with her. As much as I LOVE talking to my babies, it is nice to have some grown up conversations during the day when I can ;)

So, we are STILL having computer issues. Jason is going tomorrow to buy a new hard drive and I am going to try and get much of of pics on disks to free up some space. I have some awesome pics to show you all but am unable to post on the blog.

I may try and post to another site and include the link here......

Okay, I have managed to squeeze a few in. Here they are;

Thursday, July 2, 2009

July 2nd

Since time is limited, I am going to attempt to quickly post an update. Daddy is playing with Jenna on the floor and Blake is swinging. Blake is calling out for attention and has THE most (endearingly) pathetic sad face EVER! His frown just melts your heart and makes you laugh all at the same time. It's okay though, daddy went to his rescue.

Well, things that are new.......we are changing formula. We are switching to Enfacare from Similac. We mixed half and half of each for 24 hours and tonight we are preparing 100% Enfacare. We hope this will help the twins with their constant gas, Blake's reflux and Jenna's "midnight tummy episodes". So far so good. Well, hopefully if all goes well with the new formula, it will lend itself to helping to keep the kids on a good routine. In the past, there have been several nights that Jenna cries from about midnight to two (or sometimes it starts at two), then she (and sometimes Blake) wouldn't sleep til after the 4 o'clock feed. Well, morning comes around and she is wiped out, I am wiped out and so we sleep. When they nap, I nap. daddy is at work.....I HAVE too. We had a couple great days. I try and provide lots of awake time entertainment during the day. On the days that I do and the nights that they sleep well, we get nearly five hours of sleep. I would LOVE to have that as our "norm". Hopefully with this change, so will our opportunities to sleep.

Blake and Jenna are looking great. Their hair is really getting thick. Aunt Donna has been visiting each Thursday. She said in a week, she is SURE their hair is thicker. Last well Blake and Jenna FINALLY got to meet their 15 year old cousin Chris. Chris has always been curious about them and wanted to meet them but with the NICU rules being no visitors under 18, he unfortunately had to wait 4 1/2 months to see them. So did "Aunt Sydney".

The kids are changing before our eyes each day. I truly enjoy being at home with them to see the daily subtle and not so subtle changes. Lastnight I was holding Blake and he was half way sleeping. He smiled and I found myself sitting on the floor with big tears in my eyes. The thought crossed my mind, "to think it was very possible that i would never get to see that beautiful smile!". I held him closer and thanked God for for allowing me to be Blake and Jenna's mommy and for keeping them with us.

Well, I am going to try and hop back on later to post pics. We'll see......