Thursday, April 27, 2006

Doctors and more Doctors

It seems that all we have done for the past month is go and see the Dr. I am not talking about myself and the intense back problems that I have highly neglected and cancelled every appointment and physical therapy session for. I am talking about the twins!

After listening to wheezing from both Owen and Kyle now for over a month, giving multiple steroids, antibiotics and hundreds of breathing treatments, they think that Kyle does not have asthma. He has not responded to any of it. So, after revisiting the pediatrician yesterday, they set up an urgent apt. with the polmonologist. We went and visited him and he has decided that Kyle with have two procedures done. As soon as they can get us in he will have a barium treatment (maybe similar to an upper GI). They will watch the barium go done and make sure that he is not having a reflex problem that is putting stuff into his lung. Secondly, we will be having a little surgical procedure done called a bronchoscopy. They are going to go into his airway with a camera to make sure everything is clear and free of blockage and foreign objects. Yes, this requires him going under. A bit scary but I just want to figure out what is going on.

Owen is doing a bit better. They are pretty convinced that his problem is different and probably asthma. We will continue to treat that way.

Did I mention that my back is killing me today?

Monday, April 24, 2006

Oh Asthma

My poor babies still aren't feeling well. We went back to the Dr. on Friday because the boys are both still wheezing. Kyle was put back on oral steroids, antibiotics and three breathing treatments a day. They think that he has a bit of pneumonia and maybe asthma. Owen is taking inhaled steroids but has been increased to two doses a day along with three breathing treatments. So, we continue to find ways to distract one year olds why they receive their breathing treatments. Kyle is just fussy, fussy, fussy!

I also received a call on Fri. from the pediatric cardiologist. Owen's 24hour heart monitor came back and it showed a lot of premature jumps (extra little beats). The Dr. isn't too concerned but I am still waiting a call back with more explanation.

I worked most of the weekend so exhaustion is the key work this morning! Mike did a good majority of the parenting this weekend along with help from my friend Theresa.

Just hoping for good health and sleep right now!

Here are some pics that I took of the boys on Sat. morning when they were actually happy for a few minutes.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Busy, Busy, Busy!

This whole raising children thing just takes all my time. When I signed up to have kids I didn't realize that getting groceries or mowing the lawn or even eating dinner would be so challenging! Nothing to complain about, just busy.

I haven't blogged in about a week about the ongoings in our life so here is a bit of an update...

The boys have both been pretty sick with what we think is asthma. It seems that they have been to the dr. every day for the past 2 weeks. Actually, I think it has only been about 4 trips but since their amazing Ped. is in Ann Arbor, it is a fair getting there. So anyway, they are both on breathing treatments several time a day now. Owen is also on a inhaled steroid indefinitely and Kyle will finish his oral steroid today. The wheezing continues so therefore the breathing treatments do also. The challenge is that you can not negotiate with a 1 year old so having them sit still for 5-10 minutes while you try to give it to them is not always fun. In fact, I am waiting for the neighbors to come over to see if I am beating my children because Kyle has such a fit!

Last week Owen went for his 6mth. check up on his heart. Let me just say that 3.5 hours at Children's Hospital is not a really uplifting experience to begin with. Owen had an EKG that did not come back perfect. This is kind of a blow since 6mths ago, everything appeared perfect. The Dr. told me not to be alarmed and that we would wait and see what the 24 monitor that they put on him would say. He is hoping for the best. We should know more in a week or so. Lord, I hope we are not taking a step back here!

We spent Easter with a quick trip to my Mom's, church and a lot of grub! I have attached a little pic of the kiddies.

Not much else to say! We have hit the $410 mark towards our goal of $500 for the March of Dimes Walk on 4/30! So happy that I have great friends and family to donate!

Monday, April 17, 2006

1st Year Letter

I have been meaning to write this letter for a few weeks now and have finally had a chance to get it all down on paper...Wow, look at these pics from a year ago. (the 1st time I held you)

My Dearest Owen and Kyle,

You are now a year old and I have decided to write a letter to you so I have the opportunity to sum up the past year of events along with express the joy and honor I have being your mother.

82 weeks ago I discovered that I was pregnant. 72 weeks ago I was told that there are two of you! I never truly realized how this would change my life.

I am going to jump back a year and review a bit so that both of you and I remember how our first year together went. So, here goes...

After 10 week of pregnancy we had our first Dr. apt. They did an ultra sound to check the heart beat and discovered that there were two of you. When I say I am still in shock to this day, I am not kidding. And so we began planning for TWO! I had an amazing pregnancy overall. The first 12 weeks were rough between feeling tired and nauseous often. After that period, it was smooth as silk.

My last day of work was April 1st. I started to have some back issues so the Dr. said "I could be done" I still felt great however a bit of guilt for quitting so early. Early, was short lived when on April 5th I went to the Dr. for a non stress test in the mid morning. I had a 2pm ultra sound scheduled so I decided to go sit outside (it was a rare 75 degrees), have lunch and relax until meeting your dad for the ultra sound. We went in to view you for the last time that afternoon, only to find that there was not much fluid in Owen's sac. The Dr. immediately sent us to the hospital where our regular Dr. was on call. After a bit of discussion, we decided that you would be safer on the outside than inside. So it was determined that you would be delivered via c-section since there were no other signs that you wanted to come out.

Fortunately my Dr., whom I adore, was on call. It was also the night of the women's NCAA final basketball game and MSU was in for the championship. As we went into surgery, we sang the MSU Fight song (one of my best memories).

The delivery went great. I didn't have any problems and neither did either of you. After delivery, I went to recovery and apparently you both went to the NICU. This is where the hard part begins.

Sometime the night of your birth, I am guessing around midnight, I was wheeled through the NICU to see you on the way to my room. I don't think I really comprehended the whole "NICU concept" until about 3am when the Neonatologist entered my room. Her exact words were "your babies are critically ill but it is not life threatening". WOW, where is your mind supposed to go with that? I didn't sleep the rest for the night partially due to your dad's snoring and partially due to the fact that I had just had major surgery, was stuck in bed and didn't know what was going on with my babies.

And so, you spent the next 18 days in the NICU. You were both born with underdeveloped lungs which made it necessary for you to be on oxygen. You started on respirators and slowly moved to just nasal canulas. You were in you own heated, enclosed, incubators because you could not hold your own body temperatures. You had feeding tubes in your nose or mouth because you could not eat on your own. We did not get to hold you until you were 3 days old. Owen,three days after you birth it was discovered that you had some heart issues. You had many eccocardiograms and other tests that determined that you were born with an SVT (supraventricular arrhythmias). This basically means that you had an extra wire in your heart that was putting out extra beats to create an escalated heart rate. It was determined that you would have to be put on Inderol to help regulate this. You also had a valve that did not close off during birth. Fortunately, after 48 hours on meds, this was corrected.

We spent the first week at your bedside touching you through the holes in the incubator, watching what seemed like a 100 monitors hooked up to you and praying for a positive outcome. You both had a 24 hour nurse dedicated to just the two of you.

The ups and downs during this period were indescribable. One day you were doing great and the next day you would forget to breathe!

After about 12 days (it's all a blur now) we started to teach you to eat on your own. I was pretty determined to get you to feed from the breast even though you had been getting breast milk all along. I spent hours every day, one of you and then the other, trying to feed. I would hold you at my breast as the milk went through the tube in your nose so that you would get used to thinking that is where you should be when you eat. You eventually both surprised everyone and became feeding champs! Before you left the hospital you could take a whole feed from the breast only and this is a rare accomplishment for preemies.

There was one more emotional ride that we took during your hospital stay. One of the Drs. came to me on about day 12 and told me that our insurance company was forcing us to relocate to a different hospital. The nurses and Drs. had been so amazing that I could not phathom leaving this comfort zone. Fortunately, the hospital fought for us and we were able to stay put.

On day 17, the Dr. told us that it looked good for us to go home the next day. You had now both been eating on your own for 24 hours and everything else was in line. Kyle, this night you decided to stop breathing twice. So, yet another set back. Fortunately, the Dr. did not think this was a major concern and said that we would still be able to take you both home.

On April 23rd, 18 days after your birth, we took all of the tubes and monitors off and left St. Joe hospital. I have to say that it was hard leaving the nurses that we had grown to love and the security that we became accustomed to depend on. It was scary! I knew that I had to monitor if you were breathing, listen to Owen's heart every few hours and adjust to everything else that goes along with newborns.

And so we brought you to our home. We had Sissy and Grammy to help us. We spent the next while getting to know you both, feeding you and mostly watching you sleep. The hospital had you on a great 3 hours schedule (a huge blessing) so everything we like clockwork. A nurse came to the house once a week just to monitor you. This was very refreshing for me. I knew that I was blessed with great babies!

I was able to breast feed you for two months with some supplementing. We gave Owen his medicine religiously every 4 hours. We got used to being a family of five!

After the first month of your lives, the time has sped so fast. You have learned to smile, laugh, eat real food, crawl say mama and dada and even walk. It is hard to look at where we were just one year ago. Owen, you went off you heart medication in November and we can only pray that your heart has healed and your problems will not return. You both amaze us every day with your different demeanors. Kyle, you are funny and able to get into anything you are determined for. Owen, you are a snuggler with a temper. Right now you both tolerate each other and that is it. You don't play, you just fight over toys. It is a riot to watch!

I have realized many things over the past year. First of all, I believe that God gave me twins in my life so that I could learn the importance of life and an appreciation for being a mother and wife. I now wake every morning knowing that I am the richest person in this world! I don't have a lot of money but I have three children and a husband who gives me everything I need in life. Your simple smile or the feeling of your cheek on mine is heavenly. I have so much fun watching you grow and develop and learn how to be kids. You both have both opened my eyes to the simple blessings in life daily. I try to enjoy each day that I have with you because I see how fast it goes.

I know this is long and that I have babbled, but one day I want you to know about your amazing first year of life and how you fought as preemies to become healthy babies. My greatest wish is to continue to have the strength, guidance and will to be the best mom to the both of you that I can possibly be and to enjoy every bit of it. I know I will make mistakes and I don't and will never know what is always right, but I will continue to do my best and love you everyday!

All my love,


Tuesday, April 11, 2006

So much to say, so little time!

I want to blog every day. I have so many things to share about my little ones and so many topics I would love to discuss but the truth is RIGHT NOW, I HAVE NO TIME! Work is crazy busy and I seem to have so many after work commitments between PT, Drs. apts., kids stuff, NICU stuff, etc...I have been meaning to finish off a letter that I am working on for the boys 1 year birthday that I have not yet completed!

Last night I had a huge event at work that kept me until 8pm. Of course I rush home to see my fam only to find Mike feeding Kyle, Owen screaming (and I mean screaming) in bed and Janie needing to go to bed. So, 1 hour later, the house is quiet. All in bed, dishes done, bottles made, backpack packed and off to bed I am.

Bed has been an interesting topic lately. They boys typically go to bed without much fuss. (Except last night for Owen) The challenge is, Kyle has been waking up 1-2 times a night in need of a binky. Owen usually follows at around 4am. He however will not just go back to bed. He screams when I lay him back down. Normally, I would not have a problem with this but with twins, the last thing you need is both up in the middle of the night. So, Owen comes to sleep with us every night at 4am. It has been about 10 days that this is going on. I am starting to have a real problem with this because I do not want my kids sleeping with me! I love them dearly but first of all, there are 3 of them and it simply will not work. Secondly, I like my space when I am sleeping and my bed is for my husband and me (except for maybe some morning family gathering with a little cartoons or music)So what do I do to stop Owen from thinking that our bed is also his? I am afraid that the solution may be to set up the Pack-n-play some place in the house and let him cry it out! This does not sound fun at all. The Dr. seems to think that it may be due to the fact that he has 6 teeth coming in and molars not far behind! Time will tell...

We went for our 1yr. Dr. apt today. The boys had 3 more shots and a good examine. Owen is 21lbs, 3oz. and Kyle is 23lbs, 13oz. They checked out fine. They do both have to take a trip to the Pediatric Opthamologist (sp?) to have their eyes checked. The Dr. is a little fearful that they may have eye issues and since my sis had glasses at 3yrs., all the more reason. No worries here!

So, I am now that I have totally rambled on, all I really wanted to say was...Here is my crazy day-I get up this morning, get the kids ready, feed the babies, and get Janie off on the bus (sounds much easier than it was). I rush to make the boys Dr. apt in Ann Arbor. I have the nanny (Krissy) meet us there so that she can just drive the boys home after and I can call into my conference call. So all goes well and I get to work and start plugging away. Krissy calls me from her cell phone. I of course panic thinking that they must be in an accident. Wrong! When I left the house, I shut the gargage door and locked the front. She was locked out! Fortunately, my husband came to the rescue.

Is it Wed. yet?

Look at these cute dudes!

Thursday, April 06, 2006


Wow, rough week with the whole sleep thing! After taking Kyle to the Dr. yesterday, we found out that he has an ear infection! Poor baby! And I just thought he was trying to keep me up all night. Fortunately Owen is feeling better.

As I am having a very tired week, I looked back at the logs that we used to write down all feeds, meds, etc...for the first 7 months of the boys life. In Oct, they were sleeping 8p-8a. What happened???

The boys birthday came and went. I did go out on the porch last night at 8:52p (the time that the boys were born last year) and spent a few moments reflecting on the last year and what an amazingly blessed person I am. It is crazy to relive it all, if only by looking at the stars.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Happy 1st Birthday!

Apparently the boys felt the need to party all night. They were up from 1:15a-3:00a for no apparent reason. First Kyle woke up and therefore Owen woke up. No fevers, no poopy diapers, just screaming. We fed them both a half of bottle after trying to let them cry it out. Nothing worked! I ended up on the couch, Owen did go back to sleep and Kyle went in with Mike. When I went to leave for work this morning, they were up again (5:15a). I had to stick around a bit to make sure that Mike did not kill one of them. Could it be the 6 teeth? This is truly when you feel the weight of twins!

So...the 1st birthday can only get better. Right?

I have attached a new fav pick of mine that I took yesterday when Kyle would not go down for a nap. I played hard ball and let him cry himself to sleep and this is how he took his nap!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

It's only Tuesday?

For some reason I am extra tired this week. Maybe it is because the kids spent the entire week last week being sick and up several times a night. Maybe it is that I work too hard at work and home. Maybe it is that I can not adjust to the whole time change thing and I need more beauty sleep. Or, could it be the my lovely children GAVE ME THEIR COLD! Anyway, I feel so tired so I am just going to get through the week.

I did get a call from the nurse at my Dr.'s office yesterday to report that my MRI showed that I have a large herniation in my spine. Large vs. small? Does that mean more pain? Are my discs just large? Who knows! I am supposed to begin steroid injections in my spine which I think is for the pain. I am also supposed to go see a Nero (sp?) surgeon. Right...My thought is to live with the pain, become great friends with Vicatin and hope that I don't lose more function in my leg. Truly, surgery is just not an option right now. First of all I don't have someone who can just move in for 6 weeks to parent my children. Secondly, I am not will to give up this time with my kids now and not be able to pick them up. What a pain in the back! Haha!

Enough about me. The kids rock. Fortunately they are feeling a bit better and playing a more independently. I am almost ready to declare Kyle as walking. Owen has also picked up the pace with his speed crawling and has no problem following his brother along.

I am not sure if it is normal for Fraternal twins to not interact a lot at this age. I know that studies show that twins have their own communication and special bond. Not mine! Up until this point, the only communication they have is when Kyle crawls on Owen or takes his binky away or a toy or just simply irritates him. Owen screams. He does not want to be touched or even looked at by his brother for that matter. I think they were even hitting each other the other day. On Sunday we had a breaking moment. Kyle was in his saucer and Owen on the floor. Owen was flaring his arms (a very common thing for him) in excitement (probably due to the fact that he was free and his brother was tied down in the saucer) and Kyle just sat staring at him, giggling away. It lasted for about 3 minutes and was absolutely hilarious. I so hope they continue to have some positive connections!

My observations this far:

Owen is a sweet baby with a temper. He snuggles all the time but don't piss him off or he will scream bloody murder, hit and potentially hurt you. He has not moved as fast as Kyle but can clap, wave and eat with his two fingers.

Kyle is a very active sneaky character. He often goes in locations that he know he is not allowed (stairs, fire place, behind the couch). Every time you take off his diaper, he immediately reaches for his pointer (my preferred word over penis). He says mama and dada and will sing or give raspberries on demand. He does not clap, wave or each with anything but his entire hand.

My fear...they will pick up the more challenging traits that the other currently carries. Nevertheless, it is fun having them be totally different.

Janie continues to be awesome. She is growing up so fast and her sudden independence scares me. I just want her to always need me despite the fact that it can get annoying when at almost 6yrs. she still calls me to wipe her bottom after #2.

I guess I felt like babbling today!

Monday, April 03, 2006

What a perfect day!

Yesterday we celebrated the boys 1st birthday. This is so amazing to me because it seems like yesterday that we (right, I mean I) popped these little dudes out. Oh how they have changed in a year.

My Mom, bro and Ann, Uncle Bob, and the Fish family came over for the perfect gathering. We grilled a bit, enjoyed the kids, had a few brewskies, and watched them indulge in their first birthday cake.

They are feeling a bit better despite the 6, yes 6 teeth that are coming in each! what a blast.

I have a bit of trouble attaching pictures, at least in any type of order. So, ramdon it is. Here I have posted the start of the cakes that Mike made them and then the finished product.