Wednesday, February 22, 2006

What a Week

We have had a crazy, slightly scary, exhausting week. Eleanor spit up and choked on her feeding on Saturday night. She was bright red, eyes popping out of her head, gasping--I even had to turn her over on my arn and give her a couple pops to the back. When she could finally breathe again (seemed like 20 minutes--probably was 1) I held her for the next hour. But when I put her down to sleep, she set off her apnea monitor three times in a row. I called the doctor the next morning, and they didn't like the sound of that, so they had us go to the emergency room where Eleanor had an x-ray and was admitted. The film was clear, thank goodness, but that wanted to observe her overnight anyway. They ended up doing an MCR (sleep study) on her to check her breathing, and since we were there, to see if she was ready to come off the oxygen. She was fine the whole night, but still has 12% periodic breathing, even though her oxygen saturations are fine. So we came to a compromise: she can be off of her oxygen whole she's with us, but when she is put down to sleep, she has to have it on. This is great because now I can actually walk around the house with her. We've been pretty much tethered to our bedroom since January 4, so this is a real treat! The only problem is that Adam hasn't been checked yet, so he needs to stay on the oxygen all the time. Walking around with Eleanor, but leaving Adam in his bassinet causes much guilt--so we don't get out of the bedroom as much as you would think.
Adam has also had his issues this week. On Monday, he started breathing rapidly (60 times a minute--you try it--it's worse than it sounds) which can be the first sign of a respiratory infection. Once again I called the doctor and into the office we went. His pediatrician listened to him and said he doesn't hear anything in his lungs, he has no fever, and is still eating a ton, so we'll just watch him. On a positive note, the doctor weighed him and he's now 12 pounds!
Our pediatrician plots the twins' growth on a regular growth chart--for their actual, not adjusted, age. This means that Adam is very close to being in the 3rd percentile for weight for all 5 month olds. Eleanor is as well, since they don't expect girls to weigh quite as much. I am hoping that by eight months, both kids are solidly on the regular growth chart. On the preemie growth chart, Adam is off the top!! An Eleanor is at the 98th percentile. Thank goodness they like to grow--their lungs are growing then, too.
Unless something comes up, we don't have another doctor's appointment until March 14 when we see the polmonologist again. By then, I am assuming both kids will be off the oxygen. But I've thought that before and it hasn't happened--I shouldn't jinx myself. Then we have immunizations again at the beginning of April. Five more shots...I don't remember getting nearly the number of shots that babies do today. I guess it's a good thing, but screaming babies who are cranky for the next 12 hours is not my idea of a great time.
Both Eleanor and Adam have started smiling much more often--and Eleanor even does it in response to my smile! Only problem is, then I start crying right away because it's so sweet. I'm sure she's getting confused--Mom is messing with her head already.

Here are a few pictures of the nursery. I went to Pottery Barn Kids last week and finished off the room iwth the rug, thanks to some gift certificates given to us at the showers.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Tummy Time

Eleanor would like to share her great tummy time success with everyone! She is getting stronger all the time and can lift her head up a little more every day. Most of the time, she really likes to be on her tummy--so much that she often will fall asleep in the middle of "tummy time". We can't have that, so she gets flipped back over then, but if were up to her, she would always be on her tummy.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy Valentine's Day

We have had a great Valentine's Day! Today Adam and Eleanor visited their pulmonologist again. We were hoping that Eleanor might come off of the oxygen, but no such luck. They did a pulse oxymeter reading on her without the oxygen and it read 95%. Not bad, but not good enough to go au naturale. The surprising news is that Adam's read 99%! Woo hoo Adam! So the doctor turned him down to 1/8 of a liter, like his sister, and wants us back in a month. If the insurance agrees, we can do an at home oxygen test at that time instead of going to the hospital to do it. It would monitor them without their oxygen for 24 hours and then be sent to the doctor for detailed reading. He thinks that Adam might even drop the oxygen first. I was shocked, but it was great. The doctor was concerned that Eleanor might be anemic which is why she hasn't come off the oxygen yet. We had blood work done after the appointment, so we shall see. The pulmonologist said they both "look like a million bucks" (I don't think he was referring the hospital bill) and we are doing great with them at home.
More good news was the twins' weights. Eleanor now tips the scales at 10 pounds, which is a gain of 1 1/2 pounds in two weeks. Adam, as you may be able to tell from the photos, weighs 11 pounds 3 ounces! That is two pounds in two weeks. No wonder he has basically outgrown his newborn clothes. He was only 6 pounds 1 ounce, and she was 6 pounds when we left the hospital 42 days ago. I just love that they are growing. It's a good sign that they are healthy little guys.
Oh! More good news. Adam went to the eye doctor again on Friday and he is finished. All his ROP is gone and his eyes look fantastic. We will be going back to her in July to check for near-sightedness and other possible issues. Apparently, preemies often have sight in one eye develop more quickly than the other which can cause problems. Everything from here on out is fixable, eye-wise, though.
Thank you to the grandmas for the cute Valentine's Day outfits and bibs. Buying clothes that are for one day a year are one of those things that grandmas are for. They were a hit at the doctor's office.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Million Dollar Babies

Today was a good day at home. Both Adam and Eleanor haven't spit up in over twelve hours. Wow, my definition of a good day has really changed dramatically! The school district physical therapist came over for a first check of the twins. Because they were born so prematurely, they are at a higher risk for disabilities. The good news is that she says they (so far) look great and she doesn't have any real concerns. The financial office at the hospital called today, too. She wanted to confirm insurance coverage and told me the bill for Adam and Eleanor. Eleanor was $540, 000 and Adam was $670,000. They are officially Million Dollar Babies. So folks, if you were wondering what happened to all that money you paid into your health you know. It looks like it will all be covered by insurance, expecially since they both qualified for Medicare. Any baby born in Michigan who stays in the hospital over 30 days pretty much automatically qualifies. That was news to me. One look into their little eyes, though, and I'd easily pay a hundred times that, though it would take more than a lifetime.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Yeah! Freebies!!

A package arrived at the front door today, which was quite exciting. If this had been a year ago, I would've figured it was something fun I had bought on the internet. Being that I am jobless and have twins, fun internet packages don't arrive too often these days, so I was curious. It was 2 free cases of Enfamil EnfaCare formula that we feed Adam and Eleanor! I had written to Enfamil hoping to get a bunch of coupons but they sent the actual stuff. This may not sound very exciting to the casual observer, but at $12.50 a canister, that adds up to about $150. Right now, that's about 2 weeks worth, so it was truly a great gift. They have both decided that they need four ounces a feeding now, so I have a feeling another growth spurt is in the works.
The pediatric surgeon gave us great news on Tuesday. Adam does not have hernias (for now)! That is one less issue we have to deal with--and one less doctor to see. Since the doctors are so pleased with their growth and everything else, the number/frequency of appointments has lessened. I'm hoping next Friday will be Adam's last with the eye doctor for 6 months. In May, they go to a developmental clinic to see if their development is on target with the expectations.
Sleeping is pretty much an optional activity at the Farell household these days. Well, some nights, anyway. We were having a hard time getting them to go to sleep after their 9pm feeding, when we realized they wanted more food. It's hard to believe that they are eating so much--it's at least double what is was when we brought them home. Trouble is, double the food, double the burping. In the end it takes about an hour to feed them both. At 3am (Jim feeds them then) this can seem a lot longer. Good news is that Jim turns on the TV and is now quite current on the offerings of QVC.
Grandma (my mom) will be spending the weekend here with us, so Jim and I are going to go out to dinner tonight. Let's hope I don't drive him too crazy with all the calls home I'm going to make in the whole 2 hours we're going to be gone. Have a great weekend everyone!