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Wow – I remembered my password and everything.  Hi.  I’m not even sure if people still read this or subscribe to it.  But, on this blizzard-y day I felt drawn to come back and jot down some things as I reflect on experiences of this time three years ago.

Three years.  It seems so far.  Yet, it also feels like yesterday we were keeping vigil at the NICU praying, wishing, hoping, that there would be a positive outcome from all of this.  For 100 and 142 days.

The third birthday was hard for me – harder than their second and I haven’t entirely figured out why.  Maybe, because of all the assessments they were put through while ending Early Intervention services and looking to see what further would be needed, I had to relive the gory details of my pregnancy, their birth, and their entire medical history?  Is it possibly because THREE is just so different than two?  That they’re little humans now with opinions (lots of them), words, feelings, and personalities?

Or, it seems, that each year has been a specific theme or category.  Year one was definitely “survival“.  It went by in such a blur, you could barely take a second to breathe, and at the end of it we felt like we had run a marathon.  It is awful to admit but the first year of memories is not very clear.  I think we lived on adrenaline and coffee.  I actually don’t know how we all came out of it alive.  But we did and I think we did a decent job of it.

Year two was “stability“.  We survived the first year, routines were getting set in place, it was getting easier in some ways but challenging in others.  But, for the most part, we finally felt like we knew what we were doing.  Other life challenges came up but the kids continued to steer the course and check the boxes of major milestones like crawling, walking, and first sounds.

Year three I’d classify as “change“.  Developmentally, the difference between them at their second birthday and them at their third birthday is mindblowing.  When they were diagnosed around two with speech delays, I was crushed.  Even though I knew there was a delay going on – I didn’t realize just how frustrating it was for the kids.  Their minds had so much they wanted to communicate and they couldn’t.  We got them into speech therapy and worked with them at home with signs, pictures, and the like.  Progress was made and both were discharged with 6-8 months of starting – and now, they’re consistently using phrases and their most recent assessments have them well within the average range (and a little above) for their age.  Colton literally went from having ZERO words on his second birthday to testing within average and above average for receptive and expressive language.  Amazing.  A good friend had told me when we got the speech delay diagnoses that I would be shocked at the difference between two and year when it comes to communication.  At that time I couldn’t see the forest through the trees, but she was SO right.  Once it clicked, it snowballed and their language exploded.  Miss Keltie also tested out of Early Intervention services in June – so she, essentially, was caught up to her peers by 2 1/2.  Colton remained in mostly for his low core tone and to continue to reinforce other gross motor and fine motor skills.  Their personalities evolved, too – Colton continue to grow his affinity for trains, trucks, and anything that moves.  Keltie is really into music and art.  Keltie had an accessory added, and then taken away.  She was diagnosed with strabismus in both eyes (eye turning in) just after her second birthday.  We tried glasses for a few months but it didn’t help and she ended up having double strabismus surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital.  The surgery was an absolute success (and I was an absolute wreck about it) and as of now she doesn’t need glasses and her vision is good.  Other changes happened as well – I got a new job.  One that has me going to an office – so after 7 years of working from home and 9 years with the same company, I made the decision to try something different.  It was time and I needed a change of pace.  I was traveling a lot and the kids were reacting poorly to me being away.  So, in November I took a new role and we have been settling into a new routine of me working in an office outside of the home.  It was very bittersweet, though.  So many of my colleagues there supported us through this journey and never questioned my commitment to my work when dealing with the kids in the hospital and post NICU.  I will forever be grateful for the love and support I received and that is why I miss the people I worked with terribly.  However, the work/life balance with my new job is much better for me and I am truly happy with my decision to leave and I think the kids enjoy having more of me and my attention, too.

Speaking of the year of change, since Early Intervention services stop at 3, both kids were assessed for the developmental preschool in town.  It was three weeks of assessments (once a week).  Keltie was assessed for speech only and Colton was assessed for speech, Occupational Therapy (OT) and Physical Therapy (PT).  At the conclusion of the assessments, we met with the school and the therapists and got the news that both kids were accepted into the program!  Keltie was accepted as an “at risk” model peer.  Basically, she is caught up to her actual age and peers in all assessment areas.  But, due to her severe prematurity, she is at risk of falling behind.  This way, teachers and staff will keep a close watch on her and we can run any interventions that may be necessary before it would get to a point where an untrained eye would notice (i.e., us).  We think this will be amazing for her – especially when it comes to routine, playing with other kids, and transitions.  Keltie struggles a lot with transitions.  She was a model peer in the developmental playgroup through Early Intervention and often had to be pulled out.  Not much of a role model, Keltie…  I’m really hopeful for this program for her and think it can only do even more to support her continued development and growth.

Colton was also accepted.  He will receive therapies for all three areas – even though speech tested on par and above average, there are concerns about his volume and endurance.  They feel a lot is related to his low core tone, so they’ll work in sync with PT on how to boost his speech.  OT will continue to focus on maturing some of the emerging skills he has and PT is going to be the hardest work in also maturing some emerging skills and working to strengthen his core and increase his use of both sides of his body.  We are super excited – although it is difficult to hear that one of your children still isn’t completely caught up after three years.  But, we remind ourselves that it could have been worse.  So much worse.  If all they need are these boosts here and there – throw as much services at them as we can.

So next week, my once micropreemies who weighed less than 2lbs a piece will be saying goodbye to us.  They’ll be dropped off at preschool with their backpacks (personalized from LL Bean, of course) and a world of opportunity in front of them.  For 2.5 hours two days a week, they’ll be in the hands of others and not in our home – a new adventure to them and an anxiety ridden experience for us parents.  I am excited, though, to see what this experience will do for them and all they will learn.  I am so grateful for access to these services and know we are lucky to have this opportunity for Colton and Keltie.  I am the most grateful for two smart, beautiful, thriving “threenagers” – even with all of the sass, frustration, and toddler drama that comes along with it.  I think year four will have a lot to offer them – and our whole family. I’m excited!

2015 Twin Pics

It’s that time of year again!  We are working on building our 2013 March for Babies team that honors Colton and Keltie and helps provide money towards research that helps other babies like them.  Their team, Half Baked Crusaders, was small but mighty last year and we are hoping to make it even bigger and better!

Last year, they were itty bitty.  Colton was just released from the NICU after 142 days.  We had to bring his SpO2 monitor and portable oxygen with us just in case he had a spell.  Those days seem like so long ago as we see him now big, strong, and mobile!  I also got to kick off the March for Babies efforts with my employer, Sears Holdings Corporation, by telling our story and inspiring all of the associates at Kmart to ask our customers for donations.  It was an honor and something I was proud to do.

So – what are you doing on Sunday, June 23rd?  Please consider joining our team and walking with us along the beautiful Cape Cod Canal in support of the March for Babies.  You can easily join our team by visiting the team website:  http://www.marchforbabies.org/team/t1947387

If you don’t live near us and can’t walk, please consider donating to our team through the website shown above.  All of your donations are tax deductible.  Honor Colton and Keltie and all they have overcome to be the thriving little people that they are today by donating to a cause that will forever be important to them and our family.  If you own or know someone who owns a business in the South Shore of MA or Cape Cod area – please contact me about being a family team sponsor and the advertising opportunities that come with donations of $100, $250 $500, $750, or $1000.  These family team sponsor donations help our team reach our goals, as well as helping to promote your business locally. Each sponsorship will receive a 18×24” sign to display along the walk- with your business name, level of sponsorship, and our Family Team name.  A great way to support a great cause- and get some advertising around the community!

Please consider supporting Half Baked Crusaders – and we’d love to have our local friends and family join us on Sunday, June 23rd!

2012 Half Baked Crusaders Team!

2012 Half Baked Crusaders Team!

Mother's Day Kmart

According to the Milk Maid app I still have on my phone even though it’s been around 7 months since I stopped pumping, I had the following stats over the 6 month period I exclusively pumped for the twins:

– 561 pumping sessions

– 14.64 gallons of milk pumped

– 3.34 oz average pumped per session

That is a lot of time and a lot of milk.  Yet, it was still the HARDEST decision made to stop pumping.  I couldn’t keep up with the demand between having Colton in Boston and then back at SSH and Keltie home – my body just shut down its production.  I had dreams of breastfeeding but those dreams didn’t include learning how to do so in front of nurses in a hospital setting.  There are things I learned I had to let go of when my plate got too full – and pumping was one of them.  Colton couldn’t have the breastmilk because of his reflux / thickened feeds requirement so it was just Keltie and she got it exclusively for the first six months of her life (fortified with things for extra calories).  I would say that is a win and hope that both of their health this winter is attributed to the antibodies they got from my pumping efforts.

But, let’s be honest – pumping sucked.  You feel like a cow and it’s annoying and it hurts.  But it was the one thing I could give them that no one else could – so I did it.  Many women, however, don’t have that opportunity.  Many women try so very hard to produce milk and it simply doesn’t happen.  Those women typically feel defeated, like a failure – especially when your baby is in the NICU and there is so much pressure to give them that “liquid gold”.  With technology these days, though – there are options and new products being developed and I want to talk about two of them.

First – local milk banks.  Just like how I make an effort to support local farms and businesses, I also think first about local options.  Some NICUs work with local milk banks that moms donate their excess breast milk to for use by babies in need.  I suggest those thinking about milk donation options to consider local donation first.  For those in the New England area, there is the Mother’s Milk Bank of New England.  The Mothers’ Milk Bank of New England is a non-profit community milk bank operating under the guidelines of the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA).  From their website:  Our goal is to provide donated, pasteurized human milk to babies in fragile health throughout the New England area.  Many mothers of ill and premature infants are unable to provide enough milk for their babies. The gift of human milk can mean the difference between life and death for these infants. MMBNE is proud to be part of this tradition.

If local donation isn’t an option for you, there is another option.  Let me rewind a bit – Colton and Keltie were the first babies at SSH to use a human milk fortifier called Prolacta.  You can read more about it here.  It was explained to me that this relatively new product, and very expensive one at that, dramatically reduced the risk of NEC in preemies, which can be a life threatening condition.  Colton and Keltie tolerated it very, very well and we were happy to be the first to have it at SSH.  A freelance writer who works for Prolacta Bioscience Emailed me a few months ago about discussing milk donation for Prolacta on my blog.  After doing some research and thinking about how I wanted to present the information, I asked her to write a guest post.  Prolacta is a for-profit, privately held company – unlike the local milk banks in your area that a non-profit organizations.  I feel it is important to put that out there so you can be informed and make the best decision if you’re trying to decide what to do with your excess milk.  I have not been compensated by Prolacta for this blog post – I am simply a happy mom of two of their “consumers” who knows how important lowering risk odds is when in the NICU.  Again – my motto in life is to always support your local community, when able.  But, if that is not an option, take a minute to read Kylie’s guest post below:

Thank you for letting me share this message with your readers! I am happy to be working with Prolacta to help spread awareness about the need for donor breast milk to help micro preemies all around the country.

I was a NICU mom for 4 days. After two years of infertility, on what was supposed to be the happiest day of my life, my perfect baby boy was born with a collapsed lung. As I stood there watching him struggle for breath in his little incubator, I felt completely helpless. I couldn’t hold him, or change him, or even breastfeed him. After years of waiting and longing and preparing to care for my child, I wasn’t able to provide him with the breast milk that I knew he needed.

I have nothing but respect and empathy for parents who spend days, weeks, or months in the NICU. Like most moms and dads, they worry over their children. Unlike most moms and dads, much of their children’s well being is out of their control. That’s why the Helping Hands Milk Bank collects breast milk for preemies – in select hospitals; parents now have a choice about what to feed their babies.

Prolacta Bioscience uses the milk donated through Helping Hands to create a fortifier for premature infants that is added to their mother’s milk in a concentrated form so they get all the nutrition they need. This is the first commercially available milk fortifier made from 100% human milk.

Nursing moms can register to donate their excess breast milk through the Helping Hands Milk Bank online in about 15 minutes. Helping Hands provides all of the supplies and pays the shipping costs. I love the fact that busy new mothers can do something this awesome without ever leaving home!

I was so lucky to be able to take my baby home a few short days after he was born. Our nursing relationship took some time to establish, but eventually we both grew to love it. He is now an active, happy 20-month-old. I’m so thankful I could provide his nutrition for him. Some moms never have that option, but now there is a way that the rest of us can help.

If you are interested in learning more about how you can help premature babies by donating breast milk, click here to visit the Helping Hands Milk Bank site.

All content provided on this project26weekpreemies.wordpress.com blog is for informational purposes only.  The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. 

Gosh – it’s been busy but, like a broken record, you’ve heard that here before.  So, let’s get into the details!

Colton and Keltie turned one on January 24th.  What a day it was – I spent it working and Chris spent it carting the celebrities around to visit various family members.  They had cake.  Three times.  And I cried myself to sleep.  An odd sensation of “we did it” came over me and it was a nice release. 

They had great 12 month check ups at the pediatrician about a week later.  I didn’t get the actual age percentages but I know both are on the actual charts for everything except length!
Keltie: 17lbs, 10oz (43% adj), 27″ long (30% adj), and 17.25″ head (50% adj).  She’s pretty proportionate.
Colton: 20lbs, 4oz (65% adj), 27″ long (9% adj), and 18″ head (75% adj).  He’s basically a big bowling ball.

The pedi is very happy with where they are at! And clearly so are we considering when they were born, their stats were –
Keltie: 1lb, 9oz and 13″ long
Colton: 1lb, 13oz and 13″ long

We did have a bit of a scare – both of them came down with pneumonia.  Luckily we were able to treat from home and didn’t have a hospitalization.  It was scary, especially with the coughing and wheezing, but they were strong and some antibiotics and nebulizer treatments helped immensely.  If we get out of this winter only having pneumonia I will say it has been an extremely successful seclusion!  As much as we are going a bit batshit crazy from not being able to take them anywhere and spending 99% of our time at home, keeping them healthy is much more of a priority and it is clearly working. 

Developmentally, they’re doing amazing.  SIMPLY AMAZING for being born so early and going through so much.  We have PT coming once a week for them both, in addition to our developmental specialist (OT).  PT has been an incredible boost for their gross motor skills!  Keltie is now crawling on her hands and knees, pulling to a stand, and is starting to cruise some furniture.  I think she’ll be walking shortly (watch out world)!  She has ZERO fear – so a lot of what we’re working on with her is safety.  Colton is army / belly crawling.  He is bearing weight through his legs but doesn’t pull to a stand yet.  Just this weekend he has been seen rocking on his hands and knees so I think he’s working on some advancement to kneeling / crawling on hands and knees.  Both are clapping – especially when you sing “Patty Cake”.  Grammie and Grandy worked on that with them!  Lots of babbling but no words yet.  We transitioned them to milk – so no more formula!  And they’re eating three meals a day and loving all the different foods they’re trying.  Colton’s favorite is still yogurt and he likes pot roast.  Keltie’s favorite are carbs and crunchy things.  Both love pasta – they are Italian.  🙂 

Oh and *drumroll please*:  for the first time ever, in their entire 13+months of living, they are not on ANY medication!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Keltie had an appointment with her nephrologist two weeks ago and her nephrocalcinosis has resolved and now we have only annual visits with her!  No more Diuril!  And we started weaning Colton’s First Omeprazole (Prilosec) once he was transitioned to milk and he’s doing awesome with barely any reflux at all!  I NEVER thought the day would come and it seriously makes me so proud.  I was in Florida on business when Chris brought Keltie to her appointment – he text me about her nephrocalcinosis and I had to fight back tears.  Such strong, strong little people!

And – we have teeth!  Well, Colton has teeth and I think tonight I might have felt one for Keltie.  Colton literally got 4, yes FOUR, teeth in about 48 hours.  Not exaggerating.  I put him to bed one night and he woke up with two more teeth.  It’s insane!  And they’ve been tolerating it really, really well – not much of a demeanor change and just some Tylenol or Motrin here and there and that’s it.  Thankfully. 

I think that’s about it – they make me smile (and cringe haha) every day!  Their personalities are hilarious and now that they’re on the move it’s a whole new challenge.  We are getting excited for Easter – last year, it was the one “family” holiday they spent in the hospital and that was a hard day for both Chris and I (he worked and had a tough time leaving the hospital to go to work).  I got out their Easter baskets and they could have slept in them this time last year.  Easter has always been a tough holiday as I lost my Grampy on Easter many years ago – so the NICU memories of it don’t help.  But what we are trying to focus on is how far we’ve come from last year and how exciting it will be to celebrate the Easter Bunny with them and dress them in their Easter Sunday best (bonnet optional haha)!

I’ll leave you with some pictures –

One Year Old!

One Year Old!

One Year Old!

One Year Old!

Handsome guy!

Handsome guy!

Pretty lady!

Pretty lady!

Sassy and Coy

Sassy and Coy

This time last year, I was getting washed up by a wonderful nurse named Pat.  She even gave me a back rub / massage and helped me feel less “stinky” since I wasn’t allowed to get out of bed, even to use the bathroom.  I had been in the hospital for 24 hours and my labor successfully stopped, with no sign of distress with the babies.  Pat made me laugh – very blunt and to the point.  Sarcastic – my kind of woman.  But let’s back up.

A year ago on January 20th, at around 10:00pm – my water broke.  Here is what I wrote from the hospital one year ago:

I was lying in bed watching the news and I thought I peed my pants.  I literally got out of bed laughing because I couldn’t believe I was doing that kind of stuff already.  I took my pants off and noticed it was more than just a dribble – and then I went into the bathroom and I was gushing fluid.  I knew right then and there that this wasn’t urine and that my water had broke.

I called down to Chris and told him we had to go to the hospital.  He came running upstairs and couldn’t believe his eyes.  I was hysterical but he grabbed me my phone so I could call the OB office and they told me to get to the hospital as soon as possible.  My husband was literally frozen with fear – he was walking in circles and trying to secure the house and the dogs and I just lost it, grabbed my keys, and got into my car with him chasing behind me.  I couldn’t wait one more second and just HAD to get to the hospital.  So, yes, I drove myself the 37 miles to South Shore Hospital all while on the phone with my mom, Grandy, and Julie.  I made it in 30 minutes.  My mom met me there and Chris soon followed.  When I pulled into the hospital, I saw what I thought was the valet guy and literally hopped out of my car and handed him my keys.  I didn’t care whether he was actually a valet or if I just gave my new car to some random guy in a red coat.  I walked as fast as I could with a towel between my legs and made it to the birthing center where my mom was waiting.  Note:  it was a valet and I still have my car.

They started me on monitors for both babies heartbeats and contractions and they did a test that confirmed it was, in fact, amniotic fluid.  I had suffered from preterm premature rupture of membrane (pPROM).  The OB came in and did an u/s which did little more than confirm both babies were still breech and she did a physical exam and found that my cervix was still closed.  I was apparently contracting, but didn’t feel them at all – I was 3-4 minutes apart when I came in!  I was immediately given a steroid shot (the first in a two shot series) and they started me on magnesium sulfate to stop the labor.  A neonatologist came in to talk with Chris and I and we were essentially told that at 25w4d gestation, the babies had a 50/50 chance of survival.  We were heartbroken.  But, the team of doctors (OBs, MFMs, etc…) were going to work as hard as possible to keep me pregnant for as long as they could.

I was then moved to a room in the birthing unit where I was monitored very closely.  I was given an u/s Friday morning that confirmed it was Baby Girl’s sac that had broken and it was a full rupture.  Her fluid level was considered “low”, but she wasn’t showing any signs of distress.  In addition to the magnesium, I was given two antibiotics to ward off infection and because I tested positive for group B strep earlier in my pregnancy.  That first night / morning  is a blur to me – I wasn’t allow to sit up at all, had to urinate in a bed pan, and was literally left to lie in bed and do nothing.  I was given three goals to try to make and they were:

– Goal #1:  second steroid shot (Saturday at 1:30am)

– Goal #2:  steroid series considered complete (Sunday at 1:30am)

– Goal #3:  26 weeks gestation (Monday)

I was moved to a new room in the birthing unit on Friday and I stayed there until Sunday morning.  Again, I was closely monitored and completed the magnesium and steroid series successfully where I stopped contractions and it looked like labor was held at bay for the time being. 

I literally can feel the emotions and envision the events of those days like it just happened.  My chest gets tight and I start to shake when I think about how I was feeling – how I didn’t know the ending to the story.  I didn’t know what the next chapter held, even.  I certainly didn’t know how long I’d hold out (4 days) or what it would be that would put me into full-blown labor (Keltie sticking her feet through my cervix and trying to “walk” her way out).  I only knew in the moment – I knew the sounds of their heartbeats.  I made the nurses keep the monitor sound up so I was constantly surrounded by those “galloping horses” – it helped me feel like everything was okay.  I knew the laughter that Pat and I shared as Keltie kept running away from the machine.  Pat spent that whole night chasing Keltie with the monitor while I tried to get some sleep.  I wouldn’t know, however, that Pat would be with me in the delivery room – the only familiar face in the wee hours of the morning of the 24th.  It would be Pat who “slapped” me back into reality when I woke up from my emergency c-section in horrendous pain because they didn’t have time to give me a spinal.  It would be Pat who said, ever so eloquently, “listen – you just had your body cut open almost hip to hip, your uterus pulled out, two babies yanked out of you, everything tossed back in, and sewn back shut.  No shit you’re in pain”!  It was precisely what needed to be said at that moment when I was on the verge of losing it.  I never got to thank her for leaving such an impression on me – for being a bright light in a difficult period, before things got really tough.  So Pat – if you ever read this, thank you.  I didn’t know how much you’d mean to me, even one year later.

On this past Sunday, the anniversary of being admitted to the hospital, I played with my beautiful twin babies.  I witnessed Keltie use the strength she’s clearly always had to bust out not once, but twice, to crawl down our hallway to say hi to her Daddy.  She’s crawling!  I witnessed her laugh, cry, and make sounds I wasn’t sure I’d ever hear.  I witnessed her twin brother, Colton, sit and smile ever so big while I sang “Row Row Row Your Boat” completely off-key.  He doesn’t care – he loves it.  I witnessed him laugh, yell with excitement, and play with their plethora of toys.  I hugged them – maybe a little extra hard.  I did this probably 23189123810 times on Sunday while tears rolled down my face.  I sat back and watched them interact with a huge smile on my face (and tears, of course, streaming) – they’re starting to do “typical” sibling stuff like pulling each others hair and fighting over the same toy.  I fed them, bathed them, and tucked them into bed with a kiss on their forehead.  I went to sleep with a full heart, a few tears, and a house filled with love. 

The ending that a year ago I didn’t know would be possible, is – I’m living it each day.  Call it by the grace of God, the advancement of modern technology, the caring hands and gentle souls that work in the NICU, the amount of love that hundreds (maybe even thousands) of people sent to them and to Chris and I – likely a combination of all these things – but it helped end our story with smiles, laughs, baby kisses, and lives filled with love and joy.  The night my water broke – I told Chris our babies were going to die.  I was so sure that was how our story would end.  I’ve never been so wrong in my life.  They are fighters, survivors, and the strongest little beings I’ve ever met.  They are our world – and they are living happily ever after.

Based on Daddy’s schedule, we had their birthday party a little early last Sunday.  As previously mentioned, it was really small due to the risk of germs and RSV to the twins.  Even in taking the precautions we do, both have managed to get pneumonia.  Hearing your preemie struggle to breathe again is enough to make you even crazier. 

Our immediate family gathered to hang out with Colton and Keltie and celebrate their year of strength and happiness.  We got catering from Mamma Mia’s and it was delicious – chicken parm and baked ziti with salad and rolls.  We ordered their cake from Guilty Bakery – they did an amazing job using the whale theme (which I think we have used to the nth degree and will be retiring it going into their second year haha).  We will absolutely use both places again for their Christening in the Spring and their big Unbirthday party this summer!  Colton and Keltie both LOVED their first cupcakes – Colton ate every last inch of his (no surprise there, big guy) and Keltie had fun with hers until she realized she was sticky haha.  We swooped them up after they had their fun and put them both in the tub and changed them into their Patriots gear to cheer on Wes Welker and the rest of the team!  All in all, it was a great day to celebrate the miracles that are these kids and to gather together as one big family. 

Party time!

Party time!

Birthday2

Mmmmm yummy!

Patriots

Go Patriots!

The holiday season came and left very quickly – almost as fast as the 5 hour shopping spree I went on to get all the shopping done I could prior to the holiday.  We took Colton and Keltie to pick out their first tree – not sure how much they liked it but it was a warmer “winter” day, so we took advantage.  Tall and skinny – the way we like our trees!  Because it’s such a small world, we ran into one of their NICU roommates while at the tree place!  He was a cutie and, from what I’ve learned, parents of cute babies tend to introduce themselves and inquire about such babies.  So that is when we got into the typical conversation of how old they are “well, they’re technically almost 11 months but they were micropreemies so they’re really 7 1/2 months” and about how they were in the NICU.  Well, this little guy was in the SSH NICU as well because of blood sugar issues.  Ahh, I thought to myself, this is one of the “fatty patatties” that we had as rotating roommates in the Party Pod.  When we said their names, they immediately perked up – they were 3 day residents in the Party Pod as well!!  It was funny, we all got a good chuckle out of it and it was probably more memorable than the actual tree picking out for the twins. 

Christmas Eve we spent at my mom and stepdad’s house for their annual gathering.  It was fun to have the twins dressed up and playing with their oodles of new toys.  It also happened to be their 11 Month birthday!  Keltie had a blast with my uncle’s glasses.

Family

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Eve

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas we spent at my sister-in-law’s with the Allan family and Grandy.  It was a wonderful day and once again the kids got spoiled with lots of new toys.  It’s been almost a month and we still don’t know where we are going to put everything!

Since then, we have worked harder on their playroom.  I say “we” but really it was Chris and his Mom and Dad while I was away in Chicago on business.  We went through and pulled out all of their “baby” toys to make room for their new stuff, hung the TV on the wall, got a bookcase to hold all their books and toys, and took out the Pack N Play.  I can’t believe that they’re too “old” for their play mats and things we have used daily over the last 6 months!  It is nice, though, to have a space dedicated to them and all of their things.  They really enjoy having the freedom to roll around and play with new toys that capture their attention.

From the developmental side, they both have had a boom but especially Keltie.  Three weeks prior to Christmas, we had PT come in to work with her on her arm strength.  About the day before Christmas, she started army crawling and sitting unassisted!  Just like she was in the NICU, as soon as we start rallying the troops she goes “oh you just need me to do X,Y and Z, I can totally do that” – typical Keltie.  So, as of their 11 month birthday, I had two unassisted sitters (still without protective reflexes so they do topple over sometimes) and one crawler.  They both started using consonant sounds as well – lots of dadadadadadada and mamamamamama and babababababa.  It’s pretty awesome!  We are still working on Colton crawling – his strength is there but he’s a lazy white boy who much prefers to roll everywhere he goes.

I've been everywhere, man...

I’ve been everywhere, man…

 

              

Who are these big kids?!

Who are these big kids?!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Health-wise, they’ve been good.  Well, up until they got pneumonia this week.  And passed it along to Mommy and Daddy.  Thanks, guys.  As of January 11th, Colton weighed 19lbs, 11oz and Keltie weighed 17lbs, 3oz.  They have their 12 month check up February 1st, so we’ll get all of the stats and percentiles then.  I can’t believe they’re almost a year old…it’s been the fastest and slowest year of my life. 

This past Sunday we had a very small birthday party for them with immediate family only because of germs and RSV.  And, even with all the precautions we take, they have still managed to come down with pneumonia.  So, if that’s any indication as to why I’m crazy about bringing them places, maybe you can understand it a bit more.  That celebration deserves its own post – so watch for that to come up next.  And – we’re coming into the one year anniversary of my pPROM and the delivery, so I am likely to use this blog to get some of those emotions out.  Stay tuned.