Archive for April, 2012

Today I had the pleasure of sharing our story with the team leaders of Sears Holdings Corporation’s March of Dimes.  As you may know, Kmart and SHC are huge supporters of the March of Dimes and I have been with SHC for 7 years providing HR support to the Home Services and Supply Chain divisions.  Kmart, its customers and associates have officially raised more than $100 million for the March of Dimes over the last 29 years – a remarkable fundraising achievement!

I thought sharing our story was a good opportunity for the team leaders to connect their efforts with someone “local”.  I will admit – it was hard to write out their story and not feel emotional and I think that this is a feeling that will never go away.  But, I made it through it and it was a nice opportunity – they showed pictures of the twins in the conference room while I spoke. 

This is a nice segway into what I’m asking from all of you who have followed our story from the beginning and continue to provide your love and support – please consider joining us in support of the March of Dimes to honor Colton and Keltie.  If you’re local to us, consider joining our team and walking along the canal.  If you’re not able to join our team, please donate to this wonderful organization that dedicates its resources to research, education, and efforts towards the prevention of prematurity and increasing the health of babies.  Surfactant, a drug developed through the March of Dimes efforts, was given to Colton and Keltie in the delivery room and contributed to saving their lives so this truly hits close to home.  You can join our team or donate by clicking on the link below – please show your support of the Half Baked Crusaders!



How your donation helps!



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Oy – apologies about the lack of updates for two weeks!!  Bad mommy.  I’ll start with some awesome pictures of special visitors that have come and held Colton and Keltie:

Grammy and Keltie

Nanny and Colton

Nanny and Keltie

Auntie Lindsay and Colton

Auntie Cheryl and Colton

Pilot Daddy and Colton

Daddy and his little girl Keltie - with no breathing support!

Mommy with her hands full!

 Well, it’s been a crazy two weeks!  We have truly enjoyed that they are in a good place physically so we’ve been able to share cuddle time with some of our close family.  It’s also so nice to have them in cribs – we can touch, see, feel, hold, and shower with love any time we want.  Here is a run down of the progress since the last update: 

  • Colton is now 5lbs, 5oz!  He continues to take all of his feeds very well, except he needs help pacing and is suffering some horrible reflux.  They started him on Prilosec and we essentially have to wait until he outgrows it.  It makes me tear up every time I see him refluxing and in pain from it – and it is causing him to have spells which is scary and I hate it. 
  • Keltie is now 4lbs, 13oz and she has been taking all of her feeds by mouth for the last 4-5 days!  She is doing better at eating – her pacing is very good and he isn’t falling asleep as much as she once did.  She is really doing remarkable in this area – like a lightbulb went off and she said “oh you just need me to take all my bubbas and breathe – why didn’t you just tell me that?!?!”
  • Both of them were successfully weaned off of the high-flow nasal cannula and onto the low-flow nasal cannula.  This was a huge accomplishment for them!  Colton is currently between 25-50mL of flow at 100% oxygen which is very good.  He’s had some room air tests and does well for a few hours, but with his reflux spells it’s hard to keep him off of it.  Keltie is currently on room air with NOTHING on her face!!!  They had been trying her on and off and finally she ripped her feeding tube and cannula off over the weekend and they figured – hey, let’s try it and she has done excellent!  She is going on 48+ hours of being completely off the cannula (for feeds too!) and it’s so precious to see her sweet face with nothing on it. 
  • Colton had an u/s and x-ray of his man parts.  They were concerned about some swelling and a potential hernia.  Well, he actually didn’t present a hernia during the u/s, but he essentially has hydrocele, which is fluid in his scrotum and it should resolve on its own with no issue.  And one testicle is floating up and down the canal, but again is normal for preemies and even some newborns and should resolve on its own with no issue. 
  • Yesterday was dreaded eye day.  We HATE eye day.  And for good reason – their ROP progressed.   BAH.  Still at Stage 2 but he’s coming back in a week because we’re now at a “moderate risk” for needing laser surgery.  It SUCKED to hear that – but it is what it is.  At least the technology is available and ROP doesn’t equal blindness anymore.  I’m hoping they don’t need the surgery and that it stops progressing and gets better – please keep them in your thoughts and prayers for that!
  • We tried them both on the bottle system I planned to use – Tommy Tippee.  Well, Colton did pretty good but Keltie completely failed a few attempts with it.  She never spells when she eats and she spelled each time with it.  So, the NICU is trying Dr. Brown’s and it seems to be helping Colton’s reflux slightly and Keltie did well with them yesterday and we’ll see today.  I’m a bit bummed as I really wanted to use the Tommy Tippees because of their similarity to the breast and good success with being able to both breast feed and bottle feed.  But – it is what it is and if we end up with Dr. Brown’s, we have a few from my cousin so we’ll exchange the Tommy Tippee bottles we didn’t open.  Who knew there would be so much difference!

We’ve heard it mentioned quite a few times that they could be home within two weeks – but we’ll believe it when we’re physically walking out of the hospital with them.  One of the neonatologists hugged me goodbye on Friday because she’s on vacation for a week and a half.  I told her she was crazy.  It’s just funny as they always thought Colton would be home before Keltie, but now it’s the opposite because of his reflux and spells.  Who knows now if there becomes an issue with their eyes…  We’re still taking it day by day, but we’ve definitely stepped up our game in getting the house ready!  Our master bedroom closets have been revamped so Chris can actually move his stuff in – thanks to my stepdad Ken!  He’s also working on organization cubes for the nursery closet and a toybox for the peanuts!  Yesterday my dad came and painted our stairs (that were refinished the day my water broke) and the trim and so that is finally all done.  It’s a real all hands on deck approach to getting us ready to have the peanuts come home!  Chris and I finally found a bureau that fits what we wanted as a bureau / changing table and he’s picking that up today so we can stain and finish it (“we” as in “Chris”).  Our mission is to have the nursery completed by the end of this week! 

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I’m typing this from an iPad so let’s see how it works…

Well, it’s been a crazy week here at the NICU. We started on Monday with the disappointing news that instead of being weaned down on their high-flow nasal cannulas, they were actually weaned up and Colton was started back on his caffeine (clearly he’s my child and needs caffeine to keep him remembering stuff, like to breathe). That was tough to hear and it really made us feel like we were stuck in this darn breathing rut and are never going to get out.

Fast forward a few days and here is what we have:

– Colton is officially 4lbs as of last night! Keltie is right behind him.

– Both babies successfully took an entire bottle by mouth on Friday (and received Sip Sip Hooray certificates to prove it).

– Colton has successfully latched twice to breast feed.

– Both babies successfully maintained their own body temperatures in their shut-off isolettes and are now in open-air cribs.

– Colton has taken all feedings by mouth since Friday. The kid LOVES to eat!

– Colton has been weaned on his flow to 2.0L and today to 1.5L

This is all so crazy and goes to show that the comparison to a rollercoaster ride is absolutely accurate.

Note:  I started this update above on Sunday, 4/1 and didn’t get to finishing it so here we go…

Today, Day 69, they had the dreaded eye exam.  Chris was off so he went up to meet with the doctor at 8:30am and he said it was terrible.  The babies screamed the entire time.  I am glad I haven’t been there for their eye exams as I don’t think I could handle it.  Colton still has the Stage 2 ROP, so it hasn’t progressed (positive) but it hasn’t resolved any either (negative).  Keltie has Stage 2 and Stage 3 (boooo) in one area, but he’s not too concerned about it because it’s not in a “bad” area.  Whateverthehellthatmeans.  BAH – stupid ROP.  They will be checked again in two weeks.

Colton is still taking all of his feedings by mouth and last night before I left they took his feeding tube out of his nose!!!

Notice something missing from my cute face?!

Keltie is slowly but surely working on her eating.  She has taken a few full bottles and usually takes some / most of her bottle, but sometimes she’s just not engaged in the process.  They think it may be contributed to her anemia and her mouth muscles are not as strong as Colton’s – but we’ll continue to work on it with her.  I asked the neonatologist about it and she said that Keltie is “normal” and Colton’s experience is “not normal”.  So, it was good to know she’s not necessarily behind at all – just that he’s taken to eating at a surprising rate.  

Slow and steady wins the race, right?

We are just so proud of them and all they have accomplished!  They truly are miracles and I love that everyone celebrates even the smallest of milestones with them.  The nurses keep coming over and complimenting them on everything they’ve done and all they’ve overcome – and of course telling us just how darn cute they are.  We know, we know – we’ve officially been wrapped around their little fingers, too.  And we wouldn’t have it any other way.

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