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Archive for November, 2012

I think it kind of goes without saying that we have an incredible amount to be thankful for this year.  Although not the joyous time I had expected when I gave birth, the end result has defied most odds and we now share our home with two healthy, happy, special babies who have brought more laughs and warmth to our house than we ever could have expected.

Thanksgiving was a whirlwind day – but a great one.  We started by bringing the twins to Chris’s cousin’s house for their annual tradition of skeet shooting in the field.  We go mostly to socialize (and enjoy an adult beverage or two) and it was nice to have them out in the fresh air.  They weren’t even bothered by the noise of the gun!  After about an hour, we headed back home to get ready for the arrival of our immediate families who were all bringing pieces of what would become our wonderful Thanksgiving feast!  I asked to give the blessing and choked up doing so – I’ve been a bit of an emotional mess lately but all for good reason.  These babies truly astonish me with how big they are, how well they’re doing, and the love that grows in my heart for them every.single.day. 

Colton and Keltie loved all the attention they got throughout the day and enjoyed their first helpings of mashed potatoes and turkey, along with some squash.  Surprisingly, Keltie was more “hands on” with her food than Colton was – he had Grammie shoveling spoonfuls of potatoes and was happy with that thankyouverymuch.  After everyone left, we headed over to Chris’s other cousin’s house to have a quick visit with some family we didn’t see earlier in the day.  Many hadn’t met them yet and were so surprised to see how big they’ve become since we sent out their birth announcements at 6 weeks old! 

It was a wonderful day full of lots of gratitude.  I’m smiling now remembering our table full of food, family, and love.  It was so nice to look around at everyone and see our beautiful babies in their highchairs, joining in on the celebration.  I am so grateful Chris was home to experience it as well.  These first holidays are such precious events – Christmas is up next!

We have never been so thankful!

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November is prematurity awareness month and although I have always supported the March of Dimes, it hits closer to home this year because of my two special fighters.  On November 17th, World Prematurity Day, we wore purple to honor the preemies still in the NICU fighting for their lives, those that have lost their battle, and those that are home – once tiny, always strong.  We also went with the March of Dimes to South Shore Hospital to bring the NICU baskets of items to help other babies in need.  Our family contribution was eight of our ever favorite Aden & Anais swaddle blankets with the hope that the nurses will snuggle some of the current itty bitties in those soft swaddles instead of the sometimes stiff and rough hospital blankets.  Colton and Keltie had an arsenal of those swaddles and their nurses loved them – so it was nice to give back to the place they called home for 100 and 142 days.

We were lucky to see some familiar faces – a few nurses we knew and one of our favorite doctors.  He held Keltie and she smiled and giggled at him – I have to think that made his day.  Walking out, I teared up.  It was the first time I walked both of my former 26 weekers out of that hospital, healthy and enjoying life outside of those walls.  It warmed my heart to give back to the special nurses, doctors, and staff of their NICU as they will always be considered extended family members of ours.  It was even better to have one of their primary nurses, Fran, come to the house to visit the following day.  Having these people remain in our life is so important to me – and I know it will be important to Colton and Keltie in the future.

Just as important to giving back to their NICU is spreading awareness.  My lovely preemie mom friend, Joanna, has an excellent blog about her twin boys who are also preemies.  She dedicated blog entries for the month of November to sharing stories of all their preemie friends.  You see – there is a group of about 60 of us who are in this “sisterhood” because of the common bond of having experienced life with a preemie.  These women, I’ve mentioned before, are some of the strongest, most incredible women that I’ve ever met.  Two of them came to my house to help me when Colton came home – they had only known me through our online group, yet they sacrificed their time to help a preemie mom in need.  We lift each other up in support during the downs and we cheer and applaud all of the ups.  We also overshare and may even be a bit crass.  But they’re amazing – I wouldn’t want to walk this life without their love and support. 

So – check out the highlight on Colton and Keltie and some of the other stories on Joanna’s blog, including her own.  You’ll find some pretty special kiddos and some pretty amazing mamas!

http://hydrobabies.blogspot.com/2012/11/aware-meet-my-preemies-colton-keltie.html

And remember – everyone knows someone who loves a preemie.  Spread the awareness – 1 in 8 babies are born premature in this world.  That is a ratio that is far, far too high.

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Sooo…it’s obvious that time is something I lack these days.  Such is life I guess – between the peanuts, their chaotic schedules, work, home, holidays, etc…it’s been quite busy.  I keep saying that I need one of those little yellow minions to help me out but I’ve yet to figure out how to get one.  But, here I am and we should get caught up on the wee ones!

On October 24th, they turned 9 months old!!!  Amazing – simply amazing.  Here were their  9 month (5.5 adj) pedi appointment stats:
Colton
– 17lbs, 2oz (10th percentile for actual LOL FATTY)
– 25.75″ long (25th percentile for adjusted)
-17.5″ head (25th percentile for actual – huge dome)
Keltie
– 14lbs, 4oz (2nd percentile for actual YAY!)
– 24.75″ long (20th percentile for adjusted)
– 16.75″ head (11th percentile for actual)

They have made it onto the chart for all but their length – I am so shocked considering how tiny they were!  As of last week (they went for their first Synagis shot to help fight against RSV), Colton was 18lbs, 1oz and Keltie was 15lbs, 6oz so they are doing a fantastic job growing!

We were blessed to have my friend Candace from Candace Schwab Photography in town the day before their 9 month birthday and she was kind enough to come down and do a family photoshoot for us.  Her pictures came out absolutely incredible – as always!

 They experienced their first earthquake and hurricane as well – and survived both.  Lucky for us they were minor events but it was my first earthquake and I am over 31 years older then they are! 

Colton and Keltie both sat unassisted in the month of October.  Colton is perfecting his sitting while Keltie has a little more work to do.  They continue to roll all over the place, laugh while being tickled (and sang to), and love eating all kinds of new food.  We got the green light to start adding proteins so they have had chicken, turkey, yogurt, quinoa, and other yummy things. 

We attended their NICU Follow-up Clinic at Boston Children’s Hospital at the end of October and had assessments done.  The clinic included meeting with two neonatologists and a psychologist.  It was a bit uncomfortable (we were in a room with one of those mirrors where people could watch from another room), but we tried to go with the flow.  Colton came out in all areas between his adjusted and actual age so he is doing really well with his milestones.  Keltie met her adjusted age for almost everything but was slightly delayed in a few areas so we scheduled a physical therapy consult to see if there is anything more we can do to help get her caught up.  They also suggested a second hearing screen (ABR) for both of them and that is scheduled for December.  Nothing major to be concerned about, but making sure everything is still good.  Much of the testing was done with toys so I wasn’t surprised that Colton did so well – he’s the toy guy.  Keltie much prefers to be social with people so I think that may have played into the results slightly but we will get her there.  I know she will walk and talk eventually! 

We also got to experience their first Halloween!  A good friend of our family agreed to sew handmade costumes for them and they were Pebbles and Bam Bam!  The costumes came out incredible – Lois did an amazing job!  We took them trick or treating to a few neighbors houses and it was fun – Keltie enjoyed the crinkle of the M&M package she got, while Colton was more interested in chewing on his basket.  No surprises there!

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