Tales from my life as a mom of 2 sons and 2 daughters


Cheli On Monday, October 18, 2010

The girls are 2 months old now (3 weeks adjusted 9 weeks actual). Today they had their 2 month well baby visits.

Ember was 8 lbs 9 oz and 20.2 inches long (she was 5 lbs 4 oz and 17.75 inches at birth).

Kaeda was 7 lbs 4 oz and 18.9 inches long (she was 3 lbs 13 oz and 15.5 inches at birth).

Both girls need to go see an ophthalmologist to have their eyes checked because they were on oxygen for a few days after birth.

Ember has to go see a cardiologist because the doctor detected a heart murmur. She thinks it's a PDA but we'll know more when we see the cardiologist. She said she normally would take a wait and watch approach but with Journey's heart condition she would rather be safe than sorry.

We also need to do some neck muscle exercises with her neck. She noticed today that Ember turns her head to the right almost all the time. She said that's probably how she was in utero but now that she's out we need to help her use that muscle more so she doesn't develop torticollis.

I brought up to her my concern at the fact that Kaeda seems to have a really rough time sucking on a bottle nipple. She checked both girls suck ability and said that they keep losing suction because of the shape of their mouths and may benefit from Haberman nipples. We'll see. The each got 3 shots and we go back in December for the 4 month visits.

In other news. Journey went to the cardiologist this week for his yearly check up. Hard to believe it's been a year already. He was 29.2 lbs and 95cm according to them although I am doubting the accuracy of their measurements as that would have him gaining 4 inches in 6 months and I just don't see that happening. His heart has gotten marginally worse but not enough to warrant a visit any earlier than a year from now. As long as there is no change next year the cardiologist said he's comfortable with him going to every 2 year checks after that. We'll see! He's doing well in his speech therapy. He transitions out of Early Steps soon and I'm a little anxious to see what is next for him. We love his therapist but I don't think he's learning anything new now.
Cheli On Monday, September 27, 2010
I suck...

It's been almost a month since I posted.. gee I act like I have 4 children under 5 or something.. Oh wait.. I do. LOL

So Ember came home August 31st and Kaeda came home 3 days later on September 3rd and we've been a busy house since then.

The girls are 6 weeks old today (WHERE did that time go???) and are doing great. They act more like newborns than 6 week olds but that's to be expected since today was technically their due date.

At their doctors appointment on the 18th Ember was 6 lbs 11 oz and Kaeda was 5 lbs 9 oz.

Both girls are super cuddle bugs and want nothing more than to be held all day. Mommy and Daddy love to oblige but it makes getting anything around the house difficult. We're all adjusting

Journey is starting to sleep in his room at night, finally. He still wakes up 2 or 3 times a night but we're able to get him to lay back down and go back to sleep with out too much trouble which is a wonderful thing as it's beenabout a year since Doug got to sleep in our bedroom.

Baby crying.. here's pictures

Ember in her snuggle sack made by Sarah

Kaeda on the left and Ember on the right

Kaeda on the left again

And Again
Cheli On Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Yesterday was a big day around here... Ember came home :)

This morning she had a doctors appointment with the pediatrician just for a check up. She's perfect. Tiny but perfect. According to their scale for her 2 weeks weight she was 5 lbs 7 oz and 19 inches long! They want to see her back in a week for another weight check. Hopefully Kaeda will be home by then so we can get them in at the same time.

Cheli On Saturday, August 28, 2010
So I have meant to update but it's just been so chaotic..

The girls are almost 2 weeks old now (although technically they are only at 36 weeks gestation). They are both still in NICU currently but are getting stronger every day.

Ember is at 5 lbs 3 oz as of last night which is only 1 oz below her birth weight. She is off of the NG tube and IV and is taking all of her feeds by mouth now. And so far has been taking all of the feeds completely which is GREAT. It's the last major hurdle she has to overcome before she can come home. (Minus the coming home tests.. i.e the carseat test).

Kaeda is at 4 lbs 5 oz as of last night. Which is a whopping 8 oz above her birth weight!! She is on every other feed by mouth currently and is still having trouble getting all the feed down. She just gets so tired. Which is common for preemies. She also has been having trouble with brady episodes. Her heart rate drops way down into the 60s and she requires help to get it back up again (rubbing her chest, shaking her a bit etc). Every time she does this the "clock" resets back to 5 days. She must be brady free for 5 days of observation before she can go home when all else is looking good. Not that she's at that point yet. We are at about a day and a half with out an episode now. They are fortifying her breast milk bottles with a calorie fortifier to help her gain weight and obviously it seems to be working. She's still in the isolette but mostly because of her size than anything else. Hopefully soon she'll come out of there so we can start putting her with her sister for some snuggle time.

Both girls are amazingly calm. Neither one is much of a crier and both seem very laid back. We can only hope it lasts. They each are developing their own little personalities and I LOVE it. The more they grow and the more weight they gain they more alike they look. It's amazing.

Here are a few pictures for you...


Kaeda again

Ember (both girls love their pacis)

Ember again

The 4 of us (me with Ember and Doug with Kaeda)

Cheli On Wednesday, August 18, 2010
The girls have arrived!!

Apparently they just couldn't wait to make their appearance. They were born at 34 weeks exactly on August 16th, 2010. I woke up at 4am and thought I had peed the bed.. after 10 minutes, it became quite apparent that it wasn't pee, my water had broken. After waking Doug up "Doug you need to get up, we need to go to the hospital, my water broke" (never seen a man jump out of bed so fast) and getting dressed. We headed to the hospital. After verifying that my water had in fact broke, things moved fast.

Kaeda Skye was born at 8:34am on August 16th
Weighing 3 lbs 13 oz and measuring 15.5 inches

Ember Rayne arrived 2 minutes later at 8:36am
Weighing 5 lbs 4 oz and measuring 17.75 inches long

Both girls needed a little assistance breathing at first and were on CPAP machines for help for the first 12 hours of life or so but have since both been weaned completely off of any oxygen assistance. They are currently both a little jaundice and are under the lights for treatment. Both are having issues getting their calcium levels high enough and Ember is having some issues slowing her respirations down. From what they say, these are all very typical behaviors for 34 weekers.
Cheli On Monday, August 9, 2010
I am 33 weeks pregnant today. Hoping to make it another 35 days but I don't know if I actually will. We shall see.

River is very excited about the girls coming. He asks all the time about "my babies" and when they are coming. It's been such a joy to see his expression when he gets to feel them move or kick.

While doing my picture today for my "weekly" pictures I decided to see if I could do a comparison. This was the first picture I took back when I found out I was pregnant and actually starting to show. I was 9 weeks. The 2nd is the same outfit today at 33 weeks

I'm too tired for much more of an update than that but I will update soon.
Cheli On Tuesday, August 3, 2010
We took Journey to the GI doctor today.

He's been having these weird bouts of throwing up for no apparent reason.

The first episode was in June. He woke up at 2:30am and proceeded to throw up for 7 hours basically every 15 minutes until there was nothing left to throw up at which point he dry heaved a bit and then was FINE. No other symptoms. Figured it was a bug. Doctor said probably a bug.

2nd episode was the first week of July. Same thing. He woke up at about 2:30am and threw up for 5 hours until he was just dry heaving and then he fell asleep and woke up and was fine. No other symptoms. Took him back to the pedi and again we were told it was a bug.. ummm I don't think so. no one else gets it and it's gone in a matter of hours.

3rd episode was about 2 weeks ago. He woke up at 4:30am, threw up a dozen times and then was fine. No other symptoms. Took him back to the pediatrician and demanded a referral back to GI for evaluation.

So he went to GI today and I told the GI doctor what was happening and he asked if either of us have migraines. I do. He said he's nearly positive that it's something called Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome. Basically an abnormal type of migraine. Adults get awful headaches.. Kids get this weird nausea/vomiting. Because he isn't throwing up often (about one day out of every 3-4 weeks) he doesn't want to give him any medication for it. If it becomes more frequent or starts to really cause issues, such as dehydration, we can look at doing something about it. He said he's pretty confident that this is what we're looking at but if want to rule out anything more serious we can take him for a sonogram, blood work, urinalysis, and stool culture.. ummm yeah right on that. So yet another diagnosis to add to his growing repertoire of crap.

His stats today..
13.4kg (29 1/2 lbs)-- 45th percentile
84.5 cm (33.75 inches)-- at the 4th percentile or right at the 50th percentile for NS kids.
Cheli On Friday, July 30, 2010
I am 31 weeks 4 days now! Less than 7 weeks until the girls arrive at most.

I had an OB appointment on Monday. I'm measuring 40 weeks now. Which basically means I'm as big as someone who is pregnant with one baby would be on the day the deliver! CRAZY I lost weight this time around which was nice. I'm still up 29 lbs but that's okay. I don't go back to see the OB until the 16th of the August because I'm being followed so closely by the perinatologist that there really is no reason for me to be seen any more frequently than that for now. Once I go back though I start going weekly.

I had a peri appointment today. It was a growth scan for the girls.

Kaeda is measuring 3 lbs 2 oz and Ember is measuring 4 lbs 3 oz. They means that the discordance between them is 25% (the doctors like it under 20%) but they are going to just keep watching for now and see how Kaeda does at the next growth scan (scheduled for August 20th) and we'll go from there.
Cheli On Friday, July 16, 2010
I am 29 weeks 4 days today.

OB appt-- He's bumped me to weeklies now which I figured was coming. We talked about my blood sugars and he is going to start me on Diabeta to try and help the sugars that are crazy while avoiding insulin. If I decide I'd rather just forget the pill and do the insulin he'll do that too. I'm measuring 35/36 weeks currently. He was a little surprised at how swollen my feet are and told me to keep them up as much as possible but my BP is good so we'll just keep watching. I go back on the 26th.

Peri Appt-- Again they commented on the swollen feet and legs. As far as the girls.. there is something weird going on with Kaeda's doppler flow. Where the umbilical cord inserts into her belly the flow is elevated meaning that it's meeting resistance. They said that's not a common finding and especially not coupled with the rest of her cord looking good. They've actually never seen it before. LOL They said her fluid levels are also a little elevated but not excessively so but enough to notate. Other than that she said Kaeda apparently hasn't gotten the memo that something is up with her cord because she active, growing, and looks great. In fact she was practice breathing A TON on screen However because of the increased risk of IUGR and the risks of oxygen issues they want to monitor us even more closely. So I will see them next Tuesday and again next Friday and we'll re-evaluate then. We're basically trying to buy time to get them further along but it's looking more and more like delivery day is going to be in August.
Cheli On Friday, July 9, 2010
I am 28 weeks 4 days today.

We had a growth scan today for the girls.

Kaeda is 2 lbs 5 oz (she gained 15 oz in 3 weeks) and Ember is 2 lbs 11 oz (she gained exactly a lb). Their discordance in size is shrinking. It's down to 12% now. Kaeda is having an issue with her doppler flow, the flow from the placenta to her, so we are watching closely as that's a major sign of TTTS but it doesn't appear to be effecting her fluid levels or growth which is great. They said after about another 5 or 6 weeks they'll be more picky about doppler levels and things like that. They also said that they deliver at 37 weeks for Mono/Di twins. Which for me September 13th or before. Which means 66 days to go.

Kaeda was so impressed with the ultrasound that she treated us to a yawn LOL

Click the image to open in full size.

Ember's profile. She refused to cooperate for most of the ultrasound.

Click the image to open in full size.
Cheli On Monday, June 28, 2010

Remember when I used to have all this time to update my blog about every little thing going on in my life?? Yeah it's been a while and I don't forsee that changing any time soon. It's been another 2 weeks since I last updated. I keep saying to myself, I'll update this after tomorrow's appointment or after the appointment on Friday or.. and I never do. So here we go..

Pregnancy/me stuff

I am 27 weeks pregnant today! WOOO HOOO. I'm starting to get to the point in this pregnancy where I'm just never comfortable. My sciatic nerve has been awful this go round and by evening I can't lay down, can't sit, can't move with out searing pain in my back, hips, and legs. Ember is so high in my abdomen that she's making it difficult for me to breathe. Everyone comments on how high I'm carrying these girls... see for yourself....

My appointment with the perinatologist last week told us that my cervix is shortening but it's not dilating which is good. They don't start worrying about the shortening until the measurement is 2.5. Mine is 3.8 So we have a ways to go before it becomes an issue. Other than that, the girls look great, fluid levels look great, placenta looks great, doppler flow looks great. They are still seeing me weekly and I go back this week on Friday. My next OB appointment is Thursday, I should be getting the results of my GTT *Glucose Tolerance Test* then. I'm fully expecting to fail.

In non pregnancy, me news. I signed up to take classes through the University of Phoenix online for my Bachelor's of Science in Nursing degree. My first class starts tomorrow. I completely the orientation last week. If all goes according to plan I'll graduate from the program in February 2012. But we all know how well plans go.

River Related Stuff

We have been working hard to get River evaluated by whomever he needs to be evaluated by in order to figure out his behavior issues. The pediatrician months ago was prepared to diagnose him with ADHD but wanted a 2nd opinion because of his age. We started seeing a therapist at Clay Behavioral (local mental health place) and when she left the business we started seeing a 2nd therapist (his current) who referred him to a psychiatrist for evaluation. We had the evaluation last week and she 100% agrees he is ADHD. Strongly enough so that she was willing to put him on a medication to see if we could help him out. After trying to figure out a medication that is safe for a child his age to take he started it on Friday. Thus far we see little change. Maybe 30 minutes to an hour after the pill kicks in where he is calmer and more able to focus but it doesn't last long. Hopefully that's just a need to increase his dosage as we have started him on the lowest dose. He'll go back to Dr. I in about 3 weeks.

As part of this treatment plan we also signed up for a group called "Family Conservation" run through the same facility. They send someone out to the house once a week for 10-12 weeks to give us ideas on ways we might be able to improve things at home. She looks for ways to help us, referrals we may need, connections she might be able to make, things she think may help. Her first visit was last week and 2nd was today. She said that she, his therapist, and the psychiatrist strongly believe that he may have more going on than just the ADHD and SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder) that he's already been diagnosed with. They have referred him to a neuro-developmental specialist who does a comprehensive evaluation of all sorts of different things in order to see what might be going on with him. Unfortunately, this particular group of specialist has up to a 2 year waiting list. They won't even put him on the waiting list until we fill out a packet of paperwork they are going to send us and then turn it back in to them. However through all of this we have received an IEP for River to help with school as well as a recommendation (or 2) that he be placed in an ESE VPK program next year where they will be more equipped to handle him and help him. The last part of his treatment plan involves us getting him a case manager who can help us get him in to all of these things he needs and help us advocate for him. Finally I feel like we're moving in the right direction
Cheli On Saturday, June 19, 2010
100 Days until my due date!
Cheli On Thursday, June 17, 2010
I'm awful at updating.. sorry. (If anyone actually reads this)

I am 25 weeks 3 days now.
I had an OB appointment on Monday. I've gained 31 lbs this pregnancy. They gave me the paper work to go get my GTT (Glucose Tolerance Test) done. I also signed the paperwork for my tubal ligation procedure to be done when the twins are delivered. He wants to see me back on July 1st ( 2 weeks) for my next appointment so hopefully I can remember to go do my glucose test before then.

Then today I had my perinatologist appointment. They do a growth scan every 3 weeks and this was the week. The girls look great. Kaeda is 1 lb 6 oz (she gained 11 oz in 3 weeks) and is in the 44th percentile for her gestational age. Ember is 1 lb 11 oz (she gained 13 oz in 3 weeks) and is in the 61st percentile for her gestational age. There is a 17% discordance between the two of them which is 6% less than it was at the last scan! So Kaeda is catching up a little bit, hopefully she continues to catch up. Everything else (fluid levels, doppler levels) looked great. They want to continue to see me once a week so I go back next Friday for fluid, doppler, and cervix check and of course will have another growth scan the first week in July.
Cheli On Sunday, May 30, 2010
We finally got around to taking the boys for their 2 year and 4 year photos. Normally we take them like the week after their birthday but this year we had just found out we were having twins and I had just graduated from the nursing program so we didn't make it. Then once it got postponed it just kept getting postponed. So today was the day.. 3 months late. Better late than never, right?

My handsome 4 year old. This is the one we got for his 4 year photo

She told him not to smile and look mean :)

I just love his smile!!!

I'm serious.. isn't it beautiful!

Joe Cool :) I can't believe how big he is!

Playing around with the photographer.. as long as she didn't get to close or touch him he was all smiles for her LOL

Love how this one came out but he wasn't looking at the camera..


This is the one we ended up getting of Journey for his 2 year picture

Believe it or not he really was hugging him here not trying to snap his neck LOL

Getting Journey to look at the camera proved to be quite a challenge. Although he was all for saying "Cheese"

This is the one we ended of getting of the 2 of them together :)

Awwwww look at my little men :)

Cheli On Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Another perinatologist appointment for me today. 22 weeks 1 day. I was surprised to find out when I got there that they were doing the growth scan this appointment instead of next week. Doug missed the appointment because he wanted to go to next weeks. But that's okay. They'll be plenty more I'm sure.

Today's appointment was a growth scan (they scan all the major bones as well the head circumference and abdominal circumference) as well as a fetal echo cardiogram to make sure 1) there are no anomalies since Journey has Pulmonary Valve Stenosis 2) make sure that there wasn't any indication of Down's or complication because of possible Twin to Twin Transfusion. They also checked my cervix and the blood flow through the umbilical cords and fluid levels like usual.

Ember was 14 oz today with a heart rate of 140 and Kaeda was 11 oz with a heart rate of 147. Both girls had great fluid levels and doppler flow through the cords. And their hearts both look anatomically PERFECT. The discordance between their sizes is still there but the good news is that it's not growing at all. They are still measuring consistently the same distance apart and growing at the same rate. With any luck the 3 oz between them will remain the same through out the remainder of the pregnancy and 3oz won't be such a big deal as they get bigger. The best news of the day was that neither girl had ANY markers for Down Syndrome. So we won't be going through with an amniocentesis. We'll keep the thought in the back of our minds just in case one is born with Down's but I honestly don't feel like anything is wrong with my girls.

I have an OB appointment on Thursday at 2pm so I'll get to see them again I'm sure. I'll update again in a week

Now for the pictures....

Here's me at 22 weeks pregnant :)

Ember's profile picture. Her hand is right up next to her mouth. She spent the entire ultrasound trying to get her hand in her mouth LOL

Kaeda's profile picture

Another Kaeda profile. The blob to the left of her head is Ember's head if that tells you how close together they are!

My favorite profile pic of the day. Kaeda again

We were given 2 more pictures of their girly shots but I didn't feel the need to post those LOL

In other news...

River saw his new counselor this week. She is really nice. She seemed to agree with the diagnosis of ADHD and was glad that he's got an appointment set to see the psychiatrist in June for an evaluation. She gave us a behavior chart to try and help him stop one of the behaviors that bothers us most. We're working with him but I'm not expecting any miracles.

We heard from his school's disabilities coordinator. She came out and observed him in class an feels that he would benefit from being referred to the county public school system for further evaluation. She said he is behind on his fine motor skills which is common with kids with ADHD and sensory issues. They have up to 60 school days to evaluate him which means he probably won't get any kind of evaluation done until next school year. School ends June 9th here