Sunday, June 29, 2008

Bottle Feedings

This weekend the twins made wonderful gains!  
Lily weighs 3.10
Harper weighs 3.8
I fed Lily 20cc of breast milk from a bottle today at 11:00a.m.  The remaining 8 cc she took through her tube.  She latched onto the bottle/nipple immediately, fixed her eyes on mine, and finished what she could in 10 minutes. VERY good start for a first timer!  We will give it another try tomorrow.
Harper had her first try at bottle feeding tonight at 8:00 and was not quite as successful as Lily however, we are so proud of her for doing as well as she did which was 5 cc.  The remaining 23cc she took from her tube.  She was alert at first and the few sucks she managed she gazed at me the whole time however, having just had a bath and it being the end of the day she was simply too tired to make much effort to suck and breathe and swallow - a very coordinated task to ask of such a little baby!
We are so proud of them both!  
More updates to follow. 
Here is a picture just for fun!
They are fraternal but they look pretty identical to us!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Friday Night Out

Nick and I treated ourselves out to a very fancy meal at the Renaissance Hotel's "The House" last night alongside Mr. and Mrs. L. It is the finest dining I have done in Montgomery. On your next "big occasion" I recommend taking your credit card and your big appetites and heading downtown for an evening of friendly and professional service, exquisite appetizer, entree, and dessert menu selections, and live music on the terrace.

I ordered fried soft shell crab as a starter, salmon on summer squash succotash, and the flourless chocolate torte served with fresh raspberries, and coffee. My wine of choice was the House Reisling. Live R&B on the terrace entertained us for a few songs before heading to Sinclairs's (Old Cloverdale) for one last cocktail before calling it a night... and what a night is was.

Nick and I considered it a celebration for having such beautiful healthy babies and the last "hoorah" for a little while. It won't be the LAST time we have a date so special but as we get closer to the homecoming of the babies we are considering that we will be eating in much more often and hiring babysitters occasionally.

Today, laundry, walking the dog, and maybe a trip to the bookstore. Happy Saturday!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Nursery and New Best Friends

SO yesterday Nick and I did some serious work in the babies' room. We washed and organized all of the clothes, blankets, and burp cloths. We separated and labeled the changing table cabinets and the closet. We washed the linens and bumper pad for their beds and then we stepped back and looked at it all and got even more excited about Harper and Lily's homecoming!!! Dr. W. called yesterday and said that by the end of this week he would like to see them at least attempting to bottle feed. The girls are 33weeks 4 days gestational age today and will be eligible to come home at 35 weeks GA IF they can breathe and feed from the bottle at the same time and maintain their body temperatures and still continue to pee and poo on their own. SO we are praying that they can do all this in time to come home on INDEPENDENCE Day weekend - wouldn't that be neat?

Also, Nick and I adopted two snuggly animal/blankies to give to the girls last night for their comfort and security. Chi Chi the monkey is Harper's baby and Henry the Lion is Lily's. Growing up I had my favorite stuffed animals - Cuddles a plush puppy that I got on my 12 or 13th birthday when my parents couldn't be in town (away on business) they sent him to me INSIDE a BIG pink balloon full of sparkles and streamers. I also had a purple bunny named Flopsy that I got from my mother just before I had surgery and had to stay in the hospital over night. Anyway, we wanted to give the babies a special friend to have in the hospital and for us to watch grow tattered and used as the years go by.

What are some of your own memories of your favorite blankie or stuffed animal?

Monday, June 23, 2008

Showered with Love

This past week we were blessed by family, friends, and church members who showered Harper and Lily with gifts galore! Baby gear, layettes, MONGRAMMED blankies and bibs, boppies, gift cards, you name it! I am so thankful and have enjoyed getting out nursery decorated and organized so that it will be perfect when the babies come home!

It isn't usual that a woman isn't actually pregnant at her baby shower but hey this was no usual pregnancy!

To all of the FABULOUS hostesses at FUMC and Lochwood Drive THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! It means so much to me that you would care about my babies enough to plan such a generous occasion. Here are a few pictures from the two showers.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

My Loves

The song featured in this video is one of my all time favorites and for several years I have heard it playing in my mind during special moments in my life. It is my "if my life were a music video" song. So here is my video.

It's A Small World Afterall...

This morning I am thinking about what a small world it really is. In the past year I have been introduced to people or reunited with people that are somehow connected to my past. It has me wondering, are all relationships placed in our paths to teach us a lesson or help lead us to opportunity? What happens if we don't get the message the first go around? Are they cosmically or divinely placed back in our way later to address unfinished business because we missed out on the relationship with them earlier?

Monday, June 16, 2008


It is Monday morning and most people are staring the work week again or thinking about getting "need to do's" done or starting a new diet and most of these people are dreading it! So I would like to start my week off by offering some "KUDOS!"

To: Jason
Thanks for bringing up a topic most people avoid or make light of - our responsibility to our health. And an extra pat on the back to you for already taking a HUGE step towards wellness with me back in December.

To: Laurel
Of the three blog tributes I have read in memory of Tim Russert yours has been my favorite and I encourage everyone who is reading my blog right now to read this one. Short, to the point, accurate, and sentimental.

To: Nick
For being a new Daddy! Pastor June's sermon on the role of a Daddy was inspiring and I have no doubts that you will be the most amazing Father to our daughters be building their self esteems and most importantly showing them God's love everyday.

To: Asher
For seizing life with wild abandon and making us smile to watch you!

To Harper & Lily:
For gaining weight this week and having all great reports! Happy one month birthday (June 15th) and I love you babies!

To Ali:
I know it isn't easy for you to adjust to our new schedule, but aside from the moaning and crying you do around 3 a.m. you are doing a great job. I miss you sleeping in the bed with us but this is a change that has to happen. You are no longer the pack leader. I want you to know that I love you very much but can only express my love to you in your language by remaining calm and consistent and enforcing new rules to better our den. I apologize for trying to change who you are by communicating in a language you have not understood (human language) and I admit that it is my fault that you have been confused. We humans are not as smart as we claim to be. I am trying to change a part of who I am to meet your needs and build a better relationship with you and also to save what is left of our carpet (alas!) I am spending some of my free time by reading Jan Fennell's book (review to follow). Sorry Cesar Milan but you wouldn't write me back in a time when I was highly vulnerable, reached out to you for help, and you shut me down in a rejection email stating you were just too busy with more important emails, whatever.

KUDOS everyone!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Communion & Conflict

My intentions are not to "preach" in this post. But you know how sometimes there has just been something on your mind and you have to say it or talk about? Thus the following post.

Monday evening I attended a worship service at Huntingdon College hosted by the Student Leadership Institute that Nick helped to organize and run. At the service I listened to Pastor John S. who is a minister at a local, very large, Methodist church here in Montgomery. His insight on "Knowing God's Vision For Your Life" has been running through my mind all week. Pastor John shared with the group that in order to know your purpose you must experience and understand the "three C's" that Christians are bound to encounter during our journey on Earth : communion, conflict, and community. I cannot do as good of a job telling you about all he said but I do want to share one of the ways his talk impacted me that night and this week.

I do not spend enough time in communion with the Lord - free from distraction and fully present. We all seem to profess that we are in "constant prayer - when I'm driving on my way to work or walking in my neighborhood." That time is precious no doubt, however, I am anxious to see how much more I can know about His likeness if I will cease from all other thought processes and visual and physical distractions and just be "fully present" as Pastor John encouraged me to be. I think we live in a day and an age when silence is an old distant friend. Some of us aren't comfortable being alone for fear of boredom or lonliness. But there are treasures to be discovered in silence and I'll bet they just may be the answers to the questions that run through our brains 99% of the day - what am I going to do about so and so, how will we afford to pay for such and such, why is all of this happening, and how do I change my feelings about...

One week before I went into the hospital I heard another sermon on the radio by Dr. Charles Stanley and at the end he asked one question, "Do you dare to ask God to show you his Awesomeness?" That question really shook me and for one solid week before I was admitted for Pre-eclampsia I would ask God to "show me your awesomeness!" never once dreaming what was about to happen would, which brings me to the next point Pastor John made Monday evening.

Conflict. No one wants it. No one enjoys it. I would never ask for or wish the illness and preterm labor I experienced and having two babies in Intensive Care for anyone. The unknowing-ness and waiting out preeclampsia was mind torturing - I didn't know how sick I would get or how early I would have to deliver these two precious babies that needed more time in my womb! The needles, blood pressure checks, broken sleep, and treatments were painful. Seeing the worry behind my loved one's eyes was painful (and scary) too. But most difficult to face has been are my babies really going to be o.k. and be home with us one day? Conflict - inner and outer. No one wants it. No one enjoys it. Everyone can survive it. "That which doesn't kill us makes us stronger", "this too shall pass" - you've heard the cliches and probably used them at least once before for yourself or for someone else. The point I got was that no one can escape conflict and that as much as I HATE to hear "everything happens for a reason" it is true. I believe that God allows conflict to happen to invite us to be closer to Him. I don't believe he wills babies to be sick or people to be murdered; this was not His plan. It was not His plan for Adam and Eve to give in to temptation. His plan was for them to live together in the garden in peace. However, there was Satan, evil, darkness, our will, whatever you want to call it, that messed up God's perfect plan. Whatever my conflict is - my storm- there will always be a Rescuer to cling to in the midst.

The nurses have started labeling the babies' diapers because they are looking so much alike we don't want to confuse one for the other! Harper (A) is 2.9 now! and Lily (B) 2.11! Wow! Both gals taking in 20 cc's (A) and 24 cc's (B) of fortified breastmilk every 3 hours. "Feed'in and Grow'in," that's what we are doin'. It seems the only updates we can give you are their weights because there is nothing else to report on - thankfully!

Many people ask when they can come home. The answer is that they will be eligible at 35 weeks gestation (July 4th weekend). Today they are 32 weeks gestation. At 35 weeks IF they can breathe and feed from a bottle with NO complications they can come home. We would love to bring them home "Independence" day weekend however, we are partially expecting them not to be home until late July or until their due date in early August. Until then there will be lots more visits and Kangaroo Care!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Today is another great day.  I really don't have any new updates other than Harper is weighing in at 2.3 and Lily is up to 2.7!  They are both receiving 18-19 cc of breast milk every 3 hours and nurses tell us a healthy "true" weight gain is approximately an ounce a day.  Any weight gain over 1 ounce daily is more than likely fluid retention.  Both girls are off IV's and nasal canula's which means the only line they have is their feeding tubes.  As of this afternoon, the girls have spent almost a day and a half co-bedding, sleeping side by side.  The nurses report they are very happy this way and can stay in the same bed as long as all vitals are good and no one gets sick.  The nurses continue to be wonderful and very compassionate and Nick and I are still alternating holdings "skin to skin."  

Nick is very busy this week ( I miss him VERY much ) with the youth leadership camp he is helping to run at Huntingdon College.  I went by Monday night to hear a sermon on knowing God's vision for your life.  The speaker said that you can know His vision by listening to Him through communion, conflict, and community.  I might expound upon this later but really need a nap right now... plus I am still digesting the meat of it.  

I had lunch with my mom today: turnip greens, cornbread, and a small sirloin steak... sweet tea of course.  Mmm, so good.  Nothing like a home cooked Southern meal with one of my favorite gals in the world.  

That's all for now... short post I know.  Have a nice day :)

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Twins Reunited!

Today Nick, Lauren, and I visited the girls in time for the 2:00p.m. feeding.  We expected to hold them as we have been doing at night but to our surprise there was a huge recliner for me and I got to hold them at one time!  It was so adorable... they slept face to face, held hands, and by the end of the visit Lily was sucking Harper's thumb!!!  I am SO not kidding.  It was pretty amazing.  All reports from the nurses and doctors are still so wonderful! 

Friday, June 06, 2008

Sleeping In...

So today feels like it may be the first "holiday" feeling day we have had in a while. We are both taking our time getting out of bed and have no real plans for the day except to the see the babies which is always a treat.

I have been procrastinating on cleaning the house but feel like today just might be the day. I have a dear friend of mine staying for the weekend. Lauren was my college roommate and sorority sister and unfortunately we don't get to see each other near as much as we would like to. As a matter of fact, the last time I saw her was in December when I visited her in Gadsden to announce to her that I was pregnant. So she will be here to meet Harper and Lily and relax some.

Also on the agenda, a wedding. My father is marrying a nice lady on Saturday evening. He will be moving about an hour away after his honeymoon. I sincerely hope that this union will be fulfilling for both he and she and that they are truly happy.

I had a really good time last night at Nick's softball game. I sat with my sister in law and a couple other wives chatting and giggling. Also, I visited with another lady who wanted to know all about the babies and how I am coping. I decided to be honest and briefly went into a revelation that I have been coming upon lately in my prayers and relationship with God. I told her that I am deeply moved by the number of people that are praying for the growth and strengthening of out babies and that I am totally depending on their requests because lately I don't feel like my own "wants" have anything to do with the outcome of what is going on right now. I want the girls to be comfortable and feel loved while in the NICU. I want them to live and grow stronger everyday and come home with us soon and for us to have a "normal" life. I want to not be afraid every time the phone rings or the monitors alarm when we visit them. But lately I do not make these requests in my prayers. As Christians we believe that God "will give us the desires of our hearts" and that He knows what we need before we ask.... We also believe that all things happen for the good to glorify Christ. And yet, as the old cliche goes, bad things happen to good people all the time. There are mothers praying all over the world for the protection and well being of their children. But their prayers are seemingly not answered or at least they are not answered in a way that they want.... So in my mind, I am not different from these other mothers. No matter how many times I plead to God "make them strong! help them grow! don't let anything bad happen to them... please don't break my heart!!!" does it really matter? I am no different than anyone else who has asked before me. Jesus himself asked God if there was another way to save us other than His own crucifixion. So with all of that said, what I hear in my quiet time is, "Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10. When I visit Harper and Lily and sit at their bedside and watch their sleepy eyes open and close and their tiny fingers and toes flex, and their tired yawns, my eyes fill up with tears and my heart fills with love so much it hurts. And at the end of each day, when I hold those precious babies I say thank you so much Lord, thank you, thank you.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Before and After

I was looking back at ultrasound pictures yesterday and found a startling and amazing coincidence ( of course you know I don't believe in coincidence)...

Let me start by saying that while I was pregnant, "Baby A" was always the smaller baby that was low in my pelvis and always the more active than "Baby B." Nick and I joked that we had to name the mover Harper because if you say it with just enough southern drawl her name would be Hopper... so Baby A, who was delivered first was named Harper. "Baby B" was the bigger twin stretched out along my right side and always very calm in the ultrasounds. She didn't move around much and was easy to get a good photograph of... so Baby B, delivered second was named Lily. Some of you will remember a certain ultrasound picture of "Baby B" that clearly shows the face, eyes, mouth, etc. and and arm resting beside her face... Nick named this photograph "Skeletor." We now know that true to Lily's personality Baby B was her just being her calm self and posing for the camera. The other day we were taking quick pictures of the girls and I saw the one below of Lily... can you see the resemblance in her before and after photos?