Monday, June 27, 2005

Caught Again

Another interesting choice of sleeping positions:)

Saturday, June 25, 2005

So Funny

I just think this is hilarious, so I wanted to share. This is how I found Holland sleeping a few nights ago. I had to wake John up to come look and of course we took pics:)

Fashion Show

I've been promising a post about this for a while, so here it is! On June 2nd the girls were in a fashion show titled "Fashionable Growth" put on by the Family Advisory Board at Saint Joseph Mercy Hospital to raise money for the NICU. We participated with other families who spent time in the NICU, as well as some of our favorite doctors and nurses.

The girls wore really cute "Yummy Sets" by Keedo, and of course looked totally adorable. Eden was still getting over her ear infection and had only been on antibiotics for a couple of days, so she was tired and pretty out of it. Holland, on the other hand, was in a great mood, kicking and smiling at everybody who talked to her.

While we were on stage, the MC read a short story about our babies' NICU stay. H and E were the youngest participants in the show, but there was a 2 or 3-year-old girl there who weighed only 15 ounces at birth, and a 17-month-old boy who was born at 23 weeks, and weighed 1 pound 5 ounces (like Eden). It was very inspiring and a lot of fun. We love any opportunity to show off our sweetie pies!

Sunday, June 19, 2005

We Love Daddy!

Happy Father's Day to the very best daddy in the whole world! We love and appreciate you so much. You ROCK!
Love, Mommy, Holly, and Edie

Friday, June 17, 2005

Hearing Aides and Physical Therapy

Eden got her hearing aides on Wednesday. Doesn't she look good in them??? My mom says we could paint her face green if she needed it, and I'd still think she looks's true. What can I say? On the way to pick up the hearing aides in Ann Arbor I talked to our favorite nurse at the pediatricican's office. I had noticed Eden pulling on her ear again, and was worried that she might be getting another ear infection (or the last one still wasn't completely better). They wanted to check her ears so we made an appointment for Thursday afternoon. Good thing, because Eden woke up on Thursday morning with another raging fever and the same sad pitiful mood that she had the last time. I was right. The same ear is infected again (or still?) so she is going to have another round of antibiotics. Because of the infection and fever, we didn't put Eden's hearing aides on yesterday, so today was her first full day wearing them. I gotta say, they are REALLY a PAIN. The left one doesn't work well at all because it is constantly whistling and giving feedback. The right one is a little better, but still rings every time she turns her head to the right. Which is a lot, because not only does she not have the best head control, but she always wants to look around at everything.

At our first appointment with the audiologist at U of M Eden showed a noticeable response to sound at 95 decibles. That is really LOUD and at the limits of the equipment. So the loss is definitely in the profound range, but the good news is that at least they were able to elicit a response, indicating that her auditory nerves are likely intact and she should be a good candidate for a cochlear implant. With her hearing aides she responded to sound at 85 decibles. Still VERY loud. We have to give it some time before we can tell for sure what kind of benefit she gets from the aides, but it is pretty likely that she won't be able to hear speech or anything other than loud noises.

Hmmm...what else have we been up to? Well, both girls were evaluated by the school district and Early On to see if they qualify for early intervention services. A physical therapist from the district came to the house to do the evaluation. Based on the results Holland was ineligible for special education because, so far, her development is "within normal limits." Eden does qualify and will begin receiving physical therapy through the school district in the fall to help with gross motor skills. The tone in her arms and legs is good, with no tightness in her ankles or hips, but she has low tone in her neck and trunk. The PT brought a "feeder seat" out to the house for Eden to practice in. When she is laying on her back she tends to play out to the side with her head turned rather than reaching to play in front. When she sits in the seat it helps her to strengthen muscles while keeping her supported and bringing her to midline. She actually likes playing there quite a lot.

We are going to be attending a baby group for five weeks this summer (starting next Wednesday) with a PT, Occupational Therapist (OT), and Speech and Language teacher (TSLI) to start working on motor skills. Holland will be going with us:) A teacher of the Hearing Impaired is going to start coming to the house once a week to work with Eden starting next Thursday. And a private physical therapist is going to come to the house once a week to see both girls through the summer starting next Friday. Whew... So much for a "summer vacation."

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Babies in Bikinis

You can clearly see who the instigator is in these pictures! Not really fair, since she has the weight advantage, as well as the superior gross motor skills:)

Friday, June 03, 2005

Vacation Up North, and Other News...

We've had quite a busy week so I have a lot to write about! We left on Friday afternoon and drove to Traverse City. It is generally a 4 hour drive, but we took our time and made it in about about 7. The girls did really well on the drive, with the exception of one mini meltdown when they were getting hungry for bottles. Holland had been sick with a fever the night before, so we weren't sure we were even going to be able to make the trip. By morning her fever had broke and she was in good spirits, so we decided to go for it. We met Jessie, Dave, and Aidan at Grandma Candy and Grandpa Joe's house. Our stay was lovely with very comfy beds, awesome food, and even better company! The girls were so good and happy all through Saturday and Sunday. On Sunday night Eden came down with a fever and was in a really sad, pitiful mood. She ended up crying most of the night and threw up several times. She didn't do too bad on the drive home, but had a couple more terrible nights and a fever that wouldn't break or come down with Tylenol. I called the pediatrician on Tuesday morning and ended up taking her in to find out that she has her first ear infection. She has been on antibiotics for the past couple of days and is just now starting to act like herself again. So, we survived our first fevers, barely. It is such a helpless feeling to have a sick baby. Eden didn't smile for 4 days. All she wanted was to be held, and she moaned and cried continuously. It was so sad. Today was a much better day so we are hoping that by tomorrow she will be back to her old silly self.

Before the big vacation Holland had her appointment with the eye doctor. It looks like the patching is working to keep her eyes equally strong, but isn't correcting the crossing. She has an alternating eye turn, also called strabismus, which is pretty common in preemies. So, it looks like she is going to need surgery to correct it. The surgery is scheduled for July 15th. It will involve putting her under general anesthesia and moving the muscles on the inside of both eyes. From what I hear the surgery will be quick and relatively painless for Holly. She will need drops and will have bloodshot eyes for a few days, but won't have to stay in the hospital and should recover quickly. Cosmetically the results should be immediate, but we will still have some work ahead of us to help teach her to use both of her eyes together. The success rate is about 80%, but there is a 50% chance that she will need further surgery down the road. The risk of NOT doing the surgery is that Holland will begin to favor one eye, and will lose sight in the other, called amblyopia. This is a much harder condition to fix if it should happen. It is always difficult to make decisions regarding surgery, particularly on your baby. If you dwell too much on the risks of any surgery, you would never do it! So, we're going to focus on the positives and hope that Holland will thank us one day for correcting the problem now, when she won't remember it, and hope for the best possible outcome with no complications.

So to sum up, we have had the craziest sickest week ever. It started with me getting sick about 2 weeks ago with a sore throat, fever, stuffy nose, and cough. I am just now getting better. Holland caught the bug and spent 2 sleepless nights all stuffed up, with a raging fever for one night. Around the same time, Eden woke up covered in hives that got better then MUCH worse, then better, and now worse again. At one point she looked like she had some strange disease. I was almost embarrassed to take her out in public! Then John caught the bug and is still coughing and feeling pretty miserable. Eden caught it last, then followed it up pretty quickly with an ear infection. Then, to top it all off, this morning John started having chest pains and couldn't breathe. I had to call 911 and the ambulance came to take him to the hospital! The pain lasted about 30 minutes and was pretty intense, but ended just as he was arriving at the ER. He is fine now. It ended up just being muscle spasms that made it difficult to expand his lungs. Pretty scary at the time, but now we can all laugh about it. Let's just hope the old saying is true, "that which doesn't kill you, makes you stronger." Cheers.