Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Problem Solved!

I am happy to report that our outstanding hospital bills have been taken care of! It helps to have loving, caring, doctor friends who continue to check up on the girls even though they have been home from the NICU for 14 months. The NICU at St. Joe's is top notch, made so by the doctors and nurses who work there. They continually go above and beyond the call of duty to advocate for their growing NICU family. I wouldn't have wanted to be anywhere else. I have been so happy with the care that my kids have received, and I will continue to take the girls there for any care that they may need (but hopefully they won't need it). Thank you so much to all of the doctors who took it upon themselves to help us. The doctors involved met specifically regarding our case, and we have been informed that our experience "will result in a serious review of all of their processes and should make life better for families in the future." I just have to say, "WOW"! What a serious load off of our minds.

Now that we don't have to worry about hospital bills, we can focus all of our energy on what is important...our girls. They had their 18-month appointment with the pediatrician on Friday. I cannot believe that they are 18 months old. Holland now weighs 18 pounds, is 29 3/4 inches long, and has a head circumerence of 44 1/2 cm. Eden weighs 16 pounds 9 ounces, is 29 1/2 inches long, and has a head circumference of 46 1/2 cm. We have finally hit the charts for 18-month-olds in head circumference and length. Eden's head is at the 50th percentile(!), and Holland's is at the 10th. Their lengths are between the 3-5 percentile. They are no where near the charts in weight, and who knows if they will ever be. I seriously doubt it.

A big part of the reason that Eden isn't gaining as much weight as we would like, is because she doesn't like to eat. She does OK with a bottle now, drinking 5-6 ounces at a time during the day, and up to 8 ounces at night, although occasionally she will still refuse even the bottle. Solid foods are pretty much nightmare. She has some good days where she will eat pretty good, but she has whole weeks where she eats close to nothing. She is a total pro at refusing to eat. She clamps her mouth shut, shakes her head, and smacks the spoon out of our hands. On bad days, she will throw up after eating only a few bites. It is beyond frustrating. We've had her evaluated by an OT who determined that there isn't anything physically wrong. She doesn't seem to have an oral aversion, very common in preemies, either. In fact, she loves putting everything in her mouth. As far as I can tell she is just VERY picky about what she likes, and how she likes it. Teething has also exacerbated the problem. Between the discomfort and the excessive amounts of drool that she swallows, and a little bit of mild reflux, I think her tummy sometimes feels a bit upset.

Ultimately, of course, the goal for any baby is to get them off of bottles and formula, and eating solid foods full time. Apparantly some kids accomplish this by 12-months. If we get there by age 2 1/2, I'll be happy. Our pediatrician did recommend going from 4 bottles a day, with 2 solid meals, to 3 bottles a day, with 3 solid meals. So, instead of 24 ounces of formula a day, they will be getting 16 or 17. Hopefully this will help with the solid feeding, because they will actually be hungry when we try to feed them. We've been at it since Saturday and it seems to be working okay. Eden has done pretty good the past couple of days. She LOVES cheese, so to get her eating more meat we've been making meat and cheese balls. Working pretty good. We've gotten her to eat fish, chicken, and ham this way.

The most exciting news in the past week concerns Holly. She is now pulling to stand! She did it for the first time on Thursday, and since then has been practicing nonstop. Now she is pulling to stand on everything, even Eden. I walked in the other day to find her standing next to Eden with her hands on her belly! She's also enjoying pushing things around the family room on her knees, and she has learned to go up the step from the family room to the kitchen. Anthother couple of months, and we will have a little munchkin walking about our house. Weird.

Eden is learning a lot too. Since she started rolling, she has become a little rolling bean. She had figured out how to turn and pivots her legs to change directions. She can pretty much go wherever she wants. Which is usually straight to where Holland is playing, where she grabs Holland's toy away and makes her cry. Her language development is taking off too. She is really starting to understand a lot of what we say. She knows "where's the light?", "where's Daddy?"...the dog, your eyes, your mouth. She verbalizes "ahhhhh" when she wants us to turn the light on and off. She talks a LOT when she is playing, and is doing a lot of turn taking when practicing conversations with us. She is so cute when she talks. She scrunches up her nose and eyes and nods her head saying "ahhhhhh." It is totally adorable, and it is amazing how far she has come in just a few months...


Kate Giovinco Photography said...

Oh I am so glad the hospital bills were all figured out!

What a great update on the girls they are doing great! I love all the pictures what beautiful girls you have!

Anonymous said...

I am so happy to hear such positive news. I can't imagine what a relief it is for you to not have to worry about those bills! It's great both girls are moving right along. Pretty soon you'll be chasing down Holland and Eden will be snickering behind your back. Lastly I'm especially happy "Mom" sounds so upbeat and happy, I know things aren't always the way you planned but your awesome and look at all the great rewards you get everyday!! Luv Ya Liz

Kendra Lynn said...

I am so glad that your bill situation is worked out!!! Merry's birth certificate situation is in the process...I now know where to find it...just have to make the calls. :)
I'm very excited to read about the girls' progress, as well! They are really taking off!
Congratulations to you all!


Anonymous said...

I am so glad that the hospital bills are taken care of. What a relief that must be for you. Also, I am delighted to hear that Holland and Eden are doing so well. They always seem very happy in their pictures.
Take care,
Emily Avey

Anonymous said...

Wow, what wonderful news on all fronts! I'm so glad the bills are gone. Your doctors are wonderful!
The girls' growth, mobility and speech developments are terrific news, and I'm just delighted for them. Way to go, Holland and Eden, you are both blossoming in beautiful ways!
Congratulations Billie and John, on these latest milestones. Your girls are an inspiration.

Jim Fisher said...

I probibly sound nosey but when you say 18 months are you going by actual birth day? because they may figure very low on the growth percentile if you figure this way. They should really be comparing it 14 month charts since that is the time from their due date. I would think this would be a more acurate way of representing their growth, and perhaps would be a little more encouraging. Your babys look so healthy in the pictures. Either way, keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Woo Woo! What awesome news! I was sure it could be worked out, I know getting there to make it happen was a hassle, but it's all behind you now and as always, there was the opportunity to know that people really do care beyond what their profession is.
Girls, you never stop to amaze me! Just when I think I've seen the cutest photo, mommmy posts another to top it! You are both awesome....SMOOCHES AND BIG HUGS ALL AROUND!
Mamma Jules

Anonymous said...

I am so happy the bills were taken care of! Whew! One less thing for you to worry about. I keep up on your blogs, Billie, I just don't alway comment back. You are always in my thoughts. So happy to hear about the girls's milestones. Can't wait to get the critters together this summer, Kris

Anonymous said...

Awesome news Billie! I can feel the relief in your tone. And 18 months!!! NO way, it can't be already!! I'm glad Holland and Eden are continuing to reach new milestones. Love you guys, Sara

Anonymous said...

What a relief about the bills :) On congratulations on your daugthers, they are awesome!
Regarding solid foods, both of my picky kids would never say no to yogurt (the Yo-Baby brand is for babies and is made from whole milk). They also could not resist pudding which I made with whole milk and liquid vitamins. Many times I would mix whatever solid food I had for them with the yogurt so they would eat it :) Good luck with solids :) Fiona's mom