Thursday, January 06, 2011

The State of Affairs

Happy New Year!!

Life is a crazy whirlwind around here, as usual, and I have not been able to find a whole lot of time for blogging. We had a great holiday despite the fact that at least one person in my household has been sick since Thanksgiving. It seems that Eden and I bore the brunt of it starting with congestion and coughs...the kind of cough that once it starts you can't stop coughing, so much that you start sweating and tears start flowing and you think you might hurl, but you don't. I had that kind of cough on Christmas day. In the midst of that we had a bout of stomach cramping and yuck-poo that lasted for at least a week and made the rounds through each member of the household. Then, just when we thought we were back on track we had another round of fevers and congestion for the New Year. John made it through the entire holiday relatively unscathed, but is in bed today with a nasty stomachache that appears to be something entirely different. I hope this is not an indication of how our entire winter is going to go because I am feeling pretty much done with being sick!

On the bright side (this is me, ever the optimist), WE MADE IT THROUGH THE ENTIRE YEAR OF 2010 WITH NO HOSPITAL STAYS!!!!!!!!!!!! Isn't that so great, amazing, and splendid??? Also worth
mentioning is the fact that in February Eden will be TWO YEARS hospital-free. It is clearly not that we haven't been sick. It is just that the girls are developing new, undamaged lung tissue and gaining trunk strength and control making it easier for them to cough and clear their lungs and maintain their oxygen saturation and not develop pneumonia. This makes me so happy.

2010 was a great year for us in other ways as well. These are some of our major accomplishments and experiences for the year (in no particular order):

* Eden learned to use the potty and is 100% pull-up free during the day.
* Holland learned to stay dry through the night.
* The girls started regular kindergarten in our neighborhood school.
* We moved to another city for 4 weeks so Eden could do conductive education.
* We went to an amusement park and the girls rode rides for the first time.
* We went camping.
* I fractured my rib after falling off my bike (ouch).
* We went to the beach more than once.
* Holland learned to swim independently wearing a life vest.
* Eden got a bike and learned to ride it.
* We made numerous home improvements and put our house on the market.
* Holland and Eden learned a ton. Both girls have started to read, and Eden's reading has especially skyrocketed. I bet she is at nearly a late-first grade level in both word reading and comprehension. This really makes my heart swell, because I love to read and I know how many doors a good book can open for anyone, but especially a kid who has physical limitations. You can go anywhere in a book!

All in all, 2010 was a great year for us. I was sad to see it go, and will remember it fondly.

There were, however, some major things I would have liked to see happen that didn't...mostly related to feeding and growth. We haven't made much progress at all on either front. Each girl grew 2 inches, putting H at 43 inches and E at 42. Eden gained a pound and a half, putting her at 31.5 pounds. Holland didn't gain any weight. Zero. She is still pushing 32 pounds.

I also would have liked to see Eden doing some independent standing, but maybe that was too lofty a goal. She is able to bear more weight on her legs while holding onto something, but progress is really slow in this department.

Maybe 2011 will be our year for physical growth - gain some weight and work toward Eden's independent standing. Those will be my goals for the New Year, along with selling our house and moving into a new one, and doing a couple more sessions of conductive ed (we are looking at going back in February and again for summer camp). Also, we will start looking into a bilateral cochlear implant. I think a second implant is the way to go and would really help Eden at school and in her future music career (lol), but I am so anxious about pulling the trigger in terms of another major surgery. So, I still have a lot of thought and research to put into it, but if we are going to do it I think this is the year.

That should keep us busy!

How about you? Got any plans?


Sarah said...

The girls look so much more alike now that Holland is wearing glasses, I had to do a double take at first.

Have a happy New Year! I hope it brings amazing blessings for you and your family.

BusyLizzyMom said...

Yeah for no hospitalizations for 2010. Sorry to hear about eveyone being ill over the holiday's, Elizabeth and her Dad both had influenza over Christmas and were horribly ill but she made through without pneumonia which was great.
This year sounds pretty busy for you all. Maybe with their stronger health will come more weight gain.
I think our major plan would be a sibling for Elizabeth if things can work out for us. Elizabeth I am sure will tell you she would like to jump, it has been 2 years in the making and she is almost in the air with both feet.

Billie said...

Oh yes, another major goal I forgot to mention...

In 2011 I will find it in me to either commit to trying to have another child, or commit to being complete with my family of 4.

Kate Giovinco Photography said...

So exciting to hear no hospital stays in 2010.

The girls are amazing.

abby said...

No hospital stays this year is TREMENDOUS. And so are the strides that Eden is making, all around.

What's so great about you guys and what makes you such an inspiration for the rest of us out here is that you have never accepted the status quo. You are always making, and working hard on actualizing, plans for reaching higher, further, deeper, etc. And whatever it is that you guys set out to do you ultimately do quite well.

Anyway, Happy New Year -- I have a feeling that 2011 will be a great one for all of you!

Kim said...

I vote yes on a sibling for H&E!

Billie said...

That must be my sister...

Are you gonna babysit? At my house? I think Mom and Dad may have reached their quota after having to feed mine for the past 6 years! lol

Danielle said...

I feel super rude involving myself in other people's family planning issues, but I agree with your sister :D Whether it makes a trio of girls or a little brother, an addition would be FANTASTIC.

However, your practical reservations are totally understanadable.

Also, super-pumped to hear about the possible implant for Eden. She would be a rockstar at learning to hear with both ears (as with everything else she sets her mind to).

Happy hospital-free life in 2011.

Janet "Grammy" Harrold said...

Sounds like you had a great 2010! Here's to a progressive 2011! So happy that you had a hospital free 2010. I wonder which CE facility you went to. We are thinking of the one in Grand Rapids for Hailey. I am also doing a series on CE on my blog and wondering if you would be interested in doing a guest post about your experience? I think it would be helpful to so many others who read. If you are interested please email me at Thanks :)

Katy said...

Hmmm...I guess it's bad that I have basically no plans/goals for 2011. Well, that's not totally true--I either want to try hippotherapy or HBOT. Of course, my rapidly growing uterus is going to put a major dent in my plans, but I'm still going to try to do something!

Alice said...

Ah yes, the last little goal! I told myself I'd make the same decision this year when my 26 weekers turn 3 but I suspect the preliminaries might take all year - Fixing up my own health issues, possible surgery for one twin, persuading hubby, persuading myself - Maybe it will just drift till I'm too old!!
Happy New Year - hope 2011 is even better than 2010 x

Laura said...

I began reading your blog in November, after my daughter was born 14 weeks early. I'm thankful that I was able to begin at the beginning and see that you all went through what we are going through now. It is such a tough ride and you feel so alone, its nice to know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I hope 2011 brings your family good health!

Vannessa said...

I have been following your blog for ages now, basically since shortly before my daughter died 4 years ago and I was looking for info on special needs kiddos on the net. She had Jacobsen syndrome and I was rather stressed about her future. I love reading about your girls. They are looking really great.
Do you think I could ask you to vote for my newest addition in this competition? I feel a bit forward in asking but with only 10 days left I am just plugging it everywhere!! - you can vote once a day till end Jan. There are some great prizes but really (as most moms think) this kid is so cute I just have to enter him in competitions!

Vannessa said...

PS: I totally think you should have another little boy or girl! I think your girls would love being big sisters.

Ester said...

Hi, I have read through your whole blog tonight (for the first time). (Amazing! Your kids and your writing, both! :))
I wanted to comment on the weight/height issue (warning: I am a random girl who knows nothing about premature babies/kids!).
Just that my son is soon to be 7 years old, and he is 20 kgs (44 lbs). The interesting part is that he has not gained any weight at all for the last three years. (He has grown in the meantime between an inch and two inches a year and he is now 46 inches.) Just mentioning this because maybe ages 4-5-6 are just not the most "weight-gaining" few years and I would think the girls will probably start gaining weight faster in a year or two. You sounded so disappointed with the no-gain, but maybe it is not that uncommon.
Love and warm thoughts to your sweet family!


Aisy from NS said...

I just spent the past week or so reading your entire blog and just wanted to say that you have a wonderful family and I wish you all the best! Your children are amazing and spunky and will continue to amaze. :)

I had twins almost 14 months ago (boy/girl) and I have a new appreciation for the time I spent carrying them (37 weeks). I feel incredibly blessed to have had that luxury, when so many women do not.

Have a great 2011 with no hospitalizations and plenty of love and laughter. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi, I love your story and your girls are amazing.

Sadly I would like to say if you go to the site and go to the mymag section, under the baby forum as of right now some pathetic person is faking being the mother of your children. Claiming they were just born. I do wish to imform you of this and to let you know they have been reported several times and hopes are that they will be deleted soon. I am sorry about having to tell you that but everyone should know when someone uses their photos wrongly.

But again I hope the best for you and your family.

JessJay said...


Just came across your blog.
Just 8 weeks ago I had Twin girls Eden and Willow, they were 23W 6D. Theyre still in NICU at the moment but going really well :)
I haven't found too many stories about micro preemies especially twins so I look forward to reading your blog from the beginning.