A long, very overdue, update…

Hi Everyone!!! I am friends with a lot of  you on social media, but I wanted to write a quick update to those who are not on social media.

First, I want to let you know that I read your blogs DAILY, I don’t have time to post, but I am always listening and really miss this outlet in my life, I need to make a point to start doing this weekly again!

Life has been great, the kids are 17 months old and growing like weeds. Both of them have mouths full of teeth and have a growing vocabulary by the day. Harper is our talker, she can say so many words I wouldn’t even be able to list them. She is to the point where she is able to repeat pretty much anything you say. She just started walking a few weeks ago after walking on her knees for months!!! Elliott is still a sweet and sensitive little guy. He is talking but nowhere near as much as Harper. He has been walking since he was 10 months so he has that down pretty well!! Seeing the difference in their personalities is so amazing, even at such a young age. In February we celebrated our 10th anniversary and went to Disneyland as a family. Harper LOVED it, she enjoyed all of the people, the rides, etc — Elliott spent 90% of the time observing and I am pretty sure was in sensory overload the entire time. All in all, both are happy, healthy wonderful rays of sunshine in our life.

I’ve been thinking a lot about Rohen, more than usual (which is already a lot). I feel guilty because I don’t bring him up often but it is a hard thing to talk about. To me, he is beautiful & talking about him, while it is excruciatingly painful, is important to me. I want H&E to know their older brother. It just isn’t a topic that a lot of other people are comfortable talking about, and I get it. I just miss him and wish that he could be here too.

Guys, this next part, I’ve been wanting to write about it for a while but have been struggling to find the words – but I’ll try. I have become mildly obsessed with the cause of Rohen’s death & Harper’s prematurity/placental issues/IUGR (Intrauterine Growth Restriction). So, what does one do when they become obsessed? I started by calling every doctor I visited in relation to both pregnancies – my RE, my PCP, both OBGYN’s, the hospitals & the Perinatologist. I got my records from all of them because I wanted to read about it myself — I didn’t want to hear the “answers” from a doctor again because unfortunately I’ve been told “It was a freak one time thing”. But then it happened again, and now it is just “unexplainable”. What. The. Fuck. I’m not OK with that answer. My son DIED and my daughter was close to it, had I not been in the hospital the day they were taken by emergency c-section, there is a huge possibility Harper wouldn’t be here today. The thought is nauseating. So, I get my records and I start reading…I shit you not, I read every single line of every record and I’m glad I did, I’m no longer ignorant about my medical background and when we start TTC again, this is important information to know. So, here is what I know and ultimately I am sitting in the same spot I was before — so if anyone has any ideas PLEASE share them with me🙂

  1. Both pregnancies resulted in IUGR babies (Rohen & Harper). Rohen was born at 20 weeks and was the size of an 17.5 week old fetus, he was measuring quite a bit behind and at such a young age, combined with the placental issues, he never had a chance.
  2. Both pregnancies had placental issues – Rohen’s was severe. It is explained as a “globular” placenta with calcification & obvious infarctions on the pathology report.
  3. Both pregnancies started out with Reverse End Diastolic Flow & ended with Absent End Diastolic Flow…I have googled the SHIT out of both of these things and have read numerous medical journals and cannot FIGURE OUT what the hell causes this!! There is little information about this on the internet, however, statistically if you have a pregnancy with Absent End Diastolic Flow there is a 50% mortality rate.
  4. I was tested after Rohen died and prior to conceiving the twins for genetic disorders. I was positive for MTHFR deficiency. I have also googled the shit out of this and even went as far as talking with a doctor that specializes in gene mutations. During my many Google sessions I found that MTHFR can cause IUGR babies, stillborn babies & placental issues. I thought I found my answers, it was like a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. But as I continued reading I learned MTHFR is very controversial among doctors and most of them think it means nothing. That alone wouldn’t have been enough to bring me back to square one, so I continued to research. Turns out the gene mutation that I have apparently doesn’t cause these issues, you have to have a certain form of the mutation. Seriously? Are you fucking kidding me right now? I’m that close to and answer and just like that I’m at square one again.

The bottom line is this. I can’t bring myself to carry another child knowing that 50% of my pregnancies resulted in me holding my dead son in my arms. I can’t do it again. I want a normal pregnancy so bad, I want a vaginal birth where they put a pink, breathing, crying 7lb baby on my chest that I can hold and love. I want to experience labor. But at the current risk. No way. Fortunately we have 2 uteruses and can try for baby #3 regardless. But guys, this sucks.

Any suggestions?

Also, pictures.

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Update!

Yesterday was two years since Rohen died, today is 2 years since we were discharged from the hospital after he died and 1 year since we had both our babies home from the NICU. Timing was so odd with the twins, it was like their big brother was giving us hugs throughout the entire pregnancy. Here is a little timeline:

12/28/13 – Rohen was born sleeping
12/29/13 – We were discharged from the hospital after saying our goodbyes.
4/2014 – We got a positive pregnancy test
5/14/14 – Rohen’s due date if he made it. We had our first ultra sound this day and found out we were having twins.
11/8/14 – Harper & Elliott are born
12/8/14 – Elliott is discharged from the NICU
12/29/14 – Harper was discharged from the NICU

In one year, we said goodbye to one son and welcomed Harper & Elliott. Absolutely insane.

3 years

Losing a child is a wound that I don’t think ever truly heals. There are the good days where I think of him and am OK and then there are days where the pain is as severe as the day he was born. It seems like these days always happen near the holidays, the twins birthdays or any dates I associate with him. Today, Rohen would be 1 year and 7 months old. It is hard to think about a child that should be 19 months old running around happy and healthy only to realize he never made it past 20 weeks. He never got to run and play, say his first words, try birthday cake on his 1st birthday etc. The twins are almost 14 months old and I am so incredibly fortunate to have them, they truly are the greatest joy and gift in my life.

Celebrating Christmas with them was amazing, they were engaged and happy all day long and enjoyed every single one of their presents as well as the delicious food we ate all day. I am so excited to celebrate with them in the years to come and as they get older and gain a better understanding of what Christmas is all about.

Both of them are thriving and doing fantastic, we haven’t had bottles since they day they turned 1 and they took to their sippy cups without any issue. Elliott doesn’t say any words yet, except maybe ball…I haven’t decided if it is intentional yet. Harper can say ball, duck, dog, cat, ma, bath, boom and wow. I might be forgetting one or two words but she is definitely working on building her language! Harper still isn’t walking yet but will cruise the furniture and pull herself to standing. I’m not sure when she will walk but she definitely has crawling down! She is quick! Their doctor seemed concerned at their 1 year well visit that they weren’t talking but she may have forgotten that they were only 10 months adjusted at that time – I don’t think we have anything to worry about yet.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas❤

-Ashley

 

Elliott & Harper turn ONE!

Guys, our kids are ONE. This past year has FLOWN by but it has been the GREATEST year of my life. We celebrated on Saturday with close friends and family and their birthday was a huge success. We did a Sesame Street theme since the kids absolutely adore the 10 minutes a day they get watching it. It’s crazy how you really feel the love of your friends and family when you have get togethers like this. I’m STILL feeling overwhelmed from the love we received at their baby shower! The greatest thing about our friends is the thought they put into their gifts. We asked for a few learning toys but mostly books and man did our friends deliver. A friend from work, Christie, got them the ugly duckling book and an owl book – she also came early and helped us set up, without her & our friend Brielle we would have been lost so if you are reading this ladies, THANK YOU!!!! One of our friends, Sondra, got us a HUGE book with classic stories as well as the Dr. Suess Birthday book – she signed it, which makes it even more special. We read them their Birthday Book last night and I’m so glad we have been reading to them since they were itty bitty because they actually sit down and pay attention. Harper may or may not try ripping the book out of our hands to “read” it herself, but she is learning J TWO of our NICU primaries came, Jami & Crystal. Jami got them a book about a farting dog…she wrote how appropriate the book was because our kids were big farters in the NICU and well into their first 4 months of life, it seemed that they would fart all day long sometimes. Crystal was our night primary and she came to their party even though she was in between night shifts – that my friends is true love. What really gets me is that I swear my kids remember them. They have seen both nurses a handful of times since being discharged and they always go right to them and snuggle up, I think they know that these ladies were a huge party of their hard journey when they first started life. My mom, brother & sister went in on a BADASS wagon, this thing is nicer than my car. It has cup holders, a canopy, seat belts, everything you need to have a fun filled afternoon cruising in a wagon. I have a feeling that this bad boy is going to be driven into the ground!! I can’t wait to test it out!! Auntie Knoble (one of mine and Devan’s dearest friends, she is one of those friends that is family) got them the sickest Space Ship tent along with space shirts & a space book. The kids are already obsessed with the tent – it was such a great gift idea! Knobel ALWAYS gets the kids the coolest gifts! For our baby shower she flat out spoiled these kids with gifts that they STILL use to this day, one being a huge party of bedtime – it is one of those sheep things that make ocean sounds –they go to sleep with it EVERY night. You can tell our kids really love her too, I’m so grateful our kids have people like Knobel in their life – and I’m grateful for her friendship she is a wonderful person and so good to our family. Her mom also spoiled them with AMAZING personalized books. The books are about a child who is getting their name and in the end it winds up being “HARPER” or “ELLIOTT”; another gift that will be treasure forever. Grandma and Grandpa got the kids My Pal Scout & My Pal Violet – if you don’t have one of these for your little one, GET ONE! They’re amazing and aren’t too expensive. They are programmable so the dog knows your kids name, favorite food, color etc & sings songs and has learning games. Rosemary & Mikey helped us so much with planning and setting up and also let us use their house for the party. They are such wonderful grandparents, our kids are lucky to have them. I think we ended up with about 15 new books and just the right amount of toys to pack up the old “baby” toys and bring in the new “toddler” toys. Everything they got they’re love and it makes me heart warm and fuzzy because we are so loved by so many great people. We decided instead of getting the babies a gift we’d create memories and go to the Phoenix Zoo. We all had a blast! It was so cool to see the babies notice the animals, they spent a good half of the day pointing at birds. At one point a goose stole a cracker right out of Elliott’s hand, they were NOT amused by that and immediately started screaming haha! Before we left we got our diaper back all packed up and didn’t realize until we go there that their bottles were sitting on the drying rack at home. We improvised and put some formula in their sippies and they were perfectly fine, I’m super excited because I’ve been trying to figure out how we are going to get rid of the bottle and it seems it really isn’t that big of a deal! We decided early on we weren’t going to give them cow’s milk in place of formula, instead we have been using no sugar added coconut milk. On Halloween we gave them both a small amount of cow’s milk and they puked everywhere – I have read about this happening with kids transitioning and also read that cow’s milk is actually horrible for you so we nixed that right away. They do really well on the coconut milk and for the next 4 weeks or so we will give them 2oz of formula mixed with coconut milk and then slowly get rid of the formula – our wallets are going to be really happy about that one! We’ve noticed that since we’ve started feeding them 3 solid meals a day as well as snacks they’re not really drinking bottles anyway. They will usually take about 5 oz in the morning and then 2-3 oz here and there throughout the day, they have been formula wasting machines! Don’t they know that stuff is expensive?! Being able to feed them what we are having for dinner is the greatest thing in the world, it makes life so much easier. I’m over washing bottles!!!

UPDATE: Since it took me 3 days to post this — the kids are officially bottle AND formula free, it was really easy, they don’t seem to even care! Now what to do with all the formula I stocked up on??

We have a great weekly routine going but I’ve been feeling sad lately because I feel like I’m not getting enough time with them and I hate it. Here is what a week in the Davis Family looks like:

Monday/Wednesday/Friday: 4:30am wake up, I get the kids fed, changed and ready for the day while Devan gets ready for work. They leave at 5:15am to head to Grandma’s house. They spend from 5:30am-4:45/5:00pm with Grandma while Devan and I are both at work. I am there to pick them up and we head home. We get home around 5:30 and spend time together for about an hour before its dinner time. We eat for about 30 minutes and then have baths. We get them cozied up in their jammies, read them a book, give them a quick snuggle and put them to bed around 7:00pm. (Time spent with them: 2 hours 45 minutes)

Tuesday/Thursday: Devan has school on Tuesday’s so I get up and go to work, sometimes if they wake up before I leave at 6:00am then I get a quick snuggle with them, but most of the time they’re asleep when I leave. I get off work at 4:00pm and am usually home by 4:30. We hang out until about 6 and have dinner, bath, jammies & bed between 6:30-7pm. (Time spent with them: 2-2 hours and 30 minutes)

Then of course we have our weekends together, between sleeping and nap time I get to see them for about 11 hours a day, totaling 22 hours for the entire weekend. This gives me a grand total of: 35 hours and 15 minutes. In one week, I’m spending less than 40 hours with my children. I’m not okay with it and am having a really hard time with it. They’re spending more time with their grandmother than they are their own mom and I hate it. Rosemary is great, and I’m glad that they’re with her, but I miss my kids and it shouldn’t be this way. Working mommas, what the hell do we do!? Any suggestions? I feel like I’m missing everything. I’ve thought about putting bedtime out to about 8pm but they’re so tired by 6:30-7pm that they’re cranky and our time together isn’t even fun. Maybe we need to get into a new routine and adjust nap times so they can stick it out and stay up a little later…all I know is I’ll do anything to get a few more hours in a week with them. I’m looking forward to the holidays, I will have some time off and I plan to spend every moment I can with them.

Both kids are doing great, they’re so smart and growing up so quick. We have their 1 year well visit tomorrow so I’ll update on their weight then, my guess is little man is well over 20lbs and Harper is near 20lbs. Elliott is wearing 12-18months and Harper is in 9-12 months. Elliott is walking like a champ and has even started to run – we are now trying to get him used to wearing shoes while he walks, it is pretty hysterical seeing him try and prance around with shoes on. Harper isn’t walking yet but she pulls herself up and moves along the furniture. I think she will start walking within the next 6 weeks or so. She has a few teeth popping in on the top; Elliott is still rocking the two bottom teeth. We have been trying to get them to say Mama but they don’t seem to care. Of course ask them to do the itsy bitsy spider, show how old they are, clap, dance or repeat other random words they will do it, but say Mama – now way. I can’t believe that a year of their life is already over, it goes by in the blink of an eye. Being a parent is the greatest gift in the world and I can’t wait for our next year together!

Here is a little blast from the past as well as a few birthday pictures — we have several more that I’ll post soon!

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We suck at blogging!

GUYS! I hate that we don’t blog anymore! I want to do it weekly again and I’m kicking myself in the ass for not doing it! It is such a neat way to document and I have barely done it since the kids got out of the NICU!! I still get online and check out your blogs daily and love hearing all of the updates!

We have been doing really well. The kids turned 11 months on 10/8 and we have started planning their FIRST BIRTHDAY! How does this happen!?! Time FLIES, everyone tells you it does but you don’t realize how quickly until its happening to you!!

We’ve decided to do a sesame street themed birthday party – we don’t allow the kids to watch much TV but they get about 10 minutes every morning to enjoy Sesame Street and they LOVE it. We designed our own invitations in Photoshop and once we get them out to everyone I’ll post a picture of them, I’m pretty proud of us for creating them! I also ordered a bunch of decorations and party supplies on amazon and I’m so excited to start planning games and snacks!

Mr. Elliott is WALKING, he has been standing freely for a little over a month and about two weeks ago took a step for us and again for Grandma. He is now consistently walking 5-10 steps at a time but prefers crawling still as he is much faster. He is so handsome and I love his little personality. He is a mommas boy, loves to be cuddled and LOVES getting into things. He can wave, clap and shake his head NO (of course he can’t shake his head YES, surprise surprise) He babbles constantly and we are working on getting him to say “mama” – no real success so far. This little guy loves everyone – around this age kids starting having social anxiety but not Elliott – he warms up to everyone right away! He lets anyone hold him and will snuggle up to you as long as you’re willing to pick him up. He is a little boy through and through – he is super messy when he eats and just acts like a little man.

Harpee is crawling like a crazy woman and has started to pull herself up as well – she acts more her adjusted age (9 months) so I don’t anticipate her walking for another few months. This little girl is SO smart. She says yeah yeah yeah, bye bye, blows kisses, shakes her head no & yes (good girl), claps, waves and I shit you not, the kid knows the signs for the itsy bitsy spider. She loves books and music and I think she is going to be really intelligent. She is very observant and does have social anxiety – if she doesn’t know you she will not be a happy camper if you were to pick her up. We made the decision to stop going to therapy for her because she screamed the entire visit and nothing was getting accomplished. We have accepted the fact that Harper does things in her own time. Every time we’ve had a concern with her we would be scared and then one day she would get it like she had been doing it all along. She did this with crawling and I imagine she will do the same thing with walking.

These kids are my greatest joy and I absolutely love watching them grow❤

We took some pictures of them in their “my first Halloween” outfits and they’re so cute! Wednesday we are doing an actual photo shoot with them that I’m super excited for! I’ll post pics once we are done!

Here are some pictures for your enjoyment…I went through all of the pictures from all the Holidays since they were born and its pretty cool to see them grow!image8 image1 image3 image2 image5 image4 image6 image7 image10 image9

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Long and Overdue Update

Hello Everyone,

I am actually posting an UPDATE not a picture update, are you as surprised as I am? Life has taken over and I am so sorry for the lack of communication. I miss weekly blogging and really wish I had the time to put back into it. I am making it a priority. Life is good guys, it really is. We moved out of our house in June and have been squatting at my mom’s house until we found another place to live. I’m happy to say we are moving mid next month into a beautiful condo that will be perfect for our little family.

Both Devan and I started school yesterday and I’m really excited to finally get a degree…I’m determined to stick to it! Work is going great for both of us, the job I started in March after I had the babies has been the greatest career move to date. I took a pay cut when I started here but I felt that this company really had something to offer and I was right! My supervisor has been mentoring me for the past 5 months and after a lot of hard work I was offered the Team Lead position last week. This is a huge step for me career wise and I couldn’t be more grateful for my company giving me a chance when I’ve only been there for 5 months.

And of course our wonderful kids…these kids are THE BEST!!! I might be a little biased but I am just so in love with them. They both have such amazing personalities already and I love watching them learn and grow every day.

Elliott: This kid, first off, is the MOST DRAMATIC little dude I’ve ever met. He is going to be so sensitive and SUCH a mommas boy (like he had an option haha). He continues to impress us every day, he is on the verge of walking. He stands and walks around furniture all day long and gets into EVERYTHING he can get his little hands on. He is obsessed with food, he straight up begs when we are eating. He will sit there and whine until I give him a taste of what I have. He is a fantastic sleeper but will fight naps like he will miss everything if he closes his eyes. He loves his sister, when we put them to bed he will move close to her and put a hand on her and fall right asleep. On the other end of that, he is a typical brother and will binky and toy steal all day long. Elliott weighs 19lbs and wears 9-12 month clothes (I thought my kids were preemies?)

Harper: My sweet princess, she really is just a precious little lady. Harper is the absolute opposite of her brother. She will entertain herself and play with toys without needing to be held or bothered. She is still delayed physically but is meeting all other milestones perfectly. We have her in weekly therapy and right now their main concern are her little legs. She is showing signs of leg weakness so we are working on strengthening them. She currently drags herself and is working towards a full crawl. She stands up great when she is in her walker or jumparoo and can even maneuver around the house in it! This girl is so observant. She will take a toy and examine it for 20 minutes, it is so amazing to watch because you know her little brain is taking in everything! Like her brother she loves food and also begs. She has two teeth (brother has none) and chomps away at all sorts of snacks! Harper is also an excellent sleeper and does a lot better with naps as well. She LOVES her brother and the dogs…there have been many times you see her cracking up and one of the dogs is sitting there scratching their ear – she thinks its hilarious! Harper weighs 16 lbs and wears 6-9 month clothes!

That is life in a nutshell guys, I miss you all and have been following along with all of your blogs even though I haven’t been posting much!!

-Ashley

Eight months old

I can’t believe my babies will be 8 months old tomorrow morning. They are the best thing that has ever happened to me.
 
 Harper has a spunky lovable personality, she loves to laugh and play with Lennon, she loves toys & snuggles and she has exceeded everyone’s expectations and is continuing to kick ass and take names. She is my perfect little princess.Elliott is my little drama queen, such a sensitive cuddly mommas boy (lucky him, he has 2!) He loves scooting around the house, food and being with his mommas. My handsome stud.
They say parenting is all about teaching your children all about life but so far they have taught me far more. I love you beautiful babies! Happy 8 months!!!!