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!!!!

   
    

  

   

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Terrible Blogger Award goes to…

ME! I can’t believe how long it has been since I have posted an actual blog with real updates. I don’t even know where to start…

Elliott: My little handsome boy is 6 ALMOST 7 months old. He is such a joy, and I love watching him learn. He has been gaining weight so well that he is now on the curve for a 6 month old and is meeting all the milestones for his  *actual* age! He loves food and has had avocado, pears, apples, carrots, squash, bananas & sweet potatoes. He rolls over with no issues and recently has started to sit up unassisted. This kid blows me away with how resilient he is, it is like he wasn’t even born 2 months early. Elliott is VERY sensitive, he LOVES being held and snuggled and when he isn’t getting those things he usually doesn’t last too long playing independently before he starts fussing to be held.

Harper: My princess, I love seeing her grow as well, she is such a fighter and continues to surprise me. I finally heard back from the therapist and she will start her weekly therapy this Monday. After 3 months they will re-evaluate her and let us know if they think she needs to continue with therapy. She has mild torticollis but still has a great range of motion so our doctor gave us some stretches to help train her head. This little girl is SO sweet. She smiles, giggles & snuggles all day long. She is very chill and it works out well since her brother is a little more high maintenance. Harper is an expert at playing with her toys, she loves toys so much and will spend 30-45 minutes playing and cooing. Miss Harper is ALSO on the curve for 6 months, our little IUGR baby is finally fattening up & while she isn’t quite at 6 months she is meeting milestones above her adjusted age which is fantastic.

Work is going well, I really like my coworkers and job and am feeling really good about it. I miss my babies but am happy to be doing something that I enjoy. We will be moving in about 2 weeks…I’m stressed about it but know it will all work out in the long run. I’m so happy to see how well everyone is doing!!

And the moment you’ve all been waiting for…PICTURES!

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Harper took a fat poo in her car seat – the only outfit change we had for her was her swim suit!!!11329865_10155549928910366_2234407117691820896_n

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Elliott Scissornails 11031063_10155532331465366_8558880434392405193_n

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Writers block

I have so much to say and serious writers block. What. The. Fuck.

– Rohen would have been one today.

– The babies are 6 months old.

I want to elaborate on both of those topics but can’t get the words out. Someone help!

Long & Overdue Update

This is a long and overdue update! First and foremost Miss Harper’s therapy evaluation went great. We met with the therapist for an hour and while she agreed she is behind and could benefit from therapy she does not believe she is currently showing any signs of cerebral palsy. She agreed CP cannot be diagnosed until later in life but at this point she is not concerned. Being a preemie makes both Elliott and Harper at risk for CP but the fact that neither of them had brain bleeds makes that significantly less likely. Right now she is getting authorization with our insurance to have Harper come in weekly for 3 months…it seems a bit extreme & sometimes I feel like we might be “over reacting” to how behind she is but weekly therapy will only do good things for her so I’m happy she is getting it. I see a lot of other preemie parents – even those who have children that had brain bleeds not doing as much as we are so that is what makes me wonder if we are over reacting. I just want the best for them and don’t want them to have any issues later in life.

They will be 6 months old next Wednesday (CRAZY) and they’re doing awesome. Elliott is so close to being able to sit up unassisted…if Harper continues the way she has been she will do nothing close to sitting up for the next few weeks and then wake up one morning able to do it without issue. She is such a crazy spunky baby. Both of them giggle and it is THE CUTEST thing ever! I absolutely love hearing them laugh! They’re also hardcore teething, they put anything they can in their mouth (including each other) I’m just waiting for little teefers to start popping up. I think we have a month or two more until the teeth start coming in though. We’ve been giving them baby food here and there for practice, neither of them are at the point where they can actually eat the food and be full from it, they’re still taking a bottle right after. I am excited for the day when I can retire the bottles for a while…cleaning them, making them – SO annoying.

Speaking of bottles, one thing I have failed to mention on here is that I am no longer breastfeeding. I have purposely avoided the topic mainly because I feel like a failure. It was my goal to breastfeed until 1 year and I didn’t even make it to 6 months. I had a hard time with the way everything happened because it was 100% opposite of what I imagined in my head (surprise surprise). The babies were early so I didn’t even get to TRY and breast feed until they were 4/5 weeks old which meant the first month and a half I was pumping every 2-3 hours. I was happy to do it and spent 80% of my time at the hospital with a breast pump in the same room as me so it was pretty easy to do. Once the babies came home they were both versatile with the bottle and the breast. They breast fed great but we were told we HAD to continue to give them bottles that were fortified with neosure to help them gain weight. It wasn’t until we realized Harper was so gassy from the neosure that she was eating ounces less than she would of straight breast milk that we finally said NO we are doing what WE think is right…thankfully our pediatrician agreed and we stopped fortifying. At this point my supply started going down. It was 100% my fault, I was doing more breast feeding on demand and a lot less pumping – even if we were giving them bottles and I just wasn’t able to keep up with them. I was making about 40-50 oz a day and by 4 months they were taking more than double that in a day. I got discouraged and annoyed that I wasn’t able to breast feed them because I would end up having to make them a bottle afterwards anyways because they would still be hungry – or within an hour they were screaming again because the 2 oz they got prior wasn’t cutting it for a 3 hour stretch. It wasn’t until I started back at work that I stopped completely – I continued to breast feed them when I got home more for comfort and bonding than for nutrition and to this day will do it every once and a while even though there isn’t much left in there but they are definitely formula babies now. I wish things could have been different – it would have been easier if there was only one baby, it would have been easier if they weren’t NICU babies, it would have been easier if I didn’t have to go back to work…but unfortunately none of those things are in my control – and of course I would never change that we had twins. I don’t know why I haven’t brought it up before, I think I felt like I would be judged but then I realized that I am doing the best that I can do for them and that the people out there reading this that are my true friends would never question that. They know that I live and breathe for these kids and would doing anything for them. I admire all of the working mama’s that are breastfeeding/pumping still – you guys are incredible – on top of it some of you are cloth diapering too…you’re all my heroes.

Moving on…have I told you guys about how we found a bunch of Elliott & Harper’s genetic siblings? There are 2 other boys and 3 girls (that we know of so far!) we have a private group on Facebook and share pictures, it is so neat to see all their siblings! I asked the group if we could share pictures on here so I am waiting for a response! If they all say yes I will show you all pictures!

Not much else is going on around here, Devan’s birthday is this weekend so we are going to the Lake with her best friend Brielle and her Mom and stepdad. We’ve been doing it annually for a few years now and it’s always so much fun!

I totally forgot to put this on here and had to edit this post! We have to move! Last week our landlord informed us that he is selling the house – he gave us until August but we are going to move out the first weekend in June. We decided to put all of our things in storage and stay with my mom for a month or two so that we can build our savings back up and find a home both in the area we want and price we want. It is bittersweet…I am ready for a ONE story and it is perfect timing because I really didn’t want to deal with walking babies and stairs….BUT we have been in the house for almost six years and have gone through a lot there. I had my first keg stand in that house, we lost Rohen in that house and we brought the twins home there. I reached true adulthood in that house, we started out with lots of parties and are ending with two 6 month olds! Not to mention their BEAUTIFUL & PERFECT NURSERY!!!! Oh well, I think it is time to move on.

Happy Monday Everyone!

A few things…

It’s been one whole year since we announced our pregnancy with the twins.

I want another baby like right now…money/school is not going to let that happen though.

Harper had her evaluation and the therapist wants to see her for 3 months weekly but DOES NOT believe she has CP. (Will elaborate on this later)

Did I mention I already want another baby?

5 Months, Harper’s Improvement

The last time I posted an update here it was at 11 weeks. Things are just insane right now, it’s hard to juggle family, work and school and still keep my head above water. I get so discouraged sometimes, but I know that in the end, our security and my career will be all worth it!

The twins were 5 months old on April 8th, and we have been very busy.

As Ashley wrote about before, we have been very worried about Harper’s inability to hold her head up, her hypertonia and the possibility of her having CP. Ashley has worked tirelessly and finally found a great physical therapist at the hospital that the twins were born at, and we have just been working with Harper to strengthen her neck muscles in the meantime. A couple of days ago, she did this:

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First of all, how cute is this baby? Second, of all, this cute ass baby straight up faked us out. Not only did she do this for me, she immediately rolled over from belly to back. Then, she held her head up without the pillow for support. Of course, she now holds her head up during every tummy time session and rolls consistently from belly to back without issues. I don’t know why we are so surprised, Harper has always been like this. In the NICU, she did this to us three times. First, with her feedings, she would have these insane residuals. We would feed her 5ml, come back three hours later and the same 5ml would be in her stomach. She kept this up, not pooping or digesting, looking like the top picture:

IMG_4641And one day just started pooping and eating like a champ, and looked more like the bottom picture. She did the same thing to us with her oxygen, requiring just the tiniest little amount and desatting as soon as we tried to wean her. Over and over we tried to wean and she would hover in the low 80s until we turned that tiny little whiff of O2 back on. One day, we took everything off of her and she was completely fine. Finally, with her feedings, she stayed on the NG feeding tube for so long that we were discussing taking her home with it. A couple of days before Christmas, she took her first full bottle. By Christmas day she was NG tube free. The moral of the story is that Harper is a procrastinator. She likes to be lazy and take her time just up until it becomes a serious issue, and then she gets it together. Basically, she’s me in High School. We are going to keep our therapy appointment to really get a better idea of what’s causing the hypertonia (she does become very rigid, especially when mad) but we are feeling really great about her physical development. Harper now takes about 5oz bottles every three hours and sleeps through the entire night (up to about 11 hours once!) We have started feeding her, and she’s tried avocado, apples and bananas. She doesn’t quite know what to do with the food in her mouth, but we are practicing with her about twice a day. She’s FINALLY on the curve for her weight, in the 5th percentile for a 3 month old (her adjusted age.) She weighs about 11 pounds now, wears size 1 diapers and has outgrown her newborn clothing! We are mostly putting her in 0-3 or 3 month outfits now. She smiles all day long, but the biggest seem to be in the morning when she wakes up and sees us. She’s still very feisty, and instead of crying will “protest”, basically just loud grunting and yelling. She coos and gurgles, but we’ve only had one real giggle. We are so ready for belly laughs!

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Elliott is really just such a great baby, he has been low maintenance (at least in a big-picture sense) from the get go. The only issues we have with Elliott are his spitting up (every feeding, lots of laundry) and his sensitivity. He’s such a sweet, snuggly boy. He gets upset when he’s not being held or paid direct attention to, and we think he’s definitely going to be a mama’s boy for life. He takes 6 ounce bottles every three hours and sleeps through the night just like his sister. He has tried apples, avocado and bananas, and LOVED them. We tried chicken, which he gagged on and did not like at all. Elliott is so chunky, with big rolly thighs and a double chin that makes his cleft chin so much more pronounced. He wears 3-6 month clothing and weights about 13 lbs, putting him in size 2 diapers now. His herniated bellybutton has pretty much resolved now, and he just has a cute innie-outie. Elliott coos, gurgles, squeals and basically just makes a ton of cute noise. Just one laugh from him so far as well, but we know laughs are right around the corner.

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Easter was so much fun this year, we got to dress the babies up and take them to both of our moms’ houses.

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We have worked out a pretty great schedule thanks to my mom. Ashley works Monday through Friday and I have school until 12:30 on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I also work three 12 hour shifts during the week including every third weekend, so I am out of the house 4-5 days a week as well. My mom watches the babies while we are away, and she does such great job with them. They love waking up in their carseats and seeing her, and she spoils them all day long. We miss them so much, so it’s great to know that someone who loves them is caring for them.

We are also pretty deep into a Ketogenic diet right now, because being healthier has been a huge priority for us since the babies were born. We want to feel and look better, and most importantly set a healthy example for the twins and they grow up. It’s been a challenge but we are both seeing results and feel really good about it.

Here are some pictures I took of the twins this morning, a little past their actual 5 month birthday but still close!

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As always, everyone is in our thoughts! Best of luck to everyone with TTC, pregnancy and parenting. We’re all in this together ❤

Devan

 

Looking for IVFers

Hey everyone! One of my good friends and her husband are just starting out on their IVF journey and have already had a few frustrating roadblocks along the way. I recommended blogging as a way for her to vent and seek support for some of her concerns, since I know how much having you all as a support system helped us with TTC and losing Rohen. Who are some of your favorite IVF bloggers, both successful and still TTC? I want her to see some of the amazing women out there that can make her feel less alone and crazy!

You’re all the best,

❤ Devan

Harper

Last week we took Harper to a developmental pediatric specialist because she is still not meeting milestones the way she should be even with her adjusted age (3 months). Harper struggles to hold up her head, and it could be that her body is in the 5th percentile while her head is in the 50th but the doctor thinks therapy is our next step. She diagnosed Harper with Hypertonia (stiff muslces)…she said that she definitely has hypertonia but it isn’t severe. What does this mean? Hypertonia is the first step in diagnosing a child with Cerebral Palsy…first and foremost I have to remind myself that all babies with hypertonia do not have cerebral palsy and if Harper does end up having cerebral palsy it would be a very mild form. She would walk, talk & act just like a normal child, most people would be unaware of her disability. I say all this like I know, the truth is I have no idea what any of this means, for all I know her doctor could be exaggerating and she is just fine, regardless she needs to get into therapy at the very least for a second opinion. I just spent the last 30 minutes on the phone with the 7 doctors my insurance accepts near Devan’s moms house and they were all assholes. I am so irritated — first off all, how the hell do you go to doctors appointments when you have a job? I get off of work at 4pm but have an hour commute to Harper, which puts us at 5pm – 90% of businesses close at 5pm. The few that don’t are booked and have wait lists because of all the kids that need therapy but go to school during the day. I don’t know what to do but its so unfair that because I am a working mother I am in the positon. How do jobs expect you to take care of your health, your childrens health, your teeth etc if you are unavailable M-F from 7am-5pm…it doesn’t make sense to me!!! I am assuming that once we get established she will see a therapist at least 2x a month, that plus my own dr & dental visits along with the babies well visits with their pediatrician I will need a schedule change 3-4 times a month! My head is spinning and to top it off one of the receptionists I spoke to had poor grammar and it irritated me- she said “we don’t have no appointments at that time” ANY appointments lady ANY! Good lord.

As you can tell I am a little worked up right now, I have no idea what the future holds and I am scared of the possibilities. I am super overwhlemed and uneducated on what Harper even needs and that stresses me out more than anything.