Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Hard at work

Summer is upon us...although it doesn't quite feel like it yet. Here in Anchorage, it has been an average spring and early summer meaning temperatures hovering around the 50s and flirting with the 60s. The warmest so far has been 65 degrees. We don't have an air conditioner so that's okay with us. It can't get too warm or it's going to get uncomfortable real fast. In the mean time, we've had to get a space heater to help maintain the temperature in the girls' room. I know what you're thinking..."space heater? aren't those things dangerous!??!"

Yes they are and not to worry. We used it for the first week and only turned it on for a few minutes at a time to get the temp up a little. Since then, we've found that it can be much more useful downstairs with Eileen where the temperature is a good 10 degrees colder.

What does this have to do with our girls? Not much...just thought I'd share.

I've been trying to get back in shape since the girls came home so I've been taking bike rides every night after dinner and between feedings. I mention the weather because like tonight, it was not comfortable. 48 degrees and sprinkling is not the ideal biking conditions. The good news is I'm now biking over 10 miles a day!!!!! I'll have my pre-teen figure back in no time.

The girls have been keeping us busy...obviously. With the long Alaska summer days, we think they may be a bit confused about when they're supposed to sleep. They are night owls. Their favorite time is between 10pm and 2am...sleep for an hour and a half to 2 hours, then up again between 3:30 and 4am. That feeding takes between an hour to an hour and a half so back to bed around 5:30 or so with UP TO 2 hours of sleep under our belt. It makes for a difficult night but we're then able to catch up a little bit during the morning when they will sleep up to 5 hours or so. With Eileen here to help, we are also able to take turns napping when our bodies tell us to.

Feedings....we're getting a little concerned about our little one, Katy. She has weighed less since the first week but the difference between the two may be getting larger. Alyssa continues to want more and more during the feedings but Katy seems fill up faster or throw up if she gets too much. We keep track of how much we give each girl since the majority of the feedings are by bottle and have noticed the difference between the two is getting a little bigger. This has only happened in the last 3 or 4 days but still something to think what point do we seek the advice from our pediatrician. Our next appointment is the 11th so maybe we'll just wait till then.

That reminds me about something I'd like to vent for just one minute. How freaking outrageous are medical bills???!!!!! We are lucky that our insurance has paid 100% of our medical bills from the pregnancy all the way through the NICU. But now that we are home and have to make normal appointments...we're realizing how absolutely ridiculous this is going to get. For example, we had an eye appointment for the girls set up for the day after we were discharged. The optometrist was going to come to our room at the NICU and do a followup with the girls. Because we were discharged, we had to make another appointment and go the next week and since it wasn't apart of our stay at the NICU, we were responsible for paying for the appointment. We waited for 2 hours before we saw the doctor who looked at each girl for about 5 minutes. As we're leaving, we're told the total is $500....PER BABY!!!!!!!!! Our co-pay is "20% so that'll be $200 please." :|

Then Lisa reminded me that our girls will need to get a shot once a month during RSV season which goes from October to May. Okay. Okay except the shot is in the $1000's of dollars (or so we hear).

What a mess!

I'm not sharing this to get any pity or help from anyone, it's just frustrating to think about. Lisa and I have always been very fortunate regarding our health but now that we have two additions to the family that will need medical attention through their early years, we're kinda forced into this foreign world that we haven't been exposed to before. Again, I know every family deals with this and it's no different for doesn't make it easier.
************************RANT OVER**********************for now***********

So Memorial Day weekend didn't bring us much excitement. I don't think we did anything different than any other day of the week. ...OH I worked on the lawn a little bit. That's a summer thing to do, right?

Otherwise it was business as usual at the Brown household. We had a couple of visitors. Micki came by with her 15 month old twins and then Lisa and Ben stopped by yesterday to say hi and spend some time with us. We REALLY appreciated both visits because we don't get out and can get caught up in our own little world. It was a nice break. We seem to watch WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYAYYAYYYYY too much TV. I think that may be why I started biking...just to get away from the TV for a few minutes. We listen to a lot of classical music but the TV is on way too much. By the way, if you didn't know already, TV kinda sucks. There are only like 4 shows that I REALLY enjoy and one of them won't be on again until next February. That would be Lost. The other 3 are Seinfeld, Mythbusters, and Deadliest Catch if you are wondering.

Alright, now I'm just babbling. The pressure is on. I've been told by a couple of people that they enjoy reading my blog and that I'm a good writer. I think tonight I proved them wrong.

It's now 1:15am and feedings are winding down. Katy has spit up a couple of times and Alyssa took all of hers and is still wide awake and looking for more. Looks like another hour or so before we get into bed.

I can't blog without putting at least one video or picture. Well tonight it's a video....lucky you. This video was taken almost a week ago I think. It was during a late night feeding while we were waiting for the food to warm up. We had a very unhappy baby on our hands so we'd thought we'd try a little tummy time. Madison heard the crying baby and wanted to help out. It actually ended up being a pretty funny moment caught on tape.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Sleepless nights and sleepy days

That pretty much sums up our last two weeks. It's starting to wear us both down a little bit but we're hanging in there. Lisa has been a maniac. She is able to get up and go back to sleep a little faster than me so she never misses a feeding. I, on the other hand, will stay up an extra hour or so after the feeding so at night I'm only getting a couple hours of sleep. Then, by mid-morning, I'm DEAD tired and will sleep through one feeding to do a little catchup.

Honestly I don't know if it would be possible without the help from someone else. I still don't know how we're going to be able to do this and me go back to work in June. That's right, I don't have to go back until June 18th!!! I'm using ALL of my leave and may even go into debt a little bit. Still not sure if that's the final plan because I don't want to have a negative balance just in case I'm needed at home and don't have the time to take off. BUT we'll have help from the grandmothers through mid July so it shouldn't be a problem. We have some time to figure all that out still.

Back to Lisa. She's an incredible Mommy! Her instincts kicked in and she is doing wonderfully with the girls. Breast feeding has been the only "struggle"...only because it doesn't seem like they've made much progress since we've been home. Without the scale to see exactly how much they're getting, there is no telling what they are doing. We joke that Lisa might be a walking/talking pacifier. Okay maybe not but it isn't going as smooth as we'd hoped. We do have a plan to get them to take the majority of their feeds by breast in the next couple of weeks. The scary part is if we ONLY feed by breast and don't follow up with the bottle, then their feedings are going to be A LOT closer together and we won't get that rest between feedings like we are now.

Tonight, Lisa gave Alyssa 15 minutes on breast and then we followed it up with the bottle. They both must be going through a growth spurt because they were both very hungry after their normal amount. So Alyssa ended up with 15 minutes on breast, 70ml from the bottle, and then we had to warm up another 30ml and feed her because she was still looking or more. That is a ton for her. Just kinda proves she's not getting that much from breast if she'll still take that much from bottle afterward. Katy took 90ml from bottle and was still going after it so we warmed up another 30ml and she took that. They are GROWING!!!!

Tuesday was our second checkup with our pediatrician to make sure they are still gaining weight. They both did GREAT! They each averaged more than an ounce a day which is about what they were gaining before we took them home. That put them up to...

Alyssa 7 lbs, 0.9 ounces
Katy 6 lbs, 13.4 ounces

Here are some pictures from our return home after the visit. They got to wear some very nice outfits.

For the record, Alyssa is on the left. We try to keep them like that so we'll recognize them in the pictures.

Our pediatrician continues to be amazed with them and their steady progress. We talked ad nauseam about their poo. We wanted to make sure that their blowouts every 3 days was okay and nothing out of the ordinary. He assured us that 3 days is nothing to be concerned about and gave us some guidelines about things to look for if there is anything wrong. Since then, they've had more regular movements and seem much better. They are still gassy and will wake themselves up and really fuss until they can pass it. We have some gas drops that we've almost used a couple of times that will ease their discomfort if it comes to that.

As I'm writing this, Katy is in there fussing and pushing right now. I'm just waiting for the big cry. Nope I was wrong, it's Alyssa and she's getting hungry. Guess I'll have to finish this later.

Now it's 2:15am and Lisa is finishing up with Katy. Alyssa already ate and is back in bed.

I know it may seem like Madison is getting as much face time on this blog as the girls sometimes but for the past 10 years, the three of us were the Brown family. We've kinda treated her like our daughter. We spoiled her and gave her all of our attention. It is a huge adjustment for Madison to share our time with the girls but she is doing better every day. I think we figured out part of the reason she was so miserable those first few days...we keep our house pretty cold and with the girls here, we had to turn up the heat a little bit to get the temp back between 70 and 75. She did not like that at all. She still takes a long time to cool off after a walk outside but she is definitely doing better with the girls. Here is another example of that.

We had put Katy down to do some floor time and she got pretty upset. We gave her the binkie and she held it in herself...worthy of a picture, right? I think Madison came to check out who was making all the noise and this is what happened afterward. Man, it was cute.

And then she crossed the line. Actually it was cute for about 2 seconds, just long enough to take the picture. It will be cute when they're a little older, right now they are just too delicate.

I have one more video uploading on Youtube but it's taking too long so it'll have to wait. 2:45am and time to hit the hay.

thank yous, pics, and videos

Every day feels more and more like we're a family. There's more bonding and less worrying with every moment they are here.

And I'm happy to report Madison is adjusting...or she's moved from mad to depressed...either way, she's really calmed down these last 2 days. For those of you who've met Madison know that she can be a little demanding. She is 10 years old and it has been a 10 year long struggle. When it's just the 2 of us, she's great but she never did really handle visitors very well. Now that we have two new additions to the family, she just won't calm down. When we're feeding them and have our hands VERY full, Madison will beg and beg and beg. She'll want to be in our laps or up as close to the babies as possible. With a baby in hand, it's very hard to push her down or yell at her. Very frustrating. We keep giving her lots of attention between feedings and maybe it's finally paying off. We'll see.

I talked with my big sis for the first time in a while today and during the conversation, I realized I never took the time to thank her...and many other people...for the gifts that we received. We haven't taken enough time to thank everyone for their generosity and prayers during the pregnancy and since our girls have been here. You ALL have been wonderful. We sincerely appreciate every dollar you've sent or spent on our behalf. We have received literally thousands of dollars worth of gifts from all of our friends and family and we could not have done this without you.

Most of you know Lisa most likely (...I say most likely because she hasn't made it official yet) will not be working next year. We'll be living off of one salary for the first time and it will be quite the adjustment. Since Lisa had to stop working a little earlier than we had hoped to go on bed rest, we took a bit of a financial hit right when we needed it the prepare for our girls' arrival. Thankfully we have such incredible friends and family that opened their hearts and wallets and gave, and gave, and gave, and continue to give. Thank you thank you thank you! We love every one of you and thank God every night that we are surrounded by such great people.

We have a stack of thank you cards that have been written and addressed but haven't been sent (darn 41 cent stamps!).

If we don't say it enough, thank you! I started this blog as a way to share our pictures and stories in Alaska and has evolved into a way of keeping friends and family up to date on the pregnancy and now our day to day lives with our premature twin girls. But when I stay up an extra hour or so posting at night before I go to bed, I'm thinking about all of you that have prayed for us and let us into your lives. These updates are my way of thanking every one that has opened their hearts.

...and to show really cool pictures and videos!

Here's Alyssa and Kaitlyn showing their outfits we received from our dear friend Vanessa.

In eating news, Katy has developed a bit of a spitting up problem. I hinted at it in my last blog and it actually got worse yesterday and today. She has been spitting up a little after EVERY meal. Alyssa still is pretty quiet and rarely spits up but Katy is going through a bit of a phase right now where she has a hard time not keeping her meal down. Thank goodness, it isn't much that is coming up but like I said before, it is disconcerting putting those girls down to bed on their backs and having faith that they will turn their head when they spit up. This is me still carefully feeding Alyssa...I say still because they choke if we're not careful. They are still mastering the suck/swallow/breathe thing but are getting better. If you remember, they're due date isn't until June 6!!

and then snuggling afterward

I love having my girls at home!

Movie time!!! Here is a funny sequence of videos from the late night feedings. The first one is Alyssa and I waiting for the milk to warm up. Kaitlyn makes a brief appearance.

The second is a quick shot of Alyssa letting us know how unhappy she is about waiting.

And the final one is the 5am feeding. Lisa dropped off Kaitlyn so I had both babies while she warmed up the milk. Alyssa, again, was the more vocal one. And yes it is that bright at 5am in Alaska. The days are getting loooooooooooong.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

worrying parents

I'm sure all new parents go through what we're going through right now but ....that doesn't make it any easier.

We're struggling with all of those new parent questions. How long is too long between BMs? How do you ease gas pain? Even though we've had 5 weeks of training, we still can't seem to get good burps during and after feeding lending to the gas pains do we burp them better? How do you NOT worry about them spitting up in their sleep?

On that last one, Alyssa actually did last night and did what she's supposed to and turn her head to the side so she wouldn't choke. It was still very disconcerting. I couldn't fall asleep (yeah, at 3am) and heard her cough and give a quick cry on the baby monitor. I jumped up pretty fast and by the time I got in there, she was quiet again and going back to sleep.

So maybe that's just what parents do, worry. You worry about them getting enough food. You stress when they choke on their food (and no they haven't really got the whole suck/swallow/breath thing down but they're getting better). You second guess your decision to let them sleep an extra hour instead of feeding them on their schedule.

That's the stressful part of it. Of course every parent knows the other side too. The cooing and the big beautiful eyes looking up at you. I'm telling you, I LOVE that 5 or 10 minutes before they eat when I hold the girls in my lap and we talk and talk and talk. We usually listen to Sirius music channel 6086, Classical Favorites so there's singing going on. Today we talked about Texas A&M baseball and how important it was that we win today against tu. It didn't help, the good guys ran out of time. We'll get'em tomorrow.

Another question some have asked us is how is Madison? Our dog, Madison had some issues around the time the girls were born. Those issues resolved themselves...I guess. She is feeling better but this last week has really tested our patience. She isn't doing anything that would hurt the girls but she is having some real anxiety about our new family members. Especially when we're feeding and both our hands are full, she suddenly thinks that she needs to be the center of attention and will whine and beg. Whether it was years and years of allowing her to get away with too much or just the husky in her (extremely stubborn), it is wearing me down. We may have to do something drastic in the next month or so if she doesn't calm down.

She truly is a loving dog but MAN is she stubborn! We'll figure it out. This is one of her good moments.

Tuesday we went in for our first appointment with our pediatrician. It went very well except Ms. Kaitlyn's lunch didn't exactly agree with her. I had just finished commenting on how clean and nice my pants were. A couple minutes later, I was burping Katy and she blew. It wasn't a cute little spit up, this was a full on vomit...all over my pants. First of many, I know.

Anyway, this was our first chance to use our stroller that we received from one of Lisa's schools. It is SWEEEEEET! I'm posing (notice I'm sucking in) on top of the car garage at the hospital with the beautiful Chugach Mountains in the background.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Our new life at home

It is so awesome to have these girls at home and start our new life together. We are having a hard time adjusting to life outside the NICU. We never really fully adjusted to the girls not being on a schedule. We only experimented with that for the last 24 hours that we were there. So now we're home and we feel like we have to feed them every 3 hours, regardless of the cues our girls are giving us.

Our pediatrician reminded us yesterday that the NICU has its own beat. You live by the beat when in you're in the NICU. Everything is on a schedule and you don't mess with the schedule.

Life outside of the NICU isn't as black and white. You live by the rules that the girls lay down. When they're hungry, you feed them. You feed them until they're full, not some predetermined amount. You don't need to take their temperature every 12 hours...only when they're showing signs that they may be too cold or have a fever.

Simple rules to parents who have never experienced the NICU but it's very foreign to us. .....but we're adjusting.

So, how have these first couple of days been? Best days of my life. These girls are so much fun. It is SO INCREDIBLE to be able to sit in my chair, in my living room, and listen to my music while I bond with my girls. And we are bonding.

This is my favorite time. I put whoever I'm feeding on the pillow on my lap and we talk and do some exercises. There's lots of eye contact and taking me in. It's incredible.

Then there's tummy time. Tummy time is always supervised but is critical in the girls' developing muscles. They have worked very hard at it. Yesterday, Alyssa had her head to one side and Lisa was able to get her to follow a stuffed animal all the way over the other side. Amazing that little girls that are still 2 and a half weeks away from their due date are taking from bottles and lifting their heads up already.

A quick video of the first tummy time.

I don't know what time I started posting. It should say on the blog but it is now 2:15am and time for bed. I'm sure the girls will be up in another couple of hours so I better hit the hay. I already have some more pictures for tomorrow so I'll be back with more then. G'night moon.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

We have arrived! (part 2)

Part 2!!!

Okay, I left off when the girls were getting all dressed up to come home. The next step was the paperwork. That seemed to take forever. I think we were beginning to believe that waiting until Monday would be easier since now it was late in the evening...okay maybe not, but it did take a long time. Lisa picked out these cute outfits that we received from Eileen.

We put them in the car seats.

Sadly, and I really hate to admit this, we're not sure who is who in these pictures. No we didn't mix them's just that after we got home and were looking through the pictures, we couldn't remember who we loaded up first and which pictures matched up with which girl.

I will ease your fears that we have a definitive way of keeping them straight. Katy has a strawberry on the back of her head. Their weights are still a little different and Alyssa has a little more hair but those things will change, the strawberry won't disappear for a long time so we'll always be able to check for sure.

That came into play late Sunday night when, in a sleepy haze, couldn't remember who had who so we turned on the lights and flipped them over to check their heads.

ANYWAY, back to the story. We lugged all the crap that had collected in our room after a week, grabbed the girls, and headed out the door.

Instead of walking out our back entrance, we walked through the middle of the NICU to show off our girls one more a graduation ceremony. Shift change was going on so we were able to see a couple of nurses that had taken care of our girls one more time. They congratulated us and wished us well. It was a nice moment to walk through the NICU and out the front door one last time.

...and now for the videos. This first one is a little boring but it really is a big moment for us. It is a whole new scary world through those doors.

We had a great nurse on Sunday that helped us through the discharge process. She walked us to the door (which apparently they are required to do) but she walked with us to the car and helped load the car up. Lisa was moved to tears as I was putting the girls in the car and I looked up to see the nurse hugging Lisa. It was really really nice. She gave me a hug and encouraged us and congratulated us one more time and we were off.

Lisa sat in back with the girls, of course.

Self portrait.

Girls looking out at Alaska. Actually they slept the whole time but...

The new family of four in front of our home.

Awesome videos of us walking into the house and then Madison meeting the girls for the first time.


Into the crib.

Madison sticking her nose in the crib.

The girls rejoicing that they have arrived home!!!
The Brown family portrait.

We have been taking lots of pictures and a couple more videos the last couple of days. I'll probably start posting once a day again soon.

Things to look forward to...Katy and Alyssa having tummy time, our first trip back to the hospital to visit our pediatrician (yes already), and of course lots of bonding.

We have arrived! (part 1)

The four of us have come home to finally be a family. It has been a very long journey so far but it is now truly the beginning. It finally feels real. These girls really do feel like our little girls. I don't know how to explain that feeling of going to the hospital time and time again to be with them, only to come back home and sleep in my own bed without them. We longed to be with them every moment but had to display an enormous amount of patience while we learned how to take care of these fragile little angels.

I can't describe how it felt to leave them day after day with strangers or to have these strangers constantly watching over our shoulders as we handled our girls. It was so frustrating...but it only makes this moment feel that much better.

They are our babies. Let me say that again. They are our babies. They are home with us and we are responsible for them 24/7. What an awesome responsibility! We are humbled by them every moment.

I remember thinking that night that we were diagnosed with twin to twin transfusion, how can I love someone SO much without ever seeing them or knowing anything about them? Now I know. I've always known them.

This actually is a spontaneous can tell because I'm not sucking in....HA. Lisa was in the bedroom area and I was checking on the girls. I remember specifically trying to imagine what it would be like for them to be home and if we were really ready and then...snap...Lisa, unknowingly to me, had grabbed the camera and taken a picture.

So let me bring you up to speed on how the last couple of days progressed. It was a constant back and forth struggle trying to figure out when they were going to come home. We were told initially that once we move in, it typically takes about a week but it all depends on the girls.

Here is Lisa enjoying on of the dinners I cooked and brought up in the evening so she didn't have to eat cafeteria food 3 meals a day. That's pork, a baked potato with all the fixins, and pineapple.

The girls didn't make much progress through Tuesday and then we got an overambitious nurse on Tuesday night that decided to put it on her shoulders to get us home as soon as possible. She pushed the girls (actually more than we were comfortable with) all night until they had taken all of their feedings orally during her shift. We woke up Wednesday with the news that they might be going home in another day or two...and kinda freaked out. We tried to remain calm and act excited, all the while concerned that the nurse had done more damage than good.

We were kinda right. It took the girls 48 hours to recoup from that night. They wouldn't take the bottle and were having very limited success on breast. We were back to thinking sometime next week.

Then, during rounds Saturday morning, the doctor announces that it's time to see what these girls are capable of. His orders were to let the girls decide when they wanted to eat instead of every three hours like they've been doing for weeks. It was met with mixed success and a little bit of skepticism but we knew if they succeeded, we'd be going home Sunday. The first test was to get a minimum volume in 12 hours and they did it, just barely. Next came the car seat test (which we probably should have done a long time ago but thought we had more time). They are placed in their car seats for 30 minutes all hooked up to the monitors to watch for signs of stress. They slept right through it...nice to see they weren't stressed.

Then we were given the green light to stay overnight and be responsible for their care to make sure that we were ready. We passed that test. They continued to take their feedings overnight and by Sunday morning, we had a decision to make.

The doctor told us Sunday morning that it would be okay to take them home but actually left that decision up to us. That meant a lot to also meant a lot of second guessing. In the end, we had faith in ourselves and in our girls that we could do this. The decision was made around noon to go for it.

I took off to go to the fire department to get the car seats inspected like a good father while Lisa and Eileen gave the girls one last bath and feed them. By the time I got back, it was time to get them in their going home outfits and pack up our stuff. It was quite the production.

I will leave you with this teaser. It's now almost 1:30am and the girls should be up in another 2 hours for their next feeding. I should probably get some sleep. I'm also downloading some more videos to Youtube that we took on the way out of the hospital, on the way home, and the arrival. So stay tuned and check back soon for the conclusion of "We have arrived!"

Saturday, May 12, 2007


I am posting from the hospital...for the last time!!! The girls are expected to be discharged tomorrow (Sunday). The doctor came and talked to us this morning about changing from a scheduled feeding to allowing them to decide when it was time to eat (as long as they still eat at least once every 4 hours and get 190 ml in 12 hours). Well we met all those goals (barely) and are now responsible for their care for 24 hours.

We took the girls off their monitors, which I have to admit is a little scary, and wheeled them into our bedroom next door. The nurse is available if we have any problems but we are expected to...well you know, be the parents. In the last week since we had this room, Lisa was feeding at least one of them for 6 out of their 8 feedings during the day/night. The only two she would allow herself to sleep through and let the nurse take over were the 3am and 6am feedings. I have been here for at least 5 of the feedings, only going home to take care of the dog. So it shouldn't be that much more of a stretch to add these two night feedings....yeeeeaaah right. This should be fun.

Whether it was incredible foresight, planning, or just plain luck...Lisa's mom is arriving in 2 hours. I'm going to go pick her up, leaving Lisa alone with the girls for an hour or so...YIKES! We are about to feed them so hopefully that will wear them out.

And then we will be home tomorrow. The plan is to have a bath and feed them so they'll be exhausted and sleep through their first ride in a car. So tomorrow night I'll be posting from home with the baby girls right in front of me!

We are SOO excited...and a little nervous of course. Feel free to call whenever, I'm sure somebody will be awake at all times of the day or night. HA!

Happy Mothers Day!!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

we've moved in!

Some of you might have noticed a lack of posting lately...that's because we moved into the hospital. The nurses have been hinting that they've been trying to hook us up and put us in the best room. They finally came through for us.

Our new room is back across the hall attached to the main NICU. There are several rooms set aside for parents with twins or mothers trying to nurse. Since we are both, we get the best room. It's the largest and the only one that has an outside entrance (we don't have to check in and go all the way through the NICU to get to it).

Another random cute picture of Alyssa...or maybe Katy...I'm actually not sure.

The room is actually two rooms, one that is a normal patient room all to our self with a sliding glass door and curtain that leads out to the NICU and the other room is our bedroom. It has a tv, double bed, and a fridge...basically a hotel room.

Here's a quick video tour I took with the digital camera. It starts as I am walking out of the big level 2 NICU room and into the private room area.

Since Saturday, Lisa has been staying overnight so she can be there for as many feedings as possible. The girls will come home as soon as they can take all 8 of their feedings orally. Right now, they are taking 3 or 4 full feedings by bottle and getting a little from Lisa. We talked to the doctor tonight and I asked her what her thoughts were on when we would be discharged. She estimated 5 to 10 days. It is a possibility but we hope they will be discharged at the same time. Otherwise, we'll have one baby at home to take care of and one of us will still have to be at the hospital to take care of the other. We really hope it doesn't come to that.

So our life now is Lisa is in our room for about 21 hours a day, only getting out for a couple hours to see the sun. I'm still traveling back and forth so I can take care of the dog and continue getting the house ready for the girls to come home. I've also been cooking dinner at home and taking it up to the hospital so Lisa isn't eating cafeteria food EVERY meal. Lisa's mom arrives on Sunday (Mother's Day) which will be really nice to get some help, whether their home yet or not, just to have some help.

Sunday was bath night number 2. It is quite the production. This time we decided to do one at a time. It worked out pretty good and freed up some hands to take pictures and more video. We also did some video with the digital camera so I could share it on the blog. Problem is I can't figure it out. I've tried both google video and youtube and it will not let me post the video on the blog like I've done before. Never mind...figured it out.

Lisa bathed Alyssa and I had Ms. Kaitlyn.

We have a white board that will eventually be used to set goals for the girls and be an easy way to monitor their progress but for now, Lisa decided to decorate. She may be bored.

Here's Lisa with Alyssa.

Thursday, May 03, 2007


Our girls have been called feeder/growers since they were born meaning that is the only thing that they need to master is feeding and growing. They aren't sick, they don't have any other problems, they just need to learn how to eat and grow.

They have never had any problems growing. They are weighed every night around 9pm and they consistently gain about 40 grams a night, which I think is a little more than one ounce. I didn't do the conversion tonight from grams to pounds/ounces but I think Alyssa was around 5 pounds, 4 ounces and Kaitlyn is about a ounce and a half behind her.

The biggest news is the feedings. In the 48 hours or so that we've been trying the bottle feeding, they both have taken off. Last night, I was able to feed Alyssa's entire feeding by bottle (45 ml). At this point, nobody expects them to take all of their feedings by bottle or breast. Whatever they manage to take before falling asleep or losing interest is great, the rest they get by the tube. BUT they keep taking more and more.

Lisa has had some success with them on breast too. Tonight was the biggest success. I was feeding Kaitlyn by bottle (she took 30 ml) and Alyssa managed to take 32 ml!!!! In the morning, Lisa said she took 18 ml. Unbelievable how fast they are catching on and thriving. I guess nothing should surprise us now but they still amaze us every time we seem them.

If you're wondering how they know how much Alyssa took by breast (which I was a little skeptical at first but it is actually very accurate), they are weighed right before and right after. It is a one to one conversion from grams to ml so it ends up being a very simple and effective way of telling how much they drank.

In other news....we are tired. That's not really news. Just sharing.

Oh, our digital camera suddenly is unable to share photos with the computer. So I haven't been able to download any new pictures until I figured out a way around it. A bit of a pain but it gets the job done.

First pic is 2 nights ago. We came in and the nurse must have been slightly bored because she neatly arranged the girl's stuff on their beanie babies. We thought it was kinda funny.

The second one is how we found them. I noticed they were sleeping in the exact same position.

....which reminds me. People are often asking if we can tell a difference between the two. At a quick glance, absolutely not and to tell you the truth we still are in fear of when they are home and we won't have the velcro'd tags to identify them. More than once, we've had little moments of panic while we reassured ourselves that we didn't mix them up. BUT we have noticed two things that we can distinguish them apart. Katy's ears are .....a little ...... well.....different. They aren't perfectly rounded on the back. We joked that she had Spock ears but they aren't that bad, they're just not as rounded as Alyssa's. Katy also has a tiny strawberry on the top of her head. I looked it up and I think it's called a Hemangioma. It can and most likely will grow for the first year but most Hemangioma's will eventually disappear. It something that we'll have to watch.

It's funny though, as I was reading about Hemangiomas the article said that they are most common on girls, preemies, and twins. Imagine that.