Sunday, July 31, 2011

Louise 1 year update

All of the "NICU" pictures are hard for me to look at, but this is one of the worst. This is our beautiful Louise when she was around a month old. The baby in this picture is very very sick. We had not yet been allowed to hold her and she could not breathe on her own.
As many of you know, Louise has had a hell of a 1st year. It has been one thing after another. As a mother, I have prayed one thing over and over..."Lord, Do not let this break her spirit". If health is not always on her side, please let my baby be happy.
I am happy to report that Louise is doing great. She is happy, sweet and loving. She has such a gentle and kind spirit. Even though she has been through the ringer, we couldn't be happier for where she is today.
Weezie is our only baby that is not yet crawling. We knew it would take her a while to get used to the extra weight of the helmet, and she is progressing beautifully. Her arms are getting stronger everyday and I think she will be taking off any day now. Watching Charlie and Reece is a huge motivation for her (even if it is so she can get away from them).
Louise is doing well in all of her therapies. She is slightly behind Charlie and Reece in both physical and occupational , but that is too be expected because of the challenges she has faced in her 1st year of life. The fact that there is only a SLIGHT delay with Louise is a miracle.
Louise does have 1 up on her brother and sister. Even though, all 3 babies are preparing to start speech therapy, Louise seems to have the most advanced pattern of speech. She uses many different sounds and consonants to express herself. Charlie and Reece are using few consonants and still grunting to express how they feel. I find this very encouraging for Louise in terms of her developmental future.

Weezie and I travel to Greenville at least 3 times a month to meet with Dr. Troup, Dr. Debrux or Todd. Todd is the only person I have not yet mentioned on the blog. He is a orthopedist and physical therapist that does weekly or biweekly adjustments on Louise's helmet. (Just like braces have to be adjusted to make teeth move, a helmet has to be adjusted to make the head grow in the correct direction). At a recent appointment we took a scan of Louise's head to find she had made a 4 millimeter improvement. It would take me awhile to explain what that means, but let me say this....its great news! We have appointments with both surgeons in August and we hoping to find the need for future surgeries for Louise is declining. PLEASE help us continue to pray for this.

I have said this so many times before...Our Lil Weezie is awesome. She continues to amaze Ben and I, along with the many doctors who have cared for her during her 1st year. As soon as we get some of these "kinks worked out,"there is no telling what this little girl will be capable of achieving. There is an uncanny amount of resilience that lies inside of Louise and because of that she has a very bright future on the horizon. Her strength amazes me. Her effort inspires me. Her smile calms me.
Louise, there is something very special about you. You are kind, gentle and strong. Being your mama has made me a better person. I love you enough to fill the sea (maybe more)!

A Bow!!!!! So glad somebody finally has enough hair!

Swimming in the Lake

Sweet Peanut

 Sweet girl playing

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Reece 1 year update

Reece wearing her Daddy's wedding band as a bracelet. (She was a little over 1 week old)
and now..
Today, with daddy's wedding band.
A year ago today I was admitted to the hospital. In attempts to slow my contractions, I was pumped full of enough magnesium to kill a horse (at least that's how felt). Just as we were thinking things were starting to settle down, the sac around baby A broke. That began the fight of my life, and I was told that every hour that I held my babies in my body could be the difference in life and death for their undeveloped bodies. That "Baby A" was my Reece. She was the 'leader of pack" then, and a year later she still is.
Reece is a ball of fire, and you would be hard pressed to find a more passionate baby. When she's upset, she lets everyone on the block know about it. When she's happy, you've never seen such a radiant smile or heard a deeper belly laugh. And best of all, when there's music playing, you've never seen anyone dance like they mean it like Reecey Cup (although we're afraid she might have Ben's moves).
In a way, I think that Charlie and Louise look up to their big sister (even though she's only 2 and 4 minutes older :)). When she's into something, they want to be into it as well! Reece loves to play with both of her siblings much more than they like playing with each other. She crawls back and forth as a sort of liaison, laughing and rough housing with Charlie, then playing gently with Louise. I really think she understands them both much better than they understand each other!!
Like Charlie, Reece is a great eater. Her only problem is, she has a hard time patiently waiting for her bite. I feed all 3 at the same time, taking turns with bites. This seems to work well for me, Louise and Charlie but Reece is very vocal about her discontent with the situation. When she can feed herself, she can eat at whatever speed she likes. But for now, majority rules! It amazes me how much she can eat for such a petite Lil thing and she loves all of "mommy's concoctions." I think her new favorite is pineapple/spinach (I'll probably mix some brown rice in time....gotta cover all my bases)
Reece is also progressing well in her therapies. Since I did Charlie's update, we have decided to add speech therapy to all 3 babies schedules. The biggest challenge Reece has been facing is dealing with her issues of high muscle tone. This is a common problem for babies born as early as Reece was. It simply has to do with her being born with an immature nervous system. The great news is, she has come leaps and bounds so far.....and we are hopeful that she can work this "tone" out on her own.
I see the most of myself in Reece. Matter of fact, my moms quote is "Louise looks like Lucy, and Reece acts like Lucy". I must admit, I find that pretty scary. At least, I can prepare myself. Hopefully, our like personality will make us excellent "partners in crime (or play)."
Reece you are spunky, fun and loud! Your smile is infectious and your zest for life makes everyday better. Being your Mama is simply a blast...... I love you up, down and all around!!!!

Happy Girl!
Reece loves bathtime!
****I'm going to add a newborn pic of Charlie to his post as well. I think its a great way to explain how far they have come

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Charlie 1 year update

 This is Charlie and Ben when Charlie was a little over a week old. This was the 1st time Ben reached in the incubator to touch one of his babies. It was so scary to even place your hands on them at this point in their lives.
and now...
There are days that I think if I turn my back, Charlie will scale the wall and hang from the ceiling fan.....he's a wild man!!!!!!
That's right, this lil man is on the move. Moving babies has been a huge "game changer" in our household. The gates are up, the outlets are covered and I'm just doing my best to keep these babies from hurting themselves, especially my fearless little Charlie.
Everyday he has new tricks. Yesterday, his "trick of the day" was to hide under the ottoman at Junebug's house. My mom and I had worked ourselves into a complete panic looking for Charlie, when I noticed the top of his head starting to poke out of the covered ottoman. I guess he thought it was a "fort" of some kind.
He is so curious, and he has to get his hands on everything. I love his adventurous nature, but I do believe it will get him into trouble in the future. I'm trying to figure out how to foster his curious and adventurous ways while keeping his safe at the same time....too bad i don't have time to read parenting books!
Charlie is also my most affectionate baby. He loves everybody, especially his sisters. There is only a slight problem with this........Charlie is very strong and very rough. He gets so excited when I get him out of the crib he usually smacks me in the face. His kisses are those that only a mama could love. They consist of him grabbing you by the ears (or hair) and rubbing his open mouth on every square inch of your face. They are messy and painful, but well worth it. We are working on "gentle touch" instead of gouging eyes and pulling hair to show affection.
Charlie is also a great eater. Matter of fact, he will eat most anything you put in his mouth. I don't think he has a favorite food....he just likes to eat.
Charlie still receives 3 days a week of therapies to help prevent any long term effects of his severe prematurity. He is doing GREAT in both occupational and physical therapy. According to the therapists, he should be "graduating" both therapies pretty soon. This is awesome because it is much sooner than we expected.
Its crazy to think that Charlie was our smallest baby. The first time I held him, he was 6 days old and he weighed 1lb and 7oz. Even though he has had a healthy 1st year, he was the baby that gave us our biggest scare. When Charlie was about 48hrs hold his heart stopped beating for around 14 mins. He was kept alive by CPR until a shot of adrenaline directly into his heart motivated it to begin beating again. After many ultrasounds on his tiny heart we were told that "everything looked normal". I will never forget when Dr. Wood (NICU) told Ben and I "I can't explain why your son went into cardiac arrest, and to be honest, I'm shocked that his heart began beating again". Those words and that night haunt me. I remember praying for God to just give me a chance to prove myself as a mother......and he did! We're thankful for this perfect little boy that almost didn't come home with us. I can't wait to see what comes next.......building forts in the woods, tee ball, fishing with grandpa (OK, maybe we should just get the kid walking 1st)....but whatever he wants to do, I can't wait to do it with him. I'm so glad we have this wild little boy to keep our lives colorful. Even though I have a feeling Charlie will be keeping us on our toes....there is no doubt in my mind that as long as Charlie's along for the'll be a good one!
Charlie, you are so much fun! I love you from the top of your head to the bottom of your toes. I'm so glad to be your mama!!!!!
Handsome Boy!!!
Charlie tends to find himself in "sticky situations", like getting stuck under excersaucer.
Charlie tries to climb out of his crib. He hasn't done it yet, but I have a feeling we will be "tenting" the crib soon
Sweet Pea!

Thursday, July 7, 2011


We hope Everybody had happy 4th. We did!! On the 4th the babies tried some very messy teething biscuits for the 1st time.......even though we STILL have no teeth!
MY BABIES WILL BE 1 YEAR OLD IN LESS THAN A MONTH!!!!!!!!!!! It's killing me. I am having a hard time party planning due to my emotional outbursts (ie...uncontrollable sobbing.) Don't get me wrong, I am so glad to be where we are today. I do believe that's why I'm an emotional wreck. I can't help but think about how far they have come, how hard they worked to be here and how lucky Ben and I are to have them. This past year, I have been so pumped full of adrenaline. Go, Go, Go all the time. Researching medical issues, hundreds of Dr appointments, 3 days a week of therapies, caring for these beautiful babies.....the list could go on for days. Something about their Birthday has slowed me down. Its made me realize that THIS goes by too fast. I'm also starting to process what all I have watched my children go through over this past year. That same adrenaline, is what got me though some of "tough stuff" that we've had to deal with. Now its wearing off, I realize how much this experience has changed me. A year ago, I thought I was going to lose my babies before I even got the chance to know them. Now, that I know them, I realize what a huge loss that would have been. This is something I'm just starting to go I don't really have a final thought or ending sentence on the topic. What I do know, is I am so lucky to have all of my babies celebrating their 1st birthdays with smiles on their faces.....(the sobbing again, Enough already.)
Anyways, with all that off my chest, I plan to do individual updates over the next month. Lots is changing around here. Then, of course, birthday and birthday party updates. Then, we may be saying our "good byes." I have gone back and forth with what the fate of this blog should be and the truth is I just can't come to a decision.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Happy Father's Day Ben!!!!

Fatherhood slapped my husbad in the face, put him in a full nelson and made him scream "uncle!"
No words could descibe what you mean to us. You have carried this family through this past year. We love you so much. Thanks for being the most amazing, loving, patient new Dad in the world. Happy 1st Father's Day!!!!!!!!!!!
We love you,
Reece, Louise ,Charlie and Lucy