Sunday, July 29, 2007

Our Chariot

Naveen kangarooing Jackson while I kangaroo Duncan
Naveen and Kristin riding caboose in the van
The Family!
Duncan was having some adorable awake moments!

Our dear friends Naveen and Kristin came into town from Michigan, their new home, for an overnight. After dinner we all crawled into Tipsy the Town and Country for a family field trip to Graeters. The boys' FIRST ICE CREAM OUTING!

The two other occasions to be out and about with BOTH boys were their pediatrician appointment and to Panera Bread with Papa John and Grandma Lynette. But this was the first time the van was filled to its maximum capacity! We also got a chance to put BOTH boys in the twin stroller (front to back). We got a bit of attention!

Also, I need to give kudos to my husband for giving me both a night out and the following morning of extra sleep. I went to a teacher friend's wedding Friday night (Congrats Kate and Chris!) while Scott was alone with Duncan and Jackson. Then, Saturday morning he let me sleep in while he tended to the boys. I was in sleep withdrawal. Do these boys have a good father or what?

Thursday, July 26, 2007

A day out!

this was a very sweet moment...both on their bellies... and both AWAKE (hard to come by)
Take a close look at these outfits!

(Duncan doesn't look to pleased to "be with" his brother)
Daddy and Duncan have a special bond

What a lucky girl I am. Today Katie came for her first long day with the boys and I GOT OUT! I had a wedding gift to buy, grocery shopping to do, banking to do, and mulch to purchase. It felt good to: #1) Be alone, #2) Take my time, and #3) Be in public. Might I add that it also felt pretty good to direct the dude at the hardware store to my van to help me load it up with mulch... is it possible to allow a Town and Country to make you feel "macho?"

Truly, I have been fortunate, in general, with outings. Between the volunteers who have helped to watch the boys, Aunt Jo, and Lynette, I have felt in the land of the living since Mom-hood. I keep thanking my lucky stars that these boys' first few months of life fall in the summer months. Makes it much easier to get out of the home.

In other news, the Hills and Dad helped me to begin taking my back yard a little more seriously. Their aid, along with the example of my neighbors - the Cabots - have encouraged creation of a nice little habitat. Dad helped me pick out a nice birdfeeder. Uncle Darrell, Stacia, and Aunt Jo rearranged a couple items (picnic table and planter table) to form a nicer space. I have a feeling Duncan, Jackson, and I will be spending more quality time out there. It's still a work in progress, but we're getting there.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Our home nurse visited today... the weights:

Duncan 6 lbs 6 ozs.
Jackson 8 lbs. 12 ozs.

So there is about a 2 1/2 lb. difference between the little tikes. When holding them, this difference is OBVIOUS! But Duncan is gaining how he should at this point - just got a little later start.

Dad came into town Monday night and stayed through tonight, which was a gift. He really has this baby-handling down. He was feeding, burping, and changing diapers with the best of them. He even took one of the EARLY morning feeding shifts... thanks Dad! Also, Angel Steph Altman - a college buddy - babysat the boys this afternoon so Dad and I could do some errands. Lastly, the Loughmans brought dinner tonight. THANKS EVERYONE!

Monday, July 23, 2007

A Wild Weekend

What a wacky weekend! It started with Duncan's arrival home on Friday afternoon. Saturday morning I went on my first post-twin run.. YIPPEE! I lasted about 18 minutes before my legs screamed, "WOMAN, what do you expect to get out of me after 10 months of pregnancy/bed rest/lack of sleep?!??!" Scott bragged that it was the first time he out-ran me. But at least I'm trying! The jogging stroller is not suitable for the babies to be run with until they are 6 months (but we still use it every night for walking!). So, Scott and I took our little jog while Aunt Jo was with the guys.

The O's from Phoenix arrived in the early afternoon and we caught up for awhie before getting ready and heading out to out good friend, BJ's, wedding. He and Christy looked handsome/beautiful! Scott and I enjoyed an evening OUT on the town while Aunt Jo and Grandma Lynette stayed behind with the Duncan and Jackson. It was refreshing to be with good friends for a fun night. Uncle Darrell and Stacia arrived that night from Sarasota to reunite with Aunt Jo, who had been here for a week (did I mention what an angel she's been?).
Sunday brought a great morning of visiting with the Hills (Aunt Jo ,Uncle Darrell and Stacia), the O's from Phoenix and Jeremy Lahman. We had a quality brunch, then went for an equally quality walk on the bike path and to the Park of Roses (beautiful!). Duncan and Jackson enjoyed being passed from person to person, cooperating wonderfully with their sweet dispositions. Then, the Hills left for Louisville later in the afternoon - headed for Louisville. Duncan and Jackson were in a state of confusion when Aunt Jo stepped out the door. They immediately began hollering. They miss her already!
Today Angel Kathy Dunkin took the boys on a long walk and Fairy Godmother KK hung out for lunch and brownies. A wonderful day! Scott and I are a bit tired from night time feedings, but hanging in there pretty well. Scott is the trooper, working full time after the crazy nights.
Can you believe the boys are almost two months old? YIKES?! I keep waiting for a socially-stimulated smile. We get A LOT of intoxicated-looking smiles in their sleep and randomly. But it doesn't matter if they are looking at their sweet parents' faces or thin air. We can't wait for them to grin in response to US!
Until next time...

Cousin Stacia using her maternal instincts
A match made in heaven - Aunt Jo & Jackson
The ladies at BJ and Christy's wedding - myself, Sara, and Kristin

The guys - John Scott, Jeremy O, and Jeremy L.

Our little brunch - notice the Lahmans' baby, Avery!

Morning play in their crib... Fairy Godmother Beth, look at those sweet pea outfits!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Boys Reunite - Take 2

Lilly bonding with Jackson
The guys
Our three dependants

The family is together again! Duncan and I came home this afternoon from Children's at about the time Scott came home from work. ALL IS WELL!

We are going about the normal family fun - we read books, took a long walk in the neighborhood, and are about to engage in another dual feeding at 6 pm.

My favorite beverage

All evidence seems to suggest that it was indeed an allergic reaction to the protein in cow's milk that resulted in Duncan's bloody stool last Friday. This past week has been an interesting medical journey - with the GI doctors and pediatric surgeons consulting Duncan's cardiologists (and each set of doctors rotating so different philosophies kept entering the picture), it was a circus trying to get to the bottom of the problem. The three areas of specialty met on several occasions and talked/debated/fought over what course of action to take.

First, no feeds for seven days treating his condition like medical NEC (the scary intestinal problem), then start feeds using my breast milk, then stop breast milk altogether and administer a PIC line to send calories through an IV, then start feeding him again - this time using a special hypoallergetic formula, then order tests such as a scope and an upper GI to confirm the root of the problem, then cancel those tests because it seemed that the special formula is working. And that is where we are now. He is tolerating the formula well. His abdominal x rays look clear. His #2's are back to normal. His echocardiogram looked fine yesterday. And so TODAY MIGHT BE THE DAY HE RETURNS HOME! Wow.

Aunt Jo has been a HUGE blessing this week. Although we originally anticipated this week needing her to help with both boys at home while Scott started back at work full time, it has turned into her watching Jackson a lot while I visited with Duncan downtown. And she is a busy little bee... cooking, doing laundry, trimming ivy/trees outside - all in the background. She is amazing! Meanwhile, Grandma Lynette has been spending some amazing quality time with Duncan as well. On Wednesday she took a 5 hour shift! What a lucky boy Duncan is!

Enjoy a few pics below from before Duncan's hospital trip...

Grandma Diane and Grandpa Ricci
Angel Holly and Nick with Duncan
The boys underneath a cool entertainment thingy - THANKS PAIGE AND DREW!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Back and forth

We have been back and forth the past few days with Duncan. For awhile, we were told that he would not feed for 7 days (assuming NEC was in the picture), but then they changed their minds and he is now feeding a special type of formula. The doctors finally came to the conclusion that an allegeric reaction caused the bloody stool. (That is just a hypothesis...only time will tell) To say the least, it has been a few days of uncertainty. If feeds go well, we hope to have Duncan home soon.

All for now.

Saturday, July 14, 2007


Scott returned home from Children's last night a little after midnight. They admitted Duncan and he is currently on C5, the cardiac step-down unit where he had spent his final few days before coming home before. A glimpse of humor in the midst of this frustration: when the cardiologist from the ER (where we had been instructed to bring Duncan in last night) called up to C5 to let the staff know Duncan Arthur would be brought there shortly, he told Scott, "C5 nurses usually do NOT get excited when we admit a patient there from the emergency room, but when I told them it was Duncan Arthur, they all got very excited. I don't know what you guys did." Well, WE didn't do anything... it's Duncan who is the hero. They just love his disposition and think he's adorable. In fact, when he left last Saturday I think they were actually sad to see him go.

No changes to what I wrote last night. There still is no reasonable explanation for the blood in his stool. He has had 3 bowel movements since the one we discovered and there has still been a trace of blood (although it seems to be getting smaller). The GI surgeon took a look at him overnight and "liked what he saw." His condition, tests, bloodwork are all good. Apparently, Duncan has them stumped. I will let you know when I do.

One last thing: Please be in prayer for the Maher family. They were pregnant the same time I was. And their little baby was diagnosed with HLHS in utero as well. Aiden, their son, was born early June. I had spoken with Kelly (Mom) once before we both gave birth to support each other about HLHS. They live out of town and I had been following their blog. Aiden passsed away on July 10. The funeral service is today. Aiden had been doing so very well at home and there were no warning signs. Obviously, I am deeply saddened for their family.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Another hiccup

I had sat down to blog earlier today (July 13, their actual due date!) with nothing but positive things to say... Duncan's feedings had finally become less of a fight, he appears to be picking up weight and strength, Jackson is a pro at breast feeding, Scott and I had really gotten our minds wrapped around a rhythm with both boys' schedules - LIFE WAS GOOD! Needless to say, I never got enough uninterrupted moments in a row to blog earlier in the day.

Here I finally am, several hours later, feeling in a totally different place. Life is still good - mind you - but we are frustrated tonight after Duncan had a bloody stool. His earlier digestive "issues" on our minds, we called immediately to Children's and spoke with the resident cardiologist. We anticipated instructions to hang out and wait for another stool before worrying. But, instead, he instructed us to go ahead and bring Duncan to the hospital for monitoring and to run some tests. With his background, they didn't want to risk another run of NEC (the problem before). So I am at home with Jackson while Scott is down at Children's with Duncan.

The reports so far are that he looks good medically - his sats (blood oxygenation) are good, his heart sounds fine, his blood pressure OK. The X ray and gas tests don't look abnormal either. And his disposition is great (not fussy or out of sorts). Scott is waiting to hear from the GI surgeons to decide the next plan of action. From what I gather, the best case is a 48 hour period of monitoring. The worst case is another 7 days of bowel rest where he will not be intaking anything orally. Either way, Scott said they went ahead and put in an IV tonight and will be administering calories that way, like before, until we know more.

This kills us, because we have worked SO hard to get him feeding well orally. It has been a HUGE undertaking, consisting mainly of persistence and patience, to "fight" with Duncan in order to get him to take the required amount of milk by bottle. He was JUST getting to the point where he anticipated feeding time and even welcomed the bottle. We certainly do not want to start from square one with that endeavor.

Furthermore, this was Scott's last week off work. He will return on Monday. We were looking forward to having a bit of normalcy/stability so he felt comfortable going back. Aunt Jo is arriving from Florida tomorrow evening as well.

I just reread this entry from the beginning and realize it sounds a bit grumpy. Overall, these kinds of setbacks do not worry Scott and I. In the long run, Duncan's health will be fine and he will not suffer any long term problems on account of something like this. Instead we are just aggrivated. So it's not fear, just irritation. But irritation, nonetheless.

I will be sure to update in the morning when we all know more.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

More Fun!

Aren't these little guys photogenic? Looking STRAIGHT at the camera!

Grandma Lynette and both babies

Papa John lulling Duncan to sleep

Angel Holly fulfilling her duties while Scott and Tricia take a NICE NAP!

A walk in the park with out PHENOMENAL twin stroller (thanks WELLINGTON!)

We are still alive ... and still smiling too! Having both babies home has certainly decreased the sleep and increased the tasks - but we are having a BLAST! Dad (Papa John) is in town from Louisville visiting for a few days, so he is a busy little bee taking care of details in the background - THANK GOODNESS! Also, we have discovered the beauty of an afternoon nap! We must confess, Duncan and Jackson are indeed good babies. They are pretty quiet most of the day (and night!)... unless there is an immediate need. We are LUCKY!

I wanted to give you an update on our pediatrician appointment yesterday morning. The weights: Duncan is 5 lbs 9 ozs. Jackson is 7 lbs. 8 ozs. The near two pound difference is quite apparent by appearance and by holding the bundles! But Duncan's feedings are getting better and better... what at one time was a big fight to get down is now becoming a bit more natural.

The cutest twin moment: We put the boys in the same crib to sleep together at night. We start the evening by laying them close together, but not quite touching. When Scott and I wake up in the middle of the night for feedings, they are cheek to cheek, nestled into one another! How darling!

I promise to keep the pictures flowing...

Saturday, July 7, 2007

07-07-07 A Day Never to Forget - Part I

The boys reunited today. Their parents were pretty moved.

Words cannot describe the experience of bringing Duncan home today. But I'll try. First off, we were giddy just to be "graduating" from the hospital. The little guy breathed his first outdoor breath and experienced sunshine on his cheeks for the first time.

But then... the cherry on top was being as an entire family for the first time since the night of June 2, their birthdate. TWO OF THEM IN THE SAME PLACE AT THE SAME TIME (Grandma Lynette had been babysitting Jackson while we were getting the discharge directions at Children's)! It was truly precious... experiencing both of them together!!! Scott and I both expressed to each other how weird it was to see them side by side. For the past 5 weeks we have only experienced Duncan and Jackson separately, so that when we were with one, the other seemed - only for that time - not to exist. Today brought home that we most definitely have TWO on our hands. We had a half hour long photo session, as you can see!!!

We feel truly blessed. When I look at them both, I still cannot understand how in the world we ended up with two beautiful babies. And, furthermore, how they came from my belly! Wow.

And what a month of Saturdays: Saturday, June 2 they were born. Saturday, June 9 Jackson came home. Saturday, June 16 Mom passed away. Saturday, July 7 Duncan is home. I have a feeling June--July 0f 2007 will be a time in life we will never forget.

Now, for the fun of double the feedings, double the laundry, double the diapers, and double the fun! We are ready for the challenge!

OUR FAVORITE PIC! Head to head.
Has the brotherly playfulness begun? Jackson "honking" Duncan's nose!

Patty cake, patty cake?

07-07-07 A Day Never to Forget - Part II

07-07-07 A Day Never to Forget - Part III

Month 1 - Babies with Bear

We want to capture a progression of the boys' growth over their first year of life. Using this darling little bear as our reference point, Duncan and Jackson will get photographed monthly with him. Here are the one month shots!


Monday, July 2, 2007

Getting closer...

As you can imagine, we are ITCHING to get our two boys side by side. We believe Jackson is beginning to notice the absence of his brother - like he is confused why (when awake) there is no warm body close to him. That will be a pretty momentous occasion - observing what they'll do when laid next to one another.
The timeline is becoming clearer and clearer... at this point, we can expect Thurs, Fri, or Sat to be the big day when Duncan is discharged. That is... IF he hits the mark with relearning the bottle again. This morning we had an appointment with the Occupational Therapist, who experimented a bit with Duncan and a bottle. He did OK... just having a tough time swallowing consistently - he's a little sporadic on that (but sucks BEAUTIFULLY!). So, we are practicing with the bottle 2-3 times a day and the tube feeding takes care of the other feedings. It's a slow process, but we have high hopes he "gets it" before this weekend!
Jackson is enjoying his nightly evening walks. Thanks to Scott's buddies at The Wellington School, we even have the luxury of using our new jogging stroller! I haven't gotten a shot of that yet, but I will include it in the next entry.
For now, here are some other good pics!
Our first Backyard BBQ with Babies
Baby Jackson and Baby Jack - born 2 weeks and 2 days apart

Jackson in "CHILL" mode

Grandpa and Duncan
Duncan's little face, all scrunched up and an oversized hat... looking good, nonetheless!