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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

8 weeks old!

The girls are 8 weeks old today and they are smiling more and more...of course the minute we started taking pictures they either cried, fell asleep, or looked at the camera like it was from outer space! Nonetheless, we tried to get some cute pics...

Allie a little preturbed
"Not sure what this camera thing is in my face"

Addie in one of the more content moments!

They are looking more and more alike every they are sleeping together. Their profiles look really similar these days.

This week Andie and I celebrate our 6th anniversary. I got my anniversary present a little early and I'm so proud of them. Not one, but TWO diamond and pink gold anniversary to celebrate each of my girls! Isn't he the greatest husband ever!?!? I love the pink gold- it is so different and unique and such a great way to celebrate girls! It's hard to see the color of the gold in the picture but I like wearing them stacked together! I can even wear them as wedding bands when I don't feel like wearing my big ring. He is so awesome!!!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

7 weeks old

The girls were 7 weeks old on Tuesday and I feel like time is flying by. They are getting so big already. Allie's medicine is working like a charm and the swelling on her eye has gone down considerably. She is opening her eye all the time and is very curious about everything around her. I can tell that she feels much better these days! The girls are both starting to sleep between 4 and 5 hours at a stretch and I'm having to wake them up to eat instead of the other way around- this is awesome!

Allison's MRI and MRA results were completely normal- there are no brain or vascular abnormalities! We were so relieved to hear those results yesterday. She also saw an ENT to make sure the hemangioma was not growing into her throat or airway- no problems there either! We saw the opthamologist and everything was fine there too.

When the girls were born we sent their bloodwork off to be tested to see if they carry the same genetic mutation that I have that results in my heart condition. Unfortunately the results came back positive...they do in fact have the same genetic mutation. However, the positive side is that when their aortas and hearts were looked at in the NICU both of them were completely normal. We will be able to monitor their cardiac status and hopefully prevent their aortas from ever dilating through preventative medicine. While I am disappointed that they even have to worry about this condition, I feel really great about the fact that we know so early and can closely monitor them. I didn't find out I had the condition until I was a teenager and by then my aorta had already dilated, so I am positive that we can prevent this for them with regular cardiac check ups.

Luckily the bulk of the doctor appointments are done and Allie won't have many more check ups to go through. Maybe we can all start a more normal schedule soon!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Answered prayers and miracle drugs!

The girls were 6 weeks old yesterday and I can't believe I'm halfway through my maternity leave already! I'm not going to want to go back to work at all. Allie rolled over all by herself today- she's getting so grown up!

Allie went to the pediatrician on Monday because she was spitting up all weekend long- sometimes up to 3 hours after she ate! He put her on Zantac to help with acid reflux so we are hoping that will help her keep her food down. She saw the pediatric dermatologist yesterday and got her first dose of the beta blocker last night. We can already see a difference!!! Her birthmark is not near as dark red and the swelling has decreased so much that she is opening her eye really well today! I am so excited that we have seen so much improvement after just one dose, I can't imagine how dramatically it will change in the days and weeks to come. The dermatologist prescribed a corticosteroid to help wth the swelling which she started today so we should see an even more dramatic decrease in the swelling by tomorrow. She will stay on the beta-blocker for about 8 months and it should totally resolve the birthmark with no lasting damage!

The dermatologist did tell us there is a syndrome called Phaces that goes along with facial hemangiomas and has other associated features involving the brain, heart, eyes, and some other things. In order to rule the syndrome out he ordered an MRI and MRA to look at her brain structure and the vascular nature of the hemangioma. Once again we were very worried that there could be something wrong with her brain but later in the afternoon the doctor called and said he reviewed the MRI that was done while Allie was in the NICU and everything looked good with no abnormalities. We were so relieved!!! We will still have the MRA done but otherwise Allie does not have any of the symptoms of Phaces. All of her brain, cardiac, and eye tests have been normal.

Here are the girls in their game day gear!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Lots to blog about!

The girls are 5 weeks old and staying awake quite a bit more. They are getting curious and like to look around a lot. They have finally slept in their big girl cribs and we are working on transitioning them into sleeping in there full time. They really seem to enjoy it and sleep well while they're in's me who is nervous about not hearing them when they are all the way across the house. Yes, we have a monitor but I still worry. We are getting better at establishing a schedule and keeping their feeding times spaced out, but sometimes they are both hungry at the same time and we have to do double fisted feedings...check out Grandma doing it like a pro!

This is the day they were 5 weeks old...I loved the cute matching outfits. They are finally getting big enough to wear some of the adorable clothes they have!

Allie saw a dermatologist last Friday and an opthamologist on Tuesday. The birthmark can be treated with lasers if need be, but the dermatologist recommended that we consider a relatively new treatment of beta blocker medicine first. New research has shown that when kids take this medication the blood flow to the birthmark is significantly reduced. So now we have to consult with a pediatric dermatologist who is familiar with this treatment next week and see if he can treat Allie. Coincidentally, I take beta blockers for my heart condition and I took them throughout the pregnancy. Andie theorizes that the reason the birthmark did not show up until a week after she was born is because she was getting some of the beta blocker I was taking in utero and it kept the birthmark from flaring up, but then once she was born and it was no longer in her system the birthmark appeared. Makes sense to me, and if this is really then case then treatment with beta blockers seems promising!
The opthamologist did not see any indications of eye problems or glaucoma but because the birthmark is on her eyelid and causing significant swelling he is concerned that she could develop a lazy eye because she cannot open that eye all the way. If the swelling is not treated soon her eye muscles will not develop properly since she's not using them when she keeps that eye closed. So he referred us to a pediatric opthamologist who specializes in lazy eye treatment and we will see her in two weeks. Poor Allie is having to see all sorts of doctors and specialists, but it's great that we have so many good doctors who are willing to work together to get her treated as soon as possible so there is no lasting damage to her eye. Hopefully we'll see some improvement in the birthmark very soon!

The girls went to the lakehouse for the first time over the holiday weekend. They got to see aunts, uncles, cousins, great grandparents, and friends. They were the stars of the party and got passed around and held quite a lot! They behaved quite well and slept through all of the commotion!!

Addie with her cousin Lauren, and Lauren's friend Michaela- they were great babysitters!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

4 weeks old already!

The girls are 4 weeks old today and we had a check up at the pediatrician's office. He was very pleased with both of them as they are growing like weeds-more than an ounce a day! Addison weighed 7 lbs. 4 oz. and Allison weighed 6 lbs. 8 oz. They are both eating 4 ounces at a feeding which is a whole ounce more than recommended for their age, but the doctor said it was great for them to be catching up and to keep on doing exactly what we're doing. Later this week Allison will see a dermatologist about her birthmark and she'll see an opthamologist next week to make sure it's not effecting her vision.

They are both getting more curious and love to look around. They seem to be discovering there is a whole world around them and are focusing on things better. Both of them are starting to stay awake a little bit after eating instead of immediately falling asleep. I can't believe they will officially be a month old on Friday- they have already changed so much! They both love tummy time and Allison loves to scoot herself around. She scrunches up her legs like she's gonna crawl and pushes herself around. Addison hasn't mastered this technique yet, she's pretty content to just stay in one spot. They both hold their heads up really well and have very strong necks.

They both like to grunt and squeal a lot! I'm convinced they have their own language and are talking to each other because as soon as one makes noise the other one gets going too- almost as if they are mimicking each other. They are more vocal than any other babies I've been around which is really cute except in the middle of the night when they want to make noises to each other and keep the rest of us awake!

Everyone says the girls look just like Andie but mom and I found some pictures of me as a baby and there is a lot of similarity between the girls and me. They seem to have my eyes and nose and Andie's mouth and lips

Here's a rare shot of Allison awake
Addison finally looking towards the camera- a little curious about what mom was doing
I caught her starting to smile!

Allison smiling in her sleep...must be good dreams!

Addison was captivated by the sun coming through the window

The girls in matching outfits!