Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Can't Escape Prematurity

In the NICU, it always seemed like Camdyn and Cade were battling for attention.  Cade would require more oxygen, so Camdyn would top that with a collapsed lung.  Then Cade developed a pneumothorax (air pocket in his lung) which had to be drained.  It went on and on like this for their entire NICU stay.  

They must still have a little of that battle left in them.  Camdyn is scheduled for ear tube surgery and getting her adenoids removed tomorrow morning.  Brenna has had ear tubes and adenoids removed too as well as her tonsils.  The ENT visit to talk about getting ear tubes for Camdyn was her first "normal" specialist appoinment if there is such a thing.  It's not a cardiologist or pulmonologist or any other "-ologist" that she saw due to her prematurity.  I can't pin this on prematurity since a lot of kids get ear tubes, and even my full-term kid has had this done.  This is just a normal kid thing.  Although I must admit, I'm still scared about her going under anesthesia. 

Since Camdyn was getting all the attention, Cade decided he needed some too.  He has developed bronchiolitis.  He sounds awful.  I looked it up online and it said, "It most frequently occurs in infants, commonly younger than 6 months of age."  I guess it should also say "and big, nearly 3 year old boys who were on ventilators for 5 weeks who required nitrous oxide treatments and who had a pneumothorax."  It went on to say, "In some cases, especially if your child has an underlying health problem or is a significantly premature newborn, bronchiolitis can become severe and require hospitalization."  Oh, great!  That doesn't sound too promising for us since he is just about as "significantly premature" as you can get.  On a positive note, he isn't a newborn; he is a big, strong boy even if his lungs haven't gotten the memo.  I should have learned my lesson from back in our NICU days to not google things.  It is always worse online.  Cade has definitely had his share of lung issues including pneumonia, several upper respiratory infections, and now bronciolitis.  Overall, he does really well.  For those who have been reading for a while, you may remember we were told he may need a tracheostomy for life.  I am so thankful that he can breathe well most of the time. 

I feel oddly similar to the days I spent sitting between their isolettes in the uncomfortable vinyl hospital chair wondering who required my attention the most at that moment.   I will be with Camdyn during her surgery tomorrow while Daddy stays home to care for Cade.  Just when I think we have moved on to "normal kid" stuff like ear tubes, I am struck with the realization that we can't escape prematurity.  Well, I'm off to do a breathing treatment for Cade now and pack a few things for Camdyn's surgery tomorrow. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Happy Birthday Brenna!

It's hard to believe that my baby girl turned 6 today.  I still vividly remember those chubby cheeks of hers, and now she is all skinny arms and legs that go on forever.  Her party isn't until Saturday, so she was a bit confused when I told her that she wasn't having a party today.  She said, "but it's my birthday, right?"  To a 6 year old, "birthday" means one thing and that's "a party".  It does not mean the day you were born and all that sentimental remembering like it does for mom.

Here's Brenna before school this morning.  She was so excited to go to school on her birthday because she knew she would get to wear a birthday hat, be the line leader, and all the other special things that being the birthday kid entails.
 Brenna is the sweetest big sister (to Camdyn that is).  She is always helping her and looking out for her.  It's very sweet.  On the other hand, she is usually yelling at Cade to leave her stuff alone which he rightly deserves.

I went to Brenna's school to eat lunch with her for her birthday.  She and her best friend share the same birthday, so they both got to sport the cool birthday hats.  

She had a great day today, and I know she is excited about her party this weekend.  The only bad part of her day was twisting her ankle in her tumbling class after school.   I'm praying when she wakes up, it is better.  Even with a hurt ankle, we enjoyed the evening eating spaghetti and making a birthday cookie cake.  


When Brenna's birthday rolls around each year, I reflect back to the time she was born as I'm sure most mothers do on their child's birthday.  I can remember going out to eat before checking into the hospital.  It was scheduled since she didn't want to come out on her own even past her due date.  We had an enjoyable dinner and then checked in.  I had a bag packed and was ready to deliver a healthy baby girl.  The delivery was not ideal due to her swallowing meconium.  Although it felt like a long time, that was quickly resolved, and my baby girl was put in my arms.  Her daddy and I marveled at her beauty and took lots of pictures.  Aside from the meconium, it was a fairly normal birth.  I'm able to look back on it as one of the best days of my life . . .

which brings me to the opposite side - the twins' birth.  Their birthday is approaching in April.  For the last two years, I have cried on the days leading up to their birthday as well as on the actual day.  I think it may be easier this year since they are older and doing so well, but the memories remain.  The memories of insurmountable fear and heartache and worry and helplessness and more fear.  The fear on that day only led to more fear and worry for the 4 1/2 months they spent in the NICU.  Just as I look back on Brenna's birthday as being one of the best days of my life, I look back on Camdyn and Cade's birthday as being the worst day of my life, and it feels so all mixed-up.  I hope I can surprise myself this year by feeling only joy that my one pound babies will be turning 3.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Lots to Say

Camdyn and Cade are both talking so much more now.  I am absolutely loving their new language skills.  They both have a lot to say.  Here are a few of my favorite phrases/stories:

They ask for "cookie horsies" and "nola baas" all the time.  For those who don't speak their language, that is animal cookies and granola bars.

They both ask for "ugg-kiss" before bedtime which is the sweetest thing ever! (a hug and a kiss)

Camdyn is constantly twirling around or flipping while telling me "wook Mommy".

They both love watching the construction on the new house next to us.  They look out the window and constantly ask me, "What the mans doin'?"  I told Cade they were working.  He looked at me and said, "nooo - mans playin'"  To a two year old boy, building a house equals playtime.

Cade's preschool teacher was showing him a picture of her 16 year old son on her keyring.  She explained to him that was her baby just like he was mommy's baby.  She said he looked at her like she had lost her mind and told her, "That not a baby - that a MAN!"  I think it crushed her a little bit for her baby to be called a man.

I was singing "Mommy's little baby is Camdyn, Camdyn" to the tune of "Shortnin' Bread".  She stopped me right there with a very serious look to tell me, "my not a baby".  I then turned to Cade and said, "Can you be Mommy's baby?"  He frankly told me, "no, I a big boy."  What?  I had twins; can't one of them agree to being my baby?  Brenna told me she would be my baby, so I felt much better to have at least one "baby".

Camdyn's crib faces a window, and Cade's is on the other side of the room against the wall.  I heard them talking one morning across the room.  Cade kept asking Camdyn, "Hey, Cammy, what you lookin'?"  She wasn't giving him any information so he kept on asking.

Another morning I heard them talking across the room from their cribs.  The conversation went like this:

Cade: "Cammy, what you want eat?
Camdyn: "my want cookie"
Cade: "OK - (chomp, chomp, chomp noises) . . . I eat you cookie"
Camdyn: "noooo bubba - my cookie"

Ha!  He was tormenting his sister even from across the room in the confines of their cribs with an imaginary cookie.  Poor Camdyn!

Cade has recently begun to tell stories - sort of.  He starts, "One day - (mumble, mumble)" and then repeats "one day - . . ."  on and on and on.  

When Camdyn was having trouble with speech, she wouldn't really tell me "I love you" but I knew that her sweet kisses meant it.  After she gave me a kiss, I would tell her "I love you too baby." Now, when I give her a kiss, she tells me "wuv oo too Mommy!"  It truly melts my heart.