Saturday, September 28, 2013


At 17 weeks old, I was told that Cade had bilateral vocal cord paralysis.  This news left me devastated.  I was told he may need a tracheotomy for life.  The ENT told me he may have a hard time even playing on a playground.  This is the post I wrote at that time.  It still brings me to tears to read back on how I felt at that time.  For those who have followed the blog, you probably know that we later found out it was only unilateral vocal cord paralysis.

Fast forward 3 years, and here Cade is today.

Today was his first t-ball game, and this Mommy couldn't be any prouder.  Am I proud because he did great?  No, he did terrible.  And I couldn't be happier.  He did just as terrible as all the other 3 year olds.  He played in the dirt.  He threw a fit (or several) when he wasn't the first one to get to the ball.  He hit the tee and then hit the ball.  He ran around the bases.  And, he looked awfully cute!

Now begins picture overload because I think he is just too darn cute.

Repeating their pledge of good sportsmanship before the game.  He was very serious about it.

Looking cute waiting for his turn to bat.  Don't be fooled; he sat here for one second while I took the picture.  Then he was running all around and not waiting nicely.


Hitting the ball.  Love that face!

More cuteness from practice:

Daddy is one of the coaches.  He is trying to show Cade how to swing the bat here and catch the ball below.

I feel like my dreams have come true on that little t-ball field today.  I dreamed that my son would be able to run and play and breathe.  And he did.  Blessed.

NICU Reunion

We went to the NICU reunion last weekend.  The kids had such a great time.  The first year they had a reunion was just after the twins were discharged from the NICU.  I remember our nurse, Lindsay (pictured below), asking us if we were going to attend.  The kids were discharged in August, and the reunion was in September.  At that time, I wasn't ready to reunite.  I wanted to be home with my babies.  We have attended each year after that first year.  It has really grown in the past few years.  It's like a carnival for preemies!  They have bounce houses, a train, a petting zoo, face painting, cotton candy, sno cones, popcorn, cupcakes, and more! 

Here Cade is with one of our favorite nurses, Lindsay.  She took care of him often when he was a tiny baby on the ventilator.  She made him cute signs for his isolette and cheered for him every step of the way.  

The kids must know that Dr. Breed saved their lives several times.  They actually both smiled and are looking the same way for this picture.  This is unheard of.  I've been waiting 3 1/2 years to get a picture like this with my kids and still don't have one.  I guess if they are going to smile and cooperate in a picture for anyone, it should be for this man!  

We got to see our other amazing doctor, Dr. McCormick.  I know I've said it a bazillion times, but these doctors were the best!  You would think they were dressed up as Disney characters by the line they had to take pictures. 

Camdyn liked petting this baby chick.

Brenna held a sweet bunny.

Cade liked holding the bunny too, but we had to catch the bunny several times from falling.  He isn't the most gentle - poor bunny!

Last week, Brenna had "Community Helper Day" at school.  The kids were asked to dress up like a community helper and tell why they chose that person.  Brenna told me she wanted to be a therapist because she wants to help babies.  I thought that was so sweet.  Several kids dressed up as police and firemen, but she was the only therapist.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


I've never once felt guilty about Brenna, my full-term baby, being healthy.  She was born at a nice weight of 7 lbs 3 oz.  She stayed overnight in the hospital, and then we went home.  It was all so typical.  We took her home and continued our lives as sleep-deprived parents of a newborn.  I took her for well-child exams and scheduled immunizations.  She didn't visit a specialist until she was two years old.  Again, it was a completely typical procedure for two year olds.  She needed ear tubes.  She has only seen one specialist, an ENT, in her six years of life.  While I should be singing praises that she is healthy, I take it for granted.  Of course she is healthy, why wouldn't she be?  Is this how other parents feel?  I don't fret over how she will do in school.  I never think, "will she have problems learning."  Never have I had to worry how a brain bleed or high doses of steroids will effect her cognitive abilities because she didn't have either one.

Having micro-preemies is altogether different.  The twins spent their first year of life at over 200 doctor/specialist/therapy appointments.  They have seen 12 different types of specialists.  Even though they are healthy now, I feel like I still can't let my guard down.  I don't want to miss any signs.  While I still have minor worries, I know that they somehow escaped so much.  They have been released from all their specialists. 

I do sing praises that all my kids are healthy, but here is the strange part.  I never feel guilty about Brenna being healthy while I always feel guilty that Camdyn and Cade are healthy.  I know how strange that sounds.  I am ecstatic that they have the outcomes they do.  Does any other mother ever feel guilty that their child is healthy?  It doesn't make sense to most.  I know what could have been, almost what should have been.  From a statistical standpoint, Camdyn should have profound neurodevelopmental impairment (61%).  From an observational standpoint, I know of only a couple of other sets of twins born as early as ours (23 wks 5 days) who both survived with limited long-lasting effects of prematurity. 

I hear people say I shouldn't ask why and just thank God for this outcome.  And I do.  But my brain doesn't work like that as much as I wish it did.  It can't stop there.  It feels unfair to all those other precious preemie babies that I know.  Why has prematurity affected them so differently?  And what about all those babies who sadly didn't make it?  I hear people say it was the power of prayer.  While I do believe in God and prayer, I have a hard time accepting this.  I was in the NICU war zone.  I saw all the other parents praying over their babies.  Do you think they prayed any less for their kids than we did for ours?  Was God to be found at only certain babies' isolettes?  I don't think so.  When I wasn't praying for my babies, I was praying for theirs.  Why can't I let these thoughts go?

Maybe I can't forget because I want to remember.  I want to remember what fighters they are.  I want to remember how much they have overcome.  I want to remember life is precious. 

Can any other moms out there relate?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Back to Preschool!

Camdyn and Cade started preschool again this year.  They went to the 2s class last year and are now in the 3s.  I told Camdyn her class was called the Fishies class.  She told me, "No, my no wanna be Fishy!"  I asked her what she wanted to be thinking she would say a Bear like she was last year.  She told me, "My wanna be a Princess."  I told her there are no princess classes so she would have to be a fish for now.

They were both so excited about starting school.  Since sissy started school two weeks ago, they have been asking me when do they get to go.  We got up early and started getting ready because I knew taking pictures of them was going to be a challenge.  It was!  I got a few good ones.

They went right in and started playing with the water at the sensory table.  I gave them kisses and left.  No one cried - not even Mommy!  I was really quite relieved for them to go.  They have been getting really bored at the house with sissy at school.

They made this cute hand print art on their first day.  I think it is crazy how much bigger Cade's hands are than Camdyn's!

And, here is why we had to get up super early to get ready to go.  Here's how picture taking goes with these two:

County Fair Fun

For Labor Day weekend, we headed back to our hometown for the County Fair.  It's been around forever, and it's pretty much what you imagine a county fair in a rural area to be.  There is the carnival, of course.  I remember passing by the fairgrounds as a kid a few days before the fair and getting so excited seeing the ferris wheel and other rides going up.  If you have an awesome pickle, tomato, or jam, you can enter it in the fair contests.  You can also be a BBQ champ, talent show winner, and even a polka dance winner!    I mean it is country!  When you get tired of riding rides, you can go climb on the tractors or go see the livestock.  Add in some great country music, and you have yourself a grand ol' time.

Last year, Camdyn was too short to ride anything - even the kiddie rides.  This year I checked the height requirements.  It is 36 inches.  I knew Camdyn was only about 34 1/2 inches, so I bought her some tennis shoes with a thick sole and made her a really high ponytail with a big bow!  You have to do what you have to do!  We also kicked a little of the dirt up underneath the measuring stick for her to stand on.  It worked; with all our height-boosting efforts, she reached the 36 inch mark.

They loved riding the rides and thought it was so much fun to wave at us each time they circled around.  It was absolutely precious to watch them enjoying themselves so much.

One of my favorite things about the fair is fair food - i.e. cotton candy and funnel cakes!  The kids loved the cotton candy too.  

We all had fun riding the Fun Slide as a family.

Brenna rode rides with her big cousin, Brylee.  I only got a few shots of them riding because they were running from ride to ride faster than I could keep up.