Feb 20, 2013

Little Guys: Honest v Seventh

Casey and I are so blessed by these two little guys and just love them to pieces, but we've obviously had to make some adjustments since they are so little!
 
Tripp at 1 Month
(February 13)
Weight: 5lbs10oz
Davy at 1 Month
(February 13)
Weight: 6lbs0oz
 
One of those changes is in our diapering plan.
 
We have an awesome stash of cloth diapers all organized in the changing table baskets, but I didn't buy any newborn sized cloth. I assumed we would take a few weeks and adjust to parenting first and then add in the extra laundry (how naive to have not realized I'd be doing extra laundry from burp cloths, blankets, and all of our shirts they spit up on!). The cloth diapers we have start between 8-10lbs, so I purchased a stash of Seventh Generation Newborn Diapers before the boys were born to use the first few weeks. I purchased them on sale for a steal and felt good my stash of 280 newborn diapers plus the 100 Pampers preemies we came home from the NICU with would be plenty.
 
How naive!
 
In the three weeks since the boys come home from the NICU we have used 248 diapers. This is an average of almost 16 diapers a day, meaning we are using 2.5 packages of Seventh Generation Newborn Diapers each week! That's a lot of diapers until the little fellows reach 10lbs.
 
Well, how the heck am I supposed to know when they'll get to 10lbs? Looking at preemie growth charts, I'm guessing I have at least another month in newborns, so, this means I need more diapers. (And more clothes. Hmph. Have any newborn boy clothes lying around?)
 
Hmph.
 
As many of y'all know, I make a point to use as many natural and organic products as possible in the house and in our food and intend to continue to do so for the boys. That is why I am committed to using cloth diapers when they are old enough and "healthy" diapers for now. If you are unsure, check out THIS information which in a short short summary says a lot of disposable diapers are toxic.
 
Our next batch of diapers are going to be Honest diapers bought off of Zulilly this morning. They are nontoxic, chemical free, and come in cute cute prints!
 
 
Honest is Jessica Alba & Christopher Gavigan's company that strives to create healthy, natural & eco friendly products for children, as well as bath & body products and cleaning products.
 
Have any of you used Honest products? How do you like the cleaning products? How are the diapers? Am I going to like them as much as I like the Seventh Generations?


 

Feb 16, 2013

At Home with Twins

Wow! We've been home with these two little nuggets for nearly two weeks now and I have only managed to post once!
 
We are exhausted, overwhelmed, and adjusting to each other but we are loving every minute of it. Honestly, these boys are such great babies and we are just so blessed.
 
Brother time
(Tripp top, Davy bottom)
Some highlights since my last post:
 
Wednesday: My mom came down to live with us for a few weeks and help with the munchkins. Since Casey would have help, I decided to be brave and go out to ladies kitchen group and leave the boys at home with them. It was really hard being away from them, but I'm glad I went. I will have to leave them at some point, and doing it when I still remembered how was the best decision for me.
 
Rory watching over the boys.
 
Thursday: Casey went back to work :( and we did our first baths at home.
 
Tripp after his bath.
 
Saturday: My mom headed back to her house for the weekend. We were on our own again.
 
Sunday: We invited all of our siblings and nieces and nephews over to meet the boys. They were all really respectful of our no germs policy, which meant of our four siblings only one family was healthy enough to come. My sister's kids were enamored with the little guys and spent the entire time they were here sitting around the cradle looking at the little guys. I am so sad that I didn't get any pictures!
 
Two munchkins in the cradle.
 
Tuesday: Davy had a REALLY rough night with choking and gagging every time he ate and awful reflux. It absolutely broke my heart seeing him so sad. Davy stares up with the biggest saddest eyes! So, we ended up at the pediatricians office. Davy now has a prescription for Zantac (taking after his Daddy!) and we were told to switch back to slower preemie nipples so that he doesn't gag at the volumes simultaneously going up and down. Poor little guy! At the appointment we had both boys weighed and they had both gained 10 ounces in a week! Way to go little men!
 
Sleeping peacefully.
(Davy left, Tripp right)
 
Wednesday: Casey had to do a day trip to Houston and my mom had a few appointments, so I was completely on my own all day. I didn't get anything done, but we all survived!
 
Adorable little elephant butts!
(Davy left, Tripp right)
 
Thursday: Valentine's Day was amazing. Casey made a fantastic dinner for us with lots of my favorites: porterhouse steak, grilled squash and zucchini, baked tomato, grilled maroon carrots, and baked potatoes. It was so much food that he didn't even serve the potatoes! (I had a great lunch on Friday!) We sat and held babies and talked and had an amazing night. I think we both really needed this night to reconnect and intentionally sit and chat.
Mirror images!<br>(Davy top, Tripp bottom)
 

Feb 13, 2013

Twindom: One Month

Dear Pip and Pop,

I can’t believe you boys are already one month old!
 
We have been home together for a week now and it feels like I have known you for ages and I am finally living the life I was always meant to lead with you in my arms. We are all slowly adjusting to living together and I am figuring out how to care for you. Daddy went back to work this week and we really miss having him around, but your Nana is helping give you love and is staying with us during the week. You are both very happy baby boys, but really love to be held and snuggle so we need an extra set of arms!
January 13, 2013. 
A few minutes old.
You boys are both such troopers! You were born at 33 weeks 3 days, but you both came out breathing on your own! This is huge and made me so happy because it meant I got to see you before you had to head to the NICU.
Meeting Davy for the first time.

Grandparents first peek at Pip and Pop on the way to the NICU. 
They were happy you came out breathing too!
We spent the first 21 days of your lives in the NICU learning to eat, control your own body temperatures and growing bigger and stronger.  During that time you hung out under the photo-therapy lights in your cool glasses, enjoyed lots of kangaroo time, and had your first sponge baths!


You both stayed Pip and Pop for the first few days after you were born because you Dad and I hadn't chosen names yet. And even once we chose your names, it took us a little while to decide on the correct spellings. We didn't fill out your birth certificate information with your official names on it until January 17, 4 days after you were born!

We were discharged on Superbowl Sunday, in time for your Daddy to sit and snuggle a baby while watching the game.  I know it was a dream come true for him and he hopes to sit and watch lots more sports games with you guys.
Three weeks old and leaving the NICU.

Happy to be heading home!  But, sad to be leaving all of the amazing NICU nurses behind.
Right now you are both still keeping the NICU’s strict every three hour feeding schedule and doing well on it. You both eat at 5, 8, 11, and 2. It takes about an hour and a half to eat, get cleaned up, and enjoy some snuggles before you are back to sleep. You both sleep well-ish, but you are two of the noisiest sleepers I have ever met in my life! You both grunt, groan, and make the cutest little chipmunk noises I have ever heard. 

Nanny dog is watching over you boys during your 4 week photoshoot.

4 Weeks.  At home in the new nursery.


Tripp,
You are such a smiler! Even at just one month old you make some of the greatest little faces I have ever seen.
You also blessed with great patience and never seem phased or unhappy about anything. The nurses at the NICU called you “laid back Jack” because you are just always content. You are happiest snuggled into someone’s chest, but will hang out anywhere. We sometimes struggle to convince you to eat though.  You have this idea, that eating is optional.  But it isn't!  Your favorite position is with your hands up above your head.  You look really adorable with your hands near your face, but we have to swaddle you to sleep or you will startle yourself awake!
While your name is Charles, we only ever call you Tripp.  In fact, it confused me once when the neonatologist asked a question about Charles.  We also call you Tripster, Tripper, and of course, Pip. Your Uncle Chris is calling you Ricochet and Rooster.  He thought we were too slow choosing your name and so named you for us.  We don't know if you are Ricochet or Rooster though.

Davy,
You are my big fellow.  You have a big appetite, a big voice, and a big personality.  Every nurse in the NICU knew who you were and you made sure they heard you.  You have strong opinions about everything and let them be known. You absolutely love to be held and to walk around and jostle and bounce.  Laying in an isolette by yourself is not your thing.  You are also a little clock.  At quarter til feeding time (almost to the dot) you start to stir and remind the nurses to go heat your bottle. You have the schedule mastered and really want to stick to it perfectly.  You are a huge pacifier guy already and instantly calm down when you are able to suck on it.
We call you Davis, Davy, and Davemeister.  I called you Dave once, but your Daddy wasn't fond of that nickname so it didn't stick.  Pop has stuck around though!  Like your brother, you have also been called either Ricochet or Rooster.  You'll have to ask your Uncle Chris which you are someday.


My darling boys,
You are both loved so very much.  My heart and soul have been loving you forever.  Holding you close and snuggling with you are my favorite things to do.  I figure I will have time to eat and do laundry later because you will only be my little guys once. 
 
I’ll love you forever,
I’ll like you for always,
as long as I’m living
my babies you’ll be

Loving you forever,
Mom

One Month Stats

Tripp:

Weight*: 4 lbs 15.8 oz - 10th Percentile on the Preemie Chart
Height*: 18 inches - 40th Percentile on the Preemie Chart
Diaper Size: Preemie - but we are almost out of Preemie and hope to switch to NB soon
Clothing Size: Preemie

Davy:

Weight*: 5 lbs 6 oz - 35th Percentile on the Preemie Chart
Height*: 18.5 inches - 50th Percentile on the Preemie Chart
Diaper Size: Preemie - but we are almost out of Preemie and hope to switch to NB soon
Clothing Size: Preemie
*Measurements taken at Newborn Pediatrician Appointment at 3 weeks 2 days on February 5

One Month Milestones

Photo-therapy: January 15-20
First Bath: January 22
NICU Discharge: February 3
First Car Ride: February 3
First Pediatrician Appointment: February 5
First Bath at Home: February 8
Meeting Aunt Barbara, Aunt Gretchen, Uncle Bob, Courtney, Megan, and Ryan: February 10
First Walk in the Neighborhood: February 11

Feb 5, 2013

Parents of the Year Application

We've been home with the boys for two and a half days, and overall things are going really well! Our little men are eating great, sleeping, and just such good babies. We really are blessed! I think we both expected this whole thing to be worse than it is. Yes, we are tired. Yes, I do nothing but pump and feed babies. Yes, acclimating the dog to the babies is difficult (she is SO interested in them and getting a bit protective and barky). Yes, it isn't easy. But, we are loving every minute of it!
Rory watching over her new brothers.
 
Tummy time!
(Tripp on top. Davy on bottom.)
 
Today, the boys had their first outing. We didn't go anywhere fun (no fun outings until flu season and RSV season are over, probably at the end of April) but even a trip to the pediatrician can be quite the adventure.*
 
To go the office, we decided to assemble our Baby Jogger City Select double stroller with the car seat adapters and take the whole stroller into the appointment. It worked great. No heavy car seats to lug up to the second floor and a place to set the little guys while brother was getting checked out.
 
But, after the appointment, we looked like this. For over 10 minutes we stood in the parking lot with absolutely no clue how to get the car seats off of the stroller! Everything we could find googling showed how to attach them and assure they were solidly connected. Nothing showed how to take them off. We can attest the Cybex Aton attaches VERY securely. We. Could. Not. Get. Them. Off.
 
Parents of the year.
Standing in the parking lot with no idea how to get the kids into the car.
 
We eventually called the great folks at LoneStar Baby and Kids in Frisco (the folks who sold us the stroller and one of the carseats) and asked for help. They were amazing and talked the clueless newbie parents through it. Thank goodness!
 
 
 
 
* The actual pediatrician appointment went great. Tripp is up to 4lb15.8oz (soooo close to 5lb!) and Davy is 5lb6oz. We loved the nurse practitioner we met with and had a really positive experience. We got some great affirmation on some of the things we have been doing since we left the NICU, got questions answered, and we were told the boys are perfect. We already knew that, but it was nice having someone else say it!
 

Feb 3, 2013

We're Going Home!

Today Tripp and Davy are 3 weeks old! (36w3d gestationally) After 20 days in the NICU, both boys have been released and we are heading home.

Casey's dream since they arrived has been to sit in his recliner in the living room with his boys in his arms and watch the SuperBowl. His dream is coming true.

We will be able to order a pizza and sit and enjoy the game. Both brothers came home today to watch two brothers compete. It's a good day!

We are eager to start our life as "real parents" (as opposed to NICU parents) to these two little miracles.

Feb 2, 2013

Amazing News

Tomorrow Davy is coming home!
 
Tripp is probably coming home tomorrow as well, but we are waiting on the final word from the neonatologist. The nurses say he is ready and we really think he is as well. He is feeding so much better than he did earlier in the week and is gaining weight at a decent pace.
 
Both boys have had their hepatitis vaccines and synagis shots, passed their car seat tests, and jumped through all of the other discharge hoops. They are ready and so are we!
 
 
 
Once the babies are home, our house is going to be a germ free zone.
 
They still have premature immune systems and are tiny little guys and we have been advised by the NICU staff to keep them away from other people until flu season and RSV season are over. These will both end sometime in April (the timing varies based on the weather) so we won't do any sort of meet the babies until May.
 
As we slowly open our home to people meeting the boys, we ask that everyone be understanding of our newly germaphobic natures and help us by following a few standard NICU discharge rules:
 
  • If ANYONE in your household has been ill or shown any symptoms of the common cold or any other sickness during the past 72 hours, please don't come. Your whole household needs to be completely symptom free for a full 72 hours for anyone from your family to enter our home.
  • When you first come in our house please use the Purell that will be at the front door. Then, go immediately to a sink and scrub your hands well, getting between each finger, under each fingernail, etc. for at least the amount of time it takes you to sing the ABCs three times.
  • Be understanding that these premature boys are on a strict eating schedule to help them continue gaining weight, so they (and Lexy) will likely need to go back to the nursery alone during your visit. Respect their eating schedule and don't be offended.
  • Please understand that they aren't supposed to be overstimulated so it might not be possible to hold or touch them during your visit. Also, no children under 13 will be allowed to hold or touch them while their immune systems are premature.
  • The first month the boys are home will be reserved for family. Until the boys have reached term (40 weeks gestational age at the end of February) we will be limiting their germ exposure to family only. Even though they are coming home, they are still younger than most babies are when born. They need time to adjust to being out in the world and we need to adjust to having two high-risk babies in the house and being a family of four.
 
 
We will have our immediate families over sometime in the next few weeks to meet the boys and evaluate how they do during that stimuli and make additional decisions afterwards.
 

A Temporary Post (Sharing Names!)

I know that deleting a blogpost doesn't delete it's presence from the Internet completely and traces still remain, but it makes them harder to find and not google-able. So, this post will only stay up for a few days.
 
We are pleased to formally introduce you to
 

Pip, aka Baby A, aka Tripp:

He is named after his Daddy (who shares Charles with his grandfather) and called Tripp for his three Cs and because he is the third Charles.
 

-AND-

 

Pop, aka Baby B, aka Davy:

His first name is the Americanized spelling of Lexy's Mom's maiden name (Davies is the Scottish spelling) and his middle name is after Lexy's Dad who passed away nine and a half years ago.