Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Some pics of Elie loving her bath last weekend . . .

Owen - not so much.

Monday, April 28, 2008

march for babies!

Mike and I walked in the March of Dimes, March for Babies! walk on Saturday. We left the twins at "Granddaddy Daycare" and proudly walked five miles with thousands of other Atlantans.

We want to thank all of our friends and family who donated money in honor of Owen and Eliot. The March of Dimes does some extraordinary work for premature babies, and we were very proud to support their efforts.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

the return of the bottle

Eliot started back on bottles this weekend. It was an amazing sight. We are trying to work her up to eight bottles a day by giving her four small bottles during the day, and letting her rest with continuous tube feeds at night. She began her bottle endurance training on Saturday, and had a stellar first performance. No surprise, of course.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


I know, I know. Get two babies, and neglect your blog. How rude.

Life has changed for sure. Mike took a one-week paternity leave while we worked to regain a sense of order and sanity in our lives. Yea right, not until the twins go to college, but it was fun for both of us to be home with Owen and Eliot nonetheless.

Both babies are doing great. Owen continues to eat and sleep well. He is now over ten pounds of adorableness.

Eliot had her second swallow study on Tuesday and PASSED with an A+. We meet with her G.I. doctor tomorrow to talk about getting her back on bottles and off of her feeding tube. No one knew how long it would take Eliot to learn how to swallow correctly with her paralyzed vocal chord - "could take a couple of weeks, could take a couple of years." But once she got home and saw Owen showing off his bottle abilities, she got it together in a hurry. A little competition never hurt anyone.

It's sort of weird to wake up now and not go to Northside. There was a rhythm there that I had gotten used to: down a few days, up a few days, give some advice to someone, get some advice from someone else. I'll never forget the quintessential saying that people always repeated when times were tough. "God only gives you what you can handle." Every time I heard it, I would think - what a load of crap. I can't handle any of this. But looking back on our NICU experience, I think Mike and I did okay. Undoubtedly, we are better people because it.

This past weekend, the six of us went for a walk - Mike, Owen, Eliot, Jackson (big dog), China (little dog) and me. We had been looking forward to taking the twins for a ride in their stroller since we got pregnant last June. I was walking the dogs behind Mike and the babies, and thinking about the last few months - how hard I had prayed for the day when we could finally start our life as a family. All that hoping, wishing, anticipating - and finally, it's here.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

homecoming queen

Eliot came home on Tuesday. My best friend said it best: "What a great day. They write songs about days like this."

Songs like this, perhaps?

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


For the past 112 nights, I have unwillingly said goodbye to my daughter and left her at the hospital. But, our Northside NICU journey is finally coming to a close, and tonight was the last goodbye. Tomorrow, I'll just kiss her good night.

Eliot is coming home.

Monday, April 7, 2008

so close

Since Eliot will be continuing her feeds through an NG tube (naso-gastric), Mike and I have to learn how to place one. I volunteered to stick a tube down Mike's nose and into his stomach, but it turns out we have to practice on Eliot.

I had my first attempt yesterday at an NG tube placement, and it was no problem. When I finished, I swear Elie looked at me as if to say, "Great job, mom. Now disconnect me from all these other wires, and let's get out of here."

If only.

In addition to mommy's day of playing nurse, sweet Elie passed her car seat test! We have a few minor things left on our discharge list, but her homecoming is close. I can feel it.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

hungry, hungry o

This is so wrong, but I'm not apologizing. And neither is Owen.

Friday, April 4, 2008


Yesterday, a friend of mine said, "I read your blog every day. You should be a writer!"
Riiighhht. Any chump could be a writer with this kind of material.

Eliot's surgery was scheduled for Friday. Literally, the O.R. was booked. We were proceeding with a a g-j tube - a catheter surgically placed into her intestine to help a severe case of acid reflux and her inability to swallow.


The G.I. doctor who was going to perform the procedure requested a 24-hour pH probe study to measure the severity of her reflux and what he would be dealing with on the operating table. Apparently, pH probe studies are rarely done in the NICU anymore. They started hers on Wednesday afternoon.

A probe that measures the acidity in her esophagus was put down her throat, and she was given a cocktail of unfiltered apple juice mixed with rice cereal (instead of her usual breast milk).

Apple juice has a pH of four. The esophagus has a pH reading of six to seven. The purpose of the probe is to detect the pH in the esophagus. Any reading of four or less indicates that there is apple juice and/or stomach acid in the esophagus - thus indicating reflux.

On Thursday morning, after only 19 hours, the doctor ordered the results. I waited . . .

"Guess what?" she said. "Eliot's reflux isn't bad at all. There is really no reason to do a g-j tube."

We were all stunned. They had planned to transfer her from Northside to Scottish Rite tonight. Tonight. I couldn't believe it. I couldn't make this up if I tried.

While this news doesn't change the fact that Eliot's paralyzed vocal cord still affects her swallow, it does keep her away from another surgery for the time being, and it doesn't add "severe acid reflux" to her super-thick medical chart. She will continue to feed through the tube in her nose until her next swallow study - approximately 3 weeks from now. We will pray that in the next few weeks she will grow and become coordinated enough to start taking bottles.

It's been a rough couple of weeks with Owen at home and Eliot still in the hospital. I'm so worn out from traveling back and forth, so when I got home tonight, I poured a bottle of breast milk for Owen and a glass of flat ginger ale for me, and we sat down, relaxed, and had ourselves a little toast - a toast to miracles, a toast to Eliot.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

boppy doggy

China said she read the directions for the Boppy. She said this is how it works.
I don't know. I'm not convinced quite yet.