Friday, August 13, 2010


It's almost ridiculous how hard adults will work to get smiles out of babies. If someone hasn't recorded you trying to make a baby smile at some point, then you may think you look cool, but let me assure don't. Maybe you're the exception to the rule, but I doubt it. I've wondered several times who was actually being entertained- the baby or the full-grown mature adult that is making a fool of themselves and not even realizing it. I have a theory that if we could read babies' minds we would hear something like this: "I can't believe how long this guy has been making that face. He looks ridiculous. I'm gonna see how long he'll act like that....Wow this guy really is pathetic. Now he's getting on my nerves so I think I'll cry. Wow he really doesn't get it. Now he's making even dumber faces. I'm gonna have to scream."

One of my favorite things to do now is wake the girls up in the morning. They are usually stirring a little sooner than us but still dozing when we come in. A few tickles on the feet and high-pitched, very un-manly "good mornings" and they are all smiles and ready to least until they get hungry.
We started therapy this week finally with Tennessee Early Intervention. It's a state program that is a pre-cursor to the CDC but is intended to work with babies to prevent some developmental delays and give them a head start if they are going to have any. We are really excited to say that the therapist said today (unofficially) she doesn't see any signs of CP or anything else for that matter. That's not a guarantee. Nobody is even allowed to diagnose stuff until 18 months because apparently that is the magic age where you can really tell what's going on developmentally. However, we were told yesterday that she can usually see some signs of the babies that are going to have issues and our girls don't seem to have any so far. Praise God.

Here's what they are doing these days:
Rolling over, scooting (barely), smiling a lot, mimicking the raspberry sound a little (trying hard to get video but no luck so far), sleeping more at night, staying awake more during the day, crying when they're hungry, crying when they're tired, crying when their tummies hurt, and crying when I make to many faces or to few. Mattie is a girl of extremes. She's really quick to smile and play but pretty quick to erupt as well. Sophie is the contemplative one. She likes to smile and scream too but will think about it a little longer before deciding it's worth doing.

Isn't it incredible to think that as foolish as we allow ourselves to look just to make a baby smile, God does it infinitely more to give us reason to smile. He humiliated Himself in front of everyone while his children were thinking, "what in the world is this guy thinking" just to give us everlasting joy. I thank God for my babies and I thank God that I am His.
"I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete."
- Jesus
John 15:11

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Good reports, automatic doors, and awkward reunions

Friday was a looooong day with great results. We had VBS all week last week so Amber had the girls to herself every night which is chore enough in itself. Friday we had to leave the house at 5 am (we wound up leaving by 5:30) in order to get to Vandy in time for all of their checkups. That means that we were up at 3:45 to change them, feed them, get them ready to go, and get ourselves ready to go. That wouldn't be so bad if we hadn't been up till 2:30 the night before trying to get everything ready to go. (I'm still not entirely sure how time seems to move infinitely faster now...especially after 9pm!)

Our first appointment was the eye doctor. Both girls checked out with flying colors. No more ROP! which means they won't have to go back for an eye exam until April to watch for crossed eyes, lazy eyes, etc. The eye people called the BPD clinic (lungs) for us to let them know that we were gonna be late in order to finish the eye exams. At the BPD clinic we learned that both girls are doing very well. (We already knew that...they fight us tooth and nail to keep their tubes out already!) The girls only have to wear their apnea monitors and O2 tubes at night now which is huge. That means we can actually carry them out of the nursery without prior planning. I know...pretty exciting, right! (you might have had to have a kid on O2 to really understand the joy that brings). We will go back in a month to make sure they are still growing well and breathing easily without O2 during the day and if that all checks out, they'll be free at last.
Finally we made it to the Nephrology clinic to check Sophie's blood pressure, which is drastically improved. The doctor lowered her medication pretty significantly and will check it again in a month before pulling her off. Apparently, the extra O2 sometimes triggers higher blood pressures so as the O2 comes off it should continue to improve.

We figured 3 for 3 checkups was pretty good and headed to Amber's parents' mini-van for Amber to nurse the girls. I'm pretty sure if someone had a camera on us tripping over ourselves folded up in the van trying to change diapers and get situated, we could win some money on AFV. The Bowman's are letting us borrow their Nissan Quest. It's one of the nice ones. Power everything. TV. Dual sliding doors. And the back door and passenger sliding door both open by remote.

Keep in mind that this is in the Vandy parking garage where people are coming and going constantly. Needless to say, Amber is a little paranoid. Therefore, my job was to hold a blanket up over the window until we figured out a way to hang it. The girl parked beside us had to think I was pretty weird sitting in the back seat holding a blanket since she couldn't see Amber or the girls. Once we got the blanket hung free of hands, I was given the duty of changing one of the girls in the front seat while Amber continued nursing in the back seat. I'm 6'1''. The van is not. As I was trying to get everything situated I accidentally headbutted the remote control...for the back door and the sliding door! Dingers started dinging, Amber started panicking, and I started bumbling over myself and whichever girl I was changing (my memory is already shrinking from lack of sleep!) to remember where the buttons were and how to close the doors. Thankfully, no one was walking by at that exact moment...or the second time I accidentally hit the buttons again and I have not been sent to sleep on the couch!

Somehow we managed to get both girls changed and fed and headed back inside to see if any of the girls' former nurses were there. We got to see a couple of them and a few of the receptionists that we had gotten close to and were ready to head to Spring Hill for the night. But we were starving. So...I'm off to the food court to find food. Amber kept the girls around the corner to keep them out of the crowd.

When I got in the checkout line, I noticed one of the girl's last doctors that we really liked standing one line over.

I said, "hi."

He said, "what are you doing here!?" which sounds like a strange greeting at first until you realize that he was worried there was something wrong with one of the girls again.

I let him know generally about the success of all three apointments and mentioned that Amber was around the corner with the girls. At this point I had gotten in line behind him in order to talk with him. He asked specifically about Mattie. I resonded, and was impressed that he remembered her name. After all, he is the head of the Neonatology department and has to see countless patients.

I said, "you have a good memory." Now that I think about it, that was probably a pretty big understatement considering his position. His reaction, naturally was to pay for his food and walk away without any response at all as I was left to pay for my sandwiches laugihng about the unended conversation.

The truth of the unanswered compliment on his memory, however, is that when I mentioned that Amber and the girl's were around the corner, he apparently tuned me out and was singly focused on going to see them because when I got back to Amber he was already there with her. Alas, I was reminded once again that from my parents, to Amber's parents, to the head of the neonatology department that when babies are present, I am invisible. Which I am perfectly happy about. :)