Monday, November 30, 2009


We had two wonderful Thanksgivings this year. It was our year to have Thanksgiving with my family on Thanksgiving day and we spent the day visiting and very relaxed. I didn't get any pictures at my Dad's of Thanksgiving (thanks to a dead camera battery) and only one at my Grandparent's. At least I got one. Everyone enjoyed themselves and had a ton of fun as always!

{Hannah and Grandma Janet}
On the weekend, we went to Steve's side for Thanksgiving/Austin B's birthday. The triplets are getting to the point where they really enjoy themselves and Hannah is getting more and more independent, so she also enjoyed some time playing with all the little people. My sister in law always does a fun ornament craft and we did that also. This year she had two - one for the little people and one for the grown ups. It worked out perfect and the older cousins were great sports about helping the little cousins!

{Kendra and Noah}

{Hannah is still tiny enough to stand up under a pool table.}


{Hannah, Nathanial, and Kendra are fascinated with Aunt Sue's pictures}

{Aaron "helping" Hannah make her craft}

{Troy helped Nathanial, but Nathanial wanted to do it himself}

{Aidan working hard on his craft}

{Shane helping Noah}

{Austin helping Ethan - they make a great team!}
As always, we take a grandkids photo for Grandma Lee and Grandpa Kenny's Christmas card.
{Noah, Troy with Kendra, Austin B with Thano, Austin C with Ethan, Shane with Hannah, Aidan}

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Nathanial, Ethan, and Noah have been in speech and development therapy for almost a year now (wow!) and so it was time for their bi-annual hearing screens to go with their evaluations for their IFSP's. Nathanial passed his, but was right on the line of a need for a medical referral. The general consensus was, though, that he is hearing well enough to be at a learning level. So he was ultimately not referred on, which was good because he just got a new set of tubes a few months ago. Noah failed his hearing test massively - completely missing entire tones. He did not hear things no matter how loud they got. Ethan failed massively, also, but heard all the tones, just at very loud levels. So they were referred back to Dr. B for an evaluation.

When we went in, it was discovered that Noah's one tube fell completely out, the other was just barely in, and there was a lot of fluid behind both eardrums. Ethan's tubes were both in place, however they were plugged completely, so no longer working. He also had a lot of fluid behind both eardrums. We decided to go ahead with surgery for both of them.

They went in today and Noah knew when we got to the floor just exactly what was going to happen and started sobbing. I was able to distract him with a new blankey and teddy eventually. (I love the hospital that we go to for this - it is very progressive and very comforting for little people, especially considering it's in a town with a population of about 9,000 people.)

Ethan went first, which was a huge help because he doesn't have the propensity for drama that Noah does and he feeds off Noah. He got right in the little wagon and said "bye-bye" to me and was off. He was done in about an hour and Dr. B came in to chat with me. He had a ton of thick mucus behind both eardrums, which was drained and his adenoids were "huge." She feels his speech and hearing should be drastically improved now. His one tube was also fairly buried in his ear, so she had to do a little more "work" to get it out. She said we will probably see more bleeding from that ear than the other three ears and just to know that was why. As soon as they took Noah back, they came and got me for Ethan in the recovery room. He was saying miserably "mommy, mommy, mommy" over and over. Once I started to hold him, he did much better. We got in a lot of cuddle time while Noah was in surgery. Ethan also had/has some breathing congestion now, but they said that should clear up in a few days. He wasn't so bad that he needed a breathing treatment (like Nathanial) which was reassuring; they just heard a lot of "gunk" in his lungs afterward.

Noah went next and because Ethan went without much fanfare, Noah got in the wagon and said "bye-bye" to me, also. Noah had a ton of pus behind both eardrums, so was given iv antibiotics while also being given fluids (Ethan also received iv fluids). Dr B is not sure if he will ever get back some of the tones he totally missed (there was indication of damaged nerves from birth on for those tones), but they are "not tones he really needs." Interesting....

Noah had some dramatics coming out of anesthesia (as always) so one nurse came to cuddle with Ethan while I went back to recovery with Noah. He did better after I got back there and was able to hold him, but still had the little sobbing-breathing problem and would just break into more sobs on occasion.

Ethan drank right away and ate an entire popsicle, but Noah refused. He was not allowed to have the IV pulled until he drank 6 oz of juice and half a popsicle so they could see that he would indeed drink and not vomit when he got home. It took him a good 45 minutes to decide he wanted to go home bad enough to drink anything. As soon as he did, we were GONE.

This afternoon, both are rather hyper and not wanting to rest or nap at all. I believe they may be ramped up on pain killers, but they need to rest. They are recovering well, though, and really don't seem to be in any now we should be almost out of the effects of the pain meds they had at the hospital!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Hannah's Gaining!!

Hannah had her follow up today in Iowa City with Dr. V and Dr. A. It went AWESOME!!! I have been feeling very defeated and frustrated because it appeared her weight gain was very slow. She has been gaining three ounces a week every week since she was discharged and then she gained eight last week. She gained four ounces this week, according to their scale (it's difficult to say if this is accurate because it is best that she is weighed on the same scale every time at the same time of day in the same place, etc., etc.). So I told the nurse my frustrations. I felt that it should be more, as she is still eating table food, drinking calorie enhanced milk, nursing, and being tube fed. Dr. V came in and was thrilled with her gain. She charted it out for me (below) and said it was an awesome gain overall! Yay!! Five grams per day is maintenance and ten grams per day is weight gain. She was hoping/expecting Hannah G to gain ten grams per day....Hannah is really gaining eighteen grams per day on average!!! WooHoo!!! It made me feel so much better to see it all plotted out. Plus, not only is she gaining, but I'll explain the charts below which were all very encouraging.

Because she has gained weight, we are also going to increase her Pediasure feedings overnight. Now she will be getting 12 ounces over a ten hour period, which will continue to push her weight up, which in turn pushes her length up. Ultimately, she needs her length to be between 30-50th percentile and then her weight to match that somewhere on the chart. Baby steps - and we are getting there quicker than I prayed for!!

Miss Hannah G today - at almost fourteen months {in a few days!}.

The chart above is what Hannah had been doing. As you can see, she dropped drastically, then leveled out. And you are seeing correctly, at 12 months, she was below the number "12." Then, today, at almost 14 months, there was a huge uptake again!!

Above is Hannah's head circumference...from hospitalization on October 9 to today, November 13 (see the increase???).

This is Hannah's length - again, hospitalization to today...another increase!

One of the more exciting ones....Hannah's weight. See how much closer she's getting to the bottom of the chart?!?!?!!! We're almost at 3rd percentile!!! The first "X" is her birth weight percentile for comparison...that's the percentile mark we're shooting for to get her off the tube.

The best one by far....her weight to length comparison. She is now on the chart!! Which means that, proportionately, she is doing super!!! Finally they are matching up somewhere on a chart!!!!