Sunday, October 26, 2008

Enjoying Fall!

We took the kids to a local park for some fall pics, it was hard to get too many good ones because they just won't sit still like they used to but here are some of our favorites. Oh, and as you can tell Parker spent most of his time snacking on the leaves!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

RSV time again

If you are not aware of RSV, you are among the majority. Although nearly every child by the age of 2 has been infected with RSV, most have not heard of it. For full-term babies, RSV is typically not any worse than a common cold. For preemies, it is much different. It is a serious virus that is very easily contracted, and for those born earlier than 36 weeks, it poses major risks (pneumonia, bronchiolitis, and other more serious complications, some fatal). The babies were born at 28 weeks, diagnosed with bronchopulmonary dyplasia (BPD) and also had low birth weights, all of which are the highest risk factors for contracting serious RSV.

Stopping the spread of RSV is very difficult. Thus, we must be vigilant about keeping our children safe during RSV season (October through April). It is spread through physical contact, through the air via a cough or sneeze, or picked up via touching an infected object. Since it can live as long as 6 hours on your hands and up to 12 hours on objects, you can see how difficult it is to prevent exposure. It is very easily spread, especially from child to child, and studies have shown that other infants pose an even higher risk at spreading RSV from one infant to another. Some people have asked, “Can’t they just fight it off and it will build up their immune system? Kids need to get sick, right?”. The simple answer is no. Since our babies were 3 months pre-term, they did not acquire the necessary immunities to fight off infection. If they acquire RSV, they could likely be hospitalized and develop other serious complications. The saying, "there is no cure for the common cold" is true for RSV. It’s up to the baby’s very weak immune system to fight off the infection, which is why many times it leads to more complications. Here is a great visual comparison of a preemies lungs compared to a full-term baby:
According to an online RSV tracking page, cases of RSV have already begun to show up in Michigan. Thus, the season has begun and we’ll be asking our visitors to follow a few guidelines in hopes of preventing Parker and McKenna from contracting RSV or any other illness.

We ask that all visitors do the following:

- When you arrive, please wash your hands and use hand-sanitizer as needed before touching the kids
- Please refrain from coming over if you are currently sick, if you live with someone who is currently sick, have been in contact with someone who is sick, and/or if you have not been symptom-free for at least 7 days.
- If you smoke, we ask that you refrain from smoking just prior to visiting, as their lungs are very sensitive. Most RSV sites recommend against passive smoke exposure. Although it’s not second hand smoke, it does linger and we’d prefer to be safe rather than add another risk factor.
- If you are parents to a baby or toddler, please refrain from bringing them to the house during RSV season.

We will not be attending events during RSV season, which unfortunately coincides with numerous gatherings, including the holidays. It is our goal to make it through this RSV season just like the last, without Parker and McKenna contracting RSV or any other serious illness. Their lungs have come a long way. But believe it or not, they are still very fragile, at least until they are 2. Then we can all breathe a little easier. We hope you understand and we appreciate your support as always!

Friday, October 17, 2008

One year check up

Today was our one year check up. Thankfully Aunt Marianne came so that I had an extra set of hands because neither of them were very happy with all of the poking and proding. They were screaming in stereo by the end of the visit. Despite all of the tears we got a great report. The doctor was thrilled with their progress and said they are doing great for micropreemies. Here are their one year stats...

20 lbs. 3 oz.
29 inches long
4 teeth and lots of hair!

17 lbs. 7 oz.
28 1/4 inches long
1 tooth (finally!) and a few strands of hair

So we tried to pose the kids in the "picture chair" for some one year pics and things didn't go as planned now that they are on the move...

Thinking about going...



and gone!

Riding in their new wagon

McKenna pushing Parker in their new shopping cart, thanks Aunt Casey!

She took the job very seriously and he just sat their like he does this every day.

Two happy babies!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

A name in the sand

Another loss mom I know told me about a website where they will write the name of your child who has passed in the sand and take a picture of it. I asked that they do Hadley's name and, amazingly, they did it on her Angel Day. It is absolutely beautiful. Words can't express how it felt to see her name and know that someone half way around the world was writing her name in the sand in a place that looks so close to heaven. They have been doing this for families since their own son was born still. What an amazing way to turn the devastation of losing a child into a powerful gift for others. I just can't say enough about what they are doing and how much it means to me and so many other loss parents. Below is a picture of our daughter's beautiful name. The website where so many (too many) angel childrens' names are displayed is http://www.namesinthesand.blogspot.com

Saturday, October 11, 2008


Today is Hadley's angel day, it has been one year since our lives were forever changed and we were forced to say goodbye to our daughter. I just keep thinking back to every minute of that day and the days before and wishing we could do it all over again and have three beautiful babies here with us right now. We will spend this day honoring her and finding ways to keep her memory alive, remembering those precious last moments we spent with her.

There are a few wonderful places that have helped me get through this last year and I would like to share them in case anyone else out there has experienced such a devastating loss. CLIMB (Center for Loss in Multiple Births) is an amazing resource for families who have lost one or more in a set of multiples. ELIMBO is a yahoo support forum that connects parents who have lost a multiple and, of course, the wonderful community at Fertile Thoughts who have supported me from our journey to get pregnant, our loss of Hadley and now parenting my two survivors. I really couldn't have made it through without the wonderful people I have met along the way.

Thanks too to our family, I know the loss of Hadley is hard for all of you as well but you have always come through with nothing but support and love for us. We appreciate all of you and only wish she could be here to share the love you have given us.

This is just a horrible day that no parent should ever have to get through. Mark and I will lean on each other today and get through it.

Hadley, we love and miss you each and every day.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Happy Birthday Babies!

I can't believe it has been a year since I gave birth to three beautiful babies. It seems like just yesterday I was staring at the four walls of my hospital bed, day after day, waiting for them to get here and hoping and praying they would all be okay. This year has been amazing, full of ups and downs as we cherish every minute with our survivors and grieve the loss of our angel Hadley. Here are a pictures of the babies one year ago today...

Baby A- McKenna 2lbs. 10 oz. at birth

Baby B- Parker 1lb. 14oz. at birth

Baby C- Hadley 2lbs. 5 oz. at birth, always our angel

Happy Birthday babies, we love you SO much!!!
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