Monday, October 28, 2013

One Year Old!

Today, my babies are ONE! I cannot believe it! Rich and I have made it through one year with twins and it has been hard, but so so wonderful! These babies are my miracles and I am so lucky to have them!

The fall is absolutely my favorite time of year. I remember last year laying in my bed all day on bed rest and I would peer out the window at the beautiful yellow and red leaves on the trees. I wanted so badly to have a normal pregnancy and a normal life at that time. A few weeks ago I was in the hospital for a really rare diagnosis of TSS. It wasn't life threatening or anything, but I was pretty sick. It was so crazy being back in the hospital one year later. Rich and I knew the hospital so is sad how well we knew that place. He took me on "walks" in my wheelchair on the same streets that he took me on last year. The leaves on the trees looked the exact same. It was such a weird deja vu moment. But this time, I had my two sweet babies in my life. They are healthy and perfect and I am forever grateful.

So, do you want an update on my babies? They are soooo dang cute!! Since my last post at 4 months old, they have done so so well! First of all, size and weight wise, Addie is taller than Luke. I'm not quite sure by how much, but I guess an inch or so. At their last doc appointment at 9 months, Addie was in the 75 percentile for height (surprise, surprise!) and Luke was in the 25th for height (which is awesome!! - I'm glad he is well on the charts for height!). Weight wise, my babies are both very skinny. Addie is almost always on the 10th percentile for weight and Luke is usually around the 5th percentile. We will have to see where they are at when they go to their year check up! I am really happy at how well they have both grown over the past year. Is it a touchy subject that Addie is taller than Luke and may be for quite awhile? Kind of - but I am accepting it and grateful that they are both healthy and perfect!!!

Developmentally, both babies are doing great as well!! They both sat up a little bit later...around 7  months. Luke started crawling at 8.5 months and Addie at 9 months. Both babies took their first steps about 2 weeks ago, and Addie decided that she loves it, and started walking! She walks most of the time now! Luke on the other hand is a speed crawler and doesn't really practice walking like Addie does. He will take 3-4 steps and then fall. Then he continues to speed crawl to where he wants to go. They are both social and interactive. They love each other MOST of the time. They love exploring and making messes in the house.

Both babies are getting little attitudes and they throw temper tantrums when they don't get their way or if one twin steals the other twin's toy. They are softies though and love to cuddle still. Luke is obsessed with the toilet and playing in the bathroom. It is ridiculous! We have a bread drawer in the kitchen that is within the babies' reach, so when they get hungry they head over to the drawer, grab full loaves of bread out, and start eating slices of bread. It is so so funny!  Both babies love getting into EVERYTHING and I feel like my house is constantly messy and I feel like I am always cleaning up after them. They are interacting so much more now too. They will pass food to each other while in their high chairs and will giggle about it. Every morning they wake up a little before 7 AM, but we don't get them until 7, so they have learned to "talk" to each other in their cribs. When we walk in their room in the morning they are always jumping in their cribs and giggling at each other. It is so cute! They have been stealing each other's toys lately, and they are starting to get mad at each other - as in pulling hair, hitting faces, and such. Ahhh! It doesn't happen too much, but I feel like I have to always be watching them so that they don't hurt each other. They both take two naps a day (at the same time!) and sleep from 7 PM - 7 AM in the night. It is wonderful! I feel like I'm really getting the hang out this twin thing, but before I know it, things will change and get crazy I'm sure!

We had a birthday party yesterday with Rich's family, and the babies LOVED it! I wasn't expecting them to love their birthday so much! They LOVED (especially Luke) when people blew the party blowers in their face. Luke giggled uncontrollably every time and made everyone laugh along with him. Both babies loved the balloons and they LOVED their cake. They dove right in and made such a mess. I loved every moment of it!!

It's kind of crazy to reflect on where we were one year ago. At exactly this time, I was being wheeled into surgery for an emergency csection. I honestly don't think I'd ever been so scared in my life, as everything was happening so fast.  Not many people know this, but Luke was REALLY under distress when he was born. He was given an initial APGAR score of ONE when he was born. I didn't see him right away because I was put under for the csection, but Rich was there and didn't get to see him either because they passed him through the window to the NICU so quickly. I am forever grateful for the doctors and nurses who cared for my babies. Thankfully, Luke bounced back very quickly and had a second score of EIGHT which is a miracle. The second APGAR score is the most important and telling score, so we are beyond grateful that he did so well. Both babies are miracles in SO MANY ways.  They have honestly defied all odds that were against them. They have done remarkably well this year. I am so proud of them!!

Here's to my babies who I love so very much!! Happy Birthday Luke and Addie!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

4 months old!

Today my babies turned 4 months old! It's crazy how the time has flown by! I am absolutely loving this stage. The babes are smiling and cooing all the time. I love it! They are also noticing me a lot more. Whenever I enter the room they start smiling a ton - it is sooo cute! My days usually go really smooth because they are both such good babies. I really thought I was going to need extra help with twins, but I was pleasantly surprised. I am able to go out and about with the babies - taking them to the mall, Target, or my friend's houses and they always do really well. I am very careful to make sure they are fed and happy before we leave, and most of the time they are content in their carseats the entire time we are gone. They continue to feed really well and I find that my day goes better when I feed them at the same time. That way I don't feel like I am feeding babies all day long like I used to! The hardest part of this age is their sleep schedule. They go to sleep really easily for their naps, but not so well before bed time. They usually require us to rock them to sleep (I know, bad idea!), but I really want to wean them off of that! Addie continues to sleep a lot more than Luke. She still takes 2 hour naps while Luke often sleeps for only 30 - 45 minutes, so it is really hard to keep them on a schedule. I just gave up on trying to get them to sleep at the exact same time every day, but instead I just stick to a basic routine of sleep, eat, awake and sleep again. It works out really well for us, and I don't feel tied down to a set schedule so I can leave the house whenever I'd like. Luckily both babies love their carseats and love sleeping in the car or their stroller!

Today we had their four month appointment and it couldn't have gone better! The doctor was really impressed at their weight and height gain, and he said they looked great all around! I always worry a bit more about little Luke because he was IUGR and had such a traumatic birth, so it was great to hear that he is doing so well. In general, he is just a few days or a week behind Addie in doing new things. Addie is still longer than him and she is more active than he is, but I really think it's just a personality thing. Addie is more active but Luke is more of a talker.

Today, Addie weighed 11 pounds 3 ounces and Luke weighed 11 pounds even. He is definitely filling the gap! Addie is 25 inches and Luke is 23.5 inches and their head is the same size.

Addie is soooo active! She is constantly kicking around on the floor and has been doing this since she was about a month old. She has rolled over from her back to her stomach a few times. She is still a great napper, but has been taking shorter naps the last few days. Hopefully this isn't a new trend! Addie isn't as good of an eater at Luke. She is definitely a long and skinny baby! Addie will not take a binki, but soothes herself is by putting her blanket all over her face and in her mouth. Hey, whatever works! Isn't she such a pretty baby?

Luke is a Mama's boy and I love it! He is so so smiley when I hang out with him. The other day I was cooking dinner and he would start to cry a little when my back was turned. Once I turned around and he saw my face he was smiling and so so happy! He is still a terrible napper! I try everything to get him to go back to sleep. Sometimes he will, but it takes me awhile. Luckily I don't have any other responsibilities but take care of my babies, so I can take the time to just snuggle with the babes! Luke is so so smiley and is such a talker. He is always cooing! He isn't as active as Addie is, but he still will kick around on the floor and lift his head briefly during tummy time. He loves his binki and he still loves to nurse! Love my boy!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

2 Months Old!

I can't even believe that my little kiddos turned 2 months old on December 28th! Things are starting to get into a routine now, so I find that I have a little bit of time to myself. Key word - a LITTLE bit! Haha! My life is definitely BUSY but it hasn't really been overwhelming just yet. I'm honestly loving being at home with Luke and Addie and it's so fun watching them grow.

At their two month appointment, Addie weighed 8 pounds 9 ounces and she was 21.75 inches long. She is definitely skinny and long, just like her dad!! 

Luke weighed 7 pounds 4 ounces and was 19.75 inches long. He is still much smaller than Addie, but he is filling the gap!  

Luke and Addie in their pajamas. You can tell that Addie is longer than Luke, but he is catching up!

I am finally starting to get into a routine with the babes. It's obviously not always perfect, but I feel like I'm starting to figure things out a bit! I read a book called Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Twins, and I have learned a few really helpful things! Typically, the babes wake up in the morning around 7:30 and they eat and play. After that, they fall asleep around 9:00 or 9:30 and nap for awhile. Luke is a short napper- and only naps between 30 minutes to 2 hours. Addie is a long napper and typically naps between 2 - 3 1/2 hours! Usually she doesn't wake up again until noon! One time she took a 5 hour nap - crazy! Meanwhile, Luke usually has woken up, fed, played, and then is back asleep again by the time Addie wakes up! The afternoon and evening are a bit more unpredictable, but they usually will take two shorter naps or one long nap. They then go to bed around 8:00 - 9:30 depending on when the last nap was. During the night, they will first sleep for a 5 or so hour stretch and then after that, they wake up every 3 hours. Rich and I both take a baby at night, so really I am only waking up twice - maybe three times in the night. I'm feeling pretty rested most of the time!

Little tidbits on each child:

Addie LOVES her kick time. Whenever she is awake and not feeding she just lays on the floor and kicks around for about 45 minutes. It's pretty cute! She doesn't always need someone their watching her, so I am able to cook dinner or feed Luke while she kicks!  Addie is usually a really happy baby, but if she doesn't get enough sleep, she gets cranky! I've learned that letting her sleep for hours and hours in a day doesn't keep her from sleeping at night - it actually helps her! Last Sunday Rich and I couldn't get Addie to take a nap. She didn't sleep from 2:00 PM - 10:00 PM and she was sooooo cranky! I ended up having to sleep with her in our bed - so naps are a MUST for her! 

Luke is a really happy baby too. He is also a short napper, and I used to call him "The baby who never sleeps!" It seemed like he really didn't start taking good naps until the last week. The thing is, when he doesn't sleep he doesn't get cranky like Addie does. I just think that he needs less sleep than her. He has always been a really great eater and quite stubborn about his food too. He LOVES to nurse, but we supplement with formula and he has to be able to take a bottle. Sometimes when the temperature of the formula isn't quite right or something else is bothering him, he has a hard time taking the bottle. He always eventually takes it and eats quite a bit for his little body size! Lately, I have noticed that he isn't as ravenous as he used to be, but he is still a great eater! Luke isn't as active during his "kick time" as Addie is, but he still moves around quite a bit. He loves sleeping in his crib and loves to nap with his white noise maker. He is also really observant, and is content just looking around at all of the lights in the room.

I've learned that my babes are really good babies if their needs are met! If they have enough food and sleep, they really are a dream! They are content being by themselves, which is so important with two babies! I'd say that the hardest time of the day is when they both want to feed at the same time. It makes things hard when one baby won't take the bottle (usually Luke!) so I find myself trying to wrestle with both babes. Even though the twin books that I've read recommend waking one baby up when the other wakes up, right now I just don't prefer it. I've tried that once and Addie is such a sleeper that she won't wake up to feed and then she is cranky with her lost sleep. Also, I prefer feeding the babes one at a time most of the time because I get to have my one on one time with each babe. However, I still like to feed them at the same time once or twice a day because it is so much faster! 

Usually my goal for each day is to take care of the babies, make dinner and keep the house clean. Usually I try to fit in another task of the day or take the babes out, but it doesn't always happen. It really is such a busy day keeping up with them, and I am really content doing it! They are both smiling now and it is just the cutest thing! 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Luke and Addie - Home at Last!

The babes turned 5 weeks old today. It's crazy how time flies! I know that I haven't posted in awhile, but both Luke and Addie came home on the exact same day - Wednesday, November 14th. They spent a total of 17 days in the NICU and we are so happy they are home! They told us a few days before their discharge that Luke was going home, but Addie was still having a hard time feeding, so they thought she would be in the NICU for a bit longer. Thankfully, Luke came home in the morning, and Addie was able to come home that evening. Apparently twins usually aren't discharged on the same day (especially because they were in a separate hospitals), so it was extra special that they came home on the same day! Since they've been home, life has been a bit crazy but wonderful at the same time! My mom was here up until a few days ago, so it was a big help having three adults to two babies. Tomorrow Rich goes back to work, so it's the true test to see if I can handle two babies by myself for the entire day. Wish me luck!

Luke was too small to come home in this car seat, so they actually sent him home in this car bed! He was a whopping 3 pounds 14 ounces when he came home!
Luke, home at last!

Grandma and Luke

Luke and Addie, together at last!

The babies were weighed last Monday, and Addie weighed 6 pounds 12 ounces and Luke weighed 4 pounds 11.5 ounces! So, in 10 days Luke gained almost an entire pound which is amazing for his little size! He is such a champ at eating, and is a really mellow baby, except for when you mess with his feeding. Addie is such a little cutie and gained half a pound in 10 days. She is starting to get a little bit chubby and I love it! It's been almost a week since they were last weighed, so I can only imagine that Luke is 5 pounds and Addie is now 7 pounds. It's crazy how quickly they grow!

Luke - at 3 pounds 14 ounces

Luke at over 4 pounds - look at those chubby cheeks!

Addie's first night home
Isn't she pretty?

Cute twins!

Falling apart

Is this really happening?

 Family Picture

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Luke and Addison - My Little Miracles!

I am now a mom to the most beautiful babies that I have ever seen! I feel so incredibly blessed to have them and they are absolutely perfect! We have witnessed miracle after miracle during our whole pregnancy journey, and we feel so blessed!

This is my last pregnancy photo. I was 35 weeks here and the babies were born 2 days later.

On Sunday morning at 4:00 AM, to my surprise, my water broke! We came to the hospital and I started a medicine to start contractions. The morning was fairly uneventful until I received an epidural around noon. Sweet little Luke was having trouble through the contractions and his heart rate had been dropping dramatically through each contraction. I had to have a C section immediately.

The delivery was an absolute whirlwind. I could still feel pain and I was terrified that I would feel them giving me a csection. It ended up that the medicine wasn't completely working, so they put me under for my babies' birth. I don't remember a thing! They delivered the babes so quickly and passed them immediately through the window of the NICU.

We knew before the birth that Luke would be really small, as he wasn't growing very quickly in utero. The plan was to stabilize little Luke and then transport him to Primary Children's because he had also been diagnosed with a coarctation of the aorta. When they were born, Luke was really small- 3 pounds 7 ounces - but he was doing SO well! He didn't even need oxygen when he was born! Addie weighed 5 pounds 14 ounces and needed oxygen for only a day or two.

Luke Michael Hunter

Addison Grace Hunter
When Luke was born, they did an echo on him to see if there were problems with his aortic valve, which I was so worried about! It turned out that he didn't have any issues with it. When babies are in utero, they have something called a PDA duct that circulates their blood, by passing the aorta. When they are born, the PDA duct closes and the blood goes through the aorta. The next step was to see what happened when his PDA duct closed to see how his aorta functioned. Another MIRACLE occurred! His heart did GREAT when the duct closed, and he ended up not even having the coarctation of the aorta. He has NO heart defect and will NOT need surgery! This stumped the doctors and we feel SO BLESSED to experience yet another miracle! Thank you so much for all of the prayers on behalf of our little boy. We feel beyond blessed that he doesn't have a heart defect and that he is doing so incredibly well!

For now, Luke is at Primary Children's Hospital and Addie is at the NICU at the University of Utah. It's definitely hard to go back and forth between the kiddos each day! Addie is able to breathe on her own and regulate her own body temperature, so the last thing she needs to master is feeding. Then, she should be able to come home! Luke is such a cute little fighter. He is working on being able to feed - he sleeps ALL the time and has a hard time waking up to feed! - and gain more weight so that he can regulate his body temperature as well. Both babies are doing so WELL and we cannot wait for them to come home soon!!!

They brought Luke to my room on his way to Primary Children's. This is the first time I met my little guy!

Sweet little Addie! She got rid of her oxygen quickly!

Luke's little body!

I LOVE these little videos of Luke!

 Cute Luke

 Addie in her crib - She should be coming home SOON!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Please pray for our little man!

Today, I made it to 35 weeks! It is an absolute miracle that I've made it this far. I have been in and out of the hospital at least 7 times, to the point that most nurses at the hospital know us. We had scares that I would have to deliver as early as 26 weeks, and my doctor told me at one point that he expected me to deliver at 32 weeks. When I met with him a few days ago, he told me he was shocked that I was still pregnant and that he would plan on inducing me at 36 weeks. Well, it looks like that is not the case anymore - I'm trying to go even longer - at least 37 weeks! The reason for this is because our little man is not doing so well. He is still so SMALL and he was diagnosed today with a heart defect. The doctors want to keep him inside of me as long as possible because he will need open heart surgery about a week after he is born. I'm obviously having a very difficult time with this new diagnosis as I feel like all odds are against my sweet tiny little guy. I can't quite believe it honestly.

Today, he was diagnosed with a coarctation of the aorta. Last week, they saw something on an ultrasound that led them to believe that it was the coarctation, so they referred us to Primary Children's for an echo. It turns out that his aorta is thin and will need to be corrected with open heart surgery.  The prognosis is very good with this surgery. Usually, people who have this surgery will not need repeated surgeries and they can go on to live a normal life with no restrictions. So, this is great news! However, they are a little concerned that in addition to the coarctation, that our little guy may also have a more narrow aortic valve. His valve is currently thinner than it should be at his gestational age, but he is also soooo much smaller than he should be too, so they aren't really sure if that's why it's thin. If his valve is thin, the prognosis isn't as good because the valve does not grow with the child and he would need repeated surgeries. At this point, we are hoping and praying that his aortic valve is not thinner than it should be, and that his only problem is the coarctation of the aorta.

In regards to his small size...My OB thinks that he is small because of an insufficient placenta which is related to my preeclampsia. We won't know for sure until the twins are born what is causing this growth restriction. However, it is definitely concerning to the cardiologist that our boy will be so small for his surgery. Ideally, they would like for him to reach 4 pounds before the do surgery. They did a growth scan on Monday that said that our boy is 3 pounds 8 ounces (give or take 8 ounces to give room for error) which is a MIRACLE because he had only gained 3 ounces in 3 weeks before that. I'm absolutely thrilled that he is gaining weight, so I just need to keep the twins inside for a few more weeks to give him as much time to grow as possible!

We are planning on naming our little guy Luke Michael Hunter. Rich and I both loved the name Luke and Michael is my dad's name. Our little girl (who by the way is doing GREAT! and has no problems at all! She will probably be 6 1/2 - 7 pounds when she is born!) will be named Addison Grace Hunter. That's the plan, but who knows- it could change. :)

Right now, I am borderline having severe preeclampsia, so please pray that I can carry on for a few more weeks with this condition. They diagnose severe preeclampsia when you have 5,000 mg of protein in your urine, and I am at 4,000 mg right now. I went from 2,000 mg to 4,000 mg in 3 weeks, so it will be cutting it close to try to make it to 37 weeks!

Please pray for little Luke that he will continue to gain weight. We would love for him to reach the 4 pound mark before surgery! Also, pray that he does not have the thin aortic valve and that he will do well with his upcoming surgery.

Thank you for your prayers and support during this very difficult time. It honestly means the world to us, and we have seen so many miracles so far because of prayer. I know that our little guy is such a fighter and that he will be okay, but it is still so so hard to have so many unknowns about your child's future. Sometimes I just want to count down the days until my twins are born, but I know that once they are born, it will be such a JOYOUS time, yet such a hard time. I feel so blessed that I get to be a MOTHER to these little angels and I will do whatever it takes to keep them healthy and safe!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


On Monday, at the hospital, I went in for an ultrasound to check on the babies' growth. It had been almost 3 weeks since the last growth ultrasound and I really expected our little guy to have grown, especially because the cord dopplers had looked so great over the last few weeks. Unfortunately, our little guy had only gained 3 ounces in almost 3 weeks! This is devastating news as we only weighs 2 pounds 14 ounces at a little over 33 weeks. Our little girl is doing great and weighs 4 pounds 15 ounces! I am so bummed because I really thought the little guy would weigh over 3 pounds by now. I am coming to terms that he is going to be REALLY small and we will be lucky if he makes it to 3 pounds by the time he is delivered. The doctors think that he is just outgrowing his placenta. I am going to be so happy when this pregnancy is over, but I am just having a hard time with another thing going wrong. I am so worried about our little guy and that he will probably end up being half the size of his twin sister. They say that IUGR babies catch up within a year or two, so that is great news, but it still is difficult knowing that my baby is so so tiny!! Please continue to pray for our little ones, especially our sweet little guy!