Wednesday, February 25, 2009

just a little "jumpstart" needed . . . .

So, for those of you who want to know, but don't want to ask:)  Spoiler alert - all good news! . . . We took the boys to the Physical Therapist, Dee, this morning.  Bowen, of course, is fine.  Dee said he has a little stiffness in his legs (due to being born so early, not normal stiffness), but that he is overcoming it fine on his own and does not need any help.  We credit that to his strong curiosity, determination and independence.  If he can't do something, he just tries harder; it's his inherent personality.  No one else (probably not even most therapists) would notice this stiffness.  The only thing Chris and I and Aunt Beth have noticed is that he occasionally likes to stand on his tiptoes (a sign of this abnormal stiffness, or "tone").

So we had prepared ourselves for the worst news with Luke (even though our guts say he will be fine), and got pretty great news.  Dee said she sees that Luke has poor trunk control, stiffness in his legs, wants to stand on tiptoes more than not, does not like to separate one half of the body from the other (as you would do with crawling - moving one leg then the other; he wants to move both at the same time).  All this we knew already.  Nonetheless, she said he has good motor patterns (yeh! that's a good thing).  She feels (which we already knew) that he will need motivation and tough love (he only does what he wants to do; he is just as stubborn as Bowen, but his stubbornness drives him in a different direction).  He becomes quickly frustrated with a task and (as Dee says) "twits out."  However, he will do the task if you put the right toy in front of him or play the right game with him, etc.  I offered for her to use the boys for demo in the P.T. school pediatrics class in August, so the students could see the difference in development between premature TTS twins.   Her response - "That would be great, but I don't think there will be anything to see by August."  Yeh for Luke.  So, Luke will start twice a week PT & OT sessions, and once a week speech sessions to get him jumpstarted.  Which is what Dee said is all he needs, a little jumpstart.  So we are very pleased with this prognosis.  

In the meantime, we'll roll the video tape for Dee to use for her class, and maybe I'll finally get some videos up on the blog! . . . 

And a personal report - I'm taking my huge board certification exam on Sat, March 14th.  If you think about it, say a little prayer for me to do well!

Friday, February 13, 2009

1-year Stats

After getting home from a PT conference in Las Vegas late last night . . . 

Today we visited Dr. McLaren for the boys' 1-year check-up.  We have fortunately had a very healthy year and have only been in for well visits.  I'm sure once the boys get into the church nursery, our time will come! . . .

So here are the stats:
Luke: length 28.5 inches
           weight 18 pounds 2 ounces
   around the 3rd percentile (on regular growth chart, not age-adjusted)
Bowen: length 28 inches
      weight 21 pounds 4 ounces
              around the 25th percentile for weight, can't remember for length

Okay, I may be off on the ounces part, but close enough.  And yes, Bowen's heavier and Luke's longer.  Dr. McLaren says Luke on the growth chart is perfectly proportioned.  Although they are low on the growth chart, they are at least registering.

So while they are continually progressing in their developmental milestones, Dr. McL wants them to get a thorough evaluation by PT/OT/Speech at a NICU follow up clinic.  So we will probably be doing that in the next few weeks.  He wants us to be proactive in keeping them on track.  Based on the screening milestone questionnaire, Luke is delayed in all areas and Bowen is delayed in communication & fine motor skills (though I highly doubt that is accurate for Bowen).  Bowen continues to pull up, crawl, jabber, and eat cheerios.  Luke now rolls and gets into quadruped/rocking with ease; he's able to feed himself cheerios, but only if we're not nearby (he's very smart, that kid).  Tonight, I taught him how to high-five; very cute!

We'll be back to more regular posts after I take my big specialization exam on March 14th!

Saturday, February 7, 2009


Happy 1st Birthday, Luke & Bowen!!!  We are so glad it is Feb 7th of '09, and not of '08!  We celebrated with friends & family, Podnuh's BBQ and cake & ice cream (of course!).  It's so hard to believe that these 2 peas in a pod have finally turned ONE-YR-OLD!

Below, Luke & Bowen get ready to blow out some candles.

First bites of cake!  Luke was digging into his cake as soon as we set it down! (He inherited his mother's sweet tooth.) . . . . . First photo is Bowen, second is Luke . . . 

Below, family photos (before the cake). . . You can't read them in these pictures, but Luke's T says "Birthday Boy" and Bowen's says "It's Fun to be 1!"

Below, Great Grammie & Great Pop Cathcart. (Great G'mamma Porter had to leave the party before this point).

Below, Nana Bowen holds Luke, and Papa Bowen holds Bowen.

Below, Papaw Cathcart holds Luke, and Grandma Cathcart holds Bowen.
Uncle Shane & Abel watch as Aunt Beth signs the boys' birthday scrapbook pages.  Cousin Brayden tries to help.
Also above, in the center of the coffee table is the boys' CaringBook, a hardback book that CaringBridge compiled from the website we used to update friends and family during the boys' NICU stay.  It's an amazing book that we are sure the boys will cherish one day, to be able to read the details of their birth.

Below, a balloon that shares our party theme (thank you,  I bought a helium tank from Hobby Lobby.  I didn't even know you could buy those - it was fun to use!

Below, the cake area set up - on the easle is a photo board (shown close up in a photo below) with some of their early NICU photos, a reminder of how far we've come in this year!  

Below, the candles on their cake:

Below, a sign I made for the yard:

Below, the photo board that was on the easle (mentioned above):

Below, a wreath I made for the front door.

Below, their cake.  The two baby heads were the boys' individual cakes that we removed for them to dig into.  (And in case you live in Shreveport and want to know, the cake was made by a gal from Shreveport - check out

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Remember when . . .

. . . our babies weighed 1.5 and 2 lbs each???  Today marks the date that one year ago we learned our boys had twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, and mommy with boys was admitted to LSU Hospital for what we thought would be a long stay.  So much can change in a year . . .