February 26, 2011

11 Months!!

One month to the first birthday! Yay - I can't believe it is already a year... I was 33w PG last time this year and had kind of started to relax a little! We were barely a month away from seeing our miracles!

I normally try to note down the dates on which these babies of mine reach certain milestones... but things are so fast paced now a days, that it is hard to keep track. So, here goes their monthly update!

-It's a little over a month since we got back from our 2 month long vacation abroad... and now can I truly say that we have a "schedule"... till now, there was no freakin feeding schedule. They drank milk (formula) any time... and mostly just 4'ish oz! RM started drinking 7-9 oz of milk at one time in the last month... and RT started drinking 6-7 oz milk at a time just this week! We still consume quite a bit of milk. During the day time we drink milk when we get up/before breakfast(7'ish), then before our first nap at around 10 am, followed by post-lunch milk (2'ish), and then again between the 2nd nap and dinner time (5-6'ish). They drink milk again before sleeping and then once or twice in the middle of the night! My Mom tells me that I used to consume over 1.5L of milk as a child well in to my 2nd year... the babes are probably following my footsteps!
- They usually sleep for around 11 hours at night. From 0700-0800 pm to 0630-0730 am. And then take 2 naps between 1.5 to 2.5 hours long (sometimes 45 minutes)!
-We went to the GI on Feb 9th for their reflux. RM weighed 21 lbs (40th %ile) and RT weighed 19.8 lbs (50th %ile) at around 10.5 months. The doc was happy with the progress and we decided on trying to wean them off of their medication by dropping one of the dosage and not increasing the medication (per dose). Both had a cold during the GI visit, so we waited till they felt better. On Feb 17th we dropped the evening dosage. RM had to go back on it in a weeks time since he started having issues in the middle of night. He was getting up very uneasy and burping quite a bit through the night (his classic reflux sign). We will probably try to get him off of the med again some time next month after their birthday! RT is still off the med for almost 10 days and she seems to be doing fine (touch wood). The plan is to keep them on one dosage a day for a month and then try completely stopping the medications after that.
-Their 9 month bloodwork (done at 10 months) was on Feb 16th. RM was a hero! He - did - not - cry! He patiently observed what the techs were doing, he didn't twitch or fuss or struggle... he just watched! The techs wanted him to come give classes to other patients about how to stay calm during a blood draw! ;) His sister, however... compensated for him! As soon as RT saw the tech put on gloves, she knew something was fishy! She cried! And did not calm down till we got back in to our car! The results came back normal!
-RM now has 4 teeth (2 upper and 2 lower), RT has 3 teeth (1 upper and 2 lower).
- RT very easily stands up unassisted. She will go over or around anything with great ease! RM is starting to experiment standing unassisted. Both are attempting to climb on furniture.
-We did end up buying the Zanny Zoo, and they love it! They also received this cute little couch from their Aunt! I am starting to clear up some of their old items (rockers, bumboo) to make space for all the new stuff that might be coming their way during their birthday. Unfortunately the Jumperoo is also going to have to go! They get really wild with it! They shake it and rattle it and walk around it and try to go under it - it freaks the crap out of me! RT still likes to bounce in it, but RM is ready to come out of it in less than a minute! The Snap-n-Go is gone and we now have a Bobs stroller! We also picked up Evenflo Truimph 65 convertible car seats from BRU. We exchanged our old car seats for a 25% off of the new seats along with a twin discount! So it turned out to be a good buy! It is so sad to give up on all these items. These were their first belongings... the car seats - they came home with that, back then even the straps looked larger than them and today they hardly fit in to them! I guess it is all a part of growing up!
-They both distinctly call out "Daddee" or "Daddaa"! They absolutely go crazy when Daddy is home over the weekend. If they are playing with him, they do not want to eat or sleep! RT will randomly say words at her own whim... not necessary that she will ever repeat it. Though, she does call out Mumum when she is hungry and then she will start sucking on her fingers. RM will just start fussing when he is hungry - he doesn't have any sign for it. They both have gone through times when they have called out Mamma, Ganny etc... but nothing like a repeated Daddee or Daddaa! :P
-RM holds his bottle, RT still doesn't... or rather we still have not let her - because the moment she gets the bottle in her hand, it has to come out! This girl really needs to learn to keep the nipple in her mouth! Sippy cup is still no success in this household - I guess, I need to work harder at it!
-We have finally succeeded in liking the taste of water!
-We have started giving them milk products like cheese, puddings etc.
-We love nectarines, kiwi, banana, pancakes, puddings, eggs, spinach, cauliflower etc. We experimented with egg white, and it was well accepted, so the babes now get whole egg and not just the yolk. Salmon was a no go! Need to try some other fish! BTW, 90% of our food is home cooked
-RT can communicate really well... she once pulled out all the diaper changing supplies and then pointed at herself and yanked at her own diaper as if she wanted her diaper changed. When you tell her that it is time to go to bed for the night, she heads to our staircase to go upstairs and sleep. She will not sit on her high chair till RM joins her. She will not go to their bedroom (at night) unless RM joins her. She loves the "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" from Lion King and she will make you repeat the video several times... and she will start dancing every time she watches it! She can identify a duck in real life and in cartoons, toys bath tub. She signs by doing a hand motion denoting quack quack! She can make a fishy face! She is one smart lil cutie pie!
-RM on the other hand is one naughty child. He has figured out how to turn the TV on (they don't get to watch TV), he will yank at the (saftey) gates and locks, try to pull off links (of toys). He loves to pass through small spaces. If you are sitting on the floor resting against the couch, he will want to pass through between you and the couch. Pranks aside, he is a darling! He will get very cuddly and hug his sister and all of us. He loves food, when not on his high chair, he will take a bite and run (crawl) away and then come running back to have the next bite.
-If one is napping, the other one gets cranky - probably because they have gotten used to each others company and dislike being alone! They love other children too and instantly socialize. They are both such a lively children... I just hope they both stay that way.
-We wear 3 different kinds of diapers. We usually wear Nature Baby Care (Naty - chlorine free) size 4 diapers at home. When stepping out we go for Pampers size 3 (since Naty can leak if they go over 4-5 hours ) and at night RT wears Pampers size 4 and RM just started using Pampers size 5 (since size 4 started leaking). BTW, I love the Naty diapers, yes they can leak if they stay on for too long, but we usually change diapers every 3 hours or so. They stay dry, no rashes, fragrance free, chlorine free!
-We went to the aquarium on 02/20 and they loved it! Looks like we will be going again some time this year. I want to take them to a local Safari once spring is here. Speaking of which, I am also looking forward to the local Cherry Blossom festival! Can't wait for the Spring to arrive!

February 8, 2011

Can Peanut Allergies Be Cured by... Eating Peanuts?

In 2008, Gideon Lack of King's College London published a startling study comparing the rate of peanut allergies in children in London with that of children in Tel Aviv. The study of 10,000 Jewish children, which appeared in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, found that kids in the U.K. were almost 10 times as likely to have a peanut allergy as their peers in Israel, says Lack.

Why the disparity? Although Lack can't draw conclusive explanations from his observational study, he suggests that one reason may have to do with early exposure. In Israel, children are typically introduced to peanuts much earlier than in Europe and North America. Lack points to a popular Israeli snack food called Bamba (like peanut-flavored Cheez Doodles), which youngsters start eating as early as infancy. That early exposure may desensitize children to peanuts, even in kids with a family history of food allergies... (

February 5, 2011


So we have an appointment scheduled with the Neurogeneticist for May 6th, 2011... that is one of the earliest appointment we could get.

We struggled through infertility - we succeeded... we suffered subchorionic hematoma - we surpassed... we had gestational diabetes - we managed... we had pre-term contractions and cervical shortening (+ bedrest + huam + medications) - we survived. The babies were born healthy at 37w1D. After going through so much, why would God put this big question mark in front of us. I believe in Karma... you pay as you reap... what has RM done so far for him to have to be in such a situation! I have never discussed God on this blog... I am more spiritual than religious... though I do pray to the super power to keep everything safe and sound. If we could get through what we have so far, we will get through all the challenges that might be! I hope this challenge never comes to be... but no matter what he is our son (RM)! We love him, we love RT, and RT adores RM. If I sit and fret and get depressed, I am doing injustice to what my babies deserve. I can't ruin today for what possibly could be tomorrow! I don't know what state of mind I will be around May 6th, but for now, I am trying to normalize!

Thank you for all your supporting comments - they mean a lot to me - as always.

February 2, 2011

Knots in my Stomach....

Yes, that's truly how I am feeling right now! It reminds me of the IF days during the treatment. Everything was unknown and uncertain... I find myself in the same position again... asking what IF and why us! Only, today I am a mother to two beautiful children, who are my heartbeat! I can't see my babies hurt and I want nothing but the best for them. But this is life!

RM has a birth mark on his thigh. It's a discoloration on his right thigh. It didn't seem like anything abnormal and the docs just asked us to watch it and report if we found something different. He had a similar mark on his right arm as well (elbow actually)... and then in the last couple of months I noticed that there are two more spots - one on his back (left side) and one on his right arm (close to the shoulder). So, I thought that I would point it out to the Ped (during the 9 month visit). And the doc said that it could be Neurofibromatosis. Of course I had no freakin' idea of what it meant when the Ped mentioned it to me. Being a Dr. Google's sincere patient, I googled it immediately and emailed it to DH and myself so that I could look in to it later on. From what the doc mentioned, it is a neurological condition and if the spots increased we should go see a neurologist or a genetic counselor. I could sense that this is not something minor, but wasn't quite sure what to make of it.

Things started dawning upon me while I read the first article while filling gas and then while speaking with DH. It is a genetic condition, either inherited or caused by mutation in the sperm or egg. The birth mark or the spots that I mentioned above could "possibly" be café au lait spots... "assuming" that the condition is diagnosed as neurofibromatosis. I am not going to try to summarize what this condition is all about... it is well summarized on this MayoClinic website.

We spoke to the chief Ped from the group that we visit... and he was willing to refer us to a specialist (neurogeneticist) via an internal referral. We should be hearing from their office in the next two weeks. DH and I have been concerned about the impact such a neurological condition could have on our child. We don't know for sure if it is what we are thinking, we hope it's not and it is just some discoloration/pigmentation. Speaking with the Ped was reassuring. The condition is generally manageable and something that should not make us (hopefully) panic at this moment. But, I just don't want this to exist. I can't think of my child hurting. I just want my babies to be happy, healthy and safe!!

9 Month Appointment (at 10 months)

We visited the Ped on Jan 31st for their 9 month appointment. It was a relief not to have to deal with vaccination and the tears that follow it (and sometimes some fever). The appointment went well overall. We have gained some weight here... assuming the nurse weighed and measured with accuracy ;) (yes, we had 2 extra lbs per child during one of our weight checks - human (nurse) error!!). Plus, both of them were super wiggly this time when the nurse tried to weigh them on the scale. Here are the stats...

RM weighed 20.6 lbs (36 %ile... previously 5-10 %ile), height: 29.9 (83 %ile), and head circumference 19.1 (98 %ile).
RT weighed 20 lbs (56 %ile... previously 15 %ile), height: 29.7 (93 %ile), and head circumference: 18.3 (95 %ile).

They both are crawling, pulling themselves up to stand, cruising along furniture, teething, eating and sleeping relatively well. So I guess the Ped was happy and so were we! We need to schedule the bloodwork with the lab. And the next appointment will be on March 28 (2 days after their 1st birthday). We have the GI appointment on the 9th (weight check again - I will be more confident with their weights then).

And now... to the worrisome part! I don't know where to begin and this is all I have been thinking about for the last few days - It's called Neurofibromatosis. Tune in to my next post!