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Shannon's twin pregnancy journal

HEY! It's Summer!
July 1, 1999

Kai and AbiI just looked out my window and realized . . . HEY, it's summer! And the twins are ten and a half months old and it was snowing when I last updated you. How time flies when you're having fun. No, that wasn't sarcasm you heard in my voice (well, maybe just a little . . . smile). Having Kai and Abi is just about the most fun I've ever had in my life. They never cease to amaze me or make me laugh. Abi is now crawling everywhere, pulling herself up and beginning to talk. Her first two words were "UP!" and "Abi," this last in response to her big sister calling her "ButtMunch." Kai, though developmentally delayed, is making great strides. His favorite activity is jumping up and down in his Exersaucer. Just within the past month, he's learned to roll over, sit unsupported for short periods when positioned and can even manage to get up on hands and knees with his belly off the floor! We are such proud parents.

Several months ago, Dad discovered Abi's first teeth (2 of them, and 3 more since) when she bit his finger. Kai remains toothless and we jokingly consider the possibility of "baby dentures." In other ways, he's working hard to keep up/catch up with his sister. Although his body doesn't always work as well as he would like it to, his mind is going a mile a minute. Since he was a few months old, he's had a cry that sounds remarkably like "HUNGY!" Now, when he fusses and we ask what's wrong, he actually responds with "Hungy." His vocabulary also includes, "Hi-hi-hi" and "da-da." Yesterday, I could have sworn he spoke his first sentence, "Hi, Da-Da!" Well, Dad was picking him up and Kai was grinning at him when he "said" it, so I don't think we're too far off in believing that a boy who's only supposed to be eight months old could speak a two word sentence. Perhaps we have a budding genius on our hands?

In other news, we finally received approval to officially discard the monitors in March. We hadn't used them in awhile because we were tired of being constantly awakened by "loose lead" alarms. The only real alarms we ever had were last October when Kai contracted RSV. Still, it was a relief to return them to the supplier. Kai has gone through a few rough periods with his lungs but nothing we haven't been able to deal with through nebulizer treatments at home. His lungs seem to be getting stronger and he was recently placed on daily inhaled steroids to help reduce inflammation. We remain hopeful that we will get through the summer without serious incident.

In May, Kai had surgery to repair his umbilical hernia (at one point as large as a doorknob) and a circumcision (to help prevent urinary tract infections that could damage his kidneys) as well. I was most concerned about Kai's lungs being able to handle general anesthesia and also for his poor belly button. Who would have guessed something as "minor" as a circumcision would turn out to be the biggest problem? Because the technique (clamp method) the surgeon used did not include suturing, Kai had prolonged bleeding. Applied pressure, silver nitrate (a chemical that stops bleeding but burns like heck) and something called "GelFoam" packed under a pressure dressing were necessary to stop the bleeding. It was a horrible hour as we held a screaming Kai down through all of that "torture." Four weeks later, on a follow-up visit to the pediatric surgeon, we discovered the circumcision had to be revised because the raw tissue bonded to the outer skin of his penis. I wanted to scream! Fortunately, Kai came through the second surgery like the trooper that he is. He smiled and laughed when Dad joined him in the recovery room.

Unfortunately, I was unable to be there when Kai came out of surgery. I had to leave Children's hospital as soon as we were given the news that he was finished and doing well. I had an ultrasound scheduled with the same doctor who monitored the babies while I was in the hospital last summer. No, not an "OOPS" in the tubal ligation performed during my c-section. It seems I have an as yet unidentified "growth" in my cervical tissue. It is too deep for a biopsy to be obtained and I will have a complete hysterectomy soon. Although understandably scared, I remain optimistic. After all, I've been working at getting back into some kind of shape again and that ought to take off a good half pound at least! (Trying to figure out how I could get a "tummy tuck" out this as well, hee hee.)

We're planning our annual vacation in North Carolina, this time to coincide with Kai and Abi's first birthday. It ought to be interesting traveling 700 miles by van with "Ms. Up-Up!" and "Mr. Jumpin' Bean," not to mention the five other kids. Hmmm, maybe it's time to ask the family doc for a little something to calm my nerves? Naw, I think I can handle it. Especially since Peter and I are also planning a couple of trips sans kids. Next week, we will go away overnight (away from babies) for only the second time since they were born. The first time was to celebrate our birthdays (a week apart in November) while my mother stayed with the kids. This time, a friend will stay with the kids while we visit other friends in Indiana. I'm a bit nervous but it's only a few hours away. The second trip will be at the end of this month when we drive Emily and Graham to Virginia to visit their aunt and then on to New York City to meet my best guy friend's fiancee. The same trusted friend will stay with Kai and Abi. It's going to be very hard to be apart from them for several days, especially so far away. I only hope MY separation anxiety will be greater than theirs!

We still have the twins sleeping in our room, not only because we STILL haven't found a bigger house, but because we would not be able to sleep if we could not hear them breathing. At ten months, they are still sharing a crib, although we had to install a mesh baby gate as a divider to keep Abi from crawling all over Kai in her sleep. At 21 pounds (Kai) and 15 pounds (Abi), they are rapidly outgrowing their allotted spaces. I dread the day we are forced to separate them since they sleep so well together. They usually end up pressed against the divider, one on each side, at some point during the night. And how on earth will we ever fit a second crib in our room?? I guess the time for staking out another space in our house for them is fast approaching. In the meantime, Peter and I lie in bed each night listening to dual baby "sleep sounds" and just marvel at the richness of our lives. Kai and Abi have truly made our family complete.

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