Thursday, February 26, 2009

We have pee in the potty!

So sorry about my delay in posting and I have so much to post about, but so little free time...

Hopefully this will remain short (as I just sat down to blog and it's 10:45pm and I'm TIRED and should really be going to bed).

A week ago Sunday (on a pouring rainy day Sunday) I decided it was time to ditch the diapers! The first day was HORRIBLE. Kaitlyn and I spent almost the whole day in the bathroom with mom cleaning up a lot of pee from the floor and none in the potty. It was very frustrating and I was ready to throw in the towel (or a lot of towels that I ended up washing)...BUT I hung in there and amazingly, starting with the first pee in the morning, Kaitlyn got the pee thing down very quickly. After the first time (with a movie on) and the 2nd pee that she realized what was happening, the light bulb went on and she's been doing great (as far as pee is concerned).

Now the poo thing, that's another story. Lot's of poo in the big girl undies (not much fun for mom). AND tonight, she pooed in the bathtub! Ugh, was that a surprise, she's only done that time in the past! Especially as I was in a rush, trying to get on a March of Dimes Conference call right after I put the kids down.

Oh well, all-in-all, I have to say I'm happy I finally did the deed and got rid of the diapers! We use pull-ups at night and for naps and she's even mainly keeping those fairly dry too!


Kaitlyn didn't poo one day and I was afraid that she might be holding back a bit, so I weighed her and was shocked to see the scale FINALLY FINALLY go over 26 pounds (remember, she's been wavering in the 26 pound mark since MAY of last year). It was 27.4 pounds! I thought that maybe she was a bit backed up and didn't really count that weight, but I've since weighed her 2 other times and each time she's been over 27! Yippee! It took a long time but Kaitlyn has finally gained a pound and without a feeding tube!

The Mountains and what we love!

Let's see what else. Brian's parents came to town all last week (I don't think I got a single picture with them), hopefully they'll send me a few that I can share. Mame and Gille (their names from Grandma/Grandpa) loved seeing Kaitlyn and Quinn and agreed that Q can be quite a difficult little guy at times. He's still giving us a run for our money as far as the reflux goes.

While they were here, we decided to take a first family trip to Tahoe. I say first, as Kaitlyn has only been to Tahoe once since she was born, and she vomited so much in the altitude that we almost had to go to the ER. That was almost 2 years ago for 4th of July. Brian and I haven't gone together since then, and we haven't skied much either. I skied 2 days in 2007 and Brian skied 1 day in 2008. Remember that we MET skiing. Brian used to be a ski patroller and skied over 100 days a year. We love skiing, we love the mountains, and it's been really hard for us to not share something that we love so much.

So, while Brian's parents where here we all went to Tahoe together. I was pracitcally tearing up as we hit the mountains and the snow, thinking of how amazing it was to be bringing Kaitlyn to Tahoe without feeding tubes, blenders, syringes vomit cups, etc. etc. We didn't bring any special food what-so-ever. She now eats like a regular toddler!

It's hard to explain exactly how incredibly cool this was. I'm hoping I can get it across, but the difference in Kaitlyn now from just a year ago is absolutely amazing. And how much easier it is on her parents. Wow.

I was so excited to show Kaitlyn the snow for the first time. And as I thought, she loved it. She wanted to spend all day outside. Mame and Kaitlyn built her first snowman. She loved to roll in it (sensory stuff) and had a blast!

Brian and I skied 2 days while Mame and Gille watched the kids. Although the weather wasn't all that great (a very very wet snow storm/almost rain) we had so much fun. The 2nd day ended up sunny (still chilly), but we had a blast! It was so fun for us to spend time together and doing the thing that we both love so much!

Hmm what else:

March of Dimes - I'm just starting to gear up for the March of Dimes season. 2 weeks ago I was asked to attend the March of Dimes Kick-off breakfast as we are the Bay Area Ambassador Family. It was very early in the morning, so we were able to stay in a hotel the night before (Kaitlyn's first hotel stay). I was introduced by a local celebrity from the news (formerly on Good Morning America), Spencer Christian, who I've always really liked (and Oprah even personally knows). ( Then after telling my story (with dry eyes amazingly), Kaitlyn came up on stage and said: "Thank you March of Dimes!" It was very cute. They had a lot of pictures up of Kaitlyn and even Corinne.

They showed a video of the National Ambassador family and I was actually really happy to see that they choose a family that is left with long-term affects from prematurity. On-line friends of mine have expressed a lot of concern in the past about March of Dimes limited telling about long-term consequences of prematurity, and I feel that they (MofD) is really trying to change that, which makes me very supportive of the organization.

Very soon I will get around to sending out an email about my Family Teams Walk this year and if you are local I'd love to have you join us! The walk is on April 25th. I've been wanting to make a cool slide-show of the girls early times, but just haven't gotten around to it yet. Hopefully soon!

Kaitlyn got her 3rd haircut a few weeks ago.

My smiley little man (when he's not crying from reflux)

I'm 7 months old! I just learned to roll-over (from tummy to back) but can't sit up yet on my own

Kaitlyn's celebratory pee-on-the-potty cupcake in "Bluke" her favorite color) Yes, she says Bluke.

Valentines Day with J

Spencer Christian, J and Kaitlyn at the March of Dimes kick-off Breakfast

J, Liz and Kaitlyn

The McCarthy's all trying to compute in the cabin (funny, as my husband is NOT a computer guy, but just found Face Book!, there was no internet connection, so not really sure what they are all doing!)

Kaitlyn took some convincing to get on the sled, but eventually loved it

Mom/Quinn and Kaitlyn playing in the snow

Dad and Kaitlyn in the snow

Kaitlyn really took a lot of convincing to get in the sled

Mom and Quinn first day at the cabin (a fellow-fire fighters cabin that we rented)

The McCarthy family all in the snow - FINALLY!

playing in the snow

Liz and Brian finally skiing TOGETHER for the first time since before I was pregnant with the twins in 2005!

Friday, February 13, 2009

8 Twins born in San Francisco

I wish it weren't the case, but hearing about newborn close-to-term twins continues to take my breath away. Whenever a movie star has twins, I have problems. Whenever anyone has twins, I feel pain. A twinge of jealousy. yes. I'm sorry but it's the truth. I feel sadness, wishing it was my good news.

Maybe I'm a horrible person. I of course am very happy for the parents, I always am eternally grateful that they didn't have to experience what I did. But it's still really hard for me. I hope it won't always be this way. Older twins don't bring on the same reaction. It's just newborn twins.

I guess because I never got that joy. I knew the excitement of being pregnant with twins, anticipating it all. Announcing to all our families and loved-ones that were were having twins. But our good news stopped after I had my amnio.

This news story really affected me tonight:

8 Newborn sets of twins born to 8 couples within 4 days at the hospital where I delivered my twins in San Francisco. The news story goes on to say that all are healthy (meaning born close to term to not be in the NICU, my NICU), and that the SF Bay Area is known for advanced maternal age (35) where the rest of the country the maternal age is in the 20's (I knew that).

As I watched the story my heart thumped out of my chest, I gulped and felt a sob escape me. Will this feeling ever go away?

Here's the link to the video segment from our local news: 8 twins born in 4 days in San Francisco

Congratulations to all of you!
Valentines Day, Katilyn wanted to see some pictures on my computer. Kaitlyn's been asking about my csection scar and I've told her that's where Quinn came out as well as Kaitlyn and her sister Corinne. Today she wanted to see some pictures and were looking at their birth pictures just felt I had to post these 2:

Happy Valentines Day Corinne, we miss you

And world, here are MY twins together for the last time.

Friday, February 06, 2009

I'm angry and upset - Octuplets

I don't normally get into "political" or controversial (especially the most taboo subject selective reduction in multiple birth pregnancies) , but I have to tell you I'm really, really angry about the news of Octuplets being born, especially with the circumstances surrounding their mother.

I was upset when I first heard about the Octuplets being born. I guess I'll let it out there. I know all the religious followers I have I will upset, but I think it's horribly wrong to let a mother carry that many fetuses. Wrong. It's not god's will, it's science that is getting women pregnant in the first place. She's doesn't even have a job!

The cost to society for the care for 8 babies. Who knows what type of conditions they will be in long-term.

And when I found out she already has 6 children, is unemployed and was quoted as saying she was lonely and wanted more children.


She received $165,000 for medical disability as she hurt her back working in a mental hospital (in a riot).

She's unemployed - how in the world is she going to PAY to take care of and feed 14 children. She doesn't have an income? How long can $165K last after multiple in-vitros(at $20K a pop). How much is our society going to pay for all of those kids. Will my hard-earned Federal and California tax dollars be paying to help her and her desires to be a mom to 14 (even if she ONLY wanted 7, that's still ridiculous!)

Here she is quoted as saying: “I know I'll be able to afford them when I'm done with my schooling,” the 33-year-old single mom replied. Calm, poised and articulate in the glare of the media spotlight, Suleman added: “If I was just sitting down watching TV and not being as determined as I am to succeed and provide a better future for my children, I believe that would be considered, to a certain degree, selfish.”

What world do you live in? Yes, it's considered selfish. My husband is a full-time fireman (with amazing health insurance benefits for our family), my income is come and go, and we are STRUGGLING to afford our 2 children, let alone start saving for their college education.

She also said: "Curry reported that although Suleman has received disability payments from the state of California, she said she refuses to accept welfare payments. Suleman and her children live with her mother, Angela Suleman."

her mother said she wanted one more girl (well WHY in the world would you implant 6 embryos?) Here are the IVF recommendations:

No more than one or two embryos implanted for a generally healthy woman under 35 "in the absence of extraordinary circumstances." For women over 40, no more than three to five, depending on the embryos' maturity.

Here are some news links:

FAQ: How ended up having 8 children

I liked this honest reporting: news story:

quote: "In a separate segment, NBC’s chief medical editor, Dr. Nancy Snyderman, said the gamble didn’t end with the live births of all eight babies.

“That risk is not only to mom — her uterus can rupture and she can die — there’s a phenomenal risk to eight babies. Eight babies, by definition, cannot be born normal weight and robust,” Snyderman told TODAY’s Matt Lauer after watching Suleman’s interview with Curry.She explained: “They’re going to watch these kids very carefully for eating problems, growing [problems], and then seizures, jaundice, heart problems, lung problems, blindness, developmental delays — there’s a laundry list of things. Long term, because some of these children will be physically or mentally challenged, there’s a looming price tag out here. The hospital bill alone will run $1.5 to $3 million. Forget about getting to college; just to get through special-needs stuff — it’s going to have to come from somewhere, either the taxpayers of California or her family or her church or the hospital. But she can’t do it alone.”"

Each preemie can cost $1M in hospital bills. She doesn't have insurance. She should have considered this when she decided to keep all 6 fetuses. This makes me so, very, very angry. (right to life folks, sorry) this just isn't right.

Hospital bills aside, what are these children going to cost society ongoing? I know what my daughter is likely costing (special schools, Early Intervention, Therapies and of course her medical (luckily covered by our insurance).

The story continued on saying:

"NBC contributor and psychiatrist Dr. Gail Saltz added that there will be emotional issues to deal with as well. “Undoubtedly these eight children are going to have issues: at the minimum, the issue of neglect,” Saltz told Lauer.“Obviously, she’s saying she’s going to love them, but there are 14 children and [only] one of her,” Saltz continued. “There’s going to be an absence of some emotional needs. There will probably be developmental delays at best in these children; maybe learning disabilities. There are going to be major issues that they’re going to need various therapies for.”"

and the mom said as to why she wanted so many children:

"“That was always a dream of mine, to have a large family, a huge family, and I just longed for certain connections and attachments with another person that I really lacked, I believe, growing up,” she replied. "

So this gives you the right to have 7 (6 + the one more "girl" she wanted) Now she has 14 ??

More from the news story:

"Saltz later opined to Lauer that Suleman’s statement reveals emotional issues. “I think she’s in a bit of denial here and quite defensive, because in fact she does talk about the fact that this has been her life’s mission: to have babies, have babies, have babies. There’s an obsession to this, and I think it’s quite disturbing,” the psychiatrist said.
“When you don’t have a connection in childhood, you go see a therapist,” she added. “You don’t have 14 babies.”"

More news stories on subject:

Grandma says mom is obsessed with babies
Medical board probes birth
Celebration to boos in media
Mom gets media /book offers
How are the babies doing?

Feel free to comment, BUT please leave your religious comments out. I really don't want to start a right-to-life debate here.

update: 2/13:

Here's a new story:

Grandma is speaking out!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Quinn and reflux/allergy?

Here's where we are with Quinn,

We did a few day mixture of BM and Nutramigen. Yesterday (first day on 100% Nutramigen) we've seen a drastic decrease in the amount of spit-up (hardly any in fact), he's still burping a lot, seems less fussy but still has red cheeks.

Thank you for the tip on finding generic Nutramigenat Target, but of course my Target didn't carry it. time to shop on-line.

Before I buy a lot I really want to see what happens to his red cheeks.

Last night (after going to bed) he slept from 7pm to midnight (5 HOURS!). the night before he slept 4 hours. Then of course after that he's still up every 2 hours. SO between midnight and 6 or 7am (waking) he drinks another 6 ounces (but every 2 hours). Time to sleep train him? He still needs those 6 ounces. Although he's up to a tad over4 ounces intake at one sitting, he's supposed to be taking up to 6 or 7 by this age (6months) right?

Hopefully he'll continue to take more and more if he indeed does feel better.

It does seem like he's crying less at this point...

Hard to think about my probably 2,500 ounces of breast milk in the freezer......

Thanks everyone for the tips.


Quinn has been crying since 5pm, I'm about to loose it. I can't take 2 hours of straight crying any more. (yes, it's going on in the back-ground right now, I'm trying to not listen to it - impossible). Nothing I do satisfies him, he snacks, he pushes the nipple away, I try again, he pushes it away, I put him down, he cries. I give him his pacy, he pushes it out, I try to burp him, I can't get anything, I changed his diaper (he giggled during that at least), then back to the crying. uggghhh. 2 hours!

also, i didn't mention donating my milk, as I figured it was understood that's what I would do as I was the recipient of donated milk for Kaitlyn. I wouldn't consider dumping it. BUT it was a LOT of time and pain attached to the pump and it's very hard to think of my doing it for naught (yes it would be for another mom) but I could have cut way back on my number of pumps a day and had plenty still. I have over 2,500 ounces!! I would likely donate it to a mom I just met in my local group who is having a similar story to mine (tube fed baby not tolerating formula well at all) or though the yahoo group for donating milk. I know that there are for profit milk banks and not-for profit milk-banks, and I won't donate it to a for-profit bank.. Sorry, won't do it. I refuse to let my milk be sold.

He's screaming right now. can't take it any more. I feel like such a horrible mother that I can't get him to stop but at the same time I can't stand the screaming. can't stand it! No attachment parenting for me. here I go back to try again.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Suggestion for Title for my blog

Hi wonderful blog readers,
I'm trying to come up with a catchy name for my blog and would LOVE suggestions...

It started out as McCarthy Pregnancy blog, then was McCarthy Preemie Blog, neither are very catching...

I could just name it:

But if I plan on continunig blogging, I'm guessing I'll be writing a lot about just being a mom?

Thanks in advance!!!


Sunday, February 01, 2009

Calgon, Take Me Away!!

Brian worked the last 3 days in a row, so with sick whiny kids, doing breathing treatments, cleaning up runny poops, both crying at the same time, I said to myself last night: "Calgon, take me away". I at least said it with a laugh, thinking about moms in general, and how darn amazing we are...

Way too much going on (I guess that's the usual for me)...

So here is a recap

I went to Monterey last weekend for a Women Council of Realtors Conference, the weather was incredible and I got to spend 3 whole nights in a hotel room sleeping all night long!! I went jogging 2 times in a tshirt (it was 75+ outside), got a pedicure and even got a massage. It was the first Liz time I've spent in oh, well since I was pregnant maybe...

I came back very relaxed, but with a lot on my plate, yes, I know I either can't say no, or I'm crazy, or something else I don't know, but here's what's on my plate:

1. I'm the President Elect for my chapter of Women Council of Realtors (WCR)
2. I do our chapters website
3. I'm the State of California Web Committee Chair for WCR and am taking on trying to do a redesign on the current outdated website:
4. I am the founder and co-moderator for a support group for over 400 moms/parents of Micro Preemies.(global)
5. I am a very active member (my sanity savior) of a San Francisco Tube/feeding disorder support group, and now that many of our kiddos are eating, we still get together, to share ideas, help new moms and go out for dinner and drink wine after our "meeting." 2 of our moms our doctors, and these moms have become some of my closest friends.
6. I started a neighborhood moms group,
7. I am the web master for the Ross Valley Mothers Club online membership data system
8. I belong to: Marin Multiples Club, San Francisco Multiples Club, Ross Valley Mothers Club, San Rafael Mothers Club
9. I am the founder and moderator of the BayAreaPreemie Support Group
10. I am the founder and moderator of a Feeding Therapy Support Group (national)

Oh, and did I mention that the Bay Area March of Dimes just asked me to:
11. Be the Family Teams Chair for 2009 AND
12 to be the March of Dimes Ambassador Family (ie: poster child) for the Bay Area.
13. Oh, I do work full time, I'm a realtor, but of course the real estate market is needless-to-say, interesting at the moment. (I do have help 4 or 5 days a week, I couldnt do any of the above without my life-savior nanny)

Wow, I'm exhausted just typing all of that.

Now, I know what you are thinking, "Just say No, Liz!"

I know I know!

Well, beyond that here are some family updates:

We are obviously very happy that the Steelers won the Super Bowl tonight. Things were a little touch and go during the game for a while.

When I got home from an open house today, Dad woke kaitlyn up from her nap wearing a jersey and Kaitlyn immediately wanted to "play steelers" also. so dad had her all dressed up in her Steelers cheerleader darn cute. She was in her typical fashion and flopping, rolling, literally bouncing off the walls, and hit her head on something, I have no idea on what, but when she came to me crying (which is rare, so I know she's really hurt) and I was comforting her, I discovered blood pouring out of her head and started freaking out. Good thing dad was home and evaluated the situation and felt all was ok (head cuts do bleed a lot).

Yeah Steelers!


Not sure if I mentioned it, but when I took Quinn (and K) to the GI a few weeks back, I had them test Kaitlyn's poop. I'm concerned that she has really loose stools, which have basically always been like that. Occasionally she'll have a formed one, but rarely. When she's on antibiotics, watch out. runny poop down her legs. Everything in the test came back ok, except that she had very little fat, and we give her a LOT of fat (butter, cream, etc).

Doc wanted me to retest. So I spent the week taking poop samples, taking it to the lab, discovering that they needed frozen poop and more than I provided and wanted samples from more than one poop, so more poop scooping and driving around.

Hmm. what else.

Well, starting last Friday Kaitlyn started coughing. By Sunday night she was sick. Really sick. Oh not again. Cough, snot, breathing treatments around the clock. You know the drill. I'm still always so worried about RSV as well as being re hospitalized due to her lung disease, but at the same point, feel so grateful that she has so far escaped being re hospitalized.

No school for her all week. I kept thinking she'd get over it, but by Thursday she started crying and wanted to be held (which never happens, K is NOT the clingy type). so I immediately called the doctor (they are so great at getting us in immediately) and lo and behold she has yet another ear infection. By this point, she was a round-the-clock whiny mess, poor little gal.

Antibiotics yet again (Oh, I hate all the antibiotics, more extra runny poop)

last night as I went to tuck her in I smelled horrible poop smells coming from down the hall, and sure enough she had loose/diarrhea pooped in her sleep. Poor Baby.

Sunday night I too started getting sick last week and by Wednesday I felt horrible! I lost my voice all week, but am on the mend now.

Quinn might have the crud a little bit, but he's doing decently well.

BUT, as far as Quinn goes, as I dropped down to 1 breast milk pump a day, we are now giving him frozen milk almost exclusively, and I feel that his reflux symptoms got worse (not as bad as before, but definitely worsened) and his cheeks are red. I believe that this can confirm that he has a milk protein issue. As for the last almost 2 months I was on almost completely dairy free diet and with the new meds, he was doing really well.

My older frozen milk was not while I was on a diary free diet (lots of ice cream!). So I tried him on Good Start (yes a milk formula, but it's somewhat broken down milk) ( mixed it 50/50breast milk) and his cheeks got even redder and he got patches on his head too.

The next day I went cold Turkey and switched him to 100% soy formula, and he was spitting up a lot. I gave up at that point, as I couldn't take the increased reflux screaming (and being up for 2 hours between 12-2 for 3 nights in a row) so went back to frozen breast milk.

I'm now totally regretting almost being done with pumping. I guess I'm now going to see if I can increase my production back up. With the cold I had, and cold medicine I was taking all week, I'm only now producing about 3-4 ounces a day. sigh. I was stopping pumping due to my crazy life schedule (see above).

Last bit of really sad horrible news....

My Uncle Bill (my father's sister's husband) has just been given a few weeks to live. He's the most wonderful, amazing man, and this has been a shock for the whole family. He was diagnosed with very advanced cancer. Please pray for his days to be as pain free as possible and for my Aunt to be strong, my heart is just aching for her and my cousins.

I'm thankful that Kaitlyn seems to be improving, I'm thankful that Quinn loves to smile and giggle, I'm thankful that we have our health, that the weather is so nice here, loosing a loved one helps put life and priorties into perspective.

Hmm, I think that about brings you up to date!

I do still promise to post on the alternative therapy Kaitlyn is doing. - I hope you can see why I haven't yet!