Thursday, April 30, 2009

Wow - my daughter is amazing!

Sorry for my delays in posting as of late. With my March of Dimes commitments, being super busy with new Real Estate clients and Listings, Kaitlyn’s sickness for 3 weeks last month I’ve been up to midnight every night trying to get work done - blogging just fell off my urgent to-do list.

OH and by the way, I may have mentioned it in the past, but I’ve been worried about Quinn’s lack of a lot of things, and he is now officially 3 months (12 weeks) delayed. He was only 6 weeks early, so he is quite delayed. Sigh. He’s not eating solids well. Sigh. Will have to update more on that later. He’s doing what 6 month old babies are doing (just learning to sit-up for example). Thankfully he finally is sleeping through the night!!!

But on to an up-beat post -

Kaitlyn has been thriving lately! I can honestly say that the alternative therapy that we’ve been doing for her is really, really working. I have an amazing, wonderful little girl on my hands, and to be honest, for the first time EVER I feel like she is emerging from the strange little world that she was living in and coming out to be this wonderful, intelligent, and amazing girl.

There have been so many times that I’ve teared up, just watching her. Here are some examples:

I caught her playing with her dollhouse one day. She put one of the dolls on a bed and covered it up with a rug (that she was using as a blanket). She said “good-night” to the doll and then started talking as if the dolls were talking. I stood there absolutely enraptured by this. She’s never done anything like this before. “mommy wants you to go to bed now” “here’s a blanket to tuck you in” Oh my goodness, tears sprang to my eyes. I was holding Quinn at the moment, and just stood and stared and was taken over by the most amazing emotion. Do all parents feel this way?

For me it was elation that she is finally starting to pretend play (at age 3.5 which is very delayed). It was so dang cute.

Another example, she is eating up a storm and she’s up to 28+ pounds!! Yippee! Here it took almost a year to go from 26 to 27 pounds. She lost that pound in 3 days when she was sick and quickly gained it back and then some and weights over 28 pounds now. It was practically overnight! Kaitlyn loves spoonfuls of sour cream, straight butter, broccoli “trees” loaded with sour cream, It’s SUCH a joy to watch her.

Some days Brian and I watch her while we are eating a “family dinner” together and we say quietly, “oh my god” while we watch her scooping up food and feeding herself. Now some days, she won’t eat much at all, but other days she makes up for it (finally like a regular toddler).

My strategy of stopping the “pushing” has finally paid off. I has also reinstated Periactin (which is an antihistamine with a side-effect of increasing appetite). Before we loved the drug as it was finally what made Kaitlyn stop vomiting. I stopped it awhile ago when we realized finally she stopped vomiting with out drugs. But I do now cycle her on and off it which I do believe enhances her appetite.

She smiles all the time now. My mom commented when she was just up for the March of Dimes walk that she’s never seen Kaitlyn happy before. Maybe with a 2 day visit she’d smile a few times. But now she smiles, giggles, laughs and makes little jokes all the time. She has quite a sense of humor that’s come out.

Her talking has also increased. Before she used to repeat a lot of what she’s heard, sort of verbatim. Now she says random things on her own. For Example, when we were coloring Easter eggs, she said: “Wow, this is a really beautiful egg.” Brian and I smiled at each other as this was such a new statement from her. She now speaks in complete sentences most of the time (where before it was a lot of one word sentences). She says some of the cutest, most amazing things. It makes me smile all the time.

Sometimes I even see advancements in her from week-to-week.

Some other things I’ve noticed:
-Kaitlyn doesn’t fall down as much. She isn’t as awkward when she runs. She doesn’t always have to have a thing in each of her hands.

Our Therapist (Boutaina Rosen) in the Svetlanta Mustgova method started giving Kaitlyn treatments 2x a week and that’s when things really took off. Before I wasn’t really sure I could attribute the changes in her to seeing this therapist. After we started 2 x a week, it was like a light bulb went off in side Kaitlyn.

And once I started realizing how different she was, I for the first time since she was born way too early starting feeling some relief. That she really is going to be ok.

I know some of my readers have felt that I’m negative. That I worry too much.

All I know is that my gut instinct has always told me that something just wasn’t right with Kaitlyn. I hated this feeling that I got all the time. And the worry that went along with it. For me, it was this feeling that has continued to make me reach out to try to find ways to help her.

For the first time since the twins were born I’ve become filled with the joy of being a mother to an amazing wonderful joyfull little girl. I hate that it’s taken me so long to not feel the constant worry about her future. I know that readers have commented on my negativity. But there’s a reason she is in Special Education 5 days aweek. Her teachers noticed her differences also.

Of course I still get doses of that we not out of the woods yet so to say.

I enrolled Kaitlyn in a 30 minute ballet class, and her first day was yesterday. Kaitlyn was the only one that was running around the room in circles (with a HUGE grin on her face) while all the other girls were following directions. She also spent time crawling on the floor on all fours and flopping around the floor. So the worry crept right back again. But at least you could certainly tell that she was absolutely joy-filled at her ballet class. I took some cute video that I hope to get around to processing and posting.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Our walk was a success!!

More later, but here is a few pictures Team McCarthy pictures!!!

THANK YOU to everyone who walked and/or donated Team McCarthy!!!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Our TV debut and Easter pictures

Here is a picture from yesterday's TV taping as the March of Dimes Ambassador Family for the San Francisco Bay Area. Our March of Dimes Page

It was fun being on the actual tv set where they film our news. Kaitlyn had fun at the "tv station" and when we watched the news yesterday evening I think she "got it" as Cheryl was doing the news (in the same outfit) and she got to see the set where she was just a few hours earlier. It was a lot of fun! (Thankfully my nanny came to help to keep the kids (yes both of them) occupied while I was filming my portion. Then Katilyn came on set and even with all her practicing it was a bit hard for her to stay sitting and quiet for her part. Wonder how it will look on the show! You'll have to watch to find out!

One of the Engineers showing Katilyn his timing machine (Kaitlyn of course wanted to wear it) Kaitlyn has her own mike (as they were concerned over her very quiet voice)
Dr Retyzic was there for the taping also. that was very special for both of us, as he was our NICU Doctor that delivered Corinne and had to give us the news that Corinne just wasn't going to make it. He was so happy to see Kaitlyn and was absolutely amazed at how well she was doing. it's a small world, as a very good friend of mine (Lucy) happend to grow up across the street from Dr R back East and told me about him before I delivered the girls. So, we have a special connection.

Remember, here is the link to watch the show after it airs at 10:00 am on Channel 7 (SF Bay Area) on Sunday April 19th: Beyond the Headlines

Kaitlyn at her Developmental Preschool Easter Party

She wanted to wear her fancy (Forth of July) dress
Getting ready for snack time!
After the kids are outside, they all learn to wait and ask to go inside
Kaitlyn working on her sentences
Quinn was at the School Easter party too
On Easter Sunday, we had a great time at a neighbors house for Easter Brunch and Easter Egg hunt
Our local community is so wonderful ( . On Saturday before Easter the Easter Bunny came to visit (on the fire truck of course) and here is a family shot!
Kaitlyn and our neighbor Ava searching for eggs at the Community Egg hunt, it seems Kaitlyn is really seaching closely! :)
Kaitlyn and Ava (somewhat patiently) waiting for the egg hunt to start

Dad, our neighbor Theresa and Kaitlyn Eating (yes she DID eat a bit too) pancakes after the egg hunt at our community center

Kaitlyn searching for eggs during the community egg hunt

Mom, Kaitlyn and Quinn at the pancake breakfast

Monday, April 13, 2009

March for babies is almost here!

Hi everyone,

I've been really busy doing a lot to get ready for our upcoming March For Babies Walk as both the Ambassador Family as well as the Bay Area Family Teams Chair.

Our walk is coming up on Saturday April 25th in San Francisco.

I did a radio interview a few weeks ago for KOIT radio which aired March 29th.

Here is the link to listen to my radio interview.

Listen to the McCarthy Radio interview

Tomorrow I will be doing a TV interview, (my TV debut!) . It is going to air this Sunday here in the Bay area at 10:00am on Sunday 4/19 Channel 7 (ABC), the show is the Emmy Award winning program called: "Behind the Headlines".

I'm a bit nervous - so wish me luck!!

ABC 7 - Behind the Headlines

If you haven't yet helped in my teams effort to raise money for the March For Babies walk, here's the link, anything helps, even just $5!:

Support the McCarthys on their Walk for Babies

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Horribly Sad awful story

Oh my, I just came across this fellow preemie mom blogger (her water broke at 18 weeks (mine broke at 17weeks).

She was all ready to walk with her daughter this year in her 2nd March for Babies walk and her daughter passed away yesterday on April 7th.

I'm so sad. I KNOW that if Corinne had survivied, she too would have horrible, horrible lungs. Kaitlyn's lungs are not great, but she had amnitoic fluid, babies without fluid are even worse off.

It just takes my breath away how precious our little ones are, and how vulnerable their lungs are.

PLEASE remember why the Mission of the March of Dimes is so very important. Please help donate in my families name or in Maddies. March of Dimes mission is to help prevent preamture births, birth defects and infant mortality. Please help.

Even a little can help save the suffering of familes from knowing the devastating effects that Premature births can have. No one should know the loss of their child. Ever.

Kaitlyn update

I've actually lost track of how many doctor visits I've taken Kaitlyn too in the last 3 weeks...7 or 8 I think?

The most recent:

We went back into the doctor on Monday and Kaitlyn got another antibiotic shot. The steroid started working quickly, but then her cough came back horribly with a vengeance, so we went back into the doctor and they felt she now also had Bronchitis, more antibiotics!

Today, we had another visit (to see if she needed the 3rd dose of antibiotic shot for her ear infection). the doc felt that her ear infection was on the mend, BUT she did still have fluid in her ears, so we are now needing to go back to the ENT as well as we need to go back to see our Pulmonologist (I thought maybe just maybe we were going to escape dreaded lung issues).

BUT the good news, is that today, for the first day, Kaitlyn really seems a bit happier (not as cranky etc).

the bad news, Quinn's nose started running...I'm sure now that just as soon as K is better I'll be running back to the Doctor to take the little man.

Hope your kids are healthy!

Stop exposing our babies (and us!)

A friend just sent me the link to this video.

I highly recommend you watch it and support the cause: Kid Safe!

This will enrage you!

My friend Denise wrote:

"Please take a few minutes when you can and click on the EnvironmentalWorking Group link below and then please view their video '10 Americans'. Itwill introduce you to an issue that has concerned and outraged me since Ibecame a mom 3 years ago.If you are so inclined, then please sign the petition which urges ourcongress people to take action to help protect our children. Then, pleaseplease pass this information on to everyone you know who also cares about children. Together, we can affect change and make the world a better place for, not just our children, but all children."

What are your thoughts?

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Adults Preemies Needed for research

Hi, from my friend Stacy's blog:

Adult Preemies Needed for Research
I received an email from an adult former preemie asking if I wouldn't mind posting a request on my blog. Not only do I not mind, I am grateful to see research being done into BPD and honored to help in any way that I can.Let's help him out... pass along the info to any adult preemies you may know. Please note... they are looking for former preemies even if they do not have BPD.

Click here to go to Stacy's blog:

Interesting to note that Steve (and his twin brohter Tim) were born at the same hosptial where my twins were born. Steve notes that he and his brother were some of the first to get Surfactant Therapy (thank you March of Dimes!)

Steve wrote:

"I'm not sure how much information is given out to parents regarding lung function of their preemies, but I can give you a brief idea of what we are interested in. Basically, with the advent of surfactant in the early 1980s (my brother and I were some of the first to get it) it has dramatically helped the long term lung function of these kids. However, as the lung is not completely developed when these kids are born, it finishes it's development while these kids are on oxygen and it is the high oxygen levels that actually stunt the lung's growth and consequently limit their overall lung function later in life.

My brother Tim and I were born in 1980 at Children's Hospital in San Francisco <<>>(see The Premature Baby book by Helen Harrison, we're in there) - I was 2 lbs even, Tim was 1 lb 16 oz. I remember growing up and going back for follow-up appointments until we were in our early teens and remarkably, we have nothing wrong with us. I think a lot of it is luck for being born at the hospital we were at; I know our parents said they were signing experimental treatment forms on a weekly basis! Actually, the only thing we do exhibit that is abnormal is that our lung function is slightly compromised due to the high levels of oxygen we were on while in the NICU for 3 months after being born."

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Quick update

Kaitlyn has been sick now on and off for 3 WEEKS! I've taken her to the doctor (urgent care 2x) 7 times! We almost went to the ER twice.

Here's a quick rundown:

I can't even remember the first visits 3 weeks ago, but last Thursday in the middle of the night she started crying horribly at 2am (never happens) and she felt hot, brought her into bed with my after Tylenol and knew we'd have to go to doc first thing last Friday morning (confirmed ear infection), antibiotics.

That Monday, the cough was so horrible, went back to the doctor, as she was having coughing spells lasting up to 2 hours long. She was stating at 91 percent (not great), so was given more breathing treatments even after we had just give one to her 2 hours before).

Later in the week she was still whiny/crying, not her self, so went back, went on oral steroids), bough a bit better, but still not herself.

Last night started crying again in middle of the night, took temp in am, 101.5 (highest she's ever had) and to urgent care this am (while trying to juggle out of town clients that I was to take out in the afternoon), and her ear infection was now raging, but thankfully her lungs sounded good and the cough is better.

As she was already on a level 2 antibiotic, they wanted to give her an injectable type (mixed with some lydocaine, as it's very thick painful stuff), she's so small (she's now lost almost 2 pounds and is down to a tad over 26 pounds), they broke the injection into 2 (one in each thigh). They wanted me to stay in office to make sure she didn't have an allergic reaction, but when we tried to get her to walk, she couldn't. Poor baby, was crying horribly and literally couldn't move her legs at all. Boy was mom worried. (and continuing to look at my watch as I was due to meet clients in 30 minutes and I still had to drive 30 minutes home from SF).

After some Tylenol in the doctors office, she took 2 tiny steps (upon my promising her that we'd go home if she took tiny steps). Had to carry her out, she fell asleep in the car (which freaked me out, was worried that she was having a reaction to the antibiotic), but her color looked good through my rear view mirror.

Still could hardly walk at home, put her to bed and she took a 5 hour nap.

Finally tonight, after more pain meds, she was walking better, but still upset.

Let's hope for things to really improve tomorrow, as she'll have to get another of the horrible shots on Monday if her infection doesn't start to clear.

Poor little thing...seeing her while dressing tonight for bed, she's tiny, skinny and looked so sad.