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I have not mentioned this sooner because I was not sure that I should, but ...
On Christmas, Gus, Kate and Claire had a very special visitor. Santa himself -- yes, SANTA -- came to our home to see them. It was such an incredible experience and one that Chad and I will treasure for many years to come. I have waited many, many years to see him, just hoping that one day I might catch a glimpse of that Jolly Old Elf. So, it was a breathtaking experience for me to finally be able to see Santa right here in my very own living room! He allowed Chad and I to take a few pictures of him with Gus, Kate and Claire. But, he asked us not to reveal those pictures for a while (a few years). There are still many other families that Santa would like to meet in person, and he does not want our pictures to ruin the surprise for them.
Now, to the daily activities around here...
I took Gus, Kate and Claire to visit the doctor on Monday. All three babies still have mild RSV. Gus is still the one who is struggling the most and is now on two different breathing treatments and an oral steroid. One of the breathing treatments is scheduled for twice a day, and he will be on that for over a month. The other breathing treatment is "as needed", and he needs it a couple of times a day. Kate is next in line as far as severity. She has some wheezing and sneezing and also can have breathing treatments when she needs them. Claire is the least sick, so we are just watching her and can give her a breathing treatment if she needs it.
Kate and Claire saw a feeding specialist in Dallas yesterday. To make a very long story short, their feeding issues are strictly related to their struggle with acid reflux and not to any neurological difficulties. Praise God! Chad and I are taking this as good news. Reflux is extremely painful, but can be managed. The girls have now had an increase in their medication. The therapist that we saw also gave us a few "tricks" to use to help the girls learn that eating is not painful. The problem right now is that Kate and Claire associate eating with pain, so we have to retrain them to realize that eating is good. The therapist gave us an article that explained that when reflux goes unmanaged or becomes severe, it can lead to language delays and difficulties with eating for years to come. So, Chad and I are thankful for all of these smart people who know so much about preemie issues. We are thankful that we are able to pounce on this issue right away!
Since Gus has been sick, he has been a little bit grumpy (who wouldn't be), especially late in the evenings before his pre-bedtime feeding. A couple of days ago, he was absolutely inconsolable. No matter what I did, he screamed and cried at the top of his lungs and would not stop. He was screaming so loud that my head was pounding (Gus is already a naturally loud baby...his voice is loud...but, when he cries, it is on a different level it is so loud...I just cannot explain it) but I didn't feel sorry for myself, I felt sorry for him. His screaming really bothered Kate and Claire. Kate started to cry and was turning her body away from the sounds. She was stretching out her arms and spreading her fingers apart like she was telling him to stop (over stimulation cues in an infant). Claire's lip was quivering and her eyes filled with tears. After Gus stopped screaming, Kate was resting on her Boppy pillow with her pacifier, and she put both of her hands over her little ears! I don't blame her...it really was loud! I tried to get a picture, but I was too late.
Otherwise, the babies are all fat, sassy and doing well. Gus now weighs 17 pounds. Kate weighs 13.1 pounds and Claire weighs 13.7 pounds.
Enjoy your day.
P.S. This picture is the only one that Santa would allow us to reveal because his face is not visible. His beard is just as snowy white as I always imagined it would be!