Sunday, December 27, 2009

A New Year, New Memories!

Well the girls are officially a year old. This post will be mainly pictures with a few updates at the end. What an amazing December this has been. I found myself reflecting back over the past year, remembering the feelings and happenings of the previous year and so amazingly thankful that we get to make new happier memories this year.
Reagan - sorry you can't see her face...she is into climbing onto everythng and this is the only view we got of her most of the night!
Cameron trying out her cake
Reagan taking a taste.
Cameron proved to have quite a sweet tooth!
Oh we have had quite a year and we count it a privilege that all of you have chosen to go on this journey with us. Thank you so much for all your love and support. The girls have changed so much.
Since their birthday they both have begun pulling up on everything and Reagan demands to stand at all times while she plays! Both girls have become such snuggly babies. And they absolutely love one another and play so well together -except when they climb on top of one another! Happy Birthday Girls!

Monday, December 7, 2009


Miraculous...that is how the Occupational Therapist and the Physical Therapist described the girls' development. They both are right where they need to be or ahead in their development. They were so impressed with our little miracles. As of right now the girls are not showing signs of cerebral palsy either - HUGE PRAISE! There are a couple of things we have to work on.... we have to work on feeding some...positioning of the spoon and such...and we have to watch Reagan because she likes to stand on her toes and not lower her ankles. We have so much to be thankful for.

Updates on what the girls can do: both girls are now crawling and pulling up onto things to their knees. Reagan has just begun babbling and now says baba, dada, gaga...we are still working on mama (but in the middle of the night she can call dada all she wants :) ). Reagan can also pull to standing. Cameron says mama...she has for a while. I don't know if it is intentional or if we will lose it as she develops in her speech.
The girls love each other so much and when the other one is gone...they are sad. They light up when they see each is so cute. Their favorite game is what I like to call, "Thats my paci." They sit with each other and take each others pacifiers out of their mouths over and over and over again. It entertains them for quite some time. Reagan has already proven that she is very independent and likes to push 0ur buttons...she will start crawling somewhere she knows she isn't supposed to go and when you call her name to tell her to come back, she squeals with delight and starts crawling faster. Cameron likes to show her independence at meal time as she will arm wrestle you for control over the spoon and when she wins and dumps her food...she smiles and laughs.

December 12 of last year I checked into the hospital at Duke. It is so hard to believe that they were born ten days later. I am looking forward to our coming weeks in hopes of making new memories that are full of joy and togetherness. I am so excited as we will get to celebrate the girls birth together, Christmas together, and so on. I have such a new found appreciation for togetherness. I remember sitting at the hospital on Christmas torn between wishing I was with Aubrey to see her wake up on Christmas morning and all the excitement that comes with it, and between the twins who were in the NICU showing us how strong they really were. So many blessings, so many miracles.

Aubrey continues to grow and become such a little lady. She is such a blessing and such a wonderful helper. She loves her sisters and can now tell them apart. She loves to play with them and talk to them and make them laugh. She brings smiles to their faces when nothing or no one else will make them happy. She has really been enjoying school, dancing, books, music, and she wakes up every day and asks her Daddy if they can go to church! She loves it! Her other new favorite thing to do is to watch the Signing Time dvds that we are using to help us learn sign.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Movers and Shakers

Sorry it has taken so long to post. Things are pretty hectic and yet incredibly monotonous all at the same time (does that even make sense?). The girls are getting bigger all the time and are hitting milestones left and right. Here are just a few:

-Both girls are crawling.
-Both girls have gotten their first tooth and are working on the second.
-Both girls are finally beginning to get the hang of eating baby food.
-Reagan can pull herself up to a standing position.
-Reagan is now 17 pounds. Cameron is now almost 15 pounds.
-Cameron is getting ready for her second set of hearing aids - we think that her first set is not working all the time.

Now that the girls are on the move, they are everywhere. We have to watch them all the time. Reagan is the most curious of the two and is also the faster of the two (for now). So far, we have caught Reagan in the bathroom, getting into the fireplace, underneath end tables, trying to crawl up the stairs, climbing into the bottom of her exersaucer, and crawling on top of her sister. She is so quiet that you don't know where she is but when you catch her she has such a mischevious grin and laugh. Cameron talks nonstop all day long. She must really have a lot to say. I wish so much that I could just peek into her head to see what it is she is thinking.

Coming up the girls are beginning to move in the evaluation stage of their therapies and such. Both girls will be evaluated by physical and occupational therapists in December and in January they will return to Duke for testing (which is routine for all one year olds that were once residents of the NICU), and then in February, Cameron will have an MRI at Chapel Hill to take a closer look at her ears.

It is so hard to believe that they are almost a year old. When I think back to what was going on a year ago, I remember having regular visits with the specialists and discussing when I would be going into the hospital and our course of action once we were in the hospital. I never would have guessed that those two little ones that we saw every two weeks on our ultrasounds would be so amazing. They truly are the coolest (along with their older sister) individuals around. And I do mean individuals...lest you think they were twins or anything...they truly do have the most different personalities - they are excellent foils to one another.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Pumpkin Patch

Here are some of the latest pics from the Carters. We were able to sneak out to get to the pumpkin patch nearby but it was freezing and very windy! The girls are all on the mend. Reagan's ears are healing and she and I are both finishing up our antibiotics. We go for their 9 month checkups next week. Both girls are scooting. Cam is just figuring out how it works and is learning to use both her arms and her feet to move. She is also getting up on her hands and knees to wiggle but not crawling yet. Reagan can move very quickly as she scoots and is beginning to get into everything! It won't be long before we have to childproof everything again! It is going to be a busy winter!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Well, it has been quite an eventful week and half since Cam went to the emergency room and was admitted. I will try to tell you the quick version. Cam was released the next day and came home. The next day she was a completely different baby...still sick but not as lethargic and without personality as she was previously. The next day, Reagan started and ended up at the pediatrician...flu and pneumonia again. Then, on Thursday night, Aubrey pneumonia...just the flu. Just about all the girls are back to feeling like themselves - still sensitive tummies but more like themselves...except now...I have strep throat! AGGGGHHHHH! So, I have been quarantined away from the family for 24 hours. I don't know what in the world could have caused so much sickness to a family that is so careful with germs...I attribute a lot of my illness to exhaustion.

Aside from the illness...the girls are doing well. Reagan is somewhat mobile now. She can scoot herself backward and rocks back and forth on her hands and knees. She is also extremely strong and can climb very easily. Cam can sit up for a few moments by herself and is also getting good at scooting herself along. She has realized that she can push herself up on her hands and knees but would rather slither like a snake. She, too, can pull up on things and is getting quite strong. That's about it for the Carters.

I am hoping that our next entry finds us all much more healthy and having more fun than we have had the last few weeks.

Monday, October 5, 2009


As I write this, I have just gotten the call from Seth (who has been at the ER with Cam for the 2nd time in the last 2 weeks) and they are officially admitting Cameron to the hospital with pneumonia. She went in tonight after running a low grade fever most of the day but as the night went on, her breathing began to get faster and faster. I called the pediatrician to speak to the triage nurse and they listened to her breathe and agreed that it seemed extremely fast. When Seth left to take Cam to the hospital, her fever was 100.8 and upon arrival it was 103 - this is on motrin. They ran a bunch of rigorous tests and so, after 10 days on the antibiotic, then 24 hours off of it, Cam has been diagnosed with pneumonia (this is a definitive diagnosis?).

Right now we really do not know much else at all. The current plan is that Seth will be with her today and then we will take it from there. We don't know if this will be a multi-day stay for Cameron or not. My prayer is that Cameron having already been on antibiotics for ten days will lessen her stay and hopefully the pneumonia is not as severe - of course this is based on just my hopes...not anything medically. So, for now, we pray and wait. Hopefully we will know more soon!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Flu Season Begins

Well, many of you already know that flu season has not even begun and the drama has already started. Cameron has had her first emergency room visit and we have spend the last week back and forth at the hospital and the doctors office. Long story short, a cold starting going through our house last week and Cameron ended up running a high fever. She has adrenal insufficiency which means that when her body is fighting an illness if it gets too severe, her body does not make enough stress hormone to deal with it. So, when we left the NICU they told us we would have to administer a cortisol shot to help her deal with it and then rush her to the hospital. All of that became a reality this past Wednesday night when the thermometer was reading 102.5. Unfortunately, we couldn't get the vial of stress hormone open so Seth rushed Cam to the hospital. Upon arriving at the hospital Cam's fever read a whopping 99.9 - we were so frustrated. Anyway, they ran tests and long story short...both girls both have ear infections.

The girls have also had their checkups at the hospital. Cameron weighs 13 pounds and Reagan weighs 15 pounds. The girls are doing very well and the doctors were very pleased. They told us that Cameron has outgrown the need for the shot if she gets sick now - which was a huge relief. They also told us that the girls should begin to outgrow the reflux over the next few months. Reagan's gross motor development was very impressive - she can sit independently for quick bursts of time but she is not technically an independent sitter. They predicted that she will be crawling in no time. Cameron has been referred for physical therapy to help with her gross motor development - just to help make sure that she is meeting her benchmarks. She is trying so hard and has really made a ton of progress. The next time we will go back to Duke will not be until January where they will conduct developmental testing. The girls are 9 months old now - so hard to believe! We had been trying baby food wit Reagan but she doesn't seem ready just yet but we are beginning with Cameron - who seems to enjoy soon to come!

We begin our quarantine within the next week which means that we cannot take the girls to places that are very crowded and we need to limit their exposure to germs. We are to maintain strict handwashing and ask people who have any type of cold or flu symptom to stay clear of our house or the girls. I am hoping that now that it is cooler that we can still enjoy many afternoons and mornings outside on walks or at the park though - I think it will do all of us some good.

Stay tuned for pictures of the girls. Cameron should have her MRI scheduled at Chapel Hill coming up soon. We are hoping and praying that our sickness drama that we just experienced is all that we will have to endure for a while - we are all still recovering from it! The girls are feeling better and acting more like themselves every day!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Results...Sort Of

Today was a very long day. To start out with, due to excessive tiredness on the part of her parents, Cameron was fed at 3 am this mornings - even though she was not supposed to be fed after midnight (oops!). We were worried that that would cancel her procedure but it did not. It turns out her actual procedure did not begin until much later than anticipated due to delays in the ORs for the day.

Anyway, she did well. She handled the anesthesia well and they completed the ABR test. They found similar results to the ABR that was done at Duke and they made sure she did not need tubes. Next, we will meet with the ENT and Audiologists in a few weeks and they are planning on sedating her again to do an MRI. The MRI will determine if there is anything anatomical that is causing such an assymetrical hearing loss.

Regardless, Cameron handled almost all of it beautifully - she just hates going without food - as do most of us. I am praying that for the MRI sedation we can get the first appointment of the day...or atleast I am going to work toward it. We do now know for sure that she is not a candidate for a cochlear implant because if you have decent hearing (with amplification) then you can have normal speech and language - which negates the need for a cochlear implant. I have to say I am a little relieved to hear this because that is a very big decision to make and I am thankful that it is one that Seth and I will not have to make.

Thank you so much for your prayers. We will keep you posted as we learn more.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Quick Prayer Request

Hello all! Hope you are doing well. Cameron's procedure at Chapel Hill has been scheduled. This next Wednesday, she will go into the hospital to be sedated and to have a repeat ABR (hearing test) done. While she is sedated, they will go ahead and check to see if her ears have too much fluid and give her tubes. They will also redo her ear molds. I do not know all of the details but I have a pretty strong feeling that Cameron will be intubated again for this procedure...which makes this former NICU mama cringe...I had hoped that her days of that were over. Of course anesthesia and procedures all have risks of their own. Please keep Cameron in your prayers, that she would remain safe and that the procedure would help to even further get understanding into her hearing. She has never had a procedure at Chapel Hill, although they come highly recommended, so I admit I am a little apprehensive. I will update you as soon as we are home from the hospital. If you think about it, we have to be there at 1 and the procedure begins at 2:30.

Thanks again for being so faithful!

Saturday, August 29, 2009


Well, I am not sure how many of you are still out there reading...but I thought I would post this anyway just in case! I stand amazed even now at how many people I have run into lately that have told me that they were following the blog...what? These were not necessarily people that we are close personal friends with or have even really seen in the last couple of years. My first reaction is shock (hence the what? that I wrote earlier) and then my second reaction is amazement. I am amazed at how God would bring so many people together to pray for my children, for my family, and for me. I am amazed at the faithfulness of God's people to cry out on our behalf for our children and their precious lives. I am amazed at how encouraged I feel deep down in places that I never knew has been you, all of you, that have increased my faith...not because we have a happy ending (even though I am so thankful that we have) but because I have learned more about God, His Power, His Love, and what it means to belong to His family. I feel more challenged in my walk with the Lord than ever before to be what you have been to me to someone else. So, thank you all. I know it sounds sappy but I just really felt a need to say it and I wanted to do it in one big thank you note. (Sorry I have been so slack about writing the thank yous be honest at some point I lost track of who I had written to and who I haven't.).

Since I am writing I thought I would post a quick update. The girls are going great. We are going through big changes in the Carter house. Aubrey is starting at a new preschool and will only be gone for three mornings a week. The rest of the time, she will be at home with the rest of the girls. Cameron goes on Monday to UNC to her new ENT. The girls are doing some better with their reflux...but to be honest..this changes like the wind. Reagan has begun to eat rice cereal with a spoon and will be working her way to starting with real baby food. The girls are really getting lots of personality - Cameron spunky as ever has decided that her hearing aids are good to chew on and so I have to watch her constantly. The girls really enjoy being with each other. If they get cranky, all I have to do is lay them down next to each other and they love to play with each other, hit or kick each other, roll over onto each other...just the other day I caught Cameron picking Reagan's nose! The girls have decided that sleeping through the night is not for them for now... hopefully they will decide to do so before too long! Cameron had her checkup at Duke for her eyes...her hemorrhage is resolving itself and they will fit her for glasses in January (just in case they said?). I am still trying to imagine hearing aids and glasses together...we will definitely have to make sure that they are color coordinated! Here are a few shots from the last few days at the Carter household.

First two, Reagan - not sure about the rice cereal but definitely loves this whole new toy called a spoon that flies right into her mouth...the natural place for everything to go!

Third- Cameron after having just been caught chewing on her hearing aids and also wondering why Reagan gets to have all the fun with the food...she gets to start soon!

Monday, August 17, 2009

What the Future Holds

Things are busy, busy, busy here at the Carter house. We are beginning speech language services with Cameron - the services are more for Seth and I than Cameron. They are coming to teach us how to teach her. Both girls are growing well and are eating well. We still have lots of reflux issues but compared to what we had a few months ago, they are doing phenomenal. Both girls are rolling over now and we are now working on sitting up.

Reagan now weighs 13.5 pounds and Cameron weighs 11 pounds. It is crazy to stop and think about all their similarities and differences. Right now the girls love to play a game where when it is time to sleep - one will sack out and the other will throw a fit and stay awake. They trade places like that all day! Reagan is the chatterbox who loves to coo sweetly. However, don't let the sweet coos fool you, she is also the one who will scream at the top of her lungs if she is not happy...and if she is, she squeals at the top of her lungs! Cameron is the quiet one but also, don't let the quietness fool you. I have this theory that she is thinking up all sorts of mischevious little plots because even though she is sitting quietly, she is watching and she has this look that just looks like she is up to no good! She, too, has the sweetest coo you have ever heard when she wants to talk. She is also the giggler. Once she gets started, she can't stop and it is so contagious that you are laughing hysterically, too!

Seth and I have been enjoying the freedom of summer and being able to take the girls to church, the store, and occassionally out to dinner. However, we have been told that we shouldn't count on it for too much longer because once October rolls around, the girls and I will be quarantined once again. I must admit, I am dreading this time of year. The girls will also begin to have to have monthly shots for RSV and we will have to go back into germ warfare again. At the end of this month, we will meet with a new pediatric ENT to see what he has to say about Cameron's ears and how much the hearing aids are assisting her ability to hear.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Quick Update and Pics

The girls continue to do well. We had Reagan's 6 month check-up and in his words, "she is doing PHENOMENAL!" Reagan is already working on many skills that are up to par with her actual age (not just her adjusted age). She is actually on the chart weight wise for her adjusted age (she is only the third percentile but every little bit counts!). Reagan now weighs 13 pounds 5.5 oz. Unlike the previous vaccines she has been given, her shots did not seem to agree with her. She was quite cranky and ran a fever but was back to feeling like herself in no time.

Cameron has her check up this Wednesday. Cameron has just begun rolling over and can actually travel quite quickly. She loves to play on the floor with her sister. When they lay together it is so cute because inevitably Cameron starts to smile a really goofy smile at Reagan and Reagan starts to coo and talk in the cutest voice!

Here are a few of the latest pictures!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

I Finally Downloaded Some PIctures!

This summer has been a busy one. So, here are the highlights and some pictures of the girls. Aubrey is now 2 years old. Reagan and Cameron are growing like weeds and their muscles are getting stronger. Reagan can roll all over the place but she still hasn't figured that if she rolls somewhere and doesn't like it, she can roll back. Cameron isn't rolling yet but has gotten great head control...when she feels like it. Pretty much it has been a great summer so far! Thanks for continuing to keep our family in your prayers!

We found out that Aubrey loves tomatoes and will eat them whole - especially if you leave her unattended with an entire tomato - yes, she did eat an entire tomato!

Here is the birthday girl who has decided that icing makes everything taste better. Last year she wouldn't touch the cake...My my how things have changed.

Here is big sister Aubrey watching cartoons with Cameron. Cameron has found out that she doesn't need a pacifier...she can use her own two fingers. Cameron loves to watch tv - it is a little scary that she already notices it so much. We are trying to limit her exposure but we figured for the picture it was okay.
Can you tell them apart?

And here is Cameron again chomping on those fingers!!

Hearing Aid pictures. Cameron has really become so verbal. She loves to squeal and talk and laugh. She has the best belly laugh you have ever heard! She has also learned to blow rasberries. I haven't been able to catch in on camera yet but trust me. If you hear someone making odd sounds during church - chances are my two girls are the culprits!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Hearing Aids and Progress Report

Well we officially have cute pink sparkly hearing aids now. I have a picture to post but I still have not gotten that little attachment for my camera until I get to my parents house to upload will have to wait. The minute Cameron got her hearing aids put in she started talking up a storm. She was smiling and talking more than I have ever heard her. However, once we got home...Seth and I realized that hearing aids are more complicated than we thought - she started to get feedback in her hearing aids. So, we checked with Duke and we are hoping that we have the problem fixed. Last night was one of the coolest nights ever - Reagan was already asleep and Cameron and I were just playing and talking - I would sing and she would coo back - it was unbelievable to think that my little girl can hear all that I say now. What a blessing. We go back in 2 weeks to have them check out her hearing aids one more time and then we are set to go.

Yesterday at the hospital the girls had their checkups. They saw the eye doctor and we found out the Cameron's hemorrhage is still in her eye - it does not appear to be causing any harm but it is still in her eye so we have to watch it. We also found out that Cameron is a little nearsighted and will probably eventually need glasses - which we already knew because it is in her genes to need glasses anyway! Reagan got her hearing checked yesterday and she has normal hearing. The girls were weighed and Reagan weighs 11 pounds 9 oz. and Cameron weighs 10 pounds even. They are doing so well and are finally able to be charted on the growth chart. Cameron is in the 3-5 % and Reagan is in the 10 - 25%. We are hoping that they will continue to grow appropriately. Cameron is officially off of the heart monitor. We are hoping that the company will be setting up an appointment soon to come and pick it up. Cameron did not get tested to see if she has outgrown her Adrenal Insufficiency (cortisol deficiency). They said that they assume that children need it for their first year and after that you discontinue the need for it. I have decided that the girls absolutely hate going to Duke. Every time...and I do mean every time, that we go to Duke one of them has a major accident. Yesterday it was Reagan's turn. She ruined her clothes and then proceeded to christen the doctor's office room twice while we were changing her! I guess that was her way of telling us that she was done with being at the hospital!

The girls got out for their first visit to church last Sunday. What a crazy but unbelievable day. The girls behaved so well! I was so excited at how well they did. We will see if they continue to do so well now that cameron can hear so much more of what is going on! We hope to be able to upload more pics soon. This month has been a good month and it is only getting better - Aubrey will turn 2 on the 31st! I can't believe that she is such a big girl!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

We're Getting There!

Well, the girls are finally starting to act like what I could consider "typical" babies...well, mostly. They have needed a little bit of help. The last couple of days have been spent working very hard to get them on a real predictable schedule in hopes of encouraging them to sleep longer at night and being able to put themselves to sleep should they wake up in the middle of the night. Before we began the past week the girls have been very sporadic in their sleeping and we would be lucky if they slept all of 20 - 30 minutes every three hours or so. AND those few minutes were sleeping while being held. At night the girls were waking up every three hours and one night Cameron woke up every 1-2 hours. So, by the end of this past week I said ENOUGH! We must get some sanity...and what I meant was really I must get some sanity! So, we are on our way and the girls are doing well. They have been sleeping for almost an hour in their own beds (not being held) every three hours. And the best part is that they are sleeping at night - Cam is the champion sleeper so far with 7 hours last night! They are very happy and so is Mommy!

The girls are changing so much and I can't wait until this week is over and we can see what the doctors at Duke have to say. On Tuesday I take Cameron to go and get her fabulously flashy hearing aids! I am so eager to see how differently she will react to our house and all the sounds that she hears! She already is cooing and laughing and getting her voice (which is very loud, I might add). Cameron was weighed on Friday and she is 9 lbs. 12 oz. She has had great weight gain over the last few weeks. We are now really working on her upper body strength and head control. She has spent so long arching that it is hard for her to focus and make her body move the other way. So, we are putting her on her tummy as much as possible - at the beginning she could hardly stand a minute or so and now we are up to several minutes. Baby steps I say. Reagan has grown so much...although we don't know exactly how much yet...we find out on Thursday at Duke. Thursday is their clinic appointments where they will see the main physicians, speech and physical therapists and the eye doctor. I also have to ask to have Reagan's hearing retested since her twin sister is hearing impaired. Reagan is talking like crazy and smiling so much. She is also drooling a ton..she has to get changed between almost every feeding...mainly because of the drool! I keep looking for tooth buds in her mouth but I don't see anything yet. Reagan can roll from her stomach to her back and is working on back to stomach. She loves to play on her belly. The girls are also learning to interact some with each other. The other day they were on their sides with each other and Cameron took Reagan's hands and starting eating them while Reagan just smiled and talked to Cameron. It was amazing!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Beginnings and Reflecting

Today we met with the Beginnings support person - a free service that is provided to parents of hearing impaired children whose sole purpose is to help parents to advocate for their child and to tell them about services that are available. Today we decided to go ahead and make a speech language referral for Cameron to be evaluated with her hearing aids. This will tell us her strengths and weaknesses. One of the things that he commented on was how well Cameron focuses and watches what you are doing when you are talking - he said that it was a very good skill and he was very impressed. In the meantime, Seth and I have a lot of praying to do as we will have to choose a form of communication for us to focus on using with Cameron. I have mixed feelings because I, of course, want for her to be able to learn to talk and produce normal speech sounds and for her hearing aids to help her to achieve as close to normal hearing as possible. However, realistically, I understand that there are times that she will not be able to have her hearing aids we also, I feel, need to have an alternate plan.

Both girls are doing so well. Lately I have been doing a lot of reflecting on my pregnancy, the day the girls were born, our NICU experience and have been quite emotional when I let myself really think about all that we have been through. Not in an I feel sorry for myself kind of way but in an I stand in awe of God's mercy and goodness kind of way. I found myself thinking of these pictures and comparing then to now. I am so thankful for all of our blessings...but especially the three that are sleeping soundly even now as I am typing.

December 26th, 2008

May 2009

Friday, June 26, 2009


Cameron - 8 lbs. 13 oz.
Reagan - 10 lbs. even

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tiny Blessings Getting Bigger

We are growing! Both girls are over 8 pounds (we will have exact weights on Friday) and Reagan is already outgrowing her NB size onesies. We are in size 1 diapers. I can't believe how much they are growing. But coolest of all is to see how much the girls change from week to week in their verbal and developmental milestones. Reagan is beginning to really laugh (not just in her sleep). Both girls are really starting to try to talk and show so much expression. They love to watch things and try to grab at toys. Cameron's visual skills are amazing. She will follow you wherever you go - she always wants to know what is going on. Reagan wants to sit up so bad. We will lay her down on a boppy pillow or lean her up on the couch and she spends the whole time pulling her head up and crunching trying to sit up. Both girls are doing well with head control. We have not been able to do as much tummy time as I would have liked because of the reflux but we have been slowly building more and more into their day. I am trying to get them to entertain each other by facing them together during tummy time. The reflux seems to be doing better but BEST OF ALL - THEY ARE FINALLY SLEEPING!!! Not just for a few minutes but real -6-7 hours sleeping. Okay...wait let me clarify - they did it once. I am not sure if it will continue or not but we will take it. They woke up so happy this morning and I firmly believe it was because they finally were beginning to feel rested.

We meet with the Beginnings people on Tuesday of next week to begin to hopefully line up therapies for Cameron. I am also hoping to find out more about our family learning sign language and about different communication options that we will have. I have been so blessed to be able to talk to so many parents with hearing impaired children that have given me so much encouragement and advice and invaluable information. Thank you to all of you.

This next month brings many milestones for our family including - a wedding anniversary, Aubrey turning two, and Cameron getting hearing aids. I am also praying that it will include Cameron being taken off of the heart monitor and finding out that she has outgrown her cortisol deficiency. Thank you again for all of your prayers and support for our family.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

One More

Here is one more of the girls - it is one of my favorites because it shows their personalities I think.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Photo Shoot

A friend of mine who is a photographer took pictures of the girls - I love Lisa, I love these photos! Here they are!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Hospital Visit Today

Today ended up being a rather long day. So here is the short version of what we found out:

1 - Cameron's hearing test was redone and it was similar. They feel that hearing aids will give Cameron good amplification in her right ear for her to hopefully resume normal speech language development with the help of a therapist. They don't know whether they will ever be able to amplify enough for her left ear to hear speech sounds but she may be able to hear environmental sounds like loud sirens, horns, cars, etc.
2 - They want to recheck Cameron's ears again in 3 months to make sure that she does not have degenerative loss in her ear and if it is getting worse...Cameron may be a candidate for cochlear implants. Right now that is currently off the table.
3 - We picked out cute pink hearing aids and a sparkly ear mold so that she will look girly and fashionable. We figure - its not like people won't be able t tell that she has hearing aids so we might as well make them look cute!
4 - Cameron's reflux has been getting pretty bad again. So much so, that her physical therapist insisted she see the doctor yesterday at the last minute. At that appointment we found out that Cameron has resumed good weight gain and is now 8 lbs. exactly. We also found out that we need to increase her medication but that if that does not stop then we will begin adding cereal to her. We are also hopeful that the monitor may be going away within the next month or so.

I think that is the short of it. We were also told by a speech person at the hospital that it might not be easy to get Cameron started with speech therapy. My prayer is that she is wrong. We will be meeting with different folks to hopefully begin to set that up. Cameron's hearing aids should be in in about a month - so hopefully she will be hearing all of us soon.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Our First Illness

Well, it has struck...we think. A few days ago I started sneezing and then my throat started to be a little sore. I had heard that strep was going I decided to run to urgent care and get a quick test...negative. But upon throat had red bumps that are symptomatic of strep throat. So, they are sending my test up to the lab and I am now on antibiotics. However, I cannot have any close contact with any of the girls for the next 24 hours - does anyone know how unbelievably difficult that is going to be??? Very! When they are crying, I can't fix it and it kills me. The good news is it is only 24 hours. The doctor said that it could just be allergies but because of the bumps we are going to do the medicine just in case. So, the plan is to sleep like crazy for the next 24 hours so that I can finally relieve Seth tomorrow night and let him sleep all night. I just pray that the girls do not get it! I am so scared because a) they are preemies and more at risk for illness and b) Cameron's immunity disorder. I pray that none of the family gets sick. We all depend on each other. Please keep us in your prayers. We go this Tuesday for Cameron's ENT appointment and to get fitted for her hearing aids.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Answers to Questions

1 - Why is the PT saying "don't let Cameron stand!" - She says that it can encourage those muscles to stay tight instead of being loose and relaxed which can lead to muscle tone issues. We are allowed to let her stand once she starts pulling up on things - which is quite a ways away. She says that if we let her do it too much and those muscles get too tight then she will walk on her tiptoes when it comes time to walk...which we do not want! I am actually getting more and more concerned about Cameron's muscle tone because she can be so stiff and rigid...especially during feeding - which is probably part of the reflux. I have called the PT at Duke and am having their developmental therapist assess her this week to see if I am completely overreacting or if we do have reason to be concerned.
2- What type of hearing loss - the audiologist thinks that it is sensorineural hearing loss but that is a educated guess...we see the ENT to confirm this next week.
3 - Sign language - No we haven't started sign. To be honest we have heard so many conflicting things and I have been waiting to hear from the people from Beginnings (local hearing impaired resource from NC school for deaf and hard of hearing) to see what they would recommend. I am trying to read as much as possible and trying to keep talking to Cameron - which is what the audiologist said to do. Cameron still reacts to us and will smile and makes my heart soar when she tries to talk. I know that she can hear some is just very limited I think. She said that it is imperative that Cameron see us react appropriately to her needs so that when she can hear she can put them together. How soon should you start sign? We are only at the smiling and cooing stage - should we begin already if we choose to do it?

Marilyn, it seems as if you are very knowledgeable on the subject of hearing impairement - any information or advice you have would be wonderful. I would love for you to email me at

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Cameron's Appointments

The eye doctor visit went well this week. The hemorrage does not seem to indicate that anything is leading towards retinal detachment - which we are extremely excited about. It is still there but has spread out, allowing the doctors to be able to look under it to be sure. Both girls will be going back to the doctor (along with their other clinic appointments) in July. Cameron's next appointment is June 16 for all of her hearing aid stuff. I am so thankful to have been turned on to a free resource for parent education for parents of hearing impaired children. I am in the process of signing Seth and I up for a distance learning course.

The girls are doing well. We are still having the ups and downs - good days and bad days...but all babies have those - ours are just times 2! They are wiggling and squirming like crazy and both girls are now cooing and interacting with you - those are the most joyful times of the day! Reagan is working hard on rolling - she wants to so bad - you can almost see it on her face. Meanwhile, Cameron would rather try to stand (even though we have been given strict orders to not allow her to do that from the physical therapist so we do our best to keep her from doing so). Both girls love their swings and love their play gyms...most of the time. But most of all they love Aubrey. She can bring smiles that none of us can get. She loves to come up and say "tickle, tickle" and the girls just smile so big for her. They all love each other very much!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Apnea Monitor

Ah the monitor. I fear that it will be staying with us a bit longer than I wanted. For some reason in the past two weeks it has gone off for apnea and it hasn't done it since she has been home. I think that it is because Cameron is sleeping so soundly but I don't think the doctors will let her come off until they stop. Please pray that things would calm down and that she would be well enough for the doctors to take her off of the monitor or if that is not going to happen that we would see the cause for the apnea that she has been having! I can't help but wonder, though, how many of us have apnea episodes when we are in a deep sleep.

Cameron also has her eye appointment tomorrow to check on the hemorrage in her eye. I pray that it has healed up all on its own.

Thanks again for keeping our family in your prayers.

Saturday, May 30, 2009


The girls have really begun to smile and today was actually Cameron's first day really smiling and I caught it on camera! Had to share those and a few other pictures of our little angels!



Here is a picture of Aubrey enjoying some yummy chicken parmesan that a friend made for us a couple of weekends ago - thanks Jill! We have had so many sweet and generous people make us dinner that I don't even know where to start. Thank you all so much! This night I gave Aubrey her plate, turned to pour her a cup of milk and when I turned around...this what I saw - she said, "Mommy this good! I LOVE noodles!" Aubrey has loved all of the meals and I have appreciated not having to worry about cooking...and Seth, well, he hasn't enjoyed it at all except the guy who can't gain weight all of a sudden can't fit into some of his pants anymore - THANK YOU ALL!

I almost forgot. The girls were weighed yesterday at the doctor. Reagan is now 8 lbs. 3 oz. and Cameron is 6 lbs. 15 oz. We are still working hard to be sure that Cameron maintains good weight gain. Hopefully she will be catching up to her sister soon!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Cameron's Hearing Test Results

Today at Duke we found out that we are about to enter even more unfamiliar territory with Cameron. She went in for a more specialized test for her wasn't successful so they redid the original hearing screen - she failed again in both ears. So, this time she had more diagnostic tests done. The diagnostician found that Cameron has moderate to moderate/severe hearing loss in her right ear and severe/profound loss in her left ear. We asked if there was any way of knowing the cause and she said no. This was her first diagnostic test, however. We will go back for another test in three weeks. On that same day we will meet with an ENT, who will determine if there isn't a blockage of any sort that could be the cause...however, after the tests today, the diagnostician said that she did not believe that it was. She believes that this is pretty permanent hearing loss and doesn't expect for the results to change much. On that same day, Cameron will have molds taken of her ears to be fitted for hearing aids. We will go back a few weeks later to learn how to use the hearing aids. We will begin to work closely with a speech and hearing therapist to learn how we can best serve Cameron.

The audiologist said that she has a very positive outlook for Cameron right now because her hearing loss has been diagnosed so early and that with therapies and hearing aides that she hopes that Cameron will be able to achieve normal communication skills. Seth has been so amazing and positive through all of this - the perfect husband. Today he said, "You know why I have always liked things like x-men and stuff? Well, it is because they were all unique because of their special powers. That's kind of how our family is." I almost started crying because I thought that it was an amazing way to think about all of this. My prayer is that the hearing aids would be an effective tool for Cameron to be able to hear and that Seth and I would be able to learn how to make our family and our home a supportive environment to nurture Cameron in the skills that she needs to acquire.

As a precaution, Reagan has to go back in for additional hearing tests - since the girls are identical but they do not expect to see much right now. They will just do what is called an OAE (I have no idea what that means) and if she passes, she will not have to have any additional tests.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Update from Doctors

Not much to report...sorry the posts have not been coming as often but life is very hectic here. Today is Seth's birthday and for his birthday he won a trip to the hospital for the girls checkup on their eyes. Reagan's look great and Cameron's also have no ROP...however, when the doctor was looking she kept saying "very interesting" - words you never like to hear from a doctor. Evidentally, Cameron has had a hemorrhage in her eye and we cannot seem to find the cause for it. The doctor said that it may have been the stress on her body with the formula change. She said it is not alarming right now, they are going to watch it but she just found it "interesting." That's us Carter's - never boring! Anyway, we have to go back now in two weeks and she will check it again. Cameron's hearing test is next Thursday - so we will be back and forth to Duke for three weeks in a row. Hopefully, all of it will end with clean bills of health.

Both girls have finally adjusted to the new formula. They both are great eaters right now (we are wondering if they are just really taking off or if they are hitting a growth spurt) and Seth and I cannot wait until next week when they have a weight check at the pediatrician. They have slept pretty well the last couple of days but I almost don't want to say anything to jinx it! They are both smiling and Reagan is really cooing and talking now. They are tracking things with their eyes some - which the doctor said might be a little delayed. She could not believe how loud Reagan's cry was - her exact words were "Wow! That's a big girl cry!" I just wanted to say - You're telling me - you should hear it at 2 in the morning!

All in all, life is going great for the Carter's right now. We are enjoying being one big happy family! Aubrey has been behaving really well and I have goals of potty training and moving to her big girl bed this summer - we will see if it actually happens. She kind of seems to be fighting me on the potty thing right now. That's okay...when she is ready! She is loving playing with friends, the sandbox, sliding, painting, and playdough. Right now, the messier the better!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I Am Amazed...

-at how many dirty clothes our girls can produce in one day
-at how many bottles we go through a day
-at how the girls can still gain weight considering how much comes back out
-at how I can clean the house and in less than an hour it looks as if a bomb has gone off
-at how one tiny baby can cry so loud and so hard for so long...just because she needs her pacifier back in her mouth
-at how quickly the girls and their abilities can change - yesterday Reagan only smiled in her sleep and today she will coo a little and smile the biggest smiles ever - Cameron is on the verge of following her sister
-at how much the hospital actually cost - the stacks of explanations of benefits is unbelievable - even more unbelievable are the numbers on those papers - thank goodness for insurance!
-at how much the girls can look so unbelievably different and yet so much alike
-at how beautiful of a sight it is to see my family together and loving on one another
-at how if I stop and let myself think about it - I still cry like a baby when I think of where we have come from and how blessed we are to have our little miracles

I am sure that the list will continue to go on but here is the newest update from the visit to the doctor this week.

Both girls are doing well. They saw the doctors and the physical therapist. Both girls are making good growth. Cameron had a renal ultrasound and still has one small kidney stone remaining. Both girls are now on the same formula. They have placed Cameron on Alimentum with her sister - they thought that the major specialty formula was not really giving the results they felt were necessary to continue on it. So, we have had an interesting couple of days adjusting.

The girls are doing so well they don't need to go back to the doctor for another couple of weeks but still this month we have an eye checkup and Cameron's recheck on her hearing.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


What a day. Happy Mother's Day. Who would have guessed a year ago that I would be a mom of three instead of a mom of one? What a blessing. Today was a good day - Aubrey is very good at saying Happy Mother's Day - except she doesn't get who you are supposed to say it to. She said it to my dad, to other kids, anyone that would listen! We had an awesome afternoon visiting with family here at the house! Here are a few more pictures of the girls -

Friday, May 8, 2009

Hope from the Unexpected Places

Just a quick note. Last night I was standing in the checkout lane and picked up a People magazine to leaf through as I waited. Inside I found an article about micropreemies that were born at 25, 25, 27 weeks along. They weighed anywhere from a pound to 2 pounds. One of the overriding questions that I had and that I think others have is...what does the future hold for the girls because they were so premature? We were never quoted rates or given any specific diagnosis from the doctors (that may come later) but I have chosen to chalk that up to the fact that God was in control and chose my girls - He chose them for something unbelievable and He chose them to help teach me about Him, about love, and about hope. In this magazine it goes on to show how successful these preemies have become...athletic, intellectual, motivated and I have to say that I almost started crying right there in the store. What an amazing way for God to give me hope in one of the most unexpected places. Last night I was reminded of how God chose to show me the true meaning of Cameron's middle name - Hope. All through our journey in the hospital - both girls defied the odds and as a result, we chose hope and as we continue to go through the ups and downs of our first year together, I pray that we continue to choose hope. I realized that if we don't choose hope then we get bogged down by the little stuff, the stuff we cannot control, or the stuff that doesn't really matter and so I am thankful that God gave me a reminder - hope still remains. I find it funny that after all that we have been through, I still need to be reminded - guess that shows how stubborn I am.

Thank you all for your prayers. The girls go back for the first of many appointments at the hospital next Tuesday.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

6 Pounders

Well, both girls are officially over six pounds now. Cameron has gained 7 oz. in 6 days (6 lbs. even) and Reagan has gained 6 oz. in 6 days ( 6 lbs. 12 oz.). This is completely baffling to me because the last few days they both have done nothing but spit up and cry...a LOT! I am so pleased with their progress and pray that they will continue. They are now officially out of preemie diapers and can wear some newborn clothes as well. As I type this right now Cameron is playing on her boppy playmat that was Aubrey's. She has figured out that she can hit the toys but still doesn't seem quite sure of herself. She really seems to be having fun! Both girls are doing well. Here is a picture of the girls yesterday before they got their shots - ouch! I decided to take a before picture instead of an after! There are also a couple of other shots from earlier in the week...including Aubrey who has now discovered that not only does she LOVE strawberries but she loves picking them - if she could just figure out how to do it without putting her finger right through the middle!