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Amber in SJ

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  1. Thank you board family for all the love and prayers and good thoughts. My dd’s twins were born at 28 weeks weighing 2lbs 10oz. They spent almost 3 very long months in the NICU, and I spent those long months in UT away from the rest of my family. So here they are at home and so happy to be there: In true WTM fashion Eliza is reading about astronomers and Freya is reading about Earth Science.
  2. I think this has been harder than when I brought my own newborns home! Both girls are 4lbs! Not too bad for starting at 2lbs 10 oz. They have had tub baths, breathed room air, tried non-nutritive nursing, had brain scans, lung scans & eye exams. The most frustrating part has been when something is hinky, “This area of her lungs is cloudy” ”Their eye development seems to be delayed for their age and there is some swelling” The recommendations is always “wait & see.” That is my least favorite medical plan! Because COVID cases are spiking here the NICU has changed their visitor plan last week, so that only one parent gets to visit at a time and for a limited time. My SIL had a sore throat for 2 days last week so they required that he get COVID tested and both my Dd & SIL had to wait for the results before going back to the NICU. It was a very long 4 days. The test was negative and Dd was out the door on her way to the NICU almost before SIL hung up the phone. She got to hold them at the same time For the first time. Freya told her dad all about her first tub bath through interpretive dance with a surprise punch in the nose at the end. I have baked lactation cookies, lactation muffins, lactation baked oatmeal and lactation brownies, but have done zero of my school planning for Fall. Amber in SJ
  3. The girls are growing well. Both are 3lbs now. They have been moved down to a ventilator that “reminds” them to breathe instead of a ventilator that breathes for them. I still haven’t been able to meet them in person, but I am taking care of my Dd & SIL as best I can. Both girls got shots today to increase their red blood cells. Eliza has her binky, so she isn’t too bothered, but Freya looks very concerned. Freya is also giving the Hulk pose.
  4. My DH is the same. Our Alexa was programmed to respond to “Computer......” for about a week. Unfortunately, one of our Alexas is in the living room with the TV and the word “computer” is said waaaaay too often during TV shows. She was alerting constantly. Now that I am here with my Dd, away from home, I can’t tell you how many times I have said to her house: ”Alexa, what time is it?” ”Alexa is it going to rain today?” ”Alexa, set a timer for......” ”Alexa play.....” ”Alexa add (whatever) to my list.” The one I use constantly at home is “Alexa, Find my phone” or the one I miss the most ”Alexa, Good Night.” Where the locks are checked, the lights go out, the fan starts and ocean sounds start quietly playing. Every room in our house has an Alexa of some kind except the bathrooms. Our daughter out in the tiny house has one too. We use them as alarm clocks, intercoms, calculators and fact-checkers. She plays our music, our news briefings and our audio books. If someone is listening and needs to know that I have a Peter, Paul & Mary playlist that I play when I miss my mom, or that my Audible is the biggest eclectic mess, then I am not too worried. Amber in SJ
  5. Hi all, I have been making someone here’s fabulous baked oatmeal recipe for a couple of years now, but right now I am in another state far away from my recipes cooking for my daughter & her husband during the few breaks they have from the NICU. She is being encouraged to eat oats to support breast feeding, so I thought the baked oatmeal would be great but it turns out I don’t have the recipe memorized. I have tried searching but to no avail. I tried another recipe yesterday, but it was not as good, so I am begging if someone has that long ago posted recipe to help me out.
  6. Hi all, I have been making someone here’s fabulous baked oatmeal recipe for a couple of years now, but right now I am in another state far away from my recipes cooking for my daughter & her husband during the few breaks they have from the NICU. She is being encouraged to eat oats to support breast feeding, so I thought the baked oatmeal would be great but it turns out I don’t have the recipe memorized. I have tried searching but to no avail. I tried another recipe yesterday, but it was not as good, so I am begging if someone has that long ago posted recipe to help me out.
  7. The girls are doing well. One doctor said Freya doesn’t seem to know that she was born early and is small. Eliza is struggling to fully inflate her lungs but wait and see seems to be the usual NICU mode, which I totally understand. Yesterday they were one week old so my baby got to hold her baby for the first time. pictures 1 & 2 are Freya’s feet doing baby ballet and pictures 3 & 4 are Eliza holding her own binky and giving the stink eye if you are coming to change her tiny diaper. I am still waiting to meet them. Amber in SJ
  8. After a few days in the hospital, DD went into labor at 28 weeks and 2days. I hopped on a plane but they didn’t wait for Grandma and arrived via c-section before I did weighing 2lbs 10 oz each. Both started on a ventilator, but have since been moved to a NIPP-V, which is less invasive. No one can hold them yet and thanks to COVID protocols I don’t even get to see them in the NICU, but my Dd has been FaceTiming me so I can see them. One hates to be swaddled and wriggles herself free and then pulls her tiny hat off. She also removed her umbilical line so they had to put a tiny PICC line in her tiny arm. The other baby is more chill but doesn’t like the nasal cannula that comes with the NIPP-V and soon discovered if she repeatedly opens her mouth wide in a fake yawn she can work the little poky things out of her nose. photos are: Freya the Wiggly, Eliza the Calm and Eliza holding her Momma’s finger It is going to be a loooong Summer. Hopefully I will get to meet them sooner rather than later Amber in SJ
  9. This will be full of crass talk about money so look away if you must Before getting pregnant my dd had 2.5 part time jobs. One with the local public school as the reading specialist where she worked 1 hour less than they would be required to give her benefits, another job with the same public school running the after school program, again no benefits and the .5 being the 2 hours/ day from 4-6am she spends online teaching English to kids in other countries. Her husband worked the maximum allowed 28 hours/ week on campus while finishing his Masters. Because she is turning 26 in June and thus will be off our insurance which only offers her emergency services because she is in another state, she went to the exchange and got on a plan that costs her just over $400/ month. Just her, as her husband pays $500/ semester at the school for his insurance. Fast forward to today and she is pregnant with twins and in the hospital for the next 6 weeks until the babies are born. The nice insurance person came in today and told them that the cost for her to stay in the hospital is $8K/ day (!) but her current plan has an OOP cap of $6K/ year......wait for it....per person, so when the babies arrive it will be an additional $6K/ baby. The woman told her to apply for Medicaid and everything would be covered.....wait for it.....unless her husband got a job. Even a part time job at the grocery store, if he makes more then some ridiculously low amount then they would lose the Medicaid and have to re-enroll in another insurance. The woman told them if they qualify for Medicaid, then their best bet is for her husband to not get a job until the babies are born and out of the NICU. But who is going to pay their rent? Their bills? They have some savings but not enough for months of no income. aaarrrggghhh OK, I am better now Amber in SJ
  10. This will be full of crass talk about money so look away if you must Before getting pregnant my dd had 2.5 part time jobs. One with the local public school as the reading specialist where she worked 1 hour less than they would be required to give her benefits, another job with the same public school running the after school program, again no benefits and the .5 being the 2 hours/ day from 4-6am she spends online teaching English to kids in other countries. Her husband worked the maximum allowed 28 hours/ week on campus while finishing his Masters. Because she is turning 26 in June and thus will be off our insurance which only offers her emergency services because she is in another state, she went to the exchange and got on a plan that costs her just over $400/ month. Just her, as her husband pays $500/ semester at the school for his insurance. Fast forward to today and she is pregnant with twins and in the hospital for the next 6 weeks until the babies are born. The nice insurance person came in today and told them that the cost for her to stay in the hospital is $8K/ day (!) but her current plan has an OOP cap of $6K/ year......wait for it....per person, so when the babies arrive it will be an additional $6K/ baby. The woman told her to apply for Medicaid and everything would be covered.....wait for it.....unless her husband got a job. Even a part time job at the grocery store, if he makes more then some ridiculously low amount then they would lose the Medicaid and have to re-enroll in another insurance. The woman told them if they qualify for Medicaid, then their best bet is for her husband to not get a job until the babies are born and out of the NICU. But who is going to pay their rent? Their bills? They have some savings but not enough for months of no income. aaarrrggghhh OK, I am better now Amber in SJ
  11. They have applied & been denied. Their landlord sent them a letter saying because they reside in a state that was never officially closed, he is under no obligation to waive payment and/ or late fees. And that everyone’s rent is due on the first, late on the third as usual. Nice, huh? It was a form letter to all the rental properties but considering they have never been late it seemed a little harsh. But we are trying to focus on getting everyone here and healthy. tomorrow she gets to have the cool 3D ultrasound because the doctor can’t “find” the membrane that separated the babies earlier in the pregnancy. If it has ruptured or disappeared (?) that puts the other baby at risk and she will be confined to bed for the rest of the time. Right now she can get up and use the restroom, sit in a chair, or walk down the hall with her IV pole. amber in SJ
  12. My pregnant dd was admitted to the hospital last night at barely 29 weeks pregnant because the amniotic sac around one twin has ruptured. She is receiving steroid shots to rapidly mature the babies’ lungs and now we get to play the waiting game in the hospital until the babies are born. Best case scenario is everyone sits tight for the next 5 weeks and they are delivered at 34 weeks, and then get to hang out in the NICU for a few weeks. Even with the best outcome this could be devastating for them financially because both of them are unemployed due to COVID, but are ineligible for unemployment. This grandma is about a thousand miles away from her baby and grand babies in the hospital and the other grandparents are in another country! Please send your positive thoughts and prayers for stay-put babies and calm hearts all around. Amber in SJ
  13. Speaking of teenage boys and their appetites.... Late last night (10:30 pm) I noticed the back corner of an egg carton was squished and 2 of the eggs inside were broken, so I decided to cook the remaining eggs right away. I could do make ahead scrambles for breakfast sandwiches, or hard boil for snacks. Seeing the light was still on in the boy’s room, I opened the door a bit and asked, “If I hardboil some eggs will you eat them?” He said yes immediately so I got started. About 10 minutes later he came out of his room and sat down at the table. I asked him what he was doing and he said, “Waiting for the eggs to be done.” He ate 4 and went to bed. I guess I wasn’t clear that I was making eggs for the next day. I didn’t think I needed to be any clearer. Amber in SJ
  14. I got the kids KanJam for Easter. It is a frisbee game. They have played several times a week in the backyard since its arrival. The “kans” arrive flat and have to be made into rounds, so they can also travel flat or rolled up. I ordered from Amazon and while it can be a bit pricey the trick is to look at all the different options. Some of them have flags on them, some of them have different college or professional sport teams, or other options. Some of these less popular options are as low as $20. No matter what you order the “kan” is solid black or white and the options are stickers you add on. So if the cheapest option is a college team you have never heard of, get that one and leave the sticker off 🙂. Some of the stickers are peeling off of ours already. I would also advise getting an inexpensive pack of frisbees. White ones with frisbees in the wedding colors if you can find them would be cute. Or giant beer pong. For the wedding you could use white or wedding colored buckets & balls. Amber in SJ
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