Friday, August 17, 2007

On the elbows

These are the boys after having rolled over -- and up on their elbows! Very exciting stuff for this mom. Crawling's next, I have no doubt. God save us all.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Five months today

It's late and my eyelids are drooping, so this won't be as long as it should be ... but five months ago today at this time, I was holding a sleeping little Sam (as yet unnamed) on my chest and trying to stop shaking after my one-hour-before_midnight C-section. (Gus had a little bit of a breathing problem when he first arrived and had been whisked off to the nursery for observation, so I didn't get to hold him until the next day.)

I had never been around babies (well, not human babies -- though lots of, um, cat babies!) and didn't know what to expect. But the one thing I never expected was that both of our boys would turn out to be as charming and delightful as they indeed are. Sam is still our Smilin' Sam, and nothing makes him as happy as hangin' with Mommy and Daddy (well, unless you count "kicky kicky" -- the boy is a livewire, I'm tellin' ya. That marathon running his dad does must be in the genes!). Sam is a charmer, with long dark eyelashes and eyes that are turning a lovely shade of green, and it's completely impossible for me to walk by him in his little bouncer or hanging out on his blanket without stopping for a chat. And our Gus is a little more reserved, but he's a darling too, with eyes like little blue morning glories, and a strong desire to communicate with us. (This morning his pre-verbalisms were very tonal -- he sounded like he was speaking Chinese!)

That said, they are indeed human babies, and therefore cry at inconvenient times and spit up until I'm soaked, and in general do the annoying things that babies are wont to do. But their personalities are so cheery and sweet. I really had no idea babies were so much fun.

And in Breaking News, Gus and Sam are both rolling over and propping themselves on their elbows! That happened just in the last four days or so. Oh, dear ... crawling, here we come!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Wry Neck Geeks

Please let me offer this very cute photo (okay, I'm a starry-eyed mom but really, aren't they adorable?) in lieu of the wet noodle whipping I ought to be getting for not blogging on anything approaching a regular basis. My only excuse is -- well, look at the photo! There ARE two of them. And the older they get, the more they want one-on-one time with Mommy. Can't say I blame them, but there's only so much time... so the blog gets short shrift these days.

The newest thing yanking my chain is my darling sons' torticollis and plagiocephaly. (Hah! Have twins and you too can start learning all the words you need to become a medical transcriptionist! In your spare time!) We're not sure where the torticollis (aka "wry neck") came from, though it can occur in utero, especially with twins. But I keep beating myself up because when they first came home, I would put them on their backs, but when they turned their heads to the left, I always just left them there because it seemed to me that if they spit up, they would not choke. Chicken and egg time -- maybe the turning came first, or maybe gravity turned their heads and leaving them there caused the torticollis. Who knows.

In any case, their heads were round as little apples at first, due to the C-section and not having to get squished in the birth canal like the rest of us, but now they look like wax heads that someone left out on a hot sidewalk. (Well, okay, maybe not so much. There could be a bit of hyperbole in there.) Gus's head is a little odd looking, but it seems to be rounding up some now that we have been doing the physical therapy for a few weeks. Sam's head, however, definitely has that trapezoidal look. His head is definitely flattened on the side in the back, and the placement of his ears is not remotely symmetrical.

So Dr. Pixie gave us a referral to the "head clinic" down in Oakland, but there's a glitch. The specialist they were going to see ordered a CT scan to be done on each of them here, before they ever went to see her. This is normally done to check for craniosynostosis, a condition where the sutures of the skull fuse prematurely. However, this condition is pretty rare (a lot more rare than positional plagiocephaly), and Dr. Pixie said she's pretty sure they don't have it. Not being familiar with CT scans at all, I started reading up on infants and CT scans -- and found something I didn't like, not one little bit.

It seems that a Dr. Per Hall in Sweden did a study recently that seems to show that CT scans could affect kids' IQ scores in the future. Or ... not. There's a bit of controversy about the way the study was done. Still, intuitively, I could believe this. A CT scan gives you about 25 times more radiation (or even more than that) than an ordinary X-ray. I mean, really, do I want my kids to have the equivalent of 25 X-rays at this age, when positional plagiocephaly is a cosmetic issue, not a developmental one? I think not. I mean, what happens if they fall off the coffee table a month from now and have to have a CT scan? Now, mind you, radiologists are supposed to have a light hand when it comes to doing CT scans on infants, but this interesting discussion of the Swedish study references yet another study that seems to show that a majority of CT scans are done with too much radiation, since radiologists typically want to get nice "clear" pics.

Altogether, this info made me completely queasy (and I mean that literally) about putting my kids' heads anywhere near a CT scanner. Just ain't happening, at least not without a lot more reassurance. I talked to D (who, in another lifetime, was an engineer in our nation's nuclear Navy) and he agreed with me. So the CT scans were cancelled, and now it looks like the Oakland specialist won't see them without the scans. Oh, great. But wait -- Dr. Pixie scared up a referral to another specialist, a plastic surgeon who sees a lot of these cases and who does not use a CT scan typically. This doc has amazing credentials, has published papers, etc., and is clearly more qualified than Oakland doc. That's all terrific, but... he's two solid hours away. That's two hours in each direction, with twins in the back seat. Did I mention that I'm a recovering phobic-everything? Agoraphobia, bridge phobia, social anxiety disorder, you name it. I used to be a galloping mess anytime I went out in public or on a highway. I'm mostly recovered, these days, but the thought of two hours on the highway shepherding my little guys around makes me pretty sweaty and nervous.

So tomorrow I'll call Dr. Wonderful's clinic and see if he can recommend someone closer to home who doesn't feel the need to irradiate my children's heads for fun and giggles. If he can't ... then the squeegy-like sound you hear after that will be me grinding my teeth to keep from screaming as we swoosh down the on-ramp!