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One twin home, one to go!

Family and friends,

Exactly 200 days after Lori went into labor with Baby A, that beautiful boy now known as Jake finally came home Monday.

And hopefully by next week we'll be able to say the same thing about his baby brother Josh.

Readers of our last e-mail may recall that Josh was on track to come home first. Well, things changed a few days later and last Tuesday he had the same anti-reflux surgery Jake had 12 days before. All went well and he's recovering nicely. He likely needs about another week to heal
-- presuming he isn't set back by missing his brother too much.

Jake is doing great. He's 10 pounds, 11 ounces, and full of smiles. He's very curious (always looking around) and can entertain himself in his crib; over the weekend he taught himself to suck his thumb!

Bringing him home was as emotional as you'd expect. Leaving Josh behind made the experience bittersweet. Our tears were both happy ones for Jake and sad ones for Josh.

While the long-held dream of bringing them home together didn't pan out, we're trying to spin it as a good thing.

We keep trying to convince ourselves that bringing them home one at a time is better because it gives the rest of us -- including Zachary and our dog, Coach -- the chance to get settled in with Jake before adding Josh to the equation. (Coach will certainly be glad when another baby doesn't move in the following week!)

The best news, though, is that after everything the boys have been through, the most serious issues they are facing are all temporary.

Each has a feeding tube, but it will come out once they can re-learn to take bottles by mouth. Jake already is trying twice a day, but it's going slowly. As sort of a bonus to us, we can set up the pump to drip constantly from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., which means no feedings in the middle of the night! Another thing that works in our favor is that the stomach surgery prevents them from spitting up.

The other lingering concern is that Josh -- who now weighs 11 pounds, 8 ounces -- likely will be coming home on oxygen.

He actually went off it on Friday, but by Sunday he had to get it back.
Still, that's a good sign that the surgery is working (he's no longer refluxing formula into his lungs) and it's a strong indication that he's getting close to getting off the oxygen for good.

As we begin settling into our new lifestyle, one of the adjustments we've started making involves our approach to caring for the boys. We can no longer treat them as fragile miracle children. Instead, we must treat them like any other newborn approaching the 3-month mark (their "adjusted" or "corrected" age since their due date).

That's true -- to a point. They're still at high risk for problems, especially a nasty respiratory virus (RSV) that often lands preemies in the hospital and can even be fatal. They're receiving monthly shots against it, but the best the medicine can do is reduce the severity of it should they get it. Our best prevention is limiting their exposure and making sure there's lots of hand washing by everyone who comes into contact with them, ourselves included.

Zachary was looking forward to Jake's arrival for several days and seems genuinely pleased to have him here. Before Zac came home to Jake on Monday afternoon, he saw his grandmother and told her a surprise was waiting for them at the house. Later, Zac was quite proud to show off Jake's feeding pump to his Uncle Kyle; he even explained how it works!
The attached link has a nice picture of Dr. Zac.

This is our 9th e-mail, far more than we ever expected when the first one went out. We look forward to soon sending one more that details Josh joining his brothers at home.

Lori and Jaime

P.S. - We goofed on the last photo update, using the wrong Web company
-- that's why you to do all that logging in nonsense. We've returned to other site, which doesn't require any usernames or passwords, and has that nifty slide show. The link to the latest snapshots is: