Friday, May 30, 2014

Twin Birth Story: Briana June

If you'd like to contribute your own twin birth story, CLICK HERE to fill out our questionnaire!

Name: Briana June

Where do you currently live?  Sacramento, CA

Thursday, May 29, 2014

We're All In This Together

When Jude & Sloane were almost six months, I was wandering the aisles of Target and received a text from a girl I'd yet to meet in person but still considered a great friend.  You may know her.  (You do know her.  It's Amber.)

She was upset due to some backlash she'd received from one of her Instagram posts.  My heart hurt for her.  We texted back and forth and then it was over.

Except it wasn't.  I couldn't get it out of my head.  The horrible comments she received were from other moms.  Our friendship is based on supporting one another.  When Amber and I were pregnant, we were each other's biggest cheerleaders.  When we had our newborn babies, we shared the highs and lows to an empathetic ear.  Through our twins' nursing,  crawling, walking, talking, and now Twin Talk blog, we chose the easiest solution: support (and a lot of laughs).

After Michael and I put the twins to bed that night, I wrote about Amber's situation on my personal blog.

We've been so humbled by the support Twin Talk has received.  We braced ourselves for negative feedback and you guys have simply amazed us.  We're not naive; we know it'll come eventually.  But for now, we are so proud of the way this fantastic group of moms has rallied together.

The idea behind the following post is the catalyst that started Twin Talk.  It felt right to share it here...

(And for those who follow my blog, this will be the last time you see it - I promise!)

Original Post HERE  |  Published HERE

Before I had kids I was one of those women who rolled her eyes at crying babies in church, shuttered at tantrums in the grocery store, and felt like pacifiers were basically a gateway drug. I shared my "I will never (fill in blank)" and "My child will never (fill in the blank)" stories to all who would listen.

And then I had two babies.

There are many statements I made pre-babies that I still stand by. Most of them, actually. The difference is I now realize what I feel is best for Jude & Sloane is exactly that... what I feel is best. There are one million different ways to raise a child and my job is to raise my two the best I know how... and to keep my nose out of everyone else's business.

The day I became a mom I became a supporter of other moms. I didn't look at them as competition, I looked at them - at us - as an alliance. We are a group of women with different backgrounds, different beliefs, and different values, with one very important thing in common: we love our kids. To me, as long as you love your kid, I'm your biggest supporter.

I bring this up because a friend of mine was deeply hurt by other moms. She posted a picture on Instagram and mentioned she and her husband tried the cry it out method with their daughter one night. She received multiple comments and while many were words of affirmation, there were a few that were downright hateful. Some questioned her parenting while others told her to "do her research." One even said she hoped my friend's children let her cry it out in a nursing home one day.

I was absolutely appalled. I'm not upset that these people disagree with the CIO method, but why did they find it necessary to say such awful things to a fellow mom? There are several things we do (or don't do) with Jude & Sloane that might make you raise your eyebrows. They don't have bumpers in their cribs. They are almost six months old and have never had rice cereal. The television stays off when I'm home alone with them. If a pacifier falls on the ground, we stand by the five-second rule. We let them cry it out. They get all of their vaccinations.

All of these things could make one question our parenting but so far we've only received support. I know our day will come when someone makes a rude remark or a person without kids opens their mouth like I once did. I hope I handle it with grace. But more than that, I hope it never happens. This post is not new information--I have read multiple articles, blog posts, status updates, etc., that all center around the same idea: Support each other. Love one another. And the next time you feel the need to say something negative, smile instead and tell that mom she's doing an amazing job.

Because she is.


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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Bump Day | 12 Week Gallery

We're absolutely thrilled with your response to Bump Day!  Twin Talk is officially 12 weeks and about to enter our second trimester (ha!) so we decided we'd chart our growth with twin bump pictures from all of you!  If you weren't able to participate this week, join us in the following weeks as Twin Talk and our baby bumps GROW.

We hope Bump Day is not only fun but also eye-opening.  Each of the women below carried two precious lives at the same time and each bump could not look more different.  It doesn't matter if you carry high, carry low, look "too big" or "too small," no one else looks exactly like you! 

12 Week Twin Bump Pictures

Twins' Birthday: 1.13.13

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Lessons Learned In The NICU

After we shared Christina's post about her twins' experience in the NICU, we heard from so many of you who related to her story and/or wanted to hear more.  We immediately thought of Kelly Krugh, a friend of ours whose twins spent quite a bit of time in the NICU.  She shares her NICU experience below and the lessons she and her husband learned.  Many of these lessons can be applied to life after the NICU - we still use most of them today!


Hi there! Kelly here, from Classically Eclectic Blog. I was so excited when Meredith and Amber asked me to share my twins’, Charlie and Sloane, NICU story. My husband and I were so incredibly excited when we found out we were having twins; it was literally our dream come true. We are both extremely active and generally positive people, so we did not spend a lot of time thinking about the fact that our pregnancy was technically high-risk. Throughout my pregnancy I continued doing very basic workouts and walked often. I honestly felt great- until I hit the 25 week mark. At that point I was admitted to the hospital for observation due to contractions, protein in my urine, and shortening of my cervix. We made it through that frightening event, but I was immediately put on bed rest after that. Things were okay for a few weeks and then I developed HELLP syndrome- which is essentially a severe form of preeclampsia. The only way to cure it is to deliver the babies; I was 30 weeks and 1 day pregnant when Charlie and Sloane were born. That is their birth story in a nutshell. I will spare you all of the not-so-lovely details and instead focus on my experience of being a NICU parent. Whenever I talk to expecting parents of multiples who ask for my advice after our NICU experience, I share a few basic things consistently. That is what I plan to share with you as well.

First, a few caveats to keep in mind as you read this. 1. Everyone’s NICU experience is different. 2. Meredith asked me to share a “typical” day in the NICU. As far as I am concerned, there is no typical day. Someone once told me the NICU is like riding a roller coaster- only the thing you do not realize when you first get on the ride is that you are actually tied to the back by your ankles; the roller coaster is essentially dragging you along whether you like it or not. This could not be more true. Have said all of that, the one other point I would like to make is that I am incredibly grateful for our NICU experience and am able to look back on it with MOSTLY fond memories. We were able to bring our babies home; not all parents are. If you find yourself in the NICU, keep this one goal in mind. Perspective can be a wonderful thing! Now, onto the few things I learned in the NICU. I hope you find them helpful!

1. Knowing is half the battle. As I mentioned, my husband and I are positive people, so it was hard for us to consider the possibility of something going “wrong” with our pregnancy. We did, however, sign up for a multiples class at our hospital and toured the NICU as part of it. This experience was so very helpful. Be sure to do this. Even if you do not take a multiples class, make sure you do your homework on the NICU that is part of the hospital where you will be delivering. Not all NICUs are created equal. Some NICUs are not equipped to handle preemies under a certain age, which means that your children could end up in a different hospital than the one where you deliver. If you can avoid this at all, I would recommend it. In our case, the NICU where we delivered is a level 3, meaning they can handle nearly all patients other than certain heart conditions.

2. Be an advocate for your children. Many people can be intimidated to ask questions of medical professionals as they fear it may come across as second-guessing their decisions. Don’t be. Of course the NICU staff is doing what they believe to be is best, but that does not mean you are not entitled to consider other options. We did. A lot. In fact, I think the entire staff knew us by name and made sure they knew our case VERY well due to all of the questions we (politely) asked. These are your children, and you are paying A LOT of money for them to be cared for. Do your homework, educate yourself, and do not be afraid to ask any and every question you have.

3. Do not expect a normal day- EVER. Between heart murmurs, brain bleeds, alarms going off, staph infections, eye scans, head scans, physical therapy, speech therapy, nursing practice, there is NO typical day. This is okay. Take it day by day. Again, do your homework. Much of what I mentioned may sound quite scary, but I promise you most of it is part of prematurity. The more you know, the better you can prepare yourself.

4. Make the most of your NICU experience. Our children were in the hospital for 59 and 66 days. That is a long time! Do everything you can do make it a “fun” (as fun as possible at least) experience. We spent Christmas and New Year’s in the NICU, but that did not stop us from celebrating. We dressed them in red and green and put notes to Santa in their incubators; in case you are wondering, they asked Santa to go home early.  We brought sparkling grape juice to the hospital at midnight on NYE and sang Auld Lang Syne. The hospital bedding in the NICU is boring, but if you have your own swaddle blankets the nurses will be more than happy to let you swap them out! Have “parties” for special events. When Charlie hit 5 pounds we had a big celebration. We basically just danced around the room and put him in his first newborn-sized onesie, but it was a big deal! Also, take this time to learn as much as you can. Our NICU is one of the few in the area to have a dedicated lactation consultant. I spent so much time with her. Even if your NICU does not have one, do not be afraid to ask if you can have one from labor and delivery come up and help you if you need it.

5. Take time for yourself. We spent nearly all day every day in the NICU. Luckily, we live seven miles from the hospital, so after spending the entire day there we would run home, eat dinner, and head back for a few more hours. This is exactly how we wanted it, but after 55 days I finally reached my breaking point. For us, the absolute worst part of our NICU experience was the very end- the part where they seem like healthy babies. They breathe on their own, they eat on their own, they weigh more than two pounds, but they are still not quite ready to go home. It’s maddening; I will not sugar-coat it. Around the 55 day mark it was clear that Sloane was ready to go home any day, but Charlie needed more time. He had a breathing event, and the nurse could not get his oxygen levels to come back up. It was scary, and I lost it. I am a very calm and laid-back person, so when I finally do break down, it is not pretty. I had foolishly still been clinging to the hope that we would bring our babies home on the same day. It was not ideal, but as I said above, we got to bring both of our babies home. They are both healthy and happy; ultimately, that is all we ever wanted!

Charlie and Sloane are now 17 months old. They are crazy, exhausting, fun, and most importantly healthy! Perhaps it was all the time they spent in the NICU, but their immune systems appear to be iron-clad. We've only experienced one cold so far! I hope I have not frightened anyone with my post; that was not my intention at all. We just learned so much along the way- some of it the hard way, so I hope some of this information is helpful to other expecting parents out there! Oh, and I almost forgot the very most important piece of advice: not only are NICU nurses absolute angels (seriously- they take care of sick little babies and deal with distraught parents all day everyday!), but more importantly they are wonderful babysitters. If you do find yourself in the NICU, bake them cookies, make friends with them, and beg them to watch your children when they come home!

Thanks again for having me, Amber and Meredith!


Thanks so much, Kelly!  If you have questions for Kelly, you can email her HERE.  Also, be sure to check out her personal blog and her Etsy shop!  

Tomorrow is our first Bump Day!  Have you submitted your 12 week photo?  If not, send us an email with your name and your twins' birthday (or due date if they've yet to arrive)!

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Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day 2014 + Giveaway Winners

We hope everyone is enjoying their Memorial Day Weekend!  We are so grateful to those who have served and protected our country and sacrificed their lives for our safety.

Parker & Jolie - 2013

Massey Family - 2014

 Jude & Sloane - 2013

Haynes Family 2014


We made an announcement on Instagram last Friday, but in case you missed it...

Many of you said you researched baby bumps for size comparisons and found it hard to find twin baby bumps. Instead of "Hump Day," Twin Talk is bringing you "BUMP Day" every Wednesday beginning this week! Twin Talk is 12 weeks today (hooray!) so we want YOU to submit your 12 week baby bump to be included in this Wednesday's post! Email your picture to: Include your name and the twins' birthday or their due date if they've yet to arrive!



And now it's time to announce the two winners of our Rockin' AB Bib Giveaway!  Congratulations to the following ladies who will each receive TWO bibs of their choice...

Kristy Blouvet who liked Twin Talk on Facebook!


Chloe Schwab who followed Twin Talk on Instagram!

Rockin' AB is also offering a discount code especially for our readers!  Enter twintalkblog20 at check out for 20% off!

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Friday, May 23, 2014

Twin Birth Story: Joanna Grant

If you'd like to contribute your own twin birth story, CLICK HERE to fill out our questionnaire!

Name: Joanna Grant

Where do you currently live?  Northampton, England

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Day In The Life: 3 Months

Our "Day in the Life" series continues with Nicole's three-month-old twins (and their two-year-old brother)! 


My husband, Louis and I married on 10/10/10. Our friends would have described us as a fun, spontaneous couple, living in a high-rise. Originally, we had planned to wait for several years to start a family; however, we found out we were pregnant only a few months after our wedding. Tatum, our first son, was welcomed into the world on January 14, 2012. Life was perfect! We had everything we wanted. Before he turned 18 months, Tatum had already flown on an airplane 26 times. Looking back, it was so easy!

In June of 2013, I had a funny feeling that I was pregnant again. After several positive tests, it was confirmed…baby #2 was on the way. We went into our first appointment confident that we already knew the drill, since it felt like it was just yesterday when we were there. To our surprise, we were about to find out I was incubating TWINS!

On January 3rd, at 12:02 a.m., I gave birth to baby A, Camden Louis Baca at 5 pounds 15 ounces and baby B, Cassidy Nicole Baca came 4 minutes later at 12:06 a.m. weighing 5 pounds 11 ounces. At 36 weeks and 1 day, I was able to vaginally deliver both twins.

So fast forward to 3 months old:

I have been blessed with being able to produce enough milk to exclusively breast feed both twins. Our nursing schedule has been so smooth.  As for sleeping, both twins still sleep in their rock-n-play located in our bedroom. At week 4, we tried to put them in their cribs at night, but it only took one night to realize we didn’t have enough leg muscle to go up and down the stairs 20 times per night. Needless to say, we are going to try the transition again in 2 weeks.

I was told about the book Babywise while pregnant with the twins and after reading the book I knew I had to commit to the schedule from day one. Although I don’t follow it verbatim, it has served as a great guide. My husband doesn’t get home until later in the evening, so we are an hour different than Babywise says, so he can spend time with the twins.

Here’s an example of what an average day in the Baca Household looks like:

3:30AM: Camden wakes up crying in his rock and play in our bedroom. After changing his diaper, I feed him on the left breast and pump on my right. I usually get about 5 ounces. This goes immediately into the freezer and becomes our milk stash for the times I have to be away. (Cassidy is still sleeping)

4:00AM: I lay Camden back in his rock-n-play to go back to sleep.

8:00AM: Like clockwork, both babies wake up. I change their diapers and lay them on their TWIN Z pillow on our bed.

8:10AM: Tatum usually is up by now, and I’ll go upstairs and get him out of bed.

8:12AM: I prepare Tatum’s morning milk in his cup, along with a banana, and my coffee.

8:20AM: Tatum goes to the restroom and I’ll change him into his boxers for the day.

8:25AM: Both twins are ready to eat. Tatum eats on the bed while I nurse the twins. I nurse them at the same time for about 15 minutes.

8:40AM: I will change the twins into their clothes for the day.

8:50AM: Both twins will do tummy time while Tatum reads to them or plays a game in front of them. This is when I reflect on the good ‘ole times while I enjoy my coffee (without which, I couldn’t get through the day).

9:00AM: Both twins start to get tired, so I place them back in their rock-n-play, located in our bedroom. I put their pacifiers in and turn the sound machine on ocean, and we leave the room.

9:05AM: I take Tatum to the kitchen and prepare breakfast for him and me.

9:15AM: Tatum and I enjoy a sometimes peaceful breakfast together.

9:30AM: I take Tatum into the bathroom for his bath. We do bath in the morning so he gets more time with daddy at night to play. The bath is right in front of the shower so I get to shower and I am able to watch him. Of course I don’t take my eyes off of him and I can jump out of he were to go under the water.

9:45-11AM: This is Tatum and my one and one time to read, learn, play, and just interact together. I focus on him the entire time so he feels he is getting the attention he needs and deserves. The twins stay asleep this whole time.

11:00AM: Camden and Cassidy wake up crying for milk.

11:01AM: I nurse both twins at the same time for about 15 minutes. We have a Nabi Jr, which is like an Ipad, but has so many learning games so Tatum will play on puzzles or work on counting at this time.

11:15AM: I change both diapers.

11:20AM: At this point of the day, we go into our playroom. I will put the babies in their Bumbos to interact with us. We will read, sing, and play.

12:00PM: The twins are ready for their second nap of the day.

12:01PM: It pains me to say this, but Camden is the cry baby and Cassidy is near perfect (just like her momma). If I was guaranteed that all of our babies would be like Cassidy, I would have ten more kids.

12:10PM: Camden finally falls asleep after a couple minutes of me rocking him in the rock-n-play.

12:10-2PM: Both twins nap.

12:10PM: I make lunch for Tatum and me.

12:30PM: It is Tatum’s nap time. I have him go to the restroom and put a diaper on him since he can’t make it through a nap dry yet.

12:35PM: Tatum and I read a book then it’s off to bed.

12:40PM-2PM: This is ME time- I will lay out, look on the internet, watch one of my girly shows etc. I do whatever the heck I want…in the confines of a corner so I don’t wake any of the kiddos up.

2PM: Tatum wakes up from his nap.

2:02PM: Both twins wake from their nap.

2:03PM: I nurse both of the twins at the same time for about 15 minutes.

2:20PM: I change both of their diapers.

2:25PM: I put both the twins on their TWIN Z pillow on our bed (the twins don’t roll over yet). While I pack the diaper bag, have Tatum go to the bathroom, get Tatum ready to go with a snack etc.

2:45PM: I load the twins in their car seats and Tatum in his car seat.

3:00PM: All four of us are off to the store. This is the twins nap time so they will sleep while I shop. It usually takes about an hour to get everything we need and most of the time it’s to Target to get diapers and groceries. I put the twins’ car seats in one cart and Tatum in the front of another cart that I load the groceries into. Yes, I look like a hot mess, but we get through it. If we don’t go to the store, then we go on a walk.

4:00PM: We get home. I will place the babies in the house while they are still in their car seats since they will stay asleep for another hour. This is my time to unload the groceries and put them away. I will have Tatum help me.

5:00PM: Both twins wake up from their nap. This is the last feeding before daddy comes home.

5:01PM: Both twins nurse for about 15 minutes.

5:20PM: I change both babies’ diapers.

5:25PM: I put Mickey Mouse clubhouse on in the living room for Tatum and the twins in their bumbos on the kitchen counter so I can cook dinner. On days I don’t cook, I give the twins a bath at this time instead of cooking and daddy will cook or bring food home.

6:00PM: DADDY IS HOME!! Our favorite part of the day!

6:10PM: We all sit down for dinner. The twins will be in their bumbos located on the dining table.

6:30PM: We lay the twins down for their shortest and last nap of the day.

6:35PM: My husband and I both go outside with Tatum and we play. We really try to give Tatum all of our attention. Sometimes I will let Tatum and daddy play while I come inside and clean up from dinner.

7:30: The twins wake up so we will all play together as a family.

8:00PM: Our bedtime routine begins. I change one twin while daddy changes the other. We will put them into their PJs, unless it was bath night, in which case, they will already be in their PJs.

8:10PM: I nurse both the babies at the same time for about 15 minutes. Daddy has Tatum go to the bathroom, brush his teeth, and get in his PJs. They read a book or two, and then he will give Tatum a word of the week to spell.

8:30PM: Tatum is fast asleep.

8:31PM: I place the twins in their rock-n-plays located in our bedroom. We put their pacis in, turn the sound machine on, and kiss them good night! :)

8:35PM: One twin will typically fuss for a few minutes so we will just rock their rock-n-play until both are fast asleep.

8PM-11PM: Louis and I enjoy time together as a couple!

11PM: Louis and I go to bed and then I will be up at 3:30am with Camden. Cassidy sleeps through the night and has since 6 weeks old. This is what a day in our house looks like. It typically stays on this exact schedule for the most part. I’m not perfect, but this is my life and I love every bit of it.

Some advice to parents of a toddler and three month old twins:

1. Keep the twins on the same schedule!
There will not be enough time in the day to get everything done and keep up with a toddler if they are not on the exact same schedule. Try your best to be constant and the babies will just go with it. Now there are days when they want to feed more often, but try to get it back to your set schedule.

2. Have your toddler nap time be in sync with the twins’ nap!
This will give you a little time to yourself to get whatever you need to done. I find it important to have some peace and quiet. I swear this is what keeps me sane!

3. Try to get out of the house!
Yes, it is hard and way easier said than done, but getting out with all of the kids is a must. Being stuck to the house gives everyone cabin fever, so just getting out for a little bit a day will put everyone into a better mood.

4. Take pictures and record videos!
This month they have started to smile a lot, coo, and really notice each other. So be sure to take tons of pictures and videos. Pictures last a lifetime! Tatum’s first year of life went by so fast. It is great to have all of their “firsts” documented.

5. Try to connect with your spouse!
With a toddler and three month old twins, there is just always something going on. Try to enjoy some time with your husband when the kids all are in bed. This will keep you connected as you go on to the next day.

6. Get your sex life back to where it was before!
As you know being pregnant with twins, there was rarely ever a time you felt the energy or sex drive. Now that is has been three months, it’s time to get back into it. Our husbands have been so patient in waiting that it is good for you to feel that connection again.


Thanks so much, Nicole! If you have any questions, CLICK HERE to email her.  And follow along for more updates from Nicole on Instagram (@nicoleannbaca).


Don't forget to enter our Rockin' A B Designs Bib Giveaway!  Contest ends tomorrow at midnight!

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Battle of the Tort

If you follow my personal blog (HERE) regularly, you know about our little miss Jolie and the torticollis she was diagnosed with at her 2 month  check up.  I hardly remember those visits to the physical therapist, although my checkbook does... It started with weekly visits, then bi-weekly, then monthly.  It had all flown by so quickly.  But, I do remember the day she was diagnosed- what she was wearing, even what I was wearing. Not because it was some insanely rare diagnosis- tort is really very common- but just the fact that I fought for them so very hard throughout my entire pregnancy and won every battle we came across (premature funneling, shortened cervical length, bed rest, placenta declination, c-section, and delivering tiny babies avoiding the NICU) and this was unavoidable.  The feeling I had of defeat when their pediatrician picked her up from my arms and immediately stated the obvious: she had torticollis. 

What?  What is that? Why didn't I notice this tilt that is pretty noticeable now that you mention it?  Am I a bad mom for failing to notice that?  What do we do now? 

I had about a million and one questions running through my brain at that point and couldn't sum up the jumbled words well enough into a good sentence.  Thank goodness for Jordan and his own curiosity.  He asked all the questions I couldn't.  The doctor proceeded to explain what this all meant and that she will need therapy and it will resolve with some help.  In a nutshell, torticollis is the result of various circumstances, but in Jolie's case, it was due to her position in the womb.  Come to find out that this is the case for many sets of twins due to the limited space in their mother's belly.


So, we can do this!  We left the appointment with a peace of mind and a referral to Our Children's House at Baylor Hospital in hopes to get in sooner rather than later.

Jolie's shortened neck muscles on her right side caused her to 'tilt' and did not allow but about 30% range of motion.  These pictures were taken (Valentine's Day 2013) just shortly after she was diagnosed with torticollis.  

After starting therapy with Suzan, we learned so much about this treatable 'condition.'  Torticollis, as well as a baby's development of a flat head, can be caused by the shape of the mother’s uterus and the position of the baby in utero, which explains why miss Jolie developed tort and Parker did not.  Jolie is Baby A, which means she was lower and very squished. I carried Parker right smack in the middle, while Jolie was very low and smooshed to the side of my uterus.  Towards the end of my pregnancy, Dixie, our regular sonographer, was scanning my back and side to get images and measurements of Jolie.  We also learned that untreated torticollis can result in a misshaped head often treated with a helmet, and can later mean surgery for correction. 

Being the proactive, Type A individuals that Jordan and I are, we took on therapy and stretching full force. 
We started doing the stretching that Suzan taught us in therapy before every feeding.  At that time, the girls were still eating eight  times a day, so we got a good amount of home PT in between our visits with Suzan.  We went every Monday for about two months and finally once Jolie reached 100% range of motion we started going bi-weekly.
We continued to stretch her several times a day and she continued to improve every time we made a visit to Our Children's House.
I made the comment that Jo had seemed to be improving and carrying herself straight the past couple weeks.  Suzan quickly pointed out that she noticed Jolie had started to hike her shoulder to compensate for the straightening of her neck- dangit. We learned some new stretches in therapy, and would encourage play with only her right hand and arm for 10 minutes at a time to prevent that hike as well.  We also started leaning Jolie to her weakened side while holding the opposite shoulder down - forcing her to hold her neck straight with the weakened side - all things we learned with therapy.  She loved watching herself in the mirror while we did this.  We would sing to her and dance, and the silliness of momma and dad would be of distraction for what stretching and exercises we were actually doing.

Finally around 7 months we transitioned to monthly visits.
At this point Jolie has full range of motion and just a 5-7% tilt.  Technically the baby is 'cured' with just a 5% tilt, but Jolie was never consistent with that 5%.  She continued to revert back to the tilt she knows, like a sense of comfort.  I can only imagine it was tough work to hold her head straight, so she would get especially 'tilty' when she was sleepy or didn't feel good.

Attempting to cover all our options, the therapist mentioned that some patients find success in using a TOT collar. Suzan explained that she wasn't sure much therapy could cure Jolie's tilt- almost like she was being 'lazy' with her neck. We noticed that she was straight about 80% of the time and the other 20%, she would either tilt completely or hike her shoulder up.  We decided on the TOT collar for further correction to see if this would resolve her tilt and encourage Jolie to hold her head straight 100% of the time.

After ordering and receiving the TOT Collar, we went in for a fitting to learn how to correctly use the collar.
(NOTE: I know several moms who have given the TOT collar a try for their little one, and it is not a requirement for the physical therapist to 'fit' the collar- ASK.  I learned so much in the five minutes we spent getting it correctly fitted and placed on her neck.  It can be so tricky and can easily be placed and fitted incorrectly.)
No so bad..

At this fitting we learned that Jolie has an extremely tiny neck.  Not only is it really short compared to Perfect Posture Parker, but it is really little.

She did really well with her fitting and didn't seem to mind having it on for the most part.
Over the next two weeks we saw real improvement with her tilt.  She wore the collar 3-4 times a day for about 15-20 minutes at a time.
I was very fearful, and pretty skeptical that the collar would hinder her mobility and motor skills, but it never slowed her down one bit!  She tolerated the collar more when she was in a good mood, and we learned not to do the collar when she was hungry, sleepy, or having just woke from a nap.  She would be less likely to wear it the full 15 minutes before fussing and pulling on it.
Some days dealing with Jolie's torticollis felt like a lifetime and other days I was so impressed with how far we've come since her diagnosis.

What I do know is that all the stretching, physical therapy, and time spent working on her functionality was well worth the extra effort it to her daddy and me.
On October 9th, 2013, Jolie had her last PT appointment with Suzan.  Very bittersweet, as this therapist had seen us through it all, but very exciting to think we would finally be finished and Jolie's neck to be 'normal.'  

This was on October 9th- Jolie's last day of PT! 
At this point we were still wearing the collar up to three times a day, but she was holding her head straight on her own more often than not.  I personally think the TOT collar was well worth the try for correction of what little tilt we battled.  She had some good days and some days were she would tilt more than others, but overall she was 'looking great'.
I am so very thankful our proactive pediatrician that decided that we did not need to wait another month before dealing with Jolie's torticollis.  We were able to get Jolie into therapy quickly to tackle tort head on and aggressively from a very early age.  

I’m also so very grateful for the solution to this disorder to being so common and easy to fight against.  Throughout this past year, Jordan and I have been blessed with passionate and talented medical professionals- from my OB/GYN and perinatologist who carefully walked me through pregnancy and delivery and now with our amazing pediatrician and physical therapist, Suzan. 

We opted to have Jolie wear the collar through her first birthday.  Here she is on New Year's Day (2014)

I sent this picture to Suzan- I couldn't have been a more proud momma- the 'straightest' she had ever been in her life.

We beat it.

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