Last year the Clark twins, Carson and Kellen, made a dramatic entrance to the world during a rare twin EXIT delivery at SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center. Carson had a rare cervical teratoma neck mass that was blocking his airway, and making the delivery of Kellen difficult. You can read their story here. We recently had some time to catch up with their mom Elizabeth about her two growing boys.
How are the boys doing?
The boys are doing great! It is amazing to think how far we have come in a year. They truly love the outdoors and are starting to play more and more together!
In a few words, how would you describe each one of them? Carson is our smiley, happy, observant little man. He is a fighter and just seems to go with the flow. He loves his brother and loves giving big hugs.
Kellen is on the move! Our Curious George that wants to get into everything but is always quick to flash his smile! Quite the outdoorsman!
Tell us about the big milestones the boys have been reached this year. Carson no longer requires supplemental oxygen when he is awake, so he is much more ‘free’ to get outside and play out in the living room. He is able to sit up by himself, roll over, and is taking steps with help. He wears his Passy Muir valve (a special valve inserted into a tracheostomy tube to assist with breathing and communication) whenever he is awake and is able to say Bubba and Dada along with lots of other noises!
Kellen crawls everywhere, pulls up, cruises along anything and everything and is just about ready to take his first steps. He is the master of funny noises! His favorite word is Mama.
What do you think has been the biggest highlight of their first year? Finally getting to come home and get into our own routine after Carson’s four-month stay in the NICU. We lived with three different families while we were in St. Louis, which was a blessing but it was wonderful to get home.
What has been the biggest challenge this year?
The WAITING…to see what the plan is for Carson’s future care of his tracheostomy. Possibly even more than that is his feeding (along with Kellen’s). Carson was taking about 3 ounces before he left the NICU however stopped taking anything by mouth soon after we arrived home. We have had repeat swallow studies and lots of speech therapy to try to figure out the problem but no one is exactly sure. Kellen is just not a big eater so we have had to be very creative in ways to get him to eat and drink.
What are you doing to celebrate their birthday? We are having a Monster Bash with family and friends at Mimi and Papa’s house!
What are you most looking forward to as the boys grow up? Seeing them play together and develop the closeness of twins. Their relationship has been somewhat delayed because they were separated for four months after they were born.
Do you have any tips for Moms of twins?
Try to keep them on the same schedule…which seems funny! Don’t get too caught up in what your ‘goals’ are for the day because every day seems to have a way of making its own schedule. Accept help when it is offered!