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About Mike&Ollie

Mike&Ollie is the singular nickname given to preemie twins Isaac and Molly, who arrived four months too early in 1991 at 24 and 3/7ths week gestation. Born at 1 pound 8 ounces and 1 pound 10.5 ounces respectively, their journey from tiny preemie-hood through high school graduation is being chronicled in a memoir by their mom, writer Susan Bearman.

Molly (r) sucking her thumb; Isaac sucking Molly's other thumb.

Isaac (Ike) and Molly spent more than four months on the Infant Special Care Unit at Evanston Hospital in Evanston, IL. To keep track of everything and help maintain her sanity while more than 100 specialists cared for her very sick babies, Susan kept a daily journal. This blog is a reproduction of those journal entries, posted day-for-day exactly 19 years after the fact. It begins on their birthday, November 17 and ends on their final day on the ISCU, March 26.

We realize that we have been extremely lucky and do not take that for granted. There are many risks and complications for very premature babies. Our hearts go out to those families who are facing these difficulties, or who have not been as fortunate as we have.

 

80 Comments leave one →
  1. November 13, 2010 3:03 pm

    This is so wonderful already, Susan! I am so happy for you. I am a subscriber! xox

  2. November 13, 2010 9:21 pm

    I love that you’re doing this, Susan. You have me in tears already.

    • November 13, 2010 9:24 pm

      Thanks so much. It’s pretty exciting. Just started my Twitter account for this project @MikeOllie2.

  3. November 13, 2010 10:58 pm

    Susan, I can’t imagine what it must feel like to open up your journal of your babies’ odyssey to an audience. How brave and good, and, oh, I don’t/can’t know what all else. I can’t wait to keep reading. I’ll be subscribing momentarily. It’s wonderful.

    • November 13, 2010 10:59 pm

      Thanks for following, Beth. I guarantee that it is an exciting journey.

  4. November 14, 2010 2:55 am

    Happy Birthday Ike and Molly! Ok now Im in tears too.

  5. November 14, 2010 3:08 am

    YES DEFINITELY JOY!!! Very emotional. Tears as in verklepmt :)

    • November 14, 2010 3:14 am

      I keep watching the videos over and over again and crying. I have better things to do and I’ve seen them a million times, but they never fail to make me cry.

  6. November 14, 2010 3:38 am

    What a wonderful project! Great idea. I will be following along!

  7. November 14, 2010 4:17 am

    The videos are truly beautiful — I was teary-eyed too!

  8. November 14, 2010 6:56 am

    Happy Birthday Ike and Molly! This is just incredible.

  9. November 16, 2010 4:19 pm

    Love it! The world is in need of more inspirational stories with happy endings… I look forward to holding the hard copy in my hands.

  10. November 20, 2010 2:20 pm

    Wow, what an amazing story. Thank you for commenting on my blog about our twins’ cousin Kendra, who is also a micro-preemie success. To read Kendra’s story, go to: http://twinsideout.wordpress.com/2010/11/01/november-is-preemie-awareness-month/

    I think it is so important for parents of micro-preemies to read these sorts of success stories. To see that Isaac and Molly are happy and healthy, 19 years later, and to use that to fuel the hop and fight needed through their endless days in NICU until they get their little ones home. Congratulations on a lovely blog.

    • November 20, 2010 2:24 pm

      Thank you for stopping by. My whole goal with this blog is to support other parents of preemies (and twins!) who are at an earlier point along their journey. You are such a great aunt for using your blog to support prematurity awareness in honor of little Kendra. I loved reading her story. BTW, I love the name of your blog. Best, Suan

  11. November 25, 2010 1:38 am

    What a great journal. We didn’t do daily journals when our twins–who were 23 weekers–were born (even though I was already blogging, I was far too superstitious to commit my writing to the blogosphere) but emailed friends of ours with updates as regularly as we could. We lost Olivia (baby b) at age 18 days but Hallie, her big sister, is now 4.5. It’s fascinating to read about 24 weekers who were born 19 years ago and I can’t wait to hear more of their story.

    • November 25, 2010 10:47 am

      Thank you, Abby. I’m so glad to hear that Hallie is doing well. One of the reasons I’m writing my memoir is to show people that children who were very delayed for many years continue to grow and thrive and lead happy lives. It took us a long time to play catch up, but both my preemies have a happy, healthy life ahead of them. I’m sorry for the loss of Olivia. We still know “Twin A” and “Twin B”, and my son loves being 28 minutes older than his sister. I’m sure you think of Olivia often. My best wishes to you and your family for a Happy Thanksgiving.

  12. November 25, 2010 8:23 am

    I am completely overwhelmed! After reading your post so far I had to go cuddle my son and bawl, just for a second. Those of us who had full term babies have no clue what parents of preemies go through! My heart goes out to everyone who has had to face this, and I am so inspired by the strength of these little survivors.

    • November 25, 2010 10:48 am

      Hi, Skye. Thank you for your comment and give your son a cuddle for us, too. It’s good every now and then to think about how lucky we are and to hold each other close. Happy Thanksgiving.

  13. December 8, 2010 1:04 am

    How incredibly brave and strong you’ve all had to be! Wonderful that you have shared the journey here, so other families can see how well it can work out, and take hope.

  14. January 8, 2011 8:12 am

    How beautiful to see your kids all grown and strong! This is an extraordinary journey, Susan, and I look forward to hearing the story of how Molly and Ike beat the odds and made it through — and how you stayed afloat through such turbulent times.

    • January 8, 2011 1:25 pm

      Thanks, Summer. Working on the memoir now.

  15. mamamia2010 permalink
    February 18, 2011 10:43 am

    this is a beautiful blog. thanks for sharing this.

  16. Bello L'amore Folle permalink
    February 18, 2011 11:07 am

    This is what you call a miracle! Thank you for sharing!!

    • February 19, 2011 2:42 pm

      Actually, this is what we call two miracles! In fact, that’s what we put on their b’nai mitzvah invitations — “Two Great Miracles Happened Here.” Thanks for reading and commenting.

  17. Kaliméra permalink
    February 18, 2011 11:49 am

    Your children are an example to many. Life is hard and wonderful at the same time.
    Luv from Italy, Nicoletta

    • February 19, 2011 2:41 pm

      Thank you Nicoletta. Italy is my favorite place. Where do you live?

  18. February 18, 2011 1:26 pm

    This is absolutely beautiful – the kind of thing that makes me want to run home & hug my own child. They are so beautiful (& handsome!) now!

  19. February 18, 2011 2:07 pm

    This blog is so fantastic! So wonderful to go see what they’ve gone through! I was born at 23 weeks, and love to see how other extreme premies have beat the odds!

    • February 19, 2011 11:20 am

      Hi and, wow, 23 weeks is amazing. Isaac and Molly are among the oldest surviving 24 weekers. How old are you now? I’m so glad you found us and even happy that you are among the micropreemies who have beaten the odds.

      • w1s3r permalink
        February 23, 2011 2:28 pm

        I’ll be 19 in June. I’m so happy for Isaac and Molly–hope they are doing well!

      • February 23, 2011 2:43 pm

        Happy almost birthday!

  20. February 18, 2011 3:45 pm

    Hi Susan. I just found your blog today on the wordpress dashboard, and all of the sudden I realized that I’ve been reading it for hours. I’m looking forward to following your journey more!

    • February 19, 2011 11:19 am

      Thank you so much. I’m glad we kept your interest for hours.

  21. February 18, 2011 6:26 pm

    I just stumbled across this blog from the WordPress home page. What an amazing, terrifying yet beautiful story you are telling here. I will be reading the whole way through.

    • February 19, 2011 11:18 am

      Thank you for reading. I had no idea we were on the WordPress home page (and I missed it because of the flu!). It has been tearful but rewarding to relive these days, and a great chance to count our blessings again.

  22. February 18, 2011 7:53 pm

    Came across this via the WordPress front page. It took me a sec to realize it was a retrospective, and that Ike and Molly are happy healthy teens now! Hooray!
    I was 2 months early and 4 lbs… Did some NICU time. Had some learning challenges.
    Now I’m a grownup (sometimes, heh) and a writer. Best wishes to the twins as they embrace their own growing up years.

    • February 19, 2011 11:17 am

      I love hearing other success stories. Best wishes to you in your writing. That’s a difficult but rewarding journey, too.

  23. February 18, 2011 8:11 pm

    Oh wow! I am just realizing that your babies were born in the 1990s–amazing!!!! I am going to share this with my friend who had a preemie three years ago. That’s wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

    • February 19, 2011 11:15 am

      Yes, the early 1990s. Things have changed a lot in NICU care, but it is still a frightening journey. Please send your friend our best wishes and tell her I’m happy to answer any questions she may have. Thanks for reading.

  24. February 18, 2011 9:05 pm

    Amazing, amazing blog. I’m a nearly-nurse and sitting here reading this with tears in my eyes. xx

    • February 19, 2011 11:14 am

      I think nursing is truly a higher calling. Our nurses were incredible to us, the front line in providing the healthcare our preemies needed, as well as the support our family needed during this time. Thank you to them and good luck to you.

  25. February 18, 2011 9:55 pm

    What a beautiful story! I am so delighted that your twins are healthy, beautiful 19 year olds. My twins were born full term and weighed 7 lbs. 10 oz. and 8 lb. 12 oz. They are now 23. We have much for which to be grateful.

    • February 19, 2011 11:12 am

      Thanks, Susan. I always wanted twins (be careful what you wish for!) and feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to raise these two, as well as my other children. It’s been a blast. Glad your twins are happy and healthy. That’s a real accomplishment.

  26. eternallyhopeful permalink
    February 18, 2011 10:30 pm

    Pretty amazing and encouraging! I pray that it encourages others on similar journeys. ~~Roxanne http://www.eternallyhopeful.wordpress.com

    • February 19, 2011 11:11 am

      Hi, Roxanne. I have the same hope for our story — that it will provide encouragement to others along their passage through prematurity.

  27. sweetmumma permalink
    February 19, 2011 2:58 am

    Just came across you story – how wonderful! My own daughter was born at 28 weeks, contracted meningitis and had many complications… today she’s a fabulous, fiesty 2 year old who’s running rings round me (I’ve written about her at http://viewfromtheplaypen.wordpress.com/about/sweetiepies-story/).

    Sharing stories like yours is such an encouragement for parents going through a similar time – I remember sitting in the NICU coffee lounge searching for stories online that would help me keep positive and keep going. I hope this lovely diary can be that encouragement for others…

    Thanks

    • February 19, 2011 11:10 am

      I’m glad you found us and that your 28-weeker is doing so well. I can’t wait to read your story. I only wish the Internet had been around when we were on the NICU. I think it is such a valuable resource at a time that can feel so isolating to new parents.

  28. February 19, 2011 5:36 am

    I think every mother needs blog to express their feeling. Good for Susan, to keep track of her babies and keep her sane and finally remember those days with smile (and tears, maybe). It’s a sample for other mothers.

    • February 19, 2011 11:08 am

      Hi, Dee. I agree about blogging our journaling those early days. I wish I had done it for my other two children. The memories slip by too quickly, and taking a moment to jot them down can help through the hard days.

  29. Rebecca Lipscomb permalink
    February 19, 2011 6:40 am

    Susan, what an inspiring thing to do! I love this idea and I’m so glad you’ve decided to share your story. I know this will bring hope and knowledge to so many families!

    • February 19, 2011 11:07 am

      Thank you Rebecca. I’m glad you found us. My twins continued to inspire me every day.

  30. February 19, 2011 10:37 am

    wow! This is so beautiful. Your love and devotion. Its indeed divine being a mother! Congratulations :) your children look beautiful! and your posts made me teary eyed :’)

    • February 19, 2011 11:06 am

      Thank you for your kind thoughts and words. I hope following our story brings inspiration.

  31. Jillian permalink
    February 19, 2011 1:57 pm

    This story is beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing it with the world.

    I was wondering… how did it feel when Molly was doing so well and Isaac was struggling? It must have been hard – so many conflicting emotions!

    • February 19, 2011 2:39 pm

      Thank you so much for your comments. Yes, it was hard and continued to be hard to have one baby struggling on a day when the other was doing relatively well. We seemed to ping-pong back and forth between good days and bad days for each of them. Isaac had been ill for such a long time in the NICU, then Molly had open heart surgery after she came home. She was the stronger of the two and caught up more quickly, but anyone who knows Isaac knows that he has incredible strength and an amazing heart. What you learn when you have twins is that your heart grows bigger (kind of like the Grinch’s heart) and you just have more room to love. That’s been only one of their gifts to me.

  32. February 19, 2011 4:52 pm

    I love your posts about your NICU journey with your twins. My 8 y.o. boy/girl twins, born at 26 weeks/2 days almost 8 years ago, weighed 900 grams each. My son was let out early for good behavior after “just” 78 days (almost a month before their due date!) while my daughter was a NICU trouble-maker (heart surgery, pneumonia) and got to come home after 100 days, but she could not breathe or eat well until she was 2.5 years old. She is fine, now, but ironically, he has lingering delays. The NICU was the easy part, although I didn’t realize it at the time! I’ve tried many times to put the NICU behind us, but I’m realizing that it’s just a part of who we are and to embrace all the highs and lows that have been a part of our lives since checking out. We are truly blessed with with our “babies” (they will ALWAYS be my babies), and have a lot of fun with them. The biggest thing for me is that I feel like I appreciate so much more now. I don’t take little things for granted, I stop and (metaphorically) smell the flowers, and I enjoy being a mom much more than I think I would have. I had to become less type-A, and in doing so, I feel like I’m getting so much more out of life. Thankfully, my children are developing beautifully, at the pace they are meant to.

    • February 19, 2011 5:08 pm

      Hi, Kristy. I love your response. My daughter also got out earlier than my son for “good behavior”, but then picked up a nasty habit of turning blue, resulting in heart surgery at 6 months old. In some ways, the NICU was the easy part. I also feel that giving birth to preemie twins made me a much better parent (and person) than I would have been. For their 17th birthday, I wrote a post about the 17 most important things I have learned from them. Perhaps you can relate. I’m so glad to hear your “babies” are doing well (and, yes, they will always be my babies, too, even though they are now 19). I raise a virtual glass to us both.

  33. Katie permalink
    February 19, 2011 10:36 pm

    I love this! I stumbled across your blog on the wordpress.com homepage right before signing into my own blog. I’m hooked now, subscribed and everything :) What a wonderful story, praise God for your grown children! Thanks for sharing your heart.

    • February 20, 2011 11:38 am

      I love that you’re hooked on our story. It’s been pretty inspiring to me, and I hope Molly and Isaac inspire others along the way. Thanks for reading and subscribing.

  34. February 20, 2011 12:11 am

    WOOOOOOOOW. 24 weeks in 1991?!?!?!?! that’s incredible!!!! I can’t imagine what you must have gone through. I had a 26 weeker 3 years ago and that dang near killed me even though she did fabulous. You are a hero! Thanks for sharing your story with us!

    • February 20, 2011 11:31 am

      Well, if I’m a hero, then so are you. It does take a bit of fortitude to survive the NICU experience, but really, what choice did we have? And the babies did all the hard work. Thank you so much for your comments. Best wishes to you and your 26-weeker!

  35. February 20, 2011 1:18 am

    The videos are amazing..very touching..

    • February 20, 2011 11:28 am

      Thank you. The hospital-made video was really fun — a whole day with a real Hollywood director, crew and crafts services (food) table). We made the other video so parents in our hospital’s parent-to-parent support group could see that even though Isaac and Molly reached their milestones very late, they did eventually catch up. Thanks for your comments.

  36. February 20, 2011 4:57 pm

    Wow! Thank you so much for taking the time to put this message of hope out there. You must be so delighted by every day you get to spend with your teens, who fought so hard to stay. You must be so proud!

    • February 20, 2011 5:03 pm

      Thank you. I am proud of them every day.

  37. February 21, 2011 7:01 am

    Susan, I came across this blog and it couldn’t have been at a better time. My best friend just delivered twins (boy and girl) but the little boy, Dom, passed away a couple of hours after being born. He was a little fighter and stayed alive enough to let his little sister grow stronger to be born. They were premmies (7 months of gestation). Luna is still in the NICU. This blog is an inspiration. I’m so glad you decided to post all this.

    • February 21, 2011 10:32 am

      Hi and thank you for telling me about your friends. I’m so sorry for the loss of Dom. It must be hard to focus on the joy of having baby Luna while still mourning the loss of her brother. My whole goal in posting these journals was to help families who are earlier on their journey. I wish them all the best and hope Luna continues to progress as smoothly as possible on the NICU. Please send my best wishes, and if they ever want to contact me directly, I can be reached at 2kopeople at gmail dot com.

  38. Rayz permalink
    February 21, 2011 10:15 am

    Heart rendering, your story. I also had a similar experince with my one and a half year olds born at 32 weeks . Truly, when Lord gives hurdles, with it He gives the strength to overcome those hurdles.

    • February 21, 2011 11:11 am

      Thank you for your comments and kind thoughts. I wish you and your 32-weeker all the best.

      • Rayz permalink
        February 22, 2011 7:46 am

        Oh! I forgot to mention they are twins too… A girl and a guy. They are nearly a year and a half now, All Praise Be to the Lord, Who made the journey easy for me.

      • February 22, 2011 8:03 am

        Congratulations to you. I have had such fun raising boy/girl twins. Hope your journey goes well.

  39. Laura permalink
    June 10, 2014 12:07 pm

    Tears are streaming down my face as I kangaroo my 27 weeker who is 5 weeks old. Thank you for sharing your story and giving us hope!

    • June 10, 2014 4:41 pm

      Hi, Laura. I’m glad you found us. Best of luck with your 27 weeker. I remember those days where we had not even reached our due date. Please keep me posted and let me know if I can support you in any way.

  40. June 18, 2011 11:01 am

    Thanks!

Trackbacks

  1. Fighting for Healthy Babies « Mimi's Space
  2. Day 15, 30 Day Challenge « Peace, Love, Cloth

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