Tuesday, August 10, 2010

An Update...Finally (13 weeks/5 weeks adjusted)

It's been almost a month since I've posted. Been just a little busy :) Life with preemie triplets and a toddler is crazy and wonderful at the same time. Sometines more one than the other. Jozey has adjusted very well to all of the babies. She thinks they are all named Errol. She is very close to being potty trained and asically started it on her own. We have casually put her on the toilet for a few months now, but she would only poop. On Wednesday, she kept her diaper dry for 4 hrs and peed when I put her on the toilet before naptime. There has been no turning back since. No more than one accident a day except for when she is sleeping. She is still wearing pull ups to bed and at nap time. I assume bladder control during sleep takes a while. The things she says crack us up constantly. My mom sings TV theme songs to her and she can now sing the entire Gilligan's Island theme song by herself. You have to know what shes saying to understand it, but it's still pretty amazing. SHe is also counting to 11 and saying the alphabet. She occasionally misses a letter here or there, but still impressive. She will be 22 months on Saturday. She loves to role play with her baby dolls. She feeds, burps, changes, rocks, and swaddles them. She likes to sing to the triplets when they get upset. if she hears one of them crying on the monitor, she say, "you go check on Errol".

The babies are doing very well. Our Help Me Grow coordinator gave us their progress report last week and they are right on target for their adjusted age. They will continue to be monitored so we can catch any delays early. We are back to feeding every three hrs. They eat 3-4oz at a time. We started Babywise with them last Thursday and they seem to be much more content. Basically it suggests that you do cycles of feed/wake time/nap every three hrs, in that order. We put them to bed after their 7pm feeding and then wake them at 10pm for a "dream-feed". Basically we feed them without fully waking them. Afte that we let them wake up on their own. They usually start fussing at about 2:30 and I try to hold them off as long as I can unless they get hysterical. The past few nights they've gone till 4 or 5. This system has I think it was >90% of babies sleeping through the night by 8 weeks (which would be 16 wks or 8 weeks adjusted for our babies). It's kind of controversial, but I'm not really sure why except that we don't run in every time they cry. We usually let them go ten minutes before we console them. It rarely takes that long though. Some people have a problem with feeding on a schedule, but if they are obviously hungry earlier than 3hrs we feed them. They are napping better and are content for longer periods every day. When I'm alone with them I rotate them through feed/wake/nap about a half hr behind each other so I rarely have three hungry babies at once. For instance, when it's time for them to eat I start with whoever is awake or stirring in their crib. If no one is, I take a guess at who will wake first (I pick wrong sometimes and end up with someone crying waiting to be fed). I feed the first one then lay them on the activity mat or in a bouncey seat or boppy pillow where I can interact with them and keep them awake while I feed the next one. Then I lay the first one down for a nap, move the second one to an awake activity, and go get the third to feed. After I feed the third I lay the second down and interact with the third a while. Then the third lays down and I have 1.5-2 hrs to play with Jozey or do whatever needs to be done before the cycle begins again. Pretty busy, but it's working well for me. I usually get some time in the afternoon when all four kids are asleep. That's very nice.

The babies go for their two month shots tomorrow. The Dr delayed them so they would be a little chubbier for the injections. At last check Avery had passed Errol. She was 8-4, Errol was 8, and Layla was 5-14. We got their Zantac doses increased and have changed Errol and Avery's sleeping positions and that seems to have helped the reflux some. They are all still very messy eaters. Errol is starting to have more content awake periods and is crying less. He started smiling a lot yesterday. His MRI showed that his bump is a dermoid cyst and has no brain involvement. very relieved about that. It does need to be removed though because of the risk of infection, but we the Dr said it's okay to wait six months for him to get bigger because he will have to be under general anesthesia for the surgery. Avery is her same happy self and is smiling too. Layla is not quite so laid back. She still startles easily and always seem to be on high alert. Adam calls her animal, like the crazy muppet :)

My mom is doing great with all of them on Mondays while I'm sleeping after work. She has been such a big help. My aunt Jill comes over every Friday and helps out too. There are others who occasionally help that we also appreciate, but they are the ones who are constantly doing whatever they can to make things easier on us. My parents have voluntarily watched the kids so we could go out multiple times. I'm going to the Dayton Mother's of Twins meeting Thursday and am very excited about meeting other multiple birth moms.

Thats all of the updates I can think of now.

Friday, July 16, 2010

9 weeks old/1 week adjusted age

Babies had appointment with nurse practioner today. Weights were 7-3, 7-0, and 5-1. All of them are starting on Zantac for reflux. Errol has to get an abdominal ultrasound to check for pyloric stenosis. He is getting that on wednesday before his MRI. We can start letting Avery sleep through the night if she will now. We have to wake Errol every four because he isn't gaining as much as her. Layla can go from every three to every four if we can get her to take 3.5 oz instead of 3. Really hope this med will help them. Layla had been crying through her feedings, Errol projectile vomits, and Avery gags a few minutes after her feedings. Lots of messes around here these days.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Marks of Love

Don't think I've ever mentioned it here, but all of our babies have a few birthmarks. Some common, some odd. They all have stork bites on their necks like Adam and jozey. Avery has a reddened area on one of her eyelids. Layla has a hemangioma above her right nipple. A hemangioma is a collection of blood vessels that form outside of the body. It started as a tiny red dot and grows everyday. Now it is about the size of a dime. It's bright red and very raised. From what I've read, they are present at birth and grow aggressively for about a year, remain the same for about another yr, and then begin to shrink a few yrs later. The vast majority are gone without a trace by 5 yrs old and the others by age 10. Errol has a spotty one on the outside of his right thigh. He also has a small bump between his eyebrows, which brings me to the point of this odd post :) He had an appointment with a head and neck specialist today to see what they thought it was. He thinks it is probably just a boney prominence (bump on the bone), but it could also be an encephalocele. This is kind of freaky but the bump is where two of the skull bones meet and it's possible that what is protruding is part of his brain matter. His exam was perfect and it isn't causing him any discomfort, but to be safe he is getting an MRI with sedation at Childrens on July 21st. We go to dr a couple weeks later to get the results. If it is an encephalocele, the treatment is surgery with the head and neck specialist and a neurosurgeon to put everything back in place. God has done an amazing job protecting our babies so far and we know he will continue to do so.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

8 weeks/40 weeks gestation

Things have been quite busy around here so haven't had a chance to post a blog. The babies will be eight weeks old tomorrow and my due date wouldve been this thursday. We are adjusting well to having all of the babies home. Adam is off work this week so that helps. The days aret bad just busy. The nights are exhausting. They still wake up every three hours. Hoping we can increase that soon. Dr said we can let Errol and Avery sleep four hrs but it's kind of silly when we have to wake Layla every three for now anyway. At last check they weighed 6-7, 6-1, and 4-3. They have opthamologist appointments tomorrow, Errol has a head and neck specialist appt thurs (to get the small bony bump between his eyebrows checked), and they all have a weight check next Friday. The people from "Help Me Grow" will be coming for their first assessment soon. They are an early intervention service sponsored my
Montgomery County whose job is to catch developmental delays early and set us up with the right people. It is free until age three. The Similac representative at our pediatricians office has been wonderful and is supplying us with the special preemie formula for now, which helps tremendously especially with me being off work. I go back Sunday. Excited and nervous. Gonna start out with one twelve hr night shift and go from there.

Well it's Adam's night to get up and my night to sleep so I better take advantage of it. Will post more tomorrow hopefully.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

MY LAST HOUR: Not "scheduled" feeding time till three but Errol became hysterical at 1:30. Tried to calm him with no success. Gave him belly massage since he hasnt gone to the bathroom since sunday. Went ahead and fed both of them. When they were done Avery spit a little. While changing her she projectile spit up all over herself and changing table. After cleaning that i heard rumbles down below and discovered a huge poopy diaper. Changed her again then checked on Errol who was sound asleep in his crib in a huge blob of spit up. It was all over his hair. Changed him, wiped his hair, and changed his crib liner. Now everyone of us is in our own beds and will hopefully be sleeping soon :)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Quick update before I sneak in a nap before next feeding time. Errol is home! We are doing much better than expected handling it all. Avery and he slept pretty well last night. Jozey had been excellent today and a good helper. Layla is doing very well with her bottles and they are talking about taking her tube out soon! Maybe home in a wk or two?!?!?!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Great Progress

Everyone is doing very well. Avery and jozey are adjusting well. The girls and I ventured out alone today and had a nice time. We visited mammie at work, had lunch at McDs, and exchanged some things at Babies R Us. Jozey is growing up so fast. She jabbered to me all day. Just a sweetheart. Avery is taking 2oz every three hrs and pretty much sleep the rest if the time. She had an opthamologist appt yesterday and he said her eyes are maturing well. Pediatrician appt was good also. Said she looked perfect. Weight check weekly for two or three wks to decide how long we have to wake her at night to eat.

Errol got his tube out this morning and the drs ordered his carseat test and circumcision. The nurse said it's like feeding adifferent baby since that tubes out. It may have been bothering his throat and keeping him from wanting to eat. Guessing he'll be home this weekend or early next week!

Layla is moving along too. She can have a bottle at every feeding now and hopefully she will do well with that and get her tube out soon.

So proud of all of our little ones!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Avery is Home

Don't know why I haven't blogged in a while. Lots of exciting stuff happening. They are now 4 weeks and 5 days old (36 weeks and 4 days gestational). Avery came home Sunday!!! She's doing great. Her, jozey, and I had a great first day together today. Jo can't get enough of her. Wants to hold, touch, and help with her constantly. We had a long night last night though. Kept Avery in bassinette in our room. She's way too noisey of a sleeper for that. She's in her crib tonight.

Errol is still growing and working on his bottle skills. He always takes the entire bottle when Adam is there but is very finicky most other times. H was moved to a crib today and they are talkig about removing his feeding tube and seeing how he does in the next couple days. 

Layla is doing great too. She can take a bottle twice a day and is consistently finishing them. Just needs to pack some pounds on. She went off of her caffeine a few days ago and they are all three med free now except vitamins.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Hospital pictures are on www.our365.com. Layla's individual pics won't be up till Monday. They had never uploaded triplets before and had some trouble. You can search by birthdate (5/12/10) or my name.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Everyone's Making Progress

Still hoping for Avery to come home this weekend. She is now 4lb 12oz and doing well with all bottles. Moving out of isolette today.

Errol is getting better with bottles and can now try a bottle with every feeding. He's a chunker at 5lb 10oz. He will hopefully be home next week or weekend.

Layla is progressing nicely too. They let her try a bottle for practice last night and she did well. They won't let her try at every feed because she's too small and will burn too many calories. They switched her tube feeds to over one hr instead of two hrs today so she's heading in the right direction. She's hanging right on the edge of three lbs at 2lb 15oz. Hopefully she will jump over tonight.

Monday, June 7, 2010

4 Weeks This Week (36 weeks gestational age)

Babies are all doing well. I stopped pumping. Layla is getting the what breast milk they had stored and Errol and Avery are getting formula now. Errol weighs 5lb 4oz and is getting better with his bottle. He always finishes all of it when Adam is there to feed him. He's huge! He's so smiley. They let us take him to the door to the unit so Jozey could see him. She was very excited.

Avery is now 4lb 7oz. She got her feeding tube out today and is doing great with her bottles. She takes anywhere from 1 to 1.5oz at a time. She is very sweet and calm. Content just to lay and gaze around. The nurses say she could possibly come home this week or next!

Layla is now 2lb 13oz. She is tolerating her increased tube feeds well. Hopefully she will start bottles within the next couple of weeks. She's such a little sweetie. She makes the cutest faces and mouths. We held her and Avery side by side yesterday and they looked a lot alike. Both have a strawberry blonde tint to their hair. Can't wait to have them all home!

Friday, June 4, 2010

3 weeks old (35 weeks gestational age)

The babies were 3 weeks old and 35 weeks gestational age this week.

Errol weighs 4lb 13oz and is learning how to take a bottle. He has a lot of trouble with it though. The occupational therapist has been working with him. They say boys seem to have more trouble learning it than girls. He may have reflux like jozey did also.

Avery is now 4lb 3oz. She is doing great with her bottles. She is taking all of most of her feedings by bottle. Shouldn't be long before she's home.

Layla weighs 2lb 10oz. She is still on tube feedings by pump. The occupational therapist said that she can try bottles when she is over 3lb.

Can't wait to have our babies home! It'll be crazy, but so exciting.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

34 weeks and 2 days

Everyone is doing very well. Errol is up to 4lb 7oz. They tried to give him a bottle yesterday but it didn't work well. I may attempt to nurse him today. Not sure though because I developed mastitis yesterday :( Hopefully I caught it early enough and it won't be as bad as it was with Jozey. Avery weighs 3lb 12oz and attempted the bottle without success yesterday too. Layla only weighs 2lb 5oz still, but had a high calorie fortifier added to her breastmilk finally like the others. Nothing else exciting to tell except that they are all sharing a room now which makes visits so much nicer.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Two Weeks Old (34 weeks gestational age)

The babies will be 2 weeks old tomorrow and 34 weeks gestational age Thursday. They are doing unbelievably well.

Errol is 4lb 4oz and is taking his feedings very well. He is getting them by gravity in his feeding tube and may start bottles soon. He is very calm and sweet. He has a great smile.

Avery is also doing well with her feedings. She should be switching from the tube feeding pump to gravity feeds soon. She still likes to curl up on her side with her hands cradling her face. She is up to 3lb 10oz now.

Layla is 2lb 4oz and is going slower with her feedings, but definitely making progress. She is so funny and fiesty. She makes the tighest little fists till her knuckles turn white. One of the nurses yesterday showed us how to firmly but gently confine her in our hands to settle her. It worked like magic. They said she may continue her temper for a while because of her size. She will probably beat the other two up as soon as she can :)

Had a very nice, but busy visit last night. Tub bath for Errol and bed bath for Layla. I feel better every day and am loving spending time with Jozey.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Beating the Norms Everyday

Babies are doing super! All are ABOVE their birth weights now! It's normal to lose weight like they did, but getting back to birth weight doesn't have to happen and doesn't usually happen until they are two weeks old. They are 9 days today.

Errol is 3lb 14oz from 3lb 12oz. He is adorable. He loves to smile already. Adam gave him a bath in a little tub yesterday while he was swaddled and said he loved it. Still has a lot of dark hair and looks more and more like Daddy everyday. We got to dress him a couple days ago :) His bili lights are off and it's so great to see his eyes all of the time now. He's maintaining his temperature well and is tolerating his tube feeding like a champ. Adam got to give him his first gravity feeding instead of the pump yesterday. This doesn't usually happen until they reach where the would have been 34 weeks. They were 33 yesterday. He may get to bottle feed or nurse soon. Still haven't decided about the nursing. I'm pumping for them now and getting more than I ever did with Jozey. I don't plan on nursing when they get home, but I may occasionally try in the hospital to help with our bonding.

Avery is doing well also. She weighs 3lb 5oz form 3lb 4oz. They had to put her on some caffeine to help her keep her respiratory rate and heart rate up, but they said it's a common thing and seems to be helping. She's on a little oxygen now to help until the caffeine becomes effective. She is off of her bili lights too and loves looking around. She is a little more stingy with her smiles, but adorable anyway. My mom got to hold her Wednesday and loved it :) We should be able to dress and bathe her soon, once her resp and heart rate situations get under control.

Little Layla amazes us every day. She is so feisty. She is up to 2lb 1oz from 2lb even. They are increasing her tube feedings and her digestion is getting better. She is the only one that still has an IV in. She has a PICC in her arm. She had one in her leg, but it started to get swollen so they moved it. She is also on caffeine. Adam's mom got to hold her yesterday :) I get very nervous holding her when she isn't swaddled. She's so tiny. Her little cheeks have fattened up a bit, but she pretty much still looks like a little old lady or a bird :) Fine with us, she's our miracle. She may get one if not both of her bili lights turned off today. She's been under them so long, she just stares at everything when she gets a break from her "sunglasses".

I'm doing very well. Amazed at the weight that's dropped off already, especially since I was so swollen after the surgery. Got my cerclage out yesterday and was able to take steri strips off incision last night. Still sore, but not too bad most of the time. I can drive and pick up Jozey starting Wednesday. Can't wait! Today is our first day home alone in a long time. It was so nice being able to sit on the floor and play with her again.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Babies First Week

All of the babies are doing very well. Errol had his IV removed last night and is doing great being feed breast milk exclusively. All of them have feeding tubes in their noses and get fed through it every three hours. I think he is getting about 20ccs. He has his temperature monitor off and will probably get his bili light turned off tomorrow. It'll be nice to see his eyes all of the time and not have to peek under those little sunglasses they have to wear because of the lights. He still has episodes of low/high heart and respiratory rates like the others, but is still adjusting to the outside world. He looks so much like Adam. He has jet black hair and a long oval face like his daddy. We have been able to hold him the most. He wiggles for a while, then settles in and nuzzles your chest and goes to sleep. He likes to lay on his belly in the isolette a lot.

Avery is tolerating her tube feeds very well too. I think she is getting just a little less than Errol. Her TPN (IV nutrition) is being decreased and will hopefully be off soon. She loves to lay curled up on her right side with her hands together up by her face. She has strawberry blond hair, but seems to look like my sister. We have each held her once.

Little Layla is strong, but having some issues with digesting her food. She only gets 1.4ccs every three hours. Her's goes in slower than the others. Errol's and Avery's feedings go over one hour and Layla's is stretched out over two hours. The problem is that when they check before the next feeding to see how it has digested, most of it is still in her stomach. They checked her for a bowel obstruction and just found some gas. She has had at least 6 bowel movements, which is way above what her siblings have had.Dr. Belcastro, their neonatologist, said this is a common problem in babies who had cordflow issues in utero like she did. It's hard to tell who she looks like right now since she is so tiny and bird like. Adam says when she stretches out on her back and has her bili light glasses on that she looks like a little old lady laying on the beach sunbathing :) We have each held her twice. It made me very nervous. She's just so tiny and fragile.

Errol and Avery may move out to the other part of the NICU to make room for less stable babies sometime this week. There is a triplet room there where they can all eventually be together. It has a set of triplets in it but the Dr says they will be going home before ours do so we will get it sometime. That will be great to have them together.

If anyone wants to visit them, let us know. We will be out there most evenings. You can't get in without us. Thanks for the continued prayers and support.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Who's hungry?

We had a great day with all of our babies yesterday! Everyone is off of CPAP and are now breathing COMPLETELY on their own. Errol and Avery's feedings were increased. Layla pooped twice! That may not seem like a big deal to you, but we are so proud of our little one for amazing everyone. While Adam was holding her, Layla got her first tube feeding! All of them had their echocardiograms (heart ultrasounds). The girls' were normal, but Errol showed a slight defect. This exerpt from a website explains it better than I could. "The ductus arteriosus is a short blood vessel that connects the main blood vessel supplying the lungs to the aorta, the main blood vessel that leaves the heart. Its function in the unborn baby is to allow blood to bypass the lungs, because oxygen for the blood comes from the mother and not from breathing air. In full-term babies, the ductus arteriosus closes shortly after birth, but it frequently stays open in premature babies. When this happens, excess blood flows into the lungs and can cause breathing difficulties and sometimes heart failure. Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) is often treated with a medication called indomethacin or ibuprofen, which is successful in closing the ductus arteriosus in more than 80% of infants requiring these medications. However, if medical therapy fails, then surgery may be required to close the ductus." Right now his hole is very small and he is show absolutely no signs or symptoms of complications from it. They are going to watch is closely while he's in the hospital and as he grows. We aren't worried. These babies have already beat more than this. We have gotten to hold all of them now. It's just amazing.

We had a nice suprise last evening when my parents brought big sister. Jozey for a visit. Can't wait to get home to her :)

I'm starting to feel better. Still sore and very swollen, but walking and getting around better. Thanks for your continued prayers and support.

*Thinking we need to change our Blog name to something including the whole family now that the babies are here. Any suggestions??? I'll pick my favorites and post a survey so everyone can help pick. Our idea was "Adam and Mar Plus Two Pair" :)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

First NICU Days

We are suprised and amazed at how well our babies our doing. The were all on cpap and a small amount of oxygen at first. Now Errol and Avery are breathing completely on their own and the only tubes they have are feeding tubes and IVs (Avery and Layla have PICC lines). They are all getting IV nutrition, but Errol and Avery are also getting small amount of tube feedings (high calorie formula and the small amount of colostrum I've produced so far). We've changed all of their diapers and held Errol outside of is his isolette. They are all under bilirubin lights for jaundice. Errol's is normal newborn jaundice. The girls have an antibody to my blood and that is causing theirs. No idea when they are coming home. That's everyone's first question. It's one day at a time.

The big day is here! Birth at 32 weeks (31wk 6days)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I had afternoon appointments Wednesday and since they were at Jozey's nap time, mom's friend Crystal came to the house to watch her. We got to the doctor's office at the hospital a little after 1:00. The non stress test was first and it went well. Next was the ultrasound. Everything was good with Errol and Avery, but when she got to the cord flows on Layla, I knew the babies had to be born that day. Dont know if I've explained this before, but a NORMAL cord flow tracing should peak above or below the baseline (direction depends on if they are looking at the umbilical arteries or the vein)then return close to the baseline but not touching it and rise or fall again. With ABSENT end diastolic flow it returns completely to baseline and has a break or gap then starts again. With REVERSE end diastolic flow it returns to baseline and crosses it, peaking again on the opposite side. Dr. McKenna had explained to us that the progression of this problem usually goes intermittently absent, absent, then reverse. If untreated or unrecognized babies die within 24 hours of reverse flow. Layla's flow was now intermittently reversed. I recognized it, but didn't want to alarm my mom so I occupied both of us with a game of scrabble on my phone while we waited for the dr to come in. When Dr. Kovach came in, she said the babies needed to be born that evening. It wasn't an emergency since it wasn't completely reversed, but we had made it clear that we wanted her out as soon as she was in danger. They scheduled the csection for 6:00pm and mom and I spent the next hour figuring out who we needed to call and making plans for Jozey.

Since I didn't make my goals of weeks and 5 pound babies, I made sure they would let me walk to pre-op at least. I walked there from the triage area a little before 6:00. Once I was there Adam got into his surgical clothes and sat while they took me into the OR to prep me. I agreed to let a student do my spinal, why?...I have no idea. He had to stick me twice and I was very uncomfortable throughout most of the surgery. He kept asking if it was pain or pressure. I said, very painful pressure. I didn't feel them cut me, but I felt every tug and pull after that. At one point I was bawling. Me hurting upset Adam and right after Errol came out crying, he had to put his head between his legs to keep himself going. We both missed Avery coming out, but they said she cried too. Then came little Layla. Her cry was the most wonderful sound I've ever heard. Adam went to the resusitation area with the babies while they finished up with me. They did a low bikini incision on my skin, but had to do a vertical classical incision on my uterus since the babies were all so small and fragile. While Adam was in with the babies, he passed out and fell on the floor. After some smelling salt he was fine :) All of the babies were immediately breathing on their own. They put them on cpap for some extra help though. Errol weighed 3lb 12oz, Avery weighed 3lb 4oz, and Layla weighed 2lb. We are so thankful for our litle miracles.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

So excited to be 31 weeks today! Appointment yesterday was great. All three passed their non stress tests with flying colors. Layla's end diastolic cord flow was still compromised on ultrasound but everyone's weights were excellent! Errol and Avery each gained 15oz in two weeks. They are now 3lb 9oz and 3lb 3oz! Layla gained 8oz which is less than them but twice what they said she needed to gain. She is now 2lb 2oz! I was feeling miserable for a couple days before my appts, but getting such good news really helped. I really think I can make it to 35 weeks now. 30 weeks was a big deal though. My next short term goal is 32 weeks, then we will shoot for 35. Having a lot of contractions, but the never get too unbearable. Hands and feet are starting to swell just a bit and sometimes they get a little purple. Reflux is probably the worse thing right now. Doesn't matter what I eat or how I lay. Took a phenergan to help me sleep last night and was still in a daze at 11:00 this morning. Luckily my grandma was her to help with jozey. Thanks again for all of the prayers, calls, and support. Will never be able to tell you all how much it means.

Almost forgot. Our friend Teresa volunteered to start meals again. No pressure or obligation, but if you would like to help you can reach her at (937)609-1318 or Teresa.Abney@workflowone.com.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

30 weeks

Well after a stable ultrasound and great NST (non stress test) I got to come home Wednesday! I'm very suprised at how exhausted two weeks of just laying in a hospital bed have made me. I'm still resting as much as I can and taking the stairs as little as possible. I had appointments at Miami Valley today. First was my ultrasound. All of the babies anatomy was still great. Layla kept opening her mouth wide and closing it right on her placenta. I guess since her cord isn't feeding her that well, she's decided to eat her placenta :) Fluid levels were good on all babies. Layla's end diastolic cord flow was intermittently absent but it was completely absent last time so the doctor was pleased. From what I understand from information from the drs, absent end diastolic flow means that blood is pumping to her fine, she just isn't pumping it back as well. Next was my NST. And NST is where they place an ultrsound sensor on my stomach over each baby and also one somewhere in the middle to monitor for contractions. What they are looking for is for each baby to have 10 accelerations (increase in heartbeat of at least 15 beats that remains increased for at least 15 beats) in twenty minutes. Today they also had me press a button with each movement I felt (I might as well have just held the button down, they were very squirmy :). The accels were great and I felt tons of movement. I will have the same tests every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday until the babies are born. Next Wednesday I will also have a growth scan to check weights. The dr said she wants to see that each baby, especially Layla, is gaining at least 2 oz per week. It'll be two weeks on weds since last weights, so Layla needs to have gained at least 4 oz. That would put her at 1lb 14oz. If any of them haven't gained enough the dr said we will have to talk about delivery. So the prayer for this week is at least a 4oz weight gain for each baby.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

New plan...again.

New plan again. The nurse manager of the NICU at Kettering called me yesterday and said that since they still need one more neonatologist and are technically not a level 3 NICU yet, they cannot care for any babies under 1 kilogram. Lovely to find that out now. Layla and Avery are both still under that. So we will be delivering here at MVH. I spoke with Dr. Saldana and he said he was as shocked as we were by their requirement. Don't know who missed it but bottom line is we can't go there right now and don't see the point in switching back and forth again. We met with Dr. McKenna (the one we originally didn't like) and were honest about our feelings for him. He assured us he is not giving up on Layla and feels she is doing very well right now and has been the entire week I've been here. He said that he feels the babies and I are stable enough for me to go home and come in three times a week for ultrasounds and non stress tests and if at anytime things change with any of the babies he will deliver immediately. He said they offer an elective csection at 34 weeks with triplets if the mom is miserable. So if all goes well, I may make it to my 35 week goal after all. The plan is to stay tonight and have another ultrasound and non stress test tomorrow, then if both are normal and after Adam and I get a tour of the NICU I will be going home!!!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Hospital Day 10

All of the babies did well on their non stress test today. I slept great last night. Didn't really get up till after 9. Yesterday afternoon my dr from Kettering, Dr. Saldana, called to check on me. He still feels the best thing for layla's situation is for them to be born next week and not wait a lot longer. He said he is keeping my csection slot for Friday morning at 8:30 and if I can get transferred there at least two hrs before he will deliver them that day. So my plan is to try to get transferred back there on Thursday when I turn 30 weeks. I've told a couple nurses and drs and they all seem to understand that I want to be with my dr that I trust. Nothing else new or exciting happening. Just resting lots. Thanks for the continued prayers.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Hospital Day 9

Just got back from ultrasound. No changes today. Layla still has interrupted cord bloodflow, but heartbeat and oxygenation are still great. A different dr was down there today and she said on Wednesday they were just trying to prepare us for all possible scenarios and outcomes and they feel she is probably just severely growth restricted. Wish they wouldve made that clearer then. Our plan is to hang out here till end of next week and get transferred back to Kettering. I really want my dr that I've had all along to delivers these little babies. Thanks for the prayers.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Don't want to go into too many details right now, but a dr that we had met literally ten seconds before and was looking at my ultrasound for the first time, jumped to a worst case scenario situation for Layla with no concrete evidence just his suspicion. He presented it to us very coldly and like we should just give up. I talked to the dr I've had all along who has been handling triplets and those with growth problems as well for a long time and he sees no reason to assume the worst. Please pray for little Layla. We know God is in control and are continuing to turn it over to him.
Had a scary night and day yesterday. Woke up Tuesday morning with a large amount of vomiting. They had giving my a sleeping pill and some pain medication the night before for some contractions. After getting sick, they gave me phenergan. Soon after that, I started regular painful contractions so they started me on magnesium sulfate to stop them. That meant a foley catheter and strict bedrest. If you've ever had mag before, you understand
The awful day that followed. I was awake an hr or less all day. Hot flashes, dizziness, couldn't think straight, heart palpitations. It was awful. The weirdest was having hot eyelids. The day went on and the contractions got better then worse. I ended up being transferred to Miami Valley Hospital by ambulance at about ten last night because the neonatologist decided they didn't want to deliver me at 28 wks and 5 days if this was leading into real labor. Never had any cervical changes though. No contractions all night and nurse just came in and turned off mag and took out my foley! We meet the dr today and will discuss the best plan for me and the babies. Loved being at Kettering, but will stay here if it's best for us all.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Delivery Date Change

Change of plans. Dr. Saldana just came in and told me that the Ohio Dept of Health is coming the day I'm scheduled for my csection, so to avoid distracted people doing such a big procedure they are moving it to Friday, the 30th, probably at 8:30. I started another round of steroids today to help their lungs more and he got it approved for me to deliver and babies to stay here if stable, if I should need to have them sooner.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Hospital Day 4

I had an ultrasound this morning with the dr. All babies are hanging in there. Errol and Avery's fluid levels are both at a 5. Layla's is at 2.8. He said that was what is was yesterday, so I must not have been paying attention yesterday. He also said that the c section will be on the day I turn 30 weeks. Yesterday he didn't really specify if it would be exactly that day or the next. It is scheduled for 7:15 am. He also said I would get another round of steroids for their lungs next week.

I guess some people were confused by my last post. The babies will only be transferred to Childrens if they come before thirty weeks or if they come at thirty weeks and have major problems.

That's all for now.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

We Have a Delivery Date

Just had an ultrasound in my room with the dr. He said Layla and Avery are too growth restricted to stay in any longer than 30 weeks. Layla is in the 5th percentile and Avery is in the 15th. So the plan is that unless one of them take a drastic turn for the worse, I will stay here until I am 30 weeks and have them then. I turn 30 weeks on Thursday, April 29. Not sure what time yet. People may not understand it, but after much thought we have decided that since they will be so tiny and delivery day will be scary, THE ONLY PEOPLE WE WANT AT THE HOSPITAL THAT DAY ARE OUR PARENTS. No one else. After they are born and we know their condition and mine we will let people know right away. Please no one take this personally. We are excited to meet them, but still a little scared. All I can do to help them at this point is lay here and rest and eat. If you come to visit, bring a big chocolate milkshake :)

Thanks for all of your prayers and keep praying for 30 weeks. 12 more days.

Hospital Day 2

Doing pretty well in the hospital. Little boring but I'm able to rest all day and that's what the babies need. Layla's cord flows were good yesterday and her amniotic fluid level had increased dramatically. Not sure what units they measure it in, but it went from 2 something to 5! I'm getting fetal non stress tests twice daily and those have all been great. They put a monitor on my belly over each baby and also one to check for contractions. They try to keep them all on for thirty minutes, which is quite a challenge. They are watching their heartrates and seeing if they respond well when they move. Other than those tests, I just get my vitals twice daily and some meds in the evening. I feel much more at ease being here and knowing we are just across the hall from the operating room should anything happen. They can deliver them here before 30 wks only in an emergency, but after they were stabilized they would be transferred to Childrens without me :( Come on 30 weeks!

Friday, April 16, 2010

What we Should Expect

Had a visit from the special care nursery nurses and one of the neonatologists earlier. They answered lots of questions for us and let us know what to expect of babies born at 30 weeks. They said that they will most likely all be on ventilators for at least a couple of days, then will step down to CPAP (continuous pressure in their noses to help their lungs expand, same thing some people wear for sleep apnea and snooring), then down to oxygen through their noses or by masks, then to room air. They said they will not attempt to feed them by mouth until 34 weeks. Until then it will be by tubes in the nose. They need to get to 4lbs and be able to coordinate sucking, swallowing, and breathing before they can go home. They have to be taking all of their feedings by mouth to go home. They said to expect them to go stay in the hospital until around their actual due date no matter when they are born (July 8th) and be pleasantly suprised if they come home earlier. The neonatologist really wants me to pump breast milk for them at least while they are in the hospital. I wasn't planning on it because of the awful time I had nursing Jozey and the mastitis I got twice even during pumping, but if it will help them gain weight quicker I'll do it. I sold my pump when I stopped with Jozey so let me know if anyone has a good one they aren't using. I think I can rent one from the hospital. I'm going to call a lactation consultant tomorrow.

This evening they did a non stress test on all of the babies and besides wiggling and being difficult to keep on the monitor, they all passed with flying colors.

Gonna try to go back to sleep now. Night night :)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Hooray Little Layla!!!

So today took a suprising turn when I got a call from my dr this morning. He said that he reviewed my chart with his partner and a neonatologist last night and they felt that I needed to come back in today and recheck Laylas cord flow and if it was still sluggish I would need to go to Miami Valley and have them today. Kettering cannot deliver less than 30 weeks yet because to get their level 3 certification they have to have a couple more specialized neonatologists, like cardiology and nephrology. Adam came home from work and we took Jozey to moms and Adams mom is picking her up from there. When we got to the dr and they checked Layla we were pleasantly suprised to find her flow had improved. No delivery today!!! If I would have to go the Miami Valley, my dr cannot deliver them because he doesn't have privilages there. I don't like that at all. Adam, Dr. Saldana, and I all agreed that the best place for me to be was in the hospital, so I'm in Labor and Delivery at Kettering and will stay here till at least Monday but maybe for two weeks till I make it to 30 weeks. Glad i decided to pack everyones bags yesterday :) I will welcome visitors this time. This could get pretty boring. Boring is better than having two pound babies though.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

28 weeks

I had my 28 week drs appointment today. All of the babies are gaining weight. Errol is up to 2lb 4oz, Avery is 2lb, and little Layla is 1lb 8oz. Layla's amniotic fluid is back up. She is the main concern right now. The bloodflow to and from her brain is good, but the flow through her umbilical cord is getting sluggish. I have to go back to the dr on Friday to have it rechecked. If it is still sluggish I will be admitted for observation and possibly stay until I'm 30 weeks and they can safely be delivered. If things improve with Layla, by Friday or while I'm
in the hospital, he will hold off on delivery until 32 weeks. So we are either having these babies in 2 or 4 weeks! Scary but exciting. Lots of prayers please!!!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

27 weeks

Had 27 week appointment today. Dr. Saldana kept saying how excited he was that I've made it this far without major problems. He did my cervical check first. The stitches are still holding it completely closed. My length is a little shorter this week at 2.8cm, but that is still very good. The biggest pocket of amniotic fluid they found around Layla was 2.8(not sure if that's cm or in) which is up from last time. He checked the bloodflow in and out of her cord and brain and it was great. So she still doesn't seem to know that she's almost a pound smaller than her brother. Dr. Saldana was very pleased with everything. I told him I think I may be having occasional contractions, but I'm not sure. He said since layla's fluid is up I can take the indomethicin when I feel multiple contraction. I have weekly appointments scheduled now until I'm 32 wks, with weekly cervical checks and bi-weekly growth scans for everyone and blood/oxygen flow checks on Layla. I asked him when we would be at the point of being so concerned about the weight difference in the babies that he would have to deliver them earlier than he wanted. He said he wouldn't jeopardize the other two when they still are at a high mortality rate until Layla was in severe danger, which he says we are not even close to. That was good to know. Can't imagine being the one in charge of that decision. He is now aiming for 32 weeks which is May 13th. He delivered 31wk 3day triplets yesterday and they are all 4 lbs and breathing on their own! Very encouraging.

Almost forgot that thanks to my grandparents and aunt, we are now the proud owners of a minivan :)

Very excited about seeing family and friends at our first baby/baby/baby shower Saturday!

Again, thanks so much for the prayers, housework help, and meals. Your help is allowing me to rest and grow these babies big and strong. Mornings with Jozey are when I need the most help, like 9-12. Let me know if anyone wants to come over and play or take her to the park when it's nice :)

Love you all.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

26 weeks

Sorry it's taking me two days to post since being home from the hospital, I've just been too worn out to sit up for long and get tired of typing on my phone's little keyboard. So we got home at about 9:00 Tuesday night and we were exhausted. My mom kept Jozey again so we could rest and since I had a long Dr appointment scheduled for Wednesday. I felt ok, just tired Tuesday night. When I woke up Wednesday morning me feet were a little puffy and tingling, but nothing too awful. At 11:00 I took my Procardia. That's the medication the Dr switched me to from the Indomethicin to relax my uterus. A side effect of the Indomethicin is decreasing amounts of amniotic fluid, which is why he stopped it. So anyway, Adam's aunt Lou picked me up a little after 11:00 and we went to Applebee's for lunch before my appointment. By the time we got to the Dr's, my feet were huge, both legs were red up to my thighs, and I was flushed all over and felt like my heart was racing. I told the Dr as soon as we got in and he assessed me and found that my blood pressure was 128/70 (usually 110/70), my heart rate was in the 120s (usually less than 100), my weight was 149 (up 7lbs in 2 days)and he obviously agreed about the crazy looking legs. he felt that most of my symptoms were side effects of the Procardia and told me to quit taking it. He thought the weight gain and some of the fluid retention was from the IV fluids I received in the hospital. The checked my urine as usual and found come glucose or sugar in it and he was concerned at first until we connected the steroids and IV fluid I'd received in the hospital to the result. I was supposed to do my gestational diabetes test this week, but he pushed it back to next week because of the misleading results.

After he checked me out, we moved on to the ultrasound. Errol was first and he weighed 2lbs (up from 1lb 3oz at last check)! Very excited about that. His amniotic fluid level is great and his only anatomical issue is some fluid around his kidneys. Dr. Saldana said this can be common in boys and it isn't to a critical level yet. Next was Avery. Her weight was up to 1lb 11oz (from 1lb 3oz). her amniotic fluid level was good also. Next was the tiny little Layla. She is just 1lb 3oz (up from 12oz). Her amniotic fluid is still a little low, but she has excellent blood flow through umbilical cord and to brain, so Dr. Saldana says she is adjusted to the lower level of fluid. He said the only thing I can do to help is rest, rest, rest, and drink, drink, drink lots of water. So that's what I've been doing. My cervical check was great and the cerclage (stitches) are doing their job. He said I will have four more weekly cervical checks and then we just wait and see. There is really nothing more he can do to prevent dilation, but things are going good from that aspect so far.

I feel a little better today. Less swelling and I've lost a pound of the water weight. I went back for a quick check today and my blood pressure was back down to 100/70 and heart rate was 100. Next appointment is Wednesday just for a cervical check. He feels the babies will be fine if I can make it to 30 weeks. even though I'm getting miserable I'd like to keep going as long as I can. I still hope to make it till the middle of May at least.

I know I say it every time, but thanks for the continued prayers, support, and help. It means a lot.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Going Home!!!

Ultrasound earlier showed that cervix is still great. Still not quite sure if it was an amniotic leak or not, but if it was it either sealed off or one of the other sacs is sealing it. Layla's fluid is a little low, but he doesn't think she's leaking. It may be from the med I'm on to relax my uterus so he switched me to a different med. I'm getting some iv fluids now, will get my second steroid shot at 8, then we can go home. I already had a drs appt for tomorrow, so he's just gonna recheck things then. Thanks for the thoughts and prayers and for letting me rest. I usually love visitors but just wasn't up for it today.

Another Little Bump in the Road (25 wks and 5 days)

Didn't want to worry anyone, but we spent the night at Kettering Hospital again last night. I AM FINE! We thought I had a slow leak in one of the amniotic sacs, but everything appears to be okay. They did a paper test on the fluid and it turned blue like amniotic fluid would, but that could aslo mean other things. My dr came in to see me a little before ten o'clock last night and did an ultrasound and exam and was very pleased with everything. The gave me a celestone shot to help mature the babies lungs and I will stay so that I can get the second dose, which is usually given about 24 hours after the first. Celestone is a steroid that helps the lungs produce surfactant. Surfactant is very important for preemies and any newborns, in that it helps "lubricate" the lungs and keep the walls from sticking together when they touch during breathing. I may get this once a week for a while. Not really sure yet. Going over to dr. Saldanas office sometime today for cervical ultrasound to make sure it is still closed and long. Then I will hopefully go home later this evening. Jozey stayed with my parents and Adam is picking her up after working a half day today.

I feel great. Have a good book with me and am just gonna rest and order room service all day :)

Sorry if any of you are offended that we didn't call you last night, we just didn't want to worry anyone and it was ten before we found out I had to stay. Someone started the prayer chain, which is fine, but I hope no one was offended to find out that way instead of by us. That was not our intention at all.

So, like I said, I feel fine and there is no need to visit, but I'm at good 'ole Kettering Hospital if you need me.

Monday, March 29, 2010

A Typical Day on Modified Bedrest

A lot of people have asked what modified bed rest is and what I do all day, so here it is..a typical day.

Adam gets up for work. By this time, I've probably been laying awake for almost an hour trying not to wake him. I watch some TV, have a snack, then try to go back to sleep.

8:00 or 9:00
Jozey wakes up. We go downstairs and have breakfast, usually while watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse or Handy Manny :)

This is usually when my helper for the morning arrives. They play with Jozey and sometimes do a little housework while I lay down on the couch and begin to clock my first two hr rest. I know it seems like I shouldn't need to rest already, but I can't get all of my rest times in if I don't start one now and believe it or not I'm usually already tired from carrying her downstairs and getting her in and out of booster seat for breakfast.

First rest of the day is done. Time for lunch. I make something simple or whoever is helping me gets us something.

Usually try to start Jozey's nap time about now. Does great in her toddler bed at night, but really pushes my buttons by getting out of bed 5 times at nap time before falling asleep, usually on the floor. So yesterday, at my moms suggestion we got out the pack n play and put it in her room for naps. She was out after 20 min. Before I lay down to start my second rest, I usually put a load of laundry in. Then I lay down upstairs because I'm only allowed two trips up/down stairs daily. I read, watch TV, or sleep depending on my mood. I feel like there is becoming a permanent imprint of my expanding body in our bed I'm in there so much. If I'm awake to hear the washer I switch clothes over during my rest time.

About when Jozey wakes up. I get clothes out of dryer before getting her, then fold and out them away while she plays in our room.

Adam's home! If I'm feeling well, he runs, works out, or gets a little video game time in then takes over with Jozey. If I'm exhausted, he takes over right away. I try to let him get a little down time in.

If someone is bringing us dinner, this is when it usually arrives. We all eat, then I start another rest time on the couch while Adam and Jo play and get a bath. I can't go back upstairs until bedtime so I don't go over my allotted stairs trips for the day. Sometimes I cheat, because I hate to miss bath time. The two of them get pretty wild in the tub :)

Adam puts Jozey to bed and I take a shower if I'm done downstairs. I do not like my showers!!! I'm a bathtub girl, but I'm following Dr's orders and showering on my lovely little shower chair.

We are usually in bed. After talking to all of the babies and watching and feeling them move for a bit, Adam is out quickly. I lay and watch TV or read till I fall asleep. My night is scattered with bathroom trips, awkward position changes with my mound of pillows, and the occasional snack. Oh and can't forget the middle of the night nose bleeds.

So that's my typical day. Not too exciting. There are occasional changes in our day, like and unexpected visitor or Jo staying at my parents. Going to the Dr is about the only time I put regular clothes on anymore (and church of course, when I make it :) I make it to church when I can. I haven't had to miss a Thursday night Youth Worship service yet and that's the one I'll hold onto as long as I possibly can. We just eat, have a short lesson, and then Adam leads amazing music for an hour. It's my encouragement for the week. I just sit in back and watch them sing and worship and take it all in. I love it.

There are some parts I do enjoy a lot about being home though. I love all of the time I get to spend with Jozey. She's developing such a little personality. We work on new words, like body parts and animals. She is pronouncing things very well. Her new favorite things to say are, "I love you" and when you ask how she is she smiles and says "good" It's adorable. Also feeling all of these babies move is amazing and incredibly weird at the same time.

I have an appointment Wednesday and SHOULD get to find out current weights and sizes on these little guys. Thanks so much for all of the food, thoughts, prayers, and calls. Keep 'em coming. They are what has brought us to this amazing point of survival for our babies

Love you all!

Friday, March 19, 2010

24 week appointment

Just got home from drs appointment. It wasn't a full anatomical ultrasound, so we didn't find out any weights or sizes. Great heartbeats on all babies. Errol is now breech, Avery is transverse with feet towards my middle, and Layla is transverse with body around towards my back. Amniotic fluid is a little on the low side on all of them and my cervix is funneling from the inside out up to my stitches. Its about 3cm now. The fluid may be low from the indocin im taking to relax my uterus and prevent contractions. Neither of these are major problems at this point but he wants me to make sure I'm getting my morning, afternoon, and evening rests in. Still having trouble with the morning. I don't like just laying on the couch and watching Jozey play by herself. I feel like I'm neglecting her. I feel like whatever I'm do I'm either picking her over the babies or the babies over her I'm just gonna have to make arrangements to have someone here every morning. Who really wants to come over at 8 or 9 am though? I know this won't last forever, but it's just overwhelming. I love these babies so much, but this is not at all what we expected or planned. Can my body really handle this? It may sound silly to be overwhelmed with having to rest, but I love being with Jozey and I can't even play with her outside now that it's warm. My resting has to be laying down. Don't know how else to describe it except overwhelming. Good news is that viability (when the babies have a good chance of survival outside of me) is next week. Don't want them to be born yet, but it's still reassuring. Sorry to complain so much :(

Monday, March 15, 2010

23 weeks and 4 days

I'm 23 wks and 4 days today. Been doing the modified bedrest for a few days now. The hardest parts have been limiting my trips up and down the stairs and getting my morning rest in. I'm supposed to lay down for two hrs every two hrs. Afternoon and evening are going fine because Jozey naps in the afternoon and Adam is home in the evening. Morning is a little rougher. Jozey is wide awake and wants to play. Love to play with her but I can't for too long. My mother in law came over this morning to help and of course Jo was as calm as could be and I would've been fine alone. Always seems to work out that way doesn't it? Jo enjoyed seeing her mamaw anyway.

Teresa has gotten quite a few people say they are willing to bring us dinner. We appreciate it so much. My mom is coming over Wednesday to help me finish putting some baby clothes away and do some final organizing. I have a feeling this exhaustion isn't left over from my procedure and hospitalization, it's just here to stay. I hate missing church and other activities, but there isn't much we can do in a two hr time span.

I'm up to 30lb weight gain so far. I feel much bigger. When I'm up my belly is super tight. It's much looser when I lay down. The dr put me on Indocin to relax my uterus. Not sure how long I'll be on it.

Well I better go check on Jozey. Doesn't sound like there is much napping going on in there :)

(Have a dr appointment Friday morning. Pray for big babies!)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Accepting Meal Help

We're accepting help with meals now. I just think Adam is going to quickly get overwhelmed if we don't do this. We're gonna start with Monday, Wednesday, and Friday dinners and see how it goes. DO NOT feel obligated! We appreciate anyone who wants to help. It doesn't need to be anything fancy, even ordering us a pizza or picking up chinese from the place close to us will help. Teresa Abney is our wonderful food coordinator. Her cell phone is 937-609-1318. Her email is Teresa.Abney@workflowone.com. You can contact her either way. Thanks in advance for everyones generousity.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Post Cerclage

Procedure is done. Went well except for some slightly low blood pressure and nausea and vomiting. Waiting on spinal to wear off now. Should go home on modified bedrest tomorrow, which is laying down for two hours morning, afternoon, and evening. Just a little more restrictive than what I've been doing. Thanks for thoughts and prayers.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Hospitalization & Cerclage (22 wks and 4 days)

Dr appt today didn't go quite as planned. Babies are big and great. 1lb 2oz,1lb, and 12oz. Hearts are healthy ad fully formed. Problem is my cervix. It is shortening and to prevent it from dilating, I agreed to be admitted to Kettering for a couple days for observation, bedrest, fluids, and a cerclage (surgically sewing my cervix shut). The surgery is at noon tomorrow. I AM FINE!!! I would appreciate lots of prayers, but please don't worry about me. Adam is staying with me and Jozey has good gradmas and grandpas to take care of her.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

22 weeks

Tomorrow I will be 22 weeks pregnant! In some ways it seems to be going sooo slow, but in others it's flying by. It's amazing to think that in a few weeks they will be on the border of having a chance of survival outside of me. They are moving a lot lately. Especially at night. I feel pretty good during the day, but by 8 or 9pm I'm exhausted. In our almost 6 1/2 yrs of marriage, I've never fallen asleep before Adam until now. As soon as Jozey is in bed at about 8 or 8:30 I AM DONE. My belly is getting big and tight and by evening I just want to take it off and sit it down somewhere for a bit :) Getting comfortable in bed has become a challenge too. No amount of pillows makes carrying 3 babies comfortable.

I had a doctors appointment last week and you may or may not have heard that it didn't go as planned. I had my yearly exam scheduled a couple weeks before that and cancelled due to the snow. They called and asked if I could come to this appointment 30 minutes early so they could do the exam before the cervical check and ultrasound. My mom picked Jozey and I up and we were there in plenty of time. As the Dr was finishing my yearly the fire alarms went off. I was completely naked. It was lovely. They told me to hurry up and get dressed because they weren't sure if it was a drill or not. I rush getting dressed, run into the bathroom to give my urine sample and all of the sudden the alarm stops. Never heard the "All Clear" overhead, but assume it was a drill or at least not a fire in the part of the hospital we were in. So anyway, we go into the ultrasound room and they do my cervical check, which was great by the way. Still completely closed and 3.8cm long. After that he says, "We aren't going to have time to do your full growth scan and heart exam on all of the babies today. They only had you scheduled for your yearly exam." I was not very happy and I let him know. I told him that the appointment had been scheduled for weeks and they were just supposed to bump up the start time not shorten the length of the appointment. Then he said that his partner got called to an emergency C-section so he had to see all of her patients also. Still not sure what the real problem was. Was it the office staff like he originally said or was he trying to blame them? I understand that in high risk OB care there are emergencies, but be honest with me. The appointment before this one, we waited almost 2 hours just to see him, but they told us there was an emergency and we saw him running out of the office towards the hospital, so that time made sense. I'm fine with waiting, just be honest. Okay...done complaining about that. We got to see all three babies and their heartbeats, amount of amniotic fluid, and femur lengths were good. Didn't get to find out their weights. He did say the girls are short. Well we aren't tall people so that's not a shock. My next appointment is on Monday. Supposed to be 1 hr 45 min appointment for cervical check and full ultrasound. Just called to confirm they had it right and they assured me they did. Guess we'll find out Monday.

After the appointment Monday, Adam, me, my mom, and his mom are getting a private tour of the special care facilities at Kettering. I've been getting lots of comments about how I should be going to Miami Valley and I figured the only way to be sure was to check it out. I had a long talk with the manager on the phone last week and she was very honest and helpful. She said about half of her nurses are level 3 special care certified and experienced and the other half will have a preceptor with them AT ALL TIMES. That's fine with us. Everyone has to learn and as long as they are DIRECTLY supervised by someone experienced we're good with that. We're excited to get a look at where our babies may be. She said that if I make it to 36 weeks like the doctor wants, they may just be in there overnight! How amazing would that be?!?!?!

The nursery is officially finished, complete with paint, border, and organizer closet system, and clothes put away. We just need our last crib and two more crib mattresses. We now have 4 bouncy seats and 3 swings! We still need preemie and newborn clothes (especially for Errol), some more Boppy pillows, sheets, booster seats, things like that. So glad it's all coming together. I'm trying to have everything done as much as I can in case bed rest or hospitalization sneaks up on us. Really hoping to still be feeling decent for my shower in April. My mom, mother-in-law, and a friend are doing one all together. Figured that would be easier on me physically than a bunch of separate ones. Adam is excited and wants to come too. He went to my one at church for Jozey and had more fun that I did :)

Nothing else too exciting to report.

Thanks for the thoughts and prayers,

Almost forgot that at 16 months Jozey is finally walking like a pro!!!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Letter to My Babies

My Sweet Little Miracles,

I've been worried about you all lately, so I thought writing you a letter may help me get some of it out.

As you grow inside me, I feel I know you more and more each day. I can tell you all apart now. Errol, you wiggle a lot, but are too low for us to feel much from the outside. We feel like you are going to having an easy-going nature like your daddy. You do like to kick Mommy's bladder though :) Avery, you are our little jumping bean. You moved a ton yesterday and Daddy and Mamaw Shouse got to feel you too. Sometimes we can feel your little head and tushy pushing so hard it's like you're trying to escape. Layla, you are pretty mellow. You were the one I felt the most at the beginning, but now you just relax and stay pretty still. You are good at reassuring us with a kick or push if we get concerned about you though and we appreciate that. At every ultrasound you have been standing straight up. You can lay down and relax if you want :) I think you are trying to be the little mommy and keep your brother and sister in line. It's very weird when you all move at once. I can't describe it. I never knew how I would be able to tell you apart, but I can.

I want you to stay in there for 15 more weeks, but it's nice to know that you have a chance of survival if you all just hang in there 5 more weeks. I am very excited, but also very scared about bringing you into this world. I know you are in God's hands right now and that he is forming you more and more everyday, but I am terrified at the thought of something being wrong with one of you. Everyday I wonder when you will be born and how big you will be. I am trying hard to give you a healthy place to grow big and strong. I eat as much as I can and am resting a lot too. Daddy is helping out with grocery shopping and a lot of kitchen clean-up since my growing tummy won't let me bend over enough to get groceries out of the cart or load or unload the bottom shelf of the dishwasher. I will do everything I can to help you grow big and healthy. You may not get to come home from the hospital with us. I pray that you will, but if you don't they will take very good care of you there. I fany of you haev to stay, we will visit you very often and will be dreaming of when we can all be home together.

It will probably be very crazy when you come home. It may take us a while to figure out how to manage all of you and your big sister Jozey. She loves to pull up Mommy's shirt and kiss my belly by the way :) If she sees anyone else touching my belly she makes a mean face and says, "My babies!" I'm sure she will help take good care of you and will be a boss like I was to your Aunt Dawn. Be patient with us. We will figure it out together.

I have so many hopes and dreams for you. I pray that you will have a personal relationship with Jesus and will someday understand what a miracle each one of you is. We may have had to go an unconventional route to get you, but The Lord still created you in His image exactly how he wanted you to be. I pray that you will all be kind to others and will put their needs before your own. I want each of you to be proud of who you are and to not let anyone change you. I struggled with accepting myself for being weird and awkward during middle school and parts of high school and I now realize what a waste of time that is. Your Daddy and I already love you sooooo much and that love will only grow. I do not want you to EVER pick on or insult others to make yourself look better. That is very ignorant and hurtful. I hope you will learn to be sensitive to others feelings and be there for people when they need someone to lean on. I hope you will go out of your way to inculde those that may be left out. I want you to always be respectful, especially of grandparents, teachers, and other authority figures. I pray that you all find wonderful spouses who will treat you amazingly. Layla and Avery, I hope that you find husbands, who are as wonderful to you as your father has been to me. Don't settle for anything less than having doors opened for you and for being treated with respect. Errol, I pray you follow your father's example of how to treat a woman and that you find a great girl who appreciates that about you and respects you in return. These are all just my hopes and dreams for you. We will never pressure you to be perfect and will always love you.

I can't wait to meet you, little ones. I love you so much. Thanks for letting me babble...you better get used to it :)

Mommy xoxoxo

Monday, February 15, 2010

Less Than 17 Weeks to go!!!

Nothing super exciting to post, but we are starting to get some things together. my mom did an excellent job painting the nursery. Just the border left then we can start arranging things. I know it seems early to be getting everything ready, but we never know if/when my bedrest/hospitalization could start. We picked up our rocker/glider and it's beautiful and super comfortable. Starting to fill the dressers with newborn and 0-3 month clothes. The girls should be set except for some preemie stuff, because we have all of Jozey's clothes and got a generous donation of a full girl's wardrobe from 0-3 months up to like 3 years! Not many boy's things yet. We have two of the three carseats and looked at the van we are getting this past weekend. Never wanted a minivan, but you do what you have to do :) We have heard of a lot of stuff people have said they are donating, like bouncey seats and swings. I made room in a cupboard and filled up almost an entire shelf with 4oz bottles. If the eat every 3 hours at first that will be 24 bottles a day! A friend just bought us 15 and my chiropractor gave me a bunch too. I think we have 32 now. Hoping to get enough that I dont have to wash them everyday :) Just found out that through the Similac rep at our pediatrician's office, we may be able to get up to 3 cases of formula a month for three months! I thought those kind of things depended on income, but they say it doesn't.

I've been feeling pretty good. My hips are starting to hurt really bad, but the chiropractor is keeping the pain tolerable. Not much nausea, but also not much appetite. I've gained 20lbs though!!! Very excited about that. Supposed to gain 1-1.5lb/week and I will be 20 weeks on Thursday. I had only gained 10lb by 20wks with Jozey and still managed to gain 50 that pregnancy. They say the early weight gain helps the babies the most, so I'm gonna keep trying. Going to mom's tonight for chicken and noddles and mashed potatoes. That should help :) No stretch marks yet, but my belly fels stretched to capacity already. Nothing fits right, even maternity clothes, because I'm still pretty small everywhere but my big ole' belly.

Still very nervous and scared about the rest of this pregnancy, but I know God is in control and if our family has learned anything these past couple years it is that He will have His will and way whether it is ours or not. I know He will keep us strong and see us through whatever lies ahead. Better go now. I hear the little muchkin getting out of bed.

Thanks for your continued prayers and support! Don't be afraid to bother me, call anytime. I get a little lonely during the day :)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

18 week appointment

*First and last pics are by big ole belly today (by request:)

*Second is top of Layla's head and her right hand. If you look closely, you can see that her pinky is crooked. So is Jozey's, my Grandma Saunders, and my Aunt Cheryl's. Odd family trait :)

*Third is Errol's profile.

*Fourth is proof he really is a boy :)

We waited for an hour and a half before we saw the doctor today, but the good news was worth the wait. First they did an internal ultrasound to measure my cervical length and check the positioning of Errol's ("C" the bottom baby) placenta. My cervix is still exactly the same length, 3.8cm! No shortening at all in two weeks! Also his placenta has backed away from my cervix! If you can imagine two spoons nestled together, that was how his placenta and my cervix looked last time. Kinda like this: )) Now it looked like a knife floating above the inside curve of a spoon. Kinda like this: l ) It has pulled way away. Hope that makes some sort of sense :) Next was the full ultrasound and growth measurements on each baby. All have great heartbeats and are measuring within a week of where they should be. Errol ("A" bottom) weighs 8oz, Avery ("B" to my right of Errol and up a little) is 7oz, and Layla ("C" up top and on my left all alone) is 6oz. They determine A, B, and C by going clockwise from my cervix up and around. Brains, stomachs, and umbilical cords all look perfect. The doctor said everything looks great and he anticipated me carrying them to 36 weeks and them all being around 5lbs. If that happens they should come home with or very shortly after me! We got a letter from Adam's benefit department yesterday saying the government is mandating that you be allowed up to 96 hours in the hospital after a c-section. It's very exciting to think we may all come home together. I realistically know that anything can happen, but was very glad to hear promising predictions by the doctor. We are very happy with Dr. Saldana. He explained everything we were seeing during the ultrasound and was very reassuring. He was glad that I gave in and stopped working. He said, "The Good Lord has a louder voice than me, so I'm glad you listened to Him even when you didn't want to listen to me." I didn't tell many people, but at my last appointment he wanted me to stop working and I negotiated the 8hr shifts. You see how that worked out :) I will not try to negotiate restrictions anymore. He said to just keep doing what I'm doing, which is resting a lot. I have another ultrasound in 3 weeks and they will look at their hearts then. My weight gain must be enough since they are measuring so well. I've gained 15 pounds now and worked hard for every bit. I already get full very quickly and still have a little nausea.

Tomorrow I will be 18 weeks and half-way to the doctor's goal of 36 weeks!!!!!!!

Thanks so much for the thoughts and prayers! Keep 'em coming :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Giving in to What I Know I Need to do...

I felt miserable as soon as I woke up this morning. On my way to work I felt like I heard God say, "What is the matter with you? Go home and take care of those babies!" Did I listen? Of course not. I found out that I was in charge when I got to work. I was very relieved that I would get to sit down most of the day. Well, the babies didn't seem to care. I proceeded to have a miserable day. Lots of pressure between my legs even when I was sitting. I broke down to a coworker at lunch as I realized that I needed to give in and put these babies first. I love my job, but I love these babies more. I called my boss when I got home and told her that unless something drastically changed with how i am feeling, I will not be back to work until after the babies are born. Adam has an excellent job, but we have come to rely on two incomes, so this will be a challenge to say the least. We are trusting what my body and God are telling me and know He will take care of us, but giving up my income makes us very nervous. So I'm at home now resting as much as possible. I'm probably going to be accepting help soon with meals and with Jozey. We'll see how it goes over the weekend. Lots of prayers please!

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Restrictions Begin...

This post may be a little TMI. Over the weekend I started feeling some pressure between my legs, kinda like menstrual pressure. I didn't think much about it because it didn't really hurt and I felt the same thing my last pregnancy just later. Someone at work said I should call my doctor so I did. I was surprised when they called back and said, "The dr wants to see you RIGHT NOW." I left work and went to his office at Kettering. All three babies are fine but the lowest one, Errol's, placenta is laying right on my cervix. They call this placenta previa. He said it's just a slight case right now. No bleeding or cramping which is good. My cervix is 3.8cm long and still closed, but as a precaution he told me to cut back to two 8 hour shifts a week instead of two 12s. Not sure what this means for my position at work yet, but these babies are whats important. I'm also supposed to put my feet up during my entire lunch and whenever else possible. So I'm going to make it my job to rest as much as possible when I'm not working. He said he would give me two weeks to prove I can take it easy and he will check things again at my next appointment, which is February 3. Keep the prayers coming :)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

It's Starting to Come Together

Have gotten some things together in the last couple of days. We got another crib and have another donated one coming. Also registered at Babies R Us. Some generous people are buying us our triple stroller! Found some nice dressers and a toy box on Craigs list for free...just have to convince Adam to borrow his stepdads truck and drive to Erlanger, KY to get them :) Its starting to come together.My weight gain total finally reached 10 pounds!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Random Thoughts

Nothing too new or exciting to post, just some random things I'm thinking about. I've been feeling a little worse the last couple days. I thought most of the nausea was gone, but I 've lost a few meals rather suddenly lately :) I had gained 5 pounds, but lost most of it when Adam and I had the stomach thing that has been going around. I've gained it all back and 2 more pounds though, so that brings me up to 7 pounds gained. It took me unitl 20 weeks to gain that much with Jozey and I ended up gaining 50 pounds. I'm trying to eat as much as I can, but some days I just don't feel like it. I know how important it is though. I really want to get these babies to 35 weeks and 5 pounds each. I also really want them to come home from the hospital with us or close behind at least. 35 & 5... 35 & 5... 35 & 5... I just keep thinking it as I down my Boost drinks. I have discovered the joys of Kroger Premium Mint Chip Moose Tracks ice cream though. Yum. We've eaten healthy stuff for so long, I'm discovering a whole new world. Speaking of, think I'll get a bowl right now while I finish this...
I found a stroller that I think will work for us. It's called the Triple Decker. It's a stroller frame that three car seats, toddler seats, or any combination can fit into. The website is www.doubledeckerstroller.com. Check it out if you want a laugh. It's quite a sight. The plan is to put all of the triplets in it when Adam is with me and to use one of the toddler seats for Jozey and carry a baby in a front or backpack carrier when I'm venturing out alone. Hopefully by the time the triplets are too big for me to carry comfortably, Jozey will walk agreeably. I just don't think a quad stroller would be worth the hassle of trying to manuever it.
I feel awkward talking about gifts, but lots of people have asked us what we need and it's hard remembering who you told what. I don't want 4000 diapers and no clothes :) We decided to go ahead and register at Babies R Us. We will probably go tonight. We feel kind of weird doing it since they aren't our first babies, but I guess triplets make circumstances a little different.
I've been told to organize helpers before bedrest and 4 babies under 2 becomes a reality. Our good friend, Theresa Abney, has graciously agreed to be our food organizer. She is going to make sure someone is bringing us dinner every couple of days if I'm on bedrest and for a little while after the babies come home. When it gets closer I'll ask her if she is okay with me giving out her email address or phone number if anyone wants it. I think I'll handle organizing people to help with Jozey myself. She's getting a lot more active and I don't think she would be satisfied sitting in bed with me all day :) I know I already said it, but I hate asking for help. As much as I hate it though, I know we won't be able to do this on our own. I'm trying to kep my worries and fears in check and focus on one day at a time, but we have to look ahead at least a little bit.
We think we are pretty set on names. I picked the girls and Adam picked the boy. The girls are Avery Jane and Layla Sue. The boy is Errol Clark. Haven't decided which girl is which. We may wait to see them and decide.

Thanks for your continued thoughts and prayers!

Adam, Mar, Jozey, Avery, Layla and Errol
(thought I'd try out all of our names together)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

2 girls and 1boy!!!

I went to my first appointment at Perinatal Associates today. I saw Dr. Saldana and was very happy with him. They did an ultrasound and, though they said it was probably too early to tell, we saw 2 girls and 1 boy! We are very excited. Now we can start working on names and the nursery. All of them are measuring right on schedule. Their only minor concern is that the boy's cord is attached to the placenta off center, so they have to keep an eye on it and make sure it doesn't migrate too far. I was totally wrong on which baby was which. "A" (the one closest to my cervix or lowest) is the boy, "B" and "C" are the girls. The two that were hitting and kicking each other at the last ultrasound are a boy and a girl. I was at least right about "B."

He said my cervix is still long and fully closed which is great. No work or activity restrictions unless it starts to open or shorten. Just need to sit down at least every 2 hours at work. He said to keep eating and drinking lots. He said I need 4 glasses of milk a day! I like milk but wow!

My next appointment is in 4 weeks. It will be a long ultrasound and they will examine their brains, hearts, and do lots of measurements. Thanks for your continued prayers!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Creation of our Triplets

I'll start at the beginning in case some of you don't know our story. Adam and I got married in October of 2003. In March of 2005 we decided we were ready to begin our family. We tried for a year with no success. Our regular OB/GYN suggested we go to an infertility specialist. We had a consultation with Dr. Burwinkle at Kettering Reproductive Medicine, but weren't sure if we wanted to go that route yet. After two more years and still no baby, we decided to go for it. On January 24, 2008, we did our first round of clomid and intrauterine insemination (IUI). They told us not to get our hopes up because it rarely works the first time...they were wrong! On Feb 6, 2008, we found out I was pregnant.

My sister was pregnant at the same time, which was very exciting. We loved being pregnant together and her son Owen would pull up our shirts, kiss our bellies, and say "Baby!" Her little girl was due 6 weeks before ours. On August 6, she began feeling some contractions and went to her doctor. They were unable to find the baby's heartbeat and sent her to the hospital where they discovered that her baby had died. It was an awful day. My sister and her husband were so strong. She delivered her tiny baby girl, Abigail, that evening and saw that the cord was wrapped tightly around her neck. They spent time with her and allowed us to visit with and hold her. I treasure the time I got to spend with Abby. I remember her daily and hope I always will. It may seem strange, but I like to think our little girls somehow knew each other since we were pregnant at the same time.

I had a healthy and uncomplicated pregnancy and our beautiful baby girl Jozey Dawn was born on October 14, 2008. When she was about 11 months old we decided to try for another baby. We hadn't been preventing it and went to the fertility doctor for help again. We did our IUI on October 15, 2009. Again they said not to count on the first time working...wrong again. We found out on October28 that I was pregnant again. The big shock came at our first ultrasound. Not one, not two, but three babies!!! I started crying, told them to quit counting, and pulled the sheet over my head. I was terrified (and still am some days). The doctor offered to refer us someone that did selective reduction (abortion of one or more babies) and we refused. As shocking as it was, as soon as I heard and saw their tiny hearts, I knew that it was somehow going to be okay.

I'm 13 weeks and 3 days pregnant now and everything is going well. The nausea has slowed down a lot. My chiropractor is helping with my back pain. The last ultrasound showed that all of the babies are growing right on schedule. We "graduated" from the fertility doctor last week and have our first appointment with the maternal/fetal medicine specialists (Perinatal Associates of Southwest Ohio) this Thursday.
If any of you find this boring, sorry. It's a very exciting time for us and I thought this might be the easiest way to keep everyone updated.Thanks for all of your thoughts and prayers!