Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Good news from the NICU

Just a quick update on the girls... they were moved from "room 2" to "room 3." For those of you who are unfamiliar with the different NICU rooms, room 1 is where you don't want the babies to ever have to be. Those babies are considered unstable and that's were babies are typically lost. Room 2 is the more urgent care, but fairly stable. In room 3 they are considered very stable and just need to grow and learn how to feed. My girls had a short stay in room 1 right after they were born and have been in room 2 until a couple of days ago. Derek and I got to the NICU for our nightly visit and saw them wheeling Claire by us in her little isolette on her way to the new room. I'm so proud of my girls! They make little steps of progress and then have small setbacks, which is very typical of preemies. For instance, little Lia was able to come out of her isolette and be in an open crib for a couple of days, but stopped maintaining an appropriate temperature and had to be put back in the isolette. She is still on 1/2 L of oxygen. Brynn and Claire are both completely of of Oxygen. Little Brynn has a small eye infection which I was assured isn't a big deal at all. They girls tolerate their feedings really well and luckily I've been able to pump loads of milk (almost twice the amount they need!) They are gaining weight. As of last night, Lia was at 4 lbs 4oz (up 5 oz from birth) Brynn was at 3lbs 15oz (up 7 oz from birth) and Claire was at 3lbs 8oz (up 4 oz from birth) They are on track to be home by their due date, which would have been November 14th. I'm hopeful that they will be home by Halloween.
Right now my life is just a constant cycle of going back and forth from the hospital (which is a 40 minute drive each way) to spend time with my girls, spending as much quality time as I can with Miriam and pumping, pumping pumping! I'm feeling SOO much better now! I haven't felt this way for months and every day gets better. My belly is very slowly but surely starting to shrink back down, even though I could still pass for 4-5 months pregnant. I've lost 30 of the 40 pounds I gained during my pregnancy and figure the last 10 will be pretty slow to come off. I am just in absolute awe of what my body was able to do in carrying and giving life to these three babies. I couldn't feel more blessed.

Derek, Miri and I with Lia. This was one of the days she was in an open crib dressed in regular preemies clothes. Even though she's now back to being in the toasty isolette in just her diaper, I'm know she'll be back out soon. And below is my mom with Claire. Claire seems so much tinier than the other two. Holding her feels like you're holding a beenie baby.

Friday, September 26, 2008

A very over due update on my incredibly adorable little preemies

First off, I just need to apologize to all of my friends and family and others whose calls/emails/texts I haven't returned. I love each of you and I'm so sorry to leave you out of the loop. I hope I haven't offended anyone. I appreciate so much your concern and prayers and I will be getting a hold of each of you soon.
So, let me introduce you to my beautiful girls. Penny, a wonderful NICU nurse took these pics.
Meet Lia, aka "baby A." She was the first born at 8:01 am. She has always been the biggest and was born weighing 3 lbs 14 oz. Despite being our biggest, initially she had the most trouble. She only scored 6/10 on her APGAR and they had to put her on a ventilator to breath for her. Fortunately, she was able to come off the vent the next day. She is now only on 1/2 L of Oxygen. She is gaining weight and doing so well. She is our furry little monkey and has fuzz covering her shoulders :)

Little Brynn, our "baby B" was born 1 minute after her sister at 8:02 weighing in at 3lbs 8 oz. She initially was doing great and scored 9/10 on her APGAR. The next day she took a turn for the worse and had to go on the Ventilator, but that didn't last long either. She was off the vent the next day and is now just on 1 L of oxygen. She has shown the most personality. One nurse described her as "feisty." She very much prefers breast feeding... something a little unusual for how young she is (usually is takes them awhile to get used to the sucking and Lia and Claire have been moderately interested) This little one just goes to town. Her little mouth opens SOO wide and she sucks like there's no tomorrow. :)

And last, our little runt Claire was born at 8:03 am. She was the tiniest weighing 3 lbs 4 oz. Even though she is our smallest, she has had the fewest problems. Apparently that's common for the smallest. They've had to fight so hard that often they are the strongest. She scored 9/10 on her APGAR and has never needed the ventilator. She is now on just 1/2 L of oxygen. I cant even express how happy and grateful that my girls are here and doing so well. If all goes as planned, they should most likely be home in about a month.

So, I'll back up a little and tell you about the craziest week of my life. Like I said in my earlier post, the news that they were coming so soon was a complete surprise. I barely slept Thursday night. I laid in my hospital bed in shock. I felt my babies moving in me just overwhelmed with what the morning would bring. It felt too soon... I had expected to carry these babies for several more weeks and knew that 32 weekers are still very premature and have the potential for serious issues.

The C-section is like a nightmare I don't even like to think about. I was terrified. I think I just really was not mentally prepared for this yet. Everything had happened so suddenly. I was shaking uncontrollably. They kept putting warm blankets on me until I was sweating. I wasn't cold, just terrified of the procedure and terrified for my babies. A C-section is so surreal. I heard them announce that they were going to start cutting and then it was a lot of pulling, tugging and ciaos. The only baby I saw was Brynn for a split second and she was the only one I heard let out a cry. After they put me back together and stitched me up, they wheeled me through the NICU to see my girls. This is all pretty fuzzy in my mind.

Over the course of the next few days I got really sick. I had lost half of my blood during the surgery and had to have a blood transfusion. My oxygen sats kept dropping down in the 70's. I'm not sure why my body wanted to stop breathing. I had some internal bleeding as well. After the blood transfusion I got really sick. I remember holding my stomach so afraid that my incision was going to rip open because I was throwing up so violently. I had an elias (which I guess is where the bowel twists and blocks after your bowels are put back in you after surgery- not sure if that's the correct spelling either) which was tons of fun too. Every nurse or doctor that would check my abdomen would gasp and say something like "I've never seen bruising like that" or "What happened to you?" Even my doctor and the resident who did the c-section seemed so puzzled as to why my bruising is so terrible. It covers my whole abdomen, wraps around my back and goes down the side of my thighs. Needless to say, those first 3 days of my babies lives were a nightmarish blur, but little by little I started getting better. I am a world better know and just so incredibly grateful that my girls are doing so well. They are so sweet, so adorable and I can't even express how much I love these three little tiny people.
I have more pictures to post later, so stay tuned!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Am I dreaming?

Today was a crazy day. A random doctor came in at 5:00 am, woke me up and told me that depending on the results of my 24 hour protein urine test, they may let me go home this afternoon. Well thanks doc, could this bit of information waited until 7:00 am? Apparently not. Dr. Sullivan came in later this morning and said that because of my consistent high blood pressure, she would like to keep me through the weekend to be monitored. Even though I would really like to go home, I felt pretty comfortable with her being overly cautious. She came again at 3:30 and told me that the 24 hr protein urine test came back and the level was dangerously high. She said that they will take the babies tomorrow morning at 7:30. I totally gave her the deer in headlights stare for who knows how long. I don't think I've even been taken so off guard. Literally 2 days ago I had no signs or pre-eclampsia. Apparently it's nothing to mess with. SOOO.... tomorrow is the triplets birthday. Wow.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Live from University Hospital

I knew this day would come, it just surprised me how quickly it crept up on me. I had a doc appointment yesterday, Tuesday. My ultrasound showed that the girls are growing and doing just fine. Lia is 3 lbs 15 oz and Claire and Brynn are both 3 lbs 8 oz. Not too shabby. My cervix has shortened quite a bit to 2.3 cm and I have started dilating and am 1.5 cm dilated and 50% effaced. My doc decided to start me on the steroid shots to help the girls lungs develop and said that it was time for me to go on full bed rest. So I stayed down all day and early this morning, about 3 am woke up with some killer contractions. I took my medication and for the hour after that I had 12 contractions. Yikes. I drove to the hospital where they admitted me for pre-term labor. Yesterday I had absolutely no sign of Toxemia. Today was a total different story: high blood pressure, swelling and protein in urine. So they are monitoring my contractions as well as Toxemia. This morning early they were talking about "if" the girls are born today, but it looks like it should at least be another few days, hopefully even weeks. This is one crazy ride.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Truth Comes Out

Disclaimer: This post is going to sound whiny... which isn't my intention at all, just wanting to make sure that I'm shedding a little light on all sides of this incredible experience I'm going through. Derek was looking at our blog yesterday and had a good point. He said that my posts are always cheery and make this pregnancy look easy, and it's not. SOOO without wanting to sound like a complainer, I'm going to share with you some of the more real and ugly parts of being pregnant with triplets. If I've made it look easy, I'm a big liar. We'll start with the nights, seeing as right now that's where I am... It's 3 am and I can't sleep. I can usually fall asleep alright around 10:30 or 11:00 pm. Roughly every 1 1/2 hours I'm up to pee. That part is sort of annoying, but really the hardest part is that it feels like a total workout to get out of bed. Honestly, I feel like I am an elderly obese woman with arthritis (and an over active bladder problem.) By 3:00 or4:00 am I'm usually awake for the day, I just can't sleep. The days are long. I take care of Miriam the best I can, but we end up watching a lot of movies- which is something I've always really limited with her. We read books and color, but it's nearly impossible for her to sit on my lap anymore. I get a lot of help with Miriam, which then makes me feel like a bum mom pawning my kid off on others. She doesn't seem to mind and has a lot of fun, I just want to be the one she is having fun with. I try and drink 100 oz of fluid per day, but I kid you not, even water gives me heartburn. Food tastes terrible, but I gag down as much protein as I can to put weight on these kiddos. Oh, and my ribs... I seriously think they might be dislocated. Ouch. My contractions are painful, like real labor, like the kind where you can't move can't breath through it type of contraction. My doc said as long as I'm not having more than 4 an hour to not worry about it. When I do have more than 4 an hour I take medication that slows down the contraction but gives me a killer headache and pretty much makes me feel like crap for about 24 hours. And then there is the emotional part... everything makes me cry. I'm such a sap! Also, I don't really go anywhere and it gets lonely and a little depressing. And I have to be honest that I'm scared to death to take care of these three little babies all at once. I think about it constantly. How in the world am I going to give all of them what they need all at the same time? I worry about Miriam being tossed to the side as well. These things are always on my mind.
Well, I could go on, but I think I've shared enough rays of sunshine for one day. Plus, I really have to go to the bathroom again. BUT before I go, let me just say that this is honestly the greatest blessing of my life. It wasn't very long ago I wondered if I'd ever be a mom, and now I've been blessed with my 4 girls. I've made it through the crucial part of my pregnancy with no complications. If the girls were born today they should be just fine and there is nothing like feeling them move inside of me all at the same time. Life is good.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

I'm starting to sound like a broken record....

My posts aren't very exciting these days.... nothing much has changed with the triplets. They are all still doing great. As far as the incubator (aka me) I have my days and I have my little breakdowns from time to time, but they pass. All I have to do is remind myself that this is temporary and the babies are great and that is usually enough to lift my spirits.
My ultrasound last Tuesday showed that the girls all continue to thrive. Thank heavens. My cervix is still unchanged. Dr. Sullivan told me "That's an amazing cervical length at this point, even for someone carrying one baby." She then went on to say something that made me laugh out loud "Your body was built to carry triplets." That comment was so ironic to me seeing as it takes a freaking miracle to GET me pregnant, but once I do I can carry a whole litter like a champ. Not much more to report.... Here's yet another belly shot. Is it seriously possible to be any more pregnant than this?