Sunday, November 30, 2008

This Daycare is Seriously Understaffed

Here are some pictures from the joyful ciaos I call home.Above is me and my sweet babes. I can now hold them all at the same time because there are no more oxygen tubes or monitors. It's fabulous. Below is a shot of the way the girls sleep. We found that if we cuddle them all together so they are spooning each other they sleep much longer and much more sound. (L-R Claire, Brynn and Lia.)

Despite the look on Miri's face, she really does like her sisters now. She has adjusted really well. She used to just stand back and give them the stink eye. Now she is concerned when they cry ("Mommy! Mommy!! Baby sisters cryin'!") and offers them her stuffed puppies. She gives them kisses on their foreheads and has to be reminded to be gentle not to push them too high in their swings. She can't tell them apart yet, but tries to guess.
Claire and Lia just hanging out.

Happy 2nd Birthday Little Miri

We felt that it was very appropriate that Miriam's birthday fell on Thanksgiving this year. Derek and I both agree that she is one of the greatest blessing of our lives. She has brought us more joy that we can express.Here is Miri playing with her new kitchen. Poor cousin Henry is looking on... We're still working with Miriam on the art of sharing. By the way, Kudos to Derek for staying up until 2 am the night before to put the kitchen together. Seriously, not one single part of it was assembled. The hinges weren't even attached to the doors. At least there was a 28 page instruction manual.

Strawberry flavored cupcakes with strawberry frosting and Strawberry Shortcake decoration. What more could a 2 year old want?

Here's Miri with her cousins Jake and Abi.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Going the Extra Mile

Some people are exceptional at what they do and we crossed paths with one of these people while Lia, Brynn and Claire were in the NICU. We had so many wonderful nurses, but Susan was our favorite. I met her when the triplets were just a few days old. She seemed like such a kind and nurturing person, so I asked her if she would be a primary nurse for our girls. From then on she took care of our babies several times a week. There were many times that she didn't know I was watching her and she was not only taking good care of my daughters, but speaking to them sweetly and being so gentle. I can't even explain how much comfort it gave me to know that my girls were with someone who not only took the job of caring for them seriously, but really loved them. We love Susan and hope that she will always be a part of our babies lives. She has visited us in our home since the triplets came home and we hope to see her again soon.
Below is a picture of Susan, Claire and I. I think this was the last time she took care of them before they came home. And in the other picture, the girls are wearing little sweaters that Susan MADE for them. Yes, she made them. I have no idea how. (L-R Lia, Claire, Brynn)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

My New Life

Do I dare say that I'm starting to feel like things might be under control? We've remained on our same schedule, which basically consists of feeding every 3-4 hours, then "play time" if you can call being in a bouncer or tummy time "playing" then back to sleep after an hour or two until it's time to eat again. During the night, they all go right back to bed after eating and are actually sleeping very well. Last night they slept from 11 pm to 4 am. Fabulous. I must give credit where credit is due here... Derek is super dad and not only are these girls incredibly lucky to have such a hands on, affectionate and loving daddy, but I would be in the lunie bin without him. After the first few days of the girls being home, I was pretty exhausted and my breast milk supply was diminishing. He decided to take the night shifts and since then I've turned back into a dairy cow. Derek comes and gets me when it's time for feedings, and in between time he soothes them if they wake up. He rotates them sleeping on his chest. He says he loves the night shift because he doesn't get to spend time with them during the day while he's at work. What a wonderful man I married. Feeding time is basically down to a science. I have this enourmous pillow that straps to me and allows me to breastfeed two at a time. Once I get them both to latch on, I can hold a bottle for the third baby who is next to us on the floor in a Boppy. Burping them all gets pretty interesting and they all enjoy projectile pooping the second their diapers come off. We turned our living room into a nursery. All four bedrooms are upstairs and it would be difficult, even dangerous to be hauling oxygen tanks attached to babies up and down the steep wooden stairs.
The girls are doing great. Claire is off of Oxygen and Lia is getting close to coming off. The girls are growing like weeds! Lia is over 8 pounds, Brynn is 7 1/2 and Claire is almost 7 pounds. I fall in love with each of them more every day.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

It's tough being two

I knew it would be hard on Miriam going from an only child to having three newborn sisters. She has gone from being a confident happy little girl to clingy, whiny and even naughty. It breaks my heart. I love you little Miri.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Home Sweet Home

Wednesday turned out to be quite chaotic. Both my mom and Derek's mom wanted to be here when the babies came home, which was great because we needed someone to watch Miri. Well, my mom ended up with a terrible cold and poor Carol had an awful stomach flu. We didn't have anyone to watch Miri and little kids are not welcome in the NICU for more than 15 minutes. We ended up taking Miri to her Aunt Becky's house after Beck got off work and showed up 4 hours late to pick up the girls. Also, it snowed like crazy that day. We literally had over a foot of snow at our house. We loaded the girls up and headed home. Derek had a dream back in high school when we were dating that he was driving and I was sitting in the passenger seat. He looked in the back seat and saw two car seats. I bet if he would have kept looking he would have seen two more car seats on the third row of the mini van. Sheesh. The ride home, which is usually 40 minutes was over an hour after picking up Miri and braving the slushy roads. After we got Miri in the car, she pointed to Lia and said "Whose that?" We got the babies home and before we could even get them out of their car seats, they all started to cry. I was unsuccessfully trying to feed two at a time and then I started to cry... things have calmed down quite a bit since. Bless every NICU nurses heart who helped to get these girls on a schedule. They eat every 3 hours in the day and every 4 hours at night, and have been pretty content in between. We'll just keep taking it a day at a time!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Halloween; Miriam's last chance for undivided attention from Mom and Dad.

For Halloween, Derek and I decided that we should spend some quality individual time with Miri and make sure she had some good fun before the babies came home. The night before Halloween we took Miriam to Mabey Farm, a great pumpkin patch. (Thanks for the tip Rachel.) She had way too much fun climbing on the haystacks, pulling the wagons and picking out pumpkins.
On Halloween I took Miri to Derek's work were they had an office trick-or-treat. She is very particular about WHICH candy she chooses. She mainly likes suckers and occasional smarties. I rarely let Miriam have candy, but figured Halloween is once a year and just let her go crazy. I really regretted that decision 2 days later when she threw up all over in Sacrament Meeting. Lovely. Anyway we then went and visited Miriam's great Grandma Garlick, Great Grandpa Behling and then went to my moms and Derek's moms. Halloween has never been a favorite holiday of mine, until kids came along. This was Miriam's original Halloween costume, to go along with the triplets dressed up as carrots. Miriam hated the ears and hated having her face painted, so we went to plan B. I told Derek to go to Old Navy on his lunch break and pick out a cute little warm costume there. So what did her come home with? A rat. Yes, that's right. Other people's 2 year olds are cute little fairies and princesses. Mine was a rat, but a darn cute rat she is. Below are pictures of Miriam with her great Grandma Garlick ("Grandma Great") Great Grandpa Behling and her cousins Kylee, Abi and Jake (Jenette's kids.) The cute little piglet giving my cute little rat a hug is Miri's cousin Andelun.
And here I am with two of my favorite people in the world; my sisters Julianne and Jenette.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Let the fun begin

This morning Derek and I were informed that our girls will come home on Wednesday. I have wanted them to come home so badly, but the news made me feel a little bit of panic. I can't even imagine how my crazy house is going to run. I don't function well on little sleep, I really like my house clean and love schedules. I'm going to just need to get over all of that. We had a great nurse at the NICU today. Her name is Becca and she is actually the one who resuscitated my little Lia after she was born and wasn't able to breath on her own and had to go on the Ventilator. I think she saw in my face that I'm a little nervous. People are constantly saying things to me like "I don't know how you are going to do this" and "I could never do that." While I totally understand why people say things like that, I would have said the same thing to someone in this type of a situation before I was thrown into it. But really, I just needed to hear someone say "You can do this, you will do this and you will do it well." Becca did. She told me that she has watched Derek and I since day one and that she knows we will do this wonderfully and the babies will be great. Thank you Becca! That encouragement meant the world to me. We were really surprised at how quickly this all happened. The girls have taken off with their feedings. They are now doing on demand feedings and eating tons. We thought some other things might keep them in the NICU longer, but apparently not! Lia will come home on Oxygen. She has had a bacterial infection called C-Diff (aka cooties) Anyone who touches her has to pretty much put on haz mat gear but they are going to let her come home anyway. She has had to be so patient waiting for her needs to be met while people suit up in the plastic gown and gloves. Her sweet little cry sounds like a goat. :) This past week we found out that little Lia has the exact same 2 heart issues that Claire has. She has an ASD and PDA. They are not going to treat at this point, just watch it and we will have to follow up with cardiology. They say it's random that they both have the exact same conditions, but I'm not convinced. I'm not a super smart girl, but in my mind there has to be some other sort of explanation. I took a lot of medications to get these babies and I hope that didn't negatively affect their development. Since the heart is one of the first major things to develop it seem like the strong hormone medications could still have been in my body. Luckily these conditions are treatable - if they even end up needing treatment. Only time will tell.