Archive for July, 2008

How we do it and Stay Sane…Most of the time

Monday, July 28th, 2008

We stick to a very tight schedule and are super organized. Just like I did a ton of reading and research on how to have a successful pregnancy, I also did a lot of reading on how to manage triplets. Other triplet moms are the best resource for advice. They know what works and that is why I do what I do :)

First, we have help, an absolute must!

Grandma and Uncle Nick

Second, sometimes we prop bottles …shhhhh, don’t tell.

One of the biggest lifesavers, Max’s awesome sister Jess made us 17 homemade delicious meals we take from freezer to oven! (but we have almost finished them…hint, hint).

Here is a rundown of our schedule while the babies eat every 3 hours

7:00 – 8:30 AM – Change Diapers, Feed and Playtime

8:45-10:00 AM – Nap (babies). Mom – Pump, wash bottles, laundry

10:00 – 11:30 AM – Change Diapers, Feed and Playtime

11:45AM -1:00 PM – Nap (babies). Mom-Pumps and checks e-mails and updates website, workout, shower, eat lunch

1:00 – 2:30 PM – Change Diapers, Feed and Playtime

2:45 – 4:00 PM – Nap (babies) – Grandma watches babies while Mom pumps, runs errands and does chores.

4:00-5:30 PM – Diapers, Feed and Playtime

5:45 – 7:00 PM – Nap (babies) – Mom pumps, makes formula for evening, finishes laundry, and pops dinner in oven.

7:00 – 8:30 PM – Dad home! Change Diapers, Feed and Playtime

8:45-9:30 PM – Mom and Dad wash bottles, prepare night bottles, pump and tries to get in bed by 9:30 PM.

10:00-11:15 PM- Grandma or Aunt Tracey feed the babies and put them to bed while mom and dad sleep

1:00-2:15 AM – Mom pumps while feeding one baby and then feeds two at a time with the help of boppies.

4:00 AM – Mom and Dad feed babies.

7:00 AM – We start again and dream of a 4-hour schedule!

From Bedreast to a 10K….

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008

3 Weeks post pregnancy – Looks can be deceiving

I know, I’m NOT complaining about my recovery from bedreast and the triplet pregnancy. Most of the weight I gained dropped off within days. I definitely still have a post-pregnancy pooch, but I’ll live with it. The obstacle in front of me is getting back into shape physically. I am a personal trainer…I run 10K’s for fun, the pool is for swimming laps, A relaxing day is a 30 mile bike ride , and pilates and yoga are for meditation and keeping my mind clear, working out and encouraging others is my passion.
Today, I took my dog on a 1/4 mile walk around the neighborhood and felt like I was about to die. The other day I did the same workout with Marcus in his stroller and leaned into his stroller the whole way up the hill (aka: holding the rails on a treadmill…gasp :) ) My knees hurt when I go down the stairs and my lower back aches every time I get out of bed in the morning. I am….hold your breath…completely out of shape!

I have decided to document my journey to rediscover my inner athlete on my professional blog, staymoving.blogspot.com. Now I can honestly say to my future clients, “I have been there, I know how awful it feels to have your belly jiggle while you gasp for air walking up a hill”. I have not worked out in about 8 months and have been on complete bedrest for 2.5. I may only need to lose another 10-15 pounds, but I need to put on about 10 pounds of muscle that has disappeared.

I’ll update my progress from time to time here, amongst many triplet adventures, but details of the “fun” of getting back in shape will be on my professional site for all my clients to see. I guess the pressure is on!

The classic triplet pictures

Sunday, July 20th, 2008
If you have visited many triplet blogs, you’ve seen these classic pictures before. Here is a HALF days worth of bottles. I run these through the dishwasher but all the parts need to dry and be assembled before feedings. The trio is on high calorie formula at night. We get all the bottles ready for night feedings during the early evening. During the day, the trio is on expressed breast milk. I’m barely pumping enough to keep up with them so we prepare daytime bottles as we need them.

And of course, here is a picture of the trio! Even taking this photo was no easy task. The trio each got bathed, dressed and then fed one at a time. We had to keep them bundled to stay warm until right before the shoot. I can’t believe we caught them all awake! Amazing! Josie, Mia and Marcus

My Celebratory Birth Story

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

I figured I needed to document my birth story before life got too hectic to breathe. Between pumping, feeding, washing bottles and running errands, I hardly get a chance to enjoy my coffee. Excuse typos and incorrect grammar.

I still get the chills when I think back to my hospital stay and months of bedrest. Sometimes someone will say something like “hungry?” and it sounds exactly like the lunch-lady at the hospital when she brought me my food every day. I lost all independence for a few months and not to be dramatic but that was downright traumatic for me. The hospital staff was great but the whole situation is still something I want to block from my memory. I just never felt so “unme” in my life and I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to be back. Was it worth it? Absolutely!

As you can imagine, looking back at my 32 week belly shot, I was anxious for these babies to come. I just knew my body couldn’t take one more day and somehow, I knew the babies were going to be allright. Since we knew delivery was immenant, Max spent the night at the hospital the night my water broke. I woke up and immediately felt a small “trickle”. Just to make sure, I got up and went to the bathroom…I wanted to experience that “gush” and I did! I was thrilled! I put on a touch of blush and pulled my hair back. I was not in a huge hurry; after all, I knew women who waited hours after their water broke to go to the hospital. I paged the nurse and let her know my water had broke and then finally woke up Max. Max was also very calm and we both just stood looking at each other for a few blissful minutes…until the whirlwind.

About a minute after paging the nurse, two nurses flew into my room. One was completely hysterical. She screamed at me to lay down in my bed and immediately started transferring me to another mobile bed. I honestly thought I was going to travel down to L&D in a wheelchair. The way this nurse was acting, I thought I was about to pop a baby out any second. As we were about to be wheeled out the door in a mobile bed, a resident from L&D came in and screamed “This is not an emergency C-section. Everyone calm down!” I was all smiles and hadn’t felt as at peace in months. With the resident in tow, I was wheeled away calmly to be prepped for my babies arrival.

I would have loved my doctor to have performed the c-section. I grew very attached to him through this process and wanted him to deliver my babies. Unfortunately, I had not met the doctor that was on call that night; although, she was very nice. Ironically, one of the residents performing the c-section was the same resident that worked with me at my initial hospital visit at 24 weeks. At the time, she had me worried I was going to deliver VERY EARLY but here we were, meeting again 10 weeks later.

The actual c-section was the easiest part of this whole pregnancy. The spinal did not feel awesome; especially since it took three times to find the right spot, but it was nothing compared to the pains I felt near the end of my pregnancy. Some of the experience was foggy but I felt very at ease and (maybe it was the morphine). I remember the residents asking the doctor if they shaved enough…I commented to go ahead and take off as much as they could :)

The babies arrived VERY quickly. I never felt a thing…not even any tugging or pulling. The atmosphere of the room was celebratory. Amelia came out first and everyone was cheering and saying “happy birthday beautiful!” Marcus was born the same minute as Amelia. It was his water that broke and he wanted out FAST! Both him and Amelia were immediately whisked away to another room. Josie came out one minute later. She is the only one that came out screaming (no big surprise know that I know her personality). She was washed up in the same room with me. Within minutes, they brought Amelia over to me to see and kiss. She was SO TINY! I remember thinking..”dear lord, that is how tiny a 4 lb. baby is!”. But then I saw Jossie screaming and squirming in the bassinet and she looked much bigger. I though my eyes must have been deceiving me.

Max had followed Marcus and Amelia to their room to get cleaned up. He came back in to see me and the doctors were reporting their weights. They said “Baby A, 2 lbs, 10 oz.”. I said “no , that isn’t right, she is suppose to be 4 lbs.” Then Max said “No, she was 2 lbs. 12.5 oz”. I remember thinking Max also said the wrong weight. It honestly wasn’t until I was in the recovery room that it sunk in that Amelia really was only 2+lbs. Max assured me she was doing just great despite her size so I wasn’t concerned.

I was thrilled that all my babies were doing so well. I was relieved the pregnancy was over. I was spent! Many women, even triplet moms, say they miss being pregnant. I must admit, I have yet to miss any of it.

The NICU experience was actually ok for me. I had prepared myself for the worst case scenario. I read all the books and looked at all the pictures of NICU premature babies. I was comfortable with all the IV’s and wires and knew all the things that could go wrong and when. The truth was, our babies were doing 100% better than I ever imagined and only a small fraction of the “Preemies: Life in the NICU” book ended up applying to us. We were blessed! I also give props to myself. I strictly followed all the rules and for a short time sacrificed my independence, body, and mental well-being for my precious angels. Despite it all, I tried to stay positive and happy. It has paid off more than I can imagine. Traumatic, yes! Worth it, yes!

I have to say, I wouldn’t wish this experience on anyone. At the same time, I feel extremely lucky to have triplets. Yesterday was my scheduled c-section date. I would have been 35.5 weeks. Ironically, Mia is coming home today, the day after she would have been due. In fact, Max just arrived with my precious bundle. Time for our complete family to be together at last!

My girls and our forever toddler

Daddy is Proud

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

All the estrogen obviously didn’t get to Marcus. He is all boy!

HomeComming

Sunday, July 13th, 2008

Marcus came home on Friday and his rockstar sister Josie came home one day later! We had a FUN weekend! Honestly, (I will be eating my words later) the kids are a breeze. They are on a 3-hour feeding schedule and eat about 15 minutes apart. Neither Josie or Marcus are big criers (until diaper changes and bath time). When they wake up between feeding times, they just look around in their crib and go back to sleep until we get them out. In fact, we got 9 hours of sleep last night. I am documenting this blissful time so you all can laugh in my face later :)


I know everyone is excited to come visit the babies. After all, thanks to all your thoughts and prayers, we have two of our babies home in less than two weeks. However, we have been repeatedly warned by the doctors to keep visitors to a bare minimum the first 6 weeks. After that, we need to continue to be extra cautious. We need to remember that these babies are only 35 weeks tomorrow and they are still suppose to be growing inside my belly. Their immune systems are not fully developed and if they contract something as simple as a cold, they will be back in the hospital immediately. We know that NONE of us want to see the hospital EVER again. We promise we will welcome visitors to see the babies as soon as we are out of the danger zone.

Our tiny Mia is still at the special care nursery but she is making big strides. She has been regulating her temp great and has moved to an open crib. She still has trouble taking all her feedings by bottle due to her small size. We expect her to come home in another week or so. Till then, mommy, daddy and grandma will be making lots of trips to see our precious angel. Honestly, she probably loves the one on one time she is getting. This is something her brother and sister have yet to recieve.

A move, another move, and one more soon….

Thursday, July 10th, 2008

Again, things happen very fast in the NICU. On Monday, our babies were moved to a different hospital. Since they are doing so well and the UNC NICU is very crowded, they were moved to a step down “special care nursery” at Rex hospital. We were a little hesitant about the move since we love the nurses at UNC but Rex is very nice. The nursery is new and cozy. We have our own private room and the chairs are very comfy. We do miss the people at UNC but Rex is still a great place to be.

Another move is in the future. We have bought a house and close at the end of July. Just because life wasn’t hectic enough for us… If anyone wants to help us out, this is your opportunity. We will probably need lots of help unpacking and settling in. We will let you know the exact dates soon.

Finally, Marcus may be on the move soon. Don’t be surprised if you see pictures of him at home very soon:)

Cute pictures of the day…MIA! Mia is a SGA baby, meaning she is very small for her gestational age. At just under 3 lbs, she is teensy tiny for a 34 week baby. However, developmentally, she is very similiar to both Marcus and Josie. You don’t often see 2+ pound babies in clothes but here she is. Our precious serious baby girl.



Despite the fact she has gained the most weight since birth, due to Mia’s size and lack of body fat she will need to stay in the special care nursery for several more weeks. It will be hard having the other two at home and her still stuck at the hospital but we are very lucky she is a healthy and happy little peanut.

Here are a few cute shots of Josie and Marcus. These two were constantly on top of each other and battling it out in my belly. Now they look like best friends :)



Mom update: I can fit in my wedding rings again! Only 15 more pounds to lose!

Just a few more pictures….

Saturday, July 5th, 2008


I cannot believe the changes that take place every day in the NICU! Today Marcus was in an open crib when we arrived! This is the last “house” they live in before they go home. Marcus still has things to learn though…like eating from his bottle. We expect it to be a few more weeks before he’s ready to leave the NICU. Josie and Mia both moved into isolettes. Also, Josie now gets to wear clothes and try to regulate her own temp. Mia still needs to gain some weight before she can graduate to clothes. Here are the cute pics for today.

I think Marcus has Max’s eyes…don’t you!


Max is holding Josie up to her sister Mia. Poor Mia, Josie stole a significant amount of the food in utero also.
I must give mad props to Max! He is the most talented dad ever! The NICU staff wants to hire him! He changes diapers, puts the babies and their wires back into their complicated houses, feeds one baby while shushing the other to sleep…the list goes on and on. He is teaching me how to parent at this point! What a wonderful man!
Finally, our girls have some signature poses. Josie, the rockstar that she is, loves to wave at people. Here she is waving to Uncle Nick on her second day of life.

Amelia is my little diva. She always looks like she’s sunbathing with one foot propped up on her bed. She also always has her hands tucked under her chin. How precious is she!

I know I need to write about my whole birth story. It was a really funny story and I can’t wait to tell everyone about it. As soon as I can detach myself from the pump for any length of time, I will share. It involves some crazy nurse and a very excited mom!

4 Days Old – Only Good News to Share!

Thursday, July 3rd, 2008

Today is dedicated to our little boy Marcus who has graduated to clothes! He is at a good weight and appears to maintains his body temperature just fine. The nurses decided his bed warmer could be turned off and he could wear clothes and be swaddled to say warm. Yay!

Now we just need to get Marcus to reliably eat from a bottle rather than relying on his feeding tube. He has been the laziest with the suck, swallow, breathe benchmark. Meanwhile, little Mia eats her bottle like a champ. She can usually finish her entire bottle without any need for the feeding tube. Josie is also easily picking up on bottle feeding.

Another exciting development…the responsibility of the trios plan of care is getting transfered to a nurse practitioner rather than an attending doctor. This is great news because only babies who are thriving in the NICU without any apparent problems are transfered to nurse practitioners! Finally, there is a good chance IV’s will be removed in the next couple days! This means the only tubes and wires will be basic monitoring and their feeding tube. The IV’s are the most intrusive so we cannot wait to get those taken out!

People have been asking about my favorite topic, my lovely weight gain and loss. I gained a whopping 65 pounds by the end of the pregnancy. Today at 4 days post-op, I have lost 30 pounds. This is all water, baby, placenta, etc. ..pretty amazing! I’m starting to see my old face emerge from the marshmallow. My feet on the other hand look similiar to Shrek’s. Lovely.

2 Days Old

Tuesday, July 1st, 2008

The kiddos are doing great! They had blood work taken yesterday and all their labs came back fine. Mia has a little jaudice so she is in the “tanning bed” today. Marcus and Josie’s levels are borderline high so they may have to tan tomorrow.

This is a picture of kangaroo care. Each day mom and dad are encouraged to hold each baby skin to skin for 30 minutes. Studies show this is beneficial for the babies! Obviously Max and I love it. This is Mia and I doing kangaroo care yesterday. She is super tiny I know but I assure you, she is just as strong and healthy as Marcus and Josie.


Here is our big man Marcus with Max.

The nurses love to dress the babies up as much as they can. Here is Josie looking beautiful in her bow.
A lot of people are asking us when the babies are going to come home. Unfortunately we have no way of knowing this for sure. All the babies are doing wonderful and often babies get to come home by 36-37 weeks gestation. This would mean 3-4 weeks in the NICU. BUT, every baby is different so it is possible they may come home sooner or later than this. They are in separate warming cribs now. The next step will be moving to isolates. From there they will go to open cribs before coming home. If they are able to go to open cribs at the same time, they can be co-bedded.

In the next couple days we will see if they have any A’s and B’s (apnea and bradycardia) and see how their jaundice does. It is one day at a time from here on out. We are having a blast and couldn’t be happier.