Saturday, December 31, 2011

Christmas 2011

Our Christmas Post.

I know its New Year's Eve, but I am so behind.  If I don't do it today, it will never get done.

No Christmas Eve party. No trip to the grandparents this year.   A big change for us.  This is our first Christmas away from family and friends since we moved to CA in July of 2010.
I guess it's time to start new traditions.  Sometimes tough for me.
But I am so glad Big Sis and I made it to church on Christmas Eve.  Realistically, what could we have done with three fussy babies.  I think they might have been a bit overstimulated and also adjusting to formula resulting in a no nap unless they are held kind of day.
We didn't even shower.  
We did have a great time opening presents. Isabella was patient.  She woke up excited to get it going.  However, the babies had to be fed, etc...we even managed to hold her off and had her eat a few bites of cereal.  I will have to remember this because I often think she lacks patience but Christmas morning was different.  She was also in a great mood, willing to hand out and open our presents. Absolutely no selfishness!! So proud of her.

After the presents, which took a very long was pretty much holding, feeding, burping and changing tons of diapers while Isabella played with her new toys. We did manage to put a ham in the oven, make some home made mac n cheese and bake a pumpkin pie.  Too bad we all had to eat at different times.
Here are some of the highlights:

The trio all dressed up:


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

One year ago...

Today is December 27, 2011.  
A year ago today, we found out we were pregnant.  
I will never forget that day.  We were both so happy.  We could not believe that pregnancy test. 
Of course, I took like 3 or 4.  Each one of them quickly showed a positive test.  I remember not wanting to get my hopes up in case I went to the doctor and was told otherwise.  As if the morning sickness I started feeling 24 hours a day was not enough confirmation for me...

How crazy life is.  A year later, I'm blogging and pumping for my 3 little angels in the next room.  Sometimes we still cannot believe it.  My husband and I look at each other and still say "Three babies".  How did this happen? 

Ironically, today my husband found a business card.  A business card for the fertility doctor we started to see before Big Sis was conceived.  The doctor who told us we had a 4% chance of conceiving on our own.  The doctor who was about to start Clomid but was sure IVF was our only hope.  The doctor we never saw again once Big Sis was conceived.

God is truly amazing. Who would have ever thought we would have four kiddos?  A few months ago, while the trio was in the NICU, my mind was always foggy.  Not once could I see the future.  Not once could I see ahead.  I had to live minute by minute, hour by hour and day by day.  In the beginning, there were days I questioned my faith.  I had my angry moments.  I didn't understand why my babies had to be born so early.  Why they had to suffer and go through so much.  But as time went by, I accepted the fact that I was not in charge.  God had a plan for us.  I began praying for strength to get through whatever God had chosen for us.  This brought me some sense of peace.  I knew God was with us.  Having the triplets born at 25 weeks gestation was hard.  It's been a long and an exhausting emotional journey.  But God truly is amazing.  

Raising triplets and a five year old is hard.  Super hard.  I have my good days and my bad days.  On those bad days, the only thing I can do is pray.  Pray for patience and strength and be thankful for the blessings God has given us.  He picked us for a reason.  

Today, I can finally think of the future.  I can see our kids growing up together surrounded by love.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Classic Square Christmas Card
Seasons greetings with personalized Christmas cards from Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

Christmas Poem for Preemie Parents

Twas the night before Christmas, and in each isolette
Little creatures were squirming and getting all set;
Machinery sat by their bedsides with care,
In hopes that good breathing skills soon would be there.

... ... Day shifters were home all snug in their beds,
As visions of overtime danced in their heads;
While preemies on ventilators, and some on CPAP,
Had just settled down for a long winter's nap...

When out in the hall there arose such a clatter,
The residents woke up to see what was the matter.
Away from the sink I flew like a jet
To make sure all was well at my baby's isolette.

Some bilirubin lights with their powerful glow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to babies below,
When, there before my wondering eyes, it would seem,
Was an oversized stroller and a medical team.
With a handful of needles with which they could stick you,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nicu.

More rapid than eagles his specialists came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
"Now, Nurses! Now, Residents! Now, Neonatologists!
On, Social Workers! On, Respiratory and Occupational Therapists!
From the front of the unit! To the end of the hall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"

Up to each baby's cribside they flew,
With the stroller full of toys, and St. Nicu too.
And then, in a twinkling, they stopped at each bed
And tucked in the babies and got them all fed.

As I looked at my baby, and was turning around,
Down our aisle St. Nicu came with a bound.
He was dressed in red scrubs, and I could instantly tell
That his clothes had an obvious hospital smell;
A bag of stuffed animals was flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
A little red pen he held tight in his teeth,
And a stethoscope encircled his neck like a wreath.

He was chubby and plump, with a few extra pounds,
And I laughed when I saw him there doing his rounds.
A turn of his clipboard and a twist of his head
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
He spoke few words, but came straight to my side,
And running down his face was a tear he had cried.

And laying his hand on the back of my head,
He gave me a nod, and slowly he said:
"Each night you come here you're aware of the danger,
But your baby is loved by the One in the manger."

Then the medical team gave a thumbs-up and smiled
And St. Nicu placed an animal next to my child.
But I heard him exclaim, as they rolled out of sight,
"Merry Christmas, tiny baby, and have a wonderful night!"

--So blessed to have my little preemies home for christmas and thinking of the baby's who can not be ♥

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Busy Days!

Life has been kind of busy.  Part of the holiday season.  Not too much time for blogging. Here are a few of our weeks highlights...excuse the randomness!

On Monday, we had two other NICU nurses visit the trio.  I love this! It really makes my day and not just because it breaks my routine of feeding, burping and diapering the three everyday, but I really feel so lucky and blessed to have them in our lives.  And...they bring presents!! Speechless! And...they offered to take care of them while Tita (Mother in Law) and I went shopping!

I usually blog while I pump, but this week, I have been reading everyone else's blog, doing online shopping and addressing and stuffing a lot of Christmas cards.  There has also been so much going on that it's hard to narrow down a topic.  Also, the more awake time the trio has the more challenging pumping becomes meaning less computer time for mom.  Sometimes there is even a baby on my lap!

Big Sis has also kept me busy.  She had her Holiday concert on Wednesday and she did GREAT!! I am so proud of her.  She was not the type to like an audience but I think that may be changing which is a big step! Tita and I were both able to attend because Nurse Jacqui came over to watch the babies.  Have I mentioned we had the BEST nurses? 

Then on Thursday, I volunteered at her holiday party for school...Let me back up on this one...I signed up to help awhile ago, but Daddy signed me up to make sugar cookies!!!!!!!!!!! Seriously, I could have killed him!  He thought he was signing me up for something easy, he thought this meant let's buy them at the store.  He didn't know they needed to be holiday shaped and unfrosted and undecorated so the kids could do this as one of their centers during the party.  Go figure!! This took up a lot of my "free" time!

What else? Oh Yeah....Elfie! We've been doing Elf on the Shelf for Bella.  It will require its own post but note to self for next year: Do it 10 or 12 days before Christmas, not the entire month!!!

And last but not least! The trio tried formula for the first time today.  All had 2 oz each.  This means they were exclusively on breast milk for a little over 7 months!!! Carlos was quite angry.  It did not help that I picked their crankiest time! Marcos...didn't even phase him. Sofia, I just went ahead and mixed.  I am so nervous! Bella did not have any formula.  I'm praying their little tummies tolerate it. I am glad I feel completely comfortable with this decision (not like I have a choice) but I am not beating myself up about it. I did the best I could and my love hate relationship with the pump will continue as long as my body lets me.

That's it for now!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Holiday Season

There is so much I want to blog about but just not enough time...Our household has been busy getting into the holiday spirit.  We started with getting our tree out and putting up all our ornaments.  When you have 3 month triplets in the house this is a huge accomplishment!! Super proud of our tree this year!!

Tita and Bella have also found some time for baking.

And while Tita and Shannon (our babysitter) stayed home with the trio, the rest of the crew went out and enjoyed some holiday lights! So excited to have this family (minus three) time together.

 One of the houses we visited even had Santa Claus, a wonderful surprise for Big Sis, and mommy! I was so proud, this is the first year she sits on his lap all by herself.  

So much more to share, but it will have to wait!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A memo to Carlitos

We had some wonderful visitors this past Tuesday! Two of our NICU nurses offered to babysit the triplets in the morning allowing mommy and Tita to do some Christmas shopping.  I was so happy to see Jen and Jacqui and so grateful for their help.  I've said it before and I will say it again....we have been blessed in so many ways and the staff at Kaiser, San Francisco hospital is one of those blessings.
Some of their nurses saw me at my worse, my lowest ever in life but the support our family received from them helped us get through many, many long days.  Their love and care for our babies helped them thrive and it is now so wonderful to share our little miracles with them in our home.

One of Carlitos primary nurse surprised me with the following memo.  So funny! This was after she saw my facebook update that morning that said:
 Another night we have 2 babies waking up only once instead of 2 x! Carlitos has not seen the memo!

Thank you Nurse Jacqui, I'll be sure to read this to him every night!!

Carlitos Sanchez
Angelica Sanchez, President & CEO (Mommy)
Sofia, Marcos, Carlos, Bella
December 12, 2011
Triplets Night Time Sleep Schedule

I would like to remind you all that it has been over six months now since Sofia, Marcos, and Carlitos were born.  Wow that is amazing and everyone has done such a great job working together to get to this point.  I would like to tell you that it has been decided by upper management that it is time for the babies to sleep almost all night through.  One feeding is acceptable but as you all know times are tough and sleep has been a commodity that is hard to find.
 I commend you all again for all of the hard work you have done to get to this point. Bella, you have been such a wonderful big girl and big sister and have helped so much!  Carlos, Marcos, and Sofia, you have all been so strong and have really gone through so much with such success!  Carlos you have been a great Dad, providing for us all.   But, we must keep on schedule so please note the change as mentioned above.  I appreciate you all and thank you in advance for adapting to this change.

PS:  Please see attached memo from earlier this month re:  Santa’s Naughty & Nice List for further motivation!

Almost Wordless Wednesday-Sisters

Bella holding Sofia for the first time...

Bella attacking Sofia for the millionth time...

Thursday, December 8, 2011

A couple of milestones

Sofie Pots discovering her hand...
Sofie pants holding her bottle.
 Actual age, 6 1/2 months....Adjusted age 3 months....not bad for an ex 25 weeker :)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Wordless Wednesday-Tummy time

Marcos getting some tummy time with big sis!

Sickness x 3!

It's been a crazy few days! Not too much time for anything...Remember this post
Well we are starting week 3 of sickness.  
I was sick.  
Dad was sick.  
Taking care of babies while having to blow your nose is super hard.  And my hands are so dry from all the hand sanitizer.  I think this is how it went...Isabella, Marcos, Carlos and Sofie, Mom, Dad, still Marcos and now Sofie and Carlos again!!
It hasn't been too too bad now that I'm finally feeling better.  I'm thankful that its only been some coughing and some wheezing because I know it can be worse, much worse on their preemie lungs.  Isabella lasted a week, the week of Thanksgiving.  Luckily she was able to go back to school and her cough is completely gone.
Marcos still has it.  My poor guy! And he is such a trooper!  Look at him during his breathing treatment!

 It totally relaxes him! Could he be having NICU flashbacks?

Sofia and Carlos had a little cough around the same time but nothing major.  I thought we actually got away with them not getting it too bad.  I was wrong.  They've been wheezing since Saturday.  Back to the doctor we all went yesterday.  Can I tell you how much work it is to get these three loaded up and out of the house? I only had a couple of hours notice.  Such a process.  Our pedi would rather be safe than sorry so she wanted to see all three again.  My heart pounds when they measure their oxygen level.  All three were in the high 90's.  Thank God.  All these doctor visits are so exhausting, physically and mentally.  My Mr. Big Guy (aka Marcos) is now on prednisolone for a few days.  All three are on pulmacort for the entire winter and for now it's albuterol every 4 hours until the wheezing and coughing is completely gone, thankfully not at night unless they need it. Umm yeah, just a little overwhelmed because now we have to work this in to the somewhat schedule we have.  All of this is resulting in very little time to do anything else.

Here is Sofie Pots also known as Sofie Pants with Tita.  She is the one that fights it the most.

 Funny how things change. Bella was almost 2 when she started having asthma symptoms.  Back then, I thought it was so much to handle.  You can read about it here. Now, it doesn't phase me too much.  As long as it's not a c-pap, si-pap, nasal canula or a tube down their throat, I'll be okay.  How things have changed, or how I have grown....that's it for now!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Flashback Friday

I found this the other day.  
Daddy never told me he filmed this until much later.
This was Day 3.
May 20, 2011.
The first time I saw it, it was hard to watch.
It took months for me not to be scared and relive those first few days of their lives.
Now, each time I see it, I'm completely amazed. 
I can't believe these are my chubby babies sleeping in the next room.
I am so thankful God has blessed us with the medical advances that made our babies thrive.  

Student of the Week

Big sis is student of the week!!!
She was required to bring a poster with pictures of her along with something for the estimate jar, she picked 19 legos!  She gets to sit next to her teacher all week long, she'll be the line leader and will be in charge of getting the milk for snack time!
Luckily she reminded me this past weekend or I would have felt horrible!
While some of the babies napped and with Tita's help, we were able to put her poster together on Sunday morning.
So glad I did not wait another minute...
There was absolutely no yelling and I am so proud of myself for letting her do most of the work.
She picked out her pictures, she picked out the colors, and she wrote all the words in her best Kinder writing.  Can you say lots of patience?? Especially now that I am used to rushing through everything I do.  Thank you babies for giving us this time!