Monday, February 27, 2012

Lunch with Daddy

Have I mentioned how smart Big Sis is?
Last week, she came up with the idea that we should visit daddy at work before Grandma and Grandpa leave and so we did.  We headed out to Skywalker Ranch on Friday afternoon...we had a nice lunch, just the three of us and she loved every minute of it. Then it was her idea to take some pictures.
 Proudly wearing her Master Yoda shirt
 Mommy and Me pictures finally!!

Mommy and Me Monday at Really, Are You Serious?
Hosted by Krystyn at Really, Are You Serious?

Friday, February 24, 2012

Flashback Friday-The Golden Gate Bridge

This past Wednesday, we headed to San Francisco once again...this time with the trio, the strollers, and a huge diaper bag that included six bottles, breast milk, formula, diapers and extra clothes.  The babies had their first follow up appointment with the NICU clinic.  More to come on the actual appointment later...
But below are some not so great pics of the Golden Gate Bridge that I took on that day. 

 As I grabbed my phone and started snapping away I realized how far I have come.  When we first moved to the North Bay, driving on that bridge was pretty exciting.  We just couldn't believe that this well known monument was less than an hour away from us.  With our pregnancy, everything changed.  Our trips to the city were no longer fun.  They were nerve wracking, intense, full of anticipation and often fear.

Then the babies were born, and leaving our three one pound babies behind in a medically fragile condition in a city that was 30 miles away from our house was the hardest thing we have ever done.  And so the commuting began.  The first three weeks, we did it together.  The hubby took time off since I couldn't drive because of the c-section.  Then, on most days, I did the trip solo.  I remember the first time I drove myself to the hospital.  I still felt like a zombie going on adrenaline. It was no longer exciting.  Yes, I was getting closer to my babies; but, those first few weeks, even couple of months I would have no idea what I would be walking into.  In the NICU, a lot can change in a matter of seconds, and there was usually about a 3 hour window from my 6 am phone call and my 9am arrival.  Being so far away from the babies resulted in a lot of anger towards this bridge.   I could not appreciate the beauty, the sunshine or much of anything.  How could I while I had three fragile and tiny babies with a tube down their throat fighting for every breath? I was in my own world. Somehow my anger brought me closer to God.  Not sure at what point in the 102 days of traveling back and forth, I decided to pray each time I crossed the bridge.  I prayed for the health of our babies, strength, patience, wisdom but most importantly I asked God to help me accept his Will, his Plan, to help me accept whatever our future may hold.   And once I did, the anger started to subdue.  So the fact that I was reaching for the camera and taking some pics brought me some sort of relief even a sense of peace.  Nine months later, I can breathe a little easier.  I'm starting to move forward and deal with lots of feelings that had to be avoided.  I was in survival mode, and survival mode for me resulted in numbness.  So many days, I felt so cold, I felt like I should feel more, I should cry more, I was somewhat detached; but I got through it.

I was feeling pretty good that morning.  I was a bit nervous about the appointment but overall calm.  Feeling pretty accomplished for getting out of the house by 8am! Then I saw the bridge and I was happy to be able to appreciate it.  And then when we pulled in to the hospital's parking garage everything changed... I think I had a mini panic attack! Just out of nowhere, I found myself where I was nine months ago. Will the flashbacks ever stop?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Bath time

When I'm on my own, bath time goes a little something like this....
 First we bathe the girls.  Sometimes Big Sis lets me take Sofie out and then she finishes by taking a shower and washing her hair.  I can't use her shampoo and conditioner in the same bath as Sofia's because it's not the baby kind.  However most times Big Sis likes to get out at the same time and we wash next time.
Then it's PJ time!

Then we undress the boys...
And get them in the bath...
Then more Pajama Time...
And some cuddles...

This looks quite peaceful here but for me, it is far from it.  I move very fast, you have to, I enjoy about 2 minutes or so with each kiddo.  When you have triplets you have to move fast.  All 4 bathed and dressed in an hour.  My back hurts each time and but feel so accomplished afterwards. 

This was about 3 weeks ago...I now have to come up with a new plan since Mr. Big Boy (aka Marcos) has decided not to stay still and kick and splash so much that I can no longer do the two at the same time.  Too scary and not safe.  I see bath seats in our future.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

9 month update

A brief update...

We have all been sick!  Big sis had pneumonia last week and spent five days with an on and off fever, terrible headache, earache, and cough.  She stayed in her room for days.  Thank God she can be entertained by watching movies. All she wanted was some cuddle time.  She was lucky to get five minutes here and there because the trio has also been sick.  Though they did not swab for RSV, the doctor is 99% sure that this is what they have.  Possible that Sofia had not fully recovered from the first time.  Awful cough, lots of wheezing, nebulizer treatments and inhalers for everyone and 2nd round of prednisolone for Sofia.  Daddy was sick, grandparents are sick and of course now it's my turn.

 I've had my moments of weakness and moments of anger.  Why do things have to be so difficult? Why do I have to administer so much medicine to my precious babies? Haven't they been through enough? Why are they sick again? When will this end?  Is this what I have to look forward each winter?  
It is the saddest thing to see a baby cough so much that they end up throwing up.  And even more sad, Carlitos's voice sounds almost gone, meaning when he cries, I can't really hear him.  That sure does not help me sleep at night. Did I mention that Marcos also has a bad case of thrush?  It's almost gone but I've been giving him medicine for over 7 days now, having to swab his cheek four times a day.

RSV has been tough.  We were warned about it and have known that it can be deadly to a micropreemie.   The only place the babies go are doctors' offices.  We wash our hands and sanitize often.  I am doing the best I can.   I really am.  Big sis is constantly washing her hands and she does understand why and everything but she is five!  It's really tough to keep her away from the babies sometimes and having three babies makes it tough.  I can't keep my eyes on her at all times. Thank God for synagis.  According to the doctor, these are mild cases.  All three sat in the high 90's, meaning no hospitalization.  There has been concern for Sofia's rapid breathing.  Her respiratory rate is often  in the 60's and she may need to see a pulmonologist.

Today, the babies had their 9 month check up.  Of course they are developmentally behind...but each time I hear it, it gets to me.  It felt like I answered "no" for every question I was asked.  So to wrap up our long appointment, our doctor said they are lagging behind even for a 4 month old.  She did have some great things to say, they are smiling and laughing and squealing and grabbing and cooing and babbling and tracking...but their gross motor skills need a lot of work.  She didn't even think they should start solids yet until I told her that Sofia watches me eat like she wants some and that Marcos really looks like he enjoys eating his medicines.  Another thing that is worrisome is that Carlitos's weight gain has reached a plateau.  We have been so lucky in the gaining weight department that I'm kind of in denial.  Sofia now weighs more than him.  It's possible we may have to fortify again to add extra calories if he doesn't gain this month.
Their weights
Carlos: 12 lbs. 14 oz
Marcos: 14 lbs. 4 oz
Sofia: 13 lbs. 6 oz

A couple of milestones
Marcos has found his feet and can roll from his back to his tummy. 
Sofia is holding her bottle more and more and starting to sit unassisted for a second or two.  She has also been cluster feeding at night, eating very frequently from 6pm to 9pm, taking about 12 or 13 oz in small increments during those hours.  Tough on mama but she has slept from 9 to 6am two nights in a  row!! Big!!! Now her brothers need to get on that schedule.

We have the trio's first follow up appointment with the NICU clinic next week and I must admit that I am a bit nervous on what they will say but I am looking forward to seeing some of the doctors that were in the delivery room when they arrived.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Flashback Friday~Mystery baby

Love this pic!
Just not sure which of the three it is...
Maybe Sofia?
NICU brain...
Picture taken 7/14/2011

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Nice day for a walk-WW

My Bella
We have a nice walking trail in front of our house.  
We also live right by the Petaluma Municipal Airport.
I have to share she did not want to go on this walk.  
She wanted to go in the triplet stroller that the babies can't even use yet.
She finally snapped out of it and had a blast.
I love clear and sunny days in January.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Flashback Friday-High Frequency Oscillation

I remember this as one of many bad days during our NICU stay.

The babies were almost 4 weeks old when both boys were not responding to high settings on a traditional ventilator. They had to be switched to high frequency oscillation vent.   Carlitos was first.  I was warned about how big and loud the equipment was.  
I was explained that he would look like he was vibrating.  I was told he could not be held while he was on it.  You could say that I was somewhat prepared; but, I think the switch was made sometime between my 5am call and my 9:30am arrival.  I walked in and my heart dropped. I saw it as a huge step backwards.  

Nurse Jackie explained it as a good thing, it would give him a break and cause less lung damage.  The high frequency ventilator would do all the work for him.  It can give small tidal volumes and extremely rapid ventilator rates.  

A couple of days later, Marcos made the switch.  He had caught pneumonia and was having lots of desats.  I remember they had mentioned it as a possibility but all of a sudden the switch was made.  I was holding Sofia when Marcos's alarms kept beeping.  When you are doing kangaroo care and it takes 2 or 3 nurses plus RT to hand you your baby, it's not like you can just put her back. So I quietly watched Marco's nurse advocate for him.  I sensed a bit of panic in her voice and even a bit of anger.  She wasn't going to wait any longer.  The doctor was called to get the okay and RT quickly moved.  Since this type of ventilator requires more space, Marcos had to be moved to a different side of the room.  My trio was no longer next to each other.

It happened so fast and with such urgency that Sofia's nurse reminded everyone that I was in the room.  I felt so helpless.  One of the nurses later apologized, not really sure for what.  An apology was not necessary at all.  They knew what was best and I was so thankful they cared for Marcos so well.  I can't really paint the picture of how things work in the NICU, how fast things happen.  But I guess you could say that there are some things the staff prefers a mother does not hear or witness. 

We were lucky.  We were blessed.  
In less than a week, the boys turned around and were back on traditional vents.  
This picture brings up so many feelings.
In our 102 NICU stay, I only saw one more baby on this type of vent.
A sweet baby girl who did not make it.

Kind of a downer post but it helps to deal with all these emotions.

I think I'll go kiss and cuddle my babies.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Happy Babies

Since the trio has been home (in late August) I haven't watched much TV.  
When I tried I would end up watching the beginning of the same show over and over and over and over again.  
A baby or two or three would cry or I would fall asleep.
I finally gave up.
Last week my friend texted me and asked me if I had been watching Gossip Girl (I know teeny bopper show!) and something finally clicked...
I've been catching up on my TV shows on Hulu while pumping or early morning feedings, meaning less time for this blog and the ones I love reading.
So here are some pics and not too many words...

  Sofia happy
 Sofia kicking her legs
 Carlitos happy...Marcos please give me a smile!
 Carlitos laughing and giggling.  The type that melts my heart. 
Marcos being camera shy, he really does smile and laugh, just not today!
 Happy Carlitos--Happy Sofita
 Macos frightened!
I have been trying really hard to get these three to nap at the same time...some days it works better than others.  Photo shoots with the three is one of MANY advantages to having a schedule!
Pictures taken on January 30, 2012
Adjusted age: 5 months 2 days
Actual age: 8 1/2 months