Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Flashbacks~And it's not even Friday

Oh that sweet baby smell!  A few days ago, we had one of those off mornings when Marcos decided to wake up a bit before 4am, or was it 3am? I guess we can’t get 3 babies to sleep in til 6 every day.  He was restless, he cried and was a bit mad that we were trying to put him back to sleep.  Each time we tried to put him back in his crib or even on our bed, he woke up and cried. Eventually I figured out he was hungry.  Only about 2 hours later.  So there I went down the stairs to make him a bottle wondering what I could do to make him drink all his bottles during the day.

We have been having a lot of night wakings.  Thankfully, it's very rare that all 3 wake up on the same night so most of the time its not too too bad. Don't get me wrong I love sleep and those restless nights are draining. There are some occasions, like that morning, in which I treasure those moments.  It's quiet and I'm holding my big boy. I think he is huge.  And I begin to remember just how little he once was. I cuddle him.  I smell him and thank God our sweet babies are home. Mornings like this remind me how bad I wanted to hear my babies cry. I waited weeks, maybe even two months to hear their cries.  I remember the distress on their faces when they were unhappy but no sounds were heard. An intubated baby does not make noise when they cry, and when that tube comes out, its not a normal baby cry, its more like a whimper, or more like a cat, later on a bit raspy, making a mama wonder if their cries will always sound like that.  Patience, one of them many things NICU life teaches.  

I don't think I ever went back to sleep before Carlos and Sofia were up crying around 5 am. Knowing Marcos and daddy had barely settled back to sleep.  I went in their room and held both of them. Again, sweet baby smell.  The day I held 2 babies for the first time came right back to me as it was yesterday. It was Marcos and Sofia. Now, Carlos and Sofie are both making the raspberry sounds with their little mouths, raspberries, sweet baby sounds.  I held them 'til their normal wake up time and then we started our day. 

Now fast forward a couple hours after their first bottle, deep into the morning routine of unloading the dishwasher, making the trio's breakfast, breathing treatments and pumping when I start feeling the exhaustion.  As soon as big sister comes down those stairs, I hear, "Mom, I'm hungry, I want Trix... ".
Can you get me this or that...always with such urgency.  Can I watch TV?  I don't want to take a bath.  I want to play with the babies...MOM!!!

Back to my reality of getting through another day with the four kiddos. And that's when I am glad I have those moments early in the mornings.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Sunday Fun Day!

Sunday was family fun day and full of many firsts. 
We were all in the car by 9:40 am. 
I didn't pump or put my make up in in car. Two of my not so favorite things to do. 
We headed to Howarth Park in Santa Rosa, we were there early and got a great parking spot. 
Our day included the trio's first ride down the slide on big sister's lap, our first train ride as a family and sofias first swing ride. 
Sofie and Carlos also rode the merry go round while big boy Marcos decided to take a nap. 
We enjoyed our picnic and watching Isabella run through the splash pad. 
Today was also the first time I wasn't worried about a schedule. 
We are getting really good at outings, they are so strategically planned and the schedule almost happens naturally.  And if someone decides not to follow it, then oh well, they somehow get back on it.  
The only bad thing about today...the battery on my phone died and I only got a few pictures.  Oh and I can't forget the stranger who offered to hold a triplet as we were getting settled in the train.  The triplet attention we get will soon need its own post!

Friday, July 13, 2012

The bullet~Flashback Friday

Remember this?
This is how it all began...

Breast milk in a bullet

It's been almost 14 months of pumping.  When they were born, it was every 2 hours during the day, every 3 at night.  During the first 2 weeks, not once did I miss a pumping session.  I was one dedicated mama.  After that, I started sleeping through the alarm but during the day, I was a pumping queen.
One of the nice things about the NICU is having a super supportive staff.  Nurses that reminded me it was time, nurses that brought me food and snacks, no way could I have done this without them.  It's getting tougher and tougher with three mobile kiddos.  Yes, they are all over the place.  So this week I made the decision to only pump twice a day.  Lots of mixed emotions, I know its coming to an end soon...Around their birthday in May, I went down to three times a day.  I can no longer keep up with that, big sis and mostly the house and the laundry.  It will be a bitter sweet moment when that pump is put away.  Part of me will be doing cartwheels for sure.  My goal is their due date...August 28, 2012.

The trio is still on breast milk and formula.  I tried to make their foods with whole milk and it resulted in lots of spit up.  We are trying again in August.  Only about six more weeks until the anticipated due date.  I'll have to start thinking of how we will celebrate the big due date (adjusted birthday) and those homecoming dates! 
A little late...but hope you Friday the 13th was great.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Flashback Friday~PDA surgeries

June 24, 2011 was Day 38 in the NICU.
This was the day of the PDA surgery for Carlos and Sofia.
Marcos had to wait another week because he was getting over pneumonia.
About 10 days prior, Carlos was switched to the high frequency ventilator.  He was really sick.  A blood culture was taken to check for infections. Also, his x-rays began to show that his right lung was slightly elevated than his left.  Doctors were never really able to explain why or how this happened. The only explanation we got was that his right diaphragm did not function correctly.  Diaphragm paralysis.  It was something that we had to wait out and see if it resolved itself.  Luckily it did and a major surgery was avoided. Carlitos had the most difficulty getting off the ventilator. He failed extubation several times and was on the vent for about 8 weeks.  
Around the time of the surgery, Carlos was weighing around 910 grams while Sofia, my smallest, was 785 grams.  
The surgeons didn't want to operate when they were smaller.  
They were both receiving hydrocortisone to help treat their premature lungs.

Pictures from the morning of the surgery.  Scary times.  

Carlos getting prepped for surgery.

Praying with Sofia




Thursday, July 5, 2012

Choo choo wagon!

Kids playing this morning.  Moments like this make this mama super happy.

Not much time to blog...waiting for our Early Learning Institute home visitors, getting Bella ready for a play date and oh yeah...I need to brush my teeth!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Stamping with Bella

Most of my posts are about the trio but this one will focus on Big Sis.  My special big girl. She is off from school, we have survived one month, only about 6 more weeks to go. I won't lie, its been a bit rough. Taking care of the three takes a lot of physical energy, while Bella requires much of my brain. We have done our best and continue to do so.  I often feel guilty about what the micro preemie trio experience has done to her. She has handled it so well.  But I wish I could give her more of me. She still needs her mommy. I try and remind myself of this often.
I wish her comments like "No one likes me, no one is paying attention to me, not fair, you are nicer to the babies..." and on and on would not get to me as much as they do.  Sometimes I find myself feeling angry and other days just plain hurt.  I explain to her we are doing the best we can and I know she gets it but she is still only five.  Most days are okay.  I even get the "You are the best mommy in the world" and I really love it when she says "You are amazing because you take care of me and three babies." 
Love my girl, even when she makes me feel a little bit crazy.

The other day Isabella and I had a great day. During morning nap, we worked on some stamping and writing.  I am realizing summer is speeding by and activities to improve her writing have been so few.  For some reason, using the word journal is a big turn off these days. I'm having to get creative super creative. We stamped some bunnies, bears, butterflies and balloons while she wrote out the words in her best kinder (almost 1st grade) writing.  

We both had fun and the rest of the day seemed to flow a lot smoother than others. If only I could do it every day...maybe I will.  Picture time.