Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Rough days and nights

We have been having some rough days and nights around here.  The babies have been sick on and off since late December, early January and its been really hard on me emotionally and physically.  Sofia never fully recovered from RSV or has gotten hit hard with virus after virus after virus.  On Saturday, I took her to the ER.  She was having projectile vomiting and it seemed as she was having a little bit of difficulty breathing.  Luckily she was not admitted.  She was observed for a few hours, had another chest x-ray, was given some nausea medication, and started her 4th round of prednisolone this year.  At first, we thought it was more tummy related.  Maybe a reaction to the bananas she had in the morning.   But basically her coughing is so bad that she has a hard time keeping her milk down.  We took her to her pediatrician today for her follow up and she found another ear infection, her 3rd or 4th one this year, antibiotics again which usually give her diarrhea.  She was swabbed for a few viruses, including whooping cough.  Her constant cough and wheeze are chronic lung disease to its fullest.  She takes so much medication on a regular basis (pulmacort, albuterol, zantac).  Today the doctor gave her a shot of steroids since she is having difficulty keeping the oral medication down.  The boys also have a cough, not as bad, but enough to be on albuterol every 4 hours during the day and enough to disturb their sleep at night.  The kiddos had started sleeping through the night.  We were blessed with about 2 weeks of it.  But we are now waking up to them coughing so much that they all need a breathing treatment.  Then of course they realize they are hungry and are a bit excited from the albuterol making those late night/early morning wakings way too long.  We visited a pulmonologist a couple of weeks ago who increased the dosage of the pulmacort hoping it would help.  It hasn't and I'm being told there is not much else that can be done.  They need to grow new lung tissue and that will happen with time.  It might take a couple of years. In the mean time this might just be the way our life is and I'm having a hard time dealing with it. It pretty much sucks and it is a constant reminder they were born 3 1/2 months too early.  The doctor tried to put things in perspective today.  She said its pretty amazing that all three can keep up their oxygen saturation because most babies with chronic lung disease struggle.  So yes we are lucky and we are blessed but sometimes I just need to let myself have a pity party and complain about how hard this is.  
Raising triplets = hard
Raising triplets who were extremely premature and a five year old = super hard
I have been having many moments of helplessness and pure exhaustion.  Moments I am not proud of, often feeling like I am failing in the mommy hood department, especially with Isabella.  Lately I have been wishing my life had a bit more normalcy that didn't include breathing treatments, doctor appointments, soo many poopie diapers and throw up. 
Until then, I'll keep reminding myself that this too shall pass.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Physical Therapy

Here is Sofia during her Physical Therapy session a couple of weeks ago....followed by Marcos.
Carlitos went first and was already napping when I finally filmed these. Hopefully I will get him next time.
video
video


Sunday, March 18, 2012

10 month update

On March 17, the babies turned 10 months (adjusted age: 6 months, 2 weeks and 4 days to be exact!! I was cuddling a baby that morning at around the time they were born (4am) just thinking about the day they were born...

Weight Check
Carlos-13 lbs. 9 oz
Marcos-14 lbs. 14 oz
Sofia-14 lbs. 4 oz

All three are smiling and laughing and are quite ticklish.  All three are thriving and all of their doctors are so happy with their progress.  We had our first developmental follow up appointment on February 25 with our NICU and it went great.  I was a bit nervous but was happy to hear all their positive comments.
I realized that they can do more than I give them credit for.  I guess that comes with the multiples territory. My forgetfulness and/or lack of individualized attention and time.
All three are reaching for things, tracking big and small objects, holding toys, starting to transfer from one hand to the other....All three can roll from their tummy to their back, and with a lot of encouragement they can roll from their back to their tummy.  It doesn't happen too often but I know that they can do it. They are still figuring out what to do with their arms and tolerating tummy time more and more each day.  Sofia is able to move her arms and legs while on her tummy.  She is very curious and wants to touch everything.  Everything is so exciting to watch.  They can be entertained for a few minutes with different toys and they are starting to sit on their own for a few seconds at a time. We have lots cooing and some babbling, they definitely let us know when they don't like something.  They are getting better at solids each day.  Sofia is definitely more alert than the boys and wants to grab everything in sight.  They are receiving physical therapy once a week and our PT is very optimistic about their development and progress.  She is happy with their muscle tone and movement so far.  As of today, she has no major concerns and is very helpful in explaining that micro preemies often have their own timeline and how they often do not follow developmental milestones in order.

Unfortunately, we have been dealing with lots of sickness since the beginning of the year and Sofia's hospitalization for RSV.  This includes lots of wheezing and coughing disturbing everyone's sleep.  We had gotten to the point where ALL three were sleeping through the night but now that awful cough seems to wake one, two sometimes all three at around 2 or 3 am.  Mommy and Daddy have been trying to juggle everything plus quite a few doctors' appointments, breathing treatments, and inhalers with little sleep.  Marcos also has a bad case of thrush that lasted way too long and Nystatin (medicine prescribed) did nothing.  Just this week we were prescribed Fluconazole and I am praying this gets rid of it for good.  Poor guy screamed each time his cheek was swabbed. Never did I know I would become such an expert in administering medicine.
Ending on a positive note...Grandma and Grandpa got the trio the triplet table and on they tried it out on their 10 month birthday!

video

We are so proud of Isabella for being such a great big sis.  She has become such a good helper and our official diaper stocker and often does her chore without being reminded!



Thursday, March 15, 2012

Yummy!

The trio started solids about two maybe three weeks ago (how time flies!).  At first, it was a bit frustrating for mama.  Carlitos was the only one who seemed to get it, and I was so surprised because out of the three, I thought he was the least ready! Marcos and Sofia just stared at me, barely opened their mouths. Our pediatrician told us to offer solids after a bottle, so I'm thinking they were too full.  After five days of trying that, I decided to offer solids before a bottle. What a difference, especially with Marcos.  Sofia was still a bit unsure.  We kept at it, just a few bites then followed by their bottle.  I am now offering solids after a bottle (but really rethinking this).  It's hit or miss! Sometimes they eat, sometimes they don't.  It has thrown off the schedule a lot because if I give too much they wont drink the next bottle, or as much of it, resulting in hungrier babies before mama is ready.  Now if it was one baby, no big deal but with three, a schedule is so helpful.  We are playing with the schedule almost every day.  Before a bottle, after a bottle....I'd like to try an hour or two after their bottle and push back the next bottle.  It's just trial and error! We'll get it soon! Does anyone have any tips for this transition?

Overall, it's gone well.  Every micro-preemie mama knows how much anxiety starting solids can bring.  The dreaded oral aversion is always in the back of my mind.  I am being very aware of the times they want it or not.  So far, Marcos is doing the best.  When we first started he would get so mad when the spoon left his mouth.  I'm thinking he wanted a flow of food like his milk.  Sofia has to be really hungry, and loves bananas.  She may have a sweet tooth! Carlitos is doing great.  I just have to catch him at the right time, in the right mood.  But excited to share that this new experience has not brought tears to anyone's eyes!

So far we have tried oatmeal, sweet potatoes, carrots, and bananas.  Next on the list are squash and avocado. 
And now for the pics of their first time eating oatmeal:









Sunday, March 11, 2012

What is in your fridge?


The trio is taking 5 or 6 bottles a day, averaging between 4 to 6 oz.  I am still pumping about 40 oz of breast milk.  It sure is getting more challenging now that I am alone with the three.  I'm already starting to see a drop in supply.  Pumping sessions have gone from eight to six to five times a day.  On really busy days, it's more like four times a day.   Each morning I fill all their bottles with 2 oz of breast milk, the rest is formula.  Sometimes we have a little bit left for the next day or to make their baby cereal or food.  I am really hoping to keep this up until they are one (adjusted), but some days, I am not sure if that will happen.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Flashback Friday~Bath time

Marcos, it's bath time!




 Daddy gave you a bath in the NICU for the first time on July 23, 2011.
Daddy was nervous because you were so little.  Good thing your primary nurse, Nuna, was there to help.
He did a great job!

Now you are much bigger and Mommy tries really hard to give you and your brother and sister a bath at least 3 x a week....

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Introducing our limo~The triplet stroller

It was a beautiful 75 degrees kinda day in Petaluma last week! I decided it was time once again to see if they were ready for the triplet stroller...and they were! We took our first walk around the block in the limo and all three stayed pretty content.  I think Big Sis complained a bit more.  Yes she wishes she could sit in the stroller.  And we only got stopped once.  Then our nice little walk abruptly came to an end because one of our dogs (Rocky) ran away! Luckily he was found, but quite and exciting afternoon.

Another reason I needed to try it out was because the grandparents are gone and I am going to have to take the trio out more than I would like to get Isabella.  So far I have managed with a double and a single but I think those days are coming to an end.


A bit more about the stroller...we got it as a gift.  It's huge!  It was tough making the straps enough small enough to fit them snugged the first time (perhaps I should have done that way ahead of time) and the basket underneath is way too small but other than that pretty easy to maneuver, at least on the street and sidewalked. We have now used it three times.  I was worried about their head control, and them getting tired but they did great! Isabella leading the way and the trio sitting in their birth order starting from the back Carlos (A), Marcos (B) and Sofia (C)!