Lilypie Third Birthday tickers

Lilypie Third Birthday tickers

Friday, August 28, 2009

Baby Bunny- Milagro

Hope and I took the babies outside to experience their first rain storm. Actually it was just sprinkling and one of the few times it was cool enough to be outside so we thought the fresh air and light would do them some good. I'm really paranoid that they will develop bowed legs from vitamin deficiency. So putting them in the acid rain on a cloudy day seemed like the perfect solution. My night nanny cancelled the night before so I wasn't thinking too clearly.

This is a perfect representation of the morning. Ms. Addy was not happy to be to put down.
Pickles is really my little pug nanny. When she hears a baby cry she sits on the floor next to them. This was the first time the babies were on the ground and she was very happy to sit next to them.

She has a lot of extra skin from losing weight so she looks like a brooding chicken when she is laying down. Notice that one baby is missing? Ms. Addy got her way and was held for the rest of the morning.
While we were sitting there all of the sudden we saw something brown moving in the pool. It was the baby bunny that lives in the bushes next to the house doggie paddling for her life. We saw her for the first time a few days earlier. I guess she wanted a drink of water and fell in. I grabbed and dogs and pulled them in the house and Hope ran and scooped her up.

The bunny was about 5 inches long and her little heart was pounding so hard. If we hadn't been out there she probably wouldn't have been able to swim much longer. I'm so glad Hope was there because she has a knack for saving animals. She has a wild turkey at home she rescued as a baby and nursed back to life after she fell in a bucket of poop and couldn't get out. Milagro the turkey was promised she would make it past Thanksgiving if she made it through the first night. That was last Thanksgiving.
Anyway, Hope dried her off and I called my neighbor who is always rescuing various critters and calling Animal Control. He is also calling the police all the time about "suspicious activity" and suspected poisons and "people of interest" but that is a whole other story. He said to put her back near her nest and her mom will take care of her. I was worried that she would fall back in the pool but he said she should have learned her lesson and if she does, it is probably better and falls out of the genetic bunny pool, so to speak.
Hope put her back on the ground and she hopped next to the fence to rest.

We looked for her nest, or actually Hope did. I was too scared of the Mama bunny to go too near the bushes.

There was more discussion about how to help the bunny should she accidentally fall in again. Hope said that in New Mexico when there have buckets of water sometimes lizards crawl in and can't get out so they put sticks in the water to help the lizards crawl back out. A big stick wouldn't work for a bunny so we rigged up our own emergency bunny exit ramp in the hopes that the bunny would try swimming to the edge.

So far so good. Hopefully she learned her lesson. The bunny is also named Milagro, Spanish for miracle.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Just call me Britney

Now that I’m not pregnant and not breastfeeding I’ve become addicted to Frappacinos and I feel like Britney Spears when she was going crazy and kept getting pictures snapped of her by paparazzi coming out of Starbucks with multiple Frappacinos. That’s me except there is no one to document the gluttony and I’m not about to shave my head. I’ve fueled my Frappacino addition plenty with all of the doctor appointments and excitement this week.

My cousin Hope from New Mexico has been here since last week and the grace and love which she bestows onto the little ones is inspiring to be around which is needed given the latest antics of three, in particular a Ms. Addy Newman.

Starting last week Addy has not been eating very well, just kind of “fake sucking” rather than really taking her bottle. And she has taken to the habit of crying whenever she is awake which can be for a stretch of a few hours. Then there is the non-stop farting. So poor little thing really is suffering from what would be considered colic and/or reflux.

Last Thursday we took all three to doctor and they changed her formula to the Cadillac of formulas (i.e., the more expensive kind) and ordered a barium swallow test for Tuesday to ensure that it is not an anatomic problem and to really see what is going on. But all three gained weight. Addy is 7 lbs and Beckett and Eloise are both right at 6 lbs. Beckett still looked a little yellow so I had to take him on Friday to check his bilirubin levels via a blood draw. I don’t think I’ve mentioned this but Beckett doesn’t really cry. He just kind of whimpers and it is the most pitiful thing you have ever heard. He does it when he gets his diaper or clothes changed and when he gets his blood drawn. Poor little wrinkly man.

His direct bili was elevated and since this has been ongoing, I had to take him to a pediatric GI doctor on Monday for further evaluation. I was in the parking lot of a hospital in Dallas when I got a call from Hope who was staying with the other two that Addy had choked, had to be suctioned out and blood-tinged foamy sputum was coming out. She was breathing and hadn’t stopped breathing but was very grunty. I turned around raced back home, dropped off Beckett (little guy didn’t even see the doctor) and took Addy to the ER.

I think she was just bored at home and faked a choking incident to get out of the house and flirt with the boys. She batted those big blue eyes at all of the ER staffed and charmed the pants off the x-ray tech when they took a chest x-ray. By the way, this entire time she never cried and gulped down her bottle. They found that her lungs had infiltrates indicating she had in fact aspirated most likely due to the reflux that all three suffer from. We now have to thicken her formula and she is back to the pudding like consistency. It is so thick that we have to shake it down in order to get it in the nipple of the bottle.

I took Addy to the pediatrician on Tuesday just as a follow up to the ER. Then home for 30 minutes and back to the hospital for the barium swallow test. I fed her a bottle of formula and barium while a radiologist and speech therapist watched the barium via a video-like x-ray. They were mighty impressed by her swallowing and saw no problems until they put her on her back and immediately saw all the formula run from her stomach to her mouth.

The end result to all of this is that all the babies suffer from reflux and they are on the maximum and optimal therapy. Hopefully they will outgrow it but in the meantime we just need to be careful to feed them upright and keep them upright for at least 30 minutes after they eat. They squirm and arch after eating and sometimes projectile spit up food so they are visibly uncomfortable. It is very sad to see but the good news is that they are gaining weight appropriately and are back on the normal growth charts.

Addy seems the most uncomfortable or maybe she is just the most vocal. Evenings are the worst. If she is not sleeping she can be inconsolable between the hours of 5-9 or 6-8. I figured out that she will stop crying for a bit if we go outside. I don’t know if it is the 100 degree heat or the noise of the pool filter that she likes. She also stops crying when sitting around without her diaper on. That gives a bit of a reprieve but also is very dangerous for the furniture.

Beckett went to the GI doctor yesterday after the failed attempt on Monday. They think that his liver is just immature which accounts for his abnormal lab but we will continue to take him every 2 weeks for lab draws to check his levels. He got his first sticker from the doctor’s office but he didn’t want me to take a picture of him wearing because he had on his sisters white cardigan and was embarrassed to be wearing girl clothes. I'm not sure how, but Beckett ends up with something pink on every day or at least he is wrapped in a pink blanket.

Below we put blue pants on him in honor of Father-Son time. We try to remember not to do the pink thing when Rich is home. Rich doesn't like it very much.

Rich can't complain about this outfit. No pink or purple in sight.

Beckett's favorite place to sleep- on his daddy's chest when his dad shaves and puts on a sports bra.
I'm obsessed with their feet.

When she is not colicky, she is the most beautiful and happy baby.

You can't see it too well in pictures but Eloise has these stunning big gray eyes. I'm investigating ways to mutate her genetics so they stay that way.

I swear, we took him the pediatric eye doctor and they said he is fine. But it was the same doctor who pushed his eyeball around using a paperclip. Hmm....

That's better...

Sometimes I think Eloise might have a complex about being the middle child. She looks like she is about to take out the other two.

Just a daily chat between siblings.

This is why we do an entire load of baby clothes and blankets every day. These pictures are of one baby (to remain anonymous) within one hour. On this particular day I think we changed this one baby maybe 4-5 times. Times 3 babies.

Hope has become a master baby feeder. She is blessed to have long and flexible arms and a creative mind to come up with multiple ways to feed more than one baby at a time.

I think her technique is based on the Hindu Goddess Durga with the multiple arms, at least that is what is looks like anyway.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Happy B-Day Bella

Sorry the babies have been receiving all of the attention. We love you!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Grandma Babysitting

My mom arrived on Sunday to stay for a few days giving Rich and I chance to go out to a nice dinner for his birthday. Happy Belated 35th Birthday! It was the first time I attempted to put on real clothes other than yoga pants and tennis shoes. Luckily the roomy sundresses are still in style and I managed to cram myself into one of those. I tried to see if I could wear my regular pants yet and stupidly the pair I picked to try were stretch white jeans. That was a HUGE mistake. I'm lucky I even got out of those things without the use of scissors. According to my friend Gigi, if a lady ever needs a little ego boost, put on a pair of tight jeans and make a trip to the local Home Depot. I may have to try that after the trauma of the white jeans fiasco. Anyway, we went to dinner and my mom stayed with all three babies. We made sure we were home for the 8 pm feeding because asking her to do that feeding alone would have been just plain cruel but may have been warranted when we found out what Grandma was up to while we were gone.

I guess this is Grandma's version of babysitting. Plop them on the couch with pacifiers in their mouth. I'm surprised she just didn't give them Benadryl for good measure. Why not turn the TV to "Rock of Love" and encourage them to select role models?

I guess she had to do that because she was exhausted from dressing them up in goofy outfits and taking pictures.

This is my little Eloise with a ribbon on her head that came from a box of chocolates.

Addy was in a jungle themed short suit with knee socks.

You can't see it but Beckett is wearing a dress with rocking horses on it.

Eloise had her pants pulled up past her chest...

And apparently a 6 lbs baby smells so bad it makes her gag and become so incapacitated she can't even change diapers.

"Just kidding Grandma. We love and miss you. We won't tell Mom that you gave us gum and soda pop." -Adeline

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Happy Birthday- Day Zero

Happy Birthday to our little ones. Wednesday they were the equivalent of 40 weeks gestation so now they are officially full term. They start measuring things like developmental milestone based on this date not on their real birthday. In the preemie world they talk about real age and adjusted age. As of today, their real age is 9 weeks but their adjusted age is just born. Happy Birthday!

While I was still in the hospital last Thursday, Rich and Bambi took the babies to the pediatrician for their shots and a weigh-in. They have to be weighed naked and I guess it was wild with poop and pee everywhere. One of the babies peed on Rich and it ran down his leg into his shoe. The girls did fine with their shots but Beckett let out a blood-curdling scream which is really unusual because my little man rarely cries. Mini-me (Adeline) was 6 lbs and the other two are about 5 ½ lbs.

I came home from the hospital Thursday night and we were right back at the doctor visits on Friday. Beckett had to get a bilirubin level drawn Friday morning because he still is a little jaundiced. Then it was off the ophthalmologist for all three. But on the way there, the pediatrician called saying Beckett’s bili level was elevated and he had to go back to the hospital for a sonogram of his liver (no problems, just precaution). Luckily we had two cars and Rich took Beckett to the sonogram and Bambi and I stayed for the eye exam with the girls. Just a hint, if you ever have a chance to see a pediatric eye exam, don’t watch it. They dilated the eyes, put in an anesthetic, clamped their eyes open and moved their eyeballs around with a paperclip. Yes, I said paperclip. This was not a back alley operation; this is the same ophthalmologist who sees all the babies at the hospital and he has been using a sterilized paperclip for 26 years. He said it works better than any instrument to push the eyeball. I had been warned about the whole paperclip thing and been advised not to watch. Adeline’s eyes are fully developed and fine so she does not need to go back. Eloise’s eyes are not fully developed so she needs to go back in 6 weeks. We repeated this same thing with Beckett on Tuesday. His eyes are fine and he got to hang with mom dodging the other germy kids watching “Finding Nemo” in the waiting room for 1 ½ hours so he didn’t mind it so much.

The babies had a hard adjustment to the formula and I’m glad I missed it. Initially they were on a cow’s milk formula for 48 hours last week and they did not do well so they were switched to a soy formula. It was a little rough for a few days because of the new formula and fever and diarrhea from the shots. They are on a new reflux medication that is supposed to be broken in half and then dissolved in their cheek. It says not to crush or swallow. Who thinks this would work for babies? The first day I thought Eloise had taken it perfectly because she was the only one that didn’t spit it out and smear it on her face. But later that day I found something in the crib that looked like a tooth and it turned out to be the pill intact. I think she was trying to trick the tooth fairy into giving her a present. I hope the tooth fairy is better to these babies than she was to me. I distinctly remember getting 2 dimes, 6 raisins, and a few rusty nails in exchange for a tooth when I was little. Anyway, now I’m wetting the pills and holding it in their cheeks until it dissolves while they scream and gum my finger in order to get them to take the medication. That’s lots of fun twice a day.

I’ve been fortunate to have lots of help because I’m still not 100%. Bambi was here until Wednesday and then I had someone here helping with the babies on Wednesday and Thursday. Rich’s mom comes to help with feedings during the “grandma hour” around 5-7. I’m not sure what kind of force is at work in the universe at this time but between 5 and 10 pm all the babies like to be held, spit their pacifiers on the floor, spit up and squawk and grunt like pigs. Normally they eat at 5, 8 and 11 pm but I decided to add in a feeding and feed at 5, 7, 9, and 11. I hate to add in another feeding and it means I’m feeding babies non-stop between 7 and 10 but I wasn’t getting anything done at that time anyway and they seem much happier with smaller quantities at that time. I’m hoping that getting more food in their bellies will help them sleep better. And by better, I mean longer so we can work on cutting out one night feeding at some point. That’s just wishful thinking now but at least I have a goal. For the last 2 nights, Addy decided that between the hours of 11 pm and 1 am she wanted to practice for a lead role in a horror movie by screaming at the top of her lungs. After 1 am, she calms down if she can sleep in the big bed with us. She hasn't been in the crib in 2 nights.

I think the trauma of Thursday night got to Rich because last night he was in bed with Beckett and I woke him up for the 11 pm feed, gave him and bottle and went into the living room and feed the girls. I went back in at midnight and the both were sleeping. I asked if he feed Beckett and he said, "No, there was something that...not right, now." What??? Then with his eyes closed he leaned over and put the bottle about 4 inches from Beckett's face like he was feeding him. What? I honestly thought someone had slipped Rich a roofie.

They are starting to do things that are milestones for babies. For example, Eloise found her hand and was staring at it the other day. She got a little crosed eyed when she poked herself in the face 20 seconds later but it was fun to watch. Beckett is the first one to figure out to suck on his hands. It is not purposeful and he moves his hands out of his mouth and gets mad. My personal photographer, I mean my mom, is coming back to visit for a few days on Sunday so I’ll have more pictures of their exponential growth but here are a few from this week.


So this is why he looks like he got into a fight with a cat and lost.
This is what our dining room looked like for a few weeks. It turned into the baby clothes closet. It is now all organized in their closet thanks to the night nanny, Miss Elizabeth. She likes projects to keep her busy so my linen closet is organized and all the baby clothes is in labeled bins according to size. Seriously, when I wake up in the morning and all my laundry is so perfectly folded it looks like it belongs on the shelf at the Gap, I'm wondering how I'll stay organized once the babies sleep through the night and I no longer have help at night.

"This is my little black dress" -Eloise

"If I pull my pants up really high, my legs will look longer." -Eloise

This is what kind of outfit Daddy puts on in middle of the night...

Or this...

Mini-Me. You could put my baby picture and Addy's pictures together and not be able to tell the difference. Oh yeah, except in all of my pictures I'm wearing blue because they thought I was a boy.

Our first walk took place last night. We could tell the babies loved it because there was very little grunting. We took another this morning this time with the pugs. Everyone did great except for Pickles the Pug who threw up and had to be carried home. Our neighbor calls the stroller "the Bentley." I knew I would get a mini-van out of this deal, but I didn't expect a Bentley.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Change of Plans, Part Deux

I’m still in the hospital but hoping to be sprung loose on Wednesday or Thursday. Rich is a total rock star taking care of the babies. He said Beckett only peed on the wall next to the changing table 2 times and keeps assuring me the house is CLEAN. It looks like I will not need surgery which is a huge relief because the surgery has potential to be disfiguring. Not like I’ve been fielding calls from Hugh Hefner to pose for Playboy but I’m still vain enough to not want to be scarred although the way I look lately you wouldn’t guess it. I always thought that my next surgery would be a tummy tuck, not a modified boob job only on one side.

They are loading me up with antibiotics and I will probably go home with a PICC line so I can get IV antibiotics on an outpatient basis.

A PICC line is a peripherally inserted central catheter. It is long, slender, small, flexible tube that is inserted into a peripheral vein, typically in the upper arm, and advanced until the catheter tip terminates in a large vein in the chest near the heart to obtain intravenous access.

When the PICC line was mentioned I told them that I didn’t want to come back to the hospital every day for the antibiotics and I could administer them myself at home. I liked that idea but no one else did. It turns out probably a home health nurse would come over once a day to administer them.

I had absolutely no idea that something like an abscess could even happen from breast feeding. It usually stems from a fairly common tissue infection called mastitis that does not fully heal. That is what happened to me. I had two bouts of mastitis and was on antibiotics but they think that I wasn’t able to totally knock out the infection because of my weakened immune system so a larger infection developed.

As I said before, I knew that something was not totally healed for a few weeks but I thought that I was just being a baby and it would be fine if I continued with heat, vitamins and pumping. But on Friday and Saturday I had a fever, developed a rash on the back of my neck and arms, achy and was getting dizzy. Of course I thought I was dehydrated and the rash was from the fever and I was achy from sitting around feeding babies all day and night. I guess I’m not a very good nurse when it comes to my own health because I was terribly mistaken.

It turned out that not only did I have an abscess but the infection became systemic and I was in the early stages of Toxic Shock Syndrome. Don’t look it up, it will scare the pants off of you. The bacteria in the abscess produced toxins that got into my bloodstream which is what made it very dangerous and why they are keeping me so long in the hospital and being so aggressive with treatment once I go home.

The worst part of all of this is so heart breaking I can barely think about it but they gave me medication to stop all milk production. The milk is a perfect medium for bacteria and although really one side is producing milk the other side still makes enough to feed the infection. I tried all my persuasive powers to convince the surgeon to let me continue to pump from the one side and he said it was non-negotiable and at this point, a life-threatening issue.

So at 11:00 this morning my babies got their first bottles of formula. Words can’t even express how devastated I am. I never envisioned something like this could happen. The ironic part of all of this is that the same day they gave me medication to dry up my milk is the exact same day the supply of surplus frozen milk ran out. How about that?

But I have to believe that something good is coming out of all of this. I just gained about 4 hours a day to provide for the babies (or “wee ones” as Bambi calls them) in other ways. By the way, trying to dry up milk “cold turkey” as they are calling it is about as much fun as sitting in a kiddie pool with a dozen blue ringed octopuses- pound for pound one of the deadliest things around- I’ve been watching a lot of Animal Planet while in the hospital.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Change of Plans..

I'm writing this from the hospital in a drug induced haze. No, you didn't accidentally click on an old post from June 9th. I'm in the hospital again but I'm not having a set of triplets this time and I'm about 50 lbs lighter.
I was admitted last night (8-1) because of an abscess in my breast. While the babies were in the NICU I had 2 bouts of mastitis and was treated with antibiotics with the last round ending about 1 week ago. I could tell something was still wrong and I still wasn't feeling great but I assumed it was just from lack of sleep and stress. Then 2 days ago I developed a fever and then yesterday I was so feverish I developed a rash. I reluctantly went to the ER on Saturday night thinking they would give me more antibiotics and I wanted to go and get it taken care of before Rich left for Detriot on Monday morning. I went reluctantly because I didn't want to leave Rich by himself with the babies. I did have bottles made up through the 8 am feeding so I thought I had it covered.
Again, change in plans. I was admitted for IV antibiotics and surgical evaluation. As it turned out, I'm getting 3 different types of antibiotics round the clock and I had a procedure done in Interventional Radiology this morning to put a drain in to drain the infection. I won't go into details but it is pretty gross and uncomfortable and I'm still feverish and of course freaked out about leaving the babies.
Rich had the babies by himself all last night and then his sister and mom came to help him today. He said he would be fine and didn't need help but he didn't even have clean bottles to use, all the baby clothes was in laundry baskets and he only had a few hours of sleep the night before so I was very worried. Also, he had never made a bottle and I had to walk him through the process which is a little complicated because of the added calories and thickener.
I'm hearing reports that he did fantastic. I think the babies are wearing mismatched outfits and there are probably burp cloths, bottles, blankets and toys all over but the babies were fed, changed and loved so that is what is important. Luckily my fairy godmother (aka night nanny) is coming tonight to give Rich a break and a few hours of sleep. She also does all the laundry and takes care of the bottles so Rich will have a fresh start in the morning.
Hopefully I'll be out of the hospital Monday or Tuesday. I feel like I've been dealing with medical problems for months now and I'm just looking forward to being home with my babies when I'm finally healthy. I can still pump milk from the other breast because as I've been told, "Each breast has a mind of their own." But for now I'm having to dump it out because it is not safe for the babies because of all of the medication and dye from the CT scans.
It is very strange to be in the hospital and not have Rich here with me but I can take care of myself. It is the babies that need him more than me now and I'm so fortunate that I have a husband who is so capable and unfazed by taking care of the babies. A few days ago, I wanted nothing more than a few hours of uninterrupted sleep. Now, I want nothing more than to be healthy so I can go back to the crazy schedule of feedings and changing and taking care of my beautiful babies. I guess be careful what you wish for!