Yesterday the babies went for their 6-month check up and immunizations. This normally is crazy on a good day because they now they know when they are getting naked in a strange place it means nothing good is going to come of it. I hope they remember this lesson in the future. Anyway, they start screaming on the scale and periodically until we get back into the car maybe 1.5 hours later.
Eloise and Addy resting up before the big appointment.
So I show up with my nanny, Maria, to our appointment with the trio at 10:00 Friday morning. I made a mistake, our appointment that day was at 1:00. I normally am very good about appointments and I'm very timely even with 3 babies. But, we have 4 doctor appointments in the next 6 days and 3 of the 4 were at 10:00 so I got a little confused. They couldn't see us so we had to pile back into the car and go back home for a few hours. It normally would have just been a hassle except that Maria was supposed to leave at 1:00 and there was no way I could do this appointment by myself. She ended up staying to help thank goodness but this is a perfect example of how things can go downhill very quickly.
We had a couple of hours at home so I decided to give them rice cereal in their bottles in place of the thickener for the first time. I figured we were going to the doctor later that day so if anyone had any reaction, we would be in the perfect place.
I had talked to the speech therapist at the hospital about the proportion of formula to cereal in order to make it the same consistency of the thickener they are used to. I had to grind the cereal in a coffee grinder making it similar to fine flour. Then add 1 1/2 teaspoons of cereal to 1 oz of formula. Simple.
Eloise and Beckett waiting for their bottle. (BTW, my house is not filled with embroidered pug pillows- these are the only two- I promise) I don't know why I thought this picture was so funny.
These kids are scheduled and at 11:30 they are ready to eat. I made up the bottles according to the recipe from the hospital and then something terrible happened. It turned the consistency of pudding and then all the babies started to scream. Didn't I know it was 11:31? It was so thick I couldn't even shake it down into the nipple. More screaming.
I had more bottles in the fridge but it was going to take several minutes to warm them. So I pulled the middle air contraption thing out of the bottles (Dr. Browns bottles with too many parts). More screaming. Then I put nipples on the bottles with a bigger cut and let them have at it to see what they could do.
Turns out, it worked. And the babies were so full they looked like they were drunk. They had their eyes rolled back and tongues hanging out drooling when they were done. In the meantime, I called another triplets mom, Amy-Jo, who I know uses the rice cereal as well to see what the real proportion of formula to rice should be. Turns out it is different for different brands.
We are still experimenting with it and they've had rice 4 times now with no problems. And it seems to hold them longer between feedings.
After the cereal fiasco we packed up to go back to the pediatrician.
Once they were naked and on the scale is when the hysteria started.
BECKETT 11 lbs, 11 oz
ELOISE 11 lbs, 2 oz
ADELINE 12 lbs
So my big girl took over in the weight category. I thought she would. She is solid little rock and has been eating a ton. She particulary likes to try and eat her hands and gets mad when she can't fit both in her mouth at once.
The weight issue has been the biggest concern lately- well, that and not napping. According to the growth charts, all the babies are under the 5th percentile for weight meaning they are not even on the charts. Before they were measured on a preemie growth chart which only went up to a certain age. Now they are on the regular charts, well they don't even make the chart for their weight. Our pediatrician was not concerned because they are steadily gaining weight, even at an impressive rate (ELOISE). As long as they keep gaining weight at their current rate, they should catch up. The rice cereal should make a difference and she said we could start some fruits and vegetables if I wanted. Great! Now if I could just get highchairs to fit into the kitchen...
The weight of the babies is what qualified them for something called Early Childhood Intervention (ECI). This is a program through the county that comes to the house and evaluates children for any needs that they might have such as developmental, devices, or special consults to ensure that they are on track for when they start school. They came to the house the week of Thanksgiving and evaluated the trio on all sorts of measurements. Turns out they are mostly on track for where they should be for their adjusted age- meaning if they had gone to full term. They only issue is that they thought Eloise was a little behind in her "social" development because she was not terribly interested in toys. Addy was ahead of where they expected her by about one month. And Beckett was right on track except for his ability to hold up his head. Like I didn't know that already. They also sounded concerned that the babies didn't scream when I got them dressed. I guess that is another developmental milestone. I told them not to deduct points because my babies like getting dressed because they are into fashion. They babies didn't qualify for services until the weight issue but because they are so small we are going to start working with a nutritionist.
Funny thing about the ECI visit was that our pediatrician thought Eloise was ahead of the other two in her social interaction and disagreed with the ECI results. I don't know, Eloise sure can turn on the charm when she wants to so that may have something to do with it.
And my poor little Beckett. His big head is all scratched up. He mostly scratches it at night and when he wakes up he looks likes he was fighting kitty cats all night. I thought it was cradle-cap and treating with oil and a baby brush. Turns out he does have eczema. It is on his head, cheeks, and torso. I feel terrible. What I was doing to treat the cradle cap was making the eczema worse. So now we are on the right track and using only perfume free, dye free laundry detergent and no fabric softener or dryer sheets. I have to bathe him with special soap and use special lotion for his skin. From what I've heard, eczema is related to diet so after we see how these first changes work we might work on changing his formula. But only one change at a time otherwise we won't know the culprit. So tonight I put mittens on his hands before he went to sleep. We'll see if he fighting kitty cats tonight.
Besides the blood-curdling screams after the shots and lots of peeing on the doctor, everything else checked out fine. I did ask about the limited napping and she thought that since they really do sleep so much at night that maybe they just aren't tired but they do need quiet time. I do have 2 pack n'plays that I just got to separate them at nap time and today it worked great. Eloise slept 2.5 hours this afternoon and Adeline slept 2 hours this morning. Beckett didn't sleep too much today but he was running a fever from the shots and had a rough day.
They were exhausted after our appointment and surprised me and slept for a few minutes in their infant seats when we got home.
Eloise (sorry I don't know how to flip the picture around)
Beckett- the picture is a little blurry but you can see all the scratches on his head
Addy- I don't know how she does it but she rubs her feet together and kicks off her socks all day long which is why in many pictures she has on tights. This is what she looked like when we got home from the doctor in 40-50 degree weather. I still haven't found the socks.
Look at that perfect skin and the split lip (just dry skin).
Later that night. Notice how they are all still in the same clothes from that morning? I think it is a record.
As I mentioned, we have 3 more doctor visits in the next few days. I'm taking Addy to Children's to look at her hemangioma above her eye. Then Beckett and Addy are getting evaluated for the shape of their skull. I'm not sure if you can see it in pictures but their heads are not symmetrical. And then they all go and get their 3rd set of Synagis shots. Two more appointments the following week and then we are done for awhile. When am I going to have time to put up my Christmas decorations with all these appointments?