Lilypie Third Birthday tickers

Lilypie Third Birthday tickers

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

This is why I'm exhausted

This is why I'm exhausted...

Beckett and Eloise were staring at a mobile for about 40 minutes while I was trying to rock and comfort Addy. I put her down to see if that would be interesting to her. It apparently was not.

Poor little Addy, she has the worst colic. This morning she cried from 6:00 am to 9:30 am just pausing long enough to eat her bottle. I'm not kidding when I say she is either crying or sleeping. Wait, I take that back. She is quiet and looks around when I have her in the stroller. We have a single stroller that I have in the house and I push her back and forth in that while one baby is in a wrap tied to my body (usually Beckett) and then I hold Eloise. That is the only way I can spend so much time trying to comfort Addy without feeling guilty about neglecting the other two.
But she started on a new formula today that I'm hoping will help the colic, gas, crying and kicking. The good news is that she is very strong and kicks a lot so I'm hoping that she will be an excellent soccer player.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

First Purses

No, I don't think my girls are chihuahuas but they fit very nicely into their new totes from Shelia and Bob...

Much to the relief of his daddy, Beckett didn't get a bag but a beautiful robe/towel. He is a true boy and likes to be stinky and cries with anything related to getting clean such as a diaper change, clothing change or bath.

He felt much better after I promised not to give him a bath and I was just torturing him to take a picture.

These are all from
(a new business from one of my relatives.)
Thanks so much!!!

Eloise Update

Eloise came through surgery with flying colors. It turned out that she had 4 hernias (2 inguinal, not 1 like we thought) and they repaired all 4. We were worried that she was going to be very mad about not eating before the surgery and we were so wrong. She finished her last bottle of formula around 5:30 am, I gave her Pedialyte around 8:30 am and normally she would eat again at 11:00 but she couldn't have anything and surgery wasn't scheduled to start until 1:00 pm.
She was such a sweet and brave little girl. She never cried before the surgery, she just hung out with us and sucked on her pacifier.

They took her back around 12:30 and she was out of surgery by 1:30. When we walked into the recovery area we knew exactly where she was because we could hear those kitty cat screams. It was so good to hear her scream because that meant she was breathing on her own and recovered well from the anesthesia. When we got to the side of crib she was screaming and sucking down a bottle of Pedialyte at the same time. I always tell her that I want her to successful and she has to decide to cry OR eat and she can't be successful at both simultaneously. She proved me wrong.

Seeing some of the toddlers wake up from anesthesia made me so glad we did this while she is still little. It seemed so much more traumatic for them that is was for Eloise. The toddlers were inconsolable. Eloise was just hungry.

She was only in the recovery area for about an hour and then we went up to the room. I was able to carry her while they pushed the crib. For the first 2-3 hours she alternated crying and sleeping but was easily comforted. You would tell she was a little out of it and was trying to eat but kept crying and falling asleep. Basically, I held her from 2:00pm to 8:30 pm only putting her down once for 10 minutes.
Rich went back to the house around 4 pm to take care of the other two. I ran down to the cafeteria around 8:30 pm and felt so guilty in case she woke up. When I got back upstairs she was screaming her head off in the room by herself. Actually, I didn't feel too bad for Eloise but for other babies that didn't have parents there because the nurses are too busy to stay and hold the little ones all night.

This is the epigastric (little bump above the belly button) and the umbilical hernia looked like before....

And this is the after picture with the pressure dressing on her belly button. The incision is around the belly button so she will not have a visible scar. Her face and belly look swollen- probably from all the IV fluid.

She ate about every 2 hours that night so I was up pretty much all night with her. But by morning, I had my happy smiley baby back. In fact, I think they must have turned on her smile button during the surgery because she has been the happiest baby since Saturday morning just smiling and laughing all the time.

We were discharged around 9:00 am and home with the rest of the family by 10:00, just in time for the 11:00 am bottles and back into the swing of things.

While we were at the hospital I saw another mom that I had talked to earlier in the week at the surgeons office. She is a foster mom that takes in special need babies. She has 3 special need children under the age of 6 right now. One of her babies was the same age as Eloise and having one of the many needed surgeries. It really takes a very special person to give so much love and hope to these children that come from terrible circumstances and are facing a challenging future. Her courage to fight for these children was inspiring and a reminder how lucky we are to have healthy babies with a bright and happy future.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

RSV, the Flu and H1N1

As many people know, our pediatrician has recommended that we limit visitors to the house and not bring the babies into public because of the risk of catching H1N1, flu and colds, or RSV. Because the babies were preemies (born 30 weeks and 6 days) they have very immature lungs and immune system putting them at great risk for acquiring these community illnesses. If they do catch these illnesses, they will be much sicker with most likely hospitalization than a normal healthy adult or child or full term infant with potentially lifelong lung damage.
When we have people visit, we ask that anyone coming to the house have recently showered and be wearing clean clothes that they have not worn in a public place. For example, when I leave the house, I put on “outside clothes” when I leave the house then change out of these clothes when I come back home. We also have a bunch of men’s button down shirts for people to put on over their clothes when they come into the house. Your first stop after petting the pugs when you walk in is to wash and sanitize your hands.
When we have people who come off an airplane or come from a hospital or school, we ask that they shower then put on clean clothes before they come over or right when they arrive if coming off the plane. Rich does this as well every Thursday night before he even touches the babies.
If you have been sick or around anyone sick in the last 72 hours we ask that you wait a week before coming over to the house. This includes anyone who has allergies or been around someone with allergies. The request about allergies came directly from our pediatrician because she said that people may get a cold but think it is due to allergies or vice versa and this way there is no question about the etiology of the sniffles.


Respiratory syncytial (sin-SISH-shul) virus (RSV) is a very common virus. RSV usually causes mild cold-like symptoms in adults and children. But premature babies or those with lung or heart problems have a high risk of getting very sick if they catch RSV early in life. This is because premature babies do not have fully developed lungs. Also, because they were born early, they may not have received virus-fighting substances (called antibodies) from their mothers that help them fight off RSV and other viruses.
Each year, an estimated 125,000 infants in the United States are hospitalized with severe RSV, the leading cause of infant hospitalization. Severe RSV infections may cause up to 500 infants deaths annually in the United States. RSV may also cause more long-term health problems, such as asthma.

FLU- swine and otherwise
Anyone who comes in contact with the babies should have gotten a regular flu shot and the H1N1 when it is available. I know this is a concern for some people who normally do not get the flu shot but we are asking that at least this year, everyone who will be coming in contact with babies get one.

Because of the H1N1 virology in the community combined with RSV, our pediatrician has asked that I don’t go back to work at the hospital because of the risk of bringing home H1N1 to the babies. But, after clearing it with an infectious disease doctor, I can go back for a few hours a week if it helps with my mental health. (Yes, it will.)

Our babies qualified for the monthly Synergis shots which are immune boosting shots that lessen the severity of the symptoms if they were to get RSV. The pediatric pulmonologist scheduled their first shots for October 15th, the exact day of insurance approval if that gives you an indication of how serious they are about RSV.
I've heard preemie families live in fear of RSV season because of the limitations on activities. I would guess this year will be a little easier than next when they are toddlers and running around but I know it is going to be difficult. This means no trip to Austin for the marathon in February, no flying to WI for Christmas, no trips to Neiman Marcus to sit on Santa’s lap, no TX vs. OU football parties or any of things I thought we would be doing with babies in their first year. I'm disappointed that we can't do these things until after the age of two but the importance of any one of these activities pales in comparison to the importance of their health.

So all of this explains why we have not invited anyone over to see the babies and why they (not me) are in relative seclusion until April. We can still go for walks and do things outdoors which will be my lifesaver. I promise, after April I’m going to haul these little critters all over so they can see the big wonderful world that exists outside of our house.
These babies have virtually no immune system at this point and these restrictions are their only protection. Yes, they are now the weight of full term infants but their immune systems and lungs will not be caught up to a baby born at full term until they are approximately 2 years old. We, along with everyone who has given us gifts of their time, thoughts, and prayers have worked so hard and sacrificed so much to bring these babies into the world healthy and we will do everything we can to keep them that way. We appreciate everyone’s continued help to keep them growing and healthy, happy and beautiful.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Surgery for Eloise on Friday

On Friday our little Eloise is going to have surgery to repair 2 of her 3 hernias. When she was in the NICU, they identified that she has an inguinal hernia. Because of her weight, they were unable to do surgery while she was in the hospital. Upon coming home they told us if we saw it bulging out to push it back in and follow up with a surgical consult.
We never saw the hernia and neither did the pediatrician so we waited until she was a little bigger until getting a surgical consult which happened on Monday. It turned out that she has an inguinal hernia (groin), an umbilical hernia (belly button) and an epigastric hernia (above the belly button). The umbilical hernia will usually heal without surgery when she starts to walk and strengthens her stomach muscles so they are not worried about it. The inguinal hernia is fairly common and will not heal without surgery. The risk of this type of hernia in girls is that the ovary can protrude cutting off the blood supply so we decided to go ahead and get it repaired before it becomes a problem.

The timing of the surgery is critical because starting October 15th all the babies will be getting monthly shots (for 6 months) to protect against RSV and there is evidence that surgery at the same time as immunizations has an impact on the body's immune response. So our window of getting this surgery done before next spring is very narrow.

My biggest concern is that she will be under general anesthesia and therefore require a ventilator. Even though all the babies are 3 1/2 months old meaning 1 1/2 months old adjusted age, their lungs are still not the same as a 1 1/2 month old baby and will not really catch up until the babies are about 2 years old. Any insult to the lungs is very worrisome. But, we think the benefit of doing it now outweighs the risk of an decreased blood supply to her ovaries or bowels.

I think Friday morning is going to be pure torture for Eloise, not because of the surgery but because she can't eat. The surgery is scheduled for 1:00 pm, we need to be there at 11:00 am and she can't eat past 5:00 am. We are are talking about my little pig who eats every 3 hours on the dot and squeals and snorts and screams if you are 5 minutes late. She is one who eats anywhere from 6-9.5 ounces every 3 hours. She eats the amount of a 6 month old. This is not going to be good.

She will most likely spend the night on Friday and then will be discharged on Saturday morning. I'm sure she will be mad as a hornet about the whole thing. She is already mad because I have started to cut back on their 2 am feedings in an attempt to eliminate that one all together. I think this surgery will put those plans on hold for a while.

Beckett and Adeline are thanking her for putting the 2 AM feeding elimination on hold for the time being.

This will be the first time since they came home they will be sleeping without her so they were practicing (Beckett was faking it).

She has always been a tough little cookie since the day she was born so we are sure she will come through with flying colors and charm the pants off of every person in the hospital. Keep her in your thoughts on Friday!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Toaster Fire

Last week around 4:30 PM, I put a tortilla in the toaster oven to make a little hummus snack before the 5:00 bottles. I was changing diapers and all of the sudden I smelled something and realized I forgot about the tortilla. I ran into the kitchen and the tortilla was on fire in the toaster oven and the kitchen was filled with smoke. I put out the tortilla fire, threw the toaster oven and burnt tortilla outside (through an open window) and frantically hauled the babies outside. Because of their premature lungs I was freaked out about them inhaling any smoke. Luckily, my friend Renee was on her way over and she watched the babies outside in their stroller while I went back inside and opened ALL of the windows and turned on all of the ceiling fans. It smelled like I burnt about 10 bags of microwave popcorn. It was terrible.

Because of the smoke we feed and changed the babies outside. I brought the pad from the changing table outside and we set up a mini changing station on the table. As luck would have it, 2 of 3 had pooped up their clothes so I was running in and out getting clothes and didn't think to bring the poopy diapers back IN the house.

My little pug Pickles was very worried about the babies and a big help.

We did the 5:00 bottles outside and the inside of the house still smelled so I paged the pediatrician to be sure that it was okay to bring the babies back in. I'm sure she thought I was crazy but I'm so freaked out about their immature lungs that I wanted to be sure it was safe. They said as long as the SMOKE had cleared then it was fine even if it smelled. Luckily my friend, Renee, is a NICU nurse so she was such a trooper about the crazy situation and took it all in stride. Thanks for your help Renee!
Here is what the tortilla and toaster oven looked like.

The burnt oven is still in garage and I think I can salvage it if I scrub it very well.

This weekend Rich and I took the babies to a nature preserve 3 different times. I walked with the babies while Rich went running. It felt great to get out and get some exercise. I love to watch people's faces when they see the stroller and count the babies. Little kids are the best and don't have the same discretion as adults and yell things like, "Three babies!!!! Mom, did you see the 3 babies?"

This was on the trail. I thought it looked like a mini alligator and it wouldn't move. I had to maneuver my big stroller around it.

Okay, I know Rich is going to kill me for this and I didn't tell him I did this.
The pictures of the girls and their wigs was such a hit, I didn't want my bald little boy to be left out. But this is it, I promise I'm sending that hair in to Locks of Love tomorrow.



I think I should get an award

Okay, I just have to say it. I think I should get the wife of the week award and here is why...
For Mother's Day (back in May) Rich gave me a very sparkly beautiful bracelet. I told him that I think he should return it and we should get something more useful and make things with the babies easier- for example, a TV in the living room.
So last weekend he went to go buy a TV and I told him that he could get whatever, I didn't care as long as it was in the budget. He came home with a 50 inch plasma and had to get it hooked up in time for football.
Are you following this? I returned JEWELRY for a TV to watch football.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Girls Get A Wig

Remember in previous posts I had talked about getting a wig for the girls because they were losing their hair? Well, believe it not, I found an infant wig and just had to buy it. I know, I'm crazy but it was too good to pass up.





Okay, so I didn't buy a wig for the girls. Actually, it had been several months since I cut my hair and rather than just get 6 inches cut off I decided to have a few more inches cut so I could donate it to the Locks of Love organization.
Locks of Love is a public non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to
financially disadvantaged children in the United States and Canada under age 18
suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis.

The guidelines ask that you have at least 10 inches and I think they cut 11 inches. As you can see, I have lots to spare. Thanks to my Aunt Joanne for the suggestion (she knew about it because my cousin Melly donated as well). As cute as my hair looked on my girls,it will look much better on another child that needs it more.

Monday, September 14, 2009

13 Week Update

The babies are 13 weeks old today. Seriously, where has the time gone? Oh I know, diapers, bottles, diapers, bottles, washing poopy clothes, diapers...

The last of the visitors left on Sunday. My Aunt Joanne from Washington DC left on Saturday. It was very sad to see her go. I used to live with her in Washington DC when I first moved there 13 years ago so it was like old times, just with a few more wrinkles and lots more babies. My brother, Isaac, left on Sunday and somehow he managed to go the whole weekend without changing a diaper. I’m not sure how that happened. I think every time I was going to make him change his first diaper, it was a poopy mess and I didn’t want to scare him off. But he made up for it by making Banana Bread French Toast for breakfast on Sunday with homemade banana bread. He sure is going to be a catch for some lucky lady. Although we had to hold babies while eating it.

Eloise was licking her lips the whole time.

Isaac feeding Beckett (see how I have to label the bottles).

Isaac and Eloise. Isaac, does that hairstyle have a name?

The whole gang with Uncle Isaac.

As a child, Isaac was wild about his pacifier. When he went to Montessori, pacifiers were not allowed so he would sleep with his head at the bottom of his sleeping bag (inside) so he could suck on the pacifier he snuck stored in a Tupperware container. It just wasn’t any old pacifier, it was one that was broken in with just the right amount of give to the nipple and he refused a new one. If the “one” got lost we would all frantically search for it because the screaming made your ears bleed and he refused a new one. Anyway, Isaac was very concerned about the babies sucking on new pacifiers and thought they would be happier, along with lots of other babies, with ones that were already broken in. I think he is investigating this as a new business opportunity. Darn, I shouldn’t have mentioned this fantastic potentially lucrative idea in case someone steals the idea.

He already put Eloise to work on the product.

On to the babies…
Addy has been incredibly challenging. Right now she has two modes; sleeping and crying and I much prefer the former.

It is almost as if she is unable to comfort herself and is very sensitive to the environment. We do a lot of walking, rocking, and standing in front of the noise machine. She prefers the sound of rainfall with the volume turned up to 10. But when she is awake and staring at you with those big blue eyes, you forget the previous hellacious 3 hours (most of the time).

I think it would be challenging with just one fussy baby but it is incredibly challenging when there are 2 other babies that need attention. This morning was the first time that I had to let her cry herself to sleep. I was by myself and Addy had eaten and been changed and I was feeding Beckett and Eloise and then they pooped so I had to change both and Addy was screaming at the top of her lungs the whole time. It was very sad for all of us. Especially Beckett because he seems to be stressed when someone else is crying. I don’t think Eloise minds the crying, in fact, I think she sometimes laughs. She is a very happy baby as long as her tummy is full. But if she is hungry, she has the most blood curdling scream. She also sounds like a kitty cat when she cries so we affectionately call her Ms. Kitty.

And then there is Mr. Beckett. He is an old soul in a skinny little body with a large head. He fake cries or whimpers when he gets his diaper changed, probably from the smell. He is a true boy in this sense and takes after his daddy. He is my snuggliest baby. When you hold him, he curls into a little ball and falls asleep.

That is probably the hardest thing about triplets, finding the time to adequately snuggle each one. I find myself not wanting to pick them up and snuggling with them if they are sleeping in case another one wakes up and needs attention and I’ve potentially ruined a perfectly good nap for the first. The fear that two or more will have an urgent need at the same time is always in the back of your mind.

One final note, my friend and neighbor, Nanette had her beautiful baby boy on Friday. She is amazing; her son weighed the same as my three combined! Beckett is very excited there is another boy in the neighborhood so he can get away from all of the girl germs. Welcome to the world Rylan McKinley.