Monday, March 30, 2009

Pigs With Wings?!?!

Engrained in my memory more than the moment I met Jason, his proposal, our wedding day, graduation days… pretty much any day except for the births of our children, is the day we found out we were having triplets. It is so vivid in my memory and replays in slow motion. It was August, and the weather was sweltering. I was already experiencing extreme nausea, but had also experienced bleeding (later to be told it must have just been from the implementation of more than one baby). As we arrived at the doctors office, never in a million years would we have guessed the news that we were going to leave with. As the ultrasound wand focused in on my uterus, the three white sacs glared at us. I remember looking at Jason and his face was completely blank – in complete and utter shock. I remember explaining that the image must have been left over from the last ultrasound and that we better start over. Needless to say, this was not the case. The following hour is somewhat of a blur. I remember the doctor going through the risks and asking several questions. I remember several nurses congratulating us, and making a follow up appointment. As we walked out of the office, I felt numb. We sat in our car, in the parking lot, for over an hour. Sitting in silence, broken every few minutes with a question of shock – What are we going to do? This can’t be true. What about Quin? What about my health, and their health? What about my job? How could we afford this? One of Jason’s main questions was what will we drive? We decided to go to Rose’s in EGR for lunch. Our waiter probably thought we were the most dull, lifeless couple he had ever served. Besides ordering our food, I don’t recall us having a conversation. If he only knew how much life I really had growing inside of me.

That afternoon Jason disappeared into the basement for several hours. Not sure of his emotional status, I left him be. He emerged with a list, a spreadsheet of sorts. He had been researching mini-vans. Trying to figure out which would be the very best fit for us and our growing family. To most of you, this may not sound like a big deal. But, it was at that moment I knew he had already embraced the idea of having four children in carseats. You see, I have heard Jason say on more occasions than we have shoes in our closet (which is a lot!) that he would NEVER own or drive a mini-van. He has used every cliché term: Wouldn’t be caught dead, when pigs fly, when hell freezes… This is not an exaggeration, he has always been adamant about how much he despises mini-vans. One of Jason’s true loves in life is cars – right behind the love he has for his family and God! In his mind, mini-vans stand for everything that his love of cars goes against. I personally think it is a Peter Pan Syndrome, he just doesn’t want to grow up.

Well, if you see some strange guy in green tights driving a mini-van, it might very well be Jason! :) His research paid off this past weekend. We are now the owners (still can’t add proud in there) of a mini-van! I myself am not overly picky about vehicles, but can honestly say that a mini-van was not my first choice either. Quin and I drove the new mini to the mall yesterday, and I have to say I really liked it. The wide moving door and huge dip down in the back for her stroller was really nice! Isn’t it amazing how kids can change your mind about anything and everything!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Time Flies When Your're Having Fun (2 months)

Really! I’m not quite sure where the week went, but I know I have enjoyed the time that I have spent with Jason and the babies. We have been busy running to different appointments, as well as trying to get things in order around the house. I do feel like we spend an overwhelming amount of time making bottles, feeding, changing diapers and doing the dishes. In a twenty four hour period, we clean/make/give 24 bottles. We change at least that many diapers. Time for anything else? Not a whole lot, but we are trying to soak in every last minute.

The babies are very scheduled. They eat every three hours – usually around 7:00, 10:00, 1:00 and 4:00 (both am and pm). For the most part, they sleep for at least an hour in between feedings and sometimes more. In an effort to try and cement days vs. nights, we are trying to keep them more awake during the day with tummy time and direct interaction. I can honestly say that Jason and I are definitely sleep deprived! I’m not sure how this will work when Jason goes back to work. I am able to feed two babies at once between propping one on my leg and the other propped in the boppy pillow, and then Jason feeds the third. This is actually how most of our feedings work. The babies are very good at taking turns with who is the hungriest. Our new saying is: The squeaky wheel gets the first meal. We are also blessed in that they usually are not all fussy at the same time.

Each baby definitely has their own personality! Most triplet parents say that they have one that is much more laid back then the others – not us. They each have their moments at being cranky, cuddly, patient, sleepy, chatty… For the most part though, they have stuck with what they were like from the very beginning.

Ellery is usually the more quiet, alert and determined one. But, if she wants something and isn’t getting the attention she thinks she deserves, she is more than happy to let us know with a high pitched shriek. She has rolled over from back to front on a few occasions, usually to escape the closeness of her brother and sister. She can put away the most milk, in the least amount of time.
Gianna is definitely the loud mouth of the group. She isn’t afraid of letting us know when she is the least bit uncomfortable or when she needs something. When she is awake, she has a constant babble. If this continues, the other two will never get a word in edge wise. She still has her apnea monitor. They came to our house a few days ago to download the information on the monitor. We should know at the beginning of the week what the data was, and how we need to progress from there. I surely hope that we are nearing the end with the ugly black box with its complicating cords!
Easton continues to be slightly on the more whimpy side. It takes him forever to finish a bottle – both of his sisters are usually finished and burped by the time he is half way done with his bottle. He is not nearly as high maintenance as we first thought, but also does not hesitate to cry when he needs something. He is a squirmer – we aren’t sure how, but he can end up a good foot or two away from where he started when we put him in his crib. He did this in his isolette too – he would get himself off of the mattress and stuck down near the foot of the mattress and the glass side. I think Jason is secretly hoping that this is a sign of athleticism and coordination.
Quin continues to do well! We are shocked by her every day. She loves her babies and is constantly trying to hug, kiss, give high fives, pick them up… There is jealousy when we are feeding them, but other than that, she has adjusted better than expected! We are also blessed in the fact that she is a great sleeper. She usually sleeps right through the night, rarely hearing cries from the triplets’ room.
We look forward to a relaxing weekend! Hope yours is wonderful!

PS – If you subscribe to our email feed, sorry for the repeat post. I have no idea how that happened. I hope other than that mishap, the email feed has been a good option for you!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Go State!

We have really enjoyed our time getting to know our new slightly larger family now that all three babies are home. Jason took vacation days the end of last week, as well as the upcoming week. We have been working on forming our new routines and trying to figure out the best way to accomplish things. We also have a ton of doctor appointments. During the days that Jason has off, we have a total of eleven appointments between all four kids.

Last Thursday Easton and Gianna had their first appointment with the pediatrician. They are both four pounds and ten ounces. The doctor was very happy with their growth! On the day that Easton was discharged (Tues.), the nurses let me weigh Ellery and she was four pounds eight ounces. So, all three are very close in weight! Ellery has her two month check up on Tuesday, so we will see how she weighs in. On Friday Quin had her two year appointment at the same office. Her measurements always crack me up – her weight was 75% and her height was 25%. Just like the teapot – short and stout :) She is slowly starting to thin out – she usually measures close to 95% on weight. I will miss those chubby knees and pinchable thighs!

Laundry, dishes, cleaning, feeding, diapering and… BASKETBALL ruled our house this weekend! All four kids were geared up for the State game! The pictures aren't great, but here is a glimpse at our game day rituals.

Quin loves to cheer "Go State" during the games. (She also enjoys screaming Go Wings during hockey season).

Have a great week!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Easton Completes Us

On the happiness scale, yesterday was right up there with the birth of the triplets (as well as Quin’s birth). The birth of the triplets was a wonderful event, but having all three sent home with a clean bill of health was amazing. I am sure there will be times when I wouldn’t mind sending one, or more, back to the hospital (only to get some sleep of course). For now though, I am loving that all three little ones are together again - AT HOME.

I had to laugh as we drove home. Our once roomy Yukon is now a crammed mess of car seats/booster. I see a mini-van in our near future (can you see Jason cringing). As of now, the car seats occupy the bench seat in the middle and Quin’s booster is in the third row. The only way to get her in is to open the hatch. She thinks it is pretty cool back there though. There is a cup holder!

Well, we figured out who our true Drama Royalty is – Mr. Easton. The girls are pretty adept with their night routine (sleeping for two and half hours and then waking up to eat). Well, not Easton. He decided to scream for at least a few hours last night, unless he was held. Jason and I are just hoping he was trying to figure out his surroundings and will do much better tonight – we can always hope. It was worth staying up with him though – he was home!

Thanks again for all of your prayers. They were definitely answered!

Gianna's Homecoming

Here are a few pictures from Gianna's homecoming.
Easton did come home yesterday - I will post an update soon.

A kiss for Ellery.

I would love to know what Quin is whispering to Gianna.

A little tummy time for the girls.

Quin the entertainer - showing Ellery and Gianna her new duck glasses.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Hoping for Tomorrow

Our fingers are crossed that Easton will be coming home tomorrow – maybe St. Patrick’s Day can be lucky for the non-Irish. He was initially scheduled to come home yesterday (Sunday) but he didn’t drink his entire Sunday morning bottle, so his 48 hours of bottle drinking was re-started. When I called this evening they had already taken out his feeding tube. Hopefully they didn't jinx us. Only a few more feedings to go. We will be so happy to have all three babies home, together!

Gianna has transitioned home really well! She reminds us a lot of her oldest sister – somewhat sassy and not nearly as patient as Ellery, but what would life be like if all of our girls were the same. I have to say that Quin has also done remarkably well! She just loves her sisters and tries to figure out who is who. They are the first thing she talks about when she wakes up in the morning, and the last people she wants to kiss goodnight. There has been some jealousy when we are holding the babies and don’t have an extra hand for her, but we expected that and know that it is completely age appropriate. We just hope that Easton’s arrival goes as smoothly as Ellery and Gianna’s.

Hope you are all enjoying the beautiful weather! We were able to take all three girls for a walk yesterday and tonight. It is nice to get out of the house.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Two Home, and Easton To Go

We were able to bring Gianna home late this afternoon. Unfortunately, we had to bring her home on a monitor. We ran into our first case of 'depends on who discharges you'. The doctor who discharged Ellery last week thought that Gianna would only have to be on the monitor for five days after ending the caffeine. The doctor who actually discharged her today feels that babies who have been recently on caffeine should be on a home monitor for two weeks after discharge, making sure that the caffeine is out of her system and she is not having any apnea/D-SAT episodes. This means that she will be on a relatively small monitor for the next few weeks. It is a pain! If we move her more than five feet, we need to make sure we move the monitor also. The sound that the monitor makes is an extremely loud, shrill noise - which will wake the whole house if it does go off. She has not had a single episode in almost six days, so we hope this continues.

We are now hoping and praying that Easton will take off on his feedings! While I was there this afternoon, he drank about 3/4 of one of his bottle and the full amount of the second bottle. We are crossing our fingers that he will come home soon!

I will update as soon as possible, hopefully posting a few pictures of the three girls together!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Right Back Where I Started

Gianna and Easton have been moved AGAIN. They are just spreading the Sizemore’s around, wouldn’t want anyone to get too spoiled with us :) There was an influx of admissions on the neonatal floor, so they moved Gianna and Easton to an ‘overflow’ room on the fourth floor. This is the floor that I was on during my bedrest. Sometime in the past few years they have combined several patient rooms to form an extra neonatal area. Both Gianna and Easton will be here until they are discharged (knock on wood!). This room is for babies that are breathing on their own, and relatively free of alarms (due to apnea and D-SATS). The room itself is very cramped, but it is nice to feel like we are that much closer to going to home. I also look forward to catching up with some of the nurses who took care of me when I was on bedrest.

Ellery has been a dream. She is a VERY good baby (I have probably just completely jinxed myself by putting that in writing). Of the three, she seems to be the most easy going. It has been a nice introduction to the world of babies for Quin. Quin is slowly adjusting. She LOVES Ellery, and looks for her as soon as she gets home, or up from sleeping. She is constantly trying to kiss her, hug her, give her ‘up highs’ (high fives)… We are often talking with her about having nice hands and gentle touches, but she is getting better. I really think 95% of the time it is in the name of love, and the other 5% is out of frustration. It cracks me up to hear her call around the house for Ellery – she calls her E-l-l-l-lery. I just hope we can keep this positive interaction as the next two come home.

Ellery had her first pediatric appointment this morning. She has gained six ounces, and is up to three pounds and fourteen ounces. This is wonderful! A wet piece of paper towel still weighs more than she does, but at least we are gaining! The doctor was happy with her progress since she has been home and expects her to continue in this direction.

Easton continues to make gains. He has been taking a full bottle or two, but then goes back to drinking about half of the next. He is definitely doing better each day! He weighs just under four pounds three ounces.

Gianna must have been jealous of Ellery because she has stepped up her game! She has taken full bottles for close to a day and a half now. They took out her feeding tube in hopes of not having to put in another one. She is just under four pounds five ounces. She was taken off of caffeine last Friday (which helped keep her nervous system alert to help prevent D-SATS). She needs to be off of the caffeine and alarm free for at least five days before they will consider sending her home. Jason and I are guessing maybe Friday?

We are so thankful for the triplets (and Quin’s) continued progress. Now that Ellery is home and we are juggling more, it is difficult for me to get back to all of your emails and calls (not that I was on top of it before she came home). Please know that I am not ignoring you, and that Jason and I are so thankful for all your support!!! Thank you!!!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

One Home, Two To Go

Jason and I are so excited to have Ellery home. It may take some convincing for Quin to be excited though. The fact that Ellery is so small doesn’t help the matter. I’m not sure if Quin is connecting the idea that Ellery is alive, and fragile (she has a 'baby' doll that is about the same size as Ellery). She loved interacting with Ellery when she was on her lap, and tried to help with a few things. It is going to take some lessons on how to be gentle and nice before she can interact without an adult within a short arm distance away. Quin is a lover, but is a little rough. She was also not thrilled with the fact that Jason and I could not hold Ellery and help/hold her at the same time. This will be a life long lesson, I am sure! She will grow to love her. It should be interesting when Gianna and Easton come home :{ Thanks to everyone who emailed or commented with best wishes. Here are a few pictures from this evening:

Seriously - what a peanut! Yesterday we found out that they were not going to have us roll up towels to place around her. I am assuming that this is because the carseat if made for babies four pounds and up (opposed to most carseats that are made for five pounds and up).

Ellery getting some love from Quin - not sure how she feels about this though :)

Bottle Holder in training! It may take awhile, but we will get there.

Our First Love - Happy Birthday!

I can’t believe that it has been two wonderful years since Quin entered this world. We should have known what we were in for – not many first babies are born less then three hours after their water breaks, and within 45 minutes of arriving to the hospital. I feel as if I blinked and she has gone from a cuddly infant to this outgoing, sassy, determined two year old – where did that time go?!?! I have always been happy that Quin has ‘quite the personality’. She is tough, sticks up for herself and you never have to guess at how she feels or what she wants. She can make us laugh at the shake of her booty, as well as make me want to pull out my hair when I see that mischievous grin! She is such a lover though, and can’t give me a kiss without giving one to Jason as well. As I look through pictures, the memories are so vivid but the time feels like it flew by. I wish I could go back in time and relive some of those amazing moments.

I remember that I found her first birthday utterly depressing, and this one is right up there. I remember how long some of those first nights were, but how fast the days went by. I wish nothing but the world for her! I hope to see her continue to grow into a self motivated, caring and giving child. She has taught us so many wonderful lessons.

We love you Quin!!!

Late Night Prowlers

No, I am not talking about Jason and I (yet). Last night we had some late night prowlers, who we caught pink and blue handed. I went into our front room to make a phone call last night and noticed that our bushes had (what I thought was) toilet paper on them. We quickly saw the balloons, and one of the culprits a couple of houses down! What fun! Thanks to Whitney and Shari for the great decorations. Quin loved the balloons and it will make for a great homecoming for Ellery!

Ellery passed the carseat challenge with flying colors (doesn’t the word challenge make it sound fun? – Survivor here we come!). In fact, she was so content after the hour was up we left her in there until her next care time. Leave it up to Ellery to make it look easy.

Also, many of you asked about the triplets hats from the last set of pictures. The hospital has amazing people who voluntarily knit hats. There are bins full! I was able to find three matching white ones. I added the ribbons at home, making sure that each of the girls bows were perfect and that Easton’s knot was boyish. Unfortunately, I severely underestimated the size of their heads. I was bummed that the bows/knot had to be retied once we arrived the next morning, but they were still cute. Thanks for the compliments.

We will try to post tonight with an update about Ellery’s arrival home!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Slight Panic

As I walked into the ‘Sizemore Suite’ today I was greeted by one of the neonatologist who promptly told me that Ellery was scheduled to go home tomorrow (Wednesday). I am sure he thought I was a total nutcase, but all I could say was, “Oh, I don’t think so”. He just stared at me as I tried to explain that I had three rooms of furniture piled into our master bedroom, an empty nursery (it does have carpet now!), cribs in a warehouse and not a single preemie diaper in the house. He agreed to push her discharge back a day to Thursday, which happens to be Quin’s birthday - She won’t remember, right?!?! They can’t justify keeping Ellery because she has been bottle fed for over 48 hours and maintained her body temperature. All she is doing is growing, which they claim she can also do at home. She is a whopping 3 pounds and 8 ounces. Our nurse told us today that while she isn’t the smallest baby ever sent home, but she is definitely among the smallest. Our carseat is made for babies who are four pound and up, so we will have to roll up blankets and place them around her to keep her stable while riding in the car. She will be taking part in the ‘carseat challenge’ tomorrow. She will need to stay in the carseat for an hour to make sure that she will be able to ride back and forth from the hospital to home.

So… barring any big changes, our peanut will be coming home on Thursday. Although I feel like it has snuck up on us and I have some apprehension, I couldn’t be more thrilled. It is wonderful to think that they will all be home soon. In their best guesstimate, they think Gianna and Easton might be home in the next week or two. I hope and pray that they won’t be separated for terribly long! We will keep you updated as things progress over the next few days.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Movin' On Up, Again!

The triplets were moved to their very own room today. This is a wonderful sign of their continued improvement! I am excited to have a room to ourselves. It is much more personal and private. We can sit in the middle of the room (it isn’t much bigger then 15x15) and look at all three babies. There are times when Jason and I are there, each feeding a baby, and feel badly for the third. At least now, we will be much closer in proximity to the third. There will still be one nurse who will oversee all three babies.

All three continue to grow. On average they are gaining about one ounce a day. Gianna continues to weigh the most at 3 pounds 14 ounces. Easton weighs in at 3 pounds 9 ounces. And, Ellery is a petite 3 pounds 7 ounces. Gianna has been off of oxygen for about four days now. Both Easton and Gianna have decreased in D-SATS!

When we walked into their new room today we were shocked to see the tops of both Gianna and Ellery’s incubators all the way up! They had both been maintaining their body temperature since the move earlier in the morning. Amazing! They are hoping to open Easton’s in the next few days. All three have also continued to do well on their bottle feedings. Easton and Gianna are not consistent yet, but usually drink 1/3 to1/2 of their bottle before having to tube feed the rest. They are not coordinating their suck/swallow/breathe patterns well enough to take the entire bottle. They will get there.

Ellery has taken all of her feedings directly from her bottle for over 24 hours. The nurses and doctors are guessing that she may come home by the end of the week. She needs to continue to maintain her temperature, and drink from the bottle for 48 hours straight. I have to give it to her – she likes to beat the odds! More likely than not, if she comes home when they are estimating, she won’t even be four pounds yet. What a fighter!!!

Many of you may be wondering if we are ready for them to come home. Not even close! The carpet for their bedroom (and two other bedrooms/the hallway and the steps) is finally going to be installed tomorrow. This has been holding up our progress for the nursery. The walls and trim have been painted (thank you Monica!). Once the carpet is in, we will pick up the cribs. There is so much to do, in so little time – but we have made a lot of progress since their birth. It will all work out. The bathroom is almost finished – yay! I will post pictures of all of our projects once they are complete.

Thanks again for your continued prayers! It has been amazing to watch as each prayer has been answered.

Together Again

Easton and Gianna

Easton, Gianna and Ellery

Ellery and Easton