Saturday, May 30, 2009

5 weeks old and Mommy is exhausted

As of yesterday the boys are 5 weeks old or they are now 1 day old adjusted. It has been a very rough week. Cody has a viral infection, sore throat, cough, congestion and general misery. It's horrible that he doesn't feel well and hard because he can't help with the boys until he's healthy again.

The main change his being sick has had is the morning feeding. When we are both home we do the feedings together but on work days Cody does the early am (5:30-6:00) feeding so I get about 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep. I never realized just how much of a difference that made for me. I've been in a near zombie state for the last three days.

The good news is Cody's fever broke this morning. Yay! Just in time for the end of the weekend. Boo! The boys don't show any sign of illness and it looks like I've dodged the virus as well, so it could have been much much worse.

Non-illness related we got a few things for the boys this week. A surprise package from my great- aunt Marion. Some adorable pants and socks for the boys. Thanks Aunt Marion!

Far less exciting for the boys we bought diapers. A local mother of triplets was selling all of her newborn sized diapers that her babies have outgrown at a discount rate. So we bought what should be enough diapers to get us through the size. We bought 480 of them, about half of what she had. Hopefully at the current rate of growth for the boys they'll get us to size 1. I'm just trying not to think about the fact 480 diapers is only about a 20 day supply.

It really is a disturbing amount. Seeing the sheer number of garbage bags full of diapers has convinced me to switch (or at least try) moving to cloth diapers when the boys get bigger. Not only will it make me feel less guilty about the amount of garbage we are producing it will also save us about $7,000.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Things we've noticed about the boys

The boys are still a bit too young for their personalities to help us tell them apart, but we've noticed a few things about each of them.

Andrew is the spittiest of the boys, both in distance and volume. Doesn't matter if he's eaten formula or milk, we have a towel on hand. After being swaddled he has the most entertaining look on his face. He'll be crying right up until the last side of the blanket is tucked under, then immediately changes to a look that says "Why are you looking at me like that?" The crying stops immediately, often mid-wail.

Parker is our crier. When it's not feeding time and all diapers have been changed, if a baby is crying it's usually Parker. He also has the most distinctive cry. His cry has a high pitched shriek that is cringe worthy. He also is able to move around the crib the most. Even when tightly swaddled, he is somehow able to move around often ending up right next to Andrew or Nicholas. We've gone in the room to find him nose to nose with Andrew or with his head tucked under Nicholas' chin.

Nicholas is the most relaxed or easy going so far. While he can cry and does when hungry, he is often content just look around the room, watch the mobile or just look at mine or Daddy's faces. He also was the first and the most consistent at holding his pacifier in his mouth (when not swaddled).

I really look forward to watching their personalities develop and getting to know them.

Monday, May 25, 2009

The sound of bottles warming

I'm waiting on some pictures to be uploaded, but in the meantime here is the sound of bottles being warmed at our house.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

One month old

The boys are one month old yesterday and had a weight check at the pediatrician. Along with weights Parker and Nicholas had their car seat tests. Andrew is now 6 lbs 14 oz, a gain of 11 oz in the last 11 days. Parker is 7 lbs 3 oz, also a gain of 11 ounces. Nicholas is up to 6 lbs 8 oz, having gained a full pound.

Parker and Nicholas both passed their car seat tests. So I can finally return the car beds to the hospital. It's a good thing that Parker passed since there is no way he would fit in a car bed, Nicholas barely fit.

We took the boys on another walk in the giant stroller. We've walked by a few people and everyone has always been friendly asking basic questions like age of the boys and where we live since not many of the neighbors know us. We passed a group of adults also out for a walk and one of the woman reached out and grabbed the stroller to physically stop me from pushing it past her. We had to ask her twice not to touch the boys and Cody was in hand swatting position.
I wonder what it is about babies that makes people think it's okay to touch them. Very few people reach out to squeeze the cheeks of another adult so why is it okay to do that to a stranger's child? Admittedly I'm a bit over protective since the boys are preemies, but even if they were born at full term. I don't know where their hands are been and don't want them touching my boys.

We took some pictures of the boys to have a one month old picture. Haven't had a chance to look through them yet, but I hope we got at least one good one. Cody also took a short video I'll need to post later that captures the sound of bottles warming.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Day 1 going solo

Cody went back to work today so I was on my own. It went really well. To ensure Cody gets enough sleep to function at work I took the midnight and 3 am feedings and he took the 6 am feeding before going to work.

Everything went fairly smoothly except for my attempt to dress the boys in cute outfits ie something more than a onsie to send a picture to Dad. Like the outfits we dressed and posed them in over the weekend. After feeding I found a set of 3 outfits pulled them off the hangers and had them ready to dress. It was then I noticed they were sized 3 month. So, I put everything back on the hangers and in the closet. Then I pulled out three more onsie with matching pants sets. I had Andrew in the first onsie (sized newborn) and put the pants on him (sized 3 months), it wasn't going to work. At this point the boys were done with not being swaddled. Pants went back in the closet and we had another day just in onsies. Tomorrow I'll need to go through the closet and find out what size everything is. I should already know, but I was in the hospital when everything was washed and put away.

I'm pretty confident that I have the boys schedule managed and can handle the feedings/changings/entertainment the only downside is nothing else gets done. After making bottles which includes pumping to make the bottles, feeding and getting everyone settled back down I have an hour and a half to nap or shower before the process starts over. With luck as my incision heals I'll be able to throw laundry and other cleaning tasks into the mix, but right now just trekking up and down the stairs is wearing me out.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A week of firsts

We made it through a week with the boys at home and had many firsts. First late night feedings, first bath time, first time feeding the boys at the same time with no help (meaning it only takes one of us), first doctors appointment and the first time we realized just how much laundry an infant can produce in a 24 hour period.

Cody and I feel pretty lucky that the boys left the hospital on a great feeding schedule. They eat every three hours, you can almost set the clock by it. We have feedings down to a system. One of us stumbles out of bed and gets bottles warming, the other gets burp cloths and boppy pillows set up. Everyone eats at the same time; two propped and one in my lap. Cody changes one diaper, I change one and gather bottles to be washed while Cody changes the last diaper and gets the boys swaddled and back into bed. The whole process takes about 40 minutes from start to finish.
On Monday the boys had their first wellness check-up. They all did great. Andrew had gained 15 ounces, Parker 12 ounces and Nicholas 11 ounces. We have a follow up for weight and to repeat Parker and Nick's car seat test next week. It also gave us a glimpse at the type of attention we are going to get from the public when traveling with triplets. Cody carried Parker and Nick into the office while I had Andrew in his carseat. We heard a few "look twins" comments then everyone noticed that the car seat I was carrying wasn't empty. Every jaw in the room dropped as we were quickly ushered into the back with the help of two nurses. On the way out of the office a nurse from another office saw us walking out and followed us back to the car asking questions the whole way and continued asking while we loaded the boys into the van. I can't wait to see responses to the stroller.

The boys had their first bath at home and they didn't enjoy it to put in mildly. It just broke my heart to hear the screaming from the second water touched them until I had them wrapped in a towel. I can't wait until they are old enough to play in the tub when we can make it fun or at least not traumatizing.

Finally there has been laundry, lots and lots of laundry. From piles of onsies, huge stacks of burp clothes, blankets and tiny socks. Normally that much laundry would sending me running for the hills. However, Grandma Sims volunteered to do all of the boys laundry. Every afternoon she comes to help with a feeding, snuggles each of the boys and delivers clean clothes. She knows where we keep all of the boys items and puts them away. Even taking the time to rotate the clean items to the bottom of the drawers so that each item gets even wear.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Best Mother's day gift

Today was my first Mother's Day and I got exactly what I wanted. The boys came home Saturday night. I was really dreading spending Mother's Day at the hospital. While I feel incredibly lucky that the boys are all healthy it just didn't seem like I was really their Mom yet. It sounds silly, but it's really hard to know that someone else is taking care of your babies while you are just visiting.

Our first night with the boys at home went really well. It takes the two of us 45 minutes to change and feed all three then we can go right back to bed for just over 2 hours of sleep. As long as week can keep they on the same 3 hour feeding schedule we should be able to make it work. That isn't to say sleep deprivation won't hit hard in a couple days, but right now it seems completely doable.

It is amazing to see the boys sleeping side by side by side in their crib. No more tubes or sensors just healthy little boys. They have been taking all of their feeds with out to much fuss. Only Nicholas is a little slow to take the whole bottle, but he's picking up speed (or at least seems to be).

Friday, May 8, 2009

Two weeks old..

The boys are two weeks old today. Time has passed in spurts; some days seem to fly by while others are dragging. The boys are still in the hospital, but have made some big strides towards coming home.

On Wednesday night they switched from automatically tube feeding every other feed to trying to bottle feed each feeding. Parker took all of his feeds by bottle through the night and has continued to. Andrew took all but half of one feed by bottle in the night. Nicholas had one feeding by tube, but took the bottle for the rest.

It seems like something has clicked and they are starting to get the eating thing down. It has us cautiously excited that they will be home in the next little while. The nurses still won’t give us an idea of when they may come home, but we’ll take this as a step in the right direction.

Thursday afternoon, Andrew managed to pull out his feeding tube. They decided to leave it out as long as he continued to take all of his feedings. By this afternoon all of the boys had their feeding tubes out and are taking everything by bottle. They’ve “turned the corner” as one nurse put it and are in the home stretch.

One of the pediatricians asked us about their homecoming and if we prefer to take them one at a time as they are ready or wait for everyone to come home at once. I’m taking this as a sign that they could be home in the next week.

It will be wonderful to have them home, even with the expected sleep deprivation.

We also had a chance this week to take our first family photo. I'm sure we'll have many others, but it's nice to finally have one.

I also had a chance to hold all three of my boys at the same time since they were born.

Monday, May 4, 2009

What an amazing week

Our boys arrived as planned the morning of April 24th. Andrew at 9:37 weighing 5 lbs 4 oz, Parker at 9:38 weighing 5 lbs 9 oz and Nicholas also at 9:38 weighing 4 lbs 13 oz. The boys all skipped the NICU with Andrew and Parker coming back to the room with me. They spent a few hours in room until their blood sugars began to drop and they were moved to the step down nursery with Nicholas.

Over the next couple days all of the boys had IVs placed to help with their sugar levels. Nicholas and Andrew were placed in isolettes to help maintain body temperature while Parker stayed in an open air crib. One by one IVs were removed and everyone was placed in an open air crib.

Due to the large number of newborns in the nursery they boys were placed in the "overflow" nursery. A patient room near the nursery with a nurse in the room at all times. The boys are still at the hospital acting their age; learning to suck, swallow and breath at the same time.

Half of their feedings are being tube fed still so we don't expect them home for a little while. They have all gained weight though and are really healthy.