The Triplets

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Monday, February 25, 2013

From Birth to 2 Weeks!

A lot has happened in the past two weeks and I am sorry it has taken so long to update my blog!

The Birth
On February 11, 2013 at 32 weeks 4 days pregnant, I was having my normal contractions that had gone on throughout the night for months resulting in little sleep due to discomfort and bladder pressure. Around 4:30 am during one of these contractions I felt a little leaking, and then again a little more. I thought to myself "this is it" as I hit the button to call my nurse. I told her, "I think my water just broke" and as the flow increased substantially, I told her "it definitely just broke or I am wetting the bed." She checked it with a pH strip just to be sure but by that point it was obvious. Since I had just woken up and because of the intense bladder pressure, I also had to go to the bathroom badly but she would not allow me to do so without leaving the bed...I guess labor is one time in adulthood during which wetting the bed in a room full of people is not as socially awkward as you might think.
My nurse rushed out of the room to call my OB while I called Brent. When he picked up the phone I informed him that "my water just broke and the nurse is calling the doctor now." I don't know if it was because he had been sleeping, but he seemed confused as to what he was supposed to do. "So when do you want me to come?" "NOW, my WATER just BROKE, go wake up my parents and get here safely!" Brent decided not to startle my parents at 4:45 AM by barging into their room so he called their cellphone and let them know. My mother said they both woke up immediately when they heard the phone ring and knew immediately why.

Brent left the house first and arrived as my contractions were increasing in severity and pain and my parents arrived shortly after. The room filled with nurses catheterizing me, hooking me up to IVs, and taking blood samples. My OB had informed them he intended to do the C-Section by 6:30 am. Unfortunately, since I had intended to have a planned C-section, or possibly an early one due to medical concerns for myself or the babies, I had not prepared myself for the concept of having active labor pains. The hour to hour and a half of constant strong contractions was torture and I didn't know how I could possibly make it from one to the next. That experience made me admire my mother and sister so much more who went through natural births! When the OB arrived and saw how much pain I was in he moved the C section up to 6 or 6:15 AM and instructed them to give me terbutaline which gave me almost immediate significant relief. I could not believe none of the nurses thought to request this for me earlier when I was begging for pain relief that they said they could not give me anything for.

After what seemed like forever they wheeled my bed to the OR, slid me onto the operating table, and as I slouched forward with my legs hanging off the side, the anesthetist did the spinal tap which surprisingly did not hurt all that bad. I immediately felt a rush of warmth down my legs, they laid me back, and soon I was numb to all sharp sensations and could only feel pressure below my chest. Brent was then allowed in and took his place by my head and off we were. There were at least 15 medical staff in with me including 2 OBs, neonatologists, nurse teams for each baby, and a couple anesthesiologists.

I finally started to feel some pressure when they began tugging around in my uterus and then at 6:26 am a cry (Hayley who was the one who called jail break at 4:30)! And then a second baby crying (Reagan)! And at 6:27 am Michaela came last, but I did not hear her crying. Brent explained that she was trying to cry but couldn't catch her breath and she ended up needing to be on CPAP. Brent said the OB showed him how my uterus shrunk back up to see how amazing it was that it had housed three babies.
Hayley Hope 3 lbs 5 oz 15.25 in long

Reagan Grace 3 lbs 16.5 in long

Michaela Joy 3 lbs 13 oz 17.75 in long

After the girls were out I began to feel very nauseous and the anesthesiologist kept giving me doses of zofran but it was not doing anything for me. When the nurses swung by my head to show me the babies, I didn't see much because I began throwing up. After I was closed up, I was wheeled out to wait a couple hours in a recovery area before they could take me to my new room. Brent was able to leave to see the girls in the NICU while I was left with my parents wondering if I would ever be able to move my leaden legs again. I continued to have waves of nausea and vomiting despite being pumped with zofran. I kept telling the nurses that whatever I was given months ago during my hysteroscopy was the only thing that helped my nausea after surgery, but no one ever looked into what it was.

Finally when my wait was up, my bed was wheeled to the NICU so that I could meet the girls. Immediately when I was wheeled in I began to feel more nausea again and informed the nurse that I was going to throw up and needed something to throw up in ASAP. She said she didn't know what to get me and reacted incredibly slowly to my desperate urgent warnings with my hand firmly pressed to my mouth. It was not long after she stood looking absently around the room for a solution that the vomit exploded through my fingers all over me and my bed. That set her into action finally and she rushed to get me a pink bin to continue with, but it was too little too late. I am sure all of the other parents in the NICU were pleased to see a woman spewing vomit in the same room as their tiny sick babies. Somehow we managed to get sheets over the majority of the vomit and change my gown in front of everyone so that I could briefly see my girls.

Once in my room, the vomiting continued for hours until one nurse gave me an anti nausea medication injected into my hip that started with an F that I immediately recognized as the one I was wanting all day and it stopped my nausea immediately. Once again, why couldn't they figure that out hours ago?? I stayed in the hospital until that Thursday, and I must say the pain from the surgery was excruciating whenever I attempted to change positions or get up. My legs also blew up like elephants. Between the pain, visits to the NICU, pumping milk, eating, and sleeping, the week was a blur. Our girls were each on separate rows of the NICU which was not ideal for a barely mobile mama.

Here is a pic of my legs still swollen several days after the C section. They became the butt of jokes in the house. One night at the table we were laughing about something but it hurt to laugh. I told Brent to stop making me laugh. He said, "look at your legs." I said "that's not funny." Brent said "exactly." Thankfully they are pretty much back to normal by now.

The girls did great from the start. Hayley and Reagan were on room air from the get go and Michaela was off CPAP and on room air the day after birth. They all lost their IVs within the first week and have only been hooked up to the usual vital sign monitors and nasal feeding tubes. Each of the girls have spent some time in and out of the lights for jaundice but have all been out for a few days now.

Once home, the pain and exhaustion from 20 weeks on bedrest have been huge obstacles. As of a few days ago, the pain has improved immensely but I was hit with a random high fever for two days and was not allowed to see the girls which was awful. I have recovered from that too and am feeling the best I have since surgery and my endurance is slowly returning. The girls have all been moved to the same row and we have gotten into a routine visiting them a couple times each day for at least a few hours each time.
I have been blessed with a large milk supply that has allowed us to exclusively feed all of the girls fresh breast milk and stock the NICU's freezer with the extra. The nurses can not believe how much I have been producing. Due to the feeding chaos that will ensue when they come home and I have to return to work, I'm not sure how long I will last pumping and am hoping to have lots of stores ready. The NICU ensures me they will give back everything they have frozen, but I still frantically question them about it on a regular basis to make sure nothing is discarded.

The girls are growing steadily and taking feeds better but still inconsistently from the bottle. Brent is proving to be a wonderful daddy holding and sing to the girls and changing diapers, bathing, and swaddling like a champ. it fills my heart with love to watch him with the girls. Hayley and Michaela have small VSDs-a small hole between the ventricles that cause a murmur. It is an extremely common defect that normally closes on its own. Everyone I have talked to in my triplet boards and elsewhere whose children have had one say that it eventually closed on its own and was a nonissue. Poor little Hayley who was squished head first on my cervix for the majority of the pregnancy with her sisters on top of her has very tight neck muscles and prefers to keep her head to the right. She is working with the PT to tolerate other positioning and I try to gently massage and range her little neck when I hold her and she seems very content while I do so. Michaela was the first to reach 4 lbs yesterday and thus was the first one to put on clothes and test her temperature regulating abilities. We will see when we go back today if she had to switch back to warming in the isolette or not. Yesterday Hayley was up to 3 lbs 8 oz and Reagan was up to 3 lbs 3 oz!

We are so very blessed at how well they are doing and appreciate the continued prayers!




Friday, February 8, 2013

32 Weeks: And They Said I'd Never Make It!!

I am SO excited as I am writing this as my parents' arrival to Springfield, MO is imminent! I have not proofread, so I apologize for errors!

This Week's Developments:
* According to Babycenter, a singleton would be weighing around 3 lb 12 oz by now (and Michaela is probably bigger than that!) the size of a jicama huh? they are really stretching it with some of these produce references
* The girls now have toenails, fingernails, and real hair (unless they are anything like their bald mama!)
* Their skin is becoming soft as they plump up for birth

Well ladies and gentleman, here we are at 32 weeks- a major milestone for any pregnancy! We have officially beat the odds and made it past the average delivery time for triplets despite all the obstacles we have faced and have done so with amazing support and prayer from all over the USA (and Sweden!!).

I was lucky enough on my birthday-Groundhog's Day- to be visited by two great friends who brought me flowers:

My hubby who brought me more flowers:

My OB who came in I think on his day off with a purple balloon weighted down with candy, which he said "you don't need to be eating that, though!", and my favorite nurse who came back after her shift with 4 pink and silver balloons, 2 types of cookies, pie, and cupcakes that I have been pawning off to staff and visitors.

This week I have just felt different than I have prior. Typically I need my thermostat set to frigid and anyone coming in either has to bundle deeper into their winter clothes (the sympathetic ones) or secretly alter my thermostat (my husband). When he would do this, I would end up sweating which would give him away and I would remind him that my specialist said he is not to touch a pregnant woman's thermostat and I only get to shower every other day, so when I sweat I am stuck with it for 2 days! He would still adjust it anyway. But this week, my previous frigid setting actually feels frigid to me too and I have been keeping the temperature higher. Also, my appetite is completely shot and my food aversions to virtually anything you put in front of my face- like during my first trimester- have returned. I don't know if it is from my smushed stomach or signs that the end is near.
I continue to sleep horribly due to contractions that get strong at night time as if they know that is when they can make me the most miserable. Usually I won't fall asleep until around 1-2 am, they will pick up, and I will be begging for terbutaline by 4:30 am as I did the past 2 nights. I hope this will not be a nightly occurrence until delivery!

This week Brent went out of town Thursday morning and is not returning until Saturday night to a meet around 2.5 hours away that he drove separately to. Since my parents weren't arriving until Friday night, we were so blessed to have eager volunteers to take care of our precious crazy boxers! Here are some pictures from their dogsitters!

I'm not sure how Amanda got them to look so obedient here!

They loved playing with the boys!

And even got to play Bosley's favorite game, Whiffle Ball!

Thank you all so much for taking such good care of them!!

The girls have again passed their Tuesday/Friday biophysical scans, and will have another biophysical Tuesday and Growth scan (my favorite kind) next Friday assuming I am still pregnant! No one has set a scheduled C-section date yet. My OB feels he can set one up quickly and wants to base it more on how we are all doing rather than specific gestation, which I agree with. Brent has to go to his Conference Championship meet Feb 21-25 9 hours away, which is right in the thick of average scheduled C section time, so we are really really hoping he will not have to miss the birth and that the girls will come just before he leaves or just after he gets back.
32 Week Big Belly

This face tells you how I really feel...

Total Weight Gain: ~64 lbs (I was worried about pre-eclampsia due to gaining much more weight this week with eating much less due to appetite and aversion issues, but all testing came back normal, so I am hoping it is just because the girls are growing in spite of my poorly successful force feeding sessions!)

Friday, February 1, 2013

31 Weeks: Hello February!

This Week's Developments:
* This week a singleton would be over 16 in long and weigh about 3.3 lbs (the weight of 4 navel oranges!) and heading for a growth spurt
* Their bodies are starting to plump up as fat accumulates underneath the skin

Like I knew I would the whole time (because I felt God had told me this the day I found out about the triplets), I have surprised many skeptics including my doctors and many other people, and made it into February!

This past week has gotten a little crazy for me as strings of contractions have become more frequent and my body is protesting the huge changes it has undergone more and more. The little things like getting in/out of bed and on/off a toilet are so difficult not only causing pain in my back and abdomen but in my knees and shoulders as well. I have had to be injected with terbutaline almost once a day for the past week due to contractions coming on in excess of 6 an hour, but they have not increased my cervical dilation from the 2 cm it was at during the last check a couple weeks ago, which is great. The injection itself I find to be even more painful than the steroid injection but is short-lived, and while it still makes me very jittery and tachycardic for a couple hours after it kicks in, I think my body is getting used to it because it does not seem as bad as the first time I received it. I call it getting "terbed." In most cases, I would prefer getting terbed to the discomfort of the continuous contractions, however.

As you know, last week we officially announced that B is Michaela since she is the largest and Michaela is the longest name. I have always had a feeling that A was Hayley and C was Reagan, but we had planned on waiting to see them in person to decide. Brent randomly texted me before he went to sleep the other night that Reagan is C and so A is Hayley and we threw out our 'wait and see' plan. And so we are pleased to announce A= Hayley Hope, B= Michaela Joy, and C= Reagan Grace.

On Tuesday we had another biophysical scan and the girls all passed with 8/8 scores. They will continue these scans twice a week until they arrive. Today we had our two week growth scan. As usual, all girls' amniotic fluid levels were great. The ultrasound tech I prefer was out sick, and her replacement struggled a bit more and caused me quite a bit of pain with how hard she was pushing to get views that I am sure my usual tech could have gotten with much less force. I was even worried for the babies with how hard and painfully she was pushing! Ultimately I was just excited to find out how much they grew! I must say on a side note that the growth scans have a margin of error of +/- 8 oz in either direction and that the tech had a terribly difficult time getting a good shot of Hayley's head for the weight estimation because she is SO low. The tech believes that Hayley is likely still larger than Reagan, and that her measurement may just be off because of the poorer quality headshot.

Hayley: 2 lb 14 oz (+ 8 oz in 2 weeks)

Michaela: 3 lb 10 oz (+ 11 oz, our little chunky monkey!!)

Reagan: 2 lb 15 oz (+ 11 oz)

Personally, I have always wanted the girls to at least hit, if not exceed, the 3 lb mark before they are born, and we are so grateful that it looks like they will all accomplish that!

This is a belly collage I made for weeks 9-30:

And here are my 31 week shots from yesterday!

Total Weight Gain: ~57 lbs

Friday, January 25, 2013

30 Weeks: Finally into the 30's!!!

This Week's Developments:
* The girls should be about 15.7 in long now and weigh in at almost 3 lbs each (like heads of cabbage) according to babycenter.
* Their eyesight is continuing to develop, but even at full term will start out with 20/400 vision and only make out objects a few inches from their faces.

This week we felt incredibly blessed to hit another huge milestone- 30 weeks! I still believe we will make it at least into the beginning of February, so we shall see! The average delivery of triplets occurs at 31 weeks for various reasons, but they are considered term and would be scheduled for C-section if we make it to 34-35 weeks. Thankfully Brent was able to get out of his track meet in Kentucky this Thursday-Sunday since it would be impossible to get back from there if I go into labor. His athletes still jumped incredibly well today without him present which is a big relief. I woke up Thursday to a wonderful surprise from my favorite L & D nurse. To celebrate hitting the 30 week mark, she brought in 3 containers of mini cupcakes and 3 pink bags full of candy labeled "A" "B" and "C" for each of the girls. She gave "B" (Michaela) different candy than the other two that included gummy bears since she is the biggest and usually the most active of the three. The nurses get to know the girls' personalities by strapping me up for monitoring each shift learning their activity and kicking patterns as well as their sizes. Michaela "B" is the only baby we have assigned a name so far. We thought since she is the biggest, it suits her to have the longest name. We still feel the need to meet A and C to determine who is Hayley and who is Reagan.

My Goodies

Today we had our first biophysical scan which scores the babies on various criteria including breathing patterns, movement, tone, cord flow, etc. Since it was done first thing in the morning when the babies and I are usually asleep, it took awhile to get them up and moving. As far as I could tell from the ultrasound tech, they all did very well, but A and B did better than C who was not quite awake to show us a lot of her movements. The tech was not concerned so I will not be either. She said that the specialist stated we would probably be starting biweekly ultrasounds at this point to monitor the girls since we are at 30 weeks now and they want to make sure they are not getting to squished or in distress. All three showed some breathing practice and still have good amniotic fluid measurements. I should be getting another growth scan next Friday as long as they have remembered to schedule everything, and would be delighted if all the girls are at/above 3 lbs by then. We got face shots of of A and B today. B is sucking her thumb in her picture! Of course C is still face down towards my back, so no peeks at her pretty little face!

A with her little face squished

B with her thumb in her mouth.

I started a list of things that triplet mamas are sick of hearing based on my own experiences, and since then it has expanded and Brent has added some things said to him that annoy him as well:
1. Three girls?!! Your poor husband!! My poor husband is very happy about his three little daddy's girls thank you very much
2. Wow, triplets! Instant Family! You must be done after this! Thank you for making a very difficult and personal decision for us on whether or not we will expand our family further in the future
3. Are they natural??? No they were created by scientists and shoved into my uterus.... This question hadn't bothered me much since I have been so open with our struggles and fertility treatments, but hearing it daily from strangers is really getting old.
4. How will you do it?! We don't have a choice, I think we will figure it out
5. Your life is over Need I comment on this one?
6. I would really want to have twins but definitely not triplets! You do realize you are saying this to a mama 30 weeks pregnant with triplets, right? Maybe that is something you should say to your friend AFTER exiting my room?
7. You will love them until they hit the teenage years, then they will completely turn on you Thanks for judging the entire female population, but I will wait and see. I certainly didn't turn into a parent eating zombie when I became a teenager
8. I can't believe you have three babies in there, you aren't that big! Hey now, I worked hard for this huge belly and 60 lbs of extra weight, don't take that away from me!

I'm sure there are things I have forgotten. Any multiples mommas out there, please add the things people say to you that bug you to the comments section!!

Brent just took my belly pic, to technically it is 30 weeks, 1 day

Total Weight Gain: ~55 lbs

As always, we appreciate all of the prayers and the many gifts, cards, and visitors we have received! We would like to request continued prayers for the girls to grow and develop well and to be born when they are ready with no long term complications. Also, continued prayers for our housing (rental home going to foreclosure sale on 2-1), and my job situation (still awaiting approval for extension through January) are much appreciated so that we can spend the next several weeks focusing on our girls and not job or house searching!

Friday, January 18, 2013

29 Weeks: Grow Babies Grow!

This Week's Developments:
* The girls should be weighing in at about 2 1/2 lbs (like butternut squash) and be a little over 15 inches long (see below for actual weights!)
* Muscles and lungs continue to mature
* Their little heads are growing larger to accommodate their developing brains

This week has been full of needle sticks! I had another round of rhogam since I am blood type O Negative as well as another 2 day round of steroid shots yesterday and today- ouch! My OB said we might as well do another round this week to be safe and that "it couldn't hurt anything." I said "yeah, except my butt!" (which is wear they stick it). He got a chuckle out of that.

Last night I had a bit of a scare. I began feeling my contractions more frequently so I requested to be hooked up to the contraction monitor and it turned out that I was having around 10 in an hour. The on call OB and Specialist were called and decided to have my cervix checked manually and wanted me to have a terbutaline injection to calm the contractions. My cervix, as expected, was still very thin, and had dilated to probably around 2 cm based on the nurse's manual assessment. Thankfully none of the babies appeared to be effected by the contractions at all based on their heart rate monitoring. My heart on the other hand was pumping out of my chest giving me some palpitations and HR ~140 bpm with shaky hands for awhile which are normal side effects. I find it amazing that a drug that is so stimulating also acts to calm my uterus so effectively!

My specialist is pleased with how far I have made it already and said that if I go into active labor again to where my contractions are frequent, painful, and causing increased dilation, they will not attempt to use drugs again to stop my contractions and will instead just take me in for the C section. She hopes that I will still make it another week or two before that happens (and would be especially pleased with getting to 32 weeks, but is doubtful I will make it that long). She is confident the babies will (most likely) be ultimately fine if they decide to make an earlier appearance, and my uterus, which is measuring 43+ weeks by now, is getting impatient! I still have a feeling that the girls will hang in there until the first few days of February. We can't believe how real this is getting!!

This morning I had my much anticipated growth scan. The last one was two weeks ago and none of us were impressed with the growth at that point from the scan three weeks prior to it. Today was a whole different story. All of the girls-even little C- gained exponentially from the previous scan, gaining much more in the past 2 weeks than they did in the previous 3! We are so proud of them! All of their amniotic fluid measurements are still in the normal range as well. Here Are the measurements:

Baby A: 2 lbs 6 oz (+9 oz from 2 weeks ago), AF: 3.77 cm

Baby B: 2 lbs 15 oz (+14 oz), AF: 5.63 cm

Baby C: 2 lbs 4 0z (+10 oz), AF: 3.9 cm

We continue to appreciate all of the amazing encouragement and prayers! The weight gains these past 2 weeks were a big answer to prayer and we hope that they keep up that trend and stick in there a few more weeks to hit that 32 week milestone! If not, though, we pray they will do exceptionally well no matter when they decide to come :)

Brent is off to a track meet, so I only have a picture from a few days ago that is not bare belly. You can compare this to my 25 week shot in which I am wearing the same shirt. Notice how much shorter it has gotten!

Total Weight Gain: ~51 lbs

Forgot to post a pic of my pedicure that Brent gave me this week. What a good hubby!

Friday, January 11, 2013

28 Weeks: Into the 3rd Trimester

This Week's Developments
* A singleton baby should weigh around 2.25 lbs and measure 14.8 in long by now
* The girls are blinking their eyes which sport eyelashes and may be able to see light that filters through my womb
* Neurons continue to develop in their brains at a fast rate

So I spoke with my specialist about last week's ultrasound on Monday. My main questions were what were her thoughts on their sizes, at what point would they consider taking them out if one was too growth restricted, when would we start doing longer heart rate monitoring sessions, when my next ultrasound would be, and would we be doing more steroids. When her elderly partner came to see me the day after the ultrasound, he had not even reviewed my ultrasound or known about it, and after I told him he could find it in my chart, his answers to all of my very specific questions were "uh, we are just going to keep doing what we are doing...we are just going to keep them in there until 34 weeks." He also forgets who I am every time he sees me and reintroduces himself. Honestly, how many triplet moms do you have staying in the hospital? I know for a fact I am the only triplet mom in their practice right now.

So when I called my specialist Monday with my questions, she answered them in much more depth after stating "So, I hear you don't like talking to Dr. X." I kind of brushed off her comment as I didn't want to talk negatively to her about her partner. She always puts things bluntly, and that might offend some people, but I can look past it and almost appreciate it since she is so amazing at her job. So when she looked at the babies' weights, especially C, she said "yeah they are puny." She said as long as they are growing some, we will leave them in there, and if they become too growth restricted, she would not consider taking them out until 30 weeks at the earliest. She said that my next growth scan would be 2 weeks after the last one (next Friday at 29 weeks, 1 day), and that we would be increasing the heart rate monitoring of the babies from a couple minutes twice a day to 20 minutes twice today. She also said around 29 weeks I will get another round of steroids. The longer heart monitoring will allow the doctors to see trends, establish a baseline heart rate for each baby, and check for the presence of heart rate accelerations concurrent with movement that are good. So far all three babies have shown some evidence of these accelerations, and they should demonstrate more as they get further along. I also got another rhogam shot this week.

Here is a picture of my belly with three heart monitors and a contraction monitor hooked up to it. These girls don't make it easy to get 20 consecutive minutes of monitoring with all their kicking and moving around!!

The bane of my week has been my clogged left ear. Lying down to shower has caused my ears to fill up with water each time and get deep into my ear canals and there is not much I can do to get it out. After last Friday's shower when my left ear was still clogged, I had Brent bring me earplugs for future showers but my ear got worse every day following to where it felt like I had a permanent ear plug in my ear and was absolutely miserable. I was finally seen by an ENT today who was able to unclog it for the most part using twirled up tissues and the blunt in of a cotton swab with some tissue paper on it. Hallelujah!

I have had several visitors this week. My friend Lauren works on the 4th floor here so stops by before work sometimes and came over to watch the premiere of the Bachelor on Monday with some homemade cookies, delicious! My friend Brittany was also able to stop by on Saturday since she was home for the weekend from Texas and it is always a treat to see her! I also was visited by my head pastor who is so kind and wonderful to talk to and who reminds me of my father. I told him that and about my Dad and he hopes to meet him when my parents are in town! My friend from work, Lee, also came to visit with loads of chocolate candy bars, yum :) As I am writing this blog, I was just visited by a man with two large hand puppets who delivered a special heartfelt message to the girls from a best friend from home, Betina. It just made my day! Thanks everyone!

A bit of a funny story...Brent and I had been squeezed onto my bed playing a game on the ipad and I had gotten up to go to the bathroom. At the time, the room phone was closer to the little couch and I needed to order dinner, so I laid down on the couch to make my order before going back to the bed. The OT walked in right about then and did a double take when she saw a man lying in the patient bed of the Perinatal ICU and the pregnant lady squeezed onto the small couch. "That's not something we see every day!" she exclaimed and we all started laughing. I assured her that my husband hadn't kicked me out of my own bed and that I was on my way back after I couldn't convince her that he was the pregnant one :)

Here are some 28 weeks shots:

Total Weight Gain: ~46 lbs

Friday, January 4, 2013

27 Weeks: Grateful for Every Day!

This weeks developments:
* The girls should weigh almost 2 lbs (the size of a head of cauliflower) and be around 14.5 in long (see below for actual weights)
* They are sleeping and waking at regular intervals
* They are opening and closing their eyes and sucking on their fingers
* Their brains are very active now as they continue to develop rapidly

It has now been a little over a week in the hospital and so far so good. The cart showers turned out to be not so bad as I am able to lay on the cart and use a handheld shower head to bathe without any assistance (which was the part I was dreading!). The food is getting old already, but an OT taught me that there is a number I can call to hear the daily cafeteria menu and I can usually order from that as well which has helped a lot with getting a little variety! I can't complain about the room, and I could go on and on about the wonderful nursing staff! I found out today that my application for free 15 min massages (vs $1/min) was approved, so I should be able to get those twice a week which will hopefully help with a lot of my upper back/rib pain from being bed bound and growing. I am so thankful for my iPad, and almost had a nervous breakdown when the Internet went down for half a day yesterday, for what would I do without it?! In the past week, through my father's Amazon Prime video on demand, I have watched almost all of the first 3 seasons of Grey's Anatomy. That is 60 episodes. I think that must be some kind of record! Brent stops by when he can and squeezes onto the bed with me to play 2 player iPad games and eat meals together here and there. His parents (true Godsends) just left to drive back to New York, but his mom is so sweet to be flying right back next Thursday to stay through Feb 5th to allow Brent to spend more time with me by helping out at the house and with the dogs and to be there on weekends when he starts traveling to track meets every weekend starting next week.

I have been so touched by our church, Wesley UMC. Throughout my home bedrest, some of the ladies made us some meals and donated some baby items. This week a lady from church dropped off a handmade blanket that is so soft and beautiful with a wonderful message/scripture attached and said they were working on some baby items too! Brent is modeling it below! I missed a visit yesterday while showering but a church visitor left an inspirational message and my pastor came by today and left a note while I was receiving my first free massage.

I waited until today to do this blog so we would have the ultrasound results from the first growth scan we have had since 23 weeks 6 days. The good news is the girls have all grown. Personally, I was hoping all 3 would be at or above 2 lbs, so I was disappointed with the growth of A and C but I have no idea what the specialist thinks about their growth-good/bad- since the tech came to see me in my room. If I don't have a visit from the specialist over the weekend I will call her office on Monday to try to get her thoughts on the results and find out when we will recheck.

Results are as follows (all Amniotic Fluid measurements and heart rates were within normal limits and the percentiles are a compared to twins):

Baby A: HR 147, AF 4.7 cm, Weight estimate: 1 lb 13 oz (up 8 oz since 3 weeks ago)= 5-25th percentile
Baby B: HR 159, AF 7.2 cm, weight: 2 lb 1 oz (+10 oz)= < 25th percentile
Baby C: HR 136, AF 3.2 cm, weight 1 lb 10 oz (+5 oz)= < 5th percentile

My wonderful Aunt Diane sent me a stand for my iPad today that makes it so much easier to use and watch shows on my iPad while on bedrest since I can put it in so many different positions! I think it may help with some of my pains by helping me position better too! I used it to write my blog and look forward to watching many many more episodes of Grey's with it too! :)

Here are the 27 week belly shots from yesterday, and I had Brent bring in my scale! One triplet mama who was not familiar with the sequential compression devices on my legs was mortified that I was tethered to the bed and wondered if it was a requirement to keep me compliant with bedrest :) I assure you they are removable, yet very annoying. I am allowed to remove them at night, lest I would not get ANY sleep.

Total weight gain: 44 lbs
We are really praying that these girls stay in there several more weeks and grow big and strong and grow fast! We appreciate your prayers, especially for C to not fall too far behind and pick up the pace with her weight gain :)